Copyright © 2001 All Rights
voices coming from the radio moved through a dream Belle was having.
Something about Jodie and Mary, and
whether they should be separated.
In her dream Belle opened the door to her
bedroom and saw Ben standing there, smaller.
Belle opened her eyes, still asleep, half
aware of Ben beside her, his face buried in her neck, his arms knotted round
her, and his limp crotch squashed against her thigh
She gasped in some air, and the radio
pulled her down again.
-Cases of Siamese, or conjoined, twins are
so rare, around one for every 100,000 live births, and the ways in which they
can be joined so different, that no two cases are ever exactly the same.
This is why each operation requires such intensive planning-
Belle stirred to the sound of Ben typing
in the next room. She had something to do, but she couldn’t remember
what. She turned onto her side and tucked the covers between her boney
knees, and followed an unfolding thought into sleep again
Balearic Eyed. Act 1.
A hotel room in Ibiza. Two
cyber-girls burst into the room, wide eyed and distracted. IDA and EVE. One has
bleached yellow hair with a blue fin. The other has a full head of tiny
red knots. IDA’s wearing gold hot pants a la Kylie Minogue (bottom of
her butt cheeks showing) and a tight white t-shirt that shows off her mid-riff.
The t-shirt’s got luminous letters stuck to it that read ‘CRASHER KIDS
‘AVE IT BEST.’ She’s got a baby’s dummy round her neck, and wears
bracelets made of sweets on her wrists. EVE’s wearing a slash of pink material
over her breasts and denim hot pants. She’s got a blue and pink dog
collar on with plastic spikes coming out of it.
IDA: Who the fuck is
Roger Sanchez anyway?
EVE: Search me. It
weren’t trance tonight... at all. Not Crasher enough.
IDA: Not Crasher... at
all. Just gym boys in sarongs and London wank.
IDA rifles through a drawer by the double
bed and pulls out a tape. She chucks it to EVE.
IDA: Put this on.
EVE catches the tape IDA chucks and puts
it on. Trance music starts to pump, squirming down into a single heart
beat as the two girls climb on the bed, lie down, touch, speak.
EVE: The other two liked it. We were
on Purple Rolexes, Ide. What...
IDA: Their Purple Rolies
worked. Ours were dud or some-et. Those fuckers’ll dance to ‘owt
anyway, you know what they’re like.
EVE: Their sort.
IDA: Bless ‘em.
EVE: I luv ‘Crasher
back in Sheffield. It were really different in there tonight, weren’t
IDA: Everything was
EVE: Everything? What do you mean,
IDA: Nothing. Just
the whole thing, the atmosphere and stuff. I’ve got some tablets.
California Sunrises. What do you reckon?
IDA rolls over to the cabinet by her
bedside, opens the top drawer and pulls out a bottle of pills.
IDA: We’ll have a
messier night than the boys I bet. ha ha.
EVE: As usual.
IDA hands EVE two pills.
EVE takes a swig from a bottle of water
and washes the E’s down.
IDA does the same.
Ben read what he’d written. He
wriggled his toes in his slippers and took a sip of his tea. He read it
again. No. He still didn’t get last night. He’d ask Belle
what she thought when she got up. That wouldn’t be for a while.
He switched his computer off and went
through to the kitchen. The radio was on.
-She sucks the lifeblood of Jodie, and her
parasitic living will soon be the cause of Jodie ceasing to live-
“What’s this?” Belle asked later,
picking up a magazine from Ben’s desk. “The Face? Madonna?
It’s my love you but fuck you record... drugs overload... Gatecrasher takes
“I needed some inspiration,” Ben said.
“I felt all dried up... fucking old or something.”
Belle dropped the magazine back on the
table, and laughed. “What?” Ben put the
newspaper he was reading down.
“Well,” Belle shrugged.
“It’s all a bit lame isn’t it?”
Ben pulled the remote control out from
under him and switched the television on. He found CD UK and turned the volume
up. Ali G. Madonna. Acid Rock.
Belle sat down next to Ben.
“Because of last night? Because the bars had changed? Bars change
“That last bar we were in was just the
same,” Ben said.
Belle got up from the sofa, and stopped
what Ben had said from opening up into something.
-do you like to boogie woogie?-
“The music’s crap this morning,” Ben
said, and switched channels. The news.
-She cannot even cry, because she has lost
the use of her lungs, and no one can decide whether she experiences pleasure or
pain: a “pitiable” existence, in the words of Justice Johnson-
“I like that song,” Belle said, making
a grab for the remote control.
“Bourgeousie and the rebel...
bollocks... she doesn’t even finish her sentences,” Ben said, moving the
remote control out of Belle’s reach.
“She doesn’t have to. She’s
Madonna. She can do what she wants,” Belle said, trying to grab
the remote control again. “Please turn this over, it’s too
depressing,” Belle said. “I can’t bear it.”
-Jodie, on the other hand is a “bright
and alert baby, sparkling and sucking on her dummy-
The trancey heartbeat speeds up as the
drugs take effect and the girls’ conversation becomes more fraught.
EVE: It was different,
okay, but that don’t explain why we left. We could’ve stayed, Ide.
Why are we back here?
IDA: We’re making a
fucking stand. That’s why. Things change when they
don’t have to, and I’m sick of it.
Why can’t things just stop
EVE: Yeah. Just
for a minute. Just stop.
IDA: You know what I
EVE: No! Yeah.
I want another pill.
EVE shakes another tablet onto her palm
and throws it into her mouth.
EVE: If I had one wish
it would be to stop things changing so much and all the
time. Or to stop the things I don’t want to change from changing I’m
sick of it how you can’t hold onto anything because it just goes anyway
there’s no point you’ve just got t’accept it. Well not tonight.
IDA: Why do things
change? I want my mum again.
IDA puts the dummy hanging round her neck
in her mouth and chews it for a second, then spits it out.
IDA: I need another
EVE: And another, give
us two more. We don’t stop loving our mums and dads that doesn’t
change. At this point the heartbeat alters, turns into two heartbeats.
IDA: What? What?
Why did you say that? Give me another pill.
Your nose. It’s bleeding. Everything’s fucking rotting and
dying, Eve. Moving on... without me.
EVE: You’re moving
too, Ide. My ear. We’ve moved. Both of us ‘ave.
IDA: That. Don’t
say that. Give me those pills. Why do we do this? Our minds.
Why do we change them, and make things different, and difficult again?
EVE and IDA’s noses and ears are
bleeding. They pitch towards each other. The heartbeats stop.
Then they fall away from each other.
Ben stopped typing.
“Madonna says it took her 40 years to
get the love thing right,” Belle said from behind Ben’s issue of The
“Really?” Ben said absently, his
finger down hard on delete.
Belle let her head fall back against the
sofa, and listened to the words coming from the radio.
-Unless the twins are separated, Jodie
will also die. Should the operations go ahead, however, she would need years of
reconstructive surgery to build a vagina and anus, may never be able to walk -
and would one day learn that she was re-built using tissue taken from her dead
“It’s not worth it,” she said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
travelled China, North America and Europe, and now lives in London, working
as a journalist. A short story of his appears in The
Gay Times Book of Short Stories. Click here
for a sample of his writing. Feel free to email him with any thoughts you
have about his work at firstname.lastname@example.org.