‘Vamps’, Chapter Two: Prettiness Envy

The two nude men took me to a curvy, buxom blonde in a sparkling gold and silver evening dress and high heels.  Her face was painted up in bright red lipstick, pink blush, dark eye shadow, and thick mascara.  Approaching me, she smiled pleasantly, but with her mouth closed.  She seemed to have an overbite.  She shook my hand.

“Erica George,” she said.  “Welcome to POUMTANG.  My name is Andrea Nini; I’m the head stripper here.”

“Isn’t this place called The Candy Club?” I asked.

“It used to be, but now that it’s under my management, it’s called POUMTANG, or POUM, for short.”

“You’re the boss, and a stripper?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.  “A leader doesn’t just sit back and let the others work; she must inspire her women.”

“Any men?”

“Only our guards, like Gino and Jorge here.  You can go now, boys.”

The men bowed slightly to her and went back outside.

“Why are they naked?” I asked.  “Do they strip here, too?”

“Sometimes they’re involved in live sex shows,” Andrea said.

“But they were naked outside, too.”

“Well…that’s just their way.  Nudism is sort of a philosophy here.  All will be explained to you in time.  I’m sure they gave you good protection coming through that treacherous forest,” she said.

“Protection?” I asked with my eyes practically bugging out of my head.  “Three men from town were escorting me, and they all got attacked.  I hope they’re OK.”

“I hope they aren’t, for the sake of all of us va-, uh, strippers,” Andrea said.  “Your escorts were the real danger.  Everyone in town, that is, the Christians, hate our club and want to destroy us–our business.  Gino and Jorge got rid of them and got you here safely.”

“I don’t understand. My three escorts were assaulted by muggers hiding in the–”

“Don’t worry.  As I said before, all will be explained to you in time.  Let’s get you into the change room in the back.  We have lots of sexy things you can wear onstage.”

Andrea led me through the bar, where I continued seeing the most flawlessly sexy women, each in a different stage of undress, either giving men table dances or lap dances, or dancing onstage.

I was always able to accept not being the hottest girl in a strip joint, but that night my insecure, envious eyes were scouring the entire bar for at least one chunky dancer, or older dancer, or floppy-titted one.  And all I could see were sex goddesses, and many of them, with no imperfect exceptions.

Oh, no, I thought.  I’m the least sexy girl here.  I hope I’m not judged too harshly when I’m nude.

Andrea took me into the changing room, and turned on the light.  There I saw a short, fully naked brunette dancer looking through the stockings and garters.  The turning on of the light irritated her eyes; I wondered why she was looking through the clothes in the pitch black dark, and how she was able to do so without even the slightest amount of light to guide her.

Anyway, she, too, was an example of divine physicality, with a deliciously smooth body: creamy, perfect skin.  No flab.  Not a single blemish.  Interestingly, the light seemed to annoy Andrea as much as it did the naked stripper; and the only conceivable fault I could find in either woman, with their nice, round tits and asses, was that their skin was rather pale.  This naked girl also seemed to have an overbite.

“Erica, meet Fantine Tremblay, or ‘Fanny’, as she likes to be called,” Andrea said.  “Fanny, Erica George.”

“Nice to meet you, Erica,” Fanny said in a Quebec accent.  We shook hands.  “Welcome to POUM.”

“Thanks,” I said.  “I just hope the men here like me as much as they like all you POUMTANG girls.  I’ve never seen such anatomical perfection.”

“They’ll like you, too,” Andrea reassured me.  “Why wouldn’t they?”

“Well, my body has a flaw or two,” I said.

“I don’t see any flaws,” Fanny said as she put on a purple lace thong.

“You will see when I’m nude,” I insisted.  “The men here must be used to seeing perfect babes, which I’m not.”

“If you’re that insecure about your body, don’t worry,” Andrea said.  “We have ways of making your body a perfect sculpture.”

“Plastic surgery?” I asked.

“Oh, better than that,” Fanny said, having put on a bra and high heels to match her thong.

“Well, if your method’s that good, please don’t keep it from me,” I said.  “I’m gonna be nervous going on that stage, knowing the standard the men are used to seeing here.”

“It’s best not to use our methods so soon,” Andrea said.  “We’ll see how the men react to you as you are, and if there’s a problem, we’ll help you then.”

“I have to go on now,” Fanny said, still wincing and grimacing.  “I’ve gotta get out of here; the light’s driving me crazy.”

“Me, too,” Andrea said, also cringing in discomfort.  “I’m sure you’ll be fine onstage.  You’ll be on after Fanny.  Good luck.”  She quickly left the room.

“Nice meeting you, Erica,” Fanny said, shaking my hand again.  “When you go on, break a leg.”  She also quickly went out of the room.  When I saw her disappear back into the dark, I heard her moan with relief.

“Breaking a leg will be the least of my worries, with girls like you for my competition,” I said.  Why does the light bother them?  It doesn’t bother me, I thought.

I started fishing through the dresses and other outfits.  I found some black panties and a matching bra, as well as black stockings, just like those worn by the girl in that outside painting by the front door.  I hoped my looking like her would improve my sex appeal.

I also found a black evening gown.  I was lucky to have black high heels in my gym bag.  After putting on all the clothes, I freshened up my makeup: dark eyeshadow, blush, thick black mascara and eyeliner, and dark red lipstick.

I looked myself over in the mirror, carefully appraising my whole body.  Dressed that way, I seemed sexy.  But what about when I was to get nude?

I went out by the stage, where Fanny was doing her floor show, dancing to “Toxic,” by Britney Spears.  After having a recording of the songs I was to dance to given to the DJ, I looked at all the men watching Fanny: rapt, they never took their eyes off her.  They didn’t cheer or make rude cat-calls; they just watched her with a near religious adoration.  Their eyes sparkled with fascination at her topless loveliness, and their mouths hung open in awe.

I’d never seen such a reaction to a stripper, even to the most beautiful of them.  Fanny seemed to have a kind of sorcery to hold their undivided attention that way.  I couldn’t understand what I was seeing, and her charms made me all the more worried that I, going on right after her, would fail to have even half her power over the audience.

Her second song began: “Fuck the Pain Away,” by Peaches.  She pulled off the purple thong and got her high heeled feet out of the leg holes.  The men were still mesmerized, their eyes following her every step from one side of the stage to the other.  I still didn’t have any idea of how I could compete with her.

Her last song, “Rock On,” by David Essex, began.  She removed her high heels and began crawling around.  When she spread her legs and showed off her…front and back doors, if you will…again, the men just stared silently, in awe.  No crude remarks, no piggish behaviour.  I felt myself as stunned by their–it could only be described with this word–respect of her, as they were of her divine curves.

Her song was over, and she got off the stage.  Now it was my turn.

“Let’s give a big hand for Fanny,” the DJ announced.  “And now let’s welcome a brand new dancer to POUM, a very sexy lady, here’s…Erica.”

All the men cheered for me, whistling and cat-calling, everything that wasn’t done for Fanny.  I got on stage, trying not to let my nervousness show.

The DJ–who I noticed was one of the nude men who’d shown me in, and who seemed to be nude still–played my first song, “I Need You Tonight,” by INXS.  I roamed about the stage, shaking my ass to the beat and making extensive use of the pole.  Gone was the rapt look in the men’s eyes.

I saw them talking to their friends and clearly showing little interest in me.  The hypnosis Fanny had had them all under was gone.  I fought harder to hide my nervousness.

Coming to the middle of the song, I unzipped the dress and let it drop to my feet.  The men’s reaction remained cool.

“Flab!” one of them shouted suddenly.

I didn’t know which was scarier, being in that forest with whoever had attacked my three escorts, or stripping for this crowd.

My first song ended.  The second began: also by INXS, it was “Devil Inside.”  I tried moving around more energetically, kicking my legs up in the air and twirling, but none of it seemed to make an impression on this tough crowd.  A minute or so into the song, I did what would be the hardest thing for me to do: remove the bra and reveal my somewhat saggy tits.

I’d always been insecure about them, but displaying this imperfection to these obviously choosy men was going to test my nerves like never before.  Again, all I got was a lukewarm reaction, them more interested in chatting with each other than in looking at me.

“Flappy floppers!” shouted that man again; at least I thought it was the same heckler as before.  He was wearing a baseball cap, jeans, a green T-shirt, and he was sucking back a beer.

My lower lip was quivering, and a tear ran down my cheek; but I had to finish my set.  The second song ended.

My last song, INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart,” began playing.

“I hate INXS!” shouted that heckler.  “What happened to the sexy music?  And the sexy dancers?”

I really wanted the heel of my shoe to meet that guy’s balls, but I bit my lip and continued with my floorshow, wishing the time would fly by so I could get off the stage.

A minute or so into the song, I reluctantly removed the thong.

“Damn, shave that thing!” the heckler shouted.

I got on the floor on my back, and spread my legs with a maximum of trepidation.

“Fuck!” he shouted again.  “I can smell that all the way over here!  Disgusting!”

I couldn’t take it any more: I got up and ran off the stage, leaving my clothes there, and went back into the change room.  I burst out into tears.  I just sat on a chair and cried and cried.

After a minute or so of incessant bawling, I heard a scream, one a lot like those I’d heard in the forest, when those men were attacked.

Soon after that, Andrea came into the room with two other strippers, ones as perfect-looking as her and Fanny.  They all squinted in discomfort at the light.

“Don’t worry about that asshole,” Andrea said, hugging me.  “We got rid of him.”

“That wasn’t him screaming out there, was he?” I asked.  “I’d like that.”

“No, but he’s been kicked out,” said one of the strippers.  “Justice has been done.”

“Yeah, but I’ll never compete with you girls,” I said in sobs.  “I shouldn’t work here.”

“Bullshit,” Andrea said.  “We can improve your looks.  But you have to trust us.”

“Why couldn’t you have just done it before?” I asked.

“Because it’s a radical solution to your insecurities,” the second stripper said.  “Only now, with you wanting to be perfected so badly, will you be open-minded enough to receive our methods.”

“Yes,” Andrea said.

“Well, give it to me,” I begged.  “Don’t keep it from me.”

“OK,” Andrea said.  “Let’s all go into the bedroom upstairs.”

‘Yeah,” the second stripper said.  “Let’s hurry.  That light is bugging me.”

We went up there right away.

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‘Vamps’, Chapter One: Attack In the Dark

The black of night surrounded us on all sides.  Though the crescent moon was out and the stars speckled the sky, their light was blocked by the foliage of the trees, which made a seamless ceiling over us.  Only the flashlights in my three male escorts’ hands did anything to break the darkness.

“Keep wavin’ the flashlights around, fellas,” the first of the three men said.  “Remember, they hate the light.”

“They?” I asked.  “Who are ‘they’?”

“We told ya before, in the diner this afternoon,” the second man said.  “The vampires.”

“Oh, not that ridiculous story again,” I said.

“I’m tellin’ ya, it’s true,” the first said.

“Why couldn’t you make yourself available earlier, so we could take you out here while the sun was still out?” the third said in a trembling voice.

“Sorry,” I said.  “I had to get settled in my new apartment.”

“No matter,” the second said.  “We have an opportunity to kill some vampires tonight.”

“Oh, Jesus,” I said.

“Don’t blaspheme,” the third said.

“Don’t worry, Carl,” the first man said to the third.  “We have our crucifixes, our garlic necklaces…”

“And our faith in God,” the second said.

I rolled my eyes.

Suddenly, Carl screamed.

“What is it, Carl?” the first man said.

“Jim!  I heard something fly by me,” Carl said to the first man.  “I felt the wind hit my face from the flyin’ thing.”

“A bat?” Jim asked, cocking his gun.

“I think so,” Carl stammered.  “A vampire.”

I snorted.  “Come on, guys, there are no such things as vampires.  And if there were, what good would a gun do?”

“We scratched crosses on the bullets,” the second man said.

I rolled my eyes again.  “Whatever; just get me to The Candy Club, OK?”

“We will, ma’am,” Jim said.  “Not that we approve of…”

“Aaaah!” Carl screamed.  “Unh!”

“What is it, Carl?” Jim asked.  “Randy, where is he?”

“I’m tryin’ to find ‘im,” Randy said, waving his flashlight around to find Carl.

“I’m bit,” Carl groaned in a raspy voice, though I still didn’t believe a bat, or anyone or anything else, bit him.

“Where the hell is he?” Randy said, his voice now as wobbly as Carl’s was.  “I can’t find Carl.”

“Shit,” Jim said.  “Garlic necklaces are obviously no use.”

“Oh!” Randy yelled.  “They…got…me…”

“Randy!” Jim shouted, waving his flashlight around frantically to find Randy in the dark, but never finding him.

Though I scoffed at their vampire story, I was getting scared.  In the dark, in that forest we were walking through to find The Candy Club, the strip club I was going to start dancing in that night, it was easy to believe muggers or rapists could have been hiding in the bushes.

“Oh, shit,” Jim said, his voice even more unsteady that Carl’s and Randy’s put together.  “They killed Randy, too.  It’s just you an’ me now, ma’am.”

“Oh, fuck,” I said.  “Somebody’s out here.  I just felt something touch my arm as he ran by.”

“Don’t worry, Miss, I’ll protect you,” Jim said.

“No offense, but I don’t find that very reassuring,” I said.  My heart was pounding fast.

We were walking slowly and as quietly as we could, listening for any sound not made by our feet squishing the grass.  Jim was still waving his flashlight around, hoping to see someone.

Silence for another ten seconds.

“What’s that?” he shouted, firing his gun.

“What?” I snapped.

“I saw a bat fly by.”

“Bats aren’t the danger, Jim,” I insisted.  “Thugs are.”

“Bats are vamp–Agh!” he screamed.

“Jim!” I screamed.  I groped around to find his flashlight, hearing his voice wither away.

I couldn’t find his flashlight, or any of the others.  I just stood there in the middle of my pitch black surroundings, without even the dimmest spark of light.  If my eyes had been closed, it’d have been no worse.

I didn’t dare move, or make the slightest sound.  I tried to keep my shaky breaths as soft as I could.

Silence.

No surrounding sounds for at least ten seconds.

Those seconds felt like hours.

A slight whisking sound, from left to right in front of me.

I panted louder then.

Silence.

Though I knew that if I’d kept walking straight ahead, I’d have gotten to the other side of the forest in a matter of minutes; but the reality that someone was there, someone who’d apparently killed my escorts, had me too petrified to budge.

Another whooshing sound, this time behind me.

I sighed a near sob; tears were forming in my eyes.

More silence.

I finally took a step forward.

A hand touched my left shoulder.

I screamed, kicking and punching forward.  Then, when I realized the hand was behind me, I turned around with my right fist swinging to hit whoever was behind me.

But just when my fist was about to make contact with the face I imagined I was aiming at in the darkness, I felt myself suddenly calmed, weakened, and limp.  I didn’t fall down, nor did I feel drugged in any way.  I was just no longer hostile or scared, for some mysterious reason.

“Come with us, Erica,” a male voice said.

How did he know my name?

“You’re safe with us, now,” another male voice, from the side opposite that of the first voice, said.  “Don’t be scared.”

I wasn’t scared at all now.  Why not?

I walked with these two mysterious men on either side of me through the rest of the forest.  We came out of it, and now not only had the light of the moon and stars to reorient me, there was also the brightly-lit Candy Club, whose front door was about twenty feet in front of us.

I looked to my right and left to see the two men who were with me.  They were young, with handsome, muscular Mediterranean looks.  They were both also completely naked…and impressively equipped, I must say.  Though titillated, I immediately looked ahead and away from them in embarrassment; they, however, didn’t seem to find their nudity the slightest bit of a problem.  I was too shocked to ask why they were naked, so I just pretended nothing was…unusual…about the situation.

We approached the strip joint.  By the front door was a large painting of a seated young woman in a black bra, panties, and stockings; the black-haired beauty’s back was to us as she was looking in a mirror, putting on lipstick.  Over the painting was a sign in large capital letters: POUMTANG.

“Um, learn to spell,” I said as we walked inside.  Why doesn’t it say Candy Club? I wondered.

Loud techno music was booming in the darkness.  Flashing, colourful lights revealed seminude women dancing, all of them enviable in their beauty.  I so wished I’d see at least a few women with physical imperfections as apparent as mine when naked.  To my chagrin, I never saw any.