A Short Story — Rainbow Party

The following is a story I wrote for a competition last year (didn’t win, sigh) and I thought, considering the absolutely horrible story coming out of BC this week about the 16-year-old girl who was drugged and gang raped while people took pictures and video and then posted the images online, that it was, in a sordid way, appropriate.  A ‘rainbow party’ for anyone who doesn’t know is a party where girls give blow-jobs while wearing vibrant colours of lipstick — the guy who has the most colours on his cock at the end of the night wins.

I was utterly appalled by this when I found out about it, but sadly, it’s quite a common event with kids these days.  As are ‘friends with benefits’.  This latest incident in BC is not an isolated event — these types of assaults seem to be happening more and more frequently.  The truly sickening part for me is that there are bystanders who film it, photograph it and then distribute it.  To add to the yuck factor is the knowledge that there are many, many people who will search these disturbing images out, deliberately, and then pass it on to friends as though it were nothing.

What, oh what, is happening to our world?  To the youth on whom the future is going to depend?  It literally makes me cry.  All I can think about is that poor girl.  I pray she recovers, but really, how can she?  After being violated in such a terrible and public manner?

I need to stop now.

© 2010 Kathy Larson
All rights reserved

Rainbow Party

Kassie looked in the mirror and made kissy-fish lips.  Then, she sucked in her cheeks and made her lips wiggle.  Jess, perched on the edge of the toilet, laughed.

“You geek!”  she said.

“Just loosening them up,”  Kassie replied.  She didn’t smile.  Jess looked down at her fingernails.  Her nails were ragged and chewed on; the polish – orange on one nail, black on the next – was chipped and picked away.  She grimaced and folded her hands together, tucked them between her thighs out of sight.

“We could do something else, you know,” she ventured.  She looked up at Kassie quickly, then away.  She seemed to be studying the tiny vase of blue straw flowers that Kassie’s mom kept on the second shelf of the cabinet above the toilet.  That vase had been there, she thought, forever.  As long as she could remember, anyway.  They, she and Kassie, had been friends since Grade 2, when they were six years old.  Seven years.  A long time.

Kassie said into the mirror, “Don’t come, if you don’t want to.”  Her words were flat, but she darted a quick glance in the mirror at her best friend.  She didn’t want to do this alone, but if Jess bailed on her. . .  Well, she would.  She’d do it.  This party was their chance and she wasn’t about to blow it.  Her stomach tightened at this last thought and she was suddenly grateful she hadn’t eaten supper.

Laid out on the vanity counter was an array of her mother’s lipsticks.  From the time she was little she had loved to come in and rummage through the drawer where her mom kept her dizzying collection of cosmetics.  Why her mom had all this stuff, she couldn’t figure, because other than once or twice a year Kassie never saw her wearing any of it.  The drawer had a nice smell when you opened it, like flowers and powder, but of something else, too.  It was the smell of ‘grown-up’, and in it was a mystery, a secret something about the woman her mother was, not the mom part, but the other part, the part Kassie tried to find every time she came in and fooled around with her mother’s makeup.

“You know I want to go, it’s just. . .”  Jess’ voice trailed off.  She reached out and picked up a shiny silver tube, plucked off the top and rolled up the lip colour.  It was a brilliant shade of red.  She looked up at Kassie.  “This is wrong, Kass.”  A tear slid from the corner of one eye.

Angrily Kassie snatched the tube from Jess.  “I told you, don’t come, then.”  She couldn’t believe this.  Her best friend, the one person she counted on, the one who knew, was chickening out.  “You don’t even have to do anything, for crying out loud.  If you don’t want to. “  She leaned back against the door and slid down to the floor, her knees tucked in tight to her chest.  Her flat chest.  She sighed.  Now she felt like crying.  “You were all excited about this when they asked us.”  Her voice trembled, and when she looked up Jess saw the tears brimming in her eyes.

“I know, but I didn’t know.  You know?”

Kassie looked at her.  “That was stupid.”


They burst out laughing.  And for a moment it was just like it had always been, just the two of them having fun, messing around in the bathroom.  Kassie twirled the tube of lipstick between her fingers.

“What would we do instead?”

Jess scooted down on to the floor beside her, wrapped her arms around Kassie’s knees and leaned in so that their faces were inches apart.  She was smiling.  A big wide-eyed, happy smile, full of excitement.  “We could stay at my house.  Rent a movie, or surf YouTube.  My mom would let us order a pizza.  I need to change my polish.”  It came out all in a rush and she rocked the two of them back and forth in her exuberance.

Kassie leaned her head back against the door.  “We always do that.”

Jess released her hold on Kassie and sat back, cross-legged on the floor in front of her.  “I know.  It’s lame.”

“No, it’s not,”  Kassie replied quickly.  “It’s just, . . . oh, I don’t know.”  She pulled the top off the tube of lipstick again and studied the beautiful shade of red as it emerged.

“It’s kid stuff.”  Jess whispered.


They sat not speaking for another minute, then Jess looked up into Kassie’s face.  Kassie looked into her friend’s eyes.  “Did you check it out online?  How to do it?”

“Yeah.  It’s pretty gross.”

Jess’ eyes looked so big and blue in her pale face.  There was a look caught in them, a frightened little girl look that said:  Please, don’t make me do this.  She wondered if Jess was seeing the same thing in hers.  She closed her eyes, in case.

“I have to go.  I told them we’d be there.  But you don’t have to.  Go, I mean.  Really.”

Silence.  Then the sound of Jess standing up.  Kassie kept her eyes closed.  There was the sound of a brush being pulled through hair.  Jess’ long, straight blonde hair.  Kassie suddenly thought of them playing ‘My Pretty Pony’ and how Jess’ long hair streamed behind her like the flaxen tail of a Palomino when she ran.  She got to her feet.  Gently took the brush from her friend’s hand.

“Here, let me do that.”


17 thoughts on “A Short Story — Rainbow Party

    1. I don’t know Cindy. I do know it’s not all kids who are so screwed up, but when you hear about so much of this kind of behaviour you have to start asking where did we go wrong?

  1. Totally agree Kathy and regarding the first part of your blog, did you see on the news last night………they were interviewing another “teen guy” and he was almost chuckling, big smile on his face and claimed he didn’t believe it was “rape”?? WTH is wrong with these kids? Maybe he was one of the observers?
    Makes me sick to my stomach and just as sick that they record this stuff. The internet has its place in the world. It has done great things for me for reconnecting and for my genealogy. Its kids like this and various other walks of life that make the internet for many a scary place for some people. Really sad. I hope as they stated on the news, that they could see who some of the other kids were and I hope they charge them accordingly but then again I guess we’d have to have a better “young offenders act” in place to deal with them properly.

  2. I did not know about such parties. Don’t have TV, so I didn’t see anything on the news. This is sad. Very sad.

    Your story is, however, well written. Thank you!

    As for the Internet, what goes on would go on anyway, with or without the Internet to spread it around. I’m more concerned about what it is that is causing these young men to become so desensitised. Folks like this have always been with us, however. Really, the expression may take new form, but the core issues are the same.

    The insecurities and desire to please and to belong at any cost on the part of the girls is ages old. When and how will we resolve this.?

    Thanks for a well-written and thought-provoking post.

  3. I hadn’t heard about this til just now. This is completely disgusting and makes me fear even more for my kids growing up in this world. Who are these people and how can anyone EVER think that this would be in any way funny? It is sick and twisted and I pray to god that my children are never in anyway a part of something so vile and abusive. I have such a fear of sending them out into the world because of situations like these, which seem to be more and more frequent. I hope they catch all of the little bastards involved, and hopefully they will be given an appropriate punishment. My heart goes out to that girl and I hope that in time she will manage to get through this terrible thing that has happened to her.

    1. Thanks for the comment Michelle. This is a really tough one for me. I absolutely refuse to watch any of the news coverage, but you can’t get away from it on the radio or in the newspapers. I’ve heard that some of those involved think this is a joke. They actually laughed. I don’t know, that just makes me so sad. As far as being afraid to send your kids out into the world — don’t be, but do be cautious. You, and many of the other new, young mothers I’ve met recently (this includes Jenn by default) seem to have your heads squarely on your shoulders. I trust that you will instill in your children the values and morals and mores that decent, caring societies strive to be defined by. Yes, and I hope they catch the little bastards and beat the living hell out of them.

  4. I find the biggest issue is how girls value (or rather don’t value) themselves. Unfortunately, for many girls who aren’t involved in other things, the only way they get their self worth is through their appearance and attention from boys. And if that’s their motivation, well…they can go down all sorts of wrong roads. Think of the recent story about the 12 yr old in Calgary performing sexual acts with a 16 yr old in a schoolyard while onlookers sat in the bleachers.

    A further point with these rainbow parties is the inequality involved. It is not a reciprocal act. It is one-sided with only the boys getting satisfied. Fortunately, I don’t think they’re terribly popular in these parts, but certainly girls performing oral sex as a sort of “second-base” move is. Many think of it as not being much different than kissing.

    1. I agree with you 100% Jill. With all the work and effort that world puts into teaching girls that they are more than just their relationship to a man/boy, it seems that we cannot undo the damage hundreds of years of hard-wiring their brains to the opposite has done. And then there is the male side to the coin — we’ve been trying to ‘feminize’ boys for as long as we’ve been promoting ‘girl-power’ — young males these days are so conflicted and confused with the messages being given them it’s no wonder things like rainbow parties exist. It’s like these things are some kind of primeval, ritualistic testing ground where they go to try and sort out who/what they are. Just a thought.

      I’m wondering now about the 12 year old in Calgary — was she given drugs as well? What on earth would a girl that young even think about sex? Unless, of course, she was already a victim of abuse.

  5. You people do realize that rainbow parties are fake right…
    It’s a fraud It’s not popular no ones doing them
    Stop believing what anyone tells you

  6. Rainbow parties don’t actually exist people the media hyped it up but it was basically a big lie don’t believe what everyone tells you

    1. Well, I don’t want to believe in such things, but I work in a school and the kids there talked about it. It’s been quite a while since I wrote that story. Fortunately, I no longer hear about these parties. But. . . I still hear some pretty disturbing stuff coming from kids in Junior High. Much too young to be ‘experimenting’ the way some of them do.
      Thank you, though, for taking the time to comment. I’m glad to hear that perhaps it was made more of than it actually was.

  7. I was a substitute teacher for a year and had freshman high school
    english. One of the assignnments was to write a short paragraph about what you wanted to do when you got out of high school Most wrote they wanted to go to college. Several wanted to get jobs. But one girl said she wanted to either be a stripper or porn star. When I spoke to her about it she said that’s what she wanted to do and her parents were ok with it. Can you believe that. And i overheard her tedlling another girl that she had several guys over the previous weekend but none of them brought condoms so she had to have them withdraw. I was appalled with her, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do about it. We spoke to her mother and all she said was “if that’s what she wants, then fine.”

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