Content Warning: This story discusses human trafficking and pedophilia. Reader discretion is advised.
Chinese New Year Parade –
The traffic devours the patience of every San Francisco driver. A choir of horns blasts the pedestrians from the sidewalks as the barricades teeter in place.
An hour and a half after the cab ride began, fire crackers still echo off the buildings while drivers grapple for every opening in the sea of exhaust fumes, foot traffic, and non-motor vehicles. The Little Darling’s Peep Show’s lights blink in contrast to the gated and locked businesses wrapping themselves up against the cool Pacific air.
“I’ll get out here.” The suit commands, opening the door into screaming curses while his fare settles before the door slams shut. He smirks as he reaches the sidewalk – he found her.
She stands at the corner waiting; peahen struts in her heels, suit, and buttercream silk blouse. The man glances at a business card from his pocket, then returns it. He found Her.
Her face never fabricates a smile for him, but she leads him past the iron gate into what looks like an old hotel. She opens a door to an office with a black leather lounger where she motions for him to sit.
“Who gave you my card?” Her lips fall into a pout as she sits on the large oak desk, averting her eyes from his face; playing with her manicured nails.
“I’m looking for a young woman.” He states without answering. “Thin. No stretch marks. Underdeveloped. Small.” He smiles and leans back, crossing his hands over his stomach.
The woman nods, then picks up her phone from the desk, texting someone. A knock at the door reveals a tiny late-adolescent with deep umber hair and fawn skin of no more than five feet tall in heels and a shimmering club dress.
“She will do.” The man stands, then turning toward the desk pulls a wad of cash from a money clip. “Thank you.”
The door slams, leaving the woman alone in the room, vomiting into a trash can. A hidden door in the wall opens, revealing a man with a cloud of hair wafting from his scalp. “Not a fan of this one?”
“I hate his kind.” She snarls, wiping her mouth. “And I hate tiny women.”
The white haired man sprawls on the lounger and laughs. “Why? Men are attracted to small, delicate, vulnerable creatures. It’s instinctual.”
“They’re attracted to them because they’re pedophiles.” She spits.
“Then why hate the women?” The man sits up and cocks his head. “You’re jealous,” he mocks. Her eyebrows attempt to narrow in response; instead only her mouth frowns. “Men are allowed to like what they like. Besides, you’re just doing your job.” Standing, he walks over, wrapping his arms around her shoulders from behind, kissing her neck. “Try not to hate yourself because you’re not one of them anymore.”
Closing her eyes, she sees herself grab the letter opener from the pen cup and stab him in the neck. His eyes bulge out as red arterial blood pulses out onto the Persian rug adorning the floor, ruining her silk shirt he bought not long ago. He collapses onto the desk as she grabs his keys to the safe in the hidden room, grabbing enough of the cash to be free of him forever. Running down the old steps and out of the building into the chaos of San Francisco during Chinese New Year.
He cups her breasts from behind as she opens her eyes. “Where is the money he handed you?” He whispers in her ear.
She hands him the roll of hundreds over her shoulder, then stands, re-buttoning her blouse.
“Good work.” He oozes as she approaches the door.
The sounds in the hallway follow her; remind her; haunt her as she walks down the steps, wondering if now is the time to step outside.
If you found yourself moved, please consider liking, commenting, and/or sharing it with others. Truly, I am grateful for the time you spent reading my work. While you’re here, if you want to learn more about what you can do to help those impacted by human trafficking, or if you are impacted by human trafficking please check out http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.
If you are in need of immediate help and are located in the United States please call 1 (888) 373-7888 or text 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”) 24/7/365