A pulsing stone pressed to her heart, the queen wept.
She was past the point of return, she was well aware,

But that didn’t make things any easier.

“I will return to you, my son, this beating heart of yours.”

Her cries filled the chamber as she looked into his empty eyes.

His face that of cold steel, she longed to see his metallic smile once more

But his lips remained frozen, a bout of everlasting contemplation.

The boy’s heart exhaled a blast of stale fog.

She could feel its weakening pulse, its longing for a soul to keep.

Though a soul she had not, for she had given it up years ago.

Given another chance, she’d offer her own heart and mind

If it meant saving her beloved automaton.

Featured image is from Flickr

Full Bloom

Photo credit: Flickr

Toss that rouge. And don’t even think of spreading that magenta gloss. I’m a Crazed Comedia, Louis Vitton kind of girl. The others try and copy my slide. Everybody wants to be the leather queen rocking those Wang spikes. But there’s only enough room on the throne for one queen. And that’s me.

Hand on cocked hip, lips pursed, mane slicked back. That gorgeous Swayze with the chestnut curls and jawline for days blows my name in the microphone. “Angel McVey.” The only name the viewers will remember after tonight is the big A-M. Baby Vey was bringing it to the floor.

Glitz and glam, carmine and lavender, nobody does it better. I strut across the catwalk in my glimmering 6-inch Wangs and charcoal skirt. The men watch, hands bouncing in their tight slacks, as my caramel legs traipse the stage. The young Pitt blows me a kiss – the signal – and my little earpiece hums to life.

You can bury me in glitter and Versace, manicure these nails, prop me up on a cum-stained pedestal and call it pornography, but you’ll never have the empress you imagined. My voice ruins me. No matter how much lace I wear, it’s always there to bring me back to Earth. “Ladies and Gents,” I speak into the bedazzled microphone, “that excludes tonight’s show. You’ve seen our queens and kings, princes and princesses. And you’ve seen the muses.” A caterwauling group of teenaged boys – far younger than the minimum age requirement, but, hey, Mama don’t judge – lick the pit between their index and middle fingers. As if they had eaten a pussy before. What amateurs. “Return tomorrow night for the debut of Starlet Kix, fresh from her slick spaceship!” I almost vomit from the plug – who wants to see that over-produced tramp? Not this queen. I hand the mic back to Swayze and storm behind the curtain.

“What the hell was that, Angel?” Curt was looking mighty fine in a sequined blazer, I’ll admit it, but the man had a few things he should have learned before purchasing Night Owl.

I scrub the mirror clean with my palm and remove the crystal earrings. “Come on, babe. You know this bitch don’t do no promotion for fresh faces.” Unbuttoning the dress reveals my chiseled chest and black fuzz. In an instant, I turned from full-blown goddess to simple otter. The transformation disgusts me. “You can’t expect me to give you a spectacular performance by pinning me with Scarlet Snowflake, anyway,” I admit. “That girl is out for my crown, and you know it. Has been since day one.”

All Curt can do is drop his head in agitation. He’d do anything to promote another queen from under me, kicking me out the door, but with a brain like this goddess it’ll take more than he can ever throw. I ain’t one to indulge in mind games. You get what your green dollar pays for. “Fine,” he huffs, heading out of the dressing room. “Oh, and Dalon is here. Figured I’d let you know.”

Dalon. Mother fucking Dalon Arneecher. Just thinking his name makes me want to scribble obscenities on the mirror and go total psycho on his lying ass. “When the hell did he get here? He watched the show?” But Curt was already gone. He had other queens to tend to, after all. This babe didn’t need no help, that’s for sure. I can handle my own clasps, thank you very much.

Then there’s the smell. The stench of sex and honey. Gut-wrenching. It was his favorite cologne; it was the one I emptied in the driver’s seat of his Mercedes. It’s surprising he’s still wearing the disgusting poison. “Dalon, get your ass from behind that door. If you don’t, I’ll send this heel into your chest like last time.” I wipe eyeshadow and concealer off with a purple wet cloth. Every scrub revived a red canvas of blemishes and pimples.

Dalon shyly entered the room. He’s changed his hair. His dreads were replaced with a clean-cut fade. “Hey, Eddie.” His short-winded quietness catches me off guard. “Got a second?” As if I’m willing to devote an abandoned second on this asshole.

“I don’t got nothing to say to you, boy. Move along.” His sheepish smile reminds me of why I loved him to begin with. Every moment with him felt pure and undisturbed. That is, until I caught him with two other women. “Go on.”

“Is it Ashley or Eddie?” His dark eyes melt me. “Please, it’ll only take a second. Then I’ll be out of your life forever.”

“You’ve got two words. That’s it.”

He drops his head in his hands and cries. I dated the man for five years and never saw him cry like this. “I’m done.” The voice cracked and strained against the sobs. He looked me in the face, his eyes crimson and his cheeks pulsing. “I’m dying, Ed.”

“What the fuck are you talking about? Don’t you be playing those games.” My tone is soft despite my wanting to hate his ugly, crying face. Damn these sympathetic genes my dad gave me.

He sat on a metal chair at another makeup station, collapsed is the better word. “AIDS.” It was all he had to say to get me out of my perch to embrace him. “My life is ruined. I fucked up, Eddie. I fucked it all up.”

This man, the one I swore was the love of my life when I left home at seventeen, was falling apart in my arms. Dalon’s tears drip down my chest. The news leaves me stuck; for once in my life I don’t say a thing. No sexist quip, no apologies, nothing. At last, the queen is without her greatest weapon.

“I didn’t contract it from Eidan, either.” He sniffled. “I needed a blood transfusion after I…” Another sniffle. “I tried to end things, and I can’t afford no fancy hospital.” He trembles in my arms.

I take a deep breath, my nose buried in his hair. I breathe in that shitty cologne and two-dollar bathing soap. He must have scrubbed himself raw in the shower before coming to see me. He feels disgusting, polluted, but no amount of alcohol and perfume will cleanse him of his affliction. I know this because I felt the same when the doctor told me I was poz.

Nothing I can do will make him feel totally clean again. There will always be that lingering thought of how disgusted his friends and family would be if they ever discovered. That sense of potential abandonment is what earned me the lines on my thigh – I still carry the razor in my wallet. But I don’t tell him of any of this.

Instead, I hand him some gloss and a swift pat on the back. “As of tonight, you’re no longer Dalon Arneecher. A queen has been born, and her name is Lily Fierce.” He looks at me puzzled. “Just trust me, babe. You got this.” We sit up and I begin spreading concealer against his chapped face. I repeat my momma’s words. “Toss that rouge, baby. Fuck that magenta. Tonight, you’ll be Comedia, rocking that Vitton. Tonight, the throne is yours.” I pop his collar and add some more concealer against his unshaven neck. “Every wilted flower can bloom, baby. All it needs is some water and love.”


Glamorous Revolution

Queen Revi has to die. This I know for certain.

The second she stole the throne Hagavale was doomed; instead of beautiful brick refugee aid centers and warm diners lining the main stretch, grand crystal obelisks tower over the cobbled street. As per a royal decree, manufacturers must turn away from their family businesses and focus on smelting enchanting jewel ornamentations so intricately etched and designed so the ugly residents would look more appealing on television.

According to Revi, Hagavale was nothing but a hovel for ingenuous savages pent on vomiting putrid bile on the regal Glinspour Expanse, and in her words: “The black strike that is Hagavale will be washed anew in the dawn of the Jewel Age.”

How would embedding blocks of peridot into the roads and inserting opal pillars in Hagavale square make us savages any less brutish? And what about those water purifying stations that provide us with clean water being replaced with pearl chardonnay fountains? How will our youth grow strong and healthy if every meal consists of a glass of wine and a mini sparkle cupcake that they’re made to eat with a fork and knife?

Let me reiterate: she really needs to die.

Feel free to put arsenic in her bedazzled ham during the Glinspourian Ball, bomb the palace, shoot her with a poisoned dart – hell, you can even stab the witch. I would do it myself, but my name’s already on the watch list for recommending beige over bubble gum pink for the interior of the capitol.

You have to act fast, though; rumor has it that she’ll be making us all get mani-pedis and facelifts next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon we’ll have to change our names to the imaginative Brittany or David.

To those who still value hard work and steak and potatoes, and wave the magnificently greasy flag of democracy: please save us. I can’t handle another cream-filled sparkle cupcake.

The Crown

I traveled through her domain for days; I painfully crossed every incisor bridge, rowed through the disgusting Lake of Oral Fluids, and endured every baby tooth storm in the middle of Dry Socket Desert. No one told me how tedious it would be traveling in the land of the Tooth Fairy, but at last I reached her palace.

With rotten molar columns lining the grand entrance and a fence topped with cavity-infested canines, the palace was anything but the one I read about in books. This wasn’t some spectacular castle crafted from shiny pearly-whites with delightful toothpaste streams and sparkling mouthwash waterfalls encompassing the wonderful fortress. I wished there was a mouthwash fall close by – I could use a gargle after this sight.

A huge woman dressed in a puffy brown dress steps out of the plaque-ridden citadel, even her raggedy dress had seen some better days – not to mention it looked like she took a thick shit on the garment. “I didn’t think you would make it this far, Tessa, but welcome nonetheless.”

“Well, it wasn’t the most pleasant of trips,” I muttered, emphasizing the bite mark I got from a wild denture beast. “I thought it would be –”

“Cleaner? Brighter? Did you imagine a welcoming party of festive dental floss children and fluoride fountains?” The woman scoffed. “Well, you’re very much mistaken, my dear. Contrary to common belief, those days never truly existed. Not since the humans started producing gumdrop-sucking little brats by the masses. There simply are too many teeth collected here each night that they are without a place. So, they are either taken away and pelt the cold sands of Dry Socket Desert or end up in one of the rooms in the palace, rotting.”

“Is that why you called for me?”

The Tooth Fairy smiled. “That’s exactly why, darling. You see, quite frankly I’m so done with this job, and when I brought to the council my intention of retiring, they informed me I needed to find a replacement. And it’s no secret that you’re having lots of trouble on the surface getting used to being an adult.”

“You want me to take your place? My God – I didn’t even know you existed until you sent me that bubble mint scented letter in the mail!”

“Well, it is technically your birthright that you end up here. In a matter of time, your wings’ll sprout, and your friends and Earthen family will either desert you or make millions with a viral YouTube video of your first attempt at flying.

“You belong here, my sweet daughter. Now go get tidied up – we’ll be having a denture beast steak and gingivitis stew for dinner.”

Putting On the Ritz

The sleek black sequin dress immaculately complemented Skylar’s form, bringing life to the underfed bag of bones. Instead of bubble-wrap raisin tits, glittering obsidian palms flaunt impeccable apples – they were nothing compared to her glamorous peers, but at least they hid her laughable mesa chest. Classy, black Dior stilettos added a few inches to her 5’8” and made her feel like a titan towering above its subordinates.

Skylar strutted down the lobby of Sapperwhal Center amid camera flashes and confetti: the queen had finally arrived, and she was here to stay – at least until her 9am flight to Miami the next day.

“Skylar! Skylar!” The crowd chanted, grasping at her silver braid. They pretended to merely want pictures and autographs, but Skylar Dolly knew better; she knew the second she appeased the hysterical fans, their sharp talons would tear at her expensive garments and fights would ensue. Her contoured cheeks and scarlet lips reduced to smeared chalk and expired fame, she’d be an A-list laughing stock.

A tiny voice rang through Skylar’s ear piece. “The assistant will take you to the ninth floor and direct you to room 912. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be prepped for the interview.” The agent’s words pierced Skylar’s eardrum. “Oh, and Nigel says hello.”

A fist of bile punched Skylar’s uvula, and she grimaced. “Of course he does,” she breathed. Since Skylar entered the realm of fame, Nigel had been her conniving shadow, seizing every opportunity to send her home in tears. Her manager, Wes, always told her that she’s only paranoid and that Nigel could be a great asset to her. And maybe he was right; she could use someone to personally wipe her ass.

Skylar fumbled with Nigel’s possible excuses of why she should devote a thread of attention to him and his gnarled, perverted figure. Perhaps this time he needed her input on his next fashion line, and he’d go on about how she could never afford his dresses. Or maybe Nigel wanted her to help him select his headstone. “Wouldn’t that be beautiful?” she muttered before stepping into the glass elevator.

Skylar leaned against the elevator wall and lit a cigarette. The scrawny, crater-faced hotel attendant escorting her only stared forward, a cold statue, as she broke the hotel rules. Above all, absolutely nobody should assert any force to the elevator walls, not for residents’ safety but simply because that glass was a bitch to clean. But Skylar was the exception. She always was.

As the doors slid open to reveal the ninth floor, Skylar stomped the cigarette out in the elevator. “Clean that up when you polish that glass, kid,” she grumbled. “Why don’cha stop jerking off during your shift, and actually do some goddamn work like you’re supposed to?”

“Have a great day, ma’am, and I hope you enjoy your stay at the Sapperwhal,” the boy chirped as rehearsed, grinning through his rage.

“Wait, you’re supposed to escort me to my room.” But it was too late; the worker was already heading down to bleach the cum out of 301’s curtains. “So, we’re off to 912,” Skylar growled.

It wasn’t as if the room was hard to find. She only had to peer down the hallway to see the sad display flashing by her door. It was practically a neon sign pubs hang above the bar. The hotel obviously did not get many celebrities.

Skylar softly knocked on the door. “Wes, it’s Skylar,” she called. “The shitty wonderboy forgot to hand me the card key before flying down –”

“SKYLAR, LOOK AT YOU GUUUUUURL. Like OMG you look so fab!”

“Nigel.” Skylar frowned at the crooked body standing in the doorframe. “You do know that you more closely resemble a turntstreet whore than a flapper, right?”

The man snorted hard enough to nearly bust the line of beads around his neck. “Puh-leeze, Sky, know that this dame’s not out to get the ducky of a gimlet.” He snapped his fingers. “’Cause youknow that’s what you is, honey. Don’t you go trying to deny it.”

“My God, Nigel, you seriously just out-Nigeled yourself. I didn’t think it could happen, but it did.”

“Whatever, baby, let’s blouse.” Nigel pulled Skylar into the room. “You’ve got to get prepped for that interview with Marcia Stephens, and you’re sure not going on air with that fluky get-up. Nuh-uh.” He ushered her to a jacked chair facing a large mirror. “Now with this do, girl, all you will ever impress is a father time and a sap, doll. Your game, I’m assumin’ is to catch a hard-boiledswell. And I’m afraid you can’t do that with a face lookin’ like a motherfuckin’ flat tire.”

Skylar swiped Nigel away, his gaudy necklaces chiming against his chest. “There’s no way in hell that you’re doing my makeup, bitch.”

“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he – I mean she – is here for, Skylar,” Wes choked, coming out of the bathroom. “Matilda left us.”

Skylar’s jaw dropped. “What? Did she say why?”

“Aw, doll, quit makin’ that face; you’ll give yourself wrinkles.”

“Nigel, I swear if you –”

Wes sat on a metal chair beside Skylar. “Well, for one you were a complete asshole to that old lady, and two: you did spray her with some mace last month.”

Skylar wailed, “I already explained and apologized for that, Wes. She can’t hold it against me.”

“Your apology letter was literally I’m sorry with a receipt for a fifty dollar donation to a charity. Money from her own account. I had to beg her not to file a report on you for hacking her checking account.”

“Oh, you slay me, Sky-Sky. And here I thought you was a dumb dora.”

“That’s enough, Nigel.” Wes dismissed the colorful gentleman. “Go stir up some of your paints or whatever you use on a girl’s face, but for fuck’s sake drop the slang.”

Skylar stomped a stiletto into the plush, magenta carpet, its spike ripping the soft fabric. “How was I supposed to know she checks her balance daily? Excuse me for not knowing the routines of a middle-classed old twot.”

Wes gestured for Nigel to stylize the prissy drama queen. “Fix her up, Nigel; do whatever you can to conceal the writhing she-demon that resides in that over-privileged, sad sack of flesh.”

Nigel chuckled. “With pleasure, friend.”

“I CAN HEAR YOU! I’M RIGHT HERE!” Skylar shrieked, her roar echoing through the hotel.

The queen had arrived at the Sapperwhal, but even the fiercest of monarchs can be overthrown by her council. And she hadn’t much time left.