Early morning mist sprays Mr. Trigger Happy’s face as he walks to his truck. He turns the key and lets the motor run to heat up the cab. The frozen grass crunches under his feet. Sun breaks on the horizon. He walks into the house, through the living room and into the bedroom. Steam billows from the bathroom.
“Honey,” he says.
“What? I’m in the shower,” Jody says. “I have to be at the club soon.”
He stands in the doorway.
“I’m heading to work,” he says, then taps on the fogged glass door. “Give me a kiss.”
A strand of Jody’s blonde hair hangs in her face. Mr. Trigger Happy brushes it away.
He kisses her. She pulls away.
“I’m cold.” Jody shuts the shower door in his face. “I’ll see you tonight.” She stands in the water. The stream outlines her breasts and drips down her nipples like the curve of Multnomah Falls.
Mr. Trigger Happy climbs into the truck. He calls work.
“Can I take the day off? Okay. Thanks.” He hits the end-call button.
He drives to a diner and orders breakfast. The waitress pours him a coffee. He drinks it black.
He flips through a newspaper. His food arrives. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, extra bacon. He douses the plate in syrup. Checks his watch. 7 a.m., the time Jody’s shift starts.
Jody’s on stage in clear four-inch slip-on heels and a baby blue gown with a long slit up the side so her left leg peeks through.
She kneels in front of a short man who sits at the stage. He’s her secret side dude, Chevalier Servant.
She kisses his cheek, then sits on the rack—the countertop ledge of the stage. Her left leg swings over his right shoulder, her right leg over his left shoulder. She holds herself up with her hands on the ledge as she straddles him and sways her vagina in his face. He blows. Cotton candy and wet wipe disinfectant wafts back at him. He smiles. The song ends. She pulls her gown up from her waist and over her tan $10,000 boobs and clanks her slip-ons back to the dressing room.
Chevalier Servant orders another whiskey neat and breaks a Franklin. Coasters glow purple on the bar under the black light.
Mr. Trigger Happy takes a seat next to Chevalier Servant, who doesn’t realize the tall stranger in denim and flannel is Jody’s fiancé. He sinks into the black leather chair, then scoots toward the wood rack outlined with pink streamer lights. He tips the next dancer on stage and chugs a bottle of Budweiser.
Two more strippers go through the rotation. Both men tip two dollars per song.
Jody climbs the stage stairs. She wipes down the pole with a rag. She looks up and locks eyes with Mr. Trigger Happy. She stumbles but catches herself.
She dances over to him, pretends to be unfazed. She arches her back and tilts her head back in an attempt to seduce him out of her awkward shock.
“Hi baby,” she says. She kneels on the rack in front of him. Kisses him on the lips. Looks at Chevalier Servant with wide eyes as if to warn him.
Mr. Trigger Happy’s lips don’t move. He doesn’t blink. It’s hard for Jody to tell if he’s even breathing.
He bolts up, knocks over his chair. Jody throws her arms around him. He pushes her off. She falls to the floor. Chevalier Servant stands up. “Get your hands off of her,” he says. Mr. Trigger Happy pulls out his 9mm Glock Pistol. Chevalier Servant waves his hands in the air and steps back. “Whoa man,” he says. Mr. Trigger Happy steps forward and points the gun at Chevalier Servant’s groin. The bullet penetrates straight through his nutsack and the chair, then dents the floor. Bloodied and crisp flesh curls in the gaping hole that was once the home to millions of sperm. It leaks red and white and peach chunks and tubes.
The screams don’t penetrate Mr. Trigger Happy’s ears. The pleas go unheard as he walks through the pool of blood, away from the stage and out the front door.
He holds the warm steel to his temple. Boom.
Cigarette smoke dances in the stage lights. Chalice spins on a red leather bar stool. Her lit cigarette rests in an ashtray on the bar. The black walls lined with mirrors give the illusion of open space in the small, U-shaped strip club. The red and black décor matches her striped stockings. A middle-aged man with a receding hairline approaches her at the bar.
“How much is a table dance?”
“Half your age,” she says.
“Only if I add a tip,” he says.
“You will,” she says.
Freckles dot her pale face. Chalice embodies the subject of the male gaze in early cinema.
The dude cowers at her sharp beauty. She grabs his hand and leads him to the private dance area—a black leather half-circle couch in an alcove separated from the rest of the bar with a red velvet curtain.
She sets down her pint on the table next to the couch. The song starts. Some classic rock tune the dude lip synchs, but she doesn’t know despite its chart-topping popularity.
Her strawberry blonde hair grazes his face as she leans over him. He takes a deep breath.
The point of her blush nipple extends mere inches from his mouth. He thrusts his face forward but she senses it before he even attempts to wrap his wrinkled mouth around her perky breast.
“No breastfeeding allowed, baby,” she says.
Her hands push down on his thighs as she lowers her knees to the carpet. She twirls her head between his legs in a mock blowjob. He shutters.
She stands. Leans in. Teases him with nipples that could cut glass. They shine like diamonds from the silver body glitter.
He thrusts forward. Mouth full of nipple. Grains of glitter stick to his tongue. She jumps back. The light shimmers off her wet nipple. She smiles. He smiles back. Licks his lips.
She half-dances as she turns her back to him. She grabs her beer. Turns around. Her red lips curl in a diabolical smile he can’t see. She sips the beer. Wiggles her naked ass in his face, then turns around to the music with the beer still in her hand.
She holds the pint glass over his head and cocks hers to the side. A giant pearly white smile stretches across her face as she tilts the pint so the gold liquid pours onto his head.
He jumps up.
“What the fuck, bitch?!”
“Say another word and I’ll tell the bouncer you bit my nipple,” she says.
He grabs the curtain and dries his head with it, then leaves the alcove for the bathroom, muttering curses.
She sets the empty glass on the bar.
These flash fiction stories originally appeared in Exotic Magazine, November 2016.