Küssen Des Banditen

By LA Tucker © October 2001

(Author's note:  I finished a little story called 'The Light Fantastic' not long ago, and was so fond of the characters, I decided to write a little vignette with some of my favorite people from that story, a 'prequel' of sorts.)

"You're a slut, Marcy."  the little redhead said, one third kidding, one fifth serious, and whatever was left over was undecided.

"I am NOT." Marcy replied. "I haven't slept with him."

"Yet, Marcy. Yet. You're thinking about it, I can tell. You have that look ..."

"What look?"

"That look, like you're just aching to do something to screw up your life look."  Chloe picked at her costume fitfully. Who's idea were these silly ass costumes? Oh, yeah, mine.

"I'm engaged.  To Stan. Like I would want to screw that up. Stan is ..."  Marcy paused, looking for just the right word.

Chloe supplied it. "About to be cuckolded. I think that's the word. And with a married man, Marcy. Cuckolded." Chloe stated, not hiding the disapproval in her tone. She  was watching the unfamiliar scenery as they traveled down the city street in Marcy's mother's car.

Marcy was an art major, so she wouldn't know. She reached a hand up and scratched at her head. The hairspray that was holding her normally curly locks into a majorly itchy bobbed 'do' was driving her crazy. "You're the drama queen, Chloe. You WOULD know the right word, wouldn't you? It just figures."  Her friend merely snickered her reply. "What about you?  Going to do the bet? You're involved, right?  How is old whatshername, anyway? Is she still being recruited?"

Chloe didn't bother to correct her friend. She was used to Marcy referring to her girlfriend as 'old whatsername'. "Yup. Lots of companies. New York, D.C., Atlanta and some out west. I doubt she'll want to head out west ..."  Chloe said, doubt coloring her voice, and painting her expression. "We want to find something the both of us can do, around home."

Marcy carefully checked her rearview mirror, she didn't like the neighborhood they were traveling through. "Lock your door, Chloe. This looks spooky around here. You sure we're in the right place?"

"That's what the book says.  We should be looking for Tulip Street.  The corner of Tulip and Maple." Chloe had the 'Gaia' guide in her lap, open to the Buffalo gay and lesbian bar section.

Marcy narrowed her eyes and tried to catch the name of the street sign they were passing without slowing down. She couldn't read what it said, but it certainly wasn't either name Chloe had just provided. "Looks more like 'Nightmare on Elm Street' around here. I think we just passed the Bates Motel back there ..."

Chloe gave a little involuntary shudder, and a nervously giggled. "Cut that out!  You know what a sissy I am."  She poked Marcy on the arm, and clutched the stuffed black cat in her arms tighter to her.  Wherever they were, it sure wasn't a friendly feeling area. The stoplights and the lamp posts were the only things providing any lights along this road, and the buildings were dark with blackened windows. It was block after block of industry, anonymous buildings that looked exactly the same, giving Chloe the odd feeling that they were merely traveling the same block over and over again, stuck in a time warp. An occasional scrap of paper or fallen leaf blew in front of the headlights of the car. Chloe idly wondered where, exactly, those trees that provided those leaves may be ... there wasn't a tree, bare or otherwise, in sight. "Maybe we should stop and ask for directions."

"And maybe I should give up art, and become a movie star." Marcy shook her head. "Like that's going to happen. Listen, if we don't come across this place soon, I'm turning around, I mean, this is giving me a major case of the willies."  In demonstration, she blew off a stoplight that could definitely be described as being 'yed'. "All I need is to get pulled over by some cop. On second thought, a cop would be a welcome sight right about now."

Chloe tried to read a street sign that zoomed by. She only caught the first two letters. "The only cop I want to see tonight is one dressed that way because they want to look like one of the Village People, Marse.  And could you slow down at the intersections at least, I'm the co-pilot here, and I can't speed read."  She picked at her itchy wool skirt. "And I second that emotion.  We don't see it soon, we head back the other way." They flew by another dark and dreary intersection, just making the light, and Chloe said, exasperated. "Will you please slow down? You're doing 50 in a 25 mph zone."

Marcy just shook her head again, and kept her foot glued down on the pedal. I'm not sure I'm up for this anyway, I'd rather us just go back to our room and kill off that bottle of Riunite and watch horror movies on cable. She was just mentally gearing herself to tell Chloe just that when Chloe poked her.

"Tulip! Coming right up ... make a right!!"  Chloe braced herself on the dashboard as Marcy barely slowed and made a wide, screeching right turn onto the street. They traveled several blocks before Marcy hit a red light that she definitely couldn't ignore. They both were relieved to see that the buildings of labor and industry were giving way to more friendly looking ones, those of pawn shops, liquor stores, seedy bars and convenience stores with metal bars across their windows and doors.

"Ah, suburbia." quipped Marcy, drily. "So what about the bet?  Going to do it? You did last year ... at Easter. You were pretty drunk though, it being your first legal 'getting shitfaced' at a gay bar. You gonna do it?"

Chloe thoughtfully scratched her chin, feeling the oily residue of the make-up she had on, and not liking the feeling.  "Not sure yet. I mean, you haven't exactly bet me ..."

"It's a standing bet, Chloe. You have to get kissed, by the end of the evening, by a stranger. You want it proper? OK, I bet you can't get kissed by the end of the evening by a perfect stranger. There. Does that make it official now?" Marcy grinned, and was starting to look forward to the evening, knowing her shy best friend would probably end up making an ass of herself somehow, and Marcy was really hoping for that. "You don't get to be your 'lil lesbian self very often, Chloe. I mean, you're the one who wanted to go to that silly butt Catholic college ... "

"If I hadn't gone to that silly butt Catholic college, I never would have met Sandy, I wouldn't have fallen in love ..."

"And you wouldn't be desperate to go to gay bars on your school breaks just to feel a little normal. You still sneaking around with her? I mean, it's the end of the '80's, you'd think your school would get with the times, or something. There's tons of gays on my campus, and they sure aren't afraid to show it."  Marcy went to a local private liberal arts college just inside of Ohio, a two hour drive from Marcy and Chloe's hometown in Pennsylvania. "We've got all kinds running around. Gays who hug, gays who like to hug trees, gays who like to hug trees while they're dressed in drag, I'm starting to think I'm the only woman there who hasn't at least jumped over to that side of the fence at least once ..."

"Well, my school is stuck in the '50's  ... just like we seem to be tonight." Chloe tossed the Gaia guide into the back seat, she was sure they were getting near their destination. She smoothed her poodle skirt, which she had borrowed from the prop room at her not so progressive school, and started getting flutters in her stomach. She had borrowed one for Marcy too, and two blouses with Peter Pan collars,  hers white and starched, Marcy's gingham and not as stiff. Chloe's long redblonde hair was carefully pinned and held in place under a brunette short wig, another item she had borrowed without telling anyone from the prop room at her college where she was majoring in drama, with a minor in the library sciences. Tonight, I can be gay. Tonight, I can be a lesbian. A dorked up, made up, costumed weird assed lesbian. One that has to get some woman to kiss her, in this idiotic outfit. Sure. Sure. That's going to happen. Why did I pass up those great native girl outfits, with the suede halters and the short skirts? At least I would have had a chance in one of those. I look like a reject from 'Grease' ... wow, I just love musicals...

Chloe's little trance was broken, because Marcy slammed on the brake, well, hit it abruptly. Chloe's hands flew up to hold her wig in place.

"I think that's it, right there, the 'Palace Bar', right?"  Marcy pointed to her right, coming to a dead stop in middle of her lane. A car horn sounded behind her. "Go around me, asshole!"  Marcy waved as she looked into the the rear view mirror. "Now help me find a place to park. The place looks packed. I hope we don't have to hike five miles.

Marcy made the circuit of the block several times before they found a newly vacated spot and eased the white Ford Escort into it.  Chloe flipped down the visor in front of her, and looked in the mirror that was attached to it.

Marcy flipped on the overhead light, and said, "Look at me."

Chloe turned her rouged cheeks and darkened eyebrows towards her friend, and got a decidedly undecided smile on her face.  "Well, is anyone going to want to kiss this face tonight, or should I concede the bet now?"

Marcy smiled, and tapped Chloe on the nose. "Can you get any more insecure?  You look great. Hell, even I look great. And I'm not looking to get kissed!"  Marcy laughed, it was a minor, but funny sore spot between the two of them, they'd been going out now, for several years, to gay bars so Chloe could feel freely gay for one night, and Marcy was always the one who was spotted as the lesbian, and her frustrated small lesbian companion as her straight friend.  The misconception that Chloe was straight made it even harder for the poor woman to win the 'gotta get kissed' bet, because the lesbians they encountered in the bars avoided straight women like they would shy away from Freddy Krueger. Marcy chuckled as Chloe frowned. "C'mon, let's go trick or treating, Chloe. The bet is on."

Chloe sighed, and flipped the visor back up. "I just know I'm going to spend the evening defending your honor, not mine."

The two friends walked up the block, towards the neon blue of the bar, with its gaily waving rainbow streamers and orange pumpkin strings of lights.

Marcy paused in her steps as they approached, and placed a hand on the small of Chloe's back to stop them. She pointed at a woman who was standing at the entrance of the bar, and her eyes widened. "Oooh, Chloe, there's one for ya, my little 'Kissing Bandito'.

Chloe looked at the woman, once and then again, and then slapped Marcy on the shoulder.

"Right, Marcy, get real. She's way too tall. I like 'em more my size ... I wouldn't know what to do with all of that."

Marcy shrugged and smiled, and they continued on into the bar, a straight and always confident Laverne and her ever insecure lesbian best friend, Shirley.


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