The Day the Comet Came

Two rival gangs of children rule a council estate. Within the Starlit Vampire Parade camp, Eve holds a secret love for her best friend and co-leader of the group, Raven, but unfortunately he is already taken.
But what does any of this really matter when the world is about to end in a matter of weeks?

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6. Rumours

No matter what else she might feel for him, what Eve wanted most was happiness for Raven. She was sure that he had that with Saskia. Whilst he always came to her when he was upset and had fun leading the Vampires with her, Eve was always very aware that he would really rather be with his girlfriend. When Saskia was around, he could barely keep the smile off his face. He saved up the pocket money the other boys spent on sweets to take her out for a meal on her birthday. He had apparently even written her a song.

         Eve was never sure how much her own wishes clouded her vision, but in the few months coming up to the comet crash she began to wonder whether Saskia felt as strongly as Raven did. The two had been together for over a year. At the beginning, Saskia had been the one who was completely enamoured of Raven. But now, whilst his eyes were closed in bliss whilst he kissed her, hers were too often gazing in some other direction. She would give him her hand to hold if he wanted it, but only because it seemed like her duty.

         The night after Ste’s attack on Aoife, The Starlit Vampire Parade assembled to find the supplies they buried under the tree vanished. After checking every possible corner, they reached the conclusion that they had known all along and called a meeting with the Goldrat leaders at the border between the two camps. Raven and Eve stared down Charlie and Becki.

         “Sorry to bother you, but we seem to have lost our supplies that we had under our tree. You haven’t seen them, have you?” began Eve. There was no mocking in her voice; she did not want another fight.

         “Nope. And don’t even think about accusing us of stealing,” warned Becki, seeing a glaring Raven open his mouth. “We wouldn’t want your stupid stuff anyway.”

         “You might not want our stuff, but you’d still want to get your own back on us,” argued Raven.

         Charlie laughed.

         “Are you sure you haven’t just lost it? Probably can’t even see properly behind that fringe of yours!”

         “Are you saying I can’t even look after my own stuff?” Raven’s dark eyes turned to fire.

         “Well, you don’t keep your little girlfriend on a very tight rein...” The whole of the Goldrat gang burst out laughing.

         “What the hell are you talking about?” yelled Raven. Eve put a hand on his arm to hold him back.

         When he finally finished laughing, Charlie started to explain. “Alright, I guess you don’t go to our school, so that’s why you don’t know.” Saskia, Charlie and various other members of both gangs went to the school in town, whereas Raven, Eve and the rest studied at the Catholic school. “Your Sas is getting it on with a lad at ours called Johnny. Everyone’s seen them together.”

         “They make a cute couple,” smirked Becki.

         As the dust cloud swirled around them after this comet crash, none of the Vampires knew what to do. A few who were pupils at the same school as Charlie muttered to each other. Eve expected Raven to launch himself at Charlie but instead, his spindly legs shaking like tree branches, he shuffled over to where Saskia was standing. He raised his head to meet her eyes but made no move to touch her.

         “Sas, are they telling the truth?” His voice was no more than a whisper but, since no-one dared to speak, every word was audible.

         If Saskia had been blushing, she shook it away quickly.

         “Of course not! They’re just saying it to wind you up! You wouldn’t seriously believe a Goldrat!” She wound her fingers through his hair. “Anyway, how could I cheat on you? You’re gorgeous!” Saskia grabbed him round the neck. She kissed his cheek until he finally gave her his lips.

         “You shouldn’t lie, Sas!” taunted Charlie. “What would your mummy say?”

         Eve could not explain why, but she felt tears burning her eyes. Taking up her official position at the top of the tree she told the Starlit Vampire Parade that that night’s meeting was over. As the reluctant black-clad children wound their way home, Saskia dragged Raven off in the opposite direction, her arm tightly wrapped around his waist. Eve watched them go and then stayed in the tree, thinking, until the taunts of the Goldrats became unbearable.

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