Free Fiction Thursday – Don’t Touch

Happy Thursday, everyone!

How’s your Thursday treating you? I’m on the Oregon coast this week, and I seem to have brought winter with me. Instead of walking along the beach yesterday, I sat in my car and watched the sea foam blow through the parking lot. Very windy and chilly, with lots of rain and hail and sleet. Fun stuff! Even the seagulls were hunkered down.

So enough nattering from me, and on with this week’s story, a little fantasy noir tale set in my Tales From the Shadows series. I hope you enjoy “Don’t Touch.”

Don’t Touch

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2012 by Annie Reed

Image licensed by

You lift the curtain with the tip of one finger and peer out at the customers ringing the edge of the bar. That’s all you can see through the glare of the stage lights. Emma’s up now, dancing around the pole like it could rub her back and pay her mortgage and put her kids through school, and maybe it can because no man’s ever gonna do those things for her, like no one’s ever gonna do them for you, but it’s all you got, and you take what you can get.

The customers look the same as last night’s and the night before. Middle-age losers, their mouths slack, hands cupped around their drinks, staring up at Emma with so much naked want in their faces, it makes you sick. Cigarette smoke curls around Emma’s ankles like so many fingers pulling at her. That’ll be you out there in five minutes once Emma’s done with her routine and she goes out on the floor so the men beyond the bar can stuff dollar bills under the elastic of her G-string and pretend that fleeting touch is enough.

How many of them would want to touch her if they knew she went home with you? Would it matter, or would they pay more to watch?

(read the rest of the story here)

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