Sofie secured her hat with one hand, lifted her skirt with the other and continued running toward Sunset Station. Her legs burned and her black-laced boots were too small, crimping her toes. There was no choice. She had to get to there before the train left.
Beatrice was making a terrible mistake and needed to be stopped. Gullible prostitutes like Beatrice think it possible to leave for love, that the man will be honest and sincere, wooing her to a better place. But no matter how many gifts he had given her, over time they would mean nothing. Beatrice would learn. He would leave her heart when the sex got old. He would stray and what kindness he had would leave just after the matrimonial words passed over stupid lips.
Turning right on West Commerce street, the women at Milam market stared as she ran past. Their eyes, the ones glaring at the whore running for her life, would not distract her. The young maidens and the old mares would stare anyway. Running, dancing, strolling or even walking made no difference. People talked. Even in this large city, gossip spread like influenza.
Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, a historical novel by C. Dennis-Willingham
The door, closed, Sofie could hear Meta resuming the piano, another ragtime piece, people clapping. Pacing the room a few times, she downed a glass of whiskey, the whiskey she had taken from the shining closet when no one was looking. Her mind was foggy. Thoughts separated themselves into tiny bubbles on the murky, poisoned pond of what she assumed was her mind. Sofie lay on her bed and stared at the clock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock, the pendulum pacing like her mother had so long ago across their small family room.
Sofie, what are you doing! Her mother’s voice.
Sofie, what a stupid mistake you’ve made. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Do you think money is easy to come by? Do you, Sofie? Sometimes you have to make hard choices just to survive. I told you not to sing, and look, you’ve gone and made a fool of yourself! A fool!
Sofie looked down at the shattered clock on the floor before her. She vaguely remembered throwing it there.
Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, by C. Dennis-Willingham
The opium she was soon to inhale would taste much better than Greta’s fattening candy.
Fifteen minutes later, exactly where she wanted to be, Ben grinned and escorted her inside his Substandard establishment.
His eyes had dark circles beneath them but his crooked smile remained the same. “You got money today?”
“Half of it. Thought we could work something out.” When she winked, his smile widened.
“Okay, half. A blowjob then?” He took the money she pulled from her cleavage.
Sofie let loose her best seductive smile. After all, she did need to save her money. “I think we may be on to something.” She reached down and yanked off her boots. It was time to get comfortable. “One bowl first.”
“Coming right up.” Ben looked down at his crotch and laughed.
Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, a novel by C. Dennis-Willingham
Sofie was naked, of course, having stripped off her clothing as soon as she returned from the fabric store. She didn’t bother transferring the eggs to a plate. She stood over them, eating from the skillet. Besides there was no one to talk to but herself and, right now, the way she was feeling, it was good enough.
Perhaps it was the opium coursing through her that made them so beautiful. Little fried eggs showing up like new suns, waiting to be devoured. Her fork pierced the middle, the yellow sunrays spreading throughout the pan like a new day. The sight was so fascinating; she hesitated before taking a bite. But yes, eat the new day, Savor and enjoy. The egg slid down her eager throat. Taking the remaining butter from beside the stove, she smeared it on her arms, then her breasts. She was a new egg on a new day.