Florida is a strange place, filled with strange people. Maybe it’s the sun, the heat or something else. “Florida Weirdness,” I call it. Last time I was in Florida, I was on holidays. I slept with a bunch of guys and broke my arm in a scooter accident. No, those two things aren’t related. Long story, not very important. Another time.
Anyway, now I was back in Florida, in and out in less than a day. At least, that was the plan. As a born and bred Texas babe I didn’t expect to get stranded in the Sunshine State. Not with only forty-three dollars cash, no place to stay and no means to leave.
So why did I drag my lovely ass (and my moneymakers, let’s not forget those), back to the strange land of powder snow and sunny beaches?
Well, because of my dear buddy Cy. He had to drive a set of wheels—A Burgundy Red 1951 Mercury Coupe, custom chopped—from the Keys to Houston and he asked me to come along for the company. Mostly the sharing a motel room along the way kind of company, which I didn’t mind. He showed me a picture on his phone and I immediately fell in love with the car. It was a damned sweet ride and I had slept with guys for less. Yeah, yeah. Car slut. I know. I didn’t mind. He paid my plane ticket and would pick up the tab. Lean back, enjoy the ride and I would be back in Hustle-town in no time. Samurai Girl on the road! That is my stage name, by the way, Samurai Girl. My friends just call me Sam. The hottest Vietnamese stripper bitch in the Lone Star State! That is me. Except that I wasn’t in Texas anymore. This was Florida, Miami. Where the streets were paved with gold and little guys and girls sang and did funny dances. Oh wait, that was another fairy tale.
Anyway, after only an hour on the road Cy and I were already fighting. He was the kind of company that really got under your skin really quick, I discovered. After a while we stopped at a diner somewhere outside Miami. When I returned from the restroom, Cy was gone.
Guy, car, gone. He even hadn’t paid the bill.
Which left me stranded.
Credit card? Nope. Don’t ask.
Someone who could get me some money? My dear—and only—friend Gretchen was in Europe sampling their perverts and dungeons, she was out. My family? Not an option. In their eyes I was a con di. Anyone at the Red Rough Diamond, the strip club back in Houston where I worked? Not really. I am very independent, which really sucks when you need help.
First thing was calling Cy and telling his phone what I thought of him. Which wasn’t pretty: “Cái tháng chó đẻ. Do choo chet!” and some translations for his benefit. His phone listened patiently. I doubted if he ever would play the whole message, but it sure felt good.
Next thing was figuring out how to get to back to Houston, which meant getting my hands on some money.
When I looked up from my second refill I noticed the woman looking at me.
Lemme see. I am a stripper, proud to be bit of a slut and I also have a semi pro kinky hobby with some fetishes coming down to doing nasty, interesting things to willing men, or sometimes women. But to cut a long story short, people in the S&M scene tend to recognize each other. It’s something how we move, behave, look at the world. Top, bottom, switch, I usually can tell.
I raised one eyebrow. It is one of my tricks.
The platina blond woman walked over to me. A tanned white girl, brown eyed, somewhere in her mid-twenties. Very stylish: expensive blouse, skirt, heels and bag, all baptized with high-end brand names. Seamed stockings, which was way too much for Florida. She wore a hair thin steel collar disguised as some custom-made jewelry. An utter bottom. No doubt about it.
“Excuse me,” she said. Her upbringing and her five-figure education colored her accent. Northern. Ivy League, I guessed. “I couldn’t help overhearing you.”
I doubted anyone in the diner had missed my heart-to-heart one-sided talk with Cy’s answering service. I said nothing. I just indicated she could take a seat opposite me.
Elegantly she slid in the fake leather seat, with cast down eyes.
Oh yeah, utterly submissive.
News flash: I am not. She knew I wasn’t. She felt it in her bones. It was magic!
No, just body language and appearance.
Now, usually I am pretty male orientated, preferably the bad boy department. But I had dabbled a bit with girls before. And this was a pretty, rich girl. And submissive. At least I was willing to hear her out. Not that I had many other options at the moment.
“I might be able to help you, moneywise,” she said. She looked up, checking if I was interested.
I looked right back. Still not saying anything. Either you’re a queen-bitch, or you blow it. There was a time I used to practice that look, by now it came natural.
“We could help each other out. I . . . I have a date in a nearby motel. A date with a guy I’ve never met before. He . . . I . . . My boyfriend wants me to go to that room and . . . And . . . Be stern with that man. For a few hours.”
Oh sweetie. She was submissive. So. Utterly. Sub. Missive. She loved being that. Obeying, serving, letting the other control her. That kind of thing. I didn’t judge, because that was what she needed, what made her happy. She was a nice sweet little slave girl and now her ‘master’ wanted her to dominate another guy?
That is like force feeding a life time vegan a piece of bloody steak.
Her top was a moron. He wanted to see how much power he had over her. No doubt it started with little things like: “Call me Sir,” “Only eat that,” “Don’t wear panties while we go visit your dear parents.” That kind of basic things. Nothing wrong with that, but the novelty had worn off for him and now the whole relationship was evolving into shit way far outside her comfort zone. Like domming another guy while there wasn’t a dominant fiber in her bones.
Idiot. I mean her guy. She could not help herself. She was in love, she wanted to please her boyfriend. Abusive love was sticky by nature.
I looked at her. “You want me to do it.”
She nodded, couldn’t make herself say it. She was disobeying her dear master. Or at least finding a creative solution.
Good, maybe she gets her senses back together.
“Five hundred, cash. In advance.”
Now she looked up. I still looked right back. Five hundred for a few hours with a pro-domme was very reasonable. I was willing to go down to three hundred. The alternative was starting to make eyes at needy truckers heading for Texas.
She nodded, slowly.
Five hundred would get me back to Houston in relative comfort. Sorry, needy truckers.
Now I smiled. I stuck out my hand. “I’m Sam. And you?”
“Kimberley S . . .”
I guess halfway she realized it wasn’t maybe the smartest thing to give her full name. I didn’t push. “You got any toys with you, Kim? Floggers, cuffs?”
“Uh no. Thom . . . My friend said the guy has all that.”
God, I started to dislike Kim’s so-called master more and more. Sending a newbie on her own to dominate an unknown guy with toys she wasn’t familiar with? What a moron!
“Anything I should know? Anything you are supposed to do, or not do?” I asked.
“Uh, I am to call myself Candy. And uh . . . no sex. Thomas doesn’t want the guy to fuck me. I have to . . . to . . . tie him up. And beat him and things.” My blond Kimberley blushed and looked troubled. She didn’t want that power. She didn’t want it all. She was so sweet I had to stop the urge to reach out and pat her hand.
Of course Thomas wouldn’t want his precious baby girl to fuck another guy. A tasteful ménage a trois with some other chick, sure. But no other men. What if she liked it? What if she discovered the other’s guy dick was half an inch longer? Men are an uncertain lot and this guy was no exception. Thomas the Predictable. Anyway, the no-fucking rule was fine by me. Lots of guys aren’t fucking material. I know, because I have sampled my share.
“Lay on, McDuff,” I said. One of my regulars always says that when he wants some dry humping in one of the booths of the strip club. His name isn’t McDuff and mine sure isn’t either, but I think it’s a quote from the Simpsons or something.
The blonde glanced at me. I guess she recognized the quote.
We made a detour to an ATM and I got my money.
Kimberley drove a boring light grey Chrysler 200, a rental. Her boyfriend had told her to not to show up in her own car, she explained when I asked. Smart move. Either you are discreet, or you don’t care that people know you’re doing kinky shit. With money in my pocket, everything was fine with me. And no, I never cared people knew. But Thomas obviously did. Rich, successful and very respectable on the shiny outside, but in secret kinky and pervy like a Texas back road after sundown. Shh! Nobody must know! What would the partners at the firm say, the folk at the country club, the press. Some shit like that. He was a fine piece of Florida aristocracy.
The motel wasn’t the flea basket I expected. Pretty decent actually.
“Room 45,” Kimberley said. She looked nervous as hell. We were sitting in the car. Room 45 was not far away. From the outside it looked exactly the same as Room 43 and 47. The curtains were closed.
“What were you supposed to do when you were finished with the guy?” I asked.
“Call Thomas and send him . . . Oh, I need you to take pictures. Uh . . . I guess you need my phone.”
Of course Thomas wanted pictures. No doubt to check if his sweetheart followed his commands, and maybe to accommodate his secret in-the-closet submissive and/or bi feelings. Such a domly Dom, dear Thomas.
Someone once told me I had a cynical outlook on life. Fun fact: I usually was right.
“You wait here for me,” I said after accepting her phone. “I will be done in about an hour.” I was not going to drag it out, and I hadn’t yet met a guy I couldn’t send up in subspace within the hour.
“You sit here, keep the doors locked and don’t talk to strangers.”
She nodded again, very earnestly. She was really cute as a submissive. There is something about beautiful, uncertain, obedient girls . . . Rarrrh! My hands itched.
I grunted and smiled. I was really getting into a nasty sweet bitch mood. I might even have some fun this afternoon. Beating a guy up would be a great way to get all that anger about Cy out of my system. And getting paid for it was even better. I was starting to like Florida.
I walked over to room 45.
I tried the door. It was unlocked. I pushed, time to earn my money.
Of course I didn’t get in right away. I stood in the door opening, shades on, hands on my sides—evil Dominatrix Stance One—and checked out room 45.
I was glad I did. But it was by far the only thing I was glad about.
The dead guy’s arms and legs were tied spread eagle wise to the posts of the bed. He was naked, and yes, dead. Mouth open, broken eyes, his chest a mess of holes and blood. Someone shot him at close range, more than once. I had seen that kind of shit before, you never forget it, no matter what you snort, smoke or swallow.
Strangely enough I didn’t freak out. Not this time. I was utter Zen. A dead guy.
The room stank of a fired gun, blood and worse.
I stepped back. Outside I closed the door and wiped the knob clean. I’m no angel, the cops have my prints: some shoplifting back in Texas, long ago, no biggie. But whatever was going on here, I was not going to be a part of it. I was leaving. Right now.
No security cameras as far as I could see. Thank you, Mother Mary. Or thank you creepy Thomas. He had probably selected the motel for that exact reason.
Without looking back, I walked back to the car with Kimmy, trying not to run. No one shouted, no one tried to stop me.
I got in.
“What is wrong?” Kimberley asked. She saw my face.
“Drive,” I said. “Get us out of here, now.”
“But . . .”
“We leave now. Drive. I will explain later.”
She sensed the urgency in my voice. Kim started the car. “Where-”
“To the airport.” It was the first thing I could think of. “Away from here.”
We left the motel’s parking lot. I checked. No cameras. Thank you again, Mother Mary.
In my mind I heard the sirens of police cars, but that was just my overheated imagination. Our car joined the mid-morning traffic. All tourists and drugs dealers, no doubt. I’m from Texas, I wouldn’t know.
“What is going on? If you don’t want to do the job, I want my money back. I paid you to . . . to play with that guy.”
My Kimmy was having some balls after all. Good for her.
I still wasn’t shaking.
“Hey! That is my phone!”
She couldn’t drive and wrestle me for her phone. Not while wearing a seatbelt anyway. I ignored her and checked her pictures. As to be expected, she had plenty of pics of a white, smiling, tanned, not too ugly young guy with white teeth and cornbread face. Your typical frat boy. I guess it was Thomas.
It was also the guy who was on the bed, tied up and with a few bullets in his chest.
Exit Thomas. He had wanted to surprise his sweet slave girl with some kinky mind play and something had gone wrong. That was what you got for being stupid.
Resolutely Kimberley parked her car at the side of the road. She released her seat belt and she grabbed her phone back. “This is private! What do you think you’re doing?”
I was spared from giving a reply. Right at that moment the phone buzzed.
Kim-girl gave me the evil eye while she answered her phone. “Hi Patrick I can’t talk right -”
I heard the voice of the guy: “Miss Schonagen, something terrible has happened. Are you sitting down?”
“I am in a parked car. What is wrong?”
“I’m sorry to tell you, Miss. Thomas has died. He has been shot. It looks like murder.”
How do white folk do that? They are basically pinkish and when they get startled they turn really, really white. Kimberley Schonagen did when she heard her dear boyfriend and master was dead.
The phone call saved me from breaking the bad news to her. A small blessing, I guess.
“I . . . I . . . Are you sure?”
“I’m afraid so, Kimberley. He has been shot in a motel and some people claim to have seen a woman with your description.”
A whiter shade of pale. It really existed! Fascinated I looked on. I was so caught up I didn’t realize Patrick knew an awful lot about a murder which was still unreported ten minutes ago, when we drove away. Gee, how would he know all that? As said, I didn’t wonder, all I wanted was not to get involved.
“I was at a motel only ten minutes ago . . .”
“You weren’t there. Talk to no one,” Patrick said. “You are driving a rental, aren’t you? Where did you get it?”
“Uh, at the airport, at… uh, addCar. With the company card.”
“Get back to the airport, return the car to addCar and wait in front of the rental office. We will meet there and I will take care of things. Don’t give your name and don’t talk to anybody. You were never anywhere close to the motel.”
“Uh . . . okay.”
It sounded like an excellent plan to me. I would take the next flight to anywhere, that Patrick dude would take Kim under his wings, and we would pretend all this never ever happened. I could live with that.
“See you two at the airport, Kimberley, in front of the rental company,” Patrick said.
“Yes Patrick,” she said obediently.
He hung up.
Kim looked at me. Big eyes. She was scared. “What did you do? Was it Thomas in that room?”
“I did nothing,” I replied. “You watched me all the time. I didn’t shoot anyone. And yes, it was Thomas, I think. He was already dead.”
“I . . . I . . .” Tears started to come.
“I’ll drive,” I said. “We need to go to the airport.”
There would be time for tears and panic later on. Right now, we had to get away.
The girl started to cry.
Shit. I guess losing your love does that to you. I spent a few minutes comforting her before I got her out of her seat. I punched in MIA and the car rental company in the navigation system and off we were.
Time to leave Florida, pronto!
On our way to the airport I learned from Kimmy that that Patrick dude was Thomas’ driver, bodyguard and general fixing guy. Which told me Thomas came from money and that there was a good chance Kimberley would be all right. Rich families didn’t like to get involved in messy shit and they had plenty of lawyers to take care of such things. No doubt it was great to have fixing guys like Patrick and lawyers to blow away life’s roadblocks.
I stayed outside the white, green and yellow rental office while Kim returned the car. Would the cops check out the rental companies? I all depended what people had seen and if they recognized the car. There were a zillion light silver cars on the road and very few people paid real attention to wheels. With some luck . . .
I realized we both had our phone with us at the motel. We could be traced to the motel, if the cops started looking. Okay, push came to shove I would tell them I accepted a ride from this girl I met at a roadside diner after I was dumped by a stupid date. She took me to the airport, after stopping at the motel first. Dunno what she did there, officer. No, she didn’t leave the car. No, I definitely didn’t see her shoot someone. No, I didn’t shoot anyone either. Use your CSI magic, I wasn’t at the motel when that dude got shot.
That five hundred bucks? Miss Schonagen was generous to lend me the money for a ticket back to Houston.
I got it covered, but I still wanted to get the hell out of Florida.
Why didn’t I just take off? I could leave pampered Kimberley Schonagen and get my ass in the next plane to anywhere else. That Patrick dude sounded like someone who took charge. Exactly what Kim needed.
Waiting ten more minutes or so outside the rental office would not kill me. I could have left dear Kim-girl, but somehow I just couldn’t. She lost her boyfriend, she was way out of her depth. Once she was safe and well, I would take off like a bullet . . . like a hog with his tail on fire.
A dark blue pickup truck—a Nissan Frontier to be precise—stopped right next to me. The door opened, revealing a muscled guy with mirror shades. He pointed a handgun at me.
“Get in, bitch.”
I am a Southern babe, I like good manners, but Florida isn’t a real part of the South. Having a gun pointed at me and being called “bitch” was stretching it. Even for me.
I froze. Didn’t move a muscle.
“Get in!” the guy almost shouted. Tension in his voice, sweat on his forehead. He was desperate. Thomas’ killer? Only if one and one equaled two. So yeah. The creep must have been at the motel and seen me. He had followed us here and now he was getting rid of witnesses.
I still didn’t move a muscle. I just couldn’t. Isn’t there some species of stupid sheep or goat which faint if they sense danger? I felt just like that.
The guy had figured out I wasn’t getting in his car. He raised the gun and aimed. He would shoot me down in public.
“Patrick! What are you doing?”
Kimberley had emerged from the offices. Her swollen red eyes hidden behind her shades.
Patrick? Thomas’ fixing guy? Things started to add up. I didn’t know why, but I suddenly was pretty sure dear Patrick had shot his own boss. Probably with the same gun he was pointing at me.
Patrick looked at Kimberley. Never had a face shown so much desperation. His world was caving in. He hadn’t planned to be caught by sweet Kimberley.
“I did it for you. To free you from that sadistic bastard. I love you,” Patrick said. To Kimberley. Not to me, obviously.
Anyway, he put the gun against his temple and blew his brains out. Right there and then.
The press had a field day. My name and face got on the news. Not as big as the senator’s son, the late, kinky Thomas, his fiancé, poor Kimberley, or creepy Patrick.
Rich semi-celebs, a love triangle, S&M and a prostitute thrown in for good measure. Which wasn’t true at all. I’m not a prostitute! We strippers are performers. Anyway, the vultures didn’t need to dig deep to find my kinky live, because basically I put everything online myself long ago. Pics, vids, writings and all. As I said before. Either you care or don’t care what the world knows about you.
I got a few offers to sell my story, but I turned them all down. They didn’t pay well enough and Kimberley had hired me for a job. I don’t sell out my clients. Besides, somehow I liked the girl.
Not that I got to see her. She was all lawyered up. I got to see her family’s lawyers though, who wanted to make sure I kept as quiet as possible.
I got sick of it really quick and I left Florida as soon as possible. Strange place, with strange people.
Back to good old normal Texas! Home sweet home: chainsaw massacres and Tex-mex! Back to shaking my ass and boobs in the Red Rough Diamond, and doing kinky stuff with and to men for fun in my spare time. I told Gretchen the whole thing and she sympathized. The thing was, she wouldn’t be back for at least another month. She was having a great time in Berlin, which is kink central of Europe, I gathered.
Live went on, I was Samurai Girl. I was the toughest chick of Hustle-town and when I felt lonely, there was always some bad boys around. I had all I needed. Thank you very much.
She was waiting for me in the parking lot the of Red Rough Diamond, around two, after my late shift ended. The same platina blond hair, the same lovely face. Heavy leather jacket, skirt, boots. No collar. Damn, she looked hot.
Sweet submissive Kimberley.
“Hi,” she said. Big eyes, looking at me. Uncertain. She wasn’t sure about anything. About why she had come, about why she was waiting for me on the parking lot of a Houston strip club after midnight.
I nodded and smiled. “Welcome to Houston, sweetie. Got here by car?”
“No, I took a cab from the airport. I didn’t know where you lived, I didn’t have your number . . .”
I waved at my ride, a black Ford Mustang V5 convertible, stick drive. “You want to stay with me for a while?”
What was I doing? Was I really inviting someone to my home? A girl no less?
I blame the Florida weirdness. It still was in my blood somehow.
Weird, weird Florida.
Now we are driving through the night together. Kimberley and I.
I have no idea where this is going.
Neither of us cares.
I smile, and Kimberley smiles back.
Jaap Boekestein (1968) is an award winning Dutch writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers and whatever takes his fancy. He usually writes his stories in trains, coffeehouses and in the 16th century taverns of his native The Hague, the Netherlands. Over the years he has made his living as a bouncer, working for a detective agency and as an editor. Currently he works for the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice. His English publications include stories in: Cyäegha, Nonbianary Review, Strange Shifters, Lovecraft after Dark, Surreal Nightmares, Urban Temples of Cthulhu, Sirens Call, Mystery Weekly Magazine, Double Feature Magazine, After The Happily Ever After, Cliterature, No Safe Word, Sex & Sorcery 3, and Brave Boy World: A Transman Anthology.