At The Prime Meridian

Jessie checked herself out in the mirror of the employee locker room of the Prime Meridian. She looked OK, she guessed. Or at least all of her clothes were tight and she wasn’t making them look bad. It wasn’t what she would have chosen but it was the waitress uniform and it would earn her tips. She sighed. It was time to start earning those tips.

Jessie threaded her way from the employee lockers through the club. “So what’s up Eddi?” She asked one of the bouncers by the as yet unopened main door.

“Looks like it’s gonna be pretty dead.”

“Good.”

“It sucks, I can’t make any money.”

“Yeah, well you can fool the customers into bribing your worthless hide some other day. Today I’m happy they’re planning to make trouble elsewhere.”

The floor manager, an impressively gay man, flitted up to her as she made it to the waitress station on the main floor. “Jessie! You look great.” He hovered over her a moment as though he wanted to adjust something in her cloths. If she’d been wearing an apron, or carrying a tray he would have fiddled with it. Her t-shirt and skirt provided no such opportunity. As it was he just shifted his weight around a bit and looked fidgety.

“Where am I?”

“Section 11.” That was the VIP room. Tim must have seen her look, “Oh please, you’ll make more money.”

She sighed, then gave him a little kiss on the cheek. “Thanks Tim.”

“Oh you, you’ll make my boyfriend jealous.”

She glanced at the clock above the bar which claimed they had opened 10 minutes ago; meaning she actually had 5 minutes left. She killed those by making sure her tables had napkins, salt, and menus. Everything looked good. Then the DJ fired up, the lights went down, and the main doors opened. Show time. The first 90 minutes were probably the worst. During happy hour, from 5 when they opened to 6:30, before they got busy, the cover charge for the VIP area was pretty low, and it was the only time people were actually interested in eating a full meal. The time passed quickly until her section started to empty.

One of the last tables held a man who looked out-of-place in the club. He was in his 40’s, but he still had a strong build, his chin belonged on a model, and his hair and clothes were impeccable. Jessie had mentally categorized him as a rich guy going through a mid-life crisis, or a divorce, out on the prowl for younger women. She downgraded her assessment of his skills at prowling when he gave her a flirty smile and tried to catch her eye as she dropped off his bill. Never hit on the waitresses. Sure, it can work, but there’s not much point with a club full of women who don’t have to work another 6 hours and actually came looking for men.

“I’m sorry if this is forward, but you look great. You move really well too. Are you a dancer?”

A dancer? This probably wasn’t just a pick-up attempt then. “Just a waitress,” she answered. She smiled as she said it to make her voice warm. He wouldn’t have left her a tip yet.

“You’re wasted on that! You should be a dancer. I’ve got a place. You wouldn’t believe the money you could make. I bet a single shift at my club would beat a week here.” She’d thought he might ask that. Every now and then some guy would come into the club looking to hire strippers or hookers. She had no idea if it worked. Yes, some of her money came from looking good, and yes the club could be a fairly sleazy environment. Did that really mean she was one career step from being naked? She’d never thought so before.

Now she thought about her bills, and her lack of a job, and wondered how much strippers really did make. She wouldn’t do it, of course, but she had to get some real money coming in somehow. At least she had one idea for making a little quick cash, “They can’t make that much.”

“Hundreds, thousands if they do private shows.”

She raised her eyebrows, “No way. I bet you don’t even own a club.”

The man laughed, then pulled out a high limit credit card and tossed it down on his bill. “You’d lose that bet.”

Once she’d charged the card and he’d left she found he’d left her a hundred and ten percent tip. It was almost as though he felt he had something to prove.

Something Salable
Another Project

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

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9 comments on “At The Prime Meridian
  1. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    Another Jessie update, another short update. Hmmmm. But I think it gets its point across; Jessie is getting a little desperate, she’s also fairly intelligent, and (it must be said) a touch dishonest.

    Fun fact! I think, I don’t write Jessie as a female author would. I’ve read a small mountain of fiction and I’ve developed a theory that male and female authors tend to write “power” differently. For a male author “power” is something the character directly controls, l33t combat skills, strong magic, smart brain, or lots of money. For a female author power is more frequently about social networks. It’s now what you know it’s who you know.

    To write this second way, Jessie would be getting a lot more outside help as she gets in over her head. Not, mind you, help she *asks* for. But it would be shown she’s such a great person with such a loyal network of friends and romantic interests that people leap to her aid. What do you guys/gals think?

    Note: none of this should be applied too broadly outside the realm of fiction. In the real world, we’re all fairly powerless and you take your advantages where you can find them. Maybe the mindset has some traction on the hard cold Earth, but reality gets the first and last vote.

    • DeNarr says:

      Hmm, my girlfriend and I read some overlapping books, and sometimes she wants me to read one she really likes. I’d often do so, but now I’ve started to ask two questions whenever the author is female:

      1. Is the main character female? (Nothing wrong if it is)
      2. If so, does she get raped at some point?

      It seems like every story I’ve read with a female author with a female main character, they always fall into the trope of showing how strong the character is due to her ability to survive such a tragic event. It’s like they think the character can’t be strong in her own right, so instead they have to make her survive something horrible.

      • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

        Thanks for catching those errors in the other reply.

        I can see what you say about “they always fall into the trope of showing how strong the character is due to her ability to survive such a tragic event”. I can think of a lot of examples where a character does survive something tragic.

        Just remembering the stories it’s hard to untangle characterization suffering from the suffering characters experience to move the plot forward. I killed off Jessie’s mom, for example, but I did that because I needed her to have debts that a declaration of bankruptcy wouldn’t erase.

        I’m going to pay attention to that detail in my future reading.

    • warren peace says:

      I think you do have a point about male vs female authors and how they portray power, but I feel a greater separation in a more basic way of gow characters view the world. Females see the world through the lens of emotion, which of course carries both advantages and disadvantages.

      Without getting into a huge analysis (because I want to see where this story is going!), I often don’t enjoy reading fiction written by women. It’s not anything simple like power or emotion for me, and in fact I can’t really explain why I dislike most female fiction authors, but it’s a fact nonetheless.

      • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

        I’ll have to pay attention to that as I read. When I write Jessie she certainly feels a great many things; characterization would be impossible otherwise. However, I suppose it seldom decides her coarse of action. To a certain extent that’s just something persistent in how I write because it’s a part of how I think. In that sense it’s a bit of a flaw, because some people really are hotheads who do things for emotional reasons, and I need to write them correctly as well.

  2. DeNarr says:

    [You move really well to, are you a dancer?”]

    to = too

    [“Your wasted on that!]

    your = you’re

  3. Tucson Jerry says:

    As far as a loyal network of friends, Jessie only has a couple. I guess that the hero, Kyle, and his buddy will have to come into her life again. The storyline seems to be setup for that to occur. Of course, the silly ninny (or as I like to say young and stupid)is going to HAVE to get in over her head. By the way, rape is NOT necessary. If this turns into a porn novel I am bailing.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Heh, there’s no sex in the outline. Promise! I’m pretty sure I’d find my own writing far too unreadable to post if I took it in a porny direction.

  4. Jostikas says:

    cloths -> clothes

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