Vol. 3, Issue #12 July 4th - July 17th, 2008

Short Fiction By: G. Smith

There is no star on the door. The room isn’t much for dressing. It’s not one of those rooms where you’d imagine the girls sharing in bright laughter and hope. The mirrors aren’t lighted. No one has ever worn a feather boa in this place, no one probably ever will. Each girl doesn’t have her own space with a little nameplate. Of course some girls do, but they’ve earned them; videotaped and web-cast.

She flutters her eyelashes as she finishes with the mascara and puts it away. No matter what anyone says, when you look into this mirror or any mirror for that matter, you can’t look past your present. No matter how hard you try. You can stand in front of it and rub rouge into your cheeks just like she’s doing. You can paint your lips ruby red, just like hers, but even if you think you are looking past yourself in the mirror, even if that tiny voice in the back of your mind has the volume turned way down with whatever drink or pill, you can’t not know what that voice has been screaming.

She never wore makeup, never needed it. Things change. Her mother always said no matter what, you can’t cover up the truth.

The lights are dark in this building for a reason. Lots of people have lots of things to hide, and no matter how different she thinks she is she’s really not. In the shadows of the glowing neon she’s just one of the girls.

She hears the DJ call her to queue. She hates this place. His voice makes her cringe. She’s been thinking about leaving this whole goddamn scene. She’s had her bags packed for a few days now. But then again she’s always packing her bags and she’s always changing her mind. And she’s always buying his bullshit. Besides tomorrow is always another day.

The Xanex begins to ease her anxieties, the lights and the music, and the sad applause fade. Sweet little-assed Destiny from Baton Rouge grabs her fives and tens and ones, nearly forgetting the white string bikini top, bends over one last time and scurries off the stage.

A whispering pause. Time for another round. Time to light up a smoke. Time to take a piss.

A deep breath, and lights.

Hey pig. The bass vibrates the stage.

Yeah you.

Cold and pale. She appears out of the smoke and haze. Her cropped shiny black hair and her long netted stockings. Her red dicksucking lips and her plump round ass. Her dilated pupils and her maimed heart. Her pink nipples and her navel and the secret they won’t hold for long. Her plans and dreams and goals and regrets and doubts and fears. She’s all here; the clichéd poetry in motion.

She lips the lyrics as she swings to the gentlemen on perv row. She sees him standing at the bar. Maybe she heard the ice clink in his whiskey sour or felt a throbbing on her cheek. But she closes her eyes and dances it away grinding her hips, running her hands over her body.

She sways and she moves. Legs straight she bends forward. Liver-spotted wooden hands and a horizontally folded twenty. Palms on the stage she goes to her knees and prances his way. She looks through him, directly into the rotted heart of that sonuvabitch at the bar.

Fucking poets.

She snatches the old man’s cigarette from his lips. She puts it to hers and watches the cherry burn bright in his eyes.

She blows a long string of smoke right into his face. Sweetly, audibly she sings with the speakers.

Nothing is turning out the way I planned.

He loves watching her. He pretends he knows her and thinks that she doesn’t even know who she is. He knows she is one of a kind. He knows he takes advantage of her weaknesses. Probably even takes her for granted. He thinks about the first time he saw her. He loves this place. He has watched her dance and put her soul on display and he doesn’t even know how many times. He imagines a future with her and laughs at such daydreams. She knows these are his thoughts. Her legs spread and smiling. Her back arched and pouting.

He feels a tingling down deep and suddenly, she is gone.

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©2008 NONCO Media, L.L.C.