A small, delicate young boy sat on the familiar rugs of a room devoid of any light besides the flickering candles scattered around him. He was hunched over a black moleskin notebook, reading the words scrawled in ink made by a calligraphy pen. His black hand-me-down trench coat almost completely covered his tiny frame and he had to make sure the corners of the jacket weren't damaged any further by the soles of his thrift store boots. His button-up shirt was black as well. And so were his thin, dainty lips. If it weren't for his low, coarse voice, people might have mistaken him for a girl. It didn't help that he wore lipstick, but he didn't care what other people thought of him. Their opinions didn't matter. He scratched a few last words onto the lined paper of the journal in his lap and pulled his dyed black hair behind his ear. His sleek, almost feather-like bangs bothered him constantly. A strand of hair fell back down into his view and he blew it away, still reading over his written work. A voice caught his attention and he drew his gaze away from the page to look up.
"What do you have so far, Georgie?" It was his friend, Henrietta. She was the owner of the room where they all sat in a misshapen circle.
Everyone knew him, simply, as Georgie. However, being the youngest of his group of acquaintances, the "conformists", as he and his friends referred to them as, had dubbed him the modest name of "kindergarten goth." "Kindergoth" for short. This alias only seemed to upset him more than he already was, leaving him twitching and distraught each time he was called by the stupid name. But it was something that had stuck to him since elementary school, when he had first started hanging out with his goth friends. At the time he was a mere 6-year-old, far too young by standards to be into goth culture, but he didn't care. Everyone else was a fucking conformist in his opinion. And his view on the Other Kids had stayed the same for all of these seven years. Now he was in 8th grade, and his friends, who were a few years older, were in their junior year of high school. He worried sometimes that they may just move on and leave him behind, isolated and alone, in his last few years of the terrifying thing that was school.
Georgie coughed, a habit that came with smoking. He looked back down at his notebook, needing to squint due to the lack of light. He grumbled about needing his glasses, and blinked his eyes. Finally, he read:
This feeling of death still lingers
and scratches at my skin from the inside of its cell.
It won't let me bloom.
I've remained a rosebud throughout my life,
or rather the child trapped inside.
Life is the only key to let the child out,
but also unlocks death from its prison.
If I'm released, death will just kill me
and leave my corpse bloody and bruised
underneath it all.
He sat up, adjusting his body so that he could lay his legs out straight. The motion had caused his hair to swing back into his face and he gritted his teeth, deciding there was no point in moving it away and left it the way it was. With his right, unhidden, eye, he looked between the older teenagers. Henrietta, who had asked him about his progress, grinned. The small smile appeared almost menacing thanks to her make up. Her face, as well as her body, was a bit chubby. She had slimmed down since they had first met. She had lost her "baby fat." But she was still a tad overweight. Her hair was also dyed black, her roots showing, and was edgy and thick. It was shoulder length and brushed over the exposed skin of her shoulders as she leaned backwards to spew smoke from her lips. She wore a black, lacy dress that revealed her cleavage under a mesh fishnet shirt; something that her mother did not approve of at all. Henrietta's family was religious and she was forced to wear a gold cross necklace, but she found that it was still Gothic to some extent. It dangled when she stretched her body out some more. Right now she held her upper body up with her left hand, holding stick-like cigarette with the gloved fingers of her right hand. Her legs were folded and rested comfortably to her right. She exhaled more smoke from her nostrils, now adorned with a nose ring, and said, "that was killer." She turned her head to the other two boys in the room. "This kid has some meaningful shit to say, huh? How about you, Dylan?"
Georgie threw his quill pen aside and closed his book, watching the goth named Dylan intently. Dylan grunted from behind the knee he held close to his chest. "Yeah, whatever. Let me finish first." He had a deep monotone kind of voice, which didn't change in pitch like his face with its expression. He read over his notebook paper with his dark brown eyes, underlined with sleepy bags. He didn't wear any make up and his skin was naturally a pale white. He had an eyebrow piercing and a ring protruded from the skin. Georgie watched him flick his hair away from his eyes the way he had always done. He wondered if he ever got neck pain. The fringed hair that fell back into his face was black at the tips, the rest being a rusty shade of red. He reached his arm out and gave his wrist a shake, the sleeve of his grey dress shirt bouncing along with it. He had collected quite a few pieces of jewelry over the past few years, and each of his ring fingers kept several different silver rings on them. His pants were tight and black and looked almost painful to wear, and the very bottom rim of each pant leg drooped over his violet Creepers shoes. After a moment of quickly jotting down his last thoughts, Dylan finally recited his poem out loud for the rest of them to hear over the music now playing from Henrietta's speakers.
Night is my home and prison
I await my lover's bloody kisses
I saw the eyes of Death...
they will miss me so when i am gone
I am mocked by foolish mortals
the blood filled chalice runneth over
intoxicated with blood
my soul is dead and nothing is left
everything and everyone is below me
endless bleak night
"Ooooh, who's your lover, Red?" the fourth goth cooed in his sarcastic, monotone voice. His name was Evan, but the Justin/Britney wannabes at school knew him as the "Curly Goth." Dubbed Curly for his wavy, untamed hair. He was the only one out of the bunch that had naturally black hair and, at the moment, it was flopping up and down as he bobbed his head with the beat of the music. He was the one who had given Georgie his trench coat, and it was a hand me down, one that just couldn't fit the taller boy anymore. Evan had replaced it with a new one that many unnecessary straps and zippers covering it, and his hands were shoved into the side pockets. He was wearing a Bauhaus t-shirt that fit him quite nicely. His pants were also tight and black and were tucked into tall shoe-laced thrift store boots. Most likely Doc Martins, Georgie assumed.
"I don't need a lover." Dylan had retorted. He glared straight into Evan's hazel eyes. Georgie glanced between their faces; Dylan's glaring expression versus Evan's calm one. The taller goth's nose released a huff. His nose was quite large and triangular, and made him look very similar to Faris Badwan. The multiple piercings in his ears jingled against each other as he laughed cynically, unable to keep a straight face. He replied, rather smugly, "because you scare them all away. You feel rejected, and so you don't look for one."
Dylan's mouth opened slightly, as if he were about to shoot something back, but Georgie cut him off. He hated when the two argued. It was something he just wasn't used to; they were like best friends. They weren't supposed to act like his parents. He suggested, "hey, Evan, do you have anything to share?" He asked it in the most polite fashion, masking his aggravation underneath a shy smile.
"Actually, it's gotten quite late. I say we wake Henri's brother up with a little band practice." and with that, he reached for the cane leaning against the girl's bed and used it to help himself up. He stretched, once standing, and towered over the other people. "The Battle of the Bands competition is in a few weeks."
"I still don't understand why we're a part of it." Henrietta said, taking a sip of wine from the glass by her side. She pushed herself up off of the floor, joining Evan, and wiped some lint off of her ruffled dress.
"We have to show them that we're better than all of their retarded conformist music." Dylan coughed. He ground the end of his cigarette in the ashtray that was between him and where Henrietta was sitting. He offered the tray to the younger boy with a shove from his shoe and pulled himself up by grabbing onto Evan's coat sleeve. He peered back down at Georgie, still sitting on the carpet. The boy was taking small puffs of his fag and stared down at the patterns in the rug. "Hey. Come on." he tapped Georgie's shoe with his own.
Georgie looked up, his cigarette dangling from his lips. They were all at least a foot and a half taller than him, even if and when he stood up. It upset him deep down, even more than he already was. Without a word, he walked past them and made his way towards the opposite corner of the room where Henrietta kept their instruments. Without waiting, he sat down on his stool and picked up the long drum sticks that he had carelessly tossed on the floor the last time he used them. The others joined him a few seconds later. He started hitting the bass drum aggressively, not actually following any rhythm in particular, and watched as his friends took their positions. Henrietta was setting up the sheet music on her keyboard set, the sound of the papers much like the sound her ruffled dress made whenever she moved. Dylan adjusted the strap of his bass guitar on his shoulder. He made a few low-pitched strums and looked to Evan, who was tapping his foot, gaining momentum. The curly haired boy motioned for Georgie to start the drum beat. He breathed in deeply, "3...2...1..."
He hit the first note and continued banging on the drums, all the while staring at the backsides of his fellow goths. They were in front of him. Ahead.
Next year, he would be in high school with Evan, Dylan and Henrietta. He could hang out with them and listen to music with them during lunch instead of sitting at a lunch table alone. He wouldn't feel so isolated at school, not that he minded isolating himself from everyone else, since everyone else was a complete douchebag.
Georgie sat with his back against the metal door that allowed trucks to deliver tasteless cafeteria foods to the South Park Middle School. It was the middle of his lunch period. His legs arched in front of him, his moleskin notebook in his lap. He dropped the pen he was writing with beside him and reached into his shirt pocket for his pack of cigarettes. These tiny, rolled up papers filled with tobacco were the only thing that could keep him from literally going on a killing spree. His fingerless gloved hands searched his coat pockets for a lighter and, once it was found, flicked the tab of the dark blue plastic and created a small flame. As soon as the fire appeared, it vanished. Georgie pouted, feeling the wind slapping him across the face. He shielded the lighter with his hand, and, gripping the cigarette between his teeth, leaned forward and flicked the tab again. The flame appeared again and consumed the end of the paper cylinder. He smiled slightly and returned the cheap lighter to his pocket once it had done its job. He sucked in and let his index and middle finger pull the cigarette away from his mouth. Smoke emitted from his mouth as he slowly exhaled. His gaze shifted from the ceiling of the awning above him to the lipstick residue left behind on the filter of his fag. Black. Like his soul.
Georgie sighed, bringing the fag back to his lips and retrieving his pen, once again, to begin writing. From behind the grey fog violently dancing with the wind, he could see several figures running around like buzzards in the snowy field in the distance. They were just some kids from school. Jocks. Tossing around a football and not achieving anything in particular, just like they always did. Since kindergarten. He had known almost everyone in his grade since he was a kid and, unfortunately, they all knew him. A sudden crash caused by the leather ball they were playing with sent a jolt up his spine and he looked over. Their ball had almost hit him. It had bounced off of the metal delivery door he was leaning against and rolled onto the ground beside him, halting when it touched his hip. He slammed his notebook closed and practically spat out his cigarette.
"What do you faggots think you're doing?" Georgie shouted, grabbing the ball and throwing it against the ground. No one interrupted his peacefulness, he had made sure of that. He glared at the three boys approaching him and managed to stand up, even with the rage boiling inside of him. One of the jocks picked up the ball from the ground and gave a cruel laugh. "We're not the faggots here, sunshine." The other two joined in. "Yeah, what kind of lame throw was that?" one said. "It was an accident, girly." the other taunted.
"Fuckers." the small goth said under his breath. He inhaled a bit too much cold air and coughed, holding his fist to his mouth as if it would help. Through squinted eyes, he saw that the boy carrying the leather ball had stomped on the cigarette that Georgie had neglected and let fall to the ground. The boy twisted his foot and destroyed what was left of the burning paper. He grinned, just trying to get some fight out of Georgie. "Smoking's bad for you, Georgieeeee." he emphasized the last syllable of the goth's name. He simply spun around, his black hair whipping his face, and walked over to his belongings. He picked up his precious notebook, pen, and swung the strap of his messenger bag over his shoulder. With notebook under arm, he took one last glare at the group of boys and walked away, turning around the corner of the building close by.
"Going to write in your diary elsewhere?" one of the jocks continued to tease, yelling because Georgie was out of sight.
"You pathetic conformists! You wouldn't know poetry even if it bit you in the ass and chewed it off!" he snapped back over his shoulder, continuing with his quest to get away from them. His toes were cold from the constant Colorado weather and he took extra care not to get any snow in his shoes. Concentrating on something like that, however, was proving to be hard when all he could think about at the moment was how angry he was. He slowed his steps and dug his hands into the pockets of Evan's old trench coat. He chewed his bottom lip, regretting the action when he tasted blood. Too bad. He had made it back to a door that would let him inside the school and pushed it open, instantly feeling heat and relief flood throughout his body. The hallway that the door led to was unfortunately crowded with the Other Kids leaving the lunch room to go outside. He dodged each one, making a turn into a separate hall, passing the painted green lockers, and stormed into the nearest boy's restroom.
Thankfully, no one else seemed to be in there. Georgie hunched over, more relieved to be in the safety of the bathroom than when he had gotten inside the actual building. He stood up straight and pulled his long bangs back behind his ear. The sudden sound of a toilet flushing echoed throughout the tiled room and made Georgie twist his head to find the source of the sound, his hair falling back into place without fail. The ringing sound that the toilet made continued. The goth's gaze drifted between each of the open doors and he noticed a shadow on the tiled floor of a small stall. His ears picked up the sound of papers shuffling and water dripping over the side of the plastic seat cover. He unconsciously moved forward to see what anyone could possibly be doing to an innocent toilet with the stall door open. He reached out and opened the door hiding the suspicious actions taking place and saw an overflowing toilet, along with another boy about his age kneeling over it with handfuls of crumbled paper towels. His initial reaction was, "dude, what do you think you're doing?"
The other boy's head turned to face him and Georgie could recognize him as Ike Broflovski from his very own class. The look on his face said something threatening and fierce and made Georgie want to look away. But he kept his eyes locked in place, staring Ike down with his own interrogating look. The boy's eyes were a light blue, and matched the color of the hoodie he wore. His hood covered most of his head, but black hair could be made out that stuck out from under the rim of the blue fabric. Ike's glare shifted to the wads of brown paper that he clutched with his fists. The water spilling out of the toilet had become a small puddle that spread out, consuming the boy's jeans and the bottoms of Georgie's shoes. Ike instantly stood up, water running down the side of his leg, and still held the paper towels. Georgie raised a brow, trying to make sense of what he was doing. Obviously he was clogging the toilet, but why? He didn't know enough about him to understand and simply shrugged. "Whatever."
Ike wiggled in place. Not only was he not going to speak or answer the Kindergoth's question, he was also not going to move. Georgie was watching the water in the toilet, and he took the opportunity to look the goth up and down. He was short, tiny, wore nothing but black clothes, and could probably pass off as a girl, if people didn't know him that well. They hadn't talked once since they were in kindergarten, but Ike knew that he hung out with the goth kids in his older brother, Kyle's, grade. Which was a frightening thought. He smelled like cigarette smoke.
A few moments passed and the bell rang for next period. Georgie looked skywards, towards the intercom on the ceiling where the shrill sound transmitted from. He heard the other boy drop the papers into the the puddle growing on the tiles. Ike's shoes splashed loudly as he brushed past the goth, who was trying to burn a hole on the back of his retreating head with a glare. He watched his hoodie disappear as the restroom door was opened, and Ike merged into the crowd forming outside in the hallway. He shrugged. He could go for another smoke before English class. With one last glance down at the clogged toilet, he turned around and left the bathroom, wondering out loud, "why are the people at this school so weird?"