“Take it off baby,” the slightly drunken portly man up front chanted, “let’s see some skin!”
It was another typical Saturday night at Charlie’s bar and strip club. The place was hopping as usual. A massive wave of men and women were crammed into the dirty little nightclub. They had
come together to share a drink or two and take in the night’s entertainment. She half stood and half squatted on the tiny stage, flooded in red light. Hoots of joy and pleasure rang through the
place above the seductive music she had chosen for her performance. Seventeen year old Ariel seemed to be quite the crowd enticer and Charlie sat behind the bar catcalling and whistling along with
the throng of partiers.
“Here pretty lady,” the balding middle aged man called extending a ten dollar bill, “something to buy some new clothes with.”
Ariel flashed one of her disarming smiles at him and gracefully gyrated over to him. She wore a very scanty bra that pushed her young breasts heavenward in the most enticing way. A g-string
bottom allowed very little modesty. She bounced her ample cleavage up and down a few times in front of the silly man then allowed him to slip the money into her g-string. She blew him a kiss as she
danced her way back to the center of the stage. Sweat was starting to collect on her forehead and lips. As the tempo of the music increased she slowly and deliberately shed her top. This she
unceremoniously flung into the outstretched hands of the crowd. Chaos erupted the men closest to the stage scrambled to retrieve the treasure she had thrown form her perch above them. Finally
someone stood up screaming waving the black sequin top. He pushed his nose deep into the fabric and smiled a wolfish smile.
“How’s about sending me the string as well,” he screeched at Ariel.
Laughter rang through the bar. One of the man’s buddies clapped his friend on the back and he threw a fifty dollar bill onto the stage at Ariel’s feet. The music finally came to an end and
her audience now in a frenzy called out to her for a repeat of the activities she had so professional delivered. She curtseyed to her adoring fans and made a hasty retreat off the stage. Rosie one
of the other girls took her place in the limelight as Ariel went to the small dressing room in back of the stage. Ariel smiled to herself. Life was good she thought. It was not a difficult thing
getting that fake drivers license. It had also not been much harder convincing Charlie she could make the grade as a stripper. He had taken one look at her act and hired her on the spot.
Ariel just hoped her dad, the minister, would never discover her secret. There would be hell to be paid if he did. She took a bottle of water from the small refrigerator which Charlie had so
sweetly placed there for his ladies.
“Great show,” Charlie said smiling from the doorway, “wish all my girls could dance the way you do. Must say I had my doubts about you, but seems I was wrong.”
“Thanks boss,” Ariel said taking a swallow of her water, “I am to please.”
She began removing the grease paint from her face and tried desperately to get her long curly blonde hair to lose some of the frizz. She took a clean towel and started drying the perspiration
from her chest and arms. After she had rested for a few minutes she pulled on her jeans and t-shirt she had worn to work that evening. Not yet satisfied with the way she looked she swept her hair
up and back into a ponytail.
“There,” she said to the wholesome young girl in the mirror, “now you look cute as a button.”
Ariel took the bus home and arrived at exactly five o’clock that morning. Her father the local minister at the First Baptist Church was still fast asleep. She walked silently to her bedroom
and pulled on her nightgown. Before she went to sleep she counted up her night’s earnings. Five hundred dollars lay scattered across her pink comforter. She neatly gathered the money together and
hid it as usual in her panty drawer behind her tampons. Exhausted from her performance it was not too long before she fell to sleep.
At seven o’clock Ariel’s father knocked on her door. He had already dressed and fixed himself a hearty breakfast.
“Ariel I am heading to church,” he said, “I hope to see you there this morning.”
Ariel opened one bloodshot eye and whispered, “Sorry Dad had a busy night working at Walmart. Maybe next Sunday I can make it.”
“Okay honey,” he replied, “you get some rest and I’ll see you later.”
“Well,” Ariel answered pulling herself up into a sitting position, “Ren wants me to spend some time with him. So it may be later tonight before I see you.”
Ariel’s father rolled his eyes and a look of disappointed replaced the smile.
“You know I don’t like that boy. Dance, dance, dance that’s all he wants to do. I think you are spending way too much time with him,” Ariel’s father said bitterly.
“Okay Dad, whatever,” Ariel responded laying her head back on her pillow and pulling the covers up over her face.
“Just worried about you.” he said, “I do love you.”
“Love you, too.” Ariel muttered half under her breath.
After her father had gone Ariel fell back to sleep. Dreams of one day becoming a famous dancer and finally escaping her small time nightmare made a smile appear as she slept.
Ariel continued to work for Charlie and attend school. Her father it seemed would probably never discover her secret. Ren had been most helpful in teaching her some very innovative moves and
each time Ariel hit the stage at the club the crowd would go wild.
Two weeks before Christmas her double life came to an abrupt end. She had worked her Friday night shift and the club and all had gone well. Ariel took the bus as usual and arrived home at
five o’clock. What Ariel didn’t suspect was her father was waiting for her as she entered the house.
“Ariel,” he said the disappointment was obvious in his voice, “we need to talk. I know you have been lying to me about working midnights at Walmart. I went shopping last night and came by to
see if you could take a break and grab a bite with me. They told me you didn’t work there and never have. So come clean with me. What have you been up to? It’s that boy Ren, isn’t it? What have you
been doing with him?”
Ariel sat down on the oversized sofa in the living room. She sighed and looked at her father that she loved and respected.
“Dad,” she explained trying to clear the lump in her throat, “I have been working, but not at Walmart. I work for Charlie who owns the bar and strip club.”
Ariel waited for the explosion. She knew it was wrong to lie to her Dad and just hoped he would not be too hurt by her actions. He sat there for a moment and then started to cry. Ariel walked
over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. His reaction was one as if someone had slapped him.
“How dare you do such a thing!” he snapped, “I thought I had raised you better than that. What else have you been lying about? Are you sleeping with that Ren boy as well?”
“No Dad!” Ariel replied emphatically, “Ren has just been helping me with my dancing. You see Dad I do have someone special in my life but her name is Rosie.”
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