[In an attempt to get myself back into the groove of writing daily, I will be attempting to write something using a writing prompt every day. Goal is a minimum of 500 words.]
Prompt from Writing Prompts that don’t Suck
Write a story using these three things: a paper clip, a hospital, an exotic dancer
Laynie was pissed. The last thing she wanted to be doing late on a Saturday night was sitting in the emergency room of the busiest hospital in the city. Not only that, she didn’t want to be here because a customer thought he had more coming to him than he did. It was embarrassing, really. How did you explain to a doctor how you came by your wounds in a way they’d believe when the real story was as bizarre as it got?
You see, Laynie had started Saturday night the way she had for three years now; in the dressing room of the Katty Klub, one of the city’s more classy strip joints – if only because the girls never got completely naked. One of the other dancers, Janina called the place a burlesque theatre, a term which made Laynie snort a little with laughter. Janina always scowled at her when she did this, but to Laynie it was like calling a stripper an exotic dancer. Dressing things up to be what they weren’t. Regardless, ‘exotic dancer’ was what it said on Laynie’s resume but she never had to take her rhinestone panties off on stage – just everything else. Those were the rules at Katty Klub: you didn’t cater to sleaze, you danced to tease.
And Laynie was good at it. She earned some pretty good money from the regular patrons and came home early in the morning covered in glitter and smelling of liquor to the apartment she shared with another dancer and a black cat named Charles. Her roommate, an Amazonian woman called Carlotta with skin the colour of bitter dark chocolate, didn’t dance at the Katty Klub, instead serving the tastes of a more eclectic nature at an underground club a few blocks farther away.
This Saturday, Laynie had had to leave the Katty Klub’s stage early, when one of the newer patrons to the establishment got exceedingly drunk and obnoxious. After demanding that Laynie disrobe completely and shouting obscenities he clambered up onto the stage and had to be tackled by a couple of the other patrons to prevent him from grabbing Laynie, who had dashed off stage as fast as she could in hot pink stilettos. The man was escorted firmly from the Klub by Kevin, a strapping bouncer from Mumbai who spoke English better than some of the people born to it, even with his lilting accent.
Laynie hadn’t thought anything of the incident, because things like that happened now and then. Some guys just didn’t understand the allure of the Katty Klub and they rarely returned. This Saturday, Laynie had been excused from her later set in spite of her protests. Emilio batted his mascara’d eyelashes at her.
“Sweetheart, you have been traumatized. It would be horrible of me to make you dance again after that animal nearly savaged you on stage!”
“Alright, alright. I’ll just head on home then. Me and Charles will catch up on our shows or something,” she replied. Secretly she was glad of the night off. School during the week was draining when you spent your weekends shaking your hiney for horny men.
“Do you want Kevin to walk with you?” Emilio asked, pointing his manicured finger at the bearded man by the door. His muscular arms were folded across an equally muscular chest. Laynie thought about the bourbon-soaked customer and shook her head.
“Nah, dude’s probably gone off and passed out somewhere, or ended up in La Parisienne,” she replied, referencing Carlotta’s workplace. Emilio wrinkled his nose.
Laynie let herself into her apartment with a sense of relief. She hadn’t realized that she has actually been scared to walk home alone, but she had. Charles greeted her enthusiastically, purring madly as he rubbed his sleek body against her legs. She kicked off her shoes and placed them next to Carlotta’s favourite boots and turned on lights. She opened the window in the kitchen to let out the muggy air of the day and made herself a drink, settled herself and Charlie on the couch and turned on the TV. She was absorbed in the show when she heard a sound in the kitchen.
“Hello?” she called out, wondering if Carlotta had snuck in without her noticing. She turned on the couch just in time to see someone rushing at her. She sprang out of the couch, spilling Charlie onto the floor. A sharp pain flared across her upper arm and she cried out. It was the man from the Klub.
But he didn’t have a knife.
He had a paperclip. It was one of the oversized ones bent so its ends were pointing out at her and with this he slashed at her again. She dodged but she didn’t escape his backswing and got another slash on her other arm. It amazed her how they bled.
“You little slut!” he raged. “I paid good money-“ Charlie launched himself at the man’s face and whatever else he had been about to say, was choked off in a scream as Charlie dug all four sets of claws, and his teeth into his face. Charlie leaped away before he was swatted, and landed, fur on end and back arched, hissing not too far away.
Laynie fumbled for her phone,
“You better leave,” she said. Charlie charged the man again but he bolted before the cat could claw him again. He charged out the front door.
“Hello 911,” said a voice from the phone.
“Hi,” Laynie said too stunned to form a sentence right away.
“What is the nature of your emergency,” the voice asked.
“Someone just attacked me in my own house,” she said.
A couple of hours later, Carlotta arrived home to a police cruiser outside and a mascara smeared Laynie sitting on the couch clutching towels to her arm. Carlotta convinced Laynie to let her take her to the hospital to at least get a tetanus shot after she heard the story.
Across the waiting room Carlotta chuckled again, making Laynie frown even more. The more she should about it the stupider the whole thing seemed and that just made Laynie feel even more idiotic than upset.
“Well the only thing that we can say or sure,” Carlotta said. “Is that Charlie’s a hero.”
Laynie started to laugh.
Word Count: 1051
drinking: iced tea
eating: far too much pasta
reading: Dare – Philip Jose Farmer
listening to: birds and the wind