Arsenic Kisses

A dark tale of diseased hominids, bloodstained betrayal, and the chaotic human desire to live – by Alex Moore


"It's kinda like fire, baby… just like liquid fire. It keeps a pulse. It makes us wild. Can you feel that pulse, Jamie? Can you feel it in your veins, just burning and writhing?"

He glances at me, apparently waiting for an answer. The bathroom floor is cold and gritty underneath us, and the steady stream of florescent light makes his features metallic and pale. I tighten my gentle embrace around his waist, but I don't say anything. He keeps rambling.

"I mean, I know you're not feeling very well…" He nods to the toilet in the corner, full of vomit. "But I think if you just soak in the moment… if you just…" He sighs, and takes a good look at me. I must look horrible – my black and purple hair is messy and wet, and my eyeliner has dripped all over my face. My lipstick is still gritty from throwing up, my face is pasty, and I think I ripped my shirt when I stumbled in here. Even so, Jack grins at me and tenderly wipes my mouth with his shirt, giving me a little kiss and helping me to my feet. We get up from our awkward position on the floor of the women's bathroom.

I chuckle and pat his back, feeling much better. "Yeah… yeah, I think I do… I think I'm ready." My stomach is calm now, and I sip some water from the tap before Jack leads me out, holding me close.

The intermission is still in effect when we make our way back to the concert. It's awfully dark, and I can barely see Mia and Stacey running towards us.

Mia makes it to us first. Her black hair is up in an outrageous spiky Gothic hairdo, her naturally pale skin is flushed from running, and her red-and-black makeup makes her look like she hasn't seen daylight in weeks. As usual, Mia's raven-black ensemble matches her attitude. "So how much did you spew, sweetheart?"

"Can you shut the fuck up, Mia?" Jack spats at her protectively.

Stacey catches up. Unlike the other three of us, who appropriately dress in black and act the Gothic part, Stacey is a self-proclaimed hybrid of a preppy girly-girl and a princess of darkness. Her outfits are always disturbing and cute at the same time – today she had tossed on a blood-red miniskirt to match her eyes and hair, black fishnet stockings, and something resembling a black jean jacket. She pushes past the playfully sadistic Mia and holds my cheeks, squealing at me.

"Oooo baby, are you okay?! I called my brother, he can come and check you out – are your pupils dilated? Are you breathing steadily? Shit, shit, shit, Jamie, are you okay?"

I stare at her for a moment before opening my mouth.


"Yeah, anything…"

"…How many pills did you take today?"

She thinks for a second before gasping and pushing me away.

"Augh! Jesus fucking Christ, don't ever do that again! I thought you might have choked to death or something!"

Jack pipes in. "Stacey, she threw up, that's all."

"That's all? That's all?! My little kitty died after throwing up!"

"That little kitty was retarded – they told you that at the shelter, Stacey-"

"She was NOT retarded, she was under-developed!"

"The guy at the animal place said the word 'retarded'-"

"Well… well… fuck you then! Augh!"

I smile at Jack; we've all agreed that Stacey is cute when she has one of her little fits. Mia has been laughing hysterically in the background, and Stacey turns around to kick her in the leg with her pointy boots.

Jack and I share a smile. "I'll take you home, babe."

I nod, and we sneak away from Mia and Stacey, who are fighting intensely now. After shuffling through the crowd for a few minutes, we finally reach the parking lot as the concert resurfaces.

He opens the car door for me and grabs a bottle of water from under the seat. "Sip on this."

"Thanks, Jack." I slowly open the water, and take his hand. "I love you."

I let him run around to the other side of the car and fumble with his keys. I hop in the seat and pull my huge Desert Eagle out of the glove compartment, which urges a frown from Jack.

"Jamie… what are you doing?"

The gun is heavy and familiar in my hands, and I rub the cold barrel with my fingers, treating it like a little puppy. "You know it calms me, baby… makes me feel whole…"

"Well, I'd feel better if you put it away, now. Okay?"

My face twists up into an exhilarated grin.


I point the pistol at his forehead and pull the trigger.