the pearl


Whisper whisper whisper and all the cats stare at me with wide unblinking eyes, gossiping amongst themselves in a tongue they think I cannot understand. But I do and I know and I hear their scratchy-tongued voices on the wind telling everyone who I am.

"Poor lamb," they purr to each other. "Poor little lamb with no daddy to care for her..."

No daddy for ages now, and the glow of the fires and the taste of gypsy is almost gone, replaced by American blood and American bones. They stick to my little fingers and stick on my lips and all I can taste is them.

Daddy's gone and now Grandmummy's gone and left poor little kitten all alone. My Sweet William, my petal, my poet of destruction... He wants to be called Spike now, and wears torn clothing and sharp metal bits around his neck.

They press into me when we are together. They hurt. I like it.

But William-Spike is not a daddy nor a mummy, and I cry in my doll girl pillow of satin and flesh and when I pray to Jesus and Mary and all the little saints in a row, pray for someone to save me, she appears knock knock knocking at my door.

The kittens are mumbling and they whisper her name with terror in their hearts. "Halfrek," with their eyes gleaming in the moonlight. "Halfrek, saviour of children, devourer of souls, precious sainted Halfrek."

She smiles and waves and sits on the bed. Stars shine on her body and over her face and as she opens her mouth, stars slip from her, sparking onto me in flashes of heat and silver. She croons and holds and tells me tales, beautiful tales of revenge and glory...things that can only happen if I wish. I wish I may I wish I might and the stars bright bright bright with light gleam as I crawl next to her on the bed and begin to count the stars.

She is two people — no — there is another woman here and she glows of golden stars and the kittens call her Anyanka and when she pulls Halfrek aside, they are constellations fighting flash flash flash as they shift and turn, constellations dancing in anger and rage and up and down over and over.

"Hallie, they're not her real parents — it's definitely my catch."

"No, Ahn, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. D'hoffryn said that I was to answer the wish of any child. Even if it's child-with-an-e."

"Fine, but this is seriously going to bite you on the ass. And after I spent all that time getting us into 54 for you to just disappear on me..." She touches her and there's gold mixed with the silver on the beautiful daughter of vengeance, the daughter of death. Gold stars and silver stars and singing galaxies on her bosoms and hips and thighs.

Halfrek smiles silver sparkling star sharp smiles and when Anyanka flashes away in an explosion of fire-gold, she leaves golden stars on the floor — an entire galaxy against dolls and silks and they sing to me as they always do.

"Make a wish," they sing. "Make a wish upon a star, doesn't matter what you are everything your heart desires Halfrek will bring to you... Wish. Wish. Wish."

She smiles expectant silver starlight, waiting for me to give birth to the wish Wish. Wish. Wish. Make a single wish. and I pull her towards me, counting each and every little beautiful star upon her and I mutter and snarl and moan out the story of me and Sweet William and Daddy and Grandmummy and precious children in red velvet jackets and razor-nail-sharp smiles across their necks. Of how even the kittens turn away from me and the spikes on WilliamSpike poke into me there, there, and there, and when she starts moving against me, I tell her of Angel-Angelus-Daddy and how he put it in me and how he took me and pruned me like the rose he said I was and everything spun around and around and then he was gone and she was gone and she was here in my arms with the stars shining against me.

She writhes against me and spits out my name and I'm covered in stars I'm a galaxy all my own with the stars singing all my names and her shouting and I squeeze my eyes tight tight tight and touch the star that sings right there and





This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at