Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finding Her (Muse 8: "Dancing Around Men, Toward a Burlesque Destiny") Part 1

Continued from Muse 7

There's a tiny silver pendant among Marique's belongings. Hanging gently on a filigree silver chain a tiny archer draws a long bow, the metaphor makes Rick sigh. Just touching it causes his tears to well. He's exhausted and emotional. He wants it over. He wants to find her, rescue her, meet her.  So much wanting, needing and so little resolving. He catches his breath and sighs, collecting himself and focusing on the necklace. The clasp is broken.  Rick rummages into the pockets on either side of  the bag and pulls out the note from "Ammeh". 

"What the fuck?" A flash of heat combined with the picture of a woman makes perspiration bead on his forehead. The pendant in one hand and a feeling of violence and drama contrasts with the sweetness and warmth he feels from letter in the other, and he's conflicted. These two are connected and he can't see how.  The handwriting on the note, smooth and perfect cursive. The writing of an academic perhaps, definitely a woman, possibly a left hander, absolutely a foreigner. He can hear the song of a Muezzin singing from minarets and the engines of a plane. 

"They're related!" 

The epiphany exciting. Flashes of a regional airport mingled with a girl, a rucksack and a customs official probing its contents. A woman in a hijab, loosening it's tie. The confusion as cacophonous as a Rachmaninoff concerto. The phone rings and breaks his concentration.

"Rick," it's Silverman, "There's something I didn't tell you." 

Rick wipes his brow with the back of his hand, "Who's Ammeh?"

"Ah, you've read the note." Silverman seems relieved. "She's an old friend of mine. The one who pushed this case. She's looking are not going to believe this....her niece. The child of her brother and some holiday liaison with a FARC woman in Colombia 18 years ago. Now I'm not psychic but I think there's a connection. This woman's come to America looking for the girl, she has photographs. They're old but....and a name...Marique"

Ricks face lights up as he informs Silverman, "The girl's alive. She's here, somewhere in LA and I know her name." 

This is the first time he's shared such information with Silverman. He's been aiming to solve the mystery with a solid session and meet the girl before the Authorities get hold of her. It seems futile now that Silverman has such information so he capitulates and tells all that he knows to date.

"She's had some trouble. I think she caused some trouble, but she's alive and I'm pretty sure she's in California. Gimme a few. Get hold of that hobo that found the bag. Bring him in. I'll call you back."

He focuses hard on the pendant...and feels he cool of steel between his legs, the salt of tears upon his cheeks.

His eyes never leave her as she winds legs around a pole. Dressed in little more than a pasties and diamante g-string. Her face expressionless yet the pain of years beyond her age no simmers behind hollow eyes. He's kept her at bay for two weeks and now she makes her debut a grotesque representation of burlesque porn, gloated over by fat cats and Hawaiian-shirted holidaymakers, Stag parties and weirdos. It didn't matter to Andrew as long as the girl's pulled and the men paid.
"Be nice to them," he barks. "Get close, let them feel your clit and they'll stuff hundreds down that g-string."

She'd cried the first time, and he hit her. His hand burning around the thinness of her upper arm. "No time for cry babies. You owe me bitch. Until you've paid me, you're mine. Now go. If you won't fuck 'em, you tease 'em. Make the miserable fat men happy. You got it Chica?"

She'd nodded terrified, still looking to release herself from his clutches. He was right, the more they touched, the more she earned although little of it ended up in her own purse.


Her bag's packed, waiting for the first opportunity. Until then she has to tolerate their beer breath and groping hands. At least he hasn't made her sleep with any of them, yet. Still the violation of their hands is enough to make her feel dirty and desperate. Especially him, the one in the corner all pimped up with an erection forming a bulge in the left leg of his expensive suit.  He curls his finger and beckons her. Andrew's watching like a hawk, and nods at her to go forward. She gyrates and sashays, bends forward and he puts hundred dollar bills down the front of her g-string and licks her nipples as his hands grope. She loved it when Drew touched her but now, it's like some alien slime ball tainting her perfect skin with saliva. The punter's dirty hand between her legs, he grabs the straps of her g-string and tries to remove it before she slaps him hard and runs into the dressing room.

Andrew's in tow. The little bitch has just insulted his best customer. 

"Fuck you Marique, he's worth a friggin' fortune. Get your ass out there and give him what he wants."

She's still beautiful in her anger, "Fuck you Andrew. I am not a whore. I dance, I strip, I let them touch me where only you had touched me! I'm not fucking them...not now, not ever, ever!"
She's rummaging in her rucksack when he grabs her. She pulls away as he snatches at the silver necklace around her throat, snapping the delicate clasp. His fist doesn't connect as planned with her lower back. His usual way of intimidating his girls, until they bend over in pain after the crippling blow to their kidneys. In her hand something with a pearl handle gleams, then flashes and cracks. He feels the burn in his thigh and another in his solar plexus and is propelled backwards against one of the mirrors. It smashes around him and he's rendered unconscious amid shards of broken glass. Millions of tiny ugly reflections stare back at her as she panics and takes her chances.

She hurls on the coat hanging on the back of the door, not knowing or caring to whom it belongs. She grabs the rucksack and flees through the dressing room door into the alley. She runs. She doesn't know where or how, but she runs like crazy until hands grasp another pole, this time, one stabilising her terrified form as she fumbles in her bag for her bus fare.

Muse 1 A Legacy of Smoke and Shadow


  1. Hah! I see the previous chapter had an effect on this one. It's short, but the detail's good.

  2. YAY!!! This is what I want to see :). Bring that gun out and use it!