"Well, well—What's a young bat such as yourself doing on this side of town at this time of night?"

I smiled at the voice, acknowledging it only with my own, "Making money."

"Gah!" Twixxle burst into my vision, cutting Fayner out of the picture, pigtails and streamers almost deserving better to be on the cake before me, rather than the blue frosting that vomited from the metal tip at the end of the bag, "Ooh! Frosting? Let me have some, please?"

There was no depriving Twixxle of his heart's whims—no matter how slight or fleeting—ever. It was a sin. And an unforgivable one at that.

I peered over his bony shoulder. Mrs Phelps stood, a sour face tugging down at her mouth's corners, but she wasn't watching. The vision of so much black at one time probably hurt her eyes.

With a smile I turned back to Twixxle, who waited, eyes squeezed shut like an anime character, all happy and energetic, mouth open—A baby bird.

"Hold out your finger."

"Hmm?" He opened eyes and obliged, and soon had a fat electric blue worm on his index finger. He eagerly stuck his finger in his mouth and sucked on it, the anime happiness appearing again, "Hmmm--"

A sound of content.

"Kiss the chef already, won't you?" Fayner elbowed Twixxle out of the way. He flopped over like a doll, but was quickly lost in examining the cakes in the windows of the shop, eyes like a child at Christmas.


"Nah," Fayner looked at the frosting as if he almost begrudged it, "Hey, let's get going."

"I have to finish this cake first."

Fayner melted onto the counter, frustration leaking from every pore in his body. He growled discontent,

"I've had to put up with this fool all night, hoping for sensible conversation with you, and here I find you decorating baked goods! I don't care how much you're making—A rock god shouldn't stoop to the levels of pastry and flour! Especially not a shock rock god!"

Patiently, I laid out a another blue rose, the petals peeling away from the white background, drying in the open air—Only to be snatched away by a finger, calloused from years of violent guitaring.


Fayner stared dolefully at me, blue frosting evidence on his lips as he chewed on his finger.

I turned my gaze back down to the cake—Hole in it like an apocalyptic meteorite had carved desolation out of it. Yellow cake peeked through the ravaged frosting. For once, I wished cake making had a greater need for butcher knives. Sharp butcher knives.

"Ooooooh! You've ruined his cake!"

"Shut-up, Twixxle!"

"Mrs. Phe-elps!"

Twixxle's sing-song voice filled the air of the small white-Christmas-light-lit shop and he could be heard skipping off, narrowly dancing, probably, out of the range of Fayner's seething glare.

Ten dollars and fifteen minutes of lecture later, we trailed out of the shop, Mrs. Phelps condemning me from ever bringing my friends into work again, unless it was Twixxle with his 'darling pigtails and fat wallet to buy a cake--- Respectably,' she didn't hesitate to add with a look that could've unnerved Charles Manson.

"I hate that--"

"Witch?" Twixxle raised eyebrows, arms linked behind back.

Fayner seemed to deflate, unrighteous anger leaving him, "Yeah, that."

With a bounce in his step, Twixxle spun around under the streetlights to face us.

"Oh, hexes, what is it now?" Fayner consulted the heavens blotted out by the halo of his downtown suburbia.

"I happen to have with me the affects needed to complete the look of this band," he began, still strutting like a general debriefing an army of the undead, "They're right over here---," he pointed off behind him.

"Oh, great. Like what? Ribbons for our hair?"


He turned on his heel and marched to a clump of bushes.

"What is the fool doing now?"

"Shh," I peered over Fayner's shoulder. Twixxle was on his knees on the cement, shins covering enough cracks to render his mother a paralytic. Buried up to his hips in twigs and leaves, his voice came back muffled.

"Got it!"

"Got what? Your sanity?"

With a metallic clink-clank, he brandished forth a tin lunchbox with the words Spooky Kid etched into its black surface. His face shone in the holy streetlight, "This."

"Hey, didn't that used to be your Monroe lunchbox?"

A furious blush stole over Twixxle's cheekbones, "She'll forgive me. This is full of what will make our band bona-fide shock factor."

Our heads formed a triangular as we bowed around the open box. Stickers of Marilyn still crowded the walls of the tin box, her smile faded but no less refreshing.


I'm still not sure if I had edged closer to Twixxle or if he had edged closer to me. Either way, Fayner's temper was reaching boiling point.

"It's my mom's. She let me---"

"Nope," standing to his so-so height, Fayner gave his worn knees a brush and gave Twixxle the brush-off, "Not doing it."

I looked from Marilyn's mole to the tubes and rectangular prism-shaped boxes. They, frankly, were a mystery to me. Renewing cream? Maxx-Lash? Twixxle's hands twisted themselves at of the corner of my vision.

"Give me one good--- Ok, ok, no. Give me Three good reasons why I have to drag up for our band."

I lifted my head and watched as Twixxle opened his mouth, closed it, opened again.

"I thought so. I'm goin' home. See ya, Mannie."

"See ya."

"The Crow."

"What," Fayner's expression was flat.

"The Crow, and Kiss, and Motely Crue, and Marcel Marceau, and Spooky Kids, and Halloween!"

Twixxle beamed.

Six answers, perfect enough for it to be Fayner's number seven.