Sing Us A Song

Sonya Lano | 01/11/2011

“Sing us a song!” Black Bull Saloon’s patrons shout loudly, grinning and smirking as I walk lightly up to its platform. My foot lands half-unwillingly on its first stair and I halt.
I don’t want to do this.
But can I back out now?
I push my limbs to carry on.
I turn to look at my public shifting anxiously and antsily on bar stools and chairs, and for an instant I can do nothing but flinch as I think on what an awful standard I’m about to stoop to.
No! It’s foolish to think of it!
Too many uncompromising doubts swirling too copiously in my mind.
Hastily wiping away all misgivings, I nod to Larry and summon a saucy grin as I kick up my skirts to show a bit of lacy stocking. My noisy throng bursts into wild catcalls and howl in anticipation as Larry’s hands slip across his piano in a smooth rhythm to match my dancing. I start to sing, knowing how strongly my song grips, imprisons and controls all in my proximity, turning normally autonomous chaps into putty.
All watch, lost in my harmony as I watch for…
Finally!
I almost faint as a motion disrupts my absorption in my music and I look toward a man pushing through Black Bull’s swinging doors.
Darryl!
Naught but a no-good rascal, though I cannot fight off my adoration for him. It runs too far into my soul to stamp it out without annihilating my spirit along with it.
His scan of his surroundings absorbs all risk factors: a muscular barman, a rowdy, vigorous, liquor-swilling crowd that calls out vulgar words about what I could do on a cot in a dark room…but mainly his caution is gauging how raptly all individuals watch my act.
A look and a knowing grin from him applaud my triumph and inwardly my soul soars high – too high! – as I contrarily also long to sink into a stupor, hiding in an uncaring void, for I know I slay my morals for him. This is not a thing I can say I’m proud of.
But how can I mind, with that blissful vision of him always in my thoughts and muddling my wits?
Larry slows his music to a soft murmur, and my song and my swaying body follow, slowing gradually, gradually…luring my public into a cunning lullaby.
Don’t look around, I think a bit frantically toward my patrons, and it works. I still hold all in my control…so Darryl can accomplish his task without any difficulty or confrontation.
Unknown in this part of town, my bandit winds in and out among Black Bull’s patrons, his hands choosing victims randomly, without favoritism.
I hold my public still so Darryl can finish his work, robbing many (too many!) of a month’s hard-won savings or tonight’s luckily-won winnings.
Why do I do this? I ask, inwardly writhing at my dishonor as I watch poor folks’ cash vanish into Darryl’s coat.
What a stupid inquiry.
I know why I do it. I do it for him. It is all for him.
As I catch his wink and his wily smirk, with his obvious approval trailing across my body, I start shaking, drowning in his look, drawn unavoidably into his world and abandoning my morals…again.
I must finish my song, and as it drifts into oblivion, I find that I’m crying.
Darryl is instantly at my back, his arm snaking round my waist to tuck my body blissfully into his. His warmth surrounds my chilly form, a comfort, a transitory sanctuary that will vanish if I stop participating in his plot. Which is why I can’t back out. To my humiliation, obtaining my lost morals isn’t worth losing him. Nothing can supplant him…but knowing that can’t stop it from hurting.
Darryl pulls my shaking body onto his lap and commands a drink from a glaring barman. I drink and drink and drink again, my wits slowly dulling as Darryl’s hands brush across my damp skin, wiping away any hint of my sobs. At his coaxing, silky-smooth murmur I look up and his scurrilous grin turns my body traitor, making it long for his silky, sinful touch, his silky, sinful kiss and his silky, sinful body. I long for him to drag my guilt into oblivion.
This isn’t right, I moan inwardly, and as I catch a flash of warning on his tight lips, I know that I said it aloud. It is his signal to act, to clarify again why I’m forsaking right and wrong for him.
A kiss is my gift for tonight’s act, my pay for a good job, my drug, intoxicating and all-consuming. His lips fall hot on my skin, tantalizingly disarming, charming, wooing and winning. I submit with hardly a sigh of opposition.
I hardly know what’s going on until I find us in a dark room. Darryl lays my willing body on a cot amid avid murmurs of adulation and ardor, worship and vows of undying passion. His skillful hands know just how to touch to bring forth naught but rapturous bliss and I’m crumbling at his ministrations, my qualms falling apart, cast out of my mind in favor of this…
For this is my award, a sordid trophy that I swap for my honor.
Is it worth it?
I can’t say, for as I succumb to his will, I inwardly go numb.

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