Two girls wait for a door to open.
My fingers are frozen into tight little fists underneath these thin lace gloves. The skin is bright through the spaces between the webs and I worry my fingers won't make it through this winter.
Frostbitten appendages would severely hinder customer appeal.
Angel whimpers beside me, sticking her cold, red nose into my arm as she snuggles closer for warmth. She isn't finding what she needs, neither of us are, but we wrap our arms around each other anyway, watching the doorknobs with dread and hope.
It's warm in there, but warmth comes at a price.
The lamps are dim, and flicker with an uncertainty at our low clientele. We clench our teeth and tug tighter. Our arms wrap around our bodies easily without anything to hold onto except our own hips. Angel shudders under her sheer blouse, tucking her fingertips into the hem of her leather panties, the only real article of fabric that has a chance of staving off the chill. I have no such luck with my own attire comprised of a worn, lacy corset and boa set, and nothing else. I wrap the scraggly boa tighter around my neck, squeezing any ounce of heat the remaining tufts of feathers can produce.
We're not insulated at all. We envy the abundant coats and thick scarves our customers trudge in. They complain as soon as they enter the rooms, immediately ripping off their layers and wiping up patches of sweat. We can only dream for a proper, wool glove.
This rickety bench creaks under our skimpy weight when we shiver. Between clouds of cold breath, we wiggle our toes to fight for circulation. They hang off the edge of this narrow old bench like icicles threatening to fall.
A doorknob down in the shadows clicks as an invitation and I nod my head at Angel. She shakes her head but I untangle her bony arms from my waist and shove her off the bench and towards the door. She squeezes my hand appreciatively and cracks a grateful smile with her full blue lips. A gust of heat escapes before she can shut it behind her and it leaves me envious with its taunt.
Maybe hell is like this, and not warm at all.