This is very much the home straight. When we started this series, Eden Baylee and I had already co-authored several stories for R B Wood’s Word Count Podcast and when Richard decided to end it we weren’t ready to stop. As a result, The 800 Word Story began in January last year. Since then, between us we’ve written 43 stories (that’s about 34,400 words) and managed to stay very good friends. I can’t speak for Eden but I’ve certainly enjoyed and learned from the experience. I just hope we’ve managed to please lots of readers because that, after all, was the point of the whole enterprise.
For today’s story…
Prompt: ‘After only two months, Helen decided to become an exotic dancer.’
I wrote Parts 1 and 3,
Eden wrote parts 2 and 4
A BRASS VIXEN
From their first day together at secondary school, Helen and Gillian had been friends. Neither knew what it was about the other that drew them together but it was instantaneous, instinctive. They laughed at the same things, liked or disliked the same teachers and fellow pupils, chose the same subjects to study, read the same books and magazines.
There were differences – Gillian, for example, was good at and enjoyed several sports, Helen didn’t even like watching them. Gillian’s family had a Chihuahua, Helen was terrified of dogs, big and small. But none of these, or the other minor differences, did anything to diminish how much they cared for and respected one another.
When they moved on to university, it was perhaps inevitable that they should choose to study the same subjects, French and Italian, at both of which they were well above average students.
It might have been expected that such closeness could have caused problems when it came to boy-friends but no. It’s true that they were attracted to the same sort of physical types and personal characteristics but, by mutual if unspoken agreement, whoever first expressed an interest in some particular individual met no competition for him from the other.
* * *
The two women sat at their local coffee shop, sipping cappuccino and munching biscotti. The mid-week ritual gave them time to catch up face to face.
“I’m going on a trip,” Helen said.
“You know that fitness class I joined?
“The yoga one, or is it Pilates?”
“Neither.” A tiny smile formed on Helen’s face. “It’s a pole dancing class.”
Her friend’s eyes widened. “You’re kidding me.”
“Nope … and I love it!”
Gillian swatted Helen’s arm. “You can sure keep a secret, girl! So is the trip part of the class?”
“In a way, yes.” She bit into her cookie. “I’m going to Moreland, you know it?”
“Can’t say I do.”
“I’d never heard of it either, but it’s 90 minutes from here by bus, and the only thing it’s known for is a …” Her voice drifted off. She picked up her coffee and set it down again.
Gillian leaned in to listen. “For what? Come on, spill!”
Now Helen’s expression changed to a grin. “It’s known for a little club called Brass Vixens. They have a competition, and I’ve entered myself in it.” She leaned back and crossed her arms atop her chest. “Want to come?”
Gillian spluttered the mouthful of coffee she’d just taken back into her cup..
“You? A pole dancing competition?” she managed at last.
She wasn’t to know, of course, that, after only two months, Helen had decided to become an exotic dancer.
“I wouldn’t miss that for the world,” she added.
On the due date they drove to Brass Vixens together. As Helen reversed into a parking space, Gillian was already stifling laughter.
“What?” said Helen, as she got out and locked the car door. Gillian just pointed to the display panels either side of the big entrance. They featured plentifully endowed dancers wrapped around poles, their bodies beautiful and their expressions… well… hungry.
“Cute,” said Helen. “See you afterwards.” And she walked away to the artistes’ entrance.
Her calmness intrigued Gillian. Throughout their friendship, she, not Helen, had been the one more prone to take risks, try new ventures. Helen had seemed almost reserved, even scared of some of the things that Gillian had suggested they try. Whatever the fitness class had taught her, it seemed to be having an effect. As she joined the queue of men at the main door, she was no longer sure she wanted to see the show.
Gillian sat with a group of Helen’s friends from her class. They’d come to cheer her on. Each of the fourteen competitors was given two minutes to show off their best moves. Helen was scheduled to come on in the second half.
When the judges took a ten-minute break after the first seven performers, the friends had already decided who Helen had to beat. A woman named Crystal had wowed the audience with her show of flexibility and strength.
Helen came on as the thirteenth contestant, and her girlfriends jumped to their feet. They applauded every spin, every straddle. A pelvic vice grip stunned the audience when Helen’s head almost hit the floor as she slid down the pole upside down. She outperformed some of the girls half her age! Gillian whooped it louder than anyone at the club.
In the end, as suspected, Crystal took top prize. She deserved it, even Helen said so. Gillian was proud of her friend for putting herself out there. On the way home in the car, Helen wore her third place ribbon around her neck and beamed, “Not bad for an old broad, huh?”
Gillian snorted. “You’re not old, you’re just getting started.”