When she was two everyone laughed as her pale bare bean-shaped body toddled around the yard. When she reached school age people were perplexed and disturbed. Her nakedness accompanied her everywhere like a half-formed conjoined twin. Certain parts of middle-school health class seemed redundant. They already saw how her body sprouted and bloomed.
She could have saved a fortune on prom. Instead she spent her dress money on a spectacular updo that failed to attract the attention she hoped for. When she crossed the graduation stage with nothing on below her mortarboard the sweltering faces in the audience wore a uniform blank expression.
Her parents were relieved when she took the exotic dancing job. Something finally made sense. She took the stage fully nude, of course. She pushed a heavy trunk next to the pole. She withdrew a shift that she pulled over her head with teasing aplomb. Her stockings went on with a sly wink. She donned the corset with magical dexterity, and then pulled it tight with a sadomasochistic grin. The audience was transfixed as she stepped into her crinoline. Each layer stripped a level of self-assurance from her gaze. Her petticoats brought her to the brink of tears. By the time she fastened her bonnet her eyes said, “You have all of me now. Every last bit.”
The people always left wanting more.
Mike Seperack lives in Syracuse, New York. He studies writing at the Downtown Writer’s Center of the Syracuse YMCA. He once did a reading on a moving bus after consuming an impressive quantity of singe-malt scotch. His work has appeared online in Corium, Paper Darts, and decomP, among other places.