Diane looked at Barbarella. “I’m a tea toddler.”
“So you want to throw some whiskey in my tea, that’s fine, I’ll drink it any way you got it.”
“Diane doesn’t drink.” The woman called Moira said. “She was an alcoholic.”
“Twenty years sober.” Diane said with a touch of pride.
“What do you mean you don’t drink?” There was a definite note of hysteria in her voice now and Barbarella tried to calm herself. She wasn’t going to lose it on some wrinkled old raisin. “Everyone drinks. Everyone and I need some fucking scotch!”
“You must calm yourself.” The woman called LaWanda said. “That’s no way to speak to someone who has welcomed you into their home, no matter how you are dressed.”
“Which is pretty fucking fabulous!” Barbarella said.
Moira snorted. “I beg to differ.”
“Bitch, please!” She retorted.
“Girl, share my joint with me, it’s good, it’s koosh. It’ll get you super stoned in a flash.” Valhalla said. “I rolled it in chocolate papers to give it nice sweet taste.”
“Oh, Girl, pass that over here.”
“I really don’t like you smoking that in my apartment.” Diane said.
“I really don’t like your freaky ass cats. So we’re even.” Barbie said, taking a toke.
“I know who you are.” The woman named LaWanda said.
“See, Girl, I told you I was famous.”
“I know who you really are. Your John, that guy who is so horrible to Justin. If this is the explanation for your horrible treatment of poor Justin, no wonder he’s looking somewhere else.”
“The hell you say.” Barbie said. “He loves me.”
“You mean use to.” She pulled a thin cigarette out of her purple robes and lit it. The apartment was filled with the scent of lavender.
Barbie turned to Diane. “She can smoke that, but I can’t smoke this?”
“What can I say? I don’t like you and I don’t like drugs.”
“Cigarettes are a drug.”
“Then why can you buy them legally?”
“Enough.” LaWanda said. “This isn’t getting us anywhere. We have to figure out what to do.”
“What can we do? There are demon dogs in the apartment building, Giles was eaten by rats and Diane’s cats are acting bonkers.” Moira said. “Do you know what’s causing this?”
“Something dark, something I haven’t felt in a long time. Something that is beyond human and wants to play a game.” LaWanda said.
“How the hell do you know that?” Barbie asked her. “What are you, some kind of medium?”
“If you would bother to get to know anyone in this building, you would know the answer to that.” Diane said.
Barbie was about to make a snappy retort when the cats all began to hiss. They were all looking at the door, their tails standing on end. “What’s going on? What’s happening?”
“He’s come back.” LaWanda said at the same moment that Diane said “It’s him.”
A voice from the other side of the apartment door said: “Candy gram.”
The hissing of the cats increased to meows. Now there was a choir of cat calls and it was giving Barbie a headache. “What the fuck? Who was that?”
“Oh, you have visitors, Diane? You were all supposed to remain in your apartment like good little players. But no matter. Needs must.”
“Why are you here?” Diane shouted from her spot in the living room.
“I told you last time: I was invited in.”
“Then we rescind the invitation.” LaWanda said.
“How many people are there? Do you all want a candy gram? I have enough to go around.”
Barbie had had enough. Freaky cats, scary as fuck people talking to them through doors and no fucking booze? No fucking way. “Why don’t you go back to where you came from, you ass munching prick?”
“Ah, the tranny. I had to wait for you to start the game, you know. It wasn’t nice to keep me waiting.”
“Nice my ass. How about you get the fuck out of here and make like a tree bitch. I don’t have time for this.” In fact, she did have time, but the voice on the other side of the door made her nervous and she didn’t know why. When she didn’t know something, she tended to lash out. “Go find some other fucking people to play with why don’t you? You can’t keep us here forever.”
“Oh, didn’t I say? You’re all part of the game, all players. Aren’t you thrilled? Many people would die for the chance.”
“I mean it you sack of shit.” Barbie said, her blond wig askew. She reached up to straighten her wig. She wished she hadn’t worn such a short dress, but at least she knew she looked good.
“Oh, poor little bitch girl…or should I say bitch man? Why don’t I give you something to play with? It’ll take care of this little barrier that we seem to have against each other.”
There was the sound of something slamming into the wood apartment door. Cracks began to appear in the door and they all saw the glowing red eyes, could hear the scratching of the wood.
“The dogs are back! My babies are back to kill us all!” Diane screamed.
“Honey, you have to get new babies.” Barbie said.
“I don’t think that’s your dogs. I think it’s something else.” LaWanda said.