(2) Before the Show - nicholaiv

Before the Show

by nicholaiv

Where'd you find...her?" Mona bent over and gave the object of her curiousity a closer examination. 

"The poor little thing was sitting in the alley behind," said Vera, motioning to the square window that overlooked a thin, sparsely drunken alley behind the tiny second floor nightclub they were at. "Just by the backdoor. She had this look. I just couldn't lah." And she pressed her long-nailed hand to her false breasts and shook her head. She was the perfect image of a concerned lady. 

The changing room, which was really just a converted broom closet, was packed with a half-dozen half-dressed queens and enough wigs, dresses, heels, corsets, palletes, lace, feathers and accoutrements to turn an entire city block into a fashionable whorehouse. 

"Does she talk?" said Gina, suffering, trying to glue her enormous peacock-feather eyelashes over her thinning natural ones, and hadn't once glanced in their direction. 

"How do we know it's a she?" 

"Look at her, she's obvi -" 

"Look at you, sweetie." And then the door swung open, nearly knocking the wig off one of the queens, and pushing a bare mannequin torso onto its side. 

"Oy! Oh sorry Kelly," said Hafiz, entering the room and looking not the least bit apologetic. He gave the space a look over, his eyes settling for a moment on the foreign figure seated in the corner, then forgetting it, and, seemingly dissatisfied with everything he saw, pursed his lips. 

"Where the hell is Molly? She's on in 5." 

"She ain't here, Fizi." 


"She was with big Dan," came Kelly, who managed to resecure her mile-high bob. There were a few clicks and lip smacks, a giggle, a low hmmm, and a very drawn out "slut." 

"Check the bar, Fizi, or the toilet," said Gina with a touch too much acid, and the queens cackled in a chorus of head-voice-soprano and loosed baritone, as Hafiz rolled his eyes and closed the door behind him, dulling the 120bpm thumping of this week's international underground Circuit DJ up-and-comer, who had been up and coming for almost a decade. "Yo, I thought she was still with Des." 

"Quiet lah. But I heard they're open." 

"The only thing that's open is her legs, and his wallet." 

"Mimi, can you help me with this eyelash please. Mother can't see a damn thing in here." 

"No, I'm busy." She didn't look particularly indisposed. 

"Oh wow, miss thang comes back from Bangkok with daddy's newly ordered tits, nose, hips and ass and she's too good for us local queens." 

"I am all new, darling, and self-made" said Mimi, and squeezed her breasts, making sure her newly pinked areolas poked out from above her corset, "unlike your tired ass." 

"She's a new woman. Not a cm on her's original parts," snapped Kelly, who had grown 6 inches and developed a strut and some attitude. 

"Honey, there's a few cm's that's still original," said Gina, and looked Mimi up and down with a scalding one-lashed look, and the ladies hooed. 

"If you still tucking like the rest of us you can help me with these eyelashes. Come here." And Mimi, a younger queen, relented to the house mother, a scene stalwart and power conduit, and shimmied over to assist. 

Meanwhile, Mona, Vera, and Kelly had surrounded the seated figure, who slowly shifted her immensely doleful gaze from one to the next; so deeply enchanting was the look she gave them, and so perplexing was its originality on such a foreign and artificially constructed face, that they had each, in their hearts, sworn to protect the thing, despite its unknown origins and doggedly impenetrable incomprehension. 

"What's your name, sugar?" said Mona, who cradled the creature's chin and turned its head from side to side, closely inspecting its face with the firm concern of a mother. No response, but her expression had changed a shade. She seemed a tad more curious, but a fearful sadness remained. 

"Ah! I think I saw somethin' about robots on CNA." 

"Thank you Vera, that was useful because none of us could tell she's a robot." 

"Can she dance? Maybe we can use her." 

"Throw a wig on her and I bet she'd lipsync better than Molly." 

"You bitch!" At which point Molly tramped in to the laughs and "shaaady" of the queens, her wig looking harassed and the lower half of her dress dirtied and wet below the knees. "Looks like we found Molly." 

"So did Dan." Molly shot Kelly an icy look and put her index to her lips. Hafiz ducked in behind her, followed by a grinning Des, Molly's current, who peered from over the edge of the door with an ecstatic look that said he was so excited to see the girls behind the veil and be witness to, nay, almost take part in something that was just so cool, so avant garde, on this tiny nondescript isle, which was so conservative and so uncool. 

In an exasperated but crumpled tone, Hafiz said: "We need to shuffle the lineup. Molly needs some time to retuck and think about what she's done. Gina, how?" 

"Can lah. Girls, you done?" said Gina, who had finally tamed the eyelashes with Mimi's help. "Can," said Kelly and "Let's go dolls," said Vera, and the three queens sashayed out of the broom closet dressed in matching skintight shined latex 1 piece suits with 8 inch red platform pumps and hard contoured makeup and long braided wigs; Gina with a short whip she coiled in her right hand and a wooden paddle in her left, Kelly with a horsewhip in her left and the grip end of a red leash in her right, clipped to Vera's furry red collar, who held nothing but a glass of gin which she dramatically threw back as the darkness beyond the threshold enveloped her. Des followed on their tail like a hungry puppy. 

"What do we do with her?" 

Mimi, who had been quietly avoiding the bot till then, joined the remaining queens, Mona and Kelly, in their contemplations. She gave the bot a long questioning look for the first time. Its hypnotic stare trained itself on her for a moment then silently moved along like the impassive turning of a lighthouse. She gazed at its hands, which were long and thin and pale and impossibly still against her thighs, which she could tell were thin from the way its baggy pants hung off them. So fragile, so vague, and yet that face! That perfect face! The fantasies a look could produce! What enviable power that face held! 

"She is everything," escaped from Mimi's plumped lips.

#shortstory #nicholaiv #bots #queens


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