11 February 2012 in 20 Minute Stories

*  Note – I’m seriously debating making this a longer story.  Let me know what you think!

Jack had weighed out all of his options and he was convinced that this was the best way to earn a ton of money, like NOW.  Every movie or TV show he had seen over his forty-two years of existence led him to believe that this was a perfect way to make money, as long as he could stay away from drugs.

Drugs.  He wasn’t sure if he had a problem with them.  The only ones he took were the ones that his doctor gave to him, but even then he knew he could quit those if he wanted to.  It has been a week since the last time he took one of his pills, the longest he’d gone in over ten years he figured.  The last couple of days were starting to bring back memories.  The vivid dreams and Tom’s friendly advice were coming back.  Jack had to be careful how much he listened to Tom though.  That guy could be great company when he woke up screaming in the middle of the night from the dreams, but sometimes the things he told Jack to do were in poor tastes, or sometimes just plain dangerous.

Stripping was all Jack’s idea though.  Tom offered a few laughs when Jack mentioned the idea one day at work.  Jack hated when Tom laughed at him at work.  It always made him lose count of the coke bottles as they whisked by.

Jack let the bottles whisk by just a few seconds longer.  He loved how when he shifted his focus the line almost seemed like a huge python slithering quickly past.  Man, he hoped that python doesn’t bite.

A shake of the head and Tom went back inside for a while so Jack could count bottles and ponder his future in exotic dancing.

“Easy money,” Jack thought, “I already take my clothes off AT LEAST twice a day.  Three times if you count pyjamas.”  He knew the perfect place to apply for a job too.  There was that new club “The Landing Strip” out by the airport.  They’ve had a sign for ages that said “We’re Always Looking for New Talent.”

Jack smiled a little, wondering what talents he’d need as an exotic dancer.  He knew he was great at carving and sculpting.  He had six shelves on the bathroom wall with gargoyles carved from soap.  Irish Spring for the most part.  He always loved how that brand smelled.  His doctor always cautioned him against hobbies involving knives though.  Jack didn’t really pay much attention to what Dr. Grant had to say any more.  The only reason he kept going back to the doctor was for the pills, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to take the pills at all any more because he had really been missing Tom lately.

Jack’s shift at the cola plant ended at eight thirty that night.  Usually he would stick around with the guys, listening to how they’d done things with their girlfriends that their wives would kill them for.  He did this mostly to try to fit in, but the guys never invited him anywhere.  Lately, Tom had been dodging the post-work hangout.  Everyone looked at Jack weird when he talked to Tom, and if he ignored Tom, he’d never hear the end of it when he was trying to sleep that night.

Tonight was the night, he figured.  He was going to The Landing Strip to apply to be a stripper.

Forty-five minutes and three buses later he arrived.  He gazed up at the huge sign and couldn’t help but return the smile of the beautiful woman painted upon it.  A deep breath and then a pause.  Surveying the parking lot revealed not only Jerry’s car, but Al’s as well.  He loved Jerry’s car – an Oldsmobile 442 with racing stripes on it – but this was completely unexpected.

“Get this over with or I’m gonna let you have it,” Tom threatened.  One more deep breath and Jack walked in.

Jack wasn’t really sure what to expect before he set foot inside the dimly lit, smoke-filled club.  Movies were one thing, but those were just movies.  These were real women.  Real NAKED women.  He could hear Tom laughing at him, but he ignored the laughter and ridicule and kept on walking.  He couldn’t determine if the unwelcome stares from the semi-nude women around him were tricks of the trade, or jealousy epitomized, but he definitely had plenty of job interview discomfort and no support whatsoever from Tom.

The man in the far corner of The Landing Strip was easily six foot six and three hundred fifty pounds.  Three feet of braided beard hung down in front of him masking a beer stained Landing Strip T-Shirt with a silhouette of a woman on it.  His eyes looked at every customer with a message of “don’t screw around.  Not in my place, bud.”  Jack assumed that since he was the only person wearing a shirt to represent the place, that he would be the person to talk to.  He slowly, deliberately made his way over.  He could see Jerry and Al out of the corner of his eye.  Jerry was pointing in Jack’s direction, probably jealous that he didn’t come up with the idea first.

“What do you want a–hole?”

Not the greeting Jack was expecting from the braid-bearded man, but it would have to do.  Jack was here for business, so he couldn’t let himself take things personally.  “I’m here about the sign out front.  The one that says you’re looking for new talent.  I love dancing, strip very well, and am very talented.”

“What, are you effing retarded??  Come back when you grow some tits, and until then eff off before I personally throw your butt through the window.”

Again, not quite the reply Jack was looking for.  Especially since there were no windows.

“Kill him now,” said Tom.

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 February 2012 20 Minute Stories