“C’mon Aggie. Move your arse.”
The young girl had dashed so far ahead of her, AGNES could barely keep up. TABITHA was so high on the fuss that had been made of her for her birthday by the girls and the staff back at the KNOCK KNOCK club and now she was going to visit her Aunt Tee she was the brightest and most chipper Agnes had seen her in a long time.
“Aunt Tee!” She cheered running down the steps to a garden area where TAWNY was already waiting for them on a wooden bench. Tabitha’s long, skinny legs bowed comically as she ran. She leapt into her aunt’s arms and wrapped her legs around her. Tawny showered her with kisses. Taller than Tawny, Tabitha clung to her like an over grown child.
“Happy birthday Trouble,” she said using the nickname she had given her niece at birth.
As Agnes, slightly out of breath, joined them she was brought into the hug too.
Tabitha dropped herself onto the bench.
Tawny kissed Agnes. “How are you honey?”
Agnes smiled. “I’m good,” she said but her usually bright, dark eyes seemed dull like she hadn’t slept much lately.
Tawny sat back on the bench beside Tabitha. “So have you enjoyed your birthday?”
Tabitha grinned. She rested her legs across Tawny’s lap and leaned back. The gap between her front teeth gave her a misleading innocence that her high cheek bones and her model lips disagreed with.
Tawny was unable to come home to their apartment above the KNOCK KNOCK which she and Agnes owned but she was in the best place and it wouldn’t’ be forever. She couldn’t come home but Agnes and Tabtiha seemed to be managing okay without her. At least that was what she would believe if it weren’t for the paleness of skin and the dry lips of her girlfriend. Agnes always took such pride in her appearance. Something was off. Sure they had faced some traumas lately but things were running fine at the club again. Right?
Not wanting to spoil Tabitha’s birthday cheer Tawny turned her attention on her niece.
“Just wait and see what we got ye!” She beamed. Her HATHFIELD BAY accent always became stronger when she was excited.
Tabtiha raised one eyebrow. “When can I see?”
“Right now,” Tawny cheered. She turned to Agnes. “Just around the corner?” Agnes nodded. “Good.” She patted Tabtiha’s legs and brought herself to her feet again. “Let’s go.”
Tabitha skipped on ahead. Tawny took Agnes’ hand.
“Are you sure everything is okay?”
Agnes sighed. “It’s fine. It’s just been a long week.”
“You would tell me if something had happened, right?” Tawny pushed.
“Of course,” Agnes assured. But how could she? How could she tell her what her precious little Trouble had done? Could she tell her how the Knock Knock club came to be reopened again after the attack?
Tawny lifted Agnes’ hand to her lips and kissed it. “It’s all good?”
Agnes smiled in agreement. It was good. Tabitha had opened a lot of doors for them doing what she did and the club – the wretched little cabaret club that they all loved – was thriving. Was that enough to justify it though? What happened to Tabitha was truly horrific but did that warrant the bodies? The blood? Someone had to fight them Agnes supposed. Someone had to stop the same thing happening to other little girls. She and Tawn had tried but it took someone with Tabs’ spirit to send them running scared.
“Fuck me with a jack hammer! Is that it?” Tabitha cried as they rounded the corner.
Parked expertly was a shining red PORCHE.
“It is,” Agnes told her. “It’s all yours.”
Tabitha dashed off excitedly towards it.
Tawny bumped her shoulder against Agnes. “You say I spoil her? A porche?”
Agnes laughed. The weight seemed to lift from her. “You said to get her a car. You didn’t want her walking the SHANTIES so she may as well travel in style. A friend owed me a favour so I got a good deal.”
“It’s a beautiful car. I just hope it stays safe in Clifton.”
“Oh believe me, if everyone in that area knows it belongs to Tabs no one will touch it.”
Tawny ignored the comment. She was too delighted in watching her niece’s joyful reaction to the gift. Tabitha pointed to the plates. 8O55 LADY they read.
“I love it!” She confirmed. She dashed to her aunts and hugged them both.
BOSS LADY. That’s what she was. She ruled the Knock Knock club and her sights were set on the bigger picture.
“The three B’s,” Agnes pointed out. “That’s us.”
“The three bad bitches,” Tawny jested taking an arm of each. “Ready to take on the world.”
She looked back over her shoulder to see a strapping, sturdy man with swept back blonde hair waiting for her. His arms were folded. He said nothing. He just watched.
“What’s your fucking problem?” Tabitha asked noticing him too.
“I had better go,” Tawny announced.
When the man still didn’t respond Tabitha raised her middle finger to him.
Tawny chuckled and pushed her arm down. “Play nice Tabby,” she said. “He’s just doing his job. It’s policy.”
Tabitha scowled but still the man didn’t respond. Tawny kissed them both.
“Enjoy the rest of your birthday, honey,” said she to her niece. “Maybe you can take me a spin some other time.”
Tawny broke away from them and went to the man. She turned and waved them off before taking his arm and heading back to the gardens.
“Miserable cunts,” Tabitha growled. “I’m going to make every one of those fuckers sorry for what they did to her, to the club, to all of us.”
Agnes put her arm around Tabitha and led her towards the car. “Let’s see how the car feels,” she suggested.
Tabitha would make them sorry. She had already begun to. That’s what Agnes was worried about and it was driving her mad.
Tough times at the Knock Knock club and you can join reporter, SAM, as he chases a lead on the missing mayor of the city that leads him to the Shady City’s most infamous club.
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