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Shut Your Mouth

I distinctively remember this street – I’m so sure I’ve walked it before. The awkward click of my heels on concrete reminds me where I’m going. A thirteen year old B grade whore.

Whisps of hair tickle my back and I remind myself to smile when he opens the door. I check my phone for the time. Five past four.

You must be Lisa.

Must I?

I say I am. I look old enough, but the infantile lilt in my voice tells all. Hayden tells me to shut my mouth unless I’m moaning, so I don’t say much more.

He says I can call him Joe but I call him nothing.

We can’t do it in the bed – his mum will know when she cleans the sheets. So we do it on the floor. It’s filthy dirty, smells like piss and makes me itchy but I dare not protest in case he doesn’t give me the fifty.

He doesn’t wear a condom and he smells like bongs, but at least he’s quick. I often thank God for small mercies.

While he cleans up I think of places I want to visit – small English towns full of people who don’t know me… full of people who haven’t fucked me. I glance at the clock. Quarter past four. Joe hands me a fifty and shows me to the door.

I carry my heels as I walk away and I’ll shower ten times today.

Shut Your Mouth

Melissa Vowell

Slacks Creek, Australia

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