Harley Quinn, a short story by A Seed To Inspire at Spillwords.com

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

written by: A Seed To Inspire

 

Surely, I was too old for trick or treat! In the first place, I wasn’t exactly keen on the bucket full of sweet things. Fine, when you are five years old, it was literal heaven when you were allowed to eat copious amounts of delicious, chocolate, sugar-coated, syrupy treats but thirty-two years old! Not so much. Dentists are expensive and the sugar indulgence pads on a few pounds which takes weeks to shift! Then there was the costume, do you go sexy, sweet, ironic, funny; it is so easy to get it wrong. On top of that, this is a new crew for me. Tonight, I am hanging out with my boyfriend’s old childhood friends, he hasn’t seen them for a while, but we are at his parents for the weekend, yes, I am meeting the parents for the first time, and we couldn’t really say no to the invite without being rude. Now you can see why I am more anxious about this thing than if it was a bunch of my mates!

Here I am staring at the mirror, and a version of Harley Quinn staring back at me. I thought that pulling the overtly sexy look was too much with the first meeting of the parents and all that, so I have gone for a more conservative version. Whilst I haven’t got the Margot Robbie body, I am small and sporty from many hours of rowing, so I did the full-body jumpsuit look but with the tutu, for added modesty. The boyfriend is going as the joker and is looking hot. His surfer body and arty vibe creating a dangerous but sexy vibe. As he struts up behind me and curls his hand around my hip, starring lustfully in my eyes with the lopsided smile – we make a great pair. Joker and Harley are ready. ‘Let’s go, babe,’ he whispers into my neck, ‘before, I lose my control and keep you all to myself tonight.’ His voice hitches at the back of his throat which makes my body tingle with desire. I smile, demurely and grab his hand, ‘Trick or treat, baby!’

My mind is shouting inside my head, on the outside, a confident brown-haired Harley Quinn struts down the street on the arm of Joker, but on the inside, my nerves are at breaking point. All those doubts surface, all those questions, and fears crowd my thoughts. ‘You’ve got this, babe; everyone will love you, how could they not; but stick with me alright. We won’t be there for long,’ Tommy aka my Joker reassures me, as he grips my hand. It’s only been eight months since we got together, and we have been inseparable since, but he has never really talked about his childhood. We turn off the main street and up to a detached new build, plastic skeletons stuck into the grass like abstract art, a few pumpkins scattered around and fake cobwebs dripping from trees and posts. ‘Smart pad with a side of bling,’ I think to myself.

‘Tommy, maaate.’ The door opens and a smooth-looking gangster opens the door and crushes Tommy in a bear hug, ‘and you must be the girl, Katie isn’t it.’ I can’t see his eyes behind the dark glasses, but as he kisses my cheek, I am smothered in aftershave and cigar smoke, can feel tough hard muscles under the pinstriped gangster suit, my insides recoil, I don’t like him. ‘Hi, Greg.’ I reply.

‘Well don’t ya both look fab; it’s been a long time. hey, come on in, down a stiffy and then let’s be off.’ Tommy and I are ushered inside. There must be twenty people here, a mix of costumes, but the guys donning the more macho-suited looks, while the girls are sexy cat women, and nurses and I spot another Harley Quinn, but a sexier version. ‘Tommy,’ the sexy Harley purrs as she spots us, looks like you have a certain taste in your ladies, right,’ coming uncomfortably close to Tommy and giving me the side eye with a sneer on her lips. ‘Roz, it’s been a long time, this is Katie.’ Tommy introduces us, while also putting a protective arm around my hips, marking out what is his. ‘Hum,’ Roz laughs before twirling away to the arms of Greg and whispering in his ear while looking back. ‘Ignore her,’ Tommy whispers, ‘she’s trouble.’ I smile and accept the glass of something that Greg has returned with.

‘Right, listen up,’ Greg clears his throat, and the room falls silent and listens. ‘Same rules, we’ve got ten houses on the list, go in the given groups, trick or treat, do the business and get back here with the goods before midnight. No mucking about or you’ll be on the list next year. Got it!’ Barked Greg.

“Yes, Boss.’ came the response, before everyone finished their drinks, grabbed jackets, and headed towards the doors. ‘Tommy and Katie, you’re with us, finished your drink and let’s bounce.’ As Greg turned to head towards the front door, I was sure I saw the butt of a pistol under his jacket.

‘Tommy, did you see that? Am I going mad? I swear I saw a gun in Greg’s belt.’ Tommy stopped and stood dead still and stared at me before looking at Greg and Roz a few steps ahead. He looked back at me and whispered. ‘I’ve made a mistake, let me speak to Greg, we are going home, I’m sorry, babe, I got it wrong.’ With that, Tommy ran up behind Greg and started talking in a low hushed voice. The voices got harsher and angrier. Roz sauntered back to where I was standing, ‘The boys are at it, they’ve got serious history. Tommy thought Greg wasn’t working tonight, idiot, Greg is always working. You have no idea what you’ve got into do ya. Oh well, have a sweet love, might as well.’ Roz took a wrapped boiled sweet from her pocket, peeled it an offered it between her bright red and blue acrylic nails. ‘I don’t want a sweet,’ I thought to myself, I wanted to go back home, my home, that one that Tommy and I had created together and away from whatever this is. But Roz was being kind and I didn’t want to piss her off, so I said thanks, and poped the sweet in my mouth with a smile that didn’t reach my eyes. It tasted weird; bitter and powdery, rather than sweet and sticky, I crunched it quickly and swallowed. I looked back at Roz, who was just looking at me and laughing before walking back to Tommy. She said something to the boys and Tommy turned to me with a look of pure fear on his face. That was the last thing I remembered.

‘Katie, babe… wake up, Katie…please wake up!’ I heard Tommy mumbling as if from down a long tunnel. Ouch, my head was hurting, like a serious hangover had settled in. I went to rub my eyes, but couldn’t move my hands, they were stuck. They were stuck together, ‘what the,’ What was happening? My hands were tied with something like handcuffs behind my back, and I realised I was lying on the floor, and the smell was gross. ‘Katie…babe, wake up.’ I slowly started to blink my eyes open, but it hurt, I managed to form a squint. The first thing I saw was Tommy, blood was crusted on his face, his left arm was bandaged in old rags and his clothes were ripped and torn. ‘Babe, Katie, you are awake, I am so sorry, I am a fool, I thought things were different. I am so sorry.’ A tear slipped down his cheek. ‘Tommy,’ I mumbled back, ‘what happened.’

That is when Tommy told me everything, the childhood he had, his dad who was the leader of a criminal gang in the area, and Greg the child of his dad’s best mate who ratted on him and took over the gang. Greg and Tommy vowed to remain friends and run their own young crew that challenged Greg’s dad’s tuff. Tommy managing to buy himself out of that life and start afresh behind Greg’s back. Greg never forgiving him for leaving him behind and planning this whole trick and treat as revenge. Roz had drugged me with that sweet and they had taken me away, Tommy was then forced at gunpoint to get the money off the people who owed Greg, if he didn’t, they would cut my fingers off and then my toes. Those were the ten houses; the trick or treat was to pay Greg what was owed or get beaten up. Greg ruled with fear and blackmail. Tommy said that Roz had taken photos of Tommy at each house, incriminating him so that he would keep his silence and be tethered to Greg.

‘What happens now?’ I whispered as silent tears ran down my face. ‘You are free, you can leave, your car is waiting outside, you must go, now and do not come back.’ He stroked my face and kissed me with a sorrowful desire. ‘But, what about you?’’ I knew the answer before he spoke the words. ‘I cannot, Greg owns me now, we have made a deal, you can go, but I must stay. Go…I will find my way back to you someday, I promise.’ With that, Tommy helped me stand, and walk towards the door of the car. The car door was open, and two pairs of keys lay on the seat. One to release the cuffs holding my hands, the other for the car. Tommy helped me and wiping the tears from my face, he kissed me once more, before closing the door and stepping back. I started the engine and as I looked back in the mirror there was Roz waving with a triumph on her face.

That was exactly a year ago, I haven’t heard from Tommy in all that time, until today when a package arrived for me, the only thing inside, was a note saying, ‘Trick or Treat, babe’ and a severed finger…

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