Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The white walled room, so different from the sumptuously decorated rooms Thebe had traveled through to get to this one, was empty of furniture. The opposite wall had a single plain door. Another wall had five floor to ceiling mirrors, each about three foot wide with five feet between. The mirrors reflected the thirty women already present in the room. By the buff and beautiful bodies, Thebe assumed most had far more free time and money than her for gyms, salons, and boutiques. A couple rivaled her plumpness, one or two wore department store clothes like hers, though probably not Goodwill purchases, and she noticed one person made no attempt at makeup and she really should have. Even so no one fell down on all three as badly as her. Why she had let Rhene talk her into coming? This was not her style at all.
Nymphs and Satyrs didn’t even try to hide the fact it was a sex club. Somehow they never gotten raided or shut down; her bet was the club numbered some high-ranking “up-standing” citizens. People with real money and power, far more than the noticeably privileged women gathered in this room.
People able to offer a one million dollar prize.
The reason why she was here. Why she let Rhene talk her into entering this farce. Student loans and credit card debt were killing her, literally and figuratively. The two jobs she had been able to find kept her in the fast food she ate between the forty-hour jobs. A third job was out of the question as the two jobs were already affecting her health between sleep-deprivation and stress. The poor food alone had added 20% to her already healthy body weight, so she now topped the scales at two hundred forty. Only her height, just shy of six foot, kept her from looking like a complete butterball.
She graduated in a recession with too much education and too little experience. A bachelor’s in Music and a minor in Education turned out to be useless as high school after high school slashed “unnecessary” items from their budgets. Turning around and getting the more practical Masters of Business Administration was even worse as the market flooded with out-of-work and highly experienced MBA professionals. Hoping against hope to get ahead of the financial collapse, Thebe had returned back to school for yet three more years of college and collected a Doctorate of Classical Literature and Art. Museums and libraries were doing booming business at the beginning of the recession as people looked for low cost entertainment. Her thesis comparing mythical allegories in music to painting was the stuff of legends, if one pardons the pun. Her graduation came as unemployment funds dried up and people could no longer afford to leave the house.
Hence Halloween found her at Nymphs and Satyrs, hoping to win their porn queen contest or whatever it was. At least place on the Nympho Court, girls who were the Club hostesses throughout the year and get paid three times what she was making between the two jobs combined, but for only twenty hours of work. If she couldn’t get a job with her brain, she would get one using the oldest skill set available to women. Fortunately, Thebe had studied enough Greek and Roman mythology to offset the Puritan programming ingrained in American culture.
Only one in four would place.
(words 568 – first published 18 December 2016)