Joey had been living his life as a kept man, and a gigolo on the side. It’s not something he planned on. It just sort of happened. Well, it happened the day he met Delores. She was a bawdy customer at the bar where he worked the closing shift. One night, like so many others, Delores had had one too many martinis, and, while pressing her sweating breasts over the edge of the wooden bar, she beckoned Joey over with a long red laquered talon. “Hey hon, ya think you wanna give me a ride tonite?” Joey, being the consummate professional, assumed she meant that she was too drunk to drive home the few blocks across the flat industrial town. He asked her to wait 10 minutes until the end of his shift.
Exiting the building, she held tightly on to his strong arm, teetering on her stilettos through the parking lot. She pressed a car key into his hand, and he opened the door to her dilapidtated Cadillac. The scent of stale perfume and cigarettes permeated the interior. She told him to get into the drivers seat and take her home. As he fastened his seatbelt, she reached over and grabbed at his crotch. Joey was only 23, and Delores, well, she was definitely older than his mom, and perhaps even his gran.
The first time it happened in that Cadi, they just leaned the seats back. Her excitement, triggered his ego, and he was addicted immediately. The scent of well-worn whole grain leather, White Diamonds, Benson & Hedges and Aquanet intoxicated him.
Joey continued seeing Delores, initially in exchange for food, and meager trinkets. Later on he was given a watch, numerous shirts, socks, underwear, and once, an incredible pair of alligator boots. She lavished him with attention and occasionally, he would find a 100 dollar bill tucked into his wallet. He had a key to her house, and came and went as he pleased. Delores was always available, except for Wednesday nights; those were her “service” nights. Over time, he started to notice odd items around her home. There was an alter at the entryway, where a small metal bowl stood, filled with embers and tiny metallic bones. In addition, she had a few strands of ancient looking beads, and unusual amulets hidden about behind doors, and hanging in corners. Now and then he would notice the smell of something burning, which left a sour note lingering in the air.
One night, as they shared the giant bathtub, full of bubbles and red rose petals, she closed her eyes, and leaned her head back. Slowly she opened them, beneath heavy lashes to meet his. Staring for a few moments, she said “ It’s time.”…”Time for what?” Joey was confused. “You’re ready. “ Delores mesmerized him with her icy blue eyes, as she caressed his strong arms. He really didn’t think much of it, because he always went along with her whims. She told him to keep next Wednesday open, and have an all black outfit ready. In fact, she said, she would get him something to wear.
A few days later, he got to her house to find a pair of black pants and black button down silk shirt laid out on the bed, along with Italian leather shoes to match. He dressed in the outfit, looking at himself with a smile in the full length mirror. He smoothed his hair with some pomade, then headed downstairs to the living room where Delores sat in an extravagant black velvet gown. She smiled with approval. “Come here, come here baby.” He sat next to her, inhaling the scent of her potent fragrance, feeling a slight wave of nausea come over him. She stubbed out her cigarette in the overflowing ashtray. After offering him a drink, she took his hand in hers. Delores had beautiful hands. Long fingers, decorated with multiple cocktail rings, which sparkled in the low light. Her enlarged pupils pierced his soul as she said, “listen baby, this means everything to me, and I want you to know I’m doing it for you.” He smiled a weak smile, not sure what to make of her cryptic message. Another wave of nausea coupled with slight dizziness overcame him.
The clock in the hallway struck 7 pm, and Delores startled. “Let’s go!” she told him. “We need to be there by 7:30.” He dutifully followed.
Somehow they arrived at the service, and shuffled in behind a line of people all dressed in black. Upon closer observation, he realized that all of the people were women! He turned to ask Delores why, but she only stared straight ahead, expressionless. He thought he heard music playing. Either it was muffled, or he was drunk. As they reached the alter, he saw a cloaked priest or priestess, holding up a flask containing a deep red liquid. Further in the distance, he noticed a platform, with a sort of ditch around it, in which there appeared to be dark water flowing. Delores pressed him forward as his body resisted. He felt all eyes on him, and the humming began ever so subtly…a soft hum which gradually became an unbearable crecendo…hands were now touching his body, and massaging his arms and back, he was being pushed forward to the alter. The women swarmed and pressed inward….