Chapter 1: The End
It felt like the end of the world. Ooh-lala's bleary eyes surveyed the dark street, the dirty slush splashing as the huddled people walked quickly to try and escape the cold. How futile. She took another drag of her cigarette, watching as the smoke drifted upwards. The stars were obscured by dirty clouds, as if even the heavens had forsaken them. She took one last pull on her cigarette to warm her lungs and threw it on the ground. She looked across street towards Club Merlotte, the cold slush soaking through her black high heels. She suddenly strode across the road, her heels never faltering on the slick pavement. Ten steps forward and a cab turned a corner and rushed towards her, breaks screaming. She didn't flinch as the cab stopped less than an inch from her leg. She leaned onto the car hood, glaring at the blonde driver inside. One who was wearing sunglasses at night. Cute. It was nights like this that made you wish cigarettes lived up to their warning labels. Ooh-lala pushed off the cab while muttering under her breath, and continued into the dank interior of the Club.
She looked around the smoke filled room, even the drunks seemed more morose than usual. Its pseudo 1930's décor seemed sad and tired, as if it really had been around for 80 years. She took off her coat revealing a slinky red dress, clinging to her sturdy figure and handed to a Ben, dressed in pathetic version of a zoot suit.
"You're late again," Ben murmured under his breath, "Pike is going to give you so much shit."
Ooh-lala shrugged her shoulders, her attitude clearly portraying that nothing Pike could do could possibly matter. She strode to the bar, sat on a stool and lit up another cigarette. She pushed her thick white hair out of her face and glared at the bartender. He glared back, crossing his arms defiantly across his chest.
"I'm not going to give you a drink," he growled, his voice even more menacing than his expression.
"If you don't give me drink Charlie, I'll snap you neck," Ooh-lala continued to glare at him, leaning forward on the bar.
Charlie tried to continue to stare, but his mouth began to twitch. Finally, he chuckled. He poured a glass of Jack Daniels and slid it across the bar.
"This isn't because I'm scared of you," he explained, "It's because you have cleavage."
"Baby, that's why you are so afraid," Ooh-lala threw back the whisky, enjoying the burn as ran down her throat. She looked around the room again, spying her pig of a boss hurrying toward her.
"Charlie, keep them coming, I feel like I'm going to need some moral support," Ooh-lala said, turning her back to her boss's approach. Pike grabbed her shoulder, but quickly let go when he met her narrowed gaze.
"You're late! You were supposed to be on half an hour ago!" he blustered, his red face quivering with rage. "You already missed one set, I should fire your ass!"
"No one cares in this shithole, Pike. I doubt any of the people here even know what day it is, never mind the time. It's the end of the world today, and these scumbags probably won't even notice." Ooh-lala took another drag on her cigarette, blowing the smoke into Pike's face. He sputtered with rage, his face turning even redder.
"But I guess the show must go on," she drawled. "Tell Ben to warm up his magic fingers, I'll be ready in a minute."
"You'll be ready now," he said, but without much conviction. He stormed off in Ben's direction, his stubby arms pumping.
"I don't know how you do that," Charlie filled another glass and pushed it towards her, "you're not even that good of a singer."
"It's my wit and charm," Ooh-lala replied, downing the second glass. She took a last puff of her cigarette and dropped the butt into the empty glass. She stood up, nodded to Charlie, and walked over to the piano where Ben was softly playing.
"Let's start out with something happy. How about 'Mac the Knife?'" Ooh-lala murmured as she leaned her back against the piano, propping herself up on her elbows.
"Everyone likes a good hit man; he brings a little sunshine into your life. You really are in a good mood, aren't you?" Ben commented as he began to play the chords of the song, he fingers tinkling across the keys. Ooh-lala began to sing, her voice reverberating off the walls of the room. Heads turned towards her, the room grew quiet. Her voice was deep and mellow, but raspy from the years of cigarettes and booze. She didn't have much of a range either, but no one could seem to look away. She was a striking picture with her white hair starkly contrasting with her smooth, dark skin, her red dress shining in the dim lights. Eyes didn't even turn towards the tall blonde who walked on black stiletto boots into the club, a woman who was more than good looking. The blonde's short hair was tipped in neon pink, matching her band sunglasses, and her button up shirt was open revealing black bra. Definitely an arresting sight, but no one even noticed her arrival. She moved over to the corner of the room, sitting at an empty table and crossing her long legs, her eyes also transfixed on the singer. She removed her sunglasses and leaned forward, placing her elbows on the table.
Ooh-lala had begun singing "I've Got You Under My Skin" when she spotted the blonde. They stared at one another, both feeling an almost tangible connection. Ooh-lala felt hypnotized by those light green eyes, she felt like she could see into the other woman's soul if only she looked hard enough. The blonde felt the same, refusing to look away, to blink, in case she missed the secrets she could see those mahogany eyes. Time seemed to stand still, and Ooh-lala wasn't sure if she kept on singing or was standing silent. Then, suddenly, everything was in focus again, Ben stopped playing and Ooh-lala's final note died away. Ooh-lala walked away from the piano towards the blonde, ignoring Ben's protests and the crowd's lackluster applause. She stood in front of her, arms planted on her hips, and looked into her beautiful face. The blonde leaned back, a smile paying on her lips, and said,
"Did you know you can't sing?"
"Well, did you know you can't drive?" Ooh-lala retorted, genuinely smiling for the first time in a long time. She sat in a chair and lit a cigarette.
"What's your name?" the blonde asked, her eyes remaining fixed on Ooh-lala's face. People were starting to notice her, men looking over at their table and the noise level in the room was rising.
The blonde laughed, drawing even more attention to their table. "Is that really your name?"
"Mine's Lola," the blonde stated, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. And Lola could use a drink right about now."
"Why does Lola want to wear sunglasses when driving at night?" Ooh-lala asked as she gestured to Charlie to bring them some drinks.
"The light hurts Lola's eyes. Besides, Lola always wears her glasses 'cause the sun never sets on a badass," Lola smiled at Charlie with their drinks, and he tripped and almost dropped them. Her smile just got wider, and she sipped her drink he placed on their table.
"Does Lola always speak of herself in the third person? 'Cause that means that Lola is crazy."
"Lola is just a free thinker. How long have you worked in this hellhole?"
Ooh-lala shrugged her shoulders and took another sip of her drink, "Only about six months. I'm actually a bass player, but work is hard to find. I had…issues with my last band."
Lola grinned, "How providential, I play guitar too. But Lola is always center stage, not back up. It must be fate I nearly ran you over."
"It must be, and to think, today had such an ominous feel to it." Ooh-lala looked around the dingy room, the sad drunks huddled over their glasses. "We should get out of here, this place is soul-sucking. Maybe we could find some place to play together? I'm sure you're very good." Ooh-lala said, looking into Lola's eyes.
Lola looked right back, her mouth twisting into a smirk. "Oh, I am. Let's blow." Lola put back on her sunglasses, and pushed her chair away from the table, dropping a twenty down to pay for their drinks. As she stood up, a large, ugly thug stumbled into her.
"You looking for a good time, babe?" he leered, swaying much too close.
"Back off, buddy." Ooh-lala pushed him back with one hand, moving to stand next to Lola.
"What, are you two are fucking dykes or something? Hey Fred, we got a couple dykes here." An even bigger guy came over, slightly more sober than his friend. He looked them up a down, his eyes lingering on their breasts.
"Maybe they just need a good man to set them straight." He reached over and pulled on Lola's open shirt, revealing her bra even more. People in were beginning to play attention, Charlie frowning at them from the bar.
"Lola likes real men, not a bunch of pussies." Lola said and punched him in the stomach. As he stood there bent over and gasping, she followed it up with a left hook to his jaw, and he fell to the floor. After his friend recovered from his surprise, he moved towards her with fists clenched and a murderous expression on his face. Ooh-lala grabbed his arm, spun him towards her, and kneed him in the crotch. He tottered, and knocked into a man drinking with his girlfriend, spilling his drink onto her dress. The man, after one shocked second, retaliated by hitting him with his empty beer mug. The mayhem spread across the room, and the fight began in earnest. Lola continued to battle with enthusiasm, putting one leg in between his and twisting the big guy's prone legs over her thigh, stretching the joints painfully. Ooh-lala looked around the chaos, and decided that it was time to leave. Someone grabbed her arm, and she shoved the heel of her palm into the guy's face, hearing a satisfying crunching noise as she broke his nose. She pushed him out of the way, and tapped on Lola's shoulder, who was now choking another assailant in a headlock.
"We should go." Ooh-lala yelled over the noise, gesturing toward the door.
"Okay," Lola dropped the limp man and strode towards the exit, stepping over bodies on the way. Ooh-lala followed, stopping briefly to hit a guy with bottle who was wrestling with Charlie. He nodded at her, and she winked back as she left the club.
"Get in the cab," Lola slid across the hood and went through the open window on the driver's side. Ooh-lala got in the other side and braced herself as Lola rapidly accelerated the car into the night.
"You fight like a girl," Lola said, relaxing in the driver's seat as took a corner sharply, barely touching the breaks.
"And you drive like a manic. How long have you been driving this cab?"
"About three hours."
"Three hours? I need another drink." Ooh-lala looked over at the tall blonde and asked, "Did you steal it?"
"No, Lola is just a believer in practical socialism. Occasionally property needs to be… redistributed."
Ooh-lala laughed. "Well, whatever Lola wants, Lola gets."
"Exactly," Lola smiled at her companion. "I think we lost your job tonight. And I don't think that driving this cab is my destiny, so where should we go?"
"'Second star to the right, and straight on till morning'. I always wanted to go to Never land," Ooh-lala lit a cigarette and took a deep drag. "We might as well head south, I'd like to go to a warmer place."
"I'll take you all the way to the fiery gates." Lola turned the car around sharply, making the tires squeal as she sped forward. They blasted past a police car, and the sirens wailed as they started to pursue.
"Oooh, looks like someone wants to race," Lola accelerated even more, making the falling snowflakes look like white streaks whizzing by through the windshield.
"I hope you were speaking metaphorically," Ooh-lala drawled, looking back over her shoulder at the flashing lights. "I think you should try and lose them, I've never been good at running away, and I'd hate to hold you back."
"Yeah, I like to be the one chasing too. Hold on." Lola took a series of sharp turns through some narrow side streets, and emerged at the city limits. The police car was still behind them, but their options were limited as the road went straight into the surrounding country side.
"You ever been off-roading?" Lola asked, as she looked in the rearview mirror.
"Not in the winter, but I'm open to new experiences." Ooh-lala looked out into the night, and saw a badly plowed dirt road off to the left. "You can turn there if you are feeling adventurous."
"Lola is always up to a challenge," she turned the car sharply onto the slick road, the car fishtailing as it barely made the turn. The road was weaving back and forth through a forest, and visibility was extremely bad. The police car was falling farther and farther behind them, the driver obviously much more sane than either of the women.
"I think we are losing them," Ooh-lala said, and than closed her eyes as she saw the turn in front of them. There was no way they could make it. Time slowed, and Lola's desperate attempt to break did nothing. Metal screeched as the hood of the car plowed full speed into a massive tree, and Lola and Ooh-lala knew no more.