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Excerpt from

The Ugliest Whore
Rob Pierce

She is tall, and thin to the point of being anemic. She has Las Vegas silver hair, puffed like popcorn, and a wig to cover her baldness, which may have been caused by the radiation that has afflicted her splotchy face. Her blouse reveals a long, spotty neckline that never leads to breasts. She wears high heels and her legs are long, long and bony and almost white, a skeleton still clung to by patches of skin. Somehow I think she is not diseased. And she is young. From my fourth floor window I can see just a twinkle of youth in her tired eyes. And in the middle of that otherwise used up face is a little button nose that remains singly unravaged by her life. She looks like a model for a coffin manufacturer.

Standing on the corner, lonely in her mini-skirt, the cars driving by ignoring her as her head swivels, they do not stop she cannot stop them, she watches in resigned despair as each turns the corner, watches them go then returns her attention to the oncoming traffic. Someone will be lonely enough to stop. And I don' t want to lose her, she could be perfect, she can' t be taken from me by someone who just sees her as the cheapest sex out there. And I know that' s what will happen if I don' t move fast, I' ll lose my one chance at true love to some asshole who just wants a fuck. I grab my keys and hurry out the door. Not trusting the elevator I walk rapidly down the stairs, out the front door and across the street, hoping no car stops for her, no one sees what I see.

“Hi,” I say, and she smiles drearily. Pedestrians are rarely johns; they have nowhere to go.

“I live across the street,” I say. “Wanna party?”

“Sure,” she says, looking me over. I' m shorter than she is, and not too well dressed, but this isn' t a rich part of town or she wouldn' t be working here.

She opens her mouth a little, showing a few yellow teeth. I take one of her lifeless hands, feel her surprise at this kind of touch, and walk her across the street.

Her toothpick legs are devoid of sexuality; I can' t help staring at them as we walk. Even her bruises are skinny. I smile at her and she smiles back. Her step is noticeably lighter by the time we reach the sidewalk. I guide her to the front door and hold it open.

With her I ride the elevator. It' s a rattly contraption, old as this once fashionable building. We ride and I want to grab her bony ass, but my fingers fumble in vain for something to squeeze, my hand cannot reach her. Not here. We reach the top floor and I usher her into my cluttered studio, locking the door behind us.

“Okay,” I say, and she turns mechanically to face me. “What' ll ya do for fifty bucks?”

That turns on the light in the back of her eyes. It' s probably ten times her usual fee.

“For fifty bucks I' ll really love you.”

“Bullshit. You' d really love me for free. For fifty bucks I want pleasure.”

“Okay,” she says, and the desolation returns to her face. Then, softly: “What do you want me to do?”

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