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Desdmona's Erotic Story Contests
2004 Fishnet Flash Contest
Second Prize

Hook and Ladder

I spot my next mark halfway down the street. A businessman, mind on his next meeting.

“Hey, mister,” I say from the alley. He ignores me. Some do. Some glare. Some reach automatically for change. “Hey,” I repeat. “Can I have a dollar?”

He stops and turns. “What is it?” he barks. “Bus ticket? Job across town? Come on, what are they calling a bottle of Thunderbird today?”

I grin. I know what I look like. Fuck, I know what I smell like. But I’m thin with small, pointed breasts, and my eyes are wide and dark, and once they get a good look, they always stop a minute. Always.

“No booze,” I tell him. “No crack. None of that shit for this girl. That’ll fuck you up.”

“Well?” His voice has softened. Not much. He’s still half-in, half-out. I bait the hook.

“Stockings,” I say, and I raise my skirt. Calf, knee, mid-thigh. He steps toward the alley, to get a better look, to see if he can believe his eyes: those slender legs, that garter belt, that whispery sound.

“What would a girl like you do with stockings?” he asks. He is hoarse.

A thousand things, I could say. Filter drinking water. Make a slingshot, less for the rats than for the dogs. Tie down your possessions on windy nights. Disguise yourself, protect from sun, add layers when it’s fucking freezing out.

“Make a guy like you crazy,” I tell him.

He’s too smart to fuck me there in the alley, even in shadow. Who knows what I might have? A gun, a knife, AIDS. But when he gives me the twenty, his hands are shaking. Thanks for the hard-on, kid. I’m still a good liberal, right? Right?

Thanks for the stockings, mister. Right.

Selena Jardine had an extremely proper and altogether admirable family upbringing, an over-educated and entirely respectable adulthood and professional life, and a reputation as a perfectly well-mannered lady. And then she spoiled it all by starting to write smut, and loving it. Dear, dear.

She is utterly addicted to writing acidic, bittersweet flash.

When Selena is not off forming impressionable young minds during her day job, she may be found at Ruthie’s Club ( and at ASSTR (

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To: Selena Jardine

Desdmona's Erotic Story Contests
2004 Fishnet Flash Contest
Second Prize