How the World Works by John Owens

Krystin checked her makeup in the mirror and went through her expressions - surprise, gratitude, admiration, lust. She adjusted her boobs inside her blouse and leaned in, trying some cleavage-shot poses.

Much better looking than Marion, she thought. That cow. Who did that farm girl think she was? Showing up in Manhattan with her “gosh darns,” and her “Thank you so much, sirs,” and that singing voice, that god damned singing voice. Think you’ll pull a part out from under Krystin Honeycomb’s nose? I’ve been at this too long to let some hayseed stumble off the bus nab anything.

Krystin had the nagging thought that maybe she could’ve learned her lines better, but fuck that. What are rehearsals for, anyway?

She stood and smoothed her cord pencil skirt, the one with the slit that went up to her thong. Turned her back to the mirror and wiggled her hips. I’ll show that bumpkin how the world works.

She bypassed the director and went straight for the producer. Always go where the money is.

Lou Krepfield’s office perched thirty floors up, quiet marble and cherry wood, just an old hag receptionist and a couple of beefy security guards in the foyer.

“Unannounced?” asked grandma. She looked over her bifocals like Krystin was a chorus girl or something.

“It’s regarding his play? Still in casting?”

“We have four productions in casting,” said the woman. “Someone in Couple. At the Rhys.”

She sighed. “I'll see what I can do.”

The hired muscle laughed about something between them.

An hour later, Lou Krepfield stayed polite as Krystin wiggled through his door, but he didn’t get up from his desk. “Have a seat, Miss Honeycomb, what’s on your mind?”

She let her skirt pull up as she sat, and crossed those long legs before she answered. “It’s a part I auditioned for in your play, Mr. Krepfield. I went out for Gloria Xavier. The lead? I really want that role.”

He shuffled some papers and checked something. “We’re going with Marion Harmon,” he said. “Sorry.”

“I’ll do any-thing,” she said, “for that part.”

He sighed. “I’m sure. You and half the other actresses in town. It’s a tough business.” He glanced up. “You’re pretty,” he said mildly. “You look about twenty, and the report here says you did well at audition. Let me give you some advice. Stick with it. Take more classes, audition every time you can, and memorize your lines. You have to be persistent. It’s how the world works.”

“Or,” she said, “I could give you the blowjob of your life right here and now.”

“That’s not exactly a novel proposal,” he said, but Krystin saw she had his attention. “And no way to further your career. Take my advice, please. Walk out of here with a little dignity and go work harder. You’ll get there. You’re close, already.”

She didn’t get up. Instead, she leaned forward a little, let him see she wasn’t wearing a bra. She let the silence build.

“Blowjobs are a dime a dozen in this town.” He licked his lips. “But I’ll tell you what I’ll do. Go over to that supply closet - there are a lot of interesting things in there. Bring me the paddle and the handcuffs. I think we can work something out.”

It turned out Lou Krepfield was into all sorts of things, none of them pleasant and some of them pretty painful. At one point, bent over his desk and getting steadily rammed across his files, he leaned down and whispered in her ear, “You’re much tighter than the last girl.”

After a half-dozen position changes Lou finally couldn’t hold back any more. He pinned her ankles to the carpet and called for God. When he finally caught his breath, he got off her and ruffled her hair, the way you would a kid who brought home a good report card.

Lou buckled his belt and went back behind his desk, started straightening things up. Kristen climbed back to her chair, panting, wiping the smeared lipstick off her face. Despite the rug burns on her back, knees and elbows, despite the throbbing pain from parts down south, she couldn’t help but giggle.

“What’s so funny?” He was knotting his tie.

“I was just thinking about the expression on Marion’s face when she finds out I’m playing Gloria Xavier. I’ll show that bitch how the world works.”

He shook his head. “Why the hell would I let you play Gloria? Marion’s perfect for the role, and she’s going to make me a lot of money. Let me give you another piece of advice, since you didn’t think too much of the last bit. Always get your contract in writing.” He pointed one long finger at her. “Now get out of my office before I have security toss you out on your sweet little ass. And that, young lady, is how the world works.”


I've appeared or am upcoming in Out of the Gutter, A capella Zoo, Bards and Sages Quarterly, about a dozen others. Yes, this story is nasty and irredeemable. But if you think about it, it actually has a moral attached. Stay in School, or something. Don't Cheat to get Ahead. I'm grasping here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The moral is, "Trust, but verify." Very true.

I always like a good twist at the end, and this didn't fail. Good show.