Dear Faithful Patrons,
Club Vanilla will be undergoing some “construction” for the next little awhile.
We will be closed until further notice.
Thank you for your patience and understanding…
Dear Faithful Patrons,
Club Vanilla will be undergoing some “construction” for the next little awhile.
We will be closed until further notice.
Thank you for your patience and understanding…
Yippee! I get to see my bestus, BESTUS friend, Lily, Friday!
My mommy and I have planned for a sleepover for the very longest time, but it keeps getting CANCELLED! Lily’s mommy, Vanilla, calls AT THE LAST MOMENT and tells my mommy that Lily can’t come over after all.
I think Lily’s daddy doesn’t want Lily to come over. His name is Thomas and Lily lives with him, even though her mom is the one who always calls. My mom heard a man yelling the last time Vanilla cancelled our sleepover. Mom said that Vanilla said sorry at least 10 times and she sounded like she was going to cry.
My mom and dad live together in our house. Lily says her mom and dad don’t live together but they live in the same building. She only gets to visit Vanilla, not stay with her. She says Vanilla has just a tiny bedroom. I didn’t know you could live in just a bedroom.
Lily doesn’t say a lot about her dad, except that he yells a lot. She gets tears in her eyes when she says the word yells. That makes me sad too.
I even bought a present for Pooh, Lily’s best animal friend and sleep mate. I have never seen Pooh, but I want him to feel welcome too!
Lily has a lady who takes care of her, like a babysitter. Her name is Doris, and she is nice to Lily. I’m glad Lily has someone nice to take care of her other than her mom.
Mommy is taking us to Stuff A Bear and out to lunch. Then we are coming home. Mom bought us stuff to do, but it is a surprise.
I hope Lily has so much fun she doesn’t want to leave early. I’ve had TWO other sleepovers, but Lily hasn’t had any. I hope she doesn’t get homesick.
I big “Thank You” to Mya (aka Lorene Pinkley) for this wonderful episode of MisAdventures and for wanting Lily to have a “voice” in this story by having a best friend! Please make sure to check out Lorene’s blog.
Who is Lily?
Have you ever seen somebody who gives you the “heebie jeebies?” They don’t have to speak a word. They don’t even have to look in your direction. You can just feel their dark vibe from across the room.
Tonight, I got that feeling. This guy walked into Club Vanilla acting as if he owned the place. He swaggered over to a secluded table to the right of the stage. I studied his face as he watched the girls on stage. He almost appeared bored. When Kitty, a knockout blonde who is a favorite of our patrons, approached him with a flirty sway of her hips he waved her off. He ignored all advances from Trish as well.
I shot a glance over at the bar where Diane, Kieran, and Crystal were slammed with demanding patrons. Diane rolled her eyes at the guy shaking her head at his attitude. I saw the change come over her face, warning me that something was about to happen.
I looked back over at the guy just in time to see Lenny slap his feet off the table. The guy stood up facing off with Lenny. They stood eye to eye which was an accomplishment since Lenny towers over most men. I threw Diane a worried look. She took no notice of me; she was too busy studying the situation that was unraveling in that dark corner of the club.
I watched as Thomas expertly diffused the situation. He and the guy walked into the back office. I’m not sure what they could possibly have to discuss, but I’m sure their conversation would be nefarious in its content. The guy had evil stamped all over him.
I jumped as Diane suddenly appeared by my left side.
“Oops, sorry about that Vanilla.” She knew that I didn’t like to be approached from my left without a verbal warning.
“I have something for you.”
I raised my eyebrows at her lopsided grin. She looked like the cat that had eaten the canary.
“Another envelope arrived for you today.”
My breath caught in my throat. I felt the anticipation spread outwards from my gut. I hoped that it was another letter from my Secret Admirer. I tried to act all nonchalant. I don’t think Diane was buying my act.
“Okay, so an envelope arrived…”
“Do you want me to give it to you now?”
Of course, I did! I simply shrugged, forcing my eyes to turn towards the stage.
“You, know you aren’t fooling me, right?” Diane chuckled as she handed me the plain white envelope with only my name scrawled on it.
I headed towards one of the empty Lap Dance rooms. Pushing aside the beaded curtain, I walked into the dimly lit room. I sat down on the tacky red velour couch perching lightly on its edge – not daring to sit on the cushion. I had heard rumors of what happened in these rooms. The Club Vanilla motto was, “What happened in the Lap Dance rooms, stayed in the Lap Dance rooms.”
I felt somewhat stupid at the anticipation that was making my hands tremble slightly. For goodness sake, I was not some naïve school girl! Yet, there I sat holding an envelope that I hoped had another poem in it, trembling in anticipation.
With exquisite care, I gently opened the envelope. Inside was a piece of paper folded in thirds. Smiling, I opened up the sheet of paper as my eyes hungrily devoured the words.
Gaze Senryū 川柳
Charcoal etched voyeurs
Poised dignity protects her
onyx sculptured heart
Who was this Secret Admirer who could see into the depths of my soul? I hadn’t a clue.
All, I knew was that each poem was a ray of light in my dark world…
Thank you to the Secret Admirer (aka Memoirs of a Dragon) for writing another touching poem for Vanilla. Please take a moment to go visit his blog.
Who is Stan? Who is Diane? Who are Kieran and Crystal?
I roll into town on a greyhound. Like every other faceless nameless place on the map, a temporary pause, a place to quench my thirsts and sate my hungers before moving on to the next. “So Stan,” I says to myself as I light a cigarette standing on the bus platform. “What now?” People clamour like mindless drones at the baggage compartment retrieving the luggage they had stowed away beneath the bus. I waits for the crowd to clear, ain’t no one gonna touch my bag, not unless I be lettin’ them. I stamp out my cigarette and sling my bag over my shoulder. I hails me a taxi and tells him to take me to the cheapest place I can gets me a room.
He pulls up at the Hotel Eureka and deposits me at the curb eight bucks later. What can I says about the Hotel Eureka? It’s the type of place where they rent rooms by the hour. I take a room for the week. The bathroom is communal and shared with everyone on the floor. The hallways and staircases smell like booze and urine. The room is small, one tiny window overlooking a parking lot, it has a tiny dresser, a rickety chair and a single bed. The sheets on the bed are yellowed and stained. I throw my bag on the bed. I goes and wash up down the hall and gets ready to get my first taste of this town.
Not knowing the layout of the town I hails me a taxi outside the Hotel Eureka and tells the driver to take me somewheres I can see the ladies. He pulls up outside this bar assuring me this is the place. Club Vanilla, vanilla how bland, I am in the mood for anything but vanilla. I goes in. It’s your typical strip joint. I normally don’t frequent strip joints, I don’t sees the point of looky looky but no touchy touchy. I want to feel free to be pawing the merchandise and squeezing the Charmin. Wells I be here now so I might as well be having me a beer.
I finds me a secluded little table and sits myself down and watch the talent. I’ve seen better, but then again I’ve seen much worse. I order me a beer when the girl comes around. Another girl asks me if I be wanting a dance. She’s tall, fake blonde, fake tits. I tells her what I want we can’t be doin’ here. I dismiss her with a wave of my hand. I throw the girl a ten spot when she brings my drink. I kicks up my feet on the table and swig my beer. Another girl comes cozying up to me wanting to know if I want a dance. This one a small breasted brunette. I brush her off to with a wave of my hand. I ain’t gonna be teasin’ myself getting all up and close without being able to get physical. Tempt me you cannot because I ooze sex, I am sex.
I guess I drew the wrong kind of attention because before I knew it I got these two guys coming up on me broadside. One suave, one goon, suave does all the talkin. Tells me his name is Thomas or somethin’ like that. Fool thinks he’s gonna go alpha male on me. Goon Eyeballs me. His name is Lenny and he looks like a Lenny. Lenny slaps my feet off the table and tells me to show a little respect. So that’s how it’s gonna be eh, I says to myself. I stand up, calmly looking goon in the eye while this Thomas guy rambles.
He wants alpha male I’ll show him alpha male. Ain’t no one be layin their hands on me. This Thomas guy is the boss and he realizes things are about to get out of hand so he calls off his dog. Ya that’s right sit Lenny sit, good boy. Thomas goes on to tell me certain types aren’t desired here and I tells him I has some skills he might be able to employ. He takes me into the backroom to talk business and leaves his dog to guard the girls while he’s busy.
My daughter thought she was slick as she surreptitiously looked for more bruises on my arm. Thankfully, there were none. Her rosebud lips pursed as she started to speak. I quickly interrupted before she could verbally form her thought.
“So, Lil Lil, are you ready for the final chapter of Nimby’s fairy tale?”
She heaved an exaggerated sigh, too smart not to realize what I’d done.
“Yes, Momma. Can you please try and finish it before I fall asleep this time?”
I chuckled as she passed the blame onto me. “Yes, sweetie. I will definitely try. Let’s see, I think we left off with Nimby being called in to see the King. He was in big trouble…”
“I know it was you!” the Thief King shouted at the cowering halfling.
“I do not see how,” Nimby said with a low bow. “I do not have the patch to control your thieves. I did not know the phrase to open your magic lock. It is probably someone that is close to you and wants revenge.”
“The only ones that would want revenge are the Princess and Queen in my dungeon,” the Thief King declared with a wave of his hand. “They would revel in my downfall and reclaim their kingdom.”
“I would assume so,” Nimby agreed, nodding his head. “Could they have a secret passage in their cell?”
The Thief King stared at the halfling and realized that he had never considered that idea. In his haste to take the throne, he had thrown his new wife and her daughter into the dungeon without a second thought. With a grim look, the Thief King raced to the dungeon with Nimby a few steps behind him. The Princess and the Queen were startled when their hated captor barged into the dungeon and approached their cell.
“Is there a secret passage in your cell?” the Thief King asked, his mind confused by fear and anger.
“No, my husband,” the Queen defiantly replied, holding her nose up with regal pride.
“They are not going to admit it,” Nimby whispered into the Thief King’s ear. The halfling drew a dagger and smiled. “You will have to search the cell. I promise to watch them while you do your search. After all, I am sure you are a highly skilled hunter of secret passages like all thieves.”
“Thank you,” the Thief King said, pulling out the key to the cell.
The Princess and the Queen hurried out of their cell while the Thief King turned over their beds and kicked at their walls. With a loud clang, Nimby slammed the cell door shut and placed the magic lock around the bars. The Thief King stared at the halfling in stunned silence until his rage took over. He shook and pounded on the door, but it would not open for the former ruler of Rodillen.
“Ducats and coins are the loves of my life!” the fallen Thief King yelled.
“Do not bother, dear fool,” Nimby laughed as he placed the Thief King patch on his chest. “I changed the phrase to something you will never say. I will keep that phrase a secret, so enjoy your new home.”
Nimby, the Princess, and the Queen left the dungeon where the former Thief King can still be heard yelling to this day. He is forever trapped with his rage in the small cell among the rats and the cockroaches.
“The kingdom of Rodillen is thankful to you, Nimby,” the Princess said when she was back on her throne. “What can we do to repay you?”
“Do me one favor, your majesty,” Nimby answered with a friendly smile. “Never trust a charming stranger until you meet their true self. I cannot always be around to steal your kingdom back for you.”
Nimby set out with his loyal thieves in tow and never found a reason to return to Rodillen. For the Princess and the Queen never let themselves be tricked by a charming stranger ever again.
“Never, ever again!” Lily emphasized. Her little face was a study of seriousness.
“Never again…” my voice trailed off as I silently hoped that I was as smart as the Queen in the story.
A big “Thank You” to Nimby (aka Charles) for writing this wonderful fairy tale that Vanilla has been telling Lily on their Sunday evenings together. Make sure to join us next Sunday for the beginning of Sari’s Fairy Tale. Who is Sari? Also, please make sure to go check out Charles’s blog
I still couldn’t help chuckling about the look on Thomas’s face yesterday afternoon when Valkyrie had auditioned. I wish I had taken a picture; his expression had been priceless. I don’t think he’s ever met anyone quite like her. The only person that even comes close to her in attitude is Jasmine.
If we weren’t desperate for Strippers at the Club, I’m not sure if I could have gotten away with hiring her. Although, Thomas had learned to leave the final decision of hiring Strippers to me; I had a good eye.
Val, as she liked to be called, was prompt for our nightly warm up session. I like a person who is prompt; it shows that they have a good work ethic. It became apparent, quickly, that Valkyrie was a stage persona. Val, had a heart of gold. Like many of the other girls, there was a painful past that still haunted her on occasions. Val and Jasmine bumped heads a couple of times, but that was expected since they were similar in many ways. I knew I’d made the right decision in adding Val to our Stripper sisterhood.
I shook my head to concentrate on the task at hand. I looked down at the blank Word document on my screen. It was time to write the next post for my new science fiction blog. I still couldn’t believe I had signed up for my own blog on WordPress. The butterflies in my belly went crazy every time I thought about it.
The story I was writing had been pestering me for the past six months. It had been begging me to write it, but I kept ignoring its voice. I didn’t dare write down a single word for fear that Thomas would read it. All he would do is tell me how untalented I was at writing, yet again. He had convinced me for years that I was a terrible writer. A part of me still believed him. Now, the only difference was I could write it without the fear of him uttering a single derogatory word about my lack of writing skills.
I was in the midst of a pivotal sentence when a soft “bing” announced the arrival of a new e-mail. I was hesitant to stop writing mid-thought. I don’t get many e-mails; in fact, only 3 people have my e-mail address. I think a part of me was hoping that the e-mail would be from Grimm, but it was from an address I didn’t recognize.
Seeing my name in the subject line was the only reason why I opened up the e-mail. It was from Jade. I was beyond excited to hear that she’d made it safely to California. I couldn’t read any more without yelling for Marcus. He’d played a major role in helping Jade to escape. The man was so excited at the news that he scooped me up out of my chair twirling me around with him. Our antics and laughter must have been contagious because pretty soon the other customers were grinning and laughing with us.
It wasn’t until I was settled in my seat again that I noticed that there was an attachment sent with Jade’s e-mail. I clicked it open.
My dearest Vanilla,
My life has been amazing
Since that fateful day
You came into my life
To help show me the way
Breaking the cycle
Of abuse I once revolved
Thinking it was love
That an apology could absolve
For he was like a clock
With his hands he would strike
No matter the time of day
Wherever he would like
But that is all in the past
And I am no longer confined
By make-up to hide the bruises
Or sunglasses to hide behind
Thank you for the strength
And the help you’ve offered me
If I can’t be thankful for what little I have
At least I’m grateful to be free
I sat there with tears slipping down my cheeks. Why was it so much easier to help someone else than it was to help myself?
A big “Thank You” to Jade (aka Britt – fairytaleepidemic) for the wonderful poem in today’s episode of MisAdventures. Please make sure to go check out Britt’s blog.
Who is Valkyrie? Who is Marcus? Who is Grimm? Who is Jade?
Was I doing?
Facing my fears, that’s what.
Shit, if these skinny bitches can get up there and shake their ass to make bank, so can I!
No more Wallyworld.
No more tan and blue.
This was all me.
Red lips and black eyeshadow, blue-streaked jet black hair falling past my shoulders in a bob, black leather corset with spider webs woven in silver thread and studs, lace choker with a silver spider hanging from the center. When I walked out on stage, Thomas, the owner, raised his eyebrows and sighed. I could tell he was not expecting much from me.
Boy was he wrong.
My music began and I leaned back hair falling down my shoulders, my arms twisting and twining with the synths of Rammstein’s “Stripped,” hips undulating seductively. When the drums began, I ripped off my corset, my ample breasts bouncing as my legs encircled the pole and I spun, landing to roll my thick midriff like the belly dancer I once was.
Yeah, I’m not skinny, not quite fat either, my curves interpreting the song, telling the story of a gal who’s confidence had been shattered and torn, but in her thirty-fifth year was again wakened with such a ferocity both Thomas, and one of his dancers, Vanilla, stared opened-mouthed at my audition. I danced the hell out of that stage, my black Mary Janes scuffing the hardwood with the intensity of my steps.
During the interlude, I crawled across the stage, slow and predatory toward Thomas, whose eyes glazed over upon seeing the fierce lust in my eyes, made silver-white with contacts. Oh, I was here to put on a show, not just wiggle my titties, mind you, and a show he got! Swinging my hair in manic circles before rising and again claiming the pole as my lover, I worked it hard and fast, thrusting, undulating, spinning, before climbing up and ending upside down, arms crossed like a vampire in sleep.
That was all Vanilla could muster as I slid my way down the pole, sweat glistening on my ivory skin, my chest heaving as much from the dance as from nervousness. I stood almost at attention, silent, waiting for the verdict.
Vanilla glanced at Thomas, who merely nodded.
“When can you start?” She asked.
“As soon as you want me,” I replied, smiling.
“Be here at six sharp – we do warm-ups then,” Vanillas smiled back, such a sweet, lovely smile I had a hard time believing she was made for this life at all.
I nodded, bowed, and nearly bounced off the stage in delight and triumph. As I headed back stage to gather my things, I snickered when I heard Thomas’ bewildered inquiry.
“What. Was that ?”
“Your new dancer,” Vanilla replied, “Maeloryn Redgrave, aka Valkyrie.”
I just sat there staring at Diane completely speechless. My mind went numb the minute she said she was a reporter. She’d lied to me since the day I’d met her. Can you feel pissed and happy at the same time?
She was a reporter, really?!?
Then Thomas’s name popped up in her sentence. I didn’t know whether to cry or cheer. Diane could be Lily’s and my ticket out of our hellish life. If she turned up some dirt on Thomas, I might be able to get custody of Lily. I felt the butterflies in my gut go supersonic.
This could be it! We might finally be free!
While all of these thoughts ran through my head, I sat perfectly still and utterly silent. Diane continued to stare back at me waiting for some sort of response. I didn’t have one for her- at least not yet.
I had trusted her with a small isolated segment of my story, but I wasn’t prepared to give her all the gory details. That would take time. Diane would have to prove herself trustworthy before another word spilled from my lips.
“Oh…” was all I muttered
“Oh? That’s all you’ve got to say?”
“What exactly would you like me to say, Diane?”
“Anything would be better than just, OH.”
“Ok. Oh, how can I help?”
Those were the words Diane had been waiting to hear me ask. We spent the next hour talking and formulating a plan to bust Thomas. We hadn’t a clue what we were going to “bust” him doing, but we knew he was up to some sort of no good.
I watched Diane hurry out the Café door with a quick wave in my direction, her mind already on the next step in her plan of action. I let out a gush of air. Diane resembled a whirling dervish when she got an idea in her head. She would probably check more items off her “To Do” list in the next two hours than I would get done in the next two days. Sometimes, it was exhausting just being in the same room with her.
I willed my body to relax breathing in deeply through my nose. Then exhaling out through my mouth. I continued this breathing exercise for the next couple of minutes as I concentrated on relaxing each muscle in my body. As I relaxed I let my mind wander. I should know by now that mind wandering is dangerous. My thoughts went back to my early days with Thomas, the days when we were intensely in love with each other.
I remember the day I met Thomas like it was yesterday. I was a horrifically shy teenager, always keeping to the perimeter of the high school social life. For some odd reason, one of the older popular boys had chosen me to be his girlfriend. One night my boyfriend told me he had a family emergency he had to take care of and he would be back later on. My boyfriend told me that Thomas would be keeping an eye on me. I knew of Thomas, but I didn’t know him.
What I did know, was that he was the most beautiful boy I’d ever laid eyes upon. His jet black hair had a colic that constantly caused a strand of hair to cover his left eye in the sexiest of ways. His dark green eyes were framed by the longest eyelashes the world had ever seen. And his body – well, according to the entire high school female population- his body rivaled that of a Greek god.
How had I gotten so lucky to have Thomas “girlfriend sit” me for an entire night? We walked to the park with him on the side closest to the road, because he said that’s what a man does for a woman. We talked about everything from his football plays to my summers in Maine. He made me laugh until I cried with his wicked sense of humor. He told me I was, “brilliantly beautiful” – his slang for a knockout with a brain.
Then he charmed me right out of my virgin panties, literally. I was his from that night on…
It was hot in the club. The air conditioner was barely chugging along and I honestly felt like a lobster in a pot. When I finished buffing the bar top and putting the last of the glasses away, I looked up to see Vanilla just ending her shift.
It is amazing how much of a “normal woman” she looks like when she is not dressed to the nines in her club attire. A pair of sweatpants with the word “Princess” across the back in curly pink lettering and a long sleeved t-shirt and she looked like any other mom in this town, except of course, for the fact that she is a knockout. I would hate her if I didn’t like her so much already.
I asked her to go to the CyberCafe and grab some coffee with me. Thomas was up to his tricks again, not letting her see Lily for the evening. I could see the worry in her face and it really bothered me.
The manager waved to us as we entered the Café, I nodded in return. Vanilla took her customary spot in the very back by the window as I ordered a cup of coffee for me and a Chai latte for her.
“You know, when I first met you I never would have imagined that you do what you do for a living,” I told her, as I took the seat across from her. She nodded in agreement.
“It wasn’t something I chose for myself”
“What happened? Why did you get involved with the club?”
I could see her measuring me up mentally, probably trying to decide if I was worthy of her trust. I obviously passed muster because she started talking.
“About eight years ago, I was broke, desperate, and seriously considering becoming a hooker when I ran into Thomas outside Club Vanilla one afternoon. I hadn’t seen him in over five years. I must have looked a mess because he hustled me inside the Club. He told me to clean myself up while he got me some food…”
She paused for a moment taking a sip of her Chai Latte.
“Gosh Diane, he was so gorgeous and sweet beyond words to me that day. I fell in love with him all over again. Anyways, Thomas was the Manager of the Club back then. When I told him I needed a job he hired me on the spot. He said there was no way in hell he was letting me be a hooker. And that’s the day that I began my illustrious career as a Stripper.”
“Does anything ever feel…off about that place to you?”
“You mean besides the fact that Thomas is banging most of the Strippers and Bartenders?”
I simply nodded as I watched a fleeting wave of pain cross over her face. Vanilla had obviously loved Thomas at one point. I wondered if it was hard for her to see him flaunting all his girls in her face every day.
“I think a lot of odd things go on at the Club. I’ve learned the hard way to keep my mouth shut.”
“I don’t mean to overstep my bounds here, but I can’t help but notice some of the new recruits seem kind of young. Do you think Thomas knows?”
“I hope not! And yes, I’ve noticed that too…like Sophie. When that lady showed up the other day with her picture I thought I was going to vomit. I’m scared to ask Thomas what happened to Sophie.”
“Has he ever hurt you? Or threatened to hurt you?”
I watched as she self-consciously tugged her long shirt sleeves farther down her arms. Without looking me in the eye she nodded quickly. I wanted to kill Thomas at that moment.
“If I tell you something, will you keep it just between us, no matter what?”
She nodded again.
“I am not who you think I am. I’m here to cover a story about the underground lifestyle of strip clubs and the abuse women suffer at the hands of men like…Thomas.”
I think I knocked her speechless because she just sat there staring at me not saying a single word…