Wednesday, July 8, 2009

West End Girl

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

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West End Girl

“Sometimes you’re better off dead,” he sneered, digging the barrel of the gun deeper into her abdomen. Roxy showed no outward appearance of her terror, though the bile burned a fiery path along her throat as she forced it down in a nervous swallow. She wanted to tell him off, at least for appearances sake, but couldn’t trust her voice to be steady. Instead, she gazed at the greasy-haired pusher, a look of boredom carefully fixed on her face.

The street kids called him Venom. It had taken her a while to find him. Greasy little shit, she thought to herself, her eyes visibly hardening. He stared back at her, seemingly intrigued by her bravado, his head tilting slightly right, then left. The snake tattoo that coiled around his neck, ending at the lifelike skull positioned strategically below his left eye, seemed to come to life, undulating with the movement. Despite herself, she couldn’t help but appreciate the artistry.

Venom’s wary gaze travelled down to her mouth, lingered there a few seconds, then lazily rose back up to her eyes. His thin lips curved up in a malicious leer, his pale tongue darting out, running over his stained teeth. Leaning closer to her, Venom pressed his crotch against her leg, roughly grating his stubbled cheek against hers. The stench of cigarettes, bourbon and stale sweat assaulted her senses.

“I hear you’ve been looking for me,” he breathed into her ear, curling his free hand around her throat in a threatening grip, jabbing the gun for effect.

Suppressing a shudder, she shrugged and said, in what she hoped was a careless tone, “I heard you were looking for girls.”

He stepped back then, thrusting the gun in the waistband of his grungy jeans, no longer believing her to be a threat. The thought of fresh new talent appealed to him. Especially this young thing.

“You take five percent,” said Venom, pointing a finger at her. “I keep the rest,” he added, jabbing a thumb in his chest. Taking her silence as agreement, he rubbed his chin, appraising her, his eyes slowly roaming up and down her body, virtually devouring her. Roxy could feel her heart pounding under his steady gaze, was sure he could see it jumping under her meagre shirt. The acid in her stomach curdled as his expression changed from the street-wise sleaze he had become, to that of a hungry, wild prowler gauging his attack.

With lightening speed, he was swiftly upon her, slamming Roxy against the wall, dragging his hand up her side and roughly cupping her breast, squeezing until she cried out.

“Why don’t we take you for a test drive?” he crudely suggested, dragging his damp tongue up her cheek, his breathing already jagged. She knew what was going to happen next. She’d been around these streets long enough to know. As much as she had prepared herself for this exact moment, she was surprised to suddenly realize she wasn’t ready. All rational thought fled her mind and she was keenly aware that she was likely going to die tonight.

As her mind wrapped around this notion, accepted the concept as it nestled snugly inside her, she heard an audible click, the sound ricocheting off the ally walls.

“Thank, Christ,” she muttered, sagging against the wall.

“Let her go,” said a deep, authoritative voice. When Venom didn’t respond, the voice growled louder, “Don’t make me ask you again!” shoving the butt of a gun harder into the back of his head, nudging his face forward.

Venom stepped back, lifting his arms and placing his hands behind his head. He glared at Roxy, his cold dark eyes boring into her. “You fucking bitch!” he hissed at her, spitting in her face.

Wiping away the spittle that was dripping down her temple, she thrust her middle finger at him, noticed that her hand trembled slightly.

As Venom was led away, Roxy turned into the wall, pressing her forehead against the cool brick.

A firm hand clutched her shoulder. “You OK?”

She whirled around and punched the policeman in the chest with surprising force. “Where the fuck were you?” she shouted.

The police officer stepped back, rubbing his chest. “The situation was under control.”

“Maybe from where you were standing,” she spat out, “but from my angle, the view was a little different.”

She muttered angry, unintelligible words as she paced, flailing her arms about in a vain attempt at diffusing some anger. “This is bullshit,” she finally announced, stopping abruptly. “I can’t do this. I’m not going undercover anymore.” And with that, Roxy stormed off.

The lone officer hung his head. “Man,” he muttered, “the Chief’s gonna be really pissed now.”


Marc said...

Oh, that's excellent stuff right there. Great tension, tight dialogue, a really vivid scene.

Who knew the Pet Shop Boys could inspire something so gritty? :)

Monica Manning said...

Thanks, Marc. I consider that quite a compliment coming from an author and not just friends and family who keep inflating my ego.

The worse part is that I've had that damn song in my head for days now!