Up and Down the Market - non-fiction scenes from London life. Amber's Clients Part 1
East London, 2005.
"Freetimes Fitness, how may I help? No, hun - we're right out. OK, will do. Bye," said Amber, my new manager, "How d'ya spell verruca? Oh fuck it - Ashley says to order more swim sox and them stick-on nipple Twinkies for the Tanning Suite."
"Freetimes Fitness, how may I help? Ah, thanks, darlin - see ya tomorrow. Safe journey. That was Ashley again," said Amber, "We can leave at ten tonight - bus strike."
"Freetimes Fitness, how may I help? Oh yes hiya Officer Groom, yes fine thank you. Yes I do. Yes I will. Yes I have. Thank you very much, you take care now. That was the police," said Amber. She scanned the empty Fitness Centre. "'I'm to let them know if I get a call from a bloke who says he's into playing on swings. He's just escaped from the Brondesbury and has extremely violent tendencies," she said.
"Shall I print out a warning sign for the ladies' changing rooms?"
Amber's throaty cackle echoed around the Centre, "Nah - I mean violent towards working girls. The Police warn us if there's anyone we need to watch out for. Like this Swing Man."
"Did you just tell me that you work as a prostitute?!"
"My flat's on the sixth floor," explained Amber, "I put my card in the phone box downstairs. Outside Tesco. So I can see who goes in and out. Through the stairwell windows. He's six floors down. Doesn't know where I live so if I don't like the look or sound of him, I just don't let him in."
"Isn't that what pimps are for?"
"Don't really need one. I only take role play clients now - gave up all that jiggy jiggy once I hit fifty."
"What's role play?"
"Strictly no touching. Sixty quid an hour. How else d'you think I afford my whisky and my spliff? It's not from the five fucking pounds fifty two an hour I earn in this shithole!" Amber cackled again, "I've got four regulars - my Fab Four, I call them: Chatter, Mr Doggie, Murderer and Brian. Keep an eye on my bag while I nip out for a fag, darlin, and I'll fill you in when I get back."
Keep an eye out for Part 2. If you're enjoying the series, please consider tipping this writer-in-development.....and thank you very much if you do.