In each passing second, a new Cherry walked passed the curtain and disappeared before my eyes. My mother’s voice plagued me with short meaningless sayings. Nothing could calm the timpani drum threatening to burst out my chest as each girl in front of me vanished into the veil of the unknown.
“Jade Marie,” Kat announced the Cherry who forced me into the invisible bra. At some point, she changed into a navy bralette. Her boobs hung out in all the most flattering places and judging by the sounds the audience made they agreed.
I compared myself to the other girls waiting in line and noticed my boobs were much more on display thanks to Jade. I tucked them further into whatever spare centimeter of fabric I could gather.
Finally, the anticipation came to an end and my feet were positioned right in front of the curtain. I sucked in a deep breath in a final attempt to calm my nerves.
“Up next we have Satara.” Kitty said my name and I figured I should move. I pushed past the curtain and died at the thought of falling. It took my eyes a moment to adjust to the strobe lights as I walked towards the center of the stage.
There were loud claps and whistles from the crowd, all managing to somehow build my self-esteem and cheapen it. “Satara is wearing a naughty little number that shows off all the curves of her body.” One wrong move and there would be nothing to hide anymore. I’d be naked in front of dozens of strangers.
I took my cue to walk down the catwalk and did my best impression of a Victoria Secret Angel. The crowd hollered at my bare ass and blood rushed to my cheeks.
Before I could take another breath, I dove behind the curtain across the stage. All the other Cherries were waiting with bottles of water and peppy grins.
They cheered for me as I found my way to the backroom.
“Way to go,” The pixie laughed and handed me something to drink.
Jade grinned, “Yeah, you’re one of us now.” One of them? My shoulders relaxed as I took a sip of water. I managed to suppress the fact that I still didn’t know what being one of them meant.
I figured I would find out soon enough, “That wasn’t so bad.”
“The pussywalk never is,” Jade said while fiddling with her necklace.
Jade glanced at the neon pixie.
“I’m Sarah by the way.” Sarah attempted to change the subject.
I wouldn’t give up so easily, “Why’d you call it the Pussywalk?”
Sarah sighed and nodded at Jade.
“The Pussywalk is what we do so the men,”
“Or women,” Sarah added.
“Can decide which one of us they want for the night.” Jade watched several different expressions flash across my face.
The gears in my head caught flames, “Like prostitution?”
The girls laughed and promised what they did couldn’t be considered prostitution.
“We aren’t prostitutes. No one is allowed to have sex with us.” Jade said.
Sarah nodded, “Exactly. They just pay to play with us.”
I stared at each one of them, “I’m ninety-nine point nine percent sure that’s prostitution.”
After stifling their laughter it was clear they found my confusion amusing. Sarah explained, “We typically have an opening number, but we canceled that tonight, then we do the pussywalk. The hotter you dress the more likely you are to be chosen by a rich customer with nothing to do except spending their money on renting you for a few hours.”
“We work partially for tips too so the richer the better,” Jade added.
Sarah flashed a smile at Jade, “The person who bought you can play with you for as long as they paid for. Which could be from thirty minutes to closing.”
“I’m sorry,” I held my hand up before she could go on, “How do they play with us exactly?” The concept of being paid to act like a glorified sex doll gave me the creeps.
“They use toys.”
“Toys?” I assumed we weren’t talking about Lego building by proxy.
“Sex toys. The ones that Jason makes.”
If we were in a cartoon a giant question mark would have been hovering above my head,“Who’s Jason?”
“The owner of the store.” I pieced together the information they were giving me. The owner of the store made sex toys. Cherries were human dolls for strangers to use the toys on. My mother’s laughter rung in my ears.
I pried as much information from them that I could before Kitty finally bounced into the room.
“Good Job girls, we’re already doing better than last month.” She announced.
“Kitty, you need to explain the ropes to the new girl or she’s gonna scare customers away,” Sarah said while tugging at her bra straps.
Confusion aside, I was more concerned about legality.
Kitty focused her attention on me, “What do you want to know, honey?”
“What do the people who...buy us get to do?”
“They own you, within in reason. If they tell you to crawl by their side then crawl. If the rent a collar then wear the collar. But most of the time they just decided what toy to watch you on.”
I didn’t want to play Naughty Simon Says with complete strangers. “I don’t understand the concept of the toys.”
This time all three of them exchanged a look. “You’ll have to see them to understand.”
I didn’t want to understand. Kitty draped her fingers over my bare shoulder, “Don’t worry, I made sure you were assigned as a watcher tonight.”
I forced a smile and held back the rampant screaming in my head.