When The Music Stops
“When you dance with the devil you wait for the song to stop!”
Barry the Baptist, “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Slide. Dip. Bend. Hair flip. Drop down and add another level of sore to your bruised knees with a heel clack. Grind then twerk, put your face on the nasty wood floor again with your ass in the air. Jesus she was tired and fuck these cheap plastic shoes hurt! Lily had at least four more hours of this crap, it was a packed house because some dip shit convention was in town and she needed to make her rent tonight or else.
Yeah, it wasn’t supposed to “be this way.” Yeah, she should be in cute yoga pants comfy at home making sangria in a sweet little house while a cool guy grills burgers out back. Right.
That fairytale went down the road with her last boyfriend who had a habit that wasn’t her after she came home to find every damn thing of value she owned gone along with him and a cliche’ note that read, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Her small collection of jewelry including a ring that had belonged to her late Mom, her few decent pieces of clothing and shoes, her computer, and even a set of dishes scored at an estate sale were all gone. Her goddamn makeup bag was even gone, good thing she kept her work stuff in her trunk in case she had a chance to pick up a shift.
There was the rent, expenses for her job, a few groceries, and the relentless student loan payments. The ambition of finding a “job in her field” had proved to be a joke and after several miserable months of random and minimal paying jobs, Lily decided that she would be the one who exploited herself and not some greasy chef in a kitchen groping her as she picked up her order! She was weary of hearing what a nice girl she was and that someday her prince would come and just so damn tired of being broke all the time. She had walked in cold one afternoon with a mixtape of favorite music and after stripping down to her Walmart undies, she was hired on the spot at a club on the outskirts of town that offered a “lap dance and sirloin dinner” special on Wednesdays. That had been a year ago and not much was much better but at least she had gas money and a bit of hope that things might improve.
He was dark, wore a crisp blue shirt with white cuffs, and a good watch. Killer smile and such smooth skin, he was very different from her usual cliental.When she asked him if he’d like a dance, he took her hand and walked her to the VIP room. His gaze was unflinching and never left her face, what the hell was that about? As she finished her three songs, his hand clamped onto her wrist and he pulled her in close…here it comes Lily thought, the weirdness, the filth, the offers of sex or drugs or something darker but he what he said to her was different. He used words that were unfamiliar with in a soft accent that made her swoon a bit. He gently stroked her hip and promised things that Lily had dreamed of: riches, immortal beauty, no more struggles, and his eternal devotion. She listened and became his.
“Oh Babygirl, I could rock your world, spend the night with me?” The guy in the sweatsuit wearing a snapback was the last stag party leftover of the night on her next shift.
He stunk of beer and weed and could not believe his luck when Lily put her hand in his and said, “Sure…meet me by the backdoor in ten, okay?” He drove a Honda Accord with a carseat strapped in the back and she smirked a little as she got in saying, “Let’s go to my place?” He couldn’t get there fast enough and once inside her beautifully decorated luxury condo, Lily told him that she’d like to change and to please make himself at home. He found a craft beer in the sub-zero fridge, turned on some music, damn she had the latest Bose system, and tried hard not to visibly drool when she came into the bedroom wearing only some kind of incredible black lingerie harness with many straps and buckles and a smile. She was flawless and just so nice and he kissed her pulling her down onto the bed still not believing his luck and wow wait until he told the guys. She arched her back and opened a buckle as she leaned in close, severing his jugular with the sharp edge of metal and then held him as he bled out.
The mess was not so unpleasant anymore she thought as she wrapped his body in a Frette sheet, it was just sticky and raw-smelling kind of like her old club. Lily tapped the number on her phone for her personal cleaner and then used an electric knife to efficiently remove his head. Her dark lover expected such things in return for her beautiful new life. She filled a large pot with water, dropped it in, and set it on the stove to boil down to the bone as she slid into a bubble bath with a glass of wine.
She danced purely for her own pleasure these days. A couple of hours on Saturday night as a feature in the upscale club that he owned frequented by high rollers, athletes, and wanna’ be social media “influencers” looking for a greedy selfie. Weekends were packed with private parties and sloppy drunks out for the evening on a reluctant kitchen pass. She really enjoyed the game these days. “Brought y’all some yummy soup I made, Tupperware’s in the fridge if you get hungry.” The girls at the mirror nodded their thanks as Lily added a final coat of lipgloss, excited for her set.
Her choice of music was different now and she had an impressive stage complete with amazing special effects! She picked up her favorite prop as she snuggled into a lush cape that covered the tiny Swarovski-studded outfit she wore. Pulling the heavy velvet hood over her long copper curls, her expensive stilettos clicked as she walked out and the incredible lighting, smoke, and laser imaging created a decadent mood all around her that was deliciously seductive. A warning often mistaken for desire reflected in all of her eyes, they were glowing now in that blood-red light…“Please welcome Lilith to the stage! This beauty will steal your heart and if you’re not careful she might make you lose your head!” Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” began to play as she slithered onto the floor slowly licking the skull cradled in her hands. Savoring a hint of something meaty, she began to dance as wads of cash rained onto the floor.
Contrary to popular belief, she really wasn’t a nice girl after all.
Ruthann Jagge 2/26/2019
I’m a New Your girl married to a Texas rancher and the oldest of eight kids in a crazy Irish-Catholic family. I’m fond of saying,”12 years of Catholic school made me what I am today to justify my crazy. My life is big, messy, cool, and complicated. I’m a passionate traveler, craftsperson, love to cook, read, and I listen to both county and rock music. I live in the middle of Nowhere, Texas in a 100 year old stone farmhouse surrounded by cattle, acres of dirt, and lots of small town judgement so I prefer to spend my time in my studio creating or writing.
I don’t always see ghosts but they are here so if one shows up, I offer it a shot of Jameson and listen to it’s story. Still trying to figure up what I want to be when I grow up, I’ve always been involved in creative pursuits including coloring outside the lines. The way to my heart is with humor or a good scare, I appreciate both!