Down the Road Apiece
May 26, 2014
This was a quick piece I wrote for an online course I'm taking, Start Writing Fiction. A good course, with the focus on characters. The prompt was to turn on the radio and write about the first thing you heard. They were just announcing Down the Road Apiece, by Chuck Berry.
Here's my draft -
"Hey, move on now, this ain't your corner. Get on down the road a piece." Jasmine waved her hands as if to shoo her away.
Hanna smiled and shook her head. Time was she could pick any corner down here that she wanted. Time was when she dressed like this it was for the camera. She still had the long legs and red hair that had turned heads and attracted fashion contracts, but the high life and drugs had aged her fast. Suddenly she had too many wrinkles, too many bits sagging to be re-touched. No more high profit spots for her in magazines, so poverty had forced her onto the street.
Jasmine frowned. "Ho, you better not be laughing at me. I mean it, get your skinny ass down the street before I kick it there." She took a step forward but Hanna was already heading away.
She waved a hand at Jasmine. "No, just thinkin' of something sister, we're good."
Jasmine was new, so didn't know all of her story yet. Hanna had always been a loner, curled up with a book or visiting art galleries on her own. She'd been coddled as a teenager, then as a model, so she wasn't ready at all for the real world when she traded catwalking for streetwalking. She'd learned fast though, after a few bad pimps and some rough customers. Chris had helped too - an ex-biker with a soft spot for hookers and a passion for red-heads. She'd taken Hannah in and taught her some valuable street smarts. Hannah already knew how to please people, but now she learned how to read them, and how to discourage them or incapacitate them. All in a myriad of ways. Chris got her off drugs and into health foods and running - and eventually into some high end escort work. While Hannah didn't look like a 20 year old anymore, she didn't act like one either - all those years with books and art had given her hidden depths. Her clients found her to be not only a an intelligent companion, but also a valuable asset at a business dinner.
She didn't need to work the streets any more, but she still tried to put in some time, to look out for new girls like Jasmine - young, pretty, and naive. They all wanted the bright corners and hated any competition. No matter. Hannah played the edges, watching for the predators that hovered there and waited for the weak to falter. She'd hear stories from her contacts so knew which ones to wait for. They always came back for more, and when they did she'd find them. Sometimes they just needed a chat, sometimes more.
Here was one now. He'd grabbed Sheila a few days ago and roughed her up pretty bad. From her description he'd likely be hard to persuade. She'd need to do a bit of cutting with this one.
His car slowed and she walked over - long legs flashing in the dim light. She leaned into the window and smiled.
"Hi stud, looking for some fun?"
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