Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dusty Video Box Presents: Introducing Synderella Rose!

Introducing Synderella Rose!
By M. Hadley

The golden mask fell from my trembling hand and slowly fluttered to the floor beside my feet. The masked beauty I yearned for so long was finally revealed before me. Yet, my reaction was not that of pleasure or happiness. Instead, I felt my stomach twist in a Gordian knot, the feeling of nausea creeping inside me. My breath struggled for freedom in my lungs as the shock filtered through my very being.

With saucer-like eyes, I stared at the all-too familiar visage of the woman seductively straddled on my lap, frozen in the midst of her erotic performance. Recognizable brown eyes, thinly disguised by golden contacts, returned my gaze with a mischievous glint.

Well-known lips that brushed my cheek daily as a show of affection now were twisted into a small smirk. Arms that often comforted me in my home life were now encircled around my neck in a lover's embrace.

The only thing different was her aroma, a mixture of honey and chocolate that was her signature fragrance. I tried to convince my mind that this was the factor that separated the two women. But reality slammed into me with the force of a Mack truck. For days now, since I had first laid eyes on her dancing elegantly on stage, I fell in love with the masked exotic dancer known as Synderella Rose.

But under the mask, she was someone else very close and dear to me.

She was Chastity…my little sister.

My brain was still absorbing the shock as I resisted the urge to scream. We said nothing for minutes, only exchanging bewildered glances with each other. I tried to muster the strength to break the silence, but she did it first by grabbing my rapidly shrinking crotch.

"Whoa…" she giggled, which was somewhat forced. "Packing, aren't we?"

"This isn't funny!" I growled, shoving her arms away from my neck. "What the hell…Chastity…how?"

She said nothing, her brown eyes falling to the mask on the floor. She pushed off my lap, regaining her balance on the golden platform shoes she wore. She then knelt down, picked up her mask, and without much fanfare placed it over her eyes once again. I felt myself looking away, half in disgust, and half in guilt, as my pants were shrinking once again.

"Oh my God…" it was now Chastity's…or Synderella Rose's turn to gasp, spotting the reforming spire in my pants. "Nathan…I had no idea…no choice. I had to dance with you…"

Get away, my mind was screaming.

Quickly I obeyed with my feet, dashing out the room towards the exit. But my body forced me to take a detour, as the bile began to revolt in my throat. Into the deserted restroom I went, throwing open the door to the farthest stall. My head found the toilet basin, and I surrendered to my sudden sickness. After the last heave of my stomach, I slumped down on the grimy floor of the stall like a beaten soldier in a trench. I was definitely going to hell for this... and maybe the Jerry Springer show. If only I knew about my sister's secret life! But my ignorance did not steer me from the unsettling thought that was slowly becoming very prominent in my mind.

I was in love with my own sister.

This whole mess started a week ago. It was on a Friday, a sad one because of the dreary gray clouds that shrouded the sun and the pelting rain that came with them. As usual per rainy day, I lounged lazily on the couch, my head buried in a pillow, my finger flicking through the channels at the speed of sound. The television came to rest on a Baywatch movie, which only made me inwardly groan. Baywatch movies were for those men unfortunately forced into celibacy because of their undesirability with the opposite sex. Sadly, as of that Monday before, I was now a new recruit in the ranks. My girlfriend of 12 weeks dumped me, citing differences in preferred lifestyles, whatever that meant.

Personally, I enjoyed the prospect of my weekends being freed up and the company of my best friends once again.

The phone rang on cue. Before I could drag myself off the couch, my mama was already answering it.

"Hey, Nathan! Telephone!" she sang from the kitchen.

"Got it, Mama." I replied, picking up the phone by the couch.

"Whazzzup!!" the gravel-like voice of my best friend Victor leaped from the receiver. "Get up fool! It's the weekend, baby!! And y'know what happens on the weekend…"

"Football?" I said slyly, knowing where this was leading.

"Cute." He chuckled. "No, fool! It's…Booty Time!!"

"Booty Time?" I repeated, failing miserably to hide my excitement. Visions of half-naked women, empty bottles of beer, and booming music floated through my mind. When Victor declared Booty Time on a Friday, it meant only one thing: an all-night trip to that vice known as the strip club.

"Yeah." He said. "Don't tell me you're still shackled up to the warden?!"

"Don't worry, she got kicked to the curb." I said proudly. "Got my Fridays free once again! So, what time we start the party?"

"Same time as usual, partner." He answered. "You know the best booty shakin' starts at 10…or is your mind out of whack from all those months stuck in the house with that bossy girlfriend of yours?"

"Hilarious. So where're we going? I don't know about Princess of Diamonds or Perfect Passion…"

"Don't worry, my newly freed brother. I got the perfect place to celebrate your renewed lease on booty, I mean bachelorhood. Happy Knockers."

"Happy Knockers? The new club in town?"

"Yep, that's the one. Heard it's multicultural up in there. Also heard there's this bad ass stripper up there…fine as hell, thick in the right places, easy on the eyes…and wears this mask…"

"Mask? What is she, Phantom of the Strip Club? She must look like a hound in the face to wear something like that…"

I chuckled at my statement, but my interest was peaked. Over the last few weeks all over campus, I had heard stories about a masked stripper that was the main sensation of the club, and was probably the reason why the competitors were losing business.

"We'll see tonight about that." Victor said on the other end. "I've got to go get ready for the festivities. See ya later."

As I hung up the phone, I felt myself tingling with excitement. There was finally something to look forward to! Even though it was storming outside, it felt to me like the sun had just exploded from the clouds. Quick as lightning I was in my room, rummaging through my wardrobe for just the right outfit to wear. A silk shirt and some slacks were pieced together in my search. Like a child waiting for Christmas, I counted down the hours until it was 9:00 that night. The honk of Victor's car horn alerting me of his presence was one of the most joyous sounds I had heard in a while.

As I slid into the front seat of Victor's Oldsmobile, the blaring tenor vocals of Jay-Z hammered my eardrums like a meaty fist.

"Hey man, cut that down!" I yelled over the teeth-shaking bass.

"What? Kill the hound?" Victor leaned his ear closer, both hands on the steering wheel, his long dreads draping over the cup holders in-between the two seats.

"I said, TURN THAT DAMN MUSIC DOWN!" I nearly screamed into his ear.

"Chill, cuz!" Victor jumped back as if struck, and quickly complied. "Shit man, you nearly blew my ear off with your loud ass voice."

"Surprised the music hasn't done that already." Bryan said from the backseat. "And he wonders why he can't pass the hearing test at work."

Bryan was my other best friend, your average nice guy with glasses, a living stereotype. He and Victor were exact opposites. While Victor was a party animal, a devout womanizer, and part-time alcoholic, Bryan was a homebody whose strongest drink was Coke, hold the vanilla. Usually, he was the automatic designated driver in our late night ventures, since both Victor and I would have too high an alcohol level to legally drive.

"Shut up, fool." Victor snapped playfully, pulling into the street. "Anyway…hey, Nathan. Where's that bootylicious sister of yours? Ain't seen those two big round spheres of hers since some weeks back."

"That's because she's working nights now." I told him. "Remember I told ya about it? Real late shift at FedEx. She doesn't get off until early morning…then she sleeps most of the day and goes to school in the afternoons."

"Damn…" Victor marveled. "She's really trying to make that cheddar."

I nodded, somewhat proud of my sister's work ethnic. However, because of her success, I was often the target of my parents' scorn, a failure in their eyes. So what if I was a college dropout who lived at home and earned minimum wage? Not everyone could be the perfect son or daughter.

The ride stretched into infinity. Even with us jiving and talking about failed relationships and women, the streets crawled by at a slug's pace. I fiddled with the thick wad of cash in my pocket, knowing by midnight that the bulk of it would be in the G string of some luscious stripper.

Finally, we finally pulled up into the expansive parking lot of Happy Knockers. My eyes nearly fell out of my head at the exquisite design of the building. Hanging a few feet over the entrance was a huge multicolored neon sign with the glowing words "HAPPY KNOCKERS" prominently displayed in the night, accented by a neon drawing of a very well-endowed woman flaunting her assets. Two large spotlights, like the ones used in the state fairs, were on both sides of a red carpet that stretched to double golden doors.

Victor had never parked the car so fast.

Seconds later, we stood before the magnificent structure, trying our best to keep our composure despite the awe that pulsated inside us. After enjoying the sight for a few seconds, we then took a stroll down the red carpet and were stopped at the doors by two tall blonde women dressed in tuxedos. I found myself instinctively jumping back. Both women were massive, about 6 feet tall, with arms and legs as stout as tree trunks. They looked like participants in a Mr. Universe pageant.

"Well, well…" Victor gave them the look-over, shifting into his "playa" mode for getting the ladies. "Which one of you is Mrs. Charles Atlas?"

Both blondes glanced at each other and blushed.

"10 dollars." One of them said, her light female voice betraying her beefy form. Without looking directly at them, I quickly paid and entered the door with Bryan following close behind. The very thought of those budging biceps made me uneasy. Victor stayed behind, no doubt to see if he could obtain two additional numbers for his already overstocked black book.

The throbbing melodies of the 80s' hit "Maniac" reached my ears, and I knew I was home. We entered the spacious ballroom, dimly lit, with small tables surrounding a large hardwood platform. On the platform, a beautiful Asian woman twirled salaciously on a silver pole, her body bare for all the patrons to see.

Surrounding the platform was that selfsame clientele, their sweaty hands raised in the air displaying dollar bills, and their mouths urging her on. Cigarette smoke hung over most of the room like an English fog, burning my nostrils.

We took a table not to close to the stage, and watched the Asian dancer finish her performance and gather her tips. A redheaded waitress, wearing a tight skirt that did nothing to hide her curves, walked up and whipped out a pad.

"Welcome to Happy Knockers, where we'll satisfy you anyway possible." She recited with a falsely wide smile. "What will you have to drink?"

"Colt 45." I said automatically.

"A small Coke, please." Bryan said.

"And you sir?" she turned to Victor, sliding into his chair just in time.

"Courvoisier." He said. "The whole bottle."

As soon as the waitress disappeared to take care of our orders, we were besieged by a platoon of dancers, eager to earn their revenue. They circled us like vultures, ready to scavenge the contents of our pockets.

"How would you like me to dance?" an attractive Latino wearing some very formfitting hot pants cooed as she settled in my lap, rubbing her naked back gently against my chest. As she lean her head back on my shoulder, her long raven hair spilled close to my nose, the fresh scent of roses tickling my nostrils. She was tempting…but no.

It was too early in the night. Besides, my mind was on the masked stripper.

"Sorry, but maybe…later?" I said softly. She rose from her position, a mixture of disgust and disappointment flashing across her face. Quickly it changed to a smile as she approached Bryan.

"Later." He dismissed her before she could even get to his seat. Not deterred in her mission, the stripper continued at another table. Meanwhile, Victor had the Asian dancer from earlier on his lap, laughing with her on something, probably one of his stale jokes. She leaned over and whispered something in his ear, which quickly caused him to jump to his feet. Bryan and I exchanged glances, knowing that Victor was going for his first of many private lap dances that night.

"Be right back." He called over his shoulder. "Me and Miss Noi are going to have a little T and A…I mean Q and A."

"Have fun." I laughed as Miss Noi led him through the labyrinth of tables and chairs into the hidden private rooms beyond. Seconds later, our drinks arrived, and we reclined in our chairs to watch yet another dancer, this one a shapely brunette, shaking her moneymaker for us.

"So…when is she going to dance for us?" I asked excitedly, taking a sip of my liquor.

"Who?" Bryan mumbled, his eyes glued to the brunette's naked posterior.

"That masked stripper…the famous one I keep hearing about."

I suddenly saw Bryan's eyes widen behind his glasses, and suspicion arose in me. Being best friends with the guy for years, I always knew when he was hiding something from me, which was whenever he did that. I pretended not to notice his reaction.

"I…I don't know." He took a long swallow of his Coke. "M-Maybe she's already gone man…y'know, she's probably a dancer for the seven o' clock crowd…"

"Hope not." I said, almost on the verge of praying. I had no idea why, but I just had to see her for myself.

The brunette completed her strip routine, collected her money from the customers, and sauntered offstage. I sat up, hoping that the next act would be the mysterious woman.

"Gentlemen…and ladies…coming to the stage is the crowned jewel of our dancers…" the announcer's voice reverberated proudly from the speakers. "Words can't describe her magnificence. I only hope you guys out there don't go broke from tipping her. Without further adieu…introducing…Synderella Rose!!"

"Er…excuse me for a minute." Bryan practically hopped out of his seat and rushed off before I could ask him why. Now I knew something was up. But before I could pursue investigation, the room was plunged into darkness.

The opening overture of the 70s' Commodores' classic, "Brickhouse" came to life in the room. The first lights to illuminate the darkness were the ones surrounding the stage, slowly revealing a very feminine silhouette standing elegantly on it. The normal lights followed, finally displaying this enigmatic figure to the spectators.

I was at the edge of my seat, gripping the chair arms excitedly. It was her! The masked stripper!

As she began her seductive dance, I found myself entranced by the beautiful goddess before me. She had copper skin, covered with golden glitter that endowed her with a shimmer that rivaled the splendor of the ancient goddesses of mythological lore. Her well-developed form displayed the perfect physical traits I craved; it oozed with the sensuality of Halle Berry, blended with the shapeliness of Beyonce. She was clad in the standard clothing of an exotic stripper: a golden bra, a matching loincloth that barely clung to her thick hips, and twin golden bracelets that encircled her wrists. Yet, her greatest feature of all, her face…was hidden behind a golden mask that covered most of it, with the exception of her ruby lips and chin. Long curly golden hair spilled over her shoulders, bouncing with every graceful pivot and spin she took despite the golden platform heels she wore.

In her performance, she seemed to strike the perfect balance between unrefined and elegance. Beautiful ballerina twirls were correlated with floor leg splits. And the way she seemingly slid up the pole, legs spread so wide that it seemed she would break into two…I had never seen anything like it. Off came the loincloth, showing the matching G string underneath. The "Brickhouse" lyrics were so distant that they were barely registering in my brain. So were the cheers and voices of my fellow audience members.

At that moment there were only two people in that room: Synderella Rose and me.

The masked dancer made the motion to remove her top garment, her slender fingers playing alluringly with the straps. Suddenly she hesitated for a fraction of a second, her gaze falling on me. I felt a wave of nervousness. Was I that obvious? Did she know how quickly I had become so fond of her? Of course she does, I told myself. She clearly knew how potent her charms were.

Then, the unexpected happen. Still teasing us with her bra straps, Synderella danced off stage into the crowd. In droves, customers loaded her G string with dead presidents. She grinned at them mischievously, giving them tiny peeks under her bra, but just as quickly covering it up. She was closing in on my table, and I found myself panicking, worried that I would not be able to contain my excitement in a mature fashion.

In a New York minute, she stood arms' length before me. I gave her a feeble smile, the only response my face could manage at the moment. With delicate dominance, she shoved my legs opened and pressed her groin against mine, dancing in my very grasp. I felt as if I would melt from the heat of the passion. Her hands pushed on my shoulders, lifting her covered face to mine at eye level. For a moment I could see her eyes through the slits of her mask. They were gold, seemingly glowing in spite of the dim lighting of the room.

"Who…" I tried to force my mouth to utter, to ask who she was. But my tongue, like the rest of my body, lay suspended before the masked vixen.

She placed a silencing finger to my mouth. Then, without warning, she gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

To me, that kiss lasted an eternity. That was when I knew that Synderella Rose held my heart. There was no doubt in my mind that she was the woman I wanted to be with.

After the kiss, she slowly stood up and finally gave us a view of the goods with a showy flick of the wrist. The customers went wild. With a trembling hand, I reached out to her with a crisp fifty dollar bill, the highest I had ever tipped a stripper. But she pushed my hand back, refusing to take what she had very rightfully earned. As "Brickhouse" wounded down to its last note, she turned from me and made her way through the patrons of the surrounding tables. Before long, I saw her vanish into the dressing rooms, and I felt sad to see her go. However, the fragrance she had left behind, a unique blend of honey and chocolate, warmed my heart, and influenced even more images of her lovely form in my mind.

For the rest of that night, I had no interest in other strippers. I hoped that the masked one would have a return appearance, but it was not to be. On the way home in the early morning hours, I was silent, my mind swarming with only one name: Synderella Rose. She was there, in my head, smiling with those red lips, golden eyes twinkling behind that mask that successfully hid her.

Even in my dreams that night, I could not escape the mysterious dancer. In the week that followed, she haunted my thoughts daily, always bringing a sense of nirvana. I found myself smiling at nothing, a joyful spring in my step. It did not matter anymore about my old girlfriend or my burger joint employment. All I had to do was think about that Friday, about Synderella Rose dancing between my legs, about that delightful fragrance…and all my ills were no more.

I did not return to the club until Wednesday. Being in the middle of the week, it was not as packed as the Friday before last, which was a good thing. This was also bad, since with less tippers came more strippers in my direction. I was practically swarmed by them before the lights went off and the Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady" boomed over the amplifiers.

As it had a few nights earlier, the lights did their sequence, once again showcasing my Synderella Rose. Instantly my attention was spellbound by the graceful motions of her body. When she finished and stepped off the platform, I decided to approach her, once again holding the fifty in my hand to give to her. As I drew near, her golden haired head turned to me and I saw those golden eyes widened behind the slits in her mask. She seemed startled to see me.

"Here." I handed her the bill. "Once again you've done another wonderful performance."

She nodded, gently taking the money from my hand and sticking it in her G-string. My heart went wild at the surge of her scent tickled my nose.

I reached into my pocket and withdrew another fifty. "I…I want a private dance…from you." I told her nervously.

She looked into my eyes, leaned forward, and wrapped her arms around my neck. "A dance only cost twenty." She said in a low tone. Her voice seemed strangely familiar to me, but I could not place it.

"F-for you, I'll pay anything…" I whispered.

She unwounded her arms and took a cautious step back.

"Don't worry!" I added quickly. "I'm not some sick perverted stalker or anything…I just find you…hell, I can't get you off of my mind. There, I said it."

I look away, ashamed of my admittance. I expected her to walk off, or call those muscle-bound blondes. But she did neither. Instead, I felt her hand on my face as she pulled it towards her lips.

"My shift is already over." She whispered in my ear. "How about Friday? I'll give you a very…very special dance…one that you will never forget. Don't worry about paying. You've given me enough already."

I nearly fainted when I heard those words. A private dance? Just her and me? In real life as opposed to daydreams? Why hadn't I done this sooner?

"Alright then." I grinned, trying to keep my composure. "Friday, it's a date then."

"If you say so…" she giggled. "I have to go. Be seeing you."

I watched as she walked away, her hips swaying to an unknown melody. Friday already seemed to be a years away, and I had to find someway to cope until then. When Thursday came, I distracted myself by hanging out with my friends and watching a movie with Chastity that night. It was rare for her to be at home that late, for she was usually rushing out for her FedEx job. But tonight, she decided to take a vacation. As we sat on the couch together, enjoying a film, I noticed the sad expression on her face. This was peculiar, since we were watching the latest Dave Chappelle movie.

"What's up?" I asked her.

"Hmmm?" she looked at me, sadness transforming into puzzlement.

"You look like you're a pallbearer for some funeral." I said. "Did somebody get shot?"

"No." she answered. "I'm just…just thinking about some stuff…"

"What?" I pressed, curious. "Is it about school? I thought you were making the 'A's."

"I am, trust me."

"Then what is it? Somebody got on your nerves at work?"

"What's it to you?" she was on the defensive.

"Big Bro, remember?" I pointed to myself. "I'm your in-house shrink. C'mon, tell me what's going on?"

"No." she said quietly, looking back at the television. "I don't want to talk about it. Let's just watch the movie."

"Alright, keep it bottled up inside…"

She glared at me with narrowed eyes before rising from her seat. "I'll see you in the morning." She said over her shoulder as she stalked to her room. Feeling guilty and confused at the same time, I returned my attention to the TV, but Chappelle was not funny anymore.

Friday finally came, and the hours drifted by. For the occasion, I selected my best silk shirt and pants combo, and drenched myself in cologne. After picking up a red rose from the florist shop, I drove to the club, whistling the "Brickhouse" tune. When I arrived in the crowded ballroom, I picked a table as close to the stage as I could possibly get without directly standing on it.

Synderella Rose made her usual entrance, and performed her number. Soon as she finished, she made a beeline directly to me.

"Ready for that date, er-"

"Nathan, Synderella." I grinned. "Are you kidding? I've been waiting all week for this!"

"Well, let's not keep you waiting any longer…" her ruby lips curled into a sexy smile. Gently, she grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet. She then led me around the tables, people, and chairs to the section in the back where the private dance rooms were. My heart skipped a beat. My dreams were finally becoming reality.

We entered a small room, which smelled sterile. Flowery wallpaper was on the walls, clashing with the stark red carpet on the floor. A beige couch provided even more conflict to the setting. Of course, one did not come back here to give the room a critique…one comes here for sexual pleasure.

She shoved me on the couch, where I obediently sat still. She started her dance, tracing her hands up and down her body, and shaking her rounded posterior before me. With barely little control, I resisted the urge to grab her. My pants began to shrink as she mounted my rising crotch. She beamed wickedly as she pressed herself against me. Her scent taunted me, driving me mad with infatuation.

I felt my hand reaching up to her mask. No! I yelled at myself. You are not supposed to touch her!

Do it. Another voice was chanting in my mind. Unmask her.

No! I yelled back. It's wrong!

But temptation got the better of me. Before I realized what I had done, her mask was fluttering to the floor…

I heave into the toilet once again. I could hear her hitting on the door, yelling my name, but I didn't move. I heard the door creak on its hinges, and rapid footsteps to the stall where I lay. The door opened, and my sister stood over me. She was not Synderella Rose anymore. The mask was gone, and so was the golden hair, now uncolored into her normal black hair. Her lips weren't ruby red, but wiped clean of any lipstick. She now wore a "Happy Knockers" T-shirt and some leggings to cover Synderella Rose's beautiful legs.

"Oh God, Nat. I'm so sorry." She semi-sobbed. "I was so stupid…I thought it was a one night thing…"

"You led me on for days, didn't you?!" I accused angrily. "What kind of person would do that to their own brother? What possessed you to fuck with me like that?!"

"I had no choice, Nat." she replied sadly. "When I first saw you…I panicked. You probably didn't notice, but I did. I had to do something to throw off suspicion that you were linked to me-"

"You kissed me, damn it!" I screamed. "And the fucked up thing about it was I longed for those lips of yours, among other things! Don't you know what they do to people who want to fuck their own sisters?!"

"Nathan…please. I was…was wrong for doing what I did. But…I was someone else at the time. I was Synderella Rose. I had to maintain my identity, my disguise."

"Y'know, you're pretty twisted." I snapped. "Maybe it's not me wanting to fuck you, but the reverse. Isn't that right, 'Synderella Rose'?"

"Don't try to turn this sick crap on me, 'bro'."

"See! See what I'm talking about! So it is sick! It's not my fault! I had no idea that it was you-!"

Chastity opened her mouth to retort, but closed it. A chuckle escaped her lips, followed by another. Soon, she was laughing, steadying herself on the wall to maintain her balance.

"What's so damn funny?" I snarled, ready to leap up and choke her.
"You dumb ass." she gasped between peals. "You didn't fall in love with me. You fell in love with her, with Synderella Rose, the character. Don't you realize that?"

I considered for a moment. Her explanation ranged true. But yet, I should have recognized my sister behind that mask. I've lived with her for years, shared the same meal table, yet I did not recognize her body, posture, or voice. Was she that good at disguising herself in the persona of Synderella Rose…so good that even my parents would not recognize her? Or did I deliberately ignore the signs and symptoms? Maybe I did, on some subconscious level, loved my sister a little too much.

Maybe I was one of those sick individuals that Jerry Springer invited on his show.

"It's not that simple, Chastity." I said quietly, rising from my position on the nasty floor. "It's not that simple."

I pushed past her and exited the restroom, head bowed, and hands in pockets. My heart was shredded the pieces by the simultaneous loss of my love and the betrayal of my sister. I left the club, not looking back as my sister screamed for my return.

No. I was not going back. Not for Synderella Rose, not for Chastity. I was going to do the exact opposite. I was going to go far, far away.

Far away from the golden mask.

Far away from the scent of honey and chocolate.

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