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Caberet Girl

Kathryn Frazell

A woman stepped into the crowded and lively entrance of the banquet hall. She was wearing a knee-length white coat. That should have been the first clue, that she wasn’t wearing tights or leggings of any kind. All you could see was bare leg. The black, slinky dress left no surprise as to the curves of her body. Her hair was raven black, cut in a chic bob, and her neck was adorned with pearls. Kohl covered her eyelids, and the lips were stained cherry red.  She was the image of jazz and cabaret.

After scanning her eyes through the dimly lit room, she finds a table filled with familiar faces, mostly men, and she walks toward them. Just then the speaker of the event starts to nervously announce for everyone to take their seats. Mildly inspiring individuals were being awarded for their talents…

After whispered pleasantries, the table ordered drinks. The man sitting to the right of the cabaret girl was sipping on his dignified glass of bourbon when she made her move. Feigning ignorance of his character, she introduced herself with a shy expression on her face. The man, appearing astonished by the address, choked on his drink and coughed so loudly the people at surrounding tables shot him murderous glares. Red-faced, he wiped his sweating brow and told her his name. His eyes even smiled at her. This would be too easy for her.

The man in question ended up winning three of the awards given, something for his involvement in the stock markets. Each time he sat back down at his seat, the charming girl beamed up at him, and his esteem grew threefold. He was by no standards attractive. His ham-like arms prohibited much movement, and the bulging seams made it very awkward to look at him. Yet the girl beside him just stared in adoration.

After the awards and speeches were given, dinner was served. Conversations buzzed at every table, and soon the couple of our attention grew restless. Heavy looks passed back and forth, until she made a move. There was only so much small talk that could go back and forth between strangers before interest started waning…

Demanding that she needed a cigarette, the woman convinced the man to escort her outside into the frosty air. Nobody noticed their departure. Coat conveniently forgotten, the man offered her his jacket. She felt something stiff in the inside pocket, and was secretly satisfied that she hadn’t had to wait until the body was frozen on the ground to retrieve the money stashed in the award envelope. He didn’t notice she hadn’t lit her cigarette.  When only half of his had burned, he suddenly looked ill, and fell to the icy cement.

Everybody remembers the winners; nobody pays attention to the losers or observers in life. When the promising stock market entrepreneur was found dead outside in an alley, everybody thought he died a tragic winner’s death, a heart attack. Nobody remembered the cabaret girl. And nobody thought to examine the cigarette still placed between his fingers, a cigarette laced with a deadly toxin. By the time they had noticed the money was gone, the girl was miles away, charming some other helpless fool.


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