A hush fell over the auditorium, as the lights dimmed, leaving the long runway thrusting into the middle of the audience; lit with muted spotlights. The backdrop exploded with fireworks as the first models stepped onto the catwalk.
The designs were scrutinised, criticised and plagiarised in the blink of an eyelid.
Tonight, however, the audience was slightly different. Among the fashion reporters, designers and various fashionistas there were a strange assortment of young people of all ages and ‘types’ who seemed uninterested in the women who strutted and posed on the platform.
It was more than half an hour into the show, when suddenly everything stopped. For a moment, the entire auditorium fell silent. The screen lit up, with a giant fan made of feathers; black and red.
A single figure stepped onto the runway, and seemed to glide along its length. He was beautifully androgynous, with long pale hair, that floated as he walked, and skin so pale it seemed to shine, pearlised by the lights.
The model seemed fragile and icy. His pale looks were set off dramatically by the long black coat he was wearing. It cradled his head in a nest of black feathers that spilled down the front. Beneath the coat was a pure white jumpsuit, decorated with pale blue feathers and crystals. The look was completed by a pair of high heeled, knee high, boots.
He was like a wraith, his face set in an expression of detached serenity, and his ice blue eyes looking at something no one else could see.
Lightbulbs flashed from all directions and, with practiced poise, he held his head tilted at exactly the right angle, shaking his hair in exactly the right way. He was elegant and beautiful and cold. There was more than one person in the audience who had the feeling that, if they reached out their hand to touch him, he would shatter in a thousand shards of glittering crystal ice.
He had been on the scene for only a few months and already his face was on magazine covers and posters everywhere. Boys and girls alike, were attracted to this aloof, unattainable beauty. As delicate as a flower: as strong as a diamond. He was beauty incarnate, who could make anyone’s clothes look special.
If he heard the applause; if he saw the hungry looks in the eyes of the rich and famous, he gave no sign of it as he paused, slipped off the coat. The sparkling whiteness, of the cat-suit was only a few shades lighter than his skin. The pale gold of his hair, released from its feathery nest, cascaded almost to his waist and fanned out around him as he spun gently, to glide back along the catwalk, the coat dragging negligently behind him.
There was a hush as everyone followed him with their eyes, breathless, until he disappeared behind the screen. For a moment there was a sense of relief as everyone let out their breath in a sigh. But then, the music subtly changed, and a steady heartbeat started to raise the temperature. Anticipation was almost palpable in the auditorium.
If the audience had held their breath for the last model, this time they were panting. Everyone, unconsciously, leaned forward a little in their seats. The black fan remained on the screen. The background darkened, so it was merely a shadow. Behind the shadow, red and white fireworks silently exploded.
There was a moment of absolute silence, and then a figure strode onto the runway and there was an explosion of sound. There couldn’t have been more of a contrast between the two models. Whereas the last had been an ice queen this one was… not. Passion was oozing from every pore.
As dark as the other had been fair, he too had the stunning androgynous beauty that could look softly feminine one minute and strongly masculine the next. There was nothing remotely feminine in the way he owned the catwalk today.
Narrow hips had been poured into a pair of black leather trousers. His chest was bare, apart from the black feathers, running from the waistband of his trousers, around the back of his neck. The same feathers were banded around his wrists, and he was barefoot. He looked like the bird from which he took his name; a sleek, black raven.
Raven strode onto the runway, with an air of supreme confidence, a restrained energy that bordered on aggression. His eyes constantly flicked over the audience, making everyone feel he was looking at them. This effect was enhanced by the fact that he wore contact lenses that made his eyes completely black; making impossible to know where he was, in fact looking.
About a third of the way along the runway, he paused, posed and looked around. Again, an expectant hush fell.
Suddenly, the boy grinned, took three quick steps, and launched himself into the air. Starting with two quick cartwheels, he flew through a series of gravity defying leaps and tumbles, ending with a double back flip which left him crouched on one knee at the end of the runway. Glaring balefully at the audience, he turned his head from side to side, like a bird, or a panther waiting to leap.
Pausing, crouched, for slightly longer than he should have, he bounded to his feet and stalked back up the runway, to a cacophony of noise.
Exhilarated, Raven hit the backstage area like a whirlwind, drawing glances that ranged from amused to disapproving. Threading his way through the throng of frantically changing models, he searched out a pair of ice blue eyes, that were no longer cold, but burned with a passion that was only for him.
Oblivious to everything around them, they poured their frenetic energy into a kiss so hot it sizzled.
Raising his hand to tenderly touch his lover’s face, Alex dropped one gentle kiss on his forehead then swept past him, back out into the glare of the spotlight.
I am 47 years old and live in South Wales with my son, two cats and a couple of ghosts. I have lived in the same village all my life and know at least half the people who live here (not really but it seems that way).
I have been writing for almost all my life, but never thought that I would ever see my work in print. I have the writing site Gay Authors to thank for the fact that, at last, I have plucked up the courage to dip my toe into the world of published work, found and incredible publisher and am very very happy.
I am also an artist, only for myself. You can see a sample of my work on the front of my book, Enigma.
I am very passionate about gay rights and, in particular about writing books for young gay people as there just aren’t enough out there and it is just another area in which they are under represented and not valued enough.
I have lots of friends and lots of family and I am very strange. I have blue hair and a fascination with death, which tends to dip his toe into a lot of my work.
I love people and I love reading. My favourite books are Anything by Terry Pratchett or Anything by Storm Constantine!