Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Next Stop – a short story

By Kamila Rymajdo

Kamila Rymajdo was born in Warsaw, Poland, but has spent most of her life living in Manchester, England. She is currently studying for a PhD at Kingston University and is writing a novel about sex work.

‘Think of something else,’ Mandy instructed.

Sarah tried to think. ‘K is a hard letter,’ she finally said. ‘All the ‘k’ foods I can think of actually start with ‘c’.’

‘Well you’ll just have to get sploshed anyway then,’ Mandy said.

She picked up a pie from the tray and launched it at Sarah’s head. Sarah instinctively ducked.

‘Hey, you’re not supposed to do that,’ Mandy said.

‘Sorry,’ Sarah said, ready to get up and get out. But she stayed sitting. She needed the money.

‘L is for lemon.’

Nothing. Thank god, Sarah thought. She didn’t fancy lemon juice squirting into her eyes.

‘M is for mango.’

Again, nothing. Maybe exotic fruits were the ticket to avoid any more hits.

‘N is for…

‘Nando’s,’ said Mandy.

‘I wouldn’t mind a Nando’s,’ said Tom.

‘We’ll go next time we’re in Leicester.’

‘Sorry, shall I carry on?’ Sarah asked.

‘Yeah,’ said Tom.

‘N is for…’

‘Oh shit, the battery’s packed up,’ said Tom.

‘I thought you’d charged it?’ Mandy said.

‘I did.’

‘Did you leave the camera on while we were cleaning the bathroom?’ Mandy asked.

‘I must have.’

‘We’ll have to wait while it gets charged,’ Tom said.

‘Do I need to stay like this?’ Sarah asked.

Tom looked at Mandy for advice.

‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘unless you want to start again?’

Sarah swallowed hard. ‘No,’ she said.

By the third video Sarah didn’t bother reapplying her make-up. It was already dark outside and she didn’t want to stay here longer than she had to. Besides, her stomach felt like it was eating itself from inside. She didn’t deal well with hunger. Tom took it upon himself to keep her company in the kitchen while Mandy and his mother cleaned the bathroom.

‘So, how did you get into this?’ Sarah asked, wanting to break the silence.

‘One of our mates told us about it so we thought we’d try it. I bought a camera, Mandy looked at some other websites.’ He shrugged. ‘That’s it.’

Sarah nodded. ‘Did you build your site yourself?’ she asked, remembering it looked very amateur.

‘No, our mate helped us with it. But we’re going to pay someone to redo it. It doesn’t look great.’

‘I know someone if you want a recommendation. He’s building my site.’

‘What are you doing?’ Tom asked, suspicious.

‘An alt-porn and fetish site,’ Sarah said.

Tom nodded. ‘We don’t do anything like that,’ he said.

Sarah felt like screaming at him. She hated people who judged, especially when they were involved in a similar industry. Yes, Mandy didn’t have sex with anyone and she didn’t take her clothes off, but surely they knew there were men out there wanking over this material. ‘Do you get any customers contacting you with special requests?’ she asked.

Tom nodded. ‘Yeah, a guy asked to buy a bikini Mandy was wearing in the videos.’

Sarah smiled. ‘What did you say?’

‘We sold it to him.’

‘Oh really? For a lot?’

‘Enough,’ Tom said, standing up. ‘Come on, they’ll be ready for us now.’

The last video would include both Sarah and Mandy. Sarah wished she’d reapplied her make-up now. It would be a simple all out food fight. They both had a pile of cakes, squirty cream, chocolate sauce, ketchup, squeezy mayonnaise and other condiments. Mandy was wearing a simple black bikini. She was much slimmer than Sarah, her hip bones jutted out, as did her ribs, but her boobs were small, a B cup probably, compared to Sarah’s mighty double D’s. But then, Sarah also had a stomach she was now holding in. Mandy had untied her hair and it hung in loose clumps around her shoulders. Was that her trying to be sexy, Sarah wondered. It wasn’t working for Sarah, but then again, some men did prefer the girl-next-door look. Sarah had missed out on a good few modelling jobs to girls like these, who labelled themselves ‘alternative’ because they had a tiny tattoo on their shoulder. But now wasn’t the time to get angry, she reminded herself. Now was the time to win this food fight.

‘Are you ready?’ asked Tom. His mother was standing behind him as before, now only as a voyeur it seemed.

‘Ok,’ Tom said, ‘one, two, three, go!’

Sarah picked up a piece cheesecake. She launched it at Mandy as hard as she could. This was the time to get Mandy back for being such a bitch. It landed on her face. Good shot, Sarah congratulated herself. But now Mandy had launched something at Sarah’s head and it had hit her hard. Sarah didn’t have time to check what it was, instead she picked up the ketchup and opened the lid, then squeezed hard, getting the sauce all over Mandy’s chest, making her look like a victim in a bad B movie.

‘Good,’ Tom said. ‘You’re doing great.’

Mandy was now getting closer. She was armed with both the squirty cream and chocolate sauce and was aiming both into Sarah’s face, eyes probably. Sarah was soon blinded, and when she couldn’t see she felt something else crashing onto her head.

‘Oww,’ she said. ‘I can’t see.’

Mandy was laughing, and Tom was laughing too.

Sarah wiped her eyes clean but they were stinging. She was backed up into a corner of the bathroom and Mandy was right in front of her, armed with more condiments.

‘Step to the side Mandy,’ Tom said. ‘I can’t see the front of her.’

Mandy did as she had been directed. Sarah had a second of respite from the sauces and picked up whatever she could, squirting her own cream into Mandy face. But it had already run out. This didn’t seem fair. Mandy had far more left in her canister. Again, something hit Sarah’s head. Was the cheesecake Mandy was using more frozen than Sarah’s? She didn’t have time to think as something else fell on top of her head.

‘Stop it now,’ she said weakly, then slid down the wall. This wasn’t a fair game. She wiped her eyes and saw as Mandy posed in front of the camera, jutting one chocolate sauce covered leg in front of the other. She lifted her arms up in a mock weightlifter victory pose.

‘Mandy has won yet again,’ she said.

‘Alright, that’s it,’ Tom said.

‘You can have a shower first,’ Mandy said, turning around.

Sarah nodded.

They were sitting around the kitchen table again, three huge cardboard boxes in front of them.

‘We don’t normally buy pizza for the models,’ Mandy said, taking a small bite from her vegetarian one.

Sarah had ordered pepperoni, and she intended to eat all of it. ‘Oh really?’ she said, mouth full of food. Her hair was still wet, but she wasn’t going to bother drying it. She was exhausted.

‘No,’ Tom said. ‘We don’t.’

Sarah didn’t answer. Were they trying to make her feel guilty? She couldn’t wait to be out of this shithole.

‘How are you getting to the station?’ Tom asked.