I hate to make my debut submission for Inspiration Monday on such a dark note, but this was the way the prompt took me. Sorry guys! 🙂
Show’s Over, Folks
The music stops and a desultory scattering of applause heralds our departure from the stage. The club is half-empty again tonight.
A punter grabs hold of my wrist as I make my way through the tables to the dingy little alcove that serves as a dressing room, and he shoves a piece of paper down the top of my skimpy thong, taking as much time as he can before the bouncers check out what he’s doing.
I brush him aside and shake my head at Tony, who’s already starting forward, smacking one meaty fist into the palm of his other hand. It was a twenty pound note; I can live with it for twenty pounds.
Mitzi and I draw aside the cheap velvet curtain and perch before the dressing table in front of the cracked and bloom-ridden mirror, preparing to patch up the ravages of the hot, smoky beams of the footlights. The alcove reeks of perfume and stale sweat; Mitzi’s not big on personal hygiene.
“Big date tonight,” she says, applying another layer of mascara so thick that it looks like a couple of spiders are crawling across her eyelids, “Tony’s taking me to a McDonalds.”
Her laugh is harsh, cracked and bitter.
I shift my boobs so they sit more closely together, even though it’s a futile gesture. I’m not the woman I was.
Mitzi falls uncharacteristically silent, and we continue our routine.
“How long you been with Tony now?” I say, more to break the silence than from any wish to know.
She doesn’t answer. I think she might be working it out.
I glance at her reflection in the mirror, and gasp as I see that she’s drawn a thick scarlet line of lipstick from the right side of her forehead, right across her eyelid and nose to the bottom of her left ear, like a great chasm in the pale background of her face. She’s smiling.
I turn to face her. Stunned, I can see that her face is unmarked, though she’s gazing at her reflection, and I know she sees what I see there, because horror is stamped all over her features.
I look back to the mirror; the reflection is still there, smirking with unholy glee before it transfers its gaze to me.
Mitzi groans, and grabs at my hand, and I see her eyes rolling back in her head as her body sags.
I look back at the mirror, and see that Mitzi’s reflection has now placed an arm around my shoulders, and is tugging at my hair to tilt my head back, whilst it etches a crimson line of lipstick right around my throat.