A Stripper’s Life

March 30, 2011

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Fiction Friday comes a bit early this week …

“All I’ve got ish quarters,” slurred the obviously patron. “Where can I stick them?”

Candy responded to his off-color remark and subsequent laughter by slapping him across the face. As the man staggered off, her fans showed their support for her actions by cheering and tipping generously. Candy finished her performance just as the music ended. She quickly gathered her clothing as the next dancer prepared to take the stage.

“That’s Miss Candy Rain, folks,” boomed the speakers. “You can catch her three times a week at the Roundup.”

Candy retreated to the silence of the dressing room, glad that another long shift was behind her. She slipped into a pair of blue jeans and a comfortable t-shirt. She smiled as she laced up her Adidas running shoes. Much more comfortable. Candy scrubbed the stage makeup from her face, pulled her long hair into a ponytail, and pull on a baseball cap. She smiled into the mirror and saw the “girl next door” looking back at her. She threw the costume clothes into a worn duffle back and prepared to make her exit.

“Have a good night, Candy.”

“Same to you, Frank,” she responded. Frank was a one of the regulars at the Roundup – always tipping well, but never making any trouble for anyone. He was definitely one of the good guys – a rare thing at a strip club.

Candy slammed back a Jack and Coke when she got home. Then she turned off the lights and crawled into bed. Two minutes later, she was dead to the world.

The next morning, Candy awoke, and immediately transformed into Ann mode. She powered up her MacBook and put the finishing touches on her article. An hour later, she had marked up the necessary changes on a printout and made the necessary edits. The article was finished. Her editor would be pleased – “My life as a stripper – a month in the midst of debauchery” would be ratings gold.

Ann thought about calling the Roundup to let them know she was quitting. With the story finished, she didn’t need to deal with that place any more – good riddance. After a moment’s hesitation, she decided against it. She didn’t owe them anything – she’d just leave them in the lurch and made them deal with her angry fans when she failed to appear.

Ann liked to celebrate when she finished a story – retail therapy was good for the soul. She grabbed her purse and pointed her car toward the nearest mall. Five hours later, she returned home with a trunk load of new clothes.

Ann had a bit of sticker shock as she totaled up the damage from the shopping trip. She had a bit of a tendency to go overboard with these trips – the money she spent on the celebratory shopping trips sometimes exceeded the amount she was actually paid for the story.

Ann made a resolution to make a budget and stick to it. She needed to be more careful with her spending if she was every going to have the cash for a down payment on a house.

Out of the corner of her eye, Ann saw the duffel bag on the couch. A few loose bills had escaped from the bag and lay on a couch cushion.

Or maybe she could do a few more shows as Candy Rain. Just a month, she promised herself. Just long enough to build a nice emergency fund …

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