The downtown city bus was taking me to go live with my dad. I had to admit, though, I was really excited. My dad was amazing. He could shred on a guitar, had great taste in music and fashion (I know; incredible, right?), and make a mean green bean-tuna casserole. And the best part was, he accepted me for who I was.
Dressed in a clad of black leather and thigh-high leather combat boots with a four-inch thick heel, my eyes coated in thick black eyeliner and heavy purple eye shadow, my dad loved who I was. He loved my sense of style and music, my behavior, the people I hung out with. Probably because they were all his traits as well. Little ol' goth me had an amazing goth dad. That's most likely why Mom left him while she was still pregnant with me, praying I wouldn't turn out to be just like him. Obviously, she was wrong.
The dark clouds loomed over Downtown, making the night even darker than usual, which made me smile. I pulled my black Emily the Strange hoodie with the little red cat ears over my Scene-cut hair, gathered my Slipknot tote bag and large, black duffle bag which I pierced with safety pins and chains, and grabbed the shiny, silver pole to lift myself up. My stop was arriving.
By the time I had stepped off the bus, it had already begun to drizzle lightly. I started for the bus stop bench to wait for my dad when all of a sudden I heard: "Emmy! Over here!"
I turned around and saw my father—long black hair tied back in a ponytail, Disturbed skin-tight band tee, black skinny jeans with a million stud belts hanging from his hips including one bullet belt, and combat boots—waving at me outside of his black Mini Cooper with the British flag on the roof. I smiled widely and ran over to him as fast as I could. It had been a while since I'd seen my dad and I couldn't wait to give him a big, Gothic hug.
"Hey Emmy," Dad said to me while he smiled widely, exposing two vampire fangs where his canines belonged. I stared wide-eyed at them.
"Whoa! When'd you get those?" I asked with excitement, pointing to his teeth.
"A while back. They look real?" he asked, making a scary sneer. I laughed and slapped his arm.
"Heck yes! I want some!"
"We'll talk about," he promised. "Now get inside. Let's get home,"
Home. A place I'd been longing to call in quite some time.
I stepped into Dad's two-bedroom apartment complex. Dim lights lit the room, but it was enough to see the stellar things he had inside. A killer Red Finish Jay Turser JT-XG2 double-neck sat in one corner next to a couple of tall speakers. A Phillips 46" widescreen TV was mounted on the wall next to the front door where an Xbox 360 sat with a tower of videogames and a couple of Guitar Hero guitar controllers standing up next to the Xbox system. Posters of Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, Slipknot, and about a jillion other hard-core rock stars crowded every wall in the entire room, even in the kitchen.
"Happy to be home, Emmy?" Dad asked as he threw his car keys in a small tie-dyed glass key bowl on an end table next to the door. I turned back and smiled at him.
"Dude, I couldn't be happier." Dad grinned and motioned me to follow him to another room.
"This is your room, Em," he said as he opened the door to another room. I noticed a black vampire bat plaque with the words "Beware when entering my cave" was glued to my door. I smiled widely; I loved my room already, and I hadn't even seen the inside! However, my jaw dropped when I opened the door and saw the beautiful darkness of my new bedroom.
A full-sized bed was cast off in one corner of the room where a Nightmare Before Christmas bedspread covered it and a Nightmare Before Christmas alarm clock sat on the nightstand next to it. A desk with an Edward Scissorhands lamp was placed on the opposite side of the room where a decent-sized walk-in closet was. A black beanbag chair was placed by the wall next to my door with an empty dark-wood bookshelf painted black sat next to it, waiting to be cluttered with Shojo Beat magazines and Hello Batty knick-knacks. I was absolutely in love with my room.
I turned around and hugged my dad tightly around the middle, practically squeezing the living dead out of him.
"Like it I presume?" he asked with a chuckle.
"Heck yes! Are you kidding? This is, like, my dream room! Mom would have never let me decorate my room like this," I said. I walked inside, walking to my Nightmare Before Christmas-covered bed, running my hand over the bedspread. "This is so freakin' cool, Dad," I added.
"I wanted you to feel like you belong," he admitted, tucking his hands into the front pockets of his skinny jeans and following me inside. He sat down on the edge of my bed.
"Dad, I feel like I belong just by being in this city. Do you know how many Goths roam around here?"
"Including you and me? A million bajillion, but that's only an estimate," Dad laughed. I smiled at him. How cool a dad did I have? I couldn't believe he had married someone like my mom, the queen of white lace and satin and not to mention, etiquette. Bleh. I remember a year where she forced me to attend some stupid etiquette class when I was eight; the year I was also reading Bram Stoker's Dracula for the umpteenth time and madly in love with Tim Burton's character of Edward Scissorhands, played by the amazingly gorgeous Johnny Depp himself.
"Well, I made some of my brilliant green bean-tuna casserole for a welcome dinner. I know how much you love them," Dad said, standing up from my bed. I jumped up and down excitedly and clapped my hands like a little five-year-old.
"Are you kidding? Those are only the best things in the world!" I cried, sucking up to him incredibly. Dad chuckled, ruffled my hair and walked out of the room.
"I'll set the table. I'll be ready in five," he said.
"As will I," I replied back as he walked down the small hall and to the kitchen. I looked at everything in my room once again. I examined each and every detail on my Nightmare Before Christmas alarm clock, Edward Scissorhands lamp, and even my black bean bag chair beside my door. And then, suddenly, something had caught my eye from outside the window.
I peered out the window and saw that hanging from a tree branch was a bat. And if I was correct, that wasn't just any bat. It was a vampire bat. And it was looking straight back at me with peculiar colored eyes: one blue, one green. Then suddenly, it spread out its wings and flew away.
I stood there staring at my window a couple minutes after the bat had left. What was a bat doing in Downtown? I looked at myself in the reflection in the window, seeing my shiny red lipstick-coated lips form into a smile. I was beginning to feel even more excited about me living here, especially since I had a brand new friend.
I walked out of my new bedroom and over to the kitchen, where Dad was serving green bean-tuna casserole. It actually may sound a bit gross, but if you tried it…oh you'd love it! Dad adds something in it that makes the taste explode in your mouth and I have yet to try and figure it out, since he won't tell me.
He placed two paper plates on a small, wooden, square table underneath a dim ceiling lamp that hung quite low on its golden chain. I pulled out a matching wooden chair and sat down on the black satin seat cushion. Excitedly, I picked up my knife and fork and dug in.
"Whoa, slow down, kid," he said as he saw me chow down. It had been so long since I'd had my favorite dinner, so he couldn't blame me for shoving it all in my mouth. "There is more, you know,"
"Good," I said with my mouth stuffed. Dad rolled his eyes and brought two tall, colored, plastic cups filled with Diet Coke. I took a quick drink to wash down the casserole and continued my stuffing.
"I took the night off tonight to be with you on your first day here, but I do have to go back to the bar tomorrow," Dad informed as he sat down in the chair adjacent from mine. I stopped eating, finished chewing, and looked up at him. I had forgotten my dad tended at a bar somewhere further into Downtown. It wasn't that far from his apartment, but he still drove the Mini down there. "I'm also performing that night as well. The band and I are playing at some stellar club called the Coffin Club. Supposed to be a hit spot for Goths,"
I raised my eyebrows and smiled slightly. A Goth hang-out? Not that that was hard to believe, with all of the Goths that roam around here in Downtown, but I was very interested in this "Coffin Club".
"Can I go?" I asked quickly as Dad opened his mouth to speak. He chuckled.
"I was just about to ask if you wanted to go, but since you asked, yeah, of course. Besides, it'll be your first time watching me perform," he said, grinning, showing off his awesome vamp fangs.
"Sweet. Oh and you said we'd talk about the fangs, remember?" I said, elbowing him softly in the rib. He chuckled again.
"Yeah, I did, didn't I?"
"You sure did,"
"Okay, well, I'll schedule an appointment with Ray. Should I ask your mother about this?"
I stared at him like he had just asked me if my favorite color was black.
"What do you think, Dad?" I asked, crossing my arms and cocking my head to the side. Dad laughed and rolled his eyes.
"I know, I know. It was a joke. Besides, you're living with me now. I'm in charge of you. How does Sunday sound for the appointment?" he asked.
I tapped my chin with a thoughtful expression. Knowing today was Tuesday, there was no way I could wait five more days. I really wanted them now, despite the fact that I sounded like a complete brat. "You think you can get me in sooner?"
"I can try,"
"Sweet. The sooner the merrier, right?"
Dad chuckled. "Yeah, I guess so,"
Dad was combing his long black hair and tying it back with a hair tie for work. He was dressed today in a Dark Knight Joker t-shirt, pinstriped skinny jeans, and all-black low-top Converse. With fingernails painted black and his eyes coated in charcoal black eyeliner, he was ready to rock. Of course, he had to bartend first.
"Okay, so I'll be back around ten to pick you up. I can't let you go in the bar, even if you are my daughter. Sorry kiddo, no Bloody Mary's for you," he joked. I snapped my fingers in disappointment.
"Darn!" I cried jokingly. We both laughed, then kissed my head. He grabbed his black leather motorcycle jacket and car keys out of the tie-dyed glass bowl and headed out for the door.
"Bye Dad!" I waved.
"Bye Emmy. See you in a few hours." And then he closed the door.
I wandered back to my room and wondered about this Coffin Club. I was really excited. I had never been to a Goth club before. Maybe it was filled with vampires! How I wished. How I wished I could actually meet and vampire and fall in love with one! How romantic would that be?
I belly-flopped onto my Nightmare Before Christmas bedspread and reached for my Slipknot tote by my pillows. I pulled out an Emily the Strange notebook and began drawing my dream vampire. Tall, muscular, handsome face with handsome eyes and a sexy smile with sexy fangs. I sighed and looked out my windows. Dad had promised to take me shopping this weekend to help decorate my room. He said he'd take me to Hot Gothics, a store especially for Goths like him and me.
I rolled onto my back, my blonde Scene hair with a dyed-black undertone and dyed-black roots flopping all over the place. I was so happy to be living with my father. He was the coolest person in the world, and now I got to see him 24/7. Before, it was probably twice a year or so, or sometimes not even a day when I'd get to see him. My mom had issues with him and she didn't want me to get influenced by "a low-life druggie" like Dad. First of all, my dad is not a low-life. He has a very successful job as a bartender and a very promising career as a hard-rocking musician. Second, the druggie part is only half-true. My dad used to do drugs. It's upsetting, I know, but he's stopped now. He wanted me to come live with him, and he knew that even I didn't like the drugs, so he tried his hardest to quit. And he did! And he felt good about it. Now he's about three months clean, and I'm very proud of him.
After spending about ten minutes just thinking about my clean dad, I decided to plan my outfit for the club, despite the fact that I still had four hours left. My dad doesn't work four hours at the bar; no that would be silly. He's just getting off early to perform at the Coffin Club.
I walked over to my closet. I had unpacked everything last night, so all of my clothes were hanging in my closet, my Hello Batty knick-knacks stashed on my bookshelf with a couple of Shojo Beat magazines. I rummaged through my closet of blacks, dark purples, blood reds, and neons. I wanted to look hot for the club. Hey, a girl's gotta have her priorities. And she's gotta dressed prepared. I mean, what if I met a really hot Goth guy there and I was looking like a complete mess? Not swell. So I took out my super-sexy black, leather strapless mini-dress with the zipper down the front. I found my black stud-belts and threw them on my bed. I would be adding those later. I picked up my thigh-high tie-up leather elevator boots on the ground in the back of my closet as well and threw them, too, on my bed. I would definitely be using those hot things. Walking over to a vanity table (painted black, of course) by my bed, I looked through my jewelry box and picked out my earrings for the holes that already didn't have anything in them. In my ears already were silver bars, purple checkered tapers, and a small silver hoop pierced at the top of my ear just above the bar. I picked out another pair of small silver hoops to put in the other holes in my cartilage. After picking out my earrings, I picked out my thick black bangles for one arm and an arm-warmer with safety pins and rings for the other.
With my outfit perfected, I decided to jump into the shower. Showering would waste some time, and I would make it an exceptionally long one to waste even more time. As I undressed myself, exposing all of my tattoos that Mom absolutely went ballistic over, I hopped into the shower, turned on the hot water, and washed myself, scrubbing the mint-scented shampoo in my Scene hair. By the time I was finished, I had used up one hour.
One hour down, three more to go.
I walked back to my room, my towel wrapped around my body when I saw movement outside my window. I looked even harder and saw that my new friend had returned, its green and blue eyes twinkling in the moonlight.
My new friend just stared at me, and I stared back. It felt so strange, staring at a bat with admiration, but I'd never seen a bat in person before, here was one hanging outside my window. I smiled at it, then realized I was still in a towel. I rushed to my closet and searched for pajamas to wear until Dad came home to take me to the club. Finally finding a black spaghetti-strap and black flannel pajama pants, I quickly dressed and went to hang my towel, but when I came back, the green and blue-eyed bat was gone.
My mood totally dropped as I saw the branch outside empty of a bat. I was so in love with that cute little guy, my new friend here in Downtown. I wanted to hug it so tightly—but not too tightly because then that would squeeze all of its vampire-bat guts out, and that would not be pretty, let me tell you.
I still had a couple hours left. While I waited for my hair to dry so I could straighten it for the club, I decided to play Dad's Guitar Hero. I rocked at Guitar Hero. But my dad seriously needed an upgrade. He only had up to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Seriously Dad; everybody knows that the latest Guitar Hero is World Tour. Geez.
I turned on the Xbox after turning on the mounted flat screen, and grabbed one of the black, wireless, Les Paul's that were standing up next to the game system. I chose the band "Eggs" while rolling my eyes. My dad would make a band named "Eggs", only because he thinks eggs are the most delicious things in the entire universe. I saw that my character was already Izzy Sparks in his neon peacock costume. I went ahead and selected that and then came to the stages. Dad had already beaten the game on Expert, so I just scrolled to the last setting and chose the song, Raining Blood by Slayer. Cake. I scored the song with ninety-seven percent and then moved on to another song—3's and 7's by Queens of the Stone Age.
After playing about seven more songs on Expert, my hair was starting to dry out. I saved the game and turned off the Xbox 360, then walking to the bathroom Dad and I shared where I kept my hair-straightener. How much time had I wasted? I hoped enough so that by the time I was done straightening my long, Scene hair and adding just enough volume to raise it up, it would be time to dress into my club clothes and put on my make-up so that by the time I was finished, my dad would be unlocking the door.
Because I have so much hair, it usually takes a very long time to straighten, and then another twenty minutes or so just to get it to the right volume. So because I had so much time, it would be excellent to perfect my hair for the Coffin Club.
When I finally finished, I walked back to my room and looked at my Nightmare Before Christmas clock. Forty-five minutes to go! Score! I undressed out of my pajamas and got into my sexy leather mini-dress, zipping it up in the front. Then, I added my black stud belts, tying them around my waist. I pulled on my thigh-high lace-up elevator boots, lacing them up all the way to my thighs. I walked over to my vanity table next, checking myself in the mirror. I fluffed my hair and then began to work on my make-up. I outlined my eyes in thick black eyeliner and coated my eyelashes with black lengthening mascara. I coated my eyelids with smoky black eye shadow and added a thin line of blood red eye shadow just above my black eyeliner on my lids. Before putting on lipstick, I quickly brushed my teeth and then came back to my bedroom, sitting back down at my vanity. I took out my blood red lipstick tube and painted lips, then going over them with a shiny red gloss. I checked myself in the mirror again. Wow, did I look awesome or what—not to sound self-absorbed or anything. I added last minute things like my thick black bangles and arm-warmer, and also last-minute touches to my make-up. Taking one last look at myself in my mirror and nodding with satisfaction, I stood and grabbed my Emily the Strange jacket with the red cat ears on the hood. I grabbed a large black leather handbag with the bleeding heart on the front from my closet, stuffed all of my going-out necessities into it, then slung it over my shoulder. Finally, I walked out of my bedroom, taking one last look out my window to see if my new friend was there. The branch was empty, so I walked out into the family room/kitchen.
I sat down on the couch, took out my black iPod Video and listened to My Chemical Romance on full blast, waiting for my dad to come home, which would be soon.
About halfway into Famous Last Words, I felt a hand rest on my shoulder. I jumped and looked behind me; Dad was standing with a grin on his face.
I took out my earplugs. "Hey Dad," I said.
"Famous Last Words. Good song," he replied. "Wow, don't you look like your dressed to go out moshing." He looked at my outfit.
"Hey, what if I meet a hot Goth guy there?" I said, shrugging.
"A guy? Just make sure I don't catch you making out with him or—You know what. Maybe we should have a talk before we leave,"
Oh no. The talk. Oh my God, he was being such a dad!
"Dad, it's okay. I'm not dumb enough to get myself knocked up, I promise. You can trust me with guys," I said responsibly.
"I may be able to trust you, but I may not be able to trust him. If you meet a guy, make sure I meet him as well. If my daughter's going to have a boyfriend, then I've got to make sure he's suitable,"
So my dad would let me get vampire fangs that might cost around six hundred dollars or so, depending on the type, but he's skeptical about letting me have a boyfriend? Yeah, he's such a dad.
"Dad, if I were to meet a guy, I'm sure he would be thrilled to meet you, even it meeting you means having a talk with him," I said. Dad looked at me for a long time, then sighed.
"Okay then. Help me load up the Mini with my stuff, yeah?" he asked, nodding his head over to his guitar and speakers. I got up from the couch, turned off my iPod and stuffed it in my bag, and then walked over to his kick-ass Jay Turser JT-XG2 double-neck. He grabbed the guitar while I grabbed the speakers and we walked down to the Mini. Dad went back up to lock the door quickly and then ran back down. I smoothed out my dress across my lap and held my bag tightly. I was so excited! I was finally going to a Goth club! And I was also going to go see my father perform! My father—a rock star!
Beware Coffin Club… because here comes Emily Payne!
I gasped when I looked out the window. Dad was driving down a thin road with a long line of Goths waiting to get into a dark building. I smiled widely. This was Goth paradise! Goths from black-haired wannabe vamps to tie-dyed Mohawks with double zero sized plugs stood in the longest line imaginable. It was as if every Goth in Downtown was waiting in that line.
"Dad, that line goes on forever!" I exclaimed as he searched for a parking place.
"Yeah, but I'm playing in the band. I've got a VIP pass to get in without waiting," he replied.
"So, does that mean I get to go in with you?"
"Nope. You get to wait in line. Lucky you, huh?"
I dropped my jaw. "What? Please tell me you're kidding,"
Dad laughed. "Okay. Yeah, I'm joking,"
I sighed with relief. It would be Christmas by the time I got into the Coffin Club.
Dad parked the Mini outside the Coffin Club where a rusty-brown van was parked just adjacent to us. A couple of guys were outside smoking a couple of cigarettes. When they saw my dad's British Mini Cooper, they walked over to us.
"'Bout time, Blayke! I was beginning to think you were gonna bail on us," said one guy with black Scene hair and blood red streaks through his bangs. He was really good looking too. He didn't look a day over twenty-five, with his dark green eyes and fit figure, which was dressed in super-skinny jeans, a plain white skin-tight t-shirt, and red and black Vans. Though his eyes were coated in thick eyeliner, he looked more
Publisher: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
Publication Date: 03-29-2011
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