Good Girls Don't

So it's in Devon, right? Devon. Cold place. Farms and British grit and all. Devon, and a romance. In secondary school. First between two girls. Then between a girl and a girl masquerading as a boy. Then, a boy and a girl masquerading as a boy. There's insanity. Oppressive religion. Sex. No drugs, but perhaps later. And tea. And walking. But first, a romance, in Devon, with four narrators. All girls. Yeah, something like that.

So to sum up: a romance, involving to some degree all of the four female narrators, in Devon.


[Addition for someone who got upset: The town mentioned is imaginary. I have never been to Devon. Also, I do think that one should actually go and read the story instead of getting upset about the blurb. ]

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3. In the Hall of the Queen

Lara

 

  Yeah, that's me. The bitch who ruined Jenny Carling's life, amongst other things. Yeah, I'm the one who indirectly gave her syphilis. Bite me. You know you want to. I'm tasty. I'm also good at chess. You see, life is a game. Specifically, a game of chess. And in a dog eat dog world nicely compressed into one thousand one hundred and twelve pupils, it's you against them. Well, you and your pawns. Because in the end, one girl is just one girl, but one hundred disciplined pawns under a single leader is an army. I'm a good player. I don't needlessly sacrifice unless absolutely necessary. Or send my girls on suicide missions, oh no. I love my knights, my rooks and my bishops. Whatever could I do without them? All good leaders need both a silver tongue and an iron fist. For without a silver tongue, there will be mutinies, but without an iron fist, there will be insubordination. Fortunately, I have both. Personally, I don't like the word manipulative. I mean, I don't manipulate people. It's more as if that I make the road, instead of driving the car, if you understand. I set off the chain reaction. Like a Newton's cradle, I push the balls, and they clash. It's quite pretty actually- what people do with the right buttons pressed. And I know, I know what people think of me. But they don't understand anything!

 

   "And so Jess said..." says this girl, some Molly or Sophie, yakking on in the background while I think of a mission for her. This girl, she's useful in the way that a punchbag or a fleshlight is: men relieve their tensions on her. Totally not my fault. All my girls, they have some massive problem. This Molly or Sophie, she's been black-eyed and wearing four inch heels since year nine. I welcome all. This girl and I have the same vision. Her one on a much smaller scale, that is. All those boys who used her, strictly aren't boys any more. Anyway, I say,

  "Molly, Jess is a slut."

  "My name's not Molly." Sophie, then.

  "It's Sophie, and-"

  "Jess. Is. A. Slut." This is a photo of me using my iron fist. Sophie pauses and then says,

  "Yeah, you're right, Lara. Jess is a veritable dicksmoker." The fact that she knew what veritable was and how to use it surprised me. Always nice to know you're not totally surrounded by idiots.

 

   People say, people say everything. Everything comes to me. I don't react. No matter how awful the news is. Impasse. I'd barely blink if I heard my mum died...which she hasn't. Each day, I renew my face. First, foundation, then a layer of skin smoother to remove imperfections. Next, eyedrops, to dye my irises. Cornflower blue for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Marble grey for Tuesday and Thursday. After that, perfume, usually Yves-Saint-Laurent, but somedays another expensive French brand. No mascara, but rose-red lipstick. No blush. So yes, I look like a tanned geisha. But not some talented, beautiful, well mannered working girl- cause all I do is twist. Words. People. Minds. I...I was told that this is how I cope apparently. If I didn't, I'd probably kill things. First small animals, like dogs, then things like pigs, sheep, cows, and then people. You don't get arrested for convincing someone to do something, cause it's your word against theirs. A guy can't just say that Lara told me to stab him, because he has free will. Therefore, I can never fall, as long as my pawns never mutiny. And that ain't happening.

 

  My lieutenant, Allison isn't a lap-bitch like most of my pawns. She's present at everything important. Most of my intel comes word-of-mouth, or photographed, from her. She can just tell when something bad is going to happen. For instance, the day a couple years back when a kid whose name I forgot brought a knife into school and stabbed one boy in the thigh, Allison sensed something was wrong in the morning, and called Protocol Two. Protocol Two stated that if my life or the lives of my superior pawns were in danger during the school day, we were to hide in certain places. There was an extra paragraph about what to do when not at school. I hid, and Allison Maced the kid. She even recorded it. No, she isn't a lap-bitch. She's my guard dog. Allison- never Ally or whatever hideous abbreviation is popular nowadays- is this pretty, rather quiet girl who would probably axe-murder someone if they attacked me. Her loyalty is steel. No, graphene. All this because I reached down a hand to pull her to her feet. I wouldn't say she's my bodyguard, because she is tiny- just about five feet tall. I don't think she'd touch the gym with a damn javelin. She's just very good at being prepared for the worst and willing to sacrifice her safety for me. I have no idea why she'd do that. Always so puzzling. I lied.

  Sophie-Molly and I have different visions. She's all into “dickapitation” as she calls it- revenge against those guys who jammed it in when she was only ickle. I solely dream for a thoroughly obedient army. The beauty is, that they trust me. They trust me with their secrets, their lives, everything. Personally, I wouldn't. Trust me, that is. Who knows what girls like me can do? Well, as all good leaders do, I kept a diary. A compendium of my sins. In Year Eight, Tom carved the Union Jack into our French Exchange because the Exchange, called Maria was what the French call, "une petite pute" and a suckup because she tried to hang out with me and ran after me like a little pug that's asking for it's face to be ironed. In Year Nine, 'cause that Watford girl's older sister Bella was all fire and brimstone, we borrowed Maia and staged a crucifixion to shut big sis up. It worked, but my house got damaged. Some people came while I was out and smashed the place up a bit. But that's okay, they're entitled to revenge. Bella became a nice, meek little girl, who ever so kindly saved her virginity and then splurged in sixth form, where someone might have accidentally got her pregnant. I certainly had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Not at all. Odd, though. The “rapist” received a £200 cheque in the mail before he got arrested. Year Ten was my nicest year. People thought I'd reformed...that is, until I spiked my maths teacher's tea with Viagra. Seeing him try to have sex with a set square was one of the funniest things ever. But nowhere near as funny as Jenny Carling getting syphilis. Better than Jimmy Carr. Puts Michael MacIntyre to shame. Makes people like me stand up and applaud.

 

   Oliver was photograph perfect. Shy, quiet and unmoveable. As much sex drive as a toaster. Seemed to have as many secrets as a cardboard cutout. Seemed, that is. Therefore, he was a project, as opposed to a pawn or a friend. Something to look at with a scientific eye as oppose to an eye of lust. Tried, I did, to seduce the bastard. Didn't work.

 

  All nations need a source of money, for bribes, payment, and so on. Mine was from a night job at a diner style café bakery, down the road from the B&D. We didn't have a booze license, but that's what the pub's for. If they wanted TV and beer, they go to the B&D. If they want tasteful music and cupcakes, they go here. It was a chandelier and booth affair, with waitresses dressed in those girl-tuxedos. A homely place. Each night, I got maybe thirty quid plus maybe fifty tips. That's five hundred minimum each week. Sure, I get my arse grabbed from time to time, but hot coffee to the face always solves that problem. When it happens, it isn't even shocking. For me, that is. The first thirty or so times, I gasped and yelled at the customer. They were guys, big hunks of beef, ugly as sheet metal and had some shit written on their arms, like “Jesus is the one true way...to getting pussy.”. I'd be fucking insane to hit one of them. I'd get my teeth knocked into the asphalt, and my ribs shattered. Then I'd be forced to suck all their stinking, shrunken cocks and to finish it off, they'd twist my neck round a hundred and eighty degrees and leave me like a broken toy. Or at least, that's what I'd hope they'd to do me.

 

   Kassie fell for Maia. The Jesus freak. God squad sister. I found out about this as I walked through the trees on my way to the beach. Saw them kiss. Impasse. Emotionless. And as much as I hated it, as awful as it made me feel, I talked to Oliver. "Hey!" I said. "Yeah?" "Look. If you get off with Kass at my next party, I'll give you fifty quid." "Why?" he said. "Never you mind." I said, and patted him. "Twenty-five now, twenty-five afterwards. Bring a camera for evidence." "No seriously, why?" "A little fun, that's all." "Same sort of fun that happened with Jenny? There is no fucking way I am doing anything for you if stuff like that happens to Kassie." "Do you like her?" "She doesn't like me." "Then what's the problem?" "What those photos may do to her. She may not like me, but I don't want to ruin her reputation." "Nothing detrimental, cutie. Don't worry. I wouldn't do anything to a friend." I said, and smiled: calming, liberating. Happy.

 

  Partying is something that comes naturally to me. It's just the roar of the beat and the sweat and sex. Almost as good as Oliver. See, while school and sociality is a game of chess; war, romance and parties are games of dice. You have no power over the outcome, and good can come of bad. Oh and also, throw three dice, you get three outcomes. Throw three things in the relationship, three things come out. And so my three dice are, one, weed, two vodka, three, Oliver. Weed and vodka are near mandatory, so the outcome is predictable, but still uncontrollable, because there are still many variables. For instance, if Tom smokes three spliffs and vomits, then the party will pretty much end. But if Tom smokes three spliffs and starts stripping, the party just got started, if you see what I mean, of course. My house is number 520. Anderson's a radial sort of town. The Common is in the middle. My house is on the edge. A lawn of weeds and used condoms out back. Then the forest. Harry's the sort to go there and blaze or get drunk. Harry's my brother. He had snakebites all up his arms and held me close. He was fucking horrible. The captain of the Firsts in everything, and couldn't get any grade lower than a B if he died trying. He's the pride and joy of Mum and Dad. They work in Greater Anderson. Dad's a super at the Marmite factory, Mum works in the hospital. We barely see them anymore, and when they do come, nothing. “Mum, hi! I got an A* in my mocks!” “That's great, dear. I'm really sorry, but I need to call the labs to ask how the synthesis is going. Can it wait?” She'd do that every time. Whenever I wanted to talk, she delayed. She had an excuse. A way out of being in the same room with me. It's the “Who Can Make Lara Go Off the Rails Game” at the Amanite household, every fucking day.

 

  . I don't know what Oliver did. He just did it. One minute, they were smiling at each other and talking. The next, liplock. And I just had to record that specific cute moment of the evening. What happened next was dull and unimportant: slapping a boy, getting drunk, usual stuff. That morning, I printed off three dozen copies and sent them around the school. The look on Maia's pretty little make-up free face- priceless.

 

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