Nancy Blush had always hated her name as a child. It wasn’t that it was ugly or anything, but when you were thirteen years old with a dead flat chest and embarrassed easily, that pink bloom which crept across your cheeks at the slightest provocation led to much hilarity at school.
“Blush by name, blush by nature” the kids would laugh and point, just making the blush worse and causing Nancy to hide away. Always too shy to answer back. Too scared.
Clunch was the worst. The meanest boy at school. You’d think he’d be nicer, bearing in mind his own appearance. Lumpy and thickset with skin which was no stranger to acne. No-one picked on Clunch though. Instead they all copied him, even when he came up with the calamine song.
Face looks like a tomato
give those cheeks a shine
Only thing thats gonna help
is a tonne of calamine
Now in her thirties Nancy could still hear the song in her head whenever she was embarrassed.
Not that she got embarrassed that often these days. Over the years she had developed a sharp tongue, a wicked ability to put rude men down, and a much more impressive bust, even if it was greatly helped by chicken fillets.
She always knew that one day she’d come across her nemesis once again though, and here he was, finally, sitting at the front of the stage at Nancy’s Bar “Stiffkey”. Legs spread wide to prove his manhood among his infantile friends, catcalling, piss-taking and trying to get the waitress to sit on his knee. Arsehole.
Watching from behind the red velvet curtain, Nancy’s heart pounded and the familiar heat rose in her cheeks. How could she go out there and perform? As soon as Clunch saw her on the stage he’d recognise her, no matter how she had changed. He would see straight through the sparkly outfit, the sleek hairstyle and the perfect makeup to the scared child with bright red cheeks who would cry in the school toilets.
She had to go out though as she was the first act on. She ordered herself a Pink Lady from the bar, took a deep breath and head held high, walked out to rapturous applause, glass in hand.
“Holy Shit” she heard shouted out from the front row “Its only bloody Calamine!”
Nancy faltered slightly, though not so anyone would notice.
“Woooooooooooo! Nancy! Still ugly girlfriend!”
Man up, Nancy told herself. You can do this.
“Well hello down there” she addressed Clunch directly as his friends hollered. “I see there’s a village missing it’s idiot this evening. Maybe one of you nice boys could just spray some Febreze to get rid of this poor unfortunate’s mole’s breath, it’s putting me off”.
With satisfaction Nancy watched Clunch blush to his salon drab roots, as his mates jeered and the audience laughed and pointed.
At “Stiffkey” Nancy could be herself without embarrassment. She ruled the stage. After all, she was the queen. The drag queen.