In a far a way time (1980’s) in a land where pirates roamed the earth (well the UK club scene)

SPUNK! Chapter 1 (An 80's musical novel, inspired by past events…with plenty of poetic license).


Me and Vanessa are going to be famous, I mean really famous. Not like Toyah or Duran Duran, they’re just one hit wonders. More like David Bowie cause he sings and acts and loves dressing up and wearing make-up. He’s in that new film The Hunger, where he plays a vampire and goes to Heaven that nightclub in London with his girlfriend, and Bauhaus are playing. Catherine Deneuve is thousands of years old but you’d never know and looks really chic in big shoulder pads and smokes French cigarettes. Anyway they drink people’s blood and she becomes a lesbian behind a load of wafting net curtains…it’s really good. Anyway what I’m trying to say is that I want to do it all, be an actor, a pop star, dance and go to all the best clubs in London.

When we’re both dressed up, me and Vanessa, and we’re in town just minding are own business, walking down Briggate say or down near the Penny or Mucky Duck, everyone stares. Even those two that work in Mode turn their heads, he’s totally checking us out that Andy whatsit the manager. As if! He’s nearly thirty. There’s some great clothes in the shop though, they’ve got brilliant designers like Foundry and Bodymap and Vivienne Westwood. Boy George and them from Bow Wow Wow and Adam and the Ants, wear ’em and they’re in all the magazines.

Mostly though it’s just the boring old fuckers that stare. They’ve got the cheek to look at us. What do they look like? They just don’t get us. It’s about being an individual, not just being like everyone else — boring.

I’m like David Sylvian, I am, everyone says so. Even that DJ at the Radio 1 roadshow said. He told everyone on air to come down to the beach at Bridlington to see this totally spit version of the lead singer of Japan. Everyone there just turned and stared. It was great. I’m not too ‘fragile to fuck’ though; some sad journalist in a mucky old bedsit wrote that about David Sylvian, leave him alone. I usually wear three pleated trousers or jodhpurs, a shirt and skinny tie, or ruffled collar with my David Sylvian blonde fringe and sometimes blusher. I found this great gold sparkly eye shadow, just like he’s got on the cover of one of their 12-inches. It’s a bugger to get off for school though.

Vanessa’s more Siouxsie or Lena Lovich with a bit of Page 3 added, up top. She’s had boobs every since I can remember and known her since juniors. I’ve seen lads, and teachers talk to her chest, she hates it so she always covers them up.

I made that dress she’s got on, it’s an old bed sheet but you’d never know. It took bloody ages to paint that Japanese writing on god knows what it says, we got it from a book. We pissed ourselves laughing thinking what it could say, we just keep out of the way of anyone that looks a bit Oriental, just in case. Some people think’s Vanessa’s a bit heavy handed with the black eyeliner and crimpers, but I think she looks totally ace.

The town centre is always busy on a Saturday, but we’ve come to see ‘the girls.’ As we pass Leeds Market we hear ‘Soft Cell, Tainted Love,’ from the haberdashers with that woman who’s trapped in the 60’s. She’s had the same make-up on since then as well and I think there’s birds nesting in that beehive, its as big a she is. Me and Vanessa love Soft Cell. Sex Dwarf is my favourite. Tainted Love is all right. We know the words and don’t care, so we join in at the top of our voices,

Tainted love, woooah. Don’t touch me please I cannot stand the way you teeeeeeaaseeee.’

Heads turn. A chip butty monster, two fat slags with two fat sprogs and two old dears with lilac rinses gawp. Any more make up and hairspray on the old women and they could be in a Steve Strange video.

‘Do you want a picture?’ pouts Vanessa pretending to be offended by their stares, but she loves it really.

I tut, ‘I know. Have I got a green head or something?’

My stripe of pink blusher catches the light as I glare at the old women as if to say how dare you look us up and down, and yet I’m also expecting it. I love being looked at…mostly.

‘Ey! Come on, the ‘girls’ will be finished by now.

‘Yes, they had some business to do!’ adds Vanessa for the benefit of the old ladies, making us sound like we’re posh or have important friends.

For a second the women think they’ve got it wrong about us and whisper. One even try’s to smile but her false teeth are rickety in her mouth so she thinks again.

Then Vanessa blurts,

‘How long can it take to suck off a dirty old pervert?’

Their already wrinkled and crusty powdered faces implode like they were sucking on lemons and pull on each other’s arms and scurry off dragging their baskets on wheels.

We piss ourselves laughing.

‘Did you see their faces?’

Vanessa’s attention is quickly taken elsewhere she salivates and digs me in the ribs with her elbow

‘Photographer!’

I follow her eyes on stalks and outside Wimpey’s a photographer clicks away at a couple of scruffy punks. I think I saw them in the Phonographique earlier, rocking like mental patients to The Clash. Soon as I see the camera I salivate too. She grabs my arm and we hone in, like cats after a sparrow. The photographer finishes with the mental mohawk’s and jots something down in his notepad.

Then from nowhere I see Simon. FUCK!

I wheeze, ‘Simon Mason!’ through the side of my mouth like old chain smoker and yank Vanessa into the nearest doorway.

‘JONATHAN!’

‘Simon bloody Mason shhh! And that Mark Finn,’ I say checking round the doorframe.

Vanessa’s pissed off ’cause the photographer is now chatting to a couple of rockabillies with brothel creepers, quiffs and greasy ducks arses.

Mark is Simon’s so called best friend, he’s a pair of national health specs short of being a ginger spaz. Simon and me are friends too, kind of. He’s in the same rugby team I play for as well.

‘Have they gone?’ I ask meaning Simon and Mark, still pinning myself into the corner of the doorway trying to mind the layered streaks of wee up the wall.

‘Yes and so is our chance of getting our picture taken now.’ Vanessa pouts, her overdrawn lips the colour of Black Jacks. ‘I thought you didn’t care who saw you dressed like that?’

‘I don’t!’

But not Simon, he’s not seen me like this before. He crosses the road with his little Yorkshire Terrier friend scampering behind. Relieved I escape from the shadows and stench slipping beside Vanessa, hiding behind her left boob just in case he looks around. She’s momentarily fantasizing about a pair of black spike heeled tukka boots in a shop window before we hear,

‘Hallo!’ with a heavy German accent. ‘ I am making photographs for ze magazine ‘New Sounds, New Styles,’ you have heard yes?’

We turn to be faced with the photographer all anemic cheekbones and black turtle neck jumper.

‘Yeah!’

Of course we’ve heard of the magazine, who the hell does he think we are? I think it’s better than The Face, it’s brilliant, full of New Romantics and fab people.

‘Do you like if I…?’ he flashes his big lens at us.

We play coy at first, shocked that he would want to take our picture and then seconds later we’re pouting into the camera like David Sylvian and Siouxsie Sioux.

‘Ya!… Ist gut…Ya!’

He snaps away excitedly. Vanessa leans into me giving the photographer her ‘Egyptian Queen’ profile, she’s really got the look down. Our friend Miss Leeds taught us all the modeling poses. Miss Leeds is one of the ‘girls.’

Two teens in ra-ra skirts with perms and lads in Farrah’s and mullets stop and stare.

‘We are going to be SO famous Jonathan,’ she says nearly peeing herself with excitement.

She’s right.

The photographer’s enthusiasm suddenly fades, he lowers his camera and his eyes dart over his glasses behind me. My sixth sense kicks in, it’s finely tuned to circumstances that might lead me to having to dodge verbal abuse, spit or find my feet inches off the ground with a hand around my throat… it works for general jobs in the house like any washing-up too. I glance over my shoulder and my head springs back giving the photographer my ‘rabbit in headlights’ look.

‘Fucking Service Crew Vanessa!’

Her head spins to see a gang of Casuals in Lacoste, Fred Perry, Pringle and mean scowls swaggering down the street, parting the gathering crowds like Moses with a tail comb.

‘Shit a brick!’

The photographer doesn’t like the look either and darts into a tobacco and pipe shop. Then it dawns on me, where we are.

‘The ‘girls’ flat,’ I say relieved, pointing a few doors down, ‘Quick.’

We run. The yobs follow. Outside ‘the girls’ peeling front door, I press the bell praying this time it works. It does.

The Neanderthals in pink and lemon lumber closer. With arms raised like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever but without the hips, they chant,

We are the Leeds, we are the Leeds,’

‘The ‘girls’ flat or should I say ‘pokey-hole of a bedsit’ is fantastic, it’s dead in the middle of town and easy for work. The building they live in is condemned but the ‘girls’ have got squatters rights so they’re not budging.

With the all-male vocal choir getting closer we panic, eyes like lasers looking up two floors and praying. Finally Miss Leeds hangs her sleek blonde bob out of the window, lowering us the key on a string.

‘Come on Miss Leeds!’ we scream.

The lads are almost in spitting distance, which is about fifty feet but for some of them that’s a doddle for their well-formed greenies. They’re not all no-hopers some of them have real talent.

I grab the key, shove it in the lock and just in time we’re inside the damp and rank smelling hallway, the door between us and a tidal wave of testosterone. Another ‘We are the Leeds, we are the Leeds,’ rings out and a hammering of fist on the door to prove who’s boss. We shit ourselves and charge up the stairs two at a time.

Seconds later we explode through the door into Miss Leeds and Miss Wakefield’s bedsit, high on adrenaline. We sound like Pinky and Perky on fast-forward screeching about the ‘fucking Service Crew,’ but it’s not going to distract Miss Leeds from being the centre of attention. She’s draped herself across a chaise longue in a full-length gown, drawing hard on a cigarette. For a second our eyes dart quickly to the sight of a fat blob-of-a-man naked in the corner, his blue nylon underpants around his ankles. Miss Leeds knows she’s been upstaged but not for long, she brushes the dress aside, reveals a giraffe leg through the split to the crotch, and rocks her patent leather heels. A puff of smoke escapes from between her red lips, swathing herself in a soft blue hue and Hollywood mystery. Marlene Dietrich with a cock.

`Hiyaaaa! What do you think of me dress?’ she says with the strongest of Yorkshire accents and pitch just above shrieking dogs fucking. We’re both stunned by Leedsie’s ‘look’ it’s out of this world.

Miss Leeds can be a mouthful so we sometimes call her Leedsie, and Miss Wakefield just Wakefield. They call each other ‘girrrrl’ and occasionally we get called girl too, usually with a pout for added effect.

‘Walk on the Wild Side,’ by Lou Reed plays on a portable record player, the tinny sound adds to the perfect balance of glamor, androgyny, mold and sleaze. Apparently this was the pokey hole that Marc Almond had written his single Bedsitter in. I’m sure I can still see the stains.

Vanessa and me are trying to get our breath back but the mottled pink whale in the corner of the room let’s out a moan and draws our attention again. The back of a naked wall of flesh with clumps of hair where there shouldn’t be makes me gag. Even though we can’t see her, we know Miss Wakefield is the hidden talented businesswoman on her knees. A hand with purple talons appears from behind the wall of blubber, like Nosferatu awakening from a coffin then haughtily waves to us like royalty before digging her nails into the multi-dimpled bum flesh.

Leedsie is bored and sighs, she rolls her eyes waiting for the whale to spunk-and-go then duets with Lou Reed doing her best Nico and Marlene impression.

‘But she never lost her head, even when she was giving head…

We’re not ones to let someone upstage us when it comes to performing either so Vanessa and me join in.

…’She said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side, and the coloured girls go, doo, do doo do doo do do do doo do do doooooo…’

We all scream in delight. Nosferatu’s hand waves for us to keep the noise down. Miss Leeds decides to speed things up a bit and like a cheap magic trick a riding crop appears from somewhere between her legs. ‘You’re a very naughty boy, aren’t you Malcolm?’ she enunciates every word sternly with a semi posh voice and a slap of leather in her hand.

‘Yes mistress,’ squeaks a trembling Scottish accent reverberating off the Jesus shaped mold staring down at him from the wall.

She slaps the crop hard on the chaise longue and gestures for us to join her and we sit either side enveloped by dust, only for her to jump up and swish her long frock, like a demented butterfly. We become an audience for her imaginary modeling shoot. We’re fascinated. Vanessa is new to all this gender bending, cock-in-a-frock-fashion stuff but she thinks its fab. Miss Leeds jerks and works her angles, posing her tall slim body, her blonde asymmetric bob flicking around her face.

Pose — ‘Christian Dior’

Pose — ’Yves St Laurent’

She us gave us her best face.

Recently the pair had gone to London and worked for two weeks solid, every night up Edgware Road, saving up all their money for black market hormones and excruciating electrolysis, ‘beauty is pain’ they’re always saying. I can’t see any knockers yet though, she said up to three months before they start to show.

Leedsie hits another model pose, a cross between a Page Three dolly bird and a gnome with a fishing rod; the riding crop comes in handy.

Pose, ‘Littlewoods Catalogue.’

‘Vanessa and me laugh. Her eyes widen and her grin becomes even wider, she says it’s to represent the right amount of commercial pretty but reflecting the madness of the industry, which comes from all the girls popping blues and laxatives to stay slim. Beauty is pain. Shame we don’t learn all this in Home Economics.

Wakefield peers from behind the whale, she looks exhausted, she’s got a right sweat on her, and one of her false eyelashes has slipped, looking like she’s had a stroke. She’s another gender bender, but less about trying to achieve female beauty more about looking like a neon alien crossed with a dancer at the Rio Carnival… She waves Leedsie over, who stomps to the dirty-corner morphing into ‘Mistress’ again and slaps the blubber with the crop, once, twice, three times, I lost count, as she punctuate each slap,

‘You’re a dirty…

mucky…

fucking…

fat…

fucking…

PERVERT!’

Me and Vanessa absolutely piss ourselves laughing, but that only seems to add to the whales humiliation, which seems to do the trick.

‘Hhhuuh!…Hhhuh!…Hhhuuuh!…Hhhhuuuuuuuuuugggggghhhhhhhh!’

Vanessa gags.

It’s a bit like watching an operation on telly, you’re feeling sick but just you can’t look away. Anyway what did Vanessa think was going to be the ending, ‘and they all lived happily ever after?’ I think somehow we were all part of his sick fantasy and we might as well have all been on our knees. Gag!

A minute or two later Wakefield is re-applying purple metallic lipstick, the whale is dressed and pushing his fat belly into his trousers and zipping up his fly. The room is now awkwardly quiet except for the hum of sex and sweat and mold spores in the air and the opening few bars of No GDM by Gina X.

Miss Leeds re-appears from behind a tattered Japanese screen in a different Hollywood inspired floaty gown. Then from nowhere the whale gets some balls and makes a run for it, he flings open the bedsit door and Miss Wakefield screams,

‘Grab him, he ‘ant paid me yet.’

Vanessa and me jump up and follow, she grabs his tweed jacket, but he squirms away and I dive, straight into the back of his legs and tackle him onto the mucky threadbare carpet. Leedsie and Wakefield jump on him, shrieking!

‘Woooooooooo!’ Then riding him like a horse.

‘Girl, when you said you played rugby I thought it was just an excuse to get in the bath with all them big lads,’ says Miss Leeds drooling.

Rugby is dad’s idea, to make me into a man, but I’m quite good at.

The whale struggles underneath with the weight of us all. Miss Wakefield pulls off her stiletto and threatens him with the heel.

‘Maybe you want to see what it’s like sucking on three inches?

He stops struggling and she fishes out his wallet and takes out two ten-pound notes.

‘One for the lipstick on your knob, and one for the extra’s.’

‘I didn’t have any exxxxtras,’ he protests with his Scottish twang.

‘We don’t sit on fat men for free y’know.’

‘You get now’t for free love…

except crabs,’ added Miss Leeds.

We all piss ourselves laughing the whale judders beneath us.

‘Happy body hair,’ a raspy voice comes from the whale. He can barely breathe so we get off him.

‘What?’

‘What?’ Wakefield pokes him with her talon. ‘Happy what?’

‘It’s what it says on her dress, happy body hair, well that bit there.’

He points at Vanessa’s dress and the Japanese calligraphy.

Miss Wakefield shrieks with laughter, ‘Happy body hair?’ Miss Leeds joins in ‘Happy body hair!’

Me and Vanessa don’t believe him but Miss Wakefield said it must be true ’cause he’s some professor of languages at the University.


I hope you enjoyed reading. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are available here on Medium if you’d like to read the rest of the novel, support me and become a patron, you can find Chpater 3 + here at patreon.com and lots more of my writing too. Feel free to leave a comment people.

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