It is complete! It is finished! It is now winging its way to my contact in a competition who will pass it on to the judges. And who knows 2011 may be the year where my writing finally makes an impression.
So here it is, the reason behind my blogging absence, the story that has kept me busy all these past few weeks and the first tale where I show a bit of a naughtier side to my imagination. You have been warned! Enjoy this christmas treat from me and I shall blog you all in the new year! Have a good one!
The Trickster and the Tease
Kelly peels back the plastic, tears out a moist wipe and drags it around her neck. The coolness of it not dampening her burning frustration at another night of work. Slinging the used wipe into the bin, she cringes at the memory of how many common things have been able to touch her body, feel her skin, and admire her curves. Opening up her rainbow collection of eye shadows, she selects a glittering violet, dabs the eye pad into it and then pulls one eyelid down, ready for application.
She pauses; the structure of her face awakens old memories of an old man with one eye. A father who she hasn’t seen or heard from for over five years. Swallowing back the surge of emotions, she paints her eyelids, gives colour to her fading lips and coats her cheeks in foundation.
Recognising the sound of tapping on her dressing room door she says, “Come in.” Her attention remaining focused on her reflection, running a fine brush through her long dark hair.
The young man enters, hair as black as hers but in tight, little curls. He shuts the door and takes up his usual place on her leopard print sofa.
“Looking fabulous as always.” He smiles at her back.
“Just a small group tonight. Usual rules again, after all we’re not a brothel.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Standing up he inspects her outfit hanging on the wardrobe door. Playing with the large purple feathers on her head cap, he asks with a grin, “Being a Las Vegas showgirl tonight are we?”
Not responding, she focuses on the delicate art of painting her nails.
Striding forwards he leans over her shoulder, their eyes finally connect within the mirror.
“Remember all I’ve done for you.”
With a horrid taste in her mouth she whispers “I haven’t forgotten, Luke.”
“Who looked out for you when everyone else was gone, sis? Who was it?” He snarls into her ear, his liquor laced breath on her neck makes her body tauten.
“Yeah, me. Father knew the end was coming, but did he think of how we would survive afterwards? How we would live?”
“No.” Mascara trickles down her cheeks, washing away her foundation, tear by tear.
“That’s right.” He hisses. “He left us alone and weak. Family shouldn’t abandon each other when trouble comes, should they? Should they, Kelly?” He articulates her name slow and harsh.
Revolted by the sound of her name, she struggles to contain the anguish he stabs her with. “Family should stay together.”
“That’s right. So I stand by you because you are my sister. I look after you don’t I? I provide a home, work and safety, don’t I?”
Kelly nods rapidly, showing weakening nerves and frayed emotions.
He looks down on her wet face and ruined make-up and gently moves her hair behind her back, letting his finger tips linger on the nape of her neck. “But nothing comes freely to us anymore, sis. We have to earn our living. Think how many nights I have had to spend with drunks. All I ask in return is that you dance for them, sis. That’s all. That’s not too much to ask is it? To help your brother?”
“Then show me a bit of god damn gratitude!” He hits the table with a thunderous bang which scatters her makeup palettes on to the mauve carpet. His silver snake torque band releases a brutal clang as the metal clashed against the wood. “Stop acting like a common slut. I want you at your best tonight. Don’t let me down.”
Whirling out of the room he slams the door as his exits, the impact quakes through the wall to her mirror, rattling the glass causing it to fracture across her reflection. For a moment she sits there in silence, tears dribble through the remainder of her make-up. She wraps her arms around her stomach and mutters a world-forgotten name over and over again. Her tears add shame to her soul drip by drip. The shame is her fear of this unfamiliar, new world in which she is trapped; reliant on Luke to provide a foundation in their new life, far away from all they once had and those they once knew.
The ‘Ruby Lotus’ is busy, loud and dark. Men with prowling eyes linger in the shadows around the room, sipping their drink alone or leering with comrades, at the waitresses wearing their revealing Japanese red dresses. The noisiest group of men are at the bar, gathered close around Luke.
Filling ten shot glasses, each one with an embossed symbol, he arranges them before the huddle of friends.
“So gentlemen, shall we begin your evening with a drinking game?”
“Jack’ll do it!
“Yeah, Jack, mate, it’s your stag-night.” The gathered chant.
The young man with ginger hair gives a bold laugh and accepts this drinking challenge.
“There is a story to this game; do you want to hear it?” Luke shuffles the shot glasses on the damp bar surface.
“Go on then, give us the story.”
“I once went on holiday to Denmark and at this club I met this beautiful woman and her name was...”
Luke tells his tale of lies, each rune marked glass being given the life and attributes of a woman. He explains how each woman was the other’s cousin and describes his many sexual encounters with each on his travels around Denmark. He lays a finger upon each glass when spoken of and caresses its rim.
“All you have to do my friend is taste each of my women and correctly give me their names.” His grin deepens as he observes Jack trying to repeat the names of the runes over and over again in his head. Luke glances down at the shot glasses and gets shivers with excitement and magic, seeing the various powers of the runes infuse with the liquid. This hidden power makes each drink different, weak or strong, sweet or bitter. Yet to the unknowing eyes, this liquid is the same and comes from the same bottle. It always surprises Luke how no one ever questions the contents of the bottle, they always put the failure down to their memory and not the strength of the drinks they were taking.
The game begins, each shot makes Jack distort his face with each new flavour hitting his tongue, burning down his throat and making his eyes water, allowing Luke to relish his trick at work. At the fifth glass Jack can drink nor recall the names no more, his voice weak from the intense alcohol.
Luke extends out his hand, “That will be ten quid if you please.” Keeping his eyes level and his gaze fixed on the disappointed customer.
“Ok, you win.” Amongst disappointed mutterings the ten pound note is given. “I’ll try it, before I have had a drink, next time.” Jack comments trying to recover some of his pride before his mates.
“Perhaps! Next time!” Luke then drinks each of the remaining shots in turn and slides the glasses back under the counter. “Now gentlemen, if you would kindly make your way into the Show Room, my girls will see to your every need.”
Kelly and the other colourful, delicately clad women wait back stage; the corridor is full of sequins, feathers and the smell of cheap perfume mixed with the bitter tang of hairspray. She doesn’t look at the painted faces, all mirages of youthful looks, all painful reminders of how far she has fallen.
The glitter in her nail varnish catches her eye, she lets her gaze drift out of focus, allowing the sparkle to grow and overwhelm everything else. Beautiful, pretty things always enchant her, it’s the greatest of her flaws and her father knew it well. He called her, his ‘little dragon,’ for the way she would horde such treasures like the mythical beasts.
“Gentlemen, thank you for attending our show. I promise you won’t be disappointed.” Luke’s confident voice echoes through the plywood screens.
The women begin moving into their positions, large feather fans of blue, purple and white shift together and each woman’s face fixes into a smile.
“These beauties are gathered here tonight, not just for your entertainment, but to bring to life, your every need and desire and make tonight, a night that Jack will remember through the many years of his marriage to come.”
A rabble of noise, cheering and laughter erupts beyond the screen.
“Men, I proudly present to you the finest selection of breasts, legs and arse you will find anywhere in this town. And they are all a hundred per cent yours, for this evening of pleasure. I give you, the Lotus Ladies!”
Smirking with pleasure and his eyes sparkling with mischief, Luke emerges through the gathering stage smoke and music from Chicago begins to play.
“I’ve worked my magic, now let’s see yours.” He whispers giving Kelly a hug before turning to the enchanted eyes of the other dancers. “Have fun with them ladies.” He slaps one woman’s backside as he exits, returning to the bar and his games.
As he leaves Kelly lets out a long, steady sigh, checks her hair one final time, whilst the other women start the performance. She counts to ten and walks out onto the stage, to stand behind the already in place shield of feathered fans. The stage lights twirl around the room in a whirlwind before they stop and illuminate the star of tonight’s show. The intense attention stuns her for only a second before she focuses on what is required. She dances, blows kisses, caresses her legs and chest and loiters along the stage front. She dismisses each man who attempts to gain physical contact with a swift change of direction. With each brief meeting Kelly glimpses their dreams and desires, adapting her behaviour flawlessly to please them. Sampling urges and needs she applies them to her form, subtly enlarging her breasts, making her butt firmer, lengthening her legs, fulfilling their dreams in pieces, she twirls and stretches between their isolated seats. She brushes her jet black hair across their faces as she moves, continuously evading their reach at the last second. She begins to feel the power of their lust swell within the centre of the room, throbbing waves of hot energy towards her body. The sensation gropes up her legs, creeps around her waist and crawls on her breasts and neck. She submits to the raw magic, allowing it to weave itself into her hair, glow in her skin, enhance her voice when she laughs and gleam in her gaze when she looks each man in the eye. She senses her way around the men, inspecting their minds for one that is open to divinity. Circling Jack, she runs her hand through his short ginger hair, feeling sparks of longing shoot up her arms. During this touch a voice intrudes her head and whispers a name.
Kelly pulls her hand back in surprise and tries to cover her turbulent emotions by whirling to the back of the Show Room into the shadows; she signals the other women to entertain the men. A surge of feathers and female laughter swarms around the audience. Stomach tight with panic and a growing sense of fear Kelly tries to ignore the name that echoes in her mind.
She struts back, swaying her seductive curves and begins to perform a dance of twists, leg kicks and poses with the pole in the middle of the stage. She spins and searches through Jack’s thoughts for his intentions towards her. He responds to her mental contact, pushing forward a picture that paralyzes Kelly’s core. It is an image of an old symbol from a time-forgotten legend, an image of three triangles locked together. This image of her past, of her family and of her secret, causes her to falter to a stop. Her hands fidget under her breasts and feels relief when she comes across the familiar shape, of the VIP room key inside her bra.
“We are now completely, at your service, gentlemen. My girls can serve you drinks from the bar if you want one, please remember to tip. Jack and I are off to the VIP room, we’ll be back in a while. Don’t wait up.” Kelly announces with a fragile smile, walking towards Jack and takes his hand to lead him away.
His mates call and snigger as the pair walk towards a door set on the opposite side of the stage. She unlocks the door and guides him in, winking at his mates who stare after them in hysterics before she closes it and turns the key.
Inside the VIP room Jack seats himself upon the one cushioned black chair before a single circular stage, a ribbon wrapped pole stands in its centre. Kelly by habit walks up onto the stage but does not dance, just stands, arms wrapped across her chest for a sense of strength as well as comfort. Jack smiles up at her.
“Who are you and how do you know me?”
“I’m your brother.”
The answer is so simply given that Kelly isn’t sure whether to laugh at his audacity or slap him. “Brother? Most of my family died many years ago. How can you possibly be my brother?” Kelly questions in immediate denial. “I certainly never had one called Jack.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that you are my sister, regardless of what you call yourself these days. He said you would need more proof, to remind you of who you really are.” Jack smirks and reaches into his pockets and brings out a silver chain with a feather embossed in gold. “Do you recognise this, Freya?”
The sight of her pendant, thought lost for so long, isn’t what stuns her, but the way Jack says her true name. She looks him straight in the eyes, searching his mind and feelings for what she daren’t hope for. He gives a loud joyful laugh and drops his glamour, allowing her to see the truth.
“Thor?” New tears begin to ruin her make-up for the second time this evening.
He laughs louder and harder confirming his identity. She wails out her happiness in a rush to kneel at his feet and cling to his legs. Thor strokes her hair away from her face, gently kisses her forehead and wraps one arm around her.
“Old One-Eye’s done a good job on me hasn’t he? Even the ever so clever Loki didn’t sense who I was. Although Father wouldn’t approve of the drinking game Loki’s got going on. Not a sensible use of runes at all.”
“Father? He’s alive too?” Freya wipes away her tears with her hands but Thor intervenes with the sleeve of his shirt. He can feel her entire body tremble and holds her even closer.
“We’re all alive, just didn’t expect Loki to run off with you. Father was convinced he had taken you to safety when Asgard fell, but when he never made contact we all thought...”
“Loki? Run away with me? No, he did rescue me but it was you who never got in contact with us.” Freya retorts adamantly.
Thor’s face goes grim and he lets go of her. “That’s what he wants you to think. Father summoned him many times, using what little power he has left. Without your pendant we had no connection to you. We even caught up with you both in Edinburgh, but when we found where you were kept, you’d both escaped. Amongst all these mortals and with our powers so diminished it was like looking for a speck of gold in a desert.”
Freya feels a deep chill; her trembles turn to vigorous shakes as memories of her time in Scotland scuttle up her back and storm into her mind. She remembers the many hands and mouths that have touched her rare beauty, felt her fine form; but also the grin on her brother’s face when he announced he’s bought a new club down near London. She recalls the surprise she felt at the fast pace of events and the rush of packing their few belongings, before he had her whisked away on a fast train south, to search for their new home. Could it simply be coincidence she asks herself; jumping as Thor’s hand on her shoulder breaks her thoughts.
“I am sorry Freya, he treated us all like fools and we failed you. What matters now is that we’ve found you and you can come home, back to us, back to your family.”
Her body stills as a new emotion is added to her turbulent mix, a feeling that overwhelms her past hope and fear in a tidal wave of heat and rage. She looks down upon her newly found necklace and clenches the metal deep into her palm, bruising and indenting her skin. The magic stored within it for so many centuries pulsates hard into her body, restoring strength to her core which has been bruised and battered by years of lies.
“I think it’s about time we have a family reunion, don’t you?” She suggests her eyes dark with anger.
Thor kisses her forehead before restoring his enchanted disguise. “We’ll come for you when the bar is closed. I promise, we won’t let him keep us apart any longer.”
Luke is counting and bagging the night’s takings when there is a series of thuds on the locked bar door.
“We’re closed!” Luke shakes his head and begins to fiddle with the silver snake torque on his wrist.
The bangs occur again.
“I’ll call the police if you don’t go away!”
“Oh don’t do that, they’re friends of mine, they’re here to walk me home.” Kelly explains with a pleased smile, appearing from the staff only area at the back, wrapped up in her long fur lined coat.
“I’ve told you before, I walk you home. There are things out there that are more dangerous than me, for a woman of your abilities.” Luke complains, slinging the bags of coins hard into his banking box.
“Well in that case you won’t mind if they come in and wait a while? They’ve come all this way to meet me.” Before Luke has got around the table Kelly is already at the door, she unlocks and opens it. A large group of men and women stride in. Each gives Kelly a hug and lingers in the entrance, casting disapproving gazes around the premises, which reach a throbbing intensity when their eyes land upon Luke.
Luke moves towards them about to protest about their knocking, but he stops short, his body goes cold as he hears whispers of a name and familiar faces flash in his memory. His suspicions reaches heights of terror when a man with white hair, wearing darkened glasses and dressed in a fine tailored suit steps forward.
“I am very, very, disappointed in you Loki.” The old man speaks.
Freya saunters up to him and gives him a kiss on his wrinkled lips. “Hello, father.” Her greeting is almost a whisper; her hand wanders across his face and plays through his fine, wispy hair.
He takes off his glasses to reveal his left eye, a ball of white marble, and smiles broad and warm. “Hello, my dragon. I am glad to see you are safe at last.”
“Now come on, she was always...” Loki interrupts the reunion.
“Silence!” Odin’s blind eye glows magma red. “You lying snake! I was warned about you when I welcomed you into my family.” Frigg stands by her godly husband, smirking proud upon Loki’s pale face. “Your crime is of such a magnitude that no punishment seems to come even near correcting your dishonour.” The last word is a snarl of disgust.
“Freya should decide his punishment. She knows the full extent of his crimes. He wouldn’t necessarily confess all to us.” Frigg suggests, resting her arm over her husband’s shoulder.
“Yes, that is wise advice.” Odin turns to Freya, whose hawk like gaze is already upon the trembling Loki. “What is your wish, my daughter?”
“Remember all I’ve done for you, sis. It’s not like I left you on the streets.” Loki pleads and takes a few rushed steps forwards.
“Restrain the liar!” Frigg shrieks and the boulder muscled figure of Thor comes through the crowd, with the lean and athletic form of Heimdall close behind. The two brothers approach Loki from either side and herd him back to the cushioned seats against the wall. He submits cautiously, his helpless look never leaving Freya’s stern face.
“Loki not only kept me apart from my family but he also abused my body and looks to entertain the weak minds of men. I think Loki should suffer the same so no woman will ever have him in her bed again.”
“What are you going to do, sister? Make me have spots? Give me rotten teeth? I don’t think you’re powers are strong enough.” Loki cackles with mock fear.
“Oh no, nothing that simple but something where my powers are still strong.” She looks up to her two brothers. “Hold him still and turn away, as men you won’t be able to stomach what I am about to do.”
Thor and Heimdall grasp Loki’s arms and hold them tight against the wall and push their knees firm upon his thighs. Freya walks towards him unzipping her coat to reveal a black silk dress caressing her curves and highlighting the silver and gold pendant swinging delicately between her breasts. Dropping the coat to the floor she kneels down at Loki’s feet and begins to unbutton his trousers.
“I think I may like this punishment.” Loki grins, defiant against the stone faces of his family around him.
“There is such a thin line between pleasure and pain, brother.” Freya kisses her pendant, inducing the golden wing to glow; it starts to throb like a beating heart. She slips her hand down into the musty depths of his pants to the hot flesh beneath. “Let me show you.” When she grasps him the pulsating light travels down her arm, along her fingers and penetrates deep into his skin.
Loki’s cries of agony that night are loud and long enough to match the mournful howls of Odin’s wolves that still hunt in under each full moon.