Mister Madigan, I presume


“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t.”

“It’s illegal.”

“So’s downloading illegal music.”

“But murder causes you to go to jail, you see.”

“Only if I’m caught.”

“Yes, well, this conversation would therefore be proof of intent.”


“So,” said Daniel. “How long do we have to wait?”


Very soon though, my makeup artist, Willow, turned up in the taxi.

I got in. “I’m so sorry, I had a fight with mum and she didn’t want to take me.”

“It’s ok, we’ve still got about an hour before the assignment starts, just let me pin back your hair…”

On the drive there, she explained to me what was going on. “This isn’t a photoshoot, what’ll be happening is I’ll be putting on your makeup, and my supervisor is going to judge it, not just how it looks, but how I put it on, how I treat you, because it’s also about how I treat you as a client.

“Now, there’s three looks, as you know. Day makeup, photoshoot makeup and theatre makeup, which is where you wear the beard.”

I grinned. “Yeah, beards aren’t usually suitable for day makeup.”

We got there with about half an hour to spare. Because taxis are incredibly expensive, Willow and I agreed to take the money out of my pay. Thankyou mother…

We soon got started. I actually enjoyed the first two looks, though Willow was under just as much pressure to do well. It was relaxing for me, just to sit back. I also got to see what sort of stuff they did at the academy. It’s not just makeup, they also focus on skin care and beauty therapy, which was shown in the assignment. The supervisor would come around and check out what we were doing and ask Willow questions about me.

Finally, it was time for the theatre makeup. And it was a lot harder than it looked on America’s Next Top Model.

One word of advice, nonexistent fans. Adhesive hurts. Don’t put it on your face unless you have to.

That’s what Willow used to stick the beard on my face. After shading in the stubble on my face, the adhesive went on. It wasn’t until it had been on for ten minutes that it started hurting. It wasn’t too much though. Well, I wasn’t screaming.

My favourite part, of course, was the wig. I love wigs. I wore one when I snuck out of the house one time, and I try them on whenever I can. And I definitely would’ve worn the wig Willow put on me, though the only reason it fit was because my hair was pinned up and stuffed under a cap.

Also part of my makeup was a series of bruises and one large scar, as the students needed to demonstrate two techniques. My story was that I was a professor who had given someone a bad grade, and he was beaten up by that student. When my makeup was done, I started cracking up, because I looked like my former Homeroom teacher, Meester Swinney. I was also given a shirt and a tie, which only emphasised the resemblance.

Once we had finished, Willow went to talk with her teacher, and I stayed behind with the other freak shows. In the room with me was a corpse prom queen, a burn victim, Alice in Wonderland’s Red Queen-who had her throat slit, Link- much to the delight of every nerd in the room, a Na’vi/A blue guy from Avatar for those of you who don’t remember what they’re called, a werewolf, some sort of alien, and…

“Daniel!” I hissed.

He turned from admiring one of the makeup artists, who had a disturbingly low top, and turned to me. Two seconds passed in complete silence. Then he started cracking up.

I just shook my head and started chatting to my friend from Avatar. He nearly jumped when I opened my mouth and I started talking. “I thought you were a guy!” he exclaimed.

Everyone thought the same. One of the teachers had to ask. I just laughed, and preyed that we’d get the mother fudging adhesive stuff off soon.

After I had taken my selfies (and let Daniel laugh at me until he couldn’t breathe), Willow took the stuff off my face and the pins out of my hair. I got $40 for all that, which was just fine with me.

While waiting for my bus, I started drawing Mister Madigan from my photo, when Mister Avatar turned up. (Yes, I’m calling him Mister Avatar for the benefit of you silly imaginary readers who don’t understand Na’vi.) “Hey!” he said. “You don’t have a beard!”

“Hey,” I greeted him. “You’re not blue either!”

“And you look like a girl!” he exclaimed. “How about that?”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “My bus is here,” I indicated the bus pulling in.

“You never gave me your name.”

“Why d’you want it?”

“So I can tell my friends about the girl who became a man.”

I stuck my tongue out at him again. “Cat. Cat Madigan.”

He waved as I got on the bus. “Bye Mister Madigan!”

“Bye Mister Avatar!”