The man in the suit was speaking to them both, “I want you to lie down in front of the window. People will be filing past, and that will give them the best view.”
“What exactly do you want us to do?” asked Callie, the shorter of the two, and younger by a few years. Her short curly hair, matched the short curly hair between her legs, which the man was looking at now. She followed his gaze and looked down. “Do you want me to shave it?”
“No. It’s fine. Everyone has their preferences, and I’m sure someone will like to see what you’ve got there. Besides, there’s no time.”
Emily, who was already shaved hairless as a babe, looked at Callie, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Yes. It’s easy money. And you’ll be here with me. I’ll be fine.” Callie looked away.
The man in the suit continued with his brief instructions, “The crowd will begin filtering in around 10. They’ll wander past, gaze in…but some will linger, so try to change it up a bit – don’t always do the same thing. Don’t ever forget you have an audience, and making them happy is what I’m paying you for.”
“Simple enough,” Callie mumbled, and glanced away. She was obviously afraid, and ashamed.
The man left them alone in the room. They had thirty minutes to prepare for the “show.” Emily put her arm around Callie’s bare shoulders, “Are you really sure? We can find other ways to pay the rent.”
“No. I mean, yes…I’m sure. And no…this is easiest. And no one’s sticking their cock in me. I’m safe here.”
“You’re always safe with me, Callie.”
“I know. I just wish we didn’t have to work so hard to make it.”
“It won’t always be this way, Cal. It won’t.”
Callie looked up into Emily’s amber eyes. Emily always tried to keep her up, but Callie hovered just above rock-bottom no matter what Emily did.
“Just keep your eyes on me, Cal.”
Callie took her place on the bed, her head just below the dark window. Emily lay beside her, resting her hand supportively on Callie’s muscled thigh. It was tense, and Callie’s face was cemented into a frown.
“You should smile, Callie. Our tips rely on how happy we make our audience.”
“I know,” she whispered. “What am I supposed to do? Just fuck myself?”
“Just take your time, Cal. These guys just want to see you enjoy yourself.”
“That’s rich, Emily. You know that ain’t gonna happen.”
Callie closed her eyes just as the lights in the room behind the window came on. They were dim, but the moving shadows of bodies shaded the light over Emily’s head. She chose to focus on Callie.
“Okay, Callie. Just listen to my voice. Let me tell you a story, okay?”
“Put your fingers between your legs, Callie. Play a song there. Follow the rhythm of your favorite poem. What’s your favorite poem?”
“Une Charogne. Baudelaire.”
“That’s a dark one, Cal.”
“But you know it, Emily, don’t you?”
“I do. Do you really want me to recite that one?”
“It seems fitting. This is a sort of a death for me. A death into a new life. A new life that mama would cry for. She’s rolling over in her grave right now, Em. Tell me the poem.”
“Alright then, Callie. But, you need to begin.”
Callie put her hand between her thighs. She spread her lips and began circling her forefinger around her dry clitoris.
“My love, do you recall the object which we saw,
That fair, sweet, summer morn!
At a turn in the path a foul carcass
On a gravel strewn bed,
Burning and dripping with poisons,
Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way
Its belly, swollen with gases.”
Blossom like a flower.”
Like this horrible infection,
Star of my eyes, sunlight of my being,
You, my angel and my passion!”
P.S. I have to admit…this was not a post I was going to write. I was not going to even attempt writing a story for this photo, because I didn’t feel inspired, and I felt it was too dark. But. Yes, that word gets me in a lot of trouble. But…I decided to just start and see where it took me. I had several glasses of wine and just opened myself up to the muse – and…well…she took me where she took me. And this is the result. It’s a bit dark, but so is the photo. No smiles, no one looks happy, everything looks clinical and forced for an audience. Hence…my story. Regardless, I enjoyed writing it. I’d completely forgotten, consciously, of the poem “A Carcass,” and I’m not really sure why that’s the one that entered my brain, but when I’m writing, I don’t question, I just roll with it. So there you have it. The backstory. And the apology, I suppose.