John opened the paper and tapped a small ad on page three. A glance down at the headlines, my smile faded.
The mayor already hated me. Now, he had new artillery.
Mayor Marshall Hicks, the blue-skin Presbyterian, and member of the Knights of Pythias who had taken an oath to abstain from vices. My bordello sat a mere block outside the district; a fact Dick-Hicks pointed out on a regular basis in his crock of shit. The mandate had been established only a year ago, six years after I opened the bordello.
“What is it, Sheriff?” Reba fiddled with the ties of her apron and remained a vigilant guard by the sink.
“San Antonio Women’s Club have asked the Women’s Christian Temperance Union to speak at a public forum,” he said.
“I believe in Lawd Jesus too, but them Thumpers from their Christ Union are full’a horse pucky and needs to mind their own business.”
The WCTU pledged to protect women by banning alcohol, as well as prostitution. Obviously, they’d never known a woman who could have Survived without my profession, me included.
At Madam Fannie’s Boarding House, my girls earned a good living and treated fairly. A client who forgot that rule or broke any others got a hard stare down the barrel of Reba’s Ratchet. Over the years, that shotgun proved well worth every cent we coughed up to buy it. When trouble knocked at our door, Ratchet made its point with one threatening crack.
Excerpt from The Last Bordello
Daily word prompt: Survive