She only looked back once with a knowing grin before she was at the gates, through the queue, and the festival swallowed her whole.
Instantly the world was one she knew and understood better than the real life she lived every day. No one here quite fit in a box. There were boys and girls in plaid shirts, band t-shirts and stone washed jeans. People shuffling about in fluffy onesies depicting well-loved cartoon characters though there was neither a bed nor bedroom in sight. Skinny boys with tight black jeans and long back-combed hair, girls in powdery white makeup with delicate black lines encircling their eyes and forming spidery webs across their eyelids. Then there were the ones with chunky platforms boots in silver or black, fishnet tights, tank tops and multi-coloured dreadlocks, and boys with long black fringes that sat unnaturally perfect against their pale faces and snakebite piercings, one ring on either side of their bruise coloured lips. There were girls in maxi-dresses with gold body paint in scrawls of lines and arrows all over their skin, boys in combat trousers, steel cap boots and army jackets or sleeveless tees.
There were matching couples and matching groups, and mis-matched ones too, with someone from every tribe of the social dark-side of society that you could have imagined, the cast-out, discarded, abused, teased, forgotten, misunderstood and labelled. The freaks, the moshers, the goths, the cyber children, the Lolittas, the weirdos, the rockers, the emos, the glam-rockers, and many more that she knew society could not have put a word to. But here – in being different – they were all the same.