Episode Four: Debra With The Blonde Hair
Fortunately — or unfortunately — the creature that used to be Debbie was only focused on Kayla and anyone who tried to help her. That gave everyone else time to clear out, including the one who had been brave — foolish? — enough to record most of the confrontation. Only half of Debbie’s body had changed into the large, bulbous mess that Bryce had almost been swallowed by, the other half still human, still wearing light blue eyeshadow, raspberry lip gloss, and rocking well-manicured nails. Despite her hazardous state of being and desire to lash out at Kayla, the café was still in fairly good shape, just a few knocked over chairs, beverages left behind…
… and Prism Pink being pinned down by her neck by Debbie’s monstrous hand, her glasses having been knocked far out of her reach.
Debbie’s two friends were at the other side of the store, unconscious, bodies covered in the gloop of her body as if they’d tried to run away and Debbie forced them to stop.
Maybe she was channeling Lonnie from that crisis at the mall, but Kayla was really itching to run in and help the magical seamstress. Bryce was holding her back, insisting that she stay put because the other girls would be there soon. “I’m not just gonna let this bitch kill her! Let me help!”
“Yes. Please. Let her help,” Debbie hissed, completely unbothered by Prism Pink’s struggles. She was trying to pull Debbie’s hand away but couldn’t get a good grip on the gelatinous skin.
“Kayla! Calm down!”
“Dad! It’s me she’s after! Let me do something!”
Debbie let out a laugh worthy of cartoon villainy and spared a glance down at Prism Pink. “You just had to interfere, didn’t you?” Her voice shifted into a pouty whine. “I really like magnifiqueNOIR, you know? Though I suppose you are a new member, aren’t you? Maybe you’re just a defect.”
Something about the word defect put a stop to Prism Pink’s fighting, her hands going still, eyes wide and watery before she narrowed them and choked out a cry of, “Shut up!”
Debbie didn’t listen. “I’m sure that’s it. Yeah, it has to be! The other girls will understand me!” She leaned her head down, sneering at Prism Pink with as much disdain as she could muster. “You’re not like them.”
“I said shut up!” Her hands were moving again, pink thread wrapping around the deformed arm but sinking into it, being sucked in like a grotesque vacuum.
Kayla grit her teeth and whispered a soft sorry dad before she shoved him out of the way, moving to go right for Debbie, fists clenched and-
Debbie didn’t even get a chance to look behind her, feeling the impact of frosting, cake, and a painful explosion hitting the good side of her body. She scrambled away from Prism Pink, slinking off to the back corner, back singed and bleeding from the attack. Prism Pink curled up on the ground, letting out a couple of painful coughs as she tried to remember the basics of breathing. It only took a couple of seconds for her to feel a soothing hand rubbing her back, Radical Rainbow kneeling by her side and whispering, “Just breathe. We’re here now.”
Cosmic Green was standing in front of Kayla, blocking her path, arms spread and eyes piercing daggers into her. “Were you seriously about to fight that thing?!” It was a hell of a way to stop being flustered around the girl.
“I-I had to do something!” And it was a hell of a way to meet the inspiration of her burlesque act.
“You’re not capable of fighting that thing! Next time stay put!”
The look on Kayla’s face was a mix of anger and finding out that your hamster didn’t run away — it died. “I will not-”
“Cosmic Green! Not right now! We need to get ready for its next attack!” Seriously, how many pay attention in battle lectures would Galactic Purple have to come up with?
“Right. Stay here.”
“Don’t worry,” Bryce said as he grabbed Kayla’s hand. “I’ll make sure she does.”
As Cosmic Green walked over to join the girls, Radical Rainbow helped Prism Pink get back on her feet. “Sorry about that. I tried to fight that thing but it’s pretty vicious.”
“No apologies needed,” Radical Rainbow said as she carefully pulled Prism Pink’s glasses out of her pocket, having picked them up when they stepped inside the café. “I’m just glad we made it in time.”
“Think you can help us fight? I’d hate to ask after that, but it’ll probably take all of us.”
Prism Pink nodded to Galactic Purple as she put her glasses back on, wiping the tears in her eyes away in favor of focusing on red hot anger. “Trust me, I’m more than happy to help.”
As Debbie began to stir from the corner Cosmic Green cracked her knuckles. Between targeting her girlfriend and causing their first fight — unbeknownst to Kayla, of course — she wanted to wail into every inch of the creature. “Then let’s get this party started,” and unlike Mario Kart, “I call dibs on-”
“Oh. My. GOD! You’re really here!”
All four girls, Kayla, and Bryce could only stare, slack-jawed, as Debbie gave the group of girls what was supposed to be an enthusiastic smile. Half of it was lopsided, drooping down her chin like it’d been placed on her face the wrong way. “Um. What is happening right now?” Cosmic Green asked.
“She was mad at her,” Prism Pink said as she nodded to Kayla. “Said she disgraced you, somehow. Said you’d understand.”
Disgraced? Was she referring to Kayla’s act? That’s what this was about?
“This is totally not how I wanted this to go down, but I did a burlesque act. As you.” Kayla said to Cosmic Green, all her earlier feelings shifting to something more flustered. More… shameful. Because what if Debbie was right?
“And it’s disgusting!” Debbie snapped, putting the girls on edge. Radical Rainbow put herself in a fighting stance and refused to ease up. “These women protect us every day! They should be treated with respect!”
“Oh I’ll treat you with something all right,” Prism Pink said — growled, really.
“Wait. Don’t do anything.” Then Galactic Purple proposed the unthinkable. “Let me talk to it. Her,” she corrected herself. “Let me talk to her.”
“I’m sorry, what?!”
“Kayla. Don’t interrupt,” Bryce said, keeping a tight grip on her hand in the hopes of getting her to stay by his side. “Maybe she’s on to something.”
“She’s not. She’s crazy.”
“Cosmic Green, hush,” but Radical Rainbow looked just as uncertain.
“Are you sure?” Because honestly, Prism Pink was of the mindset of pinning it down with her needles, sneering in its face in the same way it had done to her.
“She’s a… fan,” was that even the right word? “She’s just a bit misguided.” Before anyone could offer a rebuttal, Galactic Purple began to approach Debbie. “Hey.”
“Oh! Hi! Jeez, I didn’t wanna meet you like this. My name’s Debbie.”
Galactic Purple swallowed the uncertainty down her throat. “Nice to meet you.”
“You really mean that? Because you threw a cupcake at me earlier.”
“Yeah… I may have jumped the gun on that, sorry,” and ugh, the apology tasted rotten, like she’d eaten something from one of those extreme shows that made you gobble down something gross for money. It did have the desired effect of Debbie calming down, her human side, at least, looking more relaxed.
The other three wanted to interject, remind Debbie that she’d been attacked because she attacked Bryce and tried to kill Prism Pink, but it would completely negate whatever Galactic Purple was trying to do.
“I just… y-you don’t support women like her, right? There’s no way! You’re good and wholesome, you can’t possibly be ok with what she’s done to your image.” She turned her attention to Cosmic Green and shouted over to her. “She completely defiled your name on stage in front of everyone!”
Despite the seriousness of the situation Cosmic Green couldn’t help the small chuckle. Debbie would hate how she dressed when she wasn’t transformed, wearing as little as possible or nothing at all. “Debbie… you don’t speak for me.”
“She’s right,” Galactic Purple said. “You’ve got the wrong idea. We’re here for all women.”
“All of them,” and Radical Rainbow made sure to emphasize the all.
Prism Pink quietly watched the group, wishing she had something to add but too lost in their words.
All. They really just said all.
“Her too?” Debbie pointed at Prism Pink. “She attacked me!”
“You tried to devour my father!” Kayla knew Bryce wanted her to stay out of it — so did magnifiqueNOIR for that matter — but she wasn’t gonna let that one go. “She saved him from you!”
“Debbie, you have to face the consequences of your actions. What you did was wrong.”
“I DID IT FOR YOU!” Her normal arm was beginning to sag, turning into an unrecognizable clump of skin.
Galactic Purple held her ground. “I know you had good intentions, but that doesn’t negate the impact. If you wanna support us you have to learn from your mistakes. There’s still time to do that.”
The three magical girls standing behind her gave each other questioning looks. There was still time? How? The statement also threw Debbie for a loop because she looked just as confused, especially when Galactic Purple held her hand out toward her. “… what are you doing?”
“Giving you a chance to make things right.”
“Um… I’d hate to point out the obvious, but she’s kinda…” Cosmic Green let her words die off. They could all get the gist of what she wanted to say.
“I know. I just… I dunno, we can reverse our transformation. Maybe she can, too.”
“People have to want to change, Galactic Purple.” The words were cold and felt like they came from personal experience, but Prism Pink absolutely meant what she said. “If she doesn’t want to-”
“She does though,” then Galactic Purple turned her attention back toward Debbie. “Right?” Because maybe, just maybe, they could do the unthinkable and end this without any of the destruction. Debbie wasn’t malicious, not really. She could alter her way of thinking and become a better person from it.
She’d go up in flames instead.
Galactic Purple stumbled away as the still human side of Debbie caught on fire, like her body had been left in a burning building with no one willing to go in for the rescue. The flames licked at her pretty blonde hair and worked to consume every inch of her. Her screams echoed through the café and no one was able to take their eyes off the carnage.
Except for Bryce, who immediately stood in front of Kayla, always and forever the parent who covered his kid’s eyes when something scary appeared on TV.
Standing at the cafe door was Golden Blaze, decked out in her black trenchcoat, top hat, and fiery skirt. She watched the fire with such a blank expression, like she just hadn’t used it to kill someone — or something? — that Galactic Purple had been talking to.
“Who… is that?” Kayla asked, trying to look past Bryce.
Bryce didn’t respond, he just kept holding her hand, quietly waiting for this day to come to an end.