Do Not Exceed Stated Dose: A Novel


Segment 3 - Sheree, exotic dancer extraordinaire!

Sheree stifled the sigh that rose in her throat and tried to focus on the flexing and shimmying of her hips in time to the saxophone-heavy music. She tried not to think about the fat, sweaty bloke mere inches from her bare breasts and the way his penetrative stare lingered on her body.

It was a slow night tonight, not many private dances. And those who did fork out weren’t exactly generous with their tips. All in all, it was a typical Monday night in Scunthorpe.

There were worse ways to earn a living, she supposed. Like pushing trolleys in Asda car park or cleaning toilets or conducting market research surveys in the street. Nobody ever stopped for one of those women.

“Do you have five minutes to spare, madam?” was always met by a curt shake of the head or an expletive.

She suspected those university students employed by Barnardos and Save the Children were paid well enough for harassing pedestrians into guiltily signing up to sponsor a child on a monthly basis. Those students always had fashionably strange hair styles and expensively dishevelled clothes. No wonder they were all knee-deep in debt.

She’d never made it to university. She’d applied to the local college to do Beauty Therapy but grew tired of facials and manicures and dropped out after a few months. Then she saw an ad in the paper looking for dancers for a new club and thought ‘why not?’

In the beginning she’d been naïve. Dancing was all she’d expected it to entail. She’d needed the money.

Later - now - it was more about the power. She was completely in charge here and that gave her some kind of job satisfaction. Except on slow nights like this one when it was a case of going through the motions.

It wasn’t challenging, dancing for dirty old men and leery stag parties.

London was where the money was - and the competition. That was where her sights were set. So she scrimped and saved and didn’t get involved in stupid things like snorting coke like the other girls.

That was the only way they could get by - so narked off their tits that they couldn’t say what day of the week it was or tell one sleazy bloke from another.

But Sheree remembered faces, cultivated regulars, built contacts, worked it for everything she could. Trust and discretion went a long way in this business.