OH, WOMAN OF EASY VIRTUE • by K.C. Ball

Blood-red neon outside makes liquid demands. Haul-It Inn.

So I do, pushing my way through frosted plate-glass doors to strike a pose upon dented hardwood floor. Black take-me pumps and high-gloss cherry lips and Chip and Pepper blue jeans. A high-end whore; come and get me if you can afford me. Just the mask I want.

A brushed-steel and padded-leather bar hurries along the wall to my left, running the length of the room. Industrial chic, once upon a time, but flecks of rust and rough-stitched ridges tell tales of careless maintenance.

The jake behind the bar glances up when the door pops closed, skewering me with a single glance and lingering upon my ins and outs as if I had picked the outfit just for his appreciation. Not. I consider flipping him the bird but decide it’s more attention than he deserves. Instead, I peruse the place as if it — and everything in it — is kitty litter and I’m about to make it clump.

Halfway through that long disdainful glance, I spot the man I’m after, sitting at something too small to be called a table. Alone. Waiting. Not ashamed to show it. The sort who needs to be cranked in, every night of his life, and I am just the girl to trim his sails. He studies me, liking what he sees; he should. The outfit is tailored to his tastes.

I sashay across the room, legs and hips and gluteal muscles working together like a NASCAR pit crew. All the women hate me; all the men have forgotten who they came in with. One poor jerk stands, to follow me; his woman puts him back into his place.

Another fool is stuck with his jaw dropped open. I ease it closed, with a lacquered-nail fingertip, as I pass by.

The man I’m after watches it all, enjoying the floor show. I stop, just outside his reach. Standing, of course. There’s only one chair and he’s not about to offer it to me.

“Want some company?” My voice is smoky and low, Lauren Bacall and Susan Sarandon and Sigourney Weaver rolled into one sweet sound.

He snubs out his cigarette, a filthy unfiltered Turkish brand, and gives me the once over; two times.

“Sure,” he says. In no hurry. “Got a friend I might like?”

If it were just for me, I’d tell him what to do with his burnt-out butt. But it isn’t just for me; not tonight. I have to get in close, got to finish the job I agreed to do, so I work it again.

“You’re a funny man. I like funny men.” Purring.

“Everybody tells me that,” he says. He yawns and gives it a five-count. “All right, you can stay.” I smile, in that evil way I learned from watching Bacall, and take a step closer. He shows me the palm of his hand.

“If you go down on your knees and beg,” he says. Eyes lit in anticipation. I give him the five-count right back, and then nod.

“All right,” I say. “If that’s how we’re going to play this.” He grins like a circus clown, as I step in close and kneel before him. He’ll be sorry; what’s sauce for the gander is good with the goose, too.

Next month, come my fantasy night, I’ll make the bastard pay.


K.C. Ball is a retired newspaper reporter and media relations coordinator. She lives in Seattle, a stone’s throw from Puget Sound, and she writes because if she doesn’t, she’ll just burst.


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 average 4.1 stars • 10 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Wickedly great writing, KC, I loved it. Especially this paragraph:

    The jake behind the bar glances up when the door pops closed, skewering me with a single glance and lingering upon my ins and outs as if I had picked the outfit just for his appreciation. Not. I consider flipping him the bird but decide it’s more attention than he deserves. Instead, I peruse the place as if it–and everything in it–is kitty litter and I’m about to make it clump.

    Terrific, and a good twist at the end. I hope you write HER fantasy night! Five stars from me.

  • Excellent and love the twist. Sarah is right, we need to see her come-back. 🙂

  • This is one STUNNING story!

  • Very good, K C

  • Well played.

  • Rob

    Eloquent prose. Subtly alluring. Good story.

  • Great voice. Loved the end. I’m with Sarah: let’s see the payback.

  • Jen

    That was *awesome.* I loved your character’s voice. I gave it a five out of five and I’m with evryone else: I’d like a sequel!

  • gay

    Your use of language, KC, is amazing. It smacks of classic Hammett, but feels new and up-dated, including the female voice.

    I’d like to see the characters again too, but for a longer story and without the twist. The twist is perfect for flash, but I’d like to get to know this woman better. Her voice could sustain a novel. She reminds me a little V.I. Warshawski but more deadly. Gave the 5 I usually give you.

  • Fantastic. I feel scandalized!

  • Love the atmosphere of this piece, KC. Definitely bring this character back!

  • Well done, KC. I love the language. It was a great mix of poetic word twists and images with the snarky modern woman’s view.

    I could see there was a twist coming as to why she was really there, but I didn’t see what it actually was coming until you gave it to me. Great job!

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  • She’s the female Jack Burton on an S&M kick. I like it.

  • Thank you for all the wonderful comments. I had a lot of fun writing this piece. Like Eva Jean Dickens of The Mixture, this woman whispered in my ear; so it’s entirely possible she may be back.

  • Nice one, K.C.! Didn’t see that coming at all – great stuff.

  • Lyn

    I like this phrase: “If it were just for me, I’d tell him what to do with his burnt-out butt.” Noticed the foreshadowing clues but like the others, the twist took me to the last period. Congrats.

  • Celeste

    KC… how could i have missed this one. Wow, what a beauty! Well-crafted and real. A five from me.

  • Celeste

    KC… how could i have missed this one. Wow, what a beauty! Well-crafted and real. A five.

  • craig finlay

    Nice. I’m guessing she’s either an undercover cop or someone with a serious grudge?

    That’s some entry. I particularly enjoyed the “One poor jerk stands, to follow me; his woman puts him back into his place.” LOL