Follow the intrepid drag queens who have gone through rigorous training to be sent on missions time-travelling through the Time Sewers in order to save humanity from queerlessness.
Would-be drag queens stars and friends join a contest on a private cable network that could change their lives, and throw them into unexpected growth as they explore past and future under the tutelage of reluctant chaperone Sadie Merrie.
- Part 1 – The Queens’ Versailles Party
Maurana Banana, Terry Bubble and Consuela Winny participate in Linda Pol’s Drag Race. Against all odds they win and become part of the Screaming Queens. Their first mission, under the tutelage of Sadie Merrie, is to get to 1757 Versailles to retrieve the famous ferrets of the Queen.
- Part 2 – French Maids and Time Travel Shenanigans
- Part 3 – The Mythical Karmalott
So the Story goes...
“I’m stunning tonight, bitches! All eyes will be on me gorgeous silhouette, I bet you my fucking dick! No doubt I will be the chosen one.”
“Stop dreaming Maurana Banana, you silly bitch. They’ll just be wondering what’s that motherfucker meringue wig doing on that fat lipped purple head of yours.
And then they’ll see my outstanding new green lime dress and they’ll choose me ! That’s my turn tonight, bitch!”
The green queen gaped speechless, and for a moment the image of a giant sardine popped into Maurana’s mind. She burst into laughter, quickly followed by Winny. It was an exaggerated laugh which bore young male tones. The three friends were participating into the most famous annual competition in Marseille. Linda Pol’s Drag Race would determine the best drags to be part of the Screaming Queens.
She dreams she is learning to fly. Over a green field with a band of trees to her left and a field of grazing cows to her right. Endless blue sky above. Nobody else in sight. She isn’t very high from the earth and she isn’t very fast. Her arms are outstretched for balance as she wobbles forward. It is exhilarating, but she is still glad there is no one but the cows to witness these first clumsy attempts.
She wakes and hugs her dream tightly. Going over the details so she will remember them later before she slips back into sleep.
It was 5:22am. Still over an hour before her antiquated alarm clock was due to go off; the clock was a relic she clung to more because she thought it looked cool on the shelf than for any practical reason. Sadie decided to get up anyway and use the extra time for meditating. She had a tough assignment ahead of her that day in Marseille and a bit of extra inner peace certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
Sadie worked as a private contractor for the HTB or Happiness Training Bureau. Their motto was Transit umbra, lux permeant. Roughly translated that meant Shadow passes, light remains. Nobody in the bureau knew who said it, although some sources attributed it to Ericis V Lemonista, the renowned scholar and educational reformer.
Checking his phone on the metro, Linda Paul giggled at the name that popped on the roster.
She was already doing her job, he thought, happiness never was so close than after a marathon of Abwa Ham videos. He knew that Sadie would be the perfect addition to his team, as he was planning to send them all back in time for a very delicate mission.
The three drags had rented a limo to go to Linda Pol’s bar. It was located in the Court Julien and the narrow streets weren’t fit for a limo, but they didn’t care. They had to be noticed and a limo seemed the right choice at the time. Of course, they booked it together because they were young and had not enough money for their own personal limo.
“We should have taken the white one, black is so common and we look like a hearse”, said Consuela, pouting outrageously with her porn red lipstick.
“The rooftop is not high enough for my hair”, whined Maurana.
“No, mum, I’m staying at Robert’s house tonight, we are going to work on calculus for the exam next week”, was saying Terry to her… his phone with his normal voice.
Sadie wondered what to wear and eventually threw on a pair of old jeans and lilac t-shirt. Usually she liked to carry out extensive research ahead of time to ensure that she was dressed appropriately however Linda Paul had been strangely non-committal about this current assignment. It was most unusual not to get any prior information — I don’t even know which century I am being sent to! she thought, not without a tinge of excitement.
The verdict was definitive. The competition had been fierce and now only the best of the best would go to the final and mysterious mission.
Terry Bubble couldn’t believe her ears and fanned her glistening face with her powdered hands batting her eyelashes to contain the swelling tears when she heard Linda Paul say in her snarkily uppity voice : “Uhuh, that dress, oh that dress sweetie, that was an offense to good sense, but you did lipsynch to perfection with this pouty mouth of yours… Terry Bee, you stay with me.”
Then, turning to the other competitor, the gorgeous Tina Turnover look-alike in her glittery purple dress, a.k.a. Shantay Mûre. “Shantay, you go away.”
Terry bowed to the jury, firstly Linda Paul herself, of course, then the sultry sulky Sadie Merrie, and finally took an extra second for Lady Gugu, who she was sure tipped the balance in her favor. She never was a big fan of the ageing star, well-known for her antics and poultry dresses, but there was no denying she earned being the sensation she was all over China —or that he was, there were lingering suspicions about this, which of course didn’t matter in the drag race.
It had to be thanks to her ; maybe she was fond of sardines. Otherwise, how could self-doubt-ridden Terry Bubbly, like her friends barely over their teens, could hope to compete with the other seasoned divas, like Pseu Flay with her lion-mane wig à la Cher, who were nonetheless one by one eliminated by a strange turn of events.
The selection had gone flawlessly. Linda Paul was boucing with effervescence and delight.
“Dearies, dearies, you have been competing fearlessly against one another, now is time to be a team. Or find a time in which to be…”
The three queens looked stymied. They were not used to share the limelight and shine in pairs, much less in a trio.
“Terry, Consuela, Maurana, you will be our three Muskqueerteers, fearlessly donning on wigs and shiny attires on a mission to retrieve a precious item for me.”
The screen shined brightly to reveal a glittery pyramid, announced by the anchor’s male voice “The Queen’s Ferrets au Rochet!”
“But of course, I cannot send you back without a chaperon. Fear not, fate has decided for us, that among the jury, it will be…”
Terry hoped for Lady Gugu, she already looked like Elton Jaune in a wig, and would do great with Louis XIII, or Richeliou for that matter.
“… Sadie Merrie!”
“Oh good grief…” Terry’s shiny Elton Jaune in her thoughts suddenly was transphormed (as if they all had been into a huge deFørmiñG mirror) into that of Milady of Merry.
“Aaahahah…” Linda Paul ended her laugh abrutptly and looked fearsomely at the three newly dubbed Musqueerteers. “You thought the competition was over, girls ? It had only just begun.”
The girls swallowed in unison, all pouting disappeared from their young drag faces.
“Sadie Merrie will guide you through the Time Sewer Machine, and your next challenge will be to arrive clean and shiny at your destination. A broken nail… A lost eyelash”
The crowd of defeated queens and the other clients gaped as Linda Paul’s kept silent longer than necessary.
“And you’ll be out. Ahahah. Everybody here will watch you and follow your every moves for this mission. So remain dignified, you represent all the Queens of our time”
When Linda Paul had talked about the Time Sewer Machine, Maurana had silently hoped it was a typo for Time Sewing Machine. But her hope faded away like a crying widow make-up when she saw where Sadie Merry had led them.
They sadly left the buzz and cheer ups to go through a small door in the backstage of the club. It opened in a dark courtyard. It was already night outside, and a breeze made the young Queens shiver. No light. There was a black hole in the middle of the yard and they could smell what was inside before they could see it.
“Phew”, said Consuela, “It’s worse than inside Maurice’s pants”. It didn’t help relax nor clear the atmosphere.
They heard the noise of an engine starting and suddenly the lights went on. Maurana looked behind her back and saw Sadie Merry near an electricity board with blinking lights. Their was something shiny about her whole being. It looked like a protective extensible gloss suit fitting her sobre attire and her beehive wig perfectly. It didn’t seem to touch the clothes or the humongous wig, and yet it was moving graciously around.
Terry looked at the sewer. The content had begun to turn around and was soon turning fast enough to create a kind of vortex of garbage. “Where are our suits ..?” asked Terry with a hopeful smile, looking around. The older Queen’s gaze killed this hope in a squish.
Sadie Merry rolled her eyes and pushed them in the sewer which was now glowing purple. She could hear the crowd inside the club chanting “Wigs for all! Wigs for all!” She jumped in the trashole, wishing she hadn’t eaten barbecue pork chops before coming.
Whilst in the sewer, Sadie had time to ponder a few things which she couldn’t yet make sense of. She wondered why Linda Paul was sending them to retrieve a crocheted ferret. And she was still not sure what century they were being sent to. Despite these small glitches, she was determined to go with the flow and remain positive. All would no doubt be revealed. She looked at her 3 companions.
“Perhaps our new team motto could be Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” she said with a bright smile.
Beauty is light in the heart, said the tart,
As she fell through the man hole cover.
Farewell for the noo, I’m obliged to depart,
I’m late for a future lover.
Her wig got stuck on Terry’s heel,
As she vanished below the street;
You’re pulling me down, she said with a squeal.
Your wig is dragging my feet!
Sadie laughed out loud at the nonsensical rhyming texts coming through from her friend, Pseu. It had been drummed into them at the Happiness Training Academy that humour was a powerful way of raising one’s vibration and she was pleased that Pseu seemed to be deriving so much pleasure from Sadie’s latest mission. Consuela regarded Sadie quizzically and raised her beautifully arched right eyebrow even higher.
Noticing the puzzled looks she was getting from the 3 girls, Sadie felt her vibration lower slightly. Maybe she should take time for some team building exercises? After all, though it might seem like a waste of precious time now, it could pay dividends down the line when they really had to work as a team. She remembered some of the training videos she had watched the previous evening about connecting with others and had a brainwave.
“Right, girls! Anyone have a bowl?”
Pseu was pleased to be able to report back to Benedict at base camp in Holland that her disguise was working well. Nobody had questioned her alias, her codes remained uncracked. Communications between them had been scrambled skillfully, no data had been poached, and to date nobody had ovadosed.
Sadie had guessed right, that there was something off, which was soon confirmed by her all-purposes e-zapper. The date and place were both wrong by a smidge. They were sent off in the Champagne area, a few hundreds of kilometers off Paris and their royalties, and the date was 1757, a hundred years or so later than expected for a musketeer adventure…
Different time, different Queen. They’d better hope to find a nice ride to get the treasure hunt going.
Good thing was that the Dragcorp had outlets posted in advance, they would probably have something ready for them.
“Listen ladies,” she said as they went out on the open to find out the night wasn’t ripe with opportunities in the little provincial town. “Let’s call it a night and get out of those garbs… “
Terry pointed to a sign in the empty cobbled street and rudely interrupted “CHAMPAGNE, champagne for everyone!”
Momentarily left speechless as where to find the edit cogwheel of her last sentence, but not without focus, she booked on her e-zapper the Sanso Tally-Ho Coach for Versailles at no later than dawn of the morrow, while the queens banged on the caviste’s cellar door, thirsty for bowls of bubbles and fresh haircuts.
”One drink and be quick about it” said Sadie sternly, “for we have much to do if we are to retrieve the ferret and get out of here without being noticed by the authorities.” She made an imperative gesture with her hand to emphasise her words, but the girls had already disappeared. Sadie sighed and pressed her hand to her forehead—she was going to have to be constantly vigilant of her thoughts if this mission was to be a success.
Her reverie was interrupted by a notification on her e-zapper. A message from Linda Paul!
Tomorrow, Jan 5th 1757, there is going to be an attempted assassination of the King. In the ensuing chaos you will have a chance to recover the treasure.
It was only mere minutes before a clunky coach drawn by a motley quartet of zebras arrived at the spot.
“Hello darling,” the dashing coachman greeted Sadie while the footman was already busy ruffling around checking for any pieces of luggage to take.
Sadie raised a concerned eyebrow.
“Call me Sanso, darling, everybody does. You should get your drag queens here quickly, so we can depart without delay. The road is long and bumpy till Versailles, there is a promise of snow, and I got word you’re on a clock. Tally-ho!”
For a moment, Sadie wondered if the assignment wasn’t indeed a punishment to atone for her preternatural goodness and beauty.
Maurana found it difficult to climb in the coach with her 6” Goochi platform shoes. Golden intricate patterns on a red velvet. The first time she saw them on Internet, she immediately thought of Dorothy. What couldn’t she do with these shoes, she had thought. Where couldn’t she go ? She hadn’t thought of time travel at the time. Now the when couldn’t she go question seemed to be part of the shoes. She sat on the narrow seat, the one in the back. Sitting in that dark little coach, knees almost touching her face, the proud drag armor began to melt away, letting appear the insecurity of a teenager through the cracks.
The teenager wondered for a moment if he had bumped his skull on the steel frame of the sewer and was dreaming, or maybe he was dead. He looked at his two friends, Consuela/Cedric was desperately trying to find the network with his phone, trying to reach his mother again. He was always trying to reach his mother when in doubt.
Terry was climbing in the coach, apparently still herself as a drag. She seemed to be quite comfortable.
“I can’t believe we’re going to meet the Queen”, she said with a thrill. She sat near Maurana, trying to make her false bum fit in the narrow seat. Her knees were also dangerously near her chin. “We’ll have to find new wigs and dresses, more suitable for the circumstances”, she said with glitter in her eyes. “I’m so glad we are in this adventure together, you, Consuela and meeeeeee!!” She kissed Maurana on the cheek and the lost Queen was back on her Goochies.
Sadie got back in and looked at her e-zapper for a few seconds. “Tell your friend to get in. We have company. The Russians have sent their own team to retrieve the ferrets.”
The news of the Russians shook her and Sadie contemplated using the time in the carriage to do extra visualisation around a successful outcome for their mission. However, the temptation to get more details proved too tempting. Her Mentor at The Academy, Yuni Sauce, had advised she should curb her tendency to look at what is and spend more time creating what she desired the outcome to be, however Sadie found this a difficult habit to break. Especially when she was tired and worried that her bowl haircut looked ridiculous. It was okay for her 3 companions, they were wearing wigs! Well, it had seemed like a good idea at the time, she mused, trying to make light of it. Maybe she could ask her companions for some styling advice.
She distracted herself by doing some quick research on her e-zapper; she discovered that on the 5th Jan 1757 a French domestic servant, Robert-François Damiens, attempted unsuccessfully to assassinate King Louis XV, by stabbing him with a knife. Damiens was captured and endured horrific torture before eventually being killed. Sadie shuddered at the description of the barbaric administrations performed on the poor man, who some thought to be mentally instable. Perhaps if she ran into Damiens she could warn him not to do it! She quickly dismissed the fleeting thought as foolish. It was strictly against protocol to knowingly mess with events in other time frames—other than the specific mission—and she could well lose her position at the Bureau if she were to disregard this rule. There was a difference of opinion as to whether changing events in time would alter the time line they were currently on, or whether a new parallel reality would be created. Until further research she knew she must adhere to protocol.
Queen Marie, Our Good Queen, as the little gents liked to call her, had not been as excited at the prospect of the salon since a long time.
She ringed the bell for the servant girl to bring more wood, as drafts of chilly air were coming from outside. Although quite modern and shiny, the palace was not as equipped for the cold season as the old castles from her mother land. Worse, with age and soft weather, she’d grown accustomed to being warm, and couldn’t bear the cold any longer.
The crackling sound of the pine wood inside the small chimney was comforting and brought her back to her thoughts. A salon, full of delightful witty people, with laughters and costumes, entertainment and champagne wine. She’d heard a special batch of barrels from la Maison Ruinart would be brought especially for the Royalties. Of course, she knew most of those were small favors for the King’s mistress, Reinette, but she didn’t care. Oddly enough, she didn’t mind the woman, who had been always very delicate and considerate towards her, almost affectionate. To be honest, she was a blessing, as the inextinguishable appetite of the King for the flesh and woman beauty was now too hard to bear.
The servant had finished to dress her for the night, putting her new powdered wig on the parakeet shaped wig-holder. She’d bought the wig with its lacquered holder in the morning from a small shop in Paris, which was had quite an aura of mystery she’d heard. Naturally she’d wanted to see for herself.
The wigmaker was a gaunt and unassuming young man who notwithstanding made an impression on her. Jean-Baptiste’s wigs were simple and elegant, albeit not terribly inspired. His eyes, on the other hand, had a piercing yet soft gaze about them, and didn’t seem embarrassed to look at her, almost through her, as if she were a person, instead of the Queen surrounded by a retinue of bland people eager to please.
“Let me draw you some fingers” he’d said to her, changing abruptly the topic from his rambling about books he was inspired to write about symbols. He’d forgotten the traditional address of “Your Majesty”, yet wouldn’t be stopped —regardless of the shocked expressions on the people’s faces.
“You see, I love symbols, and when I draw people’s fingers, I can foretell events to come”.
So that was it, she’d thought, the reason why everyone was ranting about him. He’d better be more inspired at that than wigs, as her patience was wearing thin.
She’d had fortune tellers draw her cards a few times, but the fingers drawing part was curious enough to entice her into removing the glove off her eburnated fingers and letting him do his trick.
An eldritch feeling crept though her spine as he was uttering words for each of the fingers he drew on with a slight pull of his hand, just enough not to crack the joints.
In the bed warmed to a delightful temperature by the bouillotte, she began sliding into deep sleep, while a mixture of words half-forgotten or half-remembered danced around in her mind like the swirls of snowflakes dying on the warm window of her chamber: “funny moment, cold diversion, dream parade, house moustache pink, blue wonder carpets, possible king turned, green mirror travel, understand whole large parade”…
Consuela perused her E Flapper for costume ideas, and was delighted to find that this era was “particularly identified with hair and makeup as these became such potent symbols of aristocracy during the Enlightenment and French Revolution. France and (to a lesser degree) England were the fashion leaders of this era”.
Sanso was positively bummed. With the sudden blanket of cold and snow falling down on the road and his carriage, he couldn’t use the transdimensional puddles which were either dried out or closed by a layer of ice. To make things worse, he had to take care that the barrel of champagne would not burst out at the rear, with all the bumps in the road, and had to slow down the zebras a little. The poor beasts were looking paler at every mile. He had promised to return them in good health to the Royal Menagerie of Versailles, and started to fear he’d gone over his head to impress Sadie and her lots.
Chair, the appointed footman seated on the champagne with his cork bum didn’t look reassured either at every bump of the road.
Of course, he had a plan B. Linda Paul wouldn’t have hired him if it were not for his knack for over-the-top unexpected and brilliant out-of-the-box solutions to problems he hadn’t planned for. He would give Linda Paul the show they deserved.
They would have to go through one of the tunnels down the road, which he knew would lead them to Versailles in no time. But for that, he had to find the proper one, large enough and clear enough to allow passage for the carriage and his cargo. The entrance was near, and with a bit of magical focus, they could arrive before sunrise through the Grotto of Thétys, an artificial cave, now mostly demolished, but its residual cave energetic imprint could do well enough to let them through.
Maurana was starting to feel queasy in the lurching carriage, and asked Sanso to rein in the zebras so that she could step outside for a moment. As soon as the steaming animals clattered to a stop, Maurana threw open the door and skittered down the steps, and issued forth a long mustard coloured ribbon of projectile vomit that draped the hedgerow like a garland.
“Darling, that gorgeous mustard colour goes so well with the wild roses, I really must have a gown in those colours!” said Conseula, who was still planning her new oufits. “A rose gown with mustard ribbon garlands, and a whalebone corset and hoops of course. I say, Chair, where did you get your cork bum from?” she added, as the footman climbed down from atop the barrel of champagne to stretch his legs.
“From the best bum cutter in France, Gilles Culeau. He has a secret recipe for the most comfortable bums you can buy, and in my job, you need a comfy bum. He uses a special outer casing of cork, and stuffs it with ferret fur, for extra warmth and comfortable padding ~ not like those cheap solid cork bums you find in Paris. Culeau’s bums are made from the finest imported Seville cork…”
“Where is his shop, I simply must have one ~ do shut up that ghastly retching Maurana ~ where Chair, can I procure a Gilles Culeau bum?”
“Well this is your lucky day, bichet, because he has an establishment in the hamlet at the entrance to the tunnel.”
“Maurana, if you’re quite done with that vile spectacle, will you get back in the carriage. We’re going bum shopping, toot! toot!”