It’s that time of month again and rent is due. Evening is falling fast, drowning the city in dark hues of purple. I’m starting to get a little edgy, a little nervous, as I walk to work. Every night is my first night, every night is my last night.
From outside it looks like any other exclusive strip club. Black painted walls and door, no signs, no neon. I’ve certainly done a lot worse. At least there are no homeless junkies sleeping out front.
The guy at the door gives me the once over and a nod of approval.
“Have a good night sweetheart,” he says politely as he opens the door for me. He has a neck like a tree trunk, a black tee shirt clings to pumped up muscle.
Inside it’s tasteful enough. The furnishings are plush red and black. Not too big a space, which is good. I like an intimate audience.
A cute blonde girl is stocking the bar. She smiles and waves at me cheerfully.
“The dressing room is through there,” she shouts.
In the dressing room, which is in fact a storeroom crammed with furniture and boxes of stuff, I meet Candy and Amber. There is always a Candy and Amber in every club. I put my bag down on a brightly lit table, glance at myself in the large mirror and sigh. I begin to unpack some things when Candy comes over for the standard welcome.
“Hi, I’m Candy,” she tells me. Her icy blue eyes sparkle. She stands too close to me, one hand on her hip. Her nails are long oval points, painted white. She is wearing a tiny silver dress; her fake breasts look painful and her skin is a baked orange colour. I stare back at her, bored. It’s that time of month. I’m cranky and hungry. I’ve skipped a few meals lately.
“This is my table. You can use one of those over there.” She points to the cluttered corner.
I get a flash of her gutted from neck to belly and I can’t stop my eyes from twitching. She says something else but I don’t catch the words; I have to concentrate, slow down my breathing. Amber comes over to mediate.
“Don’t worry about Candy, she’s just very territorial.”
Amber smiles warmly at me and gives Candy a nudge, unsettling her on her platform stilettos.
“I’m Lalupa,” I say.
“La what? Is that, like, a Mexican name?” Candy chuckles to herself and wanders over to a clothes rack to flick through costumes and lingerie.
“Have you met Andy yet,” asks Amber.
I shake my head no.
“Well you should get dressed and go meet him. If he doesn’t like your look he won’t let you work tonight.”
I nod and start getting changed.
Amber sits down at a table nearby and begins to style her long red hair. Soon a few other girls arrive. Chatter and laughter fills the dressing room.
I keep to myself, hoping not to get drawn into conversation. I don’t want to make friends and I’m eager for the night to get underway. I hate hearing the same old stories. I don’t care that you are stripping to pay for your law degree or that you have a happy husband and two kids waiting for you at home. I’m here because I like the thrill and the cash. A girl’s got to eat.
A wave of nausea rolls through me; my skin prickles with heat. There’s a stabbing pain building in my head. I take a few more deep breaths.
I prefer to wear a vintage style. Black lace corset, fine seamed stockings, shiny black patent heels – I hate those horrendous stripper platforms. My glossy black curls bounce around my pale face as I inspect myself in the mirror. Candy glances at me then mutters to her pals and a round of giggles erupts. Let them laugh. While they can.
I find my way to the manager’s office. He’s chatting with a guy sitting by his desk. I stand in the room, still and silent like an ornament, waiting for him to acknowledge me.
They’re both wearing tailored grey suits. Merino wool, I can smell it. Silk ties and crisp fine cotton. Their short haircuts are gelled carefully to appear casually tousled. Thick designer cologne cloaks their skin. A fresh ocean scent with base notes of vanilla and spice. Beneath the cologne is the distinct stench of their sweat. Lean, firm flesh, rippled with fine streaks of fat. My mouth begins to water again.
Finally he looks over at me.
“Nice outfit honey,” he says, “but I hope it comes off pretty quick, this is not a burlesque club!”
He laughs a dry, cruel chuckle and the other guy chimes in. Flesh taut with obsessive exercise and a diet of fine food, tears off the bone in thin strips.
“House takes fifteen percent?”
“Straight down to business. I like it. That’s right honey, House takes fifteen percent, the rest is yours. Pretty generous for a classy place like this. Tonight’s a trial shift. If I like your routine and you’re hot on the floor you can come back tomorrow night.”
“I’m always a crowd pleaser.”
“Are you now? Well, good for you! You’re on after Candy. She’s a hard act to follow.”
Now it’s my turn to laugh, which confuses them for a moment.
“What’s your name again, honey?”
“Lupa? Okay, have a good night honey, milk ‘em dry.” They both chuckle as I turn to leave.
Things start to heat up as the night rolls out. I stand at the bar, trying not to shake or twitch, and watch the patrons come in, waiting for a likely hit. I watch the other girls too, as they saunter, smiling, chatting. They look delectable.
I set my sights on Mr. Average White Collar and strut over casually. He is self-conscious and uncomfortable and will easily blow all his cash on me.
I give him a sweet girl next door stripper smile and ask if he wants a dance. He nods and throws back his Scotch as I step in close and begin to sway and swish, swivel and shake. He pays generously but I decide to keep moving; his anxiety is irritating. I circle the floor, bidding time, choosing the men I want to dance for and chat to. I ignore the ones who are too obnoxious or rude. Andy is poised at the bar, watching me and frowning.
Candy comes on stage to cheers and whistles. With a beaming white smile she waves at the audience, blowing kisses, striking provocative poses. Obviously the darling of the club but I’ll soon change that. I head to the dressing room to freshen up.
The moon is full and high in the sky. I can feel it, gleaming, beckoning. It’s making me tremble.
Finally the DJ cues my music and I take the stage, happy to be in the limelight.
I love working the pole; I have a real talent for it. My unnatural dexterity gives my routine a flowing ease. I radiate confidence and power. Men sense it, they sit up in their seats, intrigued. Soon all eyes in the room are on me. The men are under my captivating spell – the women glare at me jealously. I’ll be cleaning up tonight. I’m going to empty their pockets. As I dance I’m checking the exits, scanning the room with all my senses. There are never too many for me to handle.
I can feel it coming as I spin and twirl, bubbling under my skin, beginning to shiver through me, a blissful terror. I get so excited I grit my teeth to hold it back. I like to hold out as long as possible, give them a bit of a show first. After all, I’m a really hot dancer. I stretch my fine limbs, shimmy and slither. With legs wrapped around the pole I use my free hand to unhook the corset and flick it off. Men cheer. I flex and hang upside down, spinning slowly. I close my eyes and enjoy the rush. It’s that time of month and I can’t resist it anymore. The moon is singing to my soul and I need to respond. A growl builds in my throat as I embrace it. It is so close to the surface now, about to burst out of me.
The men in the front row see it first. Something strange is beginning to happen.
Hair sprouts, thin and fine, along my forearms and thighs, on my chest. It spreads slowly until a dense fur covers me.
A few men chuckle thinking it is part of the routine. I can see Andy, still standing at the bar, looking really pissed off. I can make out the confused faces of the women, frozen in mid lap dance, staring at me.
My body buckles and shakes, I can no longer hold it back or slow it down. I love this part, morphing from an object of desire into an object of terror. I love seeing their faces change, from lust to disgust. I drop from the pole to the floor as the bestial force surges. I begin to convulse. Nobody comes to my aid. Everybody watches. I can feel their bubbling fear, their fascination and perverse satisfaction.
My knuckles bust through skin; tendons bulge. A wail of pain escapes me as I paw at my face with bloody hands. My head is down and they can’t see my jaw stretching, sharp fangs painfully pushing out of tender gums. Thick whiskers sprout on my cheeks and chin. My black curls stream down my back in a heavy mass. The crack of joints and stretching bones, each vertebra popping, the wet sticky sound of elongating sinews and muscles, resounds in my ears.
Finally it is complete and I crouch, heaving from the exertion. My breath begins to slow down as I settle into my new form.
There is complete silence in the club. The DJ has stopped the music, the patrons and staff stare at the creature on stage.
I lift my head and they see me for what I am. I watch them with eyes glowing yellow. I raise my snout and sniff deeply; terror, glorious, delicious terror. And a comforting, familiar smell; my pack. They are here. They have entered the club and are manning the exits.
I stretch, throw back my head and howl – a maniacal call. Screaming begins and in that fantastic moment, as hysteria breaks out, I plunge.
I take out the line of guys down front, one after another, with fast swipes. Shredding them easily, ripping chunks out of their chests and thighs as I take their wallets. Green bills flutter and float, drifting down into growing pools of blood.
There is no way out; my pack closes in. They are crouched, snarling, snatching the runners and pinning them down. The thick smell of slaughter erupting is intoxicating.
I leap from the stage and land on the bar. I can hear the bar girl, curled underneath the bar, sobbing. I glare at Andy as I crawl towards him slowly. He doesn’t move as I sniff his chest. I can hear the frantic beat of his heart. His eyes are wide with shock. I bite off one of his arms. He begins to emit a high whine, not quite a scream, a peculiar dying noise. I take a chomp out of his chest, snatching out his heart, and gulp it down greedily. He drops to the floor and I on top of him.
I leave my pack to finish off the crowd. I am drawn by another exhilarating smell. Several dancers have locked themselves in the dressing room. I can hear their hysterical, muffled tears.
I tear the door off its hinges and they burst into screams, scampering into the corner. They dare not glance at me. My beauty is of another realm. Covered in coarse hair, mangled claws for hands and feet, sharp-pointed ears and snout, breasts hanging long and loose. I roar at them and they shriek, huddling closer like mice.
I can no longer make out individual faces. I scoop up one of the girls, collecting her by the scalp. I lick her skin. She is coated in so many strange flavours; sweat, tears, alcohol, makeup, deodorant, talcum powder.
I bite into her neck and shake her vigorously. Each taste makes me more ravenous. I eat quickly, snapping spines, crushing skulls, crunching bones, guzzling organs. A decadent blood drenched mess surrounds me.
It’s that time of month. I am not quite myself. I am more than myself. The full moon is glowing as bright as the sun; it makes me ache with rage. I howl a blissful song but my hunger is far from satiated. I leap at the small window in the room, tearing away the bars and bricks. I bound out into the warm night; the city is a feast waiting to happen.
~ Magenta Nero
© Copyright 2015 Magenta Nero. All Rights Reserved