Well, it hadn’t exactly been a good week. Sunday was the family my-daughter-is-a-slut disaster and Monday was booked solid with my recovery from said disaster – mostly consisting of a very long run, music videos on YouTube, and lots of writing. I tried to watch TV but the political propaganda was NOT something I had patience for.
As things wound down to a close at work that night, I was finally was in good spirits. The clientele had been enjoyable and respectful that night, the tips were great, and I hadn’t thought about my family or my frustratingly fascinating ball-capped friend since I had arrived. Mia, Randy, and I were left to close up for the night.
“Girls, I’m sorry but I have to ask you a favor.” Randy was sulking by the stage. “I’ve got to meet my ex-wife early to pick up my daughter. It would be best if I looked mildly human when I do that so I need to get some sleep.”
Mia looked disappointed but piped in. “Go ahead, Randy, we can finish up here. ”
He nodded. “Just please, please promise me you will both leave the club together?” he pleaded. “And Ellie, give Mia a ride home. It’s late for her to be walking to the bus stop.”
I nodded with a smile. It was nice to be called by my real name when he wasn’t yelling at me. He gave Mia a grateful look and skipped out to the back room. Mia and I got the floor picked up, organized, and wiped down. She then turned to me with the same hopeful look I’d just seen on Randy’s face. I rolled my eyes – I knew what was coming.
“Can you finish up, Ellie? Please? I’m exhausted.”
“It’s fine, go. I only have the bar left to wipe down anyways.” Randy’s request popped back into my head. “But be careful. Randy will be super pissed if anything happens to you.”
“You do the same, Ellie.” And then she was gone, too.
Ten minutes later, the sticky bar finally bleached and smooth again, I ran back to the dressing room and threw on my jeans, ready for my own repose as well. I stopped back into the club to flick the lights out, then jogged out the door and into the cool night air. September. The temperature was always perfect this time of year. Not too hot, not too cold – a rarity, especially at this time of night. And not a sound to be heard. It was cathartic.
I turned to lock the door. Something stirred behind me. I thought Mia went home?
And just like that I was spun around and slammed up against the door, an unwelcome chubby face staring me down with hedonistic pleasure.
“Well hello Ms. Tits. I’ve missed you.”
I buoyed up my strength, shoving and flailing to get the 350-lb mass of sweaty skin off me but I was pinned tight. After all the working out I did to stay in shape for this job, and I couldn’t even budge a man who clearly hadn’t exercised a day in his life?
Mother Nature is such an ass.
“Get the fuck off me!” I screamed.
The Pot just laughed. “Ain’t no one gonna hear you out here, missy. And anyone who does won’t give a damn.” He shoved himself harder against me, his face hovering centimeters from mine, his tongue tasting the tip of my nose.
“Didn’t you get enough last time?” I cried in disgust. “What the hell do you want?”
He paused as I shut my eyes and squirmed as far away from his face as I could. He released a sigh that was sickeningly satisfied.
“I like it when you struggle,” he breathed, his eyes rolling back in his head with pleasure. So that was it. The bastard liked torturing women. Well, this wasn’t going to end well. He slipped his hand beneath my g-string.
“Look,” I suggested, trying to keep my cool, “let’s just go inside. There’s more room in there. I’ll do whatever you want me to.”
He laughed heartily, spittle shooting out from his fat lips and landing on the cringing skin of my face. “No, this is how I want you.”
He inhaled sensually. “Right here, on the dirty sidewalk, squirming and screaming… Begging me…”
He expired again, shivering at his imaginary orgasm. “…covered in nothing but me and the filth of your livelihood.”
I was going to pass out. Seriously. The smell of his putrid sweat, the ambient light from the one bulb hanging loosely over the club door, the suffocation of his body cutting off my circulation… Maybe this is a good thing, I thought. He likes a fight, and I certainly can’t fight if I pass out.
I waited for my knees to buckle.
My eyes flew open as the deafening sound filled my ears. I knew that sound. I saw the Pot’s eyes widen in shock. His hold on me eased immediately and he convulsed as he dragged me beneath him to the ground. He was completely limp. If I’d had my sense of humor with me at the time I’d have enjoyed the irony, but as it was, I was in a panic. The shear weight of his person held me prisoner. I couldn’t move him anymore now than I could when he was muscling me up against the wall. I pushed on his chest, becoming more confused and disoriented by the second. My hand slipped and squished against something wet. Something red.
“Ellie! Oh my God, are you okay?” I couldn’t see much but I knew Mia’s voice like the back of my hand.
I thought she had left?
I grunted in response, my breath coming in small spurts.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” She muttered as she yanked and pulled at the Pot. Blood was staining my clothes and I wasn’t coherent enough to aid in my own rescue.
“Just get him the fuck off me!” I cried, tears starting down my cheeks in droves. Mia pulled and tugged but didn’t have the strength to handle the huge man on her own. If I was ever going to get out of this, I’d have to find some presence of mind somewhere. I focused hard, mustering every ounce of strength I could find in any available crevice of my body. Mia counted to three and I heaved all my strength against the Pot.
It was just enough. He rolled off me and I staggered, relieved but terrified, to my feet. I backed up against the club door, my head shaking.
“Is he…did you.. I- He…Mia, what the fuck?”
My hands held my face in a desperate ache to understand what I had just lived through. The shock coursing through my body disabled my ability to care about the blood streaking through my hair as I rabidly tugged at it.
Mia was surprisingly calm. “Come on. We have to figure out a way to get rid of the body.”
What? Get rid of the body? What, she thinks we’re criminals?
“Mia,” I stuttdered. “Come on, he attacked me. Let’s just call the police. Fuck…” I caught sight of a small bubble of blood emanating from the gun shot wound in his back. The sight made me sick.
Sick. Oh shit. My body prepared to vomit.
Mia shot me a piercing look. “Don’t you dare get sick, Ellie. You keep your shit together. Now. We can’t leave any evidence.”
I didn’t move. I wasn’t sure I remembered how.
“Ellie! Wake the hell up!” She was shaking me now. “I shot him, ok? He’s dead. Get over it and focus on what we have to do next. Just like the time you had to dance for him – just… pretend you’re in a movie, remember?”
A movie. Yeah, a movie. Ok, I can do that. I looked around nervously, desparate to avoid being a liability. But my mind was blank. I had no idea what to do.
“The trash can,” Mia announced. She pointed straight across from the club door where one of those huge green industrial trash bins sat. “Come on, we have to get him into it.”
She was crazy. I knew it. This whole fucked up situation was crazy. We barely got the guy off me; how on God’s green earth were we going to lift him into a trash can? I held my ground, shaking my head vigorously.
“We can’t…” I mumbled. I was starting to shake. I suddenly felt irritatingly cold. Like a frost had spread through my limbs, weakening me and strangling me. My breath quickened.
Something changed on Mia’s face. Something I’d never seen before. Her jaw set, her back straightened, and her face turned fierce. Her blurry profile walked back towards me and looked me in the eye, point blank.
“Ellie. If you don’t get your shit together now, we are going to end up in prison. Don’t you remember Hannah? They said she asked for it. The law gives zero fucks about strippers. So you either bitch and whine your way home like a little baby girl while I clean up your mess, or you get your fucking feet on the ground, grow the fuck up, and grow a vagina.”
The final blow was too much. My brain switched frequencies. Everything went blank. Again. But in a different way. I lost track of all thought or fear and became hyper-focused. My nerves jumped alive as adrenaline began to pump through my veins once more.
And that’s the last thing I remember.
Aaaaaaand…..time. It’s been fun, folks, but to the rest of Ellie’s story, you can pick up a copy of “Stripped” by clicking the Amazon link below. See you on the other side!