00] Introduction

“Ahem.” Kaidyn stood up.

“There’s only one set of bitches in this town and they proudly carry the title ‘Bandit’ – whether they be divas, vixens, ‘thugettes’,” She made quote marks with fingers, “Or...”

“... ‘juliets’.” I said finally.

“Juliets.” Kaidyn said approvingly, looking down at our young but nubile – yes, I said nubile - bodies sprawled across the grassy front courtyard of our college. The wind was persistent in playing with our skirts and we’d given up trying to shield our legs from the world. We squinted up at her.

“What made Kiss Kiss Bandits something of a legend was their notorious reputation of playing men like dummies. Virgin or vixen, all they need are kisses soft enough to make a man’s knees weak, and then it’s all over. OVERR!”

Tally burst out laughing, cheering and clapping her hands as Kaidyn bowed.

I looked from Kaidyn to her Vixen partner in crime, Tally, their musical laughter echoing like a siren’s song, turning every head within a mile radius. They were actually proud of this silly thing I’d created. Humbly, silently, I lowered my eyes to my lap. It would be funny if she wasn’t actually serious.

But it’s true – that’s how we are seen now.

I think, if I am not wrong, that was the precise day it began. We got our tattoos on that very same day, and within a month, Kaidyn was making books fly across the room and Tally was making her crushes and enemies plead to be near her at the bat of an eyelid, against their will.

There’s no end to it to the gossip, from the home-wrecking to the supernatural. I have truly heard it all, all of the stupid talk that ignorant, uneducated, unethical, stupid, bullshit women – for want of much, much better words – proclaim in public places to keep the Kiss Kiss Bandit morale low.

It’s okay. The Bandits can handle it. The Bandits can keep their emotions ‘on lock’, as Kaidyn is particularly fond of saying. We are, apparently, the ‘Bitches At Work’, a dumb way of euphemising that we ‘run things’, which basically just means that some people think we are cool.

I didn’t understand it. Surely Kaidyn and Tally would have preferred to be popular and actually have friends than copy my misfit status and shun the world via scorn. It was beyond me how fast our little group became lunchtime talk at college, and then neighbourhood talk after we left. We seemed to have the Twilight effect on people; we were either loved or hated. Some adored us and were eager to be a part of what they thought was a lavish, promiscuous, bachelorette lifestyle. I would have been okay if everybody else thought we were childish and not worth the attention, but instead those ones were insanely jealous, spiteful and hateful. It escalated. I think Tally’s ability had a big part in making people feel awed or apprehensive about us.

I wish this was a normal story.

If it was, I could just lose myself in telling you the adventures of my Kiss Kiss Bandits, all of the things that Kaidyn, Tally and I got up to at college, including an incredibly amusing and fiery flirting-scorning game we played with CT, this infamous guys-only clique who were often viewed as our male counterparts. I could tell you about what happened after I stepped down and Tally also decided to leave, leaving the four current members of the Kiss Kiss Bandits:

Vixen Kaidyn, who was trying to put her promiscuous past behind her – while her shopping addiction had her chasing better paid jobs as determinedly as men chased her.

Then we had Diva Tae, who slyly caused chaos to get the attention of the guy she was trying to steal from his stuck-up girlfriend, all while striving to outsmart her somewhat conceited parents with conniving tricks and deceit, so she could get up to no good with the KKB.

The Thugette, Carmela, who sought protection and financial stability from another secret gang, but was also struggling to keep her family together as her mother became an alcoholic, her older brother a gangster, and her younger brother the class outcast.

And Juliet Shaire, whose fascination with a crush led to a complicated and dangerous involvement with a mischievous group of boys – that’s right, CT – who had a reputation for stealing, womanising, heartbreaking and generally being assholes.

But our new-found ‘special powers’ was something else to deal with, and then of course, some lunatic tried to kill me with their abilities, so goodbye ‘Normal Story’.

If I didn’t think this story was worth telling, I wouldn’t bother to waste your time. But I can’t let this story die, and I cannot let our legend go. After all we have been through and all that we have discovered, I can’t let myself forget any of this. After all, I started this. I am the cause of a series of irrelevant and mundane lives becoming tangled up in each other, in the most ungodly mess that has ever been.

I am about to tell you everything. I will tell you the whole thing, because I want to, because I can, and because it is important. I will tell you about my all-female legion, the Kiss Kiss Bandits, why it’s a dead-dumb move to mess with them, how the four ‘diva’, ‘vixen’, ‘thugette’ and ‘juliet’ classifications I naively made up at college became the worshipping  sub-groups of the KKB, and the full tale of our tug-of-war with wealth, influence, rivalry and power. Now, you can listen...

...or you can go about your shit as usual, in ignorance.

So… are you ready?

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