The Stripper by Joseph Ridgwell

That was the stripper’s name
Blonde, voluptuous, with a winning smile
She lived in the apartment opposite mine
And worked in Playbirds International
On the main drag
And also Porkies
In Porkies she did extras
I liked the fact that a stripper lived opposite me
When we passed each other in the hallway
We always said hello
And on the main drag
She would wink at me
And flash that winning smile
One time I was locked out of my apartment
And had to climb through Chantal’s bathroom window
Shin along a drainpipe
Into my open kitchen window
It was an eight floor apartment
Instant death if I fell
But there was no other way in
Afterwards Chantal invited me to hers for a drink
We didn’t talk much
I was slightly overwhelmed
She had travelled down from Brisbane
And wanted to be an actress
I was wearing my hospital porter’s uniform
Black baseball cap, black trousers, striped shirt
Chantal was in a dressing gown
I kept eyeing up her legs on the sly
Nice legs, nice breasts
And that winning smile
I would dearly liked to have shagged her
But after one drink I left
About a month later
The agent appeared at my door
Had I seen Chantal?
I hadn’t
The agent opened the door to her apartment
With a master key
The stench released was overpowering
I gagged
The agent went in and came out
She’s dead, he whispered
I stood there
In my doorway
Not knowing what to do

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