By Annabel Schofield



By Annabel Schofield

Chapter 5 - Los Angeles: 1986 - Part 2


The sputtering death-machine eventually crawled its way up to the valet parking kiosk that was situated on the semi-circular driveway outside the exploding wedding cake that was Damian Le Blanc’s Bel Air mansion. The steep, winding streets had taken a serious toll on the sexy, black convertible, but these days the bugger billowed acrid smoke merely from the effort of exiting Angelika’s car-port. Vintage cars were nothing if not a serious commitment and Angelika had begun to question whether or not she had what it took for the long haul.

On arrival, the girls had a brief but amicable fight over the rearview mirror and then they climbed elegantly out of the car. Angelika handed her keys nervously to the valet who in turn stared nervously at the phlegmatically smoking Impala which had suddenly become his responsibility and might consitute a real liability. Angelika remained standing next to the worried-looking valet while nervously fiddling with her long, perfectly coiffed hair as Samantha tried to pull her impatiently towards the house’s entrance.

Stubbornly, Angelika stopped, smoothed down her dress for the unmpteenth time and then she looked imploringly at her friend,

“Wait, Sam, seriously, do I look okay?” she whined.

Of course this was a crashing understatement as Angelika looked stunning as ever in an architectural flesh-toned Alaia bandage dress which was tastefully accessorised with towering Jourdin heels.

             Azzedine can die a happy man. C'mon.” Samantha strutted on, but Angelika hung back, dithering.

             “I'm really nervous.”

            “Why?” asked Samantha, breathing out in a dramatically long-suffering manner.

            “I idolize this guy,” said Angelika, “I actually don't want to meet him in case I fuck up. I mean he's a brilliant, seminal artist.” 

            Samantha rolled her eyes and responded, “He's just a bloody actor, darling. Get a grip.”

             “Samantha! Hello!” retorted Angelika, who was deeply offended by Sam’s attitude towards her fellow artist.

“Oops, sorry,” replied Samantha, chastened, “I keep forgetting that you're a serious thespian. Now will you please get a fucking move on?”

The girls finally arrived in front of the ornately carved front door and Angelika looked a little hurt as she turned to Samantha and pouted,

“I am very serious about my acting, you know.”

Samantha placed her arm comfortingly around Angelika's shoulder and said gently, “Yes love, I know you are.”


           The girls entered the opulent entrance hall which was thronged with slathering, Armani–clad industry types, all looking over each others’ shoulders for the next bigger, better thing. Did anyone ever look anyone else in the eye here? fretted Angelika.  A smiling liveried servant immediately materialized with a tray of champagne-filled glasses. Samantha helped herself to two and inquired,

           “Dutch courage? Before you meet the great one?”  Angelika eyed the elegant glass that Samantha proffered and grinned,

“One can't hurt.”  They swallowed the icy Cristal and then Samantha immediately grabbed two more glasses and while giggling said,

“Two'd hurt even less.”  The girls quickly polished those off and grabbed two further glasses while subtly scoping the crowd.  “Oh, oh...9 o'clock. Celeb alert.” whispered Samantha.

          Angelika dutifully squinted around the room but Samantha grabbed her arm painfully and said pointedly through gritted teeth, “Stop it.”

“Well, how am I supposed to know who you're creaming over?”  muttered Angelika. “I'm not bloody psychic.”

“Rob fucking Lowe.” mouthed Samantha. 

Angelika, underwhelmed replied, “Oh…Rob.”  Samantha looked at Angelika as if she’d just announced that she’d joined a cult or something.

“Oh, Rob? That’s all you have to say?”

“Yeah, he asked me out a couple of months ago.” continued Angelika, ”Didn't I tell you?”

“What?” Samantha was astonished and rather piqued that she hadn’t at the very least been informed of this momentous and star-studded news. “Well, of course you went.” 

           Angelika sheepishly sipped her champagne. “Well, no. I couldn't. I...I had an early call.” Samantha placed her glass on a nearby repro Louis Quatorze console and faced Angelika.

“Have you lost your tiny mind? Don't you remember "The Outsiders?" The pact? You and Rob, me and Matt?”

           Angelika shrugged, as she had actually regretted this decision as Rob had seemed really nice when they’d met and he was insanely gorgeous; but she didn’t wholeheartedly share Samantha’s desire to date famous men. Angelika found the whole fame thing deeply intimidating and weird, and she’d already experienced quite enough fame of her own, thank you very much. It just felt exceedingly strange when someone that you’d never met before could know so much about you or at least think that they did, and sometimes she found that supposedly devoted fans’ attitudes could change in a milisecond if they didn’t get the desired response from their chosen idol du jour. It could actually be rather scary. 

           “Well at least you kept up your end of the bargain.” grinned Angelika at her friend, remembering that fateful night at The Palladium in New York.  Samantha’s naughty smile returned to her lovely face once more as she said,

“I did, didn't I?” The girls giggled then proceeded to sashay through the clamouring crowd to the sumptuous, overstuffed rooms that lay beyond the marble-floored foyer.


It was some time later and poor Angelika had become separated from Samantha and had been cornered by a short, coked-up suit. She was smiling politely at his reflective bald patch as he spat Absolut vodka and tonic all over her creamy decolletage.

           “Yeah, Andrea, you know, you really should take a meeting with Gersh, you know? You may be a little raw right now, but you have tape, though, right?  You do have tape? Tell me you have tape?” The man, an apparent talent manager was completely unstoppable, “But I know that with my influence and connections we could convince Gersh to at the very least hip pocket you. We want to be real careful who you do sign with at this stage of your career.”

          He finally drew a halitosis breath, sniffed and then leered meaningfully up at her stoic face. Angelika smiled weakly while trying desperately not to breathe through her nose, as one could in all probability strip paint with the man’s fetid exhalations.

Samantha, with her exemplary timing, suddenly appeared arm in arm with a very attractive young guy. Man, she works fast,  admired Angelika silently.

“Angelika, I need your help,” squealed Samantha in an appalling approximation of a Valley Girl accent, “I think my herpes has flared up again!”

          Angelika choked on her champagne as the disgusted representative definitively backed off and hurriedly skittered away. 

          “Jesus!” responded Angelika, who although glad to be free of the suit, was nonetheless a tad embarrassed by her friend’s oftentimes shocking methods,  “That's the best you could come up with? My herpes has flared up? Who writes your material?”

Samantha shrugged, “Hey, it had the desired effect, right?” Angelika had to concede this, even though her career might have been just a teensy bit on the line. Samantha then indicated the cute guy by her side.   
   
“Darling meet darling. I mean Marlowe. He's from Marin County.” Marlowe was tall and rangy with a far-away, spaced-out vibe.

           “Cool.” he extrapolated as Angelika shook his hand.

           “Pleasure to meet you, Marlowe from Marin.” she replied. Samantha then took them both by the hand as she said,

           “Let’s go get us some fresh air, kids. Come along.”

           Angelika, Samantha and Marlowe squeezed outside onto the candlelit terrace and then they gazed out in mutual awe at the impressive topiaried gardens and the aquamarine pool that was glowing hypernaturally turquoise in the star-studded Los Angeles night. The estate must have cost millions; how did anyone even begin to accumulate that kind of money? pondered Angelika to herself.

           Samantha then turned to Angelika with an uncharacteristic air of formality. “Marlowe's family are in the vegetable cultivation business.”

           “Organic.” drawled Marlowe, while staring meaninglessly into the middle distance.

           “Okay.” responded Angelika, wondering impatiently where this nonsensical drivel was actually going, but happy for the moment that at least nobody was spitting on her.

           “Specifically, fungi.” continued Samantha cryptically.

           “Like what, shitakes?” Angelika had decided to humour them for the time being, as they were both patently daft. Marlowe then started to giggle as Samantha reached into her purse and pulled out a walnut-sized, dried up, innocuous-looking mushroom. Samantha grinned wickedly at her compatriots as she split the unappetising thing into three equal crumbly parts and winked.

           “Not exactly.” 

         The party was finally heating up and Angelika could be found in her happy place – the dance-floor. She was surrounded by white boy overbite-sporting admirers as her new favourite hip-hop song, “The Godfather” by Spoonie G played. She was grinning broadly to no one in particular as she moved sensuously to the James Brown groove.

         Angelika felt great. In fact, she felt way more than great, she felt amazing. She was thinking with a pure, crystalline clarity. Her body was completely in sync with the music, she was at one with the beat, hell - she was practically black...and everyone else felt it, too. She was perfect! When...

         “Angelika! Yoo hoo!”  Through the crowd minced Damian Le Blanc, tall, queeny and sporting the very latest in designer hair plugs, he was rich as fuck but nobody knew exactly why; but it was Damian’s mansion, Damian’s Cristal and it was Damian who paid the piper so Angelika enthusiastically beamed at him.

          “Hey, Damian! Great party. Fantastic party!”  Angelika and Damian air-kissed in time-honoured fashion.

          “Angelika, Angelika...you gotta meet Sean!” chirruped Damian.

         “Huh?” replied Angelika, momentarily at a loss.

         “Sean Penn, angel,” mouthed Damien, theatrically, “he just got here...you gotta meet him.
 He's a genius! His play was divine! So intense...he's so serious!

         Angelika stopped smiling and said weakly, “Now?”

         As Damian nodded and pulled her away from the safety of the dancefloor towards the Oscar nominee in the kitchen, Angelika’s heart started to pound, “Sean Penn, Sean Penn, The Genius, At Close Range, Falcon and the Snowman, Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.  But in spite of her jangling nerves, Angelika knew that she could handle this. Of course she could handle this. She was perfect, right? 

         Right…


Chapter Two: New York, 1984


 HOSPITAL - LA – JANUARY, 1st 2000

                “She did not!”  said an astonished Athena. The sky outside the hospital was orange-black now. “I don’t believe it!”

               “Oh yes she did,” replied Angelika, smirking at the memory,“It certainly was an eye opener, that trip.”

               “What happened to Sophie?” asked Athena.

               “Well she dumped Raphael soon enough, married an earl and now lives in a castle in Scotland with her three adorable tow-headed children and is frequently featured in the pages of Field and Stream magazine. She also breeds pedigree Highland terriers. Quite successfully, by all accounts.”

               “Wow.” Athena marveled at this. “But that experience must have put you off, surely?” Angelika looked at Athena, a naughty grin playing at the corners of her dehydrated mouth.

               “Oh no, I was just getting started. It was the adventure, you see?  I was totally addicted to the adventure...”

NEW YORK, 1984

Angelika, clad in a silver Stephen Sprouse mini dress exited a yellow cab outside The Palladium nightclub on 14th Street. She was closely followed by Samantha, a drop dead gorgeous brunette who was wearing her habitual evening attire – a skin tight, black rubber Daniel James confection. They were the living embodiment of the term ‘dressed to kill’. In fact, any flying viscera would have wiped right off their shiny clothing with consummate ease. Their heels were high, their hair was big, their lips were liquid red and they were fierce.

               Angelika had met Samantha on a particularly depressing lingerie shoot in London, a few months after she had arrived in the city. Angelika had never seen anyone quite like Samantha before. Most models wore jeans and T-shirts to work for comfort, but not Samantha. Samantha did not believe in comfort, nor did the word exist in her vocabulary. She had arrived at the studio in her lipstick red Mercedes sporting a leopard print mini skirt, a crimson leather jacket and thigh high stiletto boots. How she could manage to walk in those heels was anybody’s guess, but when one looked like Samantha, it follows that one never had to walk overly far.

               Angelika’s first impression was that dusky Samantha must be some kind of a Brazilian hooker, but Samantha soon set her straight. Under her slutty, exotic exterior beat the warm heart of a died in the wool East London daddy’s girl. She was Catholic, loved her close-knit family and was possessed of a biting wit and a deep intelligence. They bonded immediately and co-owned the elitist London club scene shortly afterward. Once that had become tired, they had made the inevitable westwardly mobile move to New York City.

               Angelika’s career had exploded immediately and she’d been shot for the cover of Vogue during her very first week in the city, and although Samantha also worked steadily, she was even more curvaceous than lush Angelika and therefore was not considered ‘editorial’;  a term which meant that she would always be consigned to well-paying, but not overly glamourous, catalogue and lingerie work. Samantha was totally unfazed by this and proceeded to feast lustily on the rock and roll lifestyle that embodied early ‘80’s New York.

               Angelika and Samantha coolly sashayed down the street towards The Palladium which was the hottest nightclub in New York at that white-hot moment. A horde of hopeful club-goers and paparazzi thronged the velvet rope. The former were desperately trying to convince the guardian of the guest list that they had enough cash, coke or clout to be admitted; while the latter ravenously eyed the arrivals for a glimpse of anyone worth wasting a flashbulb upon.

               The cross-dressing doorperson, for it would be considered deeply square to label such a fabulous being by something as mundane as mere sex, instantly spotted the girls.

               “Angelika! Samantha! Walk this way, ladies!” The girls squeezed through the crowd of scowling untouchables and entered through the instantaneously raised velvet rope. They air-kissed the shimmering creature, who immediately pressed a wad of drinks tickets into their perfectly manicured hands. The photographers surged forward and proceeded to blind them but Angelika and Samantha posed expertly, proffering perfect head tilts, and then with exemplary timing, they turned on their precipitous heels and strutted away into the cavernous club.

               The girls stalked through the grandiosly baroque lobby, up the wide staircase and along the balcony where they stopped briefly to gaze down at the dance-floor. Things were just getting started. Early bird yuppies were busting out their twitchy coke moves to Grace Jones’ ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’ Angelika and Samantha looked at each other in perfect syncronicity.

               “Mike Todd Room?” Samantha raised a quizical eyebrow.

               “Mike Todd Room.” concurred Angelika.

               The Mike Todd Room was The Palladium’s VIP area and the enclave of the truly fabulous and it was tougher to get a pass to than the war room at the Pentagon. Angelika and Samantha were whisked straight through by the doorman and then they headed directly to the bar. Party fixture Anita Sarko was spinning records while dressed in a gloriously lurid costume topped with an outrageous lime green wig. She raised a glass of champagne in a toast and winked at the girls as they paased by her DJ booth.

               Two champagne-filled flutes miraculously appeared and were placed unbidden into the girls’ hands. Two grinning yuppies in Brooks Brothers suits, both exuding Wall Street sweat and reeking of Polo and new money, sidled up either side of Angelika and Samantha. How the fuck did they get in there? The girls silently wondered as they exchanged a subtle look of ‘not in this lifetime’ and politely smiled their thanks. One of the yuppies leaned in, whispered in Samantha’s ear then he discretely handed her something. She beamed at Angelika and then winked and whispered, “Join me in my office?”

               Angelika elegantly extricated herself from the second yuppie’s clammy and proprietal arm and carrying her glass of champagne, followed Samantha’s swaying, rubber-clad butt towards the bathroom.

               The bathroom at The Palladium was unisex, whether by design or by default, nobody knew for sure. It was easily as entertaining inside these hallowed walls as was the freakshow in the club proper. Drag queens were intently fixing their lashes, their lipliner and their stocking seams; beautiful boys with chiselled cheekbones were openly snorting cocaine and poppers; a couple of indeterminate gender was having noisy, uninhibited sex in one of the stalls. It was just another Wednesday night in Manhattan.

               Angelika and Samantha sauntered into a vacant cubicle and shut the door purposefully behind them. By force of habit, Angelika immediately crouched at toilet lid level, produced a cut-down drinking straw and a Gold American Express card from the recesses of her purse and  looked up to Samantha expectantly.

                “No, love, look what I got! Pressies!” Samantha then opened her hand, revealing a transparent golden plastic capsule which was filled with a sparkling white powder. 

                “What is it?” asked Angelika, a little disappointed, as she’d had her young heart set on a nice juicy line of the yuppies’ cocaine; yuppies often got the best coke, because God knows they could afford it.

                “MDMA. Ecstasy?” replied Samantha, knowledgeably.

                “I heard it was bad for you.” said Angelika after a moment, being in her own mind, the voice of reason.

                “Your point being?” replied Samantha, nonplussed. 

                Angelika looked at Samantha and then back at the glistening capsule. “So what do we do with it?”

                Samantha grinned devilishly as she placed their champagne glasses onto the closed lid of the toilet. She expertly twisted open the capsule, emptying half of the powder into each of their glasses.  Taking Angelika's straw from out of her friend’s hand, she swirled the powder into each glass of the effervescing liquid. Then the girls picked up their respective glasses, raised them in a toast and swallowed the mixture down, fast. The metallic chemical taste was disgusting and Angelika grimaced as Samantha burped elegantly and said through gritted teeth,  “No pain, no gain!”

                The girls laughed conspiratorally and after carefully wiping their glossy mouths, they exited the stall.

                                                                                                                                 
    The mulicoloured disco lights wheeled dizzyingly above the heaving dancefloor as the tiny but smoking hot latino DJ, Jellybean Benitez tantalizingly dropped ‘Get into the Groove’ by new pop wet dream,  Madonna. The crowd went crazy, fuelled by an unstoppable combination of chemical energy and youthful libido. Angelika and Samantha were to be found at the epicenter of it all, surrounded by writhingly hormonal admirers, each one trying to outdance the next. The yuppies from The Mike Todd Room had finally recognized that they were outclassed and out-sexed, and were hanging back hopelessly, mutely watching the two gorgeous girls with wide eyed lust from the Siberian edge of the dancefloor.

                Samantha threw back her beautiful head while flirting with one of the dancers - a stunning Puerto Rican rocker boy sporting a leather jacket and a ripped, Vivienne Westwood T-shirt. The sexy, snake-hipped androgyne grabbed her waist, pulling her into his shiny and enticing crotch, but she pulled away, laughing. Samantha shook her head admonishingly at the boy and then she glanced over at Angelika, who had suddenly stopped dancing and was looking rather unsteady on her stilettos. Samantha calmly approached Angelika and grabbed her wrist and then they stared into each others’ dilated black pupils for a long moment. Angelika reeled slightly, her eyelids were blinking unnaturally quickly along with the whirling, schizophrenic lighting.

                Samantha gently put her arms around her friend and said, “Hey, it’s OK, love, it's supposed to be like this at the beginning. Just breathe and give in to it.”  Angelika looked at Samantha again, trying in vain to calm the beat of her too-fast heart.

                Suddenly, an incredible wave of physical sensation was overtaking Angelika; she felt as if exploding dancing pixels of light were traveling from her brain, through her breasts, down to her crotch, melting all tension along the way and turning her body into a hot molten liquid. She felt unbelievably horny, but also incredibly affectionate and expansive all in the same moment.

                Through chattering teeth, Angelika stuttered, “Oh my God...”

                She grinned and looked around her; everyone present was beaming, beautiful, glowing with warmth and empathy. She then threw her long slender arms around Samantha and kissed her, saying sincerely and without irony and for the first time since they’d met, “I love you so much.”

                “That tends to be a known side effect.” laughed Samantha, fondly kissing her friend’s dewy cheek.

                Jellybean then masterfully mixed in ‘A Love Bizarre’ by Prince prodigy, Shiela E and the crowd started to chant along, their fists pumping the steamy air as one being. “A! B! A, B, C, D...” Angelika and Samantha hugged a long time, and then proceeded to abandon themselves to the intense electronic beat.


               It was much, much later and Angelika was glamourously lounging on a black velvet banquette back in The Mike Todd Room with Kirk, a fabulous Scottish hairdresser

whom she’d known since the rainy, low paid and mundane catalogue days. Since then, both of their careers had exploded along a parallel and rather stellar trajectory. But apart from that, Angelika just adored Kirk’s personality with his contradictory combination of knife-sharp humour juxtaposed with a familiar Celtic warmth.  Hilarious and irreverent, Kirk had of late become a legend in his field; he was now a revered magician of the follicles who, within minutes of weilding a skinny teasing comb and a whopping can of Elnett, could transform any ordinary shop-girl into the living embodiment of Polish supermodel, Paulina Poriskova. But Kirk didn’t need to work his genius on mere shop girls anymore; no way - Kirk's Glasgow salon days were well and truly behind him; there were eponymous hair-serum lines and nationally - aired infomercials in Kirk's bright, shiny and well-groomed future. 

  Kirk and Angelika were sweatily holding hands and sharing a damp Marlboro Light while idly taking the piss out of the nefarious night-crawlers who, in the manner of ravenous truffle pigs were schnuffling around the corners of the club on a desperately unsubtle quest for fresh and piquant new pleasures. Abruptly changing the subject while stating the bloody obvious, Angelika suddenly announced, “I took Ecstasy, Kirk.”  

              “You don’t say.” Kirk replied, patently unsurprised by this,, as his normally quite lovely but generally unaffectionate friend had never been quite this snuggly before. “Never would have guessed. And how does madam like her new drug?” 

               “I feel like the star of my own movie.” replied Angelika, smiling contentedly while cuddling deep into Kirk’s Gaultier-swathed shoulder. Kirk nodded and experly blew a smoke ring.  

              “Darling, you are a star, a superstar. Don't they throw money at you?”

              “They do, Kirk, they simply hurl it at me from great heights.” grinned Angelika, goofily.

               “Poor bairn. Now where’s the old tart?” replied Kirk while scanning the rapidly thinning crowd.        
     
               “Samantha?” muttered Angelika, who was relishing the sensation of Kirk’s bunny-soft cashmere against her cheek. “Last time I saw her, she was wrapped around Billy Idol. Or Matt Dillon. Either or.”      
          
               As if paged from above, Samantha suddenly materialized towing English punk rock 

star, Billy Idol in her sexy wake. Behind his studded and leather-clad back, Sam made a 
smug face at Angelika expressing her self-congratulation at her brilliant pulling skills. Evidently,
the rock’n roll gods had smiled upon her this particular evening. Angelika nodded her approval 
and then squinted as subtly as possible at "Billy". It wasn’t actually him, but in this smoky and forgiving light, he could pass.

               “Hmm...and how are my children of the night?” inquired Angelika. ‘Not Billy Idol’ had the cheekbones, the perpetual sneer and the Cockerney accent down pat.    

 “Al'right?”  he opined, patently a man of few words. Samantha grabbed his gloved hand, pulled him close and kissed him on his perfectly sculpted, sepulchre white cheek.

               “Living the dream, darling!” beamed Samantha, “Living the fuckin’ dream. Aisha's having a party. C'mon.”

                                “Aisha?” inquired ‘Not Billy’, looking endearingly baffled, an expression that his new 
               friends would come to know well. Kirk, Samantha and Angelika replied in unison.    

                                “The one who dropped the baby on the Vogue shoot?”

              “Old butter fingers herself.” responded Kirk, grabbing Angelika’s sweaty paw and manhandling her off of the banquette and onto her teetering stiletto-shod feet to join Samantha and ‘Not Billy Idol.’

  Angelika then quietly whispered to Samantha. “I hate to be the one to break it to you my darling, but that's not him, you know. It’s definitely N.B.I” 

  Samantha shrugged insouciently,  “Like I care! I snogged Matt Dillon!”

               They both gave out a subtle whoop of triumph, as they had made a mutual pact several months previously after a particularly fevered viewing of Francis Ford Colppola’s ‘The Outsiders’  that Angelika would make it her life’s mission to snog actor, Rob Lowe and Samantha, Matt Dillon.       
 
                “The dream indeed. One down,” grinned Angelika, “one to go. Onwards and upwards….”       
     
                And with that, the swaying but fantastically attired group headed towards the staircase, out onto Fourteenth Street and into a waiting yellow cab which whisked them off into the potentially choppy waters of Alphabet City…..








Chapter One: Ocho Rios, Jamaica 1982 continued...


                  Back at the hotel, silent tears of amusement flowed down Angelika’s face as Peter replayed their adventure. She exhaled ganja smoke and passed him the joint. His fingers shook as he nervously grabbed the spliff.

                                  “It was not fucking funny, Angelika.” he said, toking hard and coughing painfully in the process. Angelika and Sophie burst out laughing and Raphael, who was furiously chopping out long rails of coke on an upturned hotel mirror, suddenly leapt up.  
                   
                                  “No, man I'm telling you, it was fucking in..cred..ib..le...He goes like this..” he points his fingers, “and they all...poof...back off! No shit!”

                 Peter snorted a line from the mirror while checking out his diminishing hairline then he stood, puffed out his flabby chest and cocked his gun-hands. 
                  
                 “True. I'm the fucking man! Say hello to my little friend, suckers!”

                 Peter passed the mirror and a rolled up banknote to Angelika, who eyed it suspiciously.

                 "This is wet, Peter? What's with the wet note? Drooling uncontrollably again?"

                 Peter shrugged, “Fucking humidity. Even the coke melts.” 

                 Angelika calmly walked to the mini-bar, found a drinking straw and professionally snipped it into thirds. She then snorted a line and passed it to Sophie who was still giggling inanely. Raphael started pacing, evidently freaked out by this piece of late-breaking news.

                 “Wet? The coke gets wet? What the fuck are we going to do, man? This is the shit problem, man...Turn the air conditioning on, rapido!”

                 Sophie hoovered up a line and passed the mirror to Raphael. 

                 “Relax, darling, come here...” she breathed. Raphael, ever obedient when it came to sex, snarfed the biggest line and dutifully sat with Sophie; they then proceeded to devour each other.

                 Angelika and Peter shared an uncomfortable glance and Angelika took another hit off the joint. Long moments passed, as she heard Sophie and Raphael’s tongues slapping together and her stomach churned. She realized that she hadn’t consumed any solid food in hours. Angelika breathed deeply and closed her eyes. Suddenly, she didn’t feel so great; her heart was pounding. She was way too fucking high. 

                 Angelika opened her eyes. Peter was chopping out yet another set of fat white rails. Sophie and Raphael were staring intently at her, both emanating a disquieting predatory demeanor. Who were these people? Angelika tried in vain to control her rising panic.

                 Sophie alluringly patted the seat next to her. “Are you okay, darling? Come over here...”  Angelika blinked her dry eyes and looked hard at Sophie and weasel boy. She felt extremely vulnerable.   
                  
                 “I'm cool really, no problem.”  Peter noisily snorted another line and sucked it back with gusto. He then handed the smeared mirror to Angelika.

                 “Angel! Have another line! That'll set you straight.”

                 Angelika shook her head and shakily got up from the bed. “That's enough excitement for one night, guys. Think I'd better get some sleep.”

                 The others found this statement an absolute riot. Raphael eyed her knowingly.

                 “You'll be lucky....if you're lonely, cara, you know where to find us. Room 101 for non-stop fun.” He laughed maniacally at his brilliant joke and blew at her what was evidently supposed to be a suggestive kiss.

                 Angelika smiled weakly as she edged towards the door.

                 “’Night. See you in the morning. 7 am call, right?” Angelika closed the door behind her and fled down the corridor towards the haven of air conditioned calm that was her hotel room.

Raphael was right about something, there was no fucking way that Angelika could sleep and she lay in bed sweating miserably, her heart threatening to burst through her chest. Every night sound was amplified a thousand-fold; especially the resonant basso profundo of the incongruously tiny fucking tree frogs.

                 She obsessively replayed the evening in her head. Angelika could still feel all of their dilated, vulpine eyes boring into her. She shifted her position in the sweat-soaked sheets and wished again that Athena was here to talk her down. But her sister would be so disappointed with her. Everyone would. What was she doing? Almost gang raped by lust-crazed policemen then narrowly avoiding a menage a’ trois with a pair of decadent Euro Trash? Well she’d asked for it, hadn’t she?  She hadn’t wanted a dull evening.

                 Suddenly, there was a strangely new and unnatural noise coming from outside the window. Angelika crept under the bedsheets, hoping desperately that whatever it was would lose interest and go away. She held her breath and squeezed her eyes shut, deciding to adopt the ostrich approach.

                 It didn’t lose interest.

                 “Darling, are you OK? Can I come in and help you get to sleep? I’ll sing you a lullaby.” It was Peter calling from the balcony next door.

                 Angelika breathed out in irritated relief, “No, bugger off Peter, really I’m fine.”

                 “Are you sure, Angel? It’s no bother, I can climb right over.”  He then attempted to do so, somehow managing to shatter a glass in the process.

                 “Fuck.” said Peter, this rapidly followed by a muffled yelp of pain.

                 “Thanks, Peter, but I really must sleep.” squeaked Angelika, who was now fighting escalating hysteria.

                 “OK, see you in the morning, then.” A moribund Peter then crashed back over to his side of the dividing wall.

                 Angelika tossed over onto her right side, facing away from the offending balcony and sighed resignedly; it would be dawn soon, she was going to look just fabulous tomorrow. Or rather today. Her door handle suddenly rattled. Jesus, that was quick, she thought. Angelika sat up, pissed.

                 “Oh come on, Peter. I’m not interested, give it a rest. Please let me get some sleep!”

                 “No, darling, it’s Sophie. Raphael and I were just wondering if you’d like to come out and play with us. You must be awfully lonely in there.” Sophie! Angelika was incredulous. Christ! Since when had she become the one person in Jamaica that everybody was just desperate to shag?

                 “Sophie, that’s really nice of you both, but I’m knackered. I’ll see you in ..tomorrow. Er, later. Okay?”

                 Desperate whispering ensued. “Darling...” Sophie was obviously trying to placate her delightful new boyfriend. 

                 “Raphael will simply not take no for an answer.”

                 “Soph, he’ll have to,” replied Angelika, “I mean it. Have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Trust me, that gives you plenty of leeway.”

                 Then Angelika dramatically thrust a pillow over her head as Sophie stumbled off into the gathering dawn to sample exotic and possibly illicit physical pleasures.

 At 7 am sharp, Angelika, ever the consummate professional, was dressed in black RayBan Wayfarers and ripped 501 Levis and was slouched by the location van that was parked in front of the hotel. She was smoking a Marlboro and desperately trying to hide her mounting paranoia and blearly eyes behind a veil of practiced insouciance. Two other models, nice clean-living girls from Manchester, girls who’d had the requisite eight hours sleep, and who were already seated inside the van expertly applying make up while yakking animatedly about last night’s phonecalls from their respective car-dealer boyfriends, while Angelika silently prayed for some blessed respite from her pounding cranium.

                Angelika couldn’t exactly see herself joining in on that conversation, so she lit another cigarette from the dog-end of the first and then watched immobile as Peter’s asthmatic assistant, Mike wheezingly loaded heavy silver metal camera cases into the back of the minivan.

                Then the French stylist, a cool and efficient bitch named Joelle, huffily appeared pushing a rail of garishly hued and decidedly flammable polyester catalogue clothing towards the van. On arrival, she did a silent head count and then glanced pointedly at her Cartier tank watch.

                “Where the fuck are they? Assholes.”

                Angelika shrugged in response as she was incabable of actual speech just yet. At that, Peter hastily exited the hotel’s main doors and ran tripping and sweating up to the van, while frantically buttoning up his sodden shirt. Angelika noticed that he was already sniffing loudly and she surreptitously rubbed her nose, hoping that Peter would get the semaphore message as his nostrils were caked with an encrusted white powder.

                “Breakfast of champions,” he mouthed at Angelika, “Right! Sorry everyone. All here? Good, let’s go.” He then inelegantly leapt into the driver’s seat of the van and proceeded to start the engine.

                Angelika took a seat behind Peter and quietly whispered to him, “Sophie’s not here. Sleep well, did we?”

                “Ha, ha, ha, very funny. I'll go get her.”  At that, Peter painfully fell out of the van, hurriedly righted himself and then shuffled off down a path towards the patio of an ocean view room that was situated on the ground floor of the hotel.

                Peter arrived breathlessly outside room 101 with his enlarged pores leaking stale alcohol. He suddenly caught sight of his depraved reflection in the glass sliding door and realized, not for the first time that he really ought to get some sleep at some point during the ‘80’s. He wiped his nose and then he ran his shaking fingers through his insane hair.

                The curtains were drawn tight as Peter rapped upon the glass. There was no response, so he tried again.

                “Sophie? Darling?” mewled Peter weakly.

                Not a sound was forthcoming from within. Peter tried to force the patio door but he found that it was already open. He gingerly slid it wide enough to let himself through, entered the hotel room and then he gasped as all the remaining blood drained from his already pallid complexion. Peter felt faint.

                Room 101 was a charnel house; it was brick red with dried blood. Two lifeless bodies lay entangled in the blood-soaked sheets; bloody hand prints patterned the walls and bloody clothing was twisted obscenely on the palm-frond patterned carpet.

                “Jesus Christ, no...” gulped Peter in bereft horror, simultaneously wondering how he was ever going to explain this shit to the clients back home.

                Suddenly, one of the bodies moved....a bloody but beatific Sophie blinked up at him. 
“Peter, darling, close the curtains, would you? Awfully fucking bright...”

                Peter didn’t know whether to kiss her or strangle her.  “Sophie, what the.. fuck?”

                Sophie looked bemusedly around at the blood-bath that was her room. 

                “Oh shit...that's right. Got the bloody curse, didn't I, darling?” 

                Peter retched. “Just get it together, will you, please?”

                “We’ll join you there in just a minute...” smiled Sophie, languidly stretching her magnificent and bloodstained naked torso. Peter then tripped over a bloody Maud Frizon sandal and fled the carnage.


                  Angelika sat by the pellucid pool at the expensively calm Jamaica Inn watching Peter and Mike set up the camera and tripod near some lush, shady foliage. It was bone-strippingly hot for 8.00 am. A white-gloved waiter appeared at her side with a black coffee in fine white china. She smiled gratefully and took it from him. After a few gulps of the strong Jamaican brew, she began to feel marginally more alert. Angelika fished in her purse for her cigarettes and shakily popped one in her mouth.

                   “Light, cara?” It was Raphael, who had mysteriously materialised from somewhere in the direction of the poolside bathroom. He was snuffling and scratching twitchily at his unshaven face. Angelika nodded, as she was in no position to argue. Raphael then proceeded to produce a box of matches from out of his too tight jeans’ pocket and clumsily opened it to reveal several pale green and aqua capsules that were nestled amongst the matches.

                   “Quaalude, Angel?” slimed Raphael, meaningfully.

                 Angelika eyed him, incredulously. “Bit early for me, thanks, Raphael. Maybe after lunch, si?”  This guy was a fucking machine.

                 “Where’s Sophie?” she continued. Oh please God let him remember he has a girlfriend, thought Angelika, just for a couple of minutes.  Raphael then indicated the pristine, open air Jacuzzi and Angelika tentatively looked over.

                 Sophie, who was dressed in a blood-soaked and transparent gauze nightgown was singing along to her Sony Walkman while elegantly attempting to wash the blood stains from off of her long tanned limbs.

                “She ees so hot, no?” said Raphael admiringly, while subconsciously touching his dick.

                Angelika's mouth dropped open.