‘Why did I agree to this again’ I mutter as my friend Lucy continues to pull at the hair on my scalp.
‘Because you work too much, never get out, the tickets were free and also I am using you as a guinea pig’ she replies. Again.
I huff in resignation and look at myself in the small vanity mirror, trying and failing to see what my so called friend is doing to my hair that hurts so much.
I can’t begrudge her really, she is working towards being a make-up and costume artist and so takes every opportunity to out-do her peers. Consequently despite my lack of interest in hair, makeup and clothes in general for special events Lucy always makes sure I’m dressed to impress. For Halloween she tends to go all out and I do remember liking her last few creations, especially the Day of the Dead get up from last year.
So today’s event is no exception and has been 6 weeks in the making.
Scrolling through my phone I try and pinpoint exactly where in our recent text exchange I agreed to this particular brand of punishment.
Hi, guess what?!
I have gotten a pair of tickets for you for you know what
EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3
Haha, glad you approve. Who are you going to take?
You duh. You did the work for them
You sure, you know I’m not in to all that
What Music? Festivals? Having a social life?
What would I wear, that place is like living Instagram feed
Leave that to me :)
Only if you promise nothing too crazy, and I don’t want to be baring too much flesh
Shush, you have a gorgeous figure. You should show it off more
Thank you but I’m still serious, no bikinis
Or Crop tops
Ok… will you tell me what you are planning then?
I hate you
Clicking my phone screen off I notice that the pulling has stopped and now what I can only describe as the smothering has begun. I can hear various pots and tubs of goodness only knows being opened on the vanity behind me and using a mixture of sponges, brushes and fingers Lucy begins spreading the mysterious, but very nice smelling, things on my hair and face.
I rest my head back and just enjoy being pampered and preened for a change. Lucy is right, I do work a lot at my job as a risk planner but then I do love it. Specialising in large scale events, arenas or anywhere with a large foot flow I get to make the most of my natural worrying nature, whilst enjoying the travel and exposure to some truly great venues and sights in the process.
It was my work planning for this event that landed me with a complimentary pair of tickets. I normally don’t ask as many of the events I consult on aren’t to my taste but when I mentioned working for this Festival Lucy begged. And begged. And begged again until I relented and asked one of the organisers.
All my actual work at the site had wrapped up last week as I conducted last minute checks of the safety procedures we had put in place, I was confident we had planned for any and all eventualities that may occur, most usually did in some regard. A bit of overcrowding in one area, the odd drunken fight or overindulging reveller passing out were all common occurrences. But my speciality lay in planning and preparing for the big issues, acts of god, bomb threats and the like that thankfully were very rare and had yet to make an appearance at any event I had consulted on.
Lucy cuts in to my contemplation ‘Stop worrying Amalthea’ she enunciates my full name in that teasing tone, knowing I hate it. ‘I can see it on your face. You will get frown lines where I’m putting your make up on’
‘I wasn’t worrying’ I start but Lucy gives me a quick glare over my shoulder ‘Well not about anything important anyways. I’m worrying about what I’ve agreed to. I can see the no bikini rule didn’t apply to you’ saying this I glance sideways to gesture to what my friend is wearing. She is resplendent in glitter of all shades blue and green. Her short blonde hair has been covered by an impressive wig in the same colourings as her body glitter. Her petite and athletic frame only has a blue bikini top covering her torso and fishtail sarong type skirt in green over her legs. The whole ensemble is covered in shells of various sizes, all painted to match the theme with metallic and glitter in complementary shades. To top it off is a beautiful shell crown somehow affixed to the wig, I knew without looking just how many hairpins she must have in to keep the enormous thing strapped in place.
‘Well how many mermaids do you see in turtlenecks hmm?’
I laugh despite my fake irritation. ‘Turtles are mermaid’s friends though, that would be like you wearing your Schmooples as a hat’ Lucy lets out a mock outraged noise at the implied threat to her precious feline friend but ignores my ramblings and continues working. The smothering has stopped and now the sticking of accessories and false lashes has commenced.
‘Besides, you still haven’t given me any hints as to what I’m wearing and I tell you now that if you try and force me into the same thing you are wearing I will revolt and put a hoody on’
‘Such little trust! This is why Schmooples doesn’t like you’
Laughing again I have to agree with her, but then I always was more of a dog person. Schmooples and I had a mutual dislike of each other dating back to the ‘Great Stuck Up A Tree’ fiasco of 2016. Much as the name suggests whilst house sitting for Lucy during one of her residential courses said Cat got lost and I was too embarrassed to shout around the neighbourhood with that ridiculous name. 2 days later one of the neighbours reported her stuck up a tree and after much climbing of ladders and scratches was rescued by yours truly.
‘Schmooples doesn’t like me because I tell him to his face he has a ridiculous name’. I had told Lucy not to name her pet after a Dragon Age nug but seeing as she had just come off a 2 play through binge of Inquisition I couldn’t blame her. We both still loved gaming, not growing out of it when the rest of our friends had and a minimum 2 play through for most RPGs was essential. For our Inquisition runs this worked particularly well as Lucy was able to do most of the grind, thinking about those Hinterlands, whereas I’d just look up from my work or book when part of the story was progressing.
‘Right, outfit time! Did you remember to bring your good bra and pants?’ Trust Lucy to always remember the details.
‘Yes, although no one is going to see them so I’m not sure why you specified’ ‘Line’s my dear, you will spoil the lines’. I went behind the screen and unbuttoned my shirt and jeans, and waited for the delivery of the mystery clothes for today’s event. After a minute of rustling a slip of multi-coloured fabric… that looked alarmingly like Lycra was thrust round the edge of the screen.
‘You must be joking, it’s a morph suit!’
‘It is not a morph suit, I would not have spent an hour and half on your hair and makeup to cover it up. Just put it on pleaseeeeee’
I sigh and undo the long zip at the back of the ‘cat’ not ‘morph’ suit. At least I understood what my dear friend meant by lines now. Zipping up the suit as far as I could on my own I hesitantly stepped out from behind the screen.
Lucy smirked and got me turn around so she could do up the zip. At the same time she strapped some more accessories across my torso and on to my arms and began pinning something to the top of my head, just above my hairline.
‘Finally, you can look in the mirror now’ she stated whilst still fluffing and fiddling with various bits on my apparel.
Taking a deep breath I headed over to the corner of the room where the floor length mirror stood, Lucy really had outdone herself this time.
My suit was a skin-tight rainbow of pastel pinks and purples with the odd blush of silver and white sparkles to break the bold colours up. My face had similar colours working down from the hairline, but blending in with my natural pale skin tone so I didn’t look like a berry flavoured Oompa Loompa. There were also a number of stick on jewels across my forehead and on the tops of my cheeks complementing the jems and jewels that featured on the multiple bangles and extravagant body chain, which ended in a fake hair tail.
The colours on my face blended seamlessly into my hair, which had been pulled back tight to my scalp and was a riot of matching colours and glitter. My hair itself had been braided down the centre of my head, with long pieces falling out of the braid that had been straightened and given the same colour treatment. My hair was long so the whole affect did look a lot like a horse’s mane, a very colourful mane with almost none of my brunette showing through.
Finally atop my head stuck out a single horn, twisted in silver wire, surrounded by Jewels and flowers to make any attachment appear invisible.
It was amazing.
‘Bloody hell, you should be doing work for Guillermo Del Toro’
‘You like it then?’
I beamed at Lucy in the mirror ‘I love it’ I turned slightly again barely recognising myself in my reflection ‘I’m a mother fucking Unicorn!’
We got to the festival site around 12, set up our tent and quickly decided upon who and what we were seeing during the day. Lucy was off to catch some of the breaking artists at the small Indie tent and I was going to head over to the vintage area for a quick shop before agreeing to meet back at half 3.
I had a brief feeling of embarrassment, thinking that my outfit had probably gone too extreme, especially with the matching glitter Hi-Top trainers and back pack, but after a glance around felt more settled. No one was going to be looking at me or for me and so pushing my shoulders back I headed off to the Vintage field, sparkling as I went.
I had always been a bit of an addict when it came to buying old jewellery and accessories. I struggled to find vintage clothes that fit, my tall and curvy frame wasn’t really catered for in the early 20th century so instead made do with just wearing small pieces that really stood out to me.
Browsing one of the jewellery stalls something caught my eye. It was an unassuming silver necklace on a long chain, with an unusual cube pendant and square purple stone in the centre. The shade was something similar to Amethyst but seemed to have the pearlescent look of Opal, it didn’t stand out compared to the other more extravagant costume pieces on the stall but I still felt compelled to buy it.
Looking at the price I continued the justification in my mind, the stone is unusual and it matches what I’m wearing today. With that thought I paid the vendor and put my necklace and purse back into my backpack for later.
I decided to stop by the tent as said glittery backpack although fine for the first half of the day would be a bit cumbersome down by the music fields later on. Lucy and I had arranged a specific meet up place away from crowds so I knew I wouldn’t need my phone to find her, most of the drinks stalls now scanned your festival wristband so I didn’t need my purse either. About to close it my new wrapped necklace fell out of the bag and I unwrapped to take another look at it.
I felt a humming in the air of the tent as I looked at the necklace ‘must be one of the bands bass turned up a bit high’ I thought to myself whilst still staring.
The stone really did match my outfit so without another thought I slipped it over my head.
The air in the tent began to thicken as if before a lightning storm and suddenly a blueish green crackling light filled the air. I tried to scramble backwards out of the tent but my hand didn’t find the floor, instead I fell through into nothingness.