Saint Lucy - Part 1
By Rachel E. Pollock/'Lady Bathory'
Lucien swirled through the doors of the club, head cocked to
the side, lip curling in derision. He surveyed the throbby, snobby kids
twisting around each other on the dance floor and let his gaze slide down the
length of the bar. His eyes never met those of the pathetically flashy
wallflowers seated there - he was careful to keep his actual sightline about
six inches above their heads among the wisps of dry-ice fog and curlicue
cigarette smoke. His usual chair at the end was empty - of course - and he
admired himself in the mirror backing the array of liquor opposite as he
He'd pulled off another coup with the makeup this evening.
"Ooo, diva," Nicky would say to him later, or maybe "Girl, too faboo!" Nicky's
everyday speech was practically a caricature of super-queen slang. Lucien liked
talking to him: Siamese-catty and always good for an ego boost. Lucien's
thoughts segued back to his makeup-as-art evaluation.
His efforts just hadn't paid off covering up the rather
nasty scuff-mark left over from the previous weekend's collision in the dark.
He'd slathered the inch-wide Ohio-shaped bruise with fifty-two-dollar mint
colored Chanel base topped by several applications of clown white powder,
hoping to achieve an inviting porcelain stretch of throat. He'd failed; it
looked like someone had pegged him in the Adam's apple with the tag-end of a
'Melodramatic bastard,' he thought, in reference to Last
Week's Lay. He winced as the boy's crumpled, grunted visage came to him
unbidden. Lucien had seen the boy writhing and shuddering rhythmically on one
of the raised platforms at the front of the dance floor and knew immediately:
fucking the kid was a must.
Lucien wasn't strictly gay - he fell somewhere on the
straighter side of bi, truth be told - but the boy's stickly, silverwhite hair
and planar androgynous features marked him right off. 'Coveted Ones,' Lucien
called them...those freakishly attractive, vapid boys and girls in their late
teens. They pop up and out of nowhere and the club's abuzz.
"Where'd she come from?"
"Have you met him?"
Lucien prided himself on his ability to collect them. Then
in his mind at least, they became 'Chosen Ones,' owing him for their
metaphorical leg-up on the rungs of the social ladder.
Too bad, though. The boy'd turned out to be rather a dud.
He'd been huffing ethyl, so his speech was somewhat fuzzy and his breath stank
coldly. He'd actually been silly enough to introduce himself as Lord
Something-or-Other, though he probably wasn't a day over seventeen and, judging
from his accent, was Knoxville born-n-bred. Lucien mused wryly that the boy was
one of those his granny would refer to as "a dim bulb." Besides, he'd made this
ludicrous face when he came. Since the encounter, Lucien had tried to brush the
kid off a couple times, but he just didn't seem to get a clue unless Colonel
Mustard hit him with a frigging candlestick.
Lucien shook his head to rid himself of the image and
extracted what he only half-jokingly referred to as a pretentious cigarette - a
clove - from his equally pretentious silvertone case. He watched himself
closely in the mirror as he tamped it and placed it between his carefully
On cue, Lord Whatsisface appeared beside him in the
reflection, proffering an open Zippo atop which a blue butaney-smelly flame
leapt and licked. Lucien felt the crystalline ice of cruelty creep around his
ribs, up his spine, into his eyes, out across his sholder blades.
"Need a light?"
Lucien did not turn but merely shifted his gaze in the
mirror from his own reflection to that of the boy. A couple of seconds passed
silently. The boy twitched and dropped his gaze. He giggled nervously, like a
trill played on an oboe whose reed was cracked. "You know, um, when you light
your own cigarette, you lose twenty percent of your sex appeal..." He looked
back at Lucien and smiled shyly. He held the still burning lighter like a white
flag, or maybe a shield.
"Oh?" Lucien pinched a pack of matches from the bowl on the
bar, struck one. While he sucked deeply on the clove's filter, the boy put away
his Zippo and began plucking at the frayed fishnet stocking he had ingeniously
transformed into an opera-length glove.
"Well, I was thinking, maybe we could grab a table on the
balcony...or go dance or something." Lucien shook his head slowly and flicked
his eyes back to his own reflection while the boy continued desperately, "Maybe
we could go outside and just sit in the square. Talk."
"I don't dance. I don't sit anywhere besides right here in
my seat. I certainly don't pass my evenings in the square with a bunch of
gutterpunks who can't cough up the cover charge talking with a whiny pathetic
baby like yourself."
If Lucien had looked at him, he'd have seen the tear that
marred the white scapula of the boy's cheek with its salty eyeliner trail
before the boy slapped it away and whispered, "Whatever." He turned; Lucien saw
him make for the exit in the mirror. His face remained composed, but he smiled
mentally as the boy stubbed his toe on the threshold in his attempt to stalk
angrily out the double doors. Then the smile actually crept out onto his face
as Lord So-and-So's exit precluded an even more delicious entrance.
The girl walked in the door with a fresh-faced assurance
rare among the plasticky drugs-n-hugs clubculture of Knoxville. Lucien felt his
dick get hard; tonight's Coveted One. She was obviously doing the gothic thing,
but with a campy glitterglam twist. A short black satin dress edged in mulberry
maribou, backseamed fishnets and (Where the hell did she get them?) some of
those 1930's moviestar bedroom slippers to match the dress. Coweyed lashes, a
swingy burgundy angle-bob, long acrylic nails (black, of course). Lucien groped
for an excuse to approach her.
As it turned out, he didn't have to. She pranced right over
to him, plunked her funny little evening purse on the bar, and said, "So you
really want to buy me a drink, huh? Well, maybe just this once." She fluttered
the big lashes like a cartoon coquette and started fixing her immaculate hair
in the bar mirror.
Lucien considered cutting her off midsentence for her bubbly
presumption, but there was something so genuinely appealing about her attitude
(Or practical lack thereof?). He lifted one long forefinger to the bartender.
The girl leaned over the bar, one eye closed, the other squinted at the spirit
"Reeeeeeally bad eyesight," she explained, shrugged, then
said to the bartender, "Macallan 25 and H-two-oh, on the rocks, no twist. If ya
Lucien's brow rumpled. "Scotch drinker?"
"Oh yes. Especially single malt."
'Really fucking expensive single malt,' thought Lucien. He's
only had to shell out three bucks on Lord Joe Blow's screwdriver the week
previous. Oh well. For all intents and purposes she proved to be worth it.
"So what do you call yourself?"
"I call myself what everyone else calls me." Threw as a
slightly stern edge to her voice. "Lulu."
"Lulu." He smiled and rolled the name around on his tongue
like a bonbon. He took her hand, kissed it lightly. "Lucien."
She burst into peals of laughter. Lucien was disturbed.
No one laughs at him, in 'his' club espeically. He was about to blast
her with the deep-freeze when she spoke.
"Don't tell me you don't think that's funny! You put both
our names together and you get 'lululucien.'" He actually cracked a halfsmile
and she began to sing: "Lu-lu-Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Lucien in the
sky...with diamonds." She blinked her coweyes. "It's be ever so nice if you
"If I were what?"
"Lucien, this guy with diamonds."
Lucien laughed, something he never did in public anymore.
"Yeah, my brother and I, we play little word games like that
all the time. We'd do the Doroth Parker ones, you know: 'At lunch the waiter
tossed my salad, but Tess tossed her own.' Testosterone? Get it?" Lucien
blinked, laughed again. Sharp as a tack. "I did one for 'estrogen.' Light on
the tonic, but extra gin."
"Or extra Scotch?" Lucien was pleased that this time
she laughed, a pentachord struck on a dulcimer. "So, how old are
She grew serious. "Why do you ask?"
"I just bought you a drink. I'd like to know if I'm risking
incarceration in the name of chivalry." She didn't laugh at that one. "Come on,
we'll trade. I'm twenty-four."
"Twenty-two." Suddenly, she snatched her drink from the bar
and wiggled off through the crowd, leaving the funny throaty gigglenotes
drifting in her wake. Lucien grabbed his gin and tonic, spun round, and stalked
off after her through the blacklit gloom; he'd be damned if he'd let this one
slip through his newly-manicured fingers.
He spotted her on the frings of the dance floor over near
the wall. She was holding her drink while dancing, but for some reason she
didn't look gauche doing so. Her style of movement was unique. She moved her
drink-unencumbered arm with the jerky angular grace of a Thai dancer. Her
fingers outsplayed. She spun slowly, lifting her feet occasionally. Her eyes
were closed, but she never ran into any of the other patrons crowding the
dancefloor. She moved stiffly, never bending her torso from its upright
position. Lucien assumed she had on one of those Rigilene-boned bra-corset
thingies, especially taking into account her high, full bustline coupled with
the spaghetti straps of the odd little slipdress. She looked so consumably
naive. A freakish kinderwhore Lolita. Lulu, definitely. Maybe Salome.
He set his drink down on the nearest table and crept up
behind her. Her eyes were closed, the inch-and-a-half false lashes quivering
lightly against her flawless skin. He imagined them taking flight like moths.
She'd shriek so prettily crushed by his stronglong fingers. He planned on
scooping her up, arms round her waist, and carrying her off to the manager's
office for a little "test run." Just as he was getting ready to tighten his
grip, she whirled to face him and her eyes flew open.
"Sneak up on me, will you? Just for that, you've got to
dance the next song with me." She pressed his hand on her hip (yep, a corset,
unmistakably...felt like steel bones even!), grabbed the other one a tad too
firmly in hers, and began a slow ballroomesque step. He was taken aback, but
quickly recovered and noticed he followed her moves with an easy synchronicity.
He was about to cut the little fling short - recall that he did not dance -
when he caught a glimpse of Lulu and himself in the huge studio mirror by the
dancefloor. They looked unbelievably good together. "Too faboo," even. Everyone
was gawping. Lucien decided to dance the song through with this