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Balearic Eyed

by

Stephen Lucas


Low 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. Scene 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 it? 

IDA:    Everything was different... yeah. 

EVE: Everything?  What do you mean, Ide? 

IDA:    Nothing.  Just the whole thing, the atmosphere and stuff.  I’ve got some tablets.  California Sunrises. What do you reckon? 

EVE: Yeah. 

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: Here. 

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 Ibiza.”     

“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 every week.”     

“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 changing? 

EVE:    Yeah.  Just for a minute.  Just stop. 

IDA:    You know what I mean? 

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 pill. 

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:    Stop... 

EVE:    What? 

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 Face.     

“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 sister-     

“It’s not worth it,” she said.     


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephen Lucas has 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 lucasfeedback@hotmail.com.

 

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