An average day in the life of a young stripper...
| Alayne was sitting at her vanity, applying a thick layer of red lipstick between her lined lips. She pouted and smacked her lips together before stuffing it in her make-up case and fluffing out her hair. She was tying her bralette when one of the girls crashed through the dressing room door. Her nails scratched at the thin wooden surface before she wobbled into the room. Julia, she was one of the youngest among them. Her red curls were bundled and askew on the side of her head, something that was - supposedly - a bun now looked like a bird’s nest. Her eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and from her uncoordinated stepping, Alayne knew she was clearly high on whatever free substances the clients generously offered. The red head rushed to Alayne’s side and gave her a sloppy kiss on her neck.
“Diva, we need you out there,” she said, rubbing the lipstick from Alayne’s neck after receiving her glare, “Sorry.” She grinned, and patted the area. “There’s this guy out there, the girls say he’s some rich celebrity and no one can get his attention. Whoever does it would get one hell of a pot for the club.”
“So you expect me to go out there and hustle his money for all of you to take home?”
“Well, yeah.” Julia played with her red curls and shuffled from one leg to the other.
Alayne grabbed glitter hairspray and emptied half its contents onto her hair. “I’m not working the bar tonight, I’m dancing.”
“That’s the point. You’ve been here the longest, if anyone secures his wallet it’s you.”
Alayne sighed and got up from her seat. She towered over the girl with her 8 inch heels. They were deep burgundy and had secure straps which twisted up her ankle. She had had these shoes for nearly 2 years and they never let her down: custom made with deep insoles, her feet barely ached after a 10 hour shift.
She strode out of the dressing room and into the chaos of the club, The Moonlight Club it was called. It was originally ‘The Emerald’ but they changed owners five years ago. Alayne remembered when they repainted the outside from green to deep blue, the change in dress code, and the new innocent faces who joined the new team.
Julia walked by her side, slightly wavering in her steps and losing a fight of opening a pack of gum. “There he is, Tate Thompson.” Julia said, pointing towards the man sitting in one of the red velvet round booths, surrounded by girls. Alayne took the gum from Julia and absent-mindedly picked at the wrapper while looking at him. He was good-looking, in a Valley boy kind of way. He looked like the type who wore white shorts as an everyday outfit. Nonetheless, she could see what many other idiot girls would find attractive in him. He had square shoulders, and short blonde hair. He looked like the type who smoked cigars with other big Whigs, in a mahogany office. She turned to Julia and popped some gum in her mouth. “I got this one.” She winked, throwing the remaining gum in her direction and went backstage to prepare for her routine.
It wasn’t anything eccentric, she stopped giving 100% in her performances a long time ago. Who cared how hard she twerked or shook on the stage, all men wanted was a fine piece of meat on their arms, and something to suck their cocks - since their botox filled wives were too proud. Anything to fill the void from their empty loveless marriages and distract them from their dull social lives. She was greeted by Miller, the sound tech backstage. He was a wan looking young man with greasy blonde hair who spent most of his time out back smoking cheap weed than actually helping with stage sound. Then again, Alayne knew most of the customers didn’t even listen to the tunes he spun, the majority of them were too focused on staring holes in strangers’ bodies. She informed him of what song she was going to dance to and shuffled up the steps. “Looking good.” Miller said, his headphones wrapped around his neck as he pushed and moved buttons on his DJ table.
Alayne gave him a fake curtsy in return, fluffing her imaginary dress to which he scoffed. Her outfit was simply underwear, with less coverage. The bralette was sheer and didn’t leave much to the imagination but the dark grey made her fresh tan pop. Her shorts were a favourite of her frequent clients, and to call them shorts was a benevolent term. They were tight and gave her butt a desirable roundness which always made men reach for their wallets.
“You’re up Diva.” Miller said, once he had finished choking on laughter, who knew a stripper with manners was so hilarious?
Diva was Alayne’s nominated stage name. No one in the club knew her real name, besides her boss Terry. However, it was illegal for him to hand out her personal details to the other members of crew. Not that Alayne cared about it much, the ‘real’ name she gave him was her old name her mother gave her: Nadia. She changed that name recently; she refused to support her mother’s grimy lifestyle any longer and also wanted to rid any chance of her tracking her down, again.
She stood waiting for her cue behind the familiar old black velvet floor length curtains. From far away they were the height of sexual elegance, mystery and excitement - up close however, was another story. The velvet caught dust and stray hairs in its material making her stifle a sneeze every time they parted. There were make-up marks in the shape of finger prints, and it smelled like something that used to be a shower curtain but got a pathetic up-cycle, which really wasn’t necessary. Miller whistled at her: it was time. She pushed through the curtains - the electric control no longer working - and let the echo of her heels on the fake marble stage resonate in her mind. It was as if the sound of her heels were equal to that of calling bells; everyone turned to watch her find her position. Waiters stopped waiting, clients stopped flirting, drunks stopped drinking.
Alayne clicked all the way to the end of the runway stage as it was at the bottom that she found clients to be most giving with their bills. She posed, propping an arm behind her head and one grazing her thigh, one leg bent out ever so slightly while the other remained straight beneath her. One of her trashy R’n’B mixes blazed through Miller’s speakers and it prompted Alayne to start moving. She began gyrating slowly, warming up. Her hands trailed her torso and slowed at her breasts. She could barely make out the people staring at her over the bright spotlights, but she could see specks of shadows around the stage. She heard ‘woop’s and ‘yes baby’s from the sidelines. She fixed a fake smile on her face as she dropped to her knees and let them slip and slide all over the floor. Tatiana - who was known for her exaggerated use of baby oil - performed before her, leaving most of the bottle on the stage. Alayne took care to avoid the wet spots when she stood. She thrust herself towards the floor, and then flipped onto her behind. This angle gave her a perfect view of the floating dollar bills thrown her way, some were rolled up, some crumpled, and some were single notes - stingy. She moved to the pole, her favourite part. The one thing she actually liked was using the pole, it always mesmerised the guests and captured everyone’s attention, both male and female alike. When she used it she felt like she was floating, her legs hovering in the air, she felt superior. She was much higher above everyone else, she could feel their stares singeing through her thin outfit, their arousal, jealousy, envy… she rejoiced in it. The feeling of being above them, looking down on their seedy habits, their statures - usually imposing and large - now minuscule and unassuming.
She jumped onto the pole, despite the cold metal biting her bare skin she squeezed her thighs together and let herself fall backwards. She heard the usual ‘ooh’s and ‘aw’s from the crowd, as the pole fit between the crook of her shoulder blades. Her head rested against the security of the metal and her curls fell beyond her, nearly kissing the stage floor. Using the momentum of her jump she twirled slightly, giving the clients a better view of her entire form against the steel. After the chorus of the song she snapped up, working her core to pull herself up and grip the pole with her hands. She let her left leg span in front of her and the other behind creating a mid-air split and used her hands to spin her around. Feeling lost in her performance and enjoying the sensation of her muscles crying out at the exertion she didn’t hear the catcalls. As the song slowed to a finish, she ceased her spinning and dropped on all fours on the ground. She crawled to the edge and spied into the crowd.
In the sea of faceless heads, she saw the rich guy Julia had asked her to seduce. She crooked her hand in front of her, balancing on her other hand, and bent her finger at him. Having already captured his attention, he pointed at himself awestruck. Alayne smiled at him, and then hastily grabbed the bills strewn on the stage. She stuffed as much as she could in her shorts, and upon reaching their inevitable breaking point, she resorted to putting the rest in her bralette.
She was wiping herself down with a baby wipe when a knock came to the door. She looked up immediately; it was very rare for someone to knock before coming into a changing room for strippers. They always assumed strippers enjoyed being looked at as they flaunted it on stage. Bunch of chauvinistic pigs. It was her boss, Terry. He leaned against the doorway awkwardly, his fat rolling over the door jam. He whistled at her before he passed the threshold. Alayne sat up straight and threw the used wipe in the trash beneath her vanity. She knew this must be serious, he never visited her on her unless he meant ‘business’. “Diva, you were spectacular out there.”
He ambled in behind her, and placed one of his ring filled hands on her bare shoulder. “Absolutely phenomenal.”
Alayne refrained from rolling her eyes, his ass licking never improved even after all these years. “Well, I’ve been here long enough to know how to get a job done.”
“Not only do you always impress me Diva, you’ve attracted the richest man in the room.”
Alayne stared at herself in the mirror, hoping her reflection wouldn’t give away her true sentiments on this surprise visit. She saw a gleam in her eyes, ignoring the hairy buffoon of a man wheezing behind her. His hand was hot and sweaty, well she hoped it was sweat that was now wetting her shoulder. She rotated her shoulders in a weak attempt to shake him off.
“I’m not surprised. So, what’s the catch? He only wants sex?”
“Oh no, this one is very specific. He wants a private room with you. No mention of sex, but I have put a bowl of condoms in the corner just in case.”
The Moonlight Bar was a well known “strip” club. However, Terry generously bent the rules on occasions such as these. On many occurrences he pimped Alayne and countless girls off to rich foreigners, politicians and singers. It was no surprise to her that he would expect nothing less of his ‘best’ girl on a night such as this. Alayne opened her drawers and pulled out her red corset. Receiving an appreciative look from Terry, she grabbed the matching panties and excused herself to the bathroom. At least in there she would get no visitors.
Her corset was more of a selection of ropes and snaps with little coverage in the front. It was an inexpensive outfit she bought with some of the girls a few months back, she wasn’t crazy about the colour but as they said: red is the colour of passion. Seemingly, it worked every time. Whenever a man within the premises saw her wearing this red outfit, they always wanted to buy her time. It was a little price to pay for the interest she received, and the addition to her rent fund. She was fastening the last golden clasp when she heard the bathroom door clang open. Clacks of heels infiltrated the seemingly quiet atmosphere of Alayne’s adopted changing area. Soon she heard convulsing sobs and it sounded very much like her younger apprentice, Julia. She rolled her eyes, fixed her stockings and used her elbow to unlock the stall.
“Julia?” She said into the bathroom, as she stood in front of the sinks and clipped in her earrings. “Is it Brad?”
“Bob,” Julia corrected, stumbling out of the last stall, and leaned against the wall. “You know it’s Bob.”
“Bob, Brad, whatever. What happened now?”
Julia sighed and slid down the vomit coloured wall, her dark eye-liner making war marks down her contoured cheeks. “H-he said I need to pay up. I’ve told him I don’t have the money, you know how I’ve been depending on him. How can he do this to me?”
Brad-Bob, was Julia’s long term boyfriend; a metaphorical thorn in Alayne’s side. He was all she heard out of the girl’s mouth for years, ‘Bob took me here, Bob bought me this, Bob said that.’ Then a month ago Bob said they should break up and Julia has been a liquid bubble of up and down ever since. Hence, Julia has been working almost every night at the club and has even asked to be under someone’s protection. Namely, Bella from the club ‘Thirst’ - Alayne’s backup in times of financial struggle, which happened to be more frequent lately. She said she would think about it, she wasn’t too keen on getting a minor - in her eyes - on the streets. It was bad enough that she was dancing for coin.
Alayne readjusted her cleavage in the eye-liner speckled mirror as Julia wallowed in the corner. “It’s probably not that big of a deal. How much do you owe?”
“More than I can count.” Julia picked at the dirt between the tiles on the ground under her feet. Alayne crouched down and pulled her hand from there, scolding her over what could possibly be congealed beneath them.
“Mustn’t be that high then, sweetie.” Noticing her sarcasm wasn’t as welcomed as usual, she softened. “Look, I’m going to be with that Tate guy soon. I’ll make sure you get more than the others.”
Julia perked up. “You will?” she sniffed.
Alayne nodded, and squeezed her hand.
Julia gave her another sloppy kiss. “You’re my life saver.”
“I know. Now, let me go. I have a very special client to take care of.”
Alayne wasn’t sure what to expect when trying to satisfy Tate; she certainly didn’t expect him to just sit there, limp, and just stare with a blank deadpan expression. His dark eyes were the only thing that suggested he was even awake, his breathing was so quiet she had to sit on him and listen to ensure he was still alive. She furrowed her brows, his reaction was similar to that of a rag doll. The room they were in was Terry’s favourite, it had red mood lighting, floor to ceiling mirrors, and plenty of ‘tools’ for clients’ preferences. He was seated in one of the armchairs in the corner of the room. The closest thing the black leather had to being cleaned was when customers spilled their vodka on the cushions. She leaned on the armrests so she could gyrate freely above his lap. She grinded and swayed above him; alas she did not even receive a grunt. Eventually she got up and stared at him.
“What is it that you like, Mr. Thompson?”
Alayne exhaled, propping her hands on her hips. “Tate. What is it you want me to do for you?” She tried to conceal her agitation by digging her fingers into her costume.
Tate’s gaze followed her fingers under dark lashes. “Do what you usually do. I just want to watch.”
Alayne’s eyes narrowed. “You don’t want me to touch you?”
He shook his head, and reiterated: “I just want to watch.”
Alayne stepped back, twisting a curl in her hand. “Then tell me, why did you request a private room? If you just like to watch, isn’t seeing me on stage good enough?”
He licked his lips. “I wanted a closer look.”
After a moment of thought, Alayne walked to the small pole in the middle of the room. She gripped it and let herself idly walk around it, completely dumbstruck by his refusal of intimacy. Not that she was upset, with this kind of performance she would be out of here sooner than she expected. It was his overtly numb attitude towards her touches that puzzled her. Questions spilled into her brain: was he gay? A-sexual? Voyeur… cuck?
She shook her head, and looked over at him once more. Completely still in the black armchair, both his arms braced on the armrests. She performed an en-core of her dance on stage earlier, and to her surprise his lips were upturned when she finished. He clapped, three times, each slow and resonating in the tiny room. “Beautiful.”
Her thirty minutes were up. Alayne felt the sudden urge to bow to him. The way he held himself with his tight posture and his legs placed firmly on the ground. Unlike most others who were slumped in their chairs, half inebriated and fondling themselves carelessly. It was his complete silence and attention towards her that startled her, there wasn’t a hint of glassiness in his glance, not a smell of alcohol on his breath, it was if he didn’t want to miss a single second. She had plenty of experience with creeps before, more than she’d like to recount, but none have ever made her feel so exposed.
A knock came to the door, time was most certainly up. If clients were not finished after 40 minutes, one of the bouncers would knock to remind them. This time however, Terry graced them with his arrival. He was in a new shirt, and his hair was slicked back - he was definitely about to kiss ass. Striding into the room he looked at Alayne and recognition of her lack of nakedness prompted him to ask: “Were you not satisfied with Diva?”
Tate remained seating, completely ignorant to the new addition to the room. “The contrary. She was all I hoped.” His knuckles turned white as he gripped the armrest harder and pushed himself to his feet. He stood for a second, uncertain to leave or not. Then he looked to Alayne, a small upturned smile on his tanned face. “Ms. Diva, if it is at all possible I would love to see you again.”
Before Alayne could react, Terry nearly jumped between them. He placed a golden ringed hand on Tate’s chest. “If you want to see her again, you’ll have to arrange it with me first.”
Tate looked over Terry’s head and said: “I will be at this address on Friday. I would love to have you accompany me.” He side stepped her boss, and pulled out a small black card and put it in her palm.
It read 482 Decker Street. She looked back at him, he was still there watching her. Looking into his dark eyes once more, she spoke. “I’m not working this Friday.”
“Then, come as a friend.” he touched her hand, timidly. His skin cold on hers. Then he left without a second glance.
Terry stood silently for a moment, Alayne mirrored his stance: staring out the door as if he would come back in and laugh at them. As if anyone would want to buy a stripper’s time just for company. Instead it was Terry who laughed. It was a rumbling, wheezing one and she despised him the longer he did it. He pounded his chest, tears sparkling in his eyes. He crouched down and slapped his knees, catching his breath. Alayne huffed, folding her arms and waited for him to just come out with it.
“Oh, that’s good.” He wiped at his eyes, standing back up. “Who knew he would pass up easy pussy for an expensive date.”
“Maybe, some men are gentlemen.” Alayne was sceptical even as she said it.
“No gentleman comes to this establishment, and no man passes up sex. Sounds like he’s either been living in a closet, or a psycho. But, he left an ample tip so I suggest you go to wherever the hell is on that card, and do whatever he wants.”
“Thanks for the pep talk, Terry.” Alayne said, sarcasm steeping her words. “I expect that tip to be in an envelope with my name on it in 10 minutes. I can sort out the dividing later.” She said as she brushed past him, looking forward to a long shower once she got home. She couldn’t wait to expel all of the dirt and grim she picked up over the past hours, and also shake the sinking feeling in her stomach.
When she was dressed in her oversized hoodie and leggings, she grabbed the envelope - a tiny smile knowing Terry did exactly as she said - and locked her dressing table drawer. The dressing room was empty besides two other girls, Tatiana and Kystal. Both were chatting amongst themselves and reapplying make-up in their down time. She left them to their conversation and walked down the hall to the back door exit. This hallway was only used by the employees and hence it was in pretty bad condition. It resembled an old hospital hallway, with chipped paint, grime matting the edges of the lino and flicking halogen strip lights. The main difference between this hallway and a hospital was its small size, and the blue lights instead of white ones. The blue prevented people injecting themselves; they can’t see their veins. Although, that still didn’t stop some of the girls. It was no longer a shock factor to Alayne when she would enter the bathroom and see one of the girls snorting coke off the sink, or injecting themselves and covering it up with jewellery. Dealing with the clients some of them called ‘regulars’, she understood why they needed to be high off their tits to withstand it. Alayne was lucky in that front, Terry ensured she was given to the richer clients, all they wanted was some fun - mostly resulting in her giving them lap-dances but nothing more exerting than that.
She pushed through the emergency exit door, it wasn’t wired to the alarm so she usually slipped out here instead. Only a few others had figured it out like Miller and Julia. Miller usually hid back here to smoke in between breaks. For once he wasn’t there. He usually leaned against the naked brick wall, one hand holding his phone and the other nursing a joint. Instead of the stoner’s casual ‘bye Diva’ as she passed, she heard a low mewling sound. Her brows furrowed as she looked around, the back alley was dark with only the light from the street lamp at the end of the row. The groaning continued. She reached into her backpack, retrieving her pocket knife and gingerly stepping forward. She was mindful of the puddles, not wanting to make any extra noises to attract attention. She was happy she wore her dark hoodie, hoping it would help her blend into the dark shadows between the two buildings. She edged forward, fully certain the noises were coming from the skip or behind it. Swallowing hard, her hand gripped the knife so hard her nails dug into her palm.
“Help.” A voice, as soft as a whisper.
Alayne advanced faster and stared into the darkness. Her eyes began to adjust slowly; she stepped beyond the skip and gasped. A body lay on the dark pavement. She couldn’t make out who it was as their clothes were torn and mottled in dark patches. She closed the knife and stuffed it into her hoodie and rushed over to their side. “Please help.” They whispered again, the voice cracking in the middle. Now that she was closer she could see the aggressive curves of the body, and spotted red curls under the tiny light from the street lamp.
“Julia?” Alayne exclaimed, placing her hand on the girl’s shoulder and gently shaking. She retracted her hand to find it covered in dirt and blood. The girl was almost frozen. “Julia, I’m going to get help okay - just stay here.”
Thank you so much for reading. I can't wait to hear your feedback on this snippet, and I look forward to updating the rest of the story very shortly.