17 Dec SHORT STORY – ‘LADY OF THE NIGHT’ by ROBERT E CORSON
LADY OF THE NIGHT
BY ROBERT E. CORSON
Lady of the Night
It was the same drill each time my Parents took me to Las Vegas with them: I could
bring one friend along and each night we’d be given a $10 roll of quarters to play games
in the arcade at Circus Circus with the rest of the kids, preteens and teenagers who had
been orphaned for the night by their elders.
On this visit I took my pal, Charlie and we were both bored with the routine. Here we
were, stuck in that adolescent void, the precocious age between being a kid and being
an adult. We felt we were too old to hang out with the younger kids and we had to try
something new and exciting, so for the first time we escaped the safety and confines of
Circus Circus and headed South on Las Vegas Blvd.
Charlie and I walked along the “Strip” and within minutes we were approached by more
than a dozen ladies of the night. They averaged about one every ten steps.
Most of the ladies would walk up, throw out their pitch quickly and then realize we were
probably too young and would back off, saying comments like “Maybe in a few years,
We took offense at that just as we took offense at all the other things we couldn’t do in
Las Vegas at age 15. We decided we had to get even with the adult world and for one
night tap into its vices. If we couldn’t be part of the machine at least we could
investigate its works.
We stopped at one of the many “Free Newsstands” where one could procure a
periodical of professional women for hire by simply opening the plastic door of a
Amazed at all the different “services” that provided escorts and their revealing,
descriptive and suggestive photos, we grabbed a handful each. Charlie and I looked at
each other and smiled, it was time for us to go back to my parents’ vacation condo and
make a few phone calls.
This is where my expertise would come into play. I was pretty good at working the
telephone and paired with Charlie I knew we could pull off this little scam. The
objective? Simple; since we had neither the money, or courage to actually hire and
consummate a transaction with a call girl we figured we’d place an order with one of
these businesses and see if someone would show up. Better than the real thing, or so
we imagined at the time.
Now this wasn’t going to be like any of my prior prank calls, which consisted mostly of
calling live talk radio shows and trying to get on the air with bogus dilemmas or
maladies only to make a joke and hang up once I was on the air. No, to us this was a
more serious, real life challenge.
We got back to the condo before 10 pm, well before my Parental infused curfew and
most likely hours before they’d be home. We started to brainstorm. We had to figure out
how we’d handle any objections we might face. Obviously we couldn’t have our “escort”
come to our place as my folks would probably object slightly so I had Charlie run to the
apartment building next door to ours and get the address of one of our neighbors.
While he did that I worked on my “adult” sounding voice. Charlie returned with our
pseudo address and we were all set.
I started dialing and the games began. The first few services I called I was only able to
talk long enough to get a feel for what needed to be said and what type of screening
questions they might ask. Finally, I felt comfortable enough to make a run at it.
“Call this one!” Charlie insisted. “They’ve got custom girls to order!”
“Gee,” I thought to myself, “custom girls?” That sounded pretty good to me too.
I dialed the number and right away Charlie and I giggled like the two young
troublemakers we were. After three rings a lady answered. I dropped my voice to the
lowest possible level and began to speak.
“Uh, hello, my associate and I are here on business and we’d like the company of one
of your ladies tonight.” I said. Charlie, hearing this voice for the first time had to cover
his mouth to smother his laughter and briefly left the room.
“There are two of you, Sir?” She asked. Calling me Sir was a good sign and I knew we
“Uh, yes, just my associate and myself.”
“Where are you from?” She asked, to be friendly I assumed. I wasn’t ready for that
question and thought quickly.
“Denver. We’re from Denver. On business. My associate and I.” It wasn’t that great but
it was the best I could come up with.
“Where are you staying?” She asked.
I was prepared for that one. “We’re staying in one of my associate’s condominiums here
in town.” I replied, giving her the bogus address.
“O.k.,” she said, “and what phone number can I reach you at?” She asked.
“Dammit!” I thought, we hadn’t gotten this far on any of the other calls and I wasn’t
prepared for this. I couldn’t give my real number for the obvious reasons so I stalled
and motioned for Charlie to come back into the room.
“Uh, let me see here, “ I said, “just a moment.”
I pantomimed to Charlie to go and get the phone number on the payphone on the street
just outside. I continued to stall.
“Well I can’t believe this, this phone doesn’t have the number on it, it must be
somewhere around here.” I said.
“I don’t mean to pry,” she said, ‘but you can probably imagine the amount of prank
phone calls we get.”
“Oh, I’m sure you do,” I answered, “it’s no trouble at all.”
I heard Charlie running back up the steps outside so I ruffled through the escort
magazines to make it sound as if I were searching for something. Charlie flew through
the door and wrote down the number on a paper napkin.
“Is that a two or a five?” I accidentally asked Charlie out loud, in my regular voice.
Charlie smacked his forehead, shook his head and held up two fingers. The lady,
hearing the different voice spoke up.
“Is that your associate in the background?”
“Uh, yes, yes it is. Mr., uh, Thompson.” Thompson being the first name that came into
my head that sounded legitimate.
“Well, Mr. Thompson sounds very nice.” She replied.
“Uh, yes, yes he is,” I said, “a true gentlemen.” I said. I couldn’t believe we were still
on. I gave her the phone number and we continued.
“O.k., she continued, “all we need to do now is describe your dream girl.”
“Describe my Dreamgirl, huh?” I repeated, looking at Charlie and flipping a thumbs-up.
Charlie’s face lit up. He took his hands and positioned them 2 feet in front of his chest.
He, it seemed, wanted to see a well-endowed woman.
“We’d like a blond, about five feet five, one hundred pounds, blue eyes, and, and, ah…”
I paused, unsure whether or not it was “adult sounding” to ask for big boobs.
“You’d like her to have large breasts?” She asked as if I were ordering anchovies with
“Ah, yes, large breasts would be fine,” I answered as matter of factly as I could.
“I think we have just the right lady for you.” She announced confidently. I heard what
sounded like snapping fingers in the background. She continued. “Here, why don’t I let
you talk to her.”
I gulped for air, turned to Charlie and covered up the phone.
“They’re gonna’ let us talk to one!” I said.
“Let me listen, let me listen!” Charlie demanded, trying to get an earful.
We waited for a couple of seconds and heard nothing. Just when I thought they had
hung up on us a different, younger and more sultry voice came over the phone.
“Hello,” she said, “my name is Tina.”
Visions of what this lady looked like raced through our minds. I paused, regained my
composure and answered.
“Hi Tina. How are you?”
“I’m fine thank you, and I’m looking forward to meeting you and Mr. Thompson tonight.”
This didn’t sound right. This lady was just too nice, too sweet and too polite sounding.
“Ah yes,” I continued, “when can we expect you, Tina?”
“I’ll be there as soon as you want me to.”
Charlie stepped away from the phone, grabbed his heart and fell backwards over the
couch. This was definitely unsurpassed excitement for us.
We went over the address again and made a date for exactly one hour later. I hung up
the phone and pranced around the room as if the whole episode seemed trivial to me.
“This is great! This is awesome! She’s coming here?” Charlie asked, out of breath.
“Yep, she’ll be here in one hour.”
“What do we do now?” He asked.
“Get the camera, I guess.” I answered, figuring nobody back home would believe us.
“Yeah, great idea!”
At this point we did what any normal teenagers would do in such a situation, run around
laughing hysterically, trying not to show how nervous we were.
Time passed so quickly we barely had time to prepare. We figured we’d better find a
good vantage point to watch from. We’d have to be able to see the lady but not have
her see us. Fortunately for us there was a thick row of bushes 8 feet high that ran along
a border that separated our building from the one next door. From this shrouded
location we’d be able to see the street, the parking lot, and of course the apartment
building that we used for our address. We huddled in the shrubbery and waited
impatiently. It was a typically chilly evening in the desert and we were still in our shorts.
“Are you sure you gave me the right address?” I asked Charlie.
“Yeah, yeah. Apartment 4, remember?”
“Apartment 4?!” I asked, not realizing the importance when I first saw it.
“Yeah why?” He answered.
“That’s the Manager’s apartment!” I said.
“You mean that mean old hag who’s always kickin’ us out of their pool?”
“Oh, I love it, this is gonna’ be great!”
He was right. This was like killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand we were
entertaining ourselves and on the other we were getting even with the Fogerson’s, the
salty old battle ax and her crotchety husband from next door.
“Geez, I hope they’re home.” Charlie wished out loud.
“Of course they’re home, “ I said, “they’re too old to go anywhere else!”
We looked down the street and right on cue, we saw a car slowly driving up the street.
It was obvious that whoever was driving was looking at each building and progressing
up the street, closer and closer to our end. Finally the car pulled into the driveway of
the building next door and the headlights of the car shined through the bushes we were
“Down!” Charlie whispered, dropping to the ground in true commando style.
We each cleared enough foliage in front of us so we could peer out to the parking lot
with our youthful, innocent eyes and better see the car which had just parked. It was a
long, late model bright red Cadillac Eldorado with a white vinyl top and to our surprise,
the car had two passengers in the front seat.
“How many did you order?” Charlie asked.
“Just one, you idiot. The other one is probably her pimp!”
The driver’s side door opened and a tall, bulky, darkly dressed man got out and looked
around the surroundings.
“Her pimp? We’re gonna’ die!” Charlie gasped.
“Shut up!” I said. “They don’t know who called. Let’s see what happens.”
The man walked coolly toward the building and scanned it for the address we had
given. Once he spotted the right apartment he turned and motioned back to the car as
if to say “Wait here a minute.” We remained totally still and silent. This was better than
a movie because it was real and we were there. Our hearts beat wildly as we watched
the man’s every move.
Suddenly from the corner of my eye a flash of light caught my attention. Inside the car
the passenger had turned on the interior light.
“Look, look!” I said, grabbing Charlie’s arm. “It’s her!”
“Whoa!” He said, looking at the beautiful blond, who was applying lipstick and looking in
the mirror of the overhead visor in front of her.
We could only see the light skin of her shoulders and her blond hair as she was partially
blocked from our view by the visor, but my imagination filled in the blanks quickly.
“She’s exactly what I asked for.” I sighed.
“Wait a minute,” Charlie countered, “We ain’t seen the rest of her yet.”
Charlie spoke as if he were some sort of expert on this stuff. Just then, she opened the
door and got out of the car. She was, indeed, everything I had asked for. Wrapped in a
short length, silver mink coat, she paced slowly in front of the car and her legs cast a
shadow that reached from the bright headlights of the car all the way to us. The lights
of the building, the parking lot and the moon’s own glow shone upon her. She was a 10
out of 10 with a body that a couple of 15 year old boys like us could only dream of. She
was far more beautiful than any of the Farrah Fawcett, Bo Derek and Charlene Tilton
posters that were hanging on the walls of my bedroom back home.
“Would that be sufficient for you?” I asked.
“Whoooaaa.” He answered.
The man was looking into the windows of apartment 4 and motioned for the lady to
come over to him. She opened her coat slightly to reveal the low cut white dress she
was wearing and before we could get a good look she and her companion disappeared
into the hallway leading to the front door of the apartment.
I sprang up. Charlie grabbed my arm.
“Now what?” He asked.
I thought about it for a second. If we were to quit now, we’d be safe and have a good
story to tell our buddies back home. If we went on, we’d probably be pushing our luck
but would have a great story to tell the rest of our lives. I reached a conclusion, we had
to finish it.
“Let’s go listen.” I said.
“What, are you crazy?” Charlie shrieked in disbelief.
“Come on, we’ll stand around the corner.”
We knew that they’d have to at least knock on the door and it would take a minute or so
to figure out that something wasn’t right. I was less concerned about what might
happen than I was about what she looked like up close.
We left the safety of our cover and serpentined through the parking lot and threw our
bodies up against the stuccoed wall of the apartment building. We were just in time to
hear someone knocking on the door of apartment 4.
A light went on in the room and shined through the window directly behind us. We
dropped onto our hands and knees.
“This is great!” I said.
“We’re done! We’re gonna’ die!” Charlie gasped.
“Shhhh! They’re opening the door!” I answered.
I peeked around the corner and because of the angle only one of us could see without
being seen and since I made the phone call I took the initiative and grabbed the view.
“Let me see, let me see!” Charlie whispered, trying to catch an eyeful.
I held him back with one arm and with the other pulled myself around the corner where I
There she was. Her back was to us and her hair was shining in the doorway
brightening up what was otherwise a dark corridor. I could also see the door opening
and Mr. Fogerson standing in his bathrobe.
He gazed at the tall, burly man and his eyes opened wider when he caught a glimpse of
the lovely blond.
“May I help you?” He said, smiling and addressing the young lady while adjusting his
toupee. The pimp put his arm out and stood in front of the lady and answered back with
a thick New York accent.
“Did youz orda a hooka?”
At that moment, a shrieking voice erupted from somewhere in the apartment. It was
Mrs. Fogerson and she had arisen from her crypt.
“WHAT’D HE SAY??!!” She yelled, causing everyone within range to cover their ears.
Mr. Fogerson pointed to his hearing aid and asked the pimp to repeat himself.
“I said, ‘did youz orda a hooka’” He reiterated, pointing back at the beautiful woman as if
she were a picture on the wall.
Mr. Fogerson looked confused. I heard what sounded like pots and pans dropping into a
sink in the background.
“DID YOU HEAR ME??!!” Mrs. Fogerson screamed. “WHAT’D HE SAY??!!”
Mr. Fogerson cleared his throat and answered.
“He wants to know if we ordered a hooker.”
“WHAAATT??!!” Came her reply, as she made her way to the doorway.
“A hooker. You know, a hooker!” He replied, this time pointing at the lovely lady himself.
Seemingly embarrassed, ashamed or possibly even amused, the lady turned away and
looked right at me. We made eye contact, then she took a step toward me and
My feet were frozen. I told my hands to push me back but I couldn’t move. Busted. I
was done for, a soon to be statistic. She stared at me for a second, then looked back at
the trio of confused people who were trying to sort out what the heck was happening.
Charlie, who could not be seen himself but was able to see her, surveyed the situation.
“We’re dead! Let’s get out of here!”
I couldn’t concentrate on anything but her. Whatever she did next would determine my
immediate future. She looked back at me again and held one hand up to her ear and
with the other hand she pantomimed the dialing of a telephone as if to ask “Are you the
one that called?”
How did she know? I wondered.
My heart dropped down to my heels and bounced back to my throat, stopping only to
kick me in the butt on the way up.
I looked her dead straight in the eye and instantly believed I could trust this beautiful
stranger. I nodded my head yes and froze again.
She smiled at me and with a sparkle in her eye she shook her head and crossed one of
her index fingers across the other, signaling “tsk-tsk, naughty-naughty.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Fogerson was trying to get past Mr. Fogerson in the attempt of
introducing somebody to her frying pan.
“Get out of here before I call the cops!!” She screamed.
The pimp tried to calm everyone down. With his back turned and his hands full of the
Fogerson’s, I realized it was our chance to make our escape.
“Let’s go!” I told Charlie. He started to run but I grabbed him and told him that
everything was O.K. and that we should probably just walk away.
“Are you crazy?” He asked. “She saw you!”
“I know,” I said, “but I don’t think she’s gonna tell the other guy.”
“What makes you so sure?” He asked.
“I don’t know, I I’ve just got this feeling that’s she’s too nice to let something happen to
We almost had made it to the sidewalk when I heard a familiar voice.
“Excuse me…” It was the same soft, pleasant voice from the phone call earlier in the
“Excuse me!” She said again.
Charlie and I stopped dead in our tracks. He looked at me and I looked back at him.
“Maybe we shoulda’ run.” I whispered, watching Charlie’s eyes bulge in total fear.
“I told you!” He said. “We’re dead!”
“Just be cool.” I said turning around. The pimp was about ten feet away, standing by his
Cadillac and punching one fist into his other hand while mumbling something about
somebody’s Mother or something.
The lady walked toward us, the closest we had been to her yet. She was so beautiful
that the fear left me once again and sheer amazement took over.
“Hello.” She said.
“Ah, hi.” I answered meekly.
“Do you live here?” She asked.
“Next door… uh, down the street… uh, a building way over there.” I said.
“I’m looking for two gentlemen that I was supposed to meet here, a businessman and
his client. From out of town. Denver, I think.” She said smiling, seeming to let me
know that she wasn’t upset and wouldn’t tell on us.
“I’m sorry,” I said, smiling back at her, “I don’t think I know anyone from there.”
“Too bad,” she said, “he sounded really nice on the phone. I was really looking forward
to meeting him.”
My pulse rate accelerated to new heights.
“I’m sorry.” I said, and believe me, I meant it.
“Oh well, perhaps I’ll hear from him again someday and he’ll actually show up.” She
“Yeah, I certainly hope so.” I answered.
“Well, goodnight.” She said, walking backward ever so slowly. The pimp climbed back
into the car, started the engine and was now unable to hear us.
“Oh, and goodnight to you, Mr. Thompson!” She said, addressing Charlie, whose jaw,
along with mine, dropped to the ground. She was onto us from moment one.
She looked back at me and smiled, then got into the car and they drove off.
I stared at the red glowing tail lights of that Cadillac until they faded away and Charlie
“Wow. Wow. Wow! A real hooker! And we talked to her!!!”
He was amazed and so was I, but in another way. I was touched by a stranger who
lived in totally different world than I. Of course, by the time I got back home I had
forgotten all that sentimental stuff and adopted Charlie’s exaggerated version of our
story that would have to be spread around school.
I went along with it because I was a guy and that’s what guys did at that stage of our
lives, be it right, wrong or indifferent.
Looking back, however, I remember how unique this experience was and how lucky we
were to get away with it. Things could have gone quite differently had it been anyone
but our lady of the night.
And, by the way, no. Once I became an adult and a businessman I did not go back and
look her up again.
Although I can’t speak for Charlie.