Not exactly a story full of the holiday spirit. But I hope a Club story will make a nice addition to cover my domain foul-up. Have a very Merry Christmas.
Emily the oldest worked at a bank. Dorothy was interning as a legal secretary. Winifred had a fiancé and it was getting serious. And Zilpha, the youngest, had gotten a job at one of the local museums.
The sisters were close and enjoyed spending time with each other. But their lives were already starting to pull them apart in different directions. It was a part of life, but they wanted one last holiday together. Somehow they managed to arrange their schedules to coincide with each other.
They saved up enough money for a trip to America. There were big cities, famous landmarks, National Parks, and all sorts of historical sites to see. They had enough money between them for a couple of weeks. But they were thinking they should only be gone seven or eight days before returning back to England to their busy lives.
The first couple of days were spent on the East coast sightseeing. In the evenings they made their way to a bar not far from their motel. They loved to spend some time discussing the day’s events before retiring to their motel for the night.
On that second night at the bar they were in the process of trying to decide if they wanted to go to a nightclub for some dancing or simply head back to their room. That’s when they attracted the attention of a couple who’d been inadvertently eavesdropping. They were in their late twenties and introduced themselves as Bjorn and Sherise Johansson from Sweden.
The ladies invited them to come sit with them. The couple got chairs and joined them at their table. Dorothy offered to refresh their drinks, which they happily accepted.
“We couldn’t help overhearing your conversation,” Sherise began. “We think we may have the answer to your question of how to spend one of your evenings.”
“If you’re looking for a nightspot, we know of a special place,” Bjorn added.
“It’s this Club on the edge of the city,” his wife continued as they alternated back and forth. “It has gambling and dancing. But there’s much more to it than that.”
“So much more,” her husband agreed with a knowing smile. “Especially if you want to gamble with something other than money.”
When the sisters pressed them for more information they were told the Club was famous for the occasional execution. “There’s even a roulette wheel by the Entertainment stage,” Bjorn told them. “We’ve heard you can take a risky ride on the guillotine while they spin the wheel. They even have two guillotines to ride. That means on those rare occasions when both guillotines are in use, you’re virtually guaranteed to see a woman lose her head.”
“We didn’t see any deaths the night we were there,” Sherise told them, sounding disappointed. “But we did watch a few videos. It would have been terribly exciting getting to witness a beheading for real. So we’re thinking about going back tomorrow night before we head back to Sweden.”
“A real guillotine?” Zilpha asked, her curiosity aroused. “I work at a museum back home. We have a guillotine set up in the back. But I not sure it’s ever been used. I think it’s just for show.”
“Well this place has a working one for sure,” Sherise said with a twinkle in her eye. “They even have back rooms where you can have sex with anyone you want. And if you don’t want to die in public, you can rent a private execution room if you want. They call them ‘snuff rooms’.”
The other sisters looked at the couple in wide-eyed disbelief. They were not sure they believed the Johanssons. Their story seemed much too improbable to believe.
The couple had interesting stories of other sights they’d seen. The rest of the evening was spent regaling each other about places where they’d been. But when the hour got late the Swedes finally decided to call it a night.
They thanked the sisters for the drinks before heading back to their motel. After they were gone Dorothy suggested they all get to bed as well since they had another active day planned for tomorrow. But that crazy story about the Club and those guillotines had taken root in Zilpha’s mind.
The next day was full of more tours and sightseeing. The sisters had a great time together until the sun went down. Then it was back to that very same bar for drinks and reminiscing.
While nursing her drink Zilpha brought up the idea of going to check out that Club previously mentioned by the Johanssons. Her sisters suspected she only wanted to go just to see a working guillotine. But it soon became evident Winifred had been giving it some thought as well.
Even Dorothy couldn’t help confessing some curiosity. Emily was the only one to express her reservations. So the subject was tabled for a later date.
The following day involved more sightseeing. By the time the sun was going down, the subject of the so-called “Snuff Club” had come up again. Zilpha and Winifred were growing insatiably curious. Even Dorothy was leaning toward checking the place out.
Emily was hungry and wanted to have a little supper first. So they visited the restaurant adjacent to the bar they usually frequented. The Club was not brought up again as they discussed landmarks they had visited.
After supper they went into the lounge for drinks. Zilpha and Winifred kept looking around as though hoping to run into the Johanssons. But the couple never materialized.
“The night’s still early,” Zilpha remarked as she checked her watch. Then she turned to the sister they all considered their unofficial leader.
“Dottie, what do you say we go have a look at that Club those Swedes were talking about the other day.”
“Still thinking about that guillotine?” Dorothy replied with a chuckle. “Do you really believe that story they told us? They don’t do things like that over here in America. That’s more of a French or English thing from past history. Their guillotines probably sit off in a corner of the building somewhere.”
“But what if they do? Wouldn’t it be the highlight of our trip to go visit the Club? Wouldn’t it be something if we actually got to witness a real beheading?”
“Do you really want to witness someone losing their head, love? Are you that curious?”
“Aren’t you?” Winifred interjected, sounding like she too wanted to go. “I can’t stop thinking about it! I don’t know, love. It just sounds… sexy I guess. Don’t you want to find out if that crazy story they told us the other day is true? It’s only across town.”
Dorothy frowned at her before turning to their silent sister. “What do you think, Emily? You haven’t said too much about it.”
“It sounds crazy to me, love. But if everyone wants to go check it out, then I guess I’m in. It might make for an amusing evening. Personally I’m wondering if that couple was referring to some museum pieces they saw. That’s probably what’s got Zilpha so fascinated.”
Everyone seemed willing to go. Besides, the night was still young. And after all, hadn’t that couple mentioned gambling and dancing going on at that Club as well?
“Ok,” Dorothy said as she stood up. “I’ll pay the tab. Emily can call for a taxi to get us all over there. I guess it’s only fair Zilpha gets to see her guillotine.” Their youngest almost let out a squeal of glee as excitement filled her features.
They were able to access a minivan to take them over. The sisters were dropped off outside the building, only to discover a line of women waiting behind a rope to get inside. They looked around in surprise, wondering what they were supposed to do next.
“The line doesn’t seem to be moving,” Zilpha quietly told her sisters. “Do we have to wait out here to get in? I’m not sure I want to see what’s inside if it’s going to take forever just to get to the door.”
They had just starting discussing how to get back to their motel when one of the bouncers at the front door smiled and waved them to come closer. They looked at each other in confusion before heading over as a group. But as they cautiously approached, they were hailed by several ladies asking to be taken inside.
The sisters timidly got behind their spokesman Dorothy as they walked up to the bouncer. The gentleman certainly seemed handsome enough. He smiled as he asked, “Can I help you ladies?”
“We’re from out of the country,” Dorothy told him, embarrassed at stating the obvious since her accent was a dead giveaway. “We were told about this place and were curious. We, uh… we thought we might do a little… gambling.” In her mind was the image of a slot machine, the safest thing she could think of.
“Did you ladies bring any money with you?”
“Oh we have plenty,” she reassured him. “But I’m not sure how much gambling we were planning on doing tonight.”
Dorothy’s response made him smile even more. “Let me take you ladies inside and see what we can do.” Then he turned and led them to the door.
Several women in line cried out to be taken inside with them. Dorothy and her siblings tried to ignore them. That’s when Zilpha quietly asked her why the other women were being made to wait out in line.
“You expect me to know that?” Dorothy whispered in reply as they followed the bouncer inside.
“Don’t you know everything?”
“Oh, don’t be silly.”
They were led up to a counter manned by an attractive woman wearing an attendant’s uniform. She smiled warmly at them as she asked, “Can I help you ladies?”
“We’re here to, uh…” Dorothy wasn’t sure quite how to phrase it.
“We’re here to gamble!” Zilpha blurted out.
“Yeah, we’re here to gamble… and maybe do a little dancing?”
“Splendid!” the attendant told them as she reached behind her desk. Then she pulled out four small, very curious looking items.
“Would you please insert these into your belly buttons? Then we’ll proceed to get your pagers all set up.”
“Belly buttons?” Dorothy repeated dubiously as she picked one up and dubiously examined it. It looked like it had a sharp needle-like point sticking out of it.
“They’re pregnancy sensors, ladies. They alert the Club if you get pregnant while you’re here. If a woman gets pregnant, she is summarily executed up on the Entertainment Stage or off in a private snuff room.”
They stared at her in shock. Zilpha couldn’t believe it. “You mean they are really executed here if they get pregnant?? Bloody hell!”
The attendant smiled as she asked, “No one in your group has had any unprotected sex recently, have they? It would be a shame if a sensor popped before you got too far inside the facility.”
“No – no – no!” Winifred stammered with a dismissive wave. “We’re, uh… we’re not here for the sex or anything like that. We just want to, uh… gamble.” She wanted to say they were there to see the guillotines. But she decided against it.
“I’m sorry, ladies. But if you enter the Club, you must wear your pregnancy sensor. That way if something unfortunate happens while you engage in risky sex, the sensor will record it. If it pops, you’ll get to see our Entertainment Stage up close and personal. That’s probably the biggest gamble we offer here at the Club. At least you’ll probably get to choose the manner of your death.”
“M-Manner of our d-death?” Emily stammered nervously. Then she turned toward their leader.
“Uh, D-Dottie? I’m not sure we want to do this tonight; are you?”
Dorothy laughed nervously to hide the knot in her stomach. “No, love; you’re right. We’re not interested in any kind of risky sex. We just wanted to do a little gambling… maybe a little dancing and sightseeing since we were told this is a very unique establishment. But if we have to wear these uh… things… then we certainly aren’t interested in going inside. Right, girls?”
Emily shook their head while Winifred acted uncertain. But Zilpha was still curious despite the possibility of danger. Fearing their opportunity might be slipping away, she leaned closer and whispered, “Dottie? Can’t we get inside? I really want to see their guillotine!”
Emily patted her shoulder reassuringly. “I don’t think we should risk it, love. It’s just not worth it, not for some museum pieces.”
“Museum pieces?” the attendant replied in confusion.
“Zilpha and Winnie here think you have some museum pieces clear in the back,” Dorothy explained. “At least that’s what we were led to believe. But Emily’s right. I think we’d better not. If we have to stick these things in our bellies for a pregnancy risk when we aren’t even planning on having any sex, then I don’t think it’s worth it. We’re not here to shag or anything like that.”
She smiled at the attendant before thanking her for her time. Then she apologized for bothering her. “Oh, it’s no bother, miss,” the woman replied with a smile. “I’m just sorry you didn’t get to see the interior of our establishment.”
The attendant paused thoughtfully as the sisters put the pregnancy sensors back on the counter. Then she asked, “You say all you want to do is a little gambling and dancing?”
“And to see your guillotine,” Zilpha hastily added, stating what she’d come to see the most.
“Let me see what I can do.” Then the attendant turned away, picked up a counter phone and placed a call.
Her voice was low and quiet. But Dorothy was able to pick up bits and pieces of conversation. “…four girls… no sex… just want to gamble… see the stage… maybe some dancing…”
They waited patiently before Emily suggested they should just call a cab. Winifred was still undecided, although she was starting to lean toward leaving. Of the four, Zilpha was the most disappointed.
Dorothy finally told them it wasn’t worth the risk. She waved at the attendant in the midst of the call, telling her, “Thanks anyway, love. But we’d better be going.”
The sisters moved toward the exit, Zilpha the more dejected of the quartet. Emily tried to console her by saying they could check out some museums tomorrow. Dorothy agreed, saying it was going to be getting late if they stayed too long.
They were almost to the door when the attendant called out, “Just a moment, ladies! I have Mr. Rick on the line. He’s the co-owner of the Club. He says if you’ll wait a moment he’ll be more than happy to come and give you a personal tour.”
They all paused in astonishment. Zilpha felt a renewed surge of hope as Winifred began to get excited again. But Dorothy was embarrassed a VIP of the Club was coming to escort them inside.
“Co-owner? My goodness, love! Don’t go to any trouble on our account!”
“Oh, no trouble at all. I told him you were visiting from out of town. He told me he’d be happy to show you around. He’s on his way.”
“Well, if we can get in…” Zilpha started to say, sounding hopeful.
“Maybe we’d better not,” Emily mused thoughtfully, the more concerned of the group.
About that time the door opened, allowing in the sounds of the casino beyond. A man in his mid-thirties in a black tuxedo walked into the foyer while pocketing his iPhone. “Mr. Rick?” the attendant motioned. “These are the ladies I was telling you about.”
He smiled at her before turning to address the sisters. “Good evening, ladies. Welcome to our Club. Everyone here calls me Mr. Rick.”
Dorothy blushed at the star treatment they were receiving. Then she introduced herself and the others, telling him they were all sisters having come over from England. He smiled and nodded, welcoming them to America.
“I understand you ladies would like a little tour. And I understand you might be interested in doing a little gambling without being forced to wear the pregnancy sensors?”
“Would that be possible?” Zilpha asked hopefully.
Emily gave her a scowl before telling him, “We don’t want to impose or to violate any of your rules.”
“As co-owner I’m allowed the occasional transgression, so long as it follows the spirit of the Club. Now if you’ll follow me.”
Zilpha and Winifred eagerly pushed forward while Emily was hesitant. Dorothy told her they might as well go inside, especially since they were here and were about to receive the grand tour from the Club co-owner.
Mr. Rick thanked the attendant for her services. Then he led the sisters through the double doors into the casino. They were immediately hit full in the face with the sights and sounds of numerous slot machines.
He led them around, showing them rows of machines as well as several gambling tables. Then he leaned closer as though trying to be heard. “I understand you’d like to see our Entertainment Stage? It’s right this way, ladies!”
He took them to what seemed like the back of the facility. The sisters gasped in awe when they arrived and saw what was on the platform. The roulette wheel on the main floor was in operation, but otherwise the implements of death were silent yet imposing.
“Bloody hell!” Zilpha gasped in awe as she looked at everything. “Do you… I mean do you really… USE those things?? Do you really have executions up on that stage?”
“Had a lovely beheading just last night,” he told them with a smile. “It was a lady from overseas as I recall.” Then he pointed at the black guillotine as he remarked, “You can still see some of the stains. After so many beheadings, the blood kind of sticks and becomes a permanent discoloration.”
The sisters looked at the guillotine in breathless wonder, feeling varying degrees of awe as well as a certain element of perverse arousal. Dorothy and Zilpha wondered if it could have been that Swedish girl they’d met a couple nights ago. There was a certain curiosity about what might have happened to her. On the other hand, they weren’t sure they really wanted to know.
Mr. Rick smiled at them. “I understand you ladies might be interested in doing a little gambling?”
“I’m not sure…” Emily murmured uncertainly.
“Could we, uh… I don’t, uh…” But Zilpha didn’t finish the thought as she didn’t even know what she was asking for.
Mr. Rick smiled at her. “I can take you ladies back to a private gambling room if you’d like.”
“A private room?” Dorothy repeated uncertainly. She didn’t know whether this was a good idea or not.
“Of course. That way we will be undisturbed for the duration of your visit. Now if you ladies will follow me.”
Once more he led them off. Zilpha and Winifred trembled with excitement, their knickers becoming damp. Emily was concerned they might be getting themselves into something unpleasant and dangerous. Dorothy was cautiously optimistic.
They followed him to what seemed to be a lone room in the corner of the building. He used a pager on his belt to get them inside. The sisters stepped through the door, wondering what they were going to encounter.
The lights came on, revealing a roulette wheel, a card table, and a small table with numbers and an elevated perimeter used for throwing dice. A heavy curtain blocked off part of the room. Mr. Rick sat down at the card table while the ladies all joined him by sitting in chairs on the opposite side as though he’d just become their dealer.
Almost immediately an attendant appeared in the doorway with a tray of drinks. “Would you ladies like some refreshments?” Mr. Rick asked, motioning at her and the tray. They all appreciatively took something, leaving a few glasses remaining on the tray as she walked back out.
“So what would you ladies like to play?” Mr. Rick asked with a smile.
“I don’t know,” Dorothy replied uncertainly as she looked at her sisters. None of them knew what games they should try.
“What are the stakes?” Zilpha wanted to know.
“That’s a very good question,” he answered with a knowing look. “This place is frequently referred to as a Snuff Club. If that’s the case, what do YOU think the stakes should be?”
Emily nervously asked, “Are you suggesting we actually wager… with our lives??”
“Are there any higher stakes one can use to wager than one’s life, miss?”
Zilpha’s knickers were becoming increasingly damp. And she’d picked up a tremor in her hands. Winifred was left panting and breathless, trying to speculate whether he was joking or if they might really end up risking their lives. Dorothy wondered just how serious he was, while Emily couldn’t help thinking maybe they were getting in over their heads.
Zilpha blurted out, “You mean we could *gulp* be executed… right in this very room?”
“That’s right, miss. For our private little gambling session I think we’ll make things easier by having the executions take place right here.”
In response he reached underneath the table and pushed some sort of button. That’s when the curtain started to pull away. The ladies all turned… and gasped at what had just been revealed.
On the left was a chair with straps and wires, two posts protruding up from the seat. Next to it hung a noose emerging down from the ceiling. Next to that was a small guillotine with dark red stains marking the front. On the far right was a large, glass tank.
Zilpha let out a frightened squawk, her knickers becoming wetter by the moment. But she wasn’t the only one suffering from damp underwear. Even Dorothy and Winifred were now wet and trembling. Emily simply let out a quiet whimper.
“Is there a preference how you’d like to be dispatched should you become unlucky, ladies?”
He gave them that same charming smile as he motioned at the four objects. “We tried to include smaller versions of what we have up on the Entertainment Stage. But I can assure you they are all just as lethal.”
“Bloody hell!” Emily blurted out in alarm.
“We have a trophy case with heads I neglected to show you,” he told them. “I apologize for my lack of manners. Would you like to see it?”
“Uh… perhaps not,” Emily replied with dismay.
Dorothy’s stomach was starting to churn. She wasn’t sure she wanted to see the various heads to confirm his claims. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to see the head of Mrs. Johansson if it just so happened to be there.
“What h-happens to our bodies if w-we, uh…?” Zilpha was trembling and couldn’t finish the thought.
Mr. Rick smiled politely at her. “Have you ever heard the term ‘lady fingers’? I’m sorry… a bad joke. Anyway we have a fully functional kitchen. We have a spit that rotates the body over an open fire. Some will go into the oven while others will be chopped up into smaller portions for cooking. We can certainly make arrangements to get some of your meat back to where you ladies live if you wish. That way you can have a lovely dinner to remember your time in America or a meal to celebrate the life of one of your unlucky sisters here.”
Emily looked at Dorothy as though pleading for her to do something. “Dottie?? Bloody hell, love! Are we really g-going to do this?”
“I don’t… I don’t know…”
Mr. Rick looked disappointed. “Surely you ladies are not going to back away from a little risk, are you? After all, you’ve come a long way to be here. And we did pull some strings to get you inside without those bothersome pregnancy sensors.” Then he paused as he picked up a deck of cards and shuffled it.
“I know. How about something easy? You can all draw a card. If none of you draws the joker, I’ll give you $100 for every card you draw. What do you say to that?”
“$100??” Dorothy gasped in surprise.
“$100 for each card drawn,” he told them with a smile. “Sounds like quick money to me… that is, if you’re willing to take the risk.”
“And if one of us d-draws the joker?”
He looked at Zilpha and smiled. “Then one of you lovely ladies will get to show her sisters how one of our implements of death works. Won’t that be an exciting memory to take back home?”
2018 (Written for Dorothy Jan 17 ’18 by riwa)