Continuing with my Flash Fiction Challenge…The only rules: respond to the prompt, less that a thousand words, and NO EDITING…

Here is my response for the day…

Ugly Beauty

Dmitri reclined in the leather seat, his fingers running over the buttery smooth Italian leather. The obnoxious sum paid for the twelve chairs in this room turned his stomach. When the request came in for his measurement, his thoughts had landed on many things, but a customized leather chair, built to his body specifications, had been nowhere on that list.


He hated how much he enjoyed the warmth of the leather, the feel of his fingers skimming over the surface, or even how it cradled his ass and hugged his shoulders. Eleven others joined him in the room, immaculately dressed men, every one of them with bankbooks the size, or larger, than many countries.


There had been a question as to whether to pad his account, but Dmitri had declined. He didn’t mind being the small fish in this cesspool of a pond. Half the men he knew. Half of those had screwed him over during one or more business deals. The others he had come out on top. The very modest eight digit sum he could claim was more than enough to fill a lifetime of lust.


The chairs had been lined up into two loose rows. His perched in the back row, elevated on risers to ensure he had an unobstructed view. This was a room where there was no bad seat. Certainly, some members had jockeyed for a seat front and center, but his view from the back right left no room for complaining.


And that stage! If he thought a simple seat dripped in excess, the stage overshadowed it a million times. The raised platform burned with the brilliance of too much gilded magnificence. The marble forming the stage floor he knew to be from one of the most precious. A glance at his watch showed less than five minutes remained. Of those gathered, he was the only one not engaged in hushed conversation with those seated next to him. Instead, he allowed his gaze to affect a bored disinterest.


A gong sounded, announcing the beginning of the show. Dmitri leaned back, his manicured nails biting into the soft leather, marring the beauty of the flawless expanse.


Resisting the urge to lean forward, he reached for his tie, straightening it to fall in line with the row of buttons marching up his chest. Light flickered in his eyes, his diamond cufflinks catching the overhead lights, splitting it up into rainbows, and casting it back out into the world.


Diamonds. The root of all greed. That and oil. And land. The men gathered her made their fortunes any number of ways. His money made money. Dmitri hadn’t worked a day in his life, at least not in the traditional sense.


The hush, when it came, began with Brian Glass to the far left. His scratchy tenor stopped mid sentence the moments the lights dimmed. Andrew Wilson turned away, his attention no longer focused on brokering the deal of the century. Similar reactions bounced around the room, rapt expressions filling every face but Dmitri’s.


Then it began. A swell of music, at first so low he thought he might be imagining it, but the beat pulsed in his veins, building higher and higher, deep within his bones. The lights dimmed and a spotlight highlighted center stge.


Small fragile shapes, stepped on stage. Shoulders back, faces erased of imperfection under too many layers of concealer and foundation. To a girl, they held their hands at their sides, as if their wrists had been surgically attached to their legs. All had long hair, brushed and glistening in tumbling curls or straight cascades. Blonde, brunette, and fiery red, the girls’ hair was their only defense against the hard gaze of the men who sat silent, appraising, and lustful of that which did not belong to them.


But that was the trick of it. Twelve beautiful girls. Twelve devilish men. And when this day was done, those girls would be collared, chipped, and owned, their beauty destroyed with the rap of a gavel.

%d bloggers like this: