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Dawn in the Valley

by Luis Rivas



(page 3 of 5)


After a while, each one takes turns cumming on her soft, worn-out and rosy freckled face, her hair, her small 19-year-old tits. The director says thank you, good one Dawn, you were so fucking beautiful, a real professional as always baby. And someone hands her a towel and points her toward the bathroom. She washes up, using her fingers to insert the towel up her asshole to clean out all the loose shit, spit and dick sweat. One of the male performers from the shoot comes over, offers her a bump of coke. She smiles, takes it. She gets dressed. The director says that the agent should have the check by the end of the week and gives her a pill of ecstasy and another bump of coke. She smiles, takes it, says thank you. One of the cameramen offers her a drink, whiskey straight. She smiles, takes it, says thank you and gives him a soft kiss on the lips like a grateful and rewarded child. Her agent comes by an hour later, picks her up, asks how the shoot went, Dawn smiles, fine, good, I like him, he’s very artistic, makes me feel pretty, hard work but he’s real professional like. Yea, agrees the agent. He hands her a glass pipe. She smiles, feeling so happy in finally having made it as a successful, professional, actual model.

He drops her off in front of her apartment complex. The speed and ecstasy isn’t mixing well. The agent recommends she just take it easy tonight, smoke some weed, take some of these, handing her three big brown Thorazine pills. She takes the pills, popping each one in her mouth like a breath mint, says thank you and blows a kiss at him. She goes upstairs to her one-bedroom apartment. Her Sidekick is beeping with all the missed calls, new texts and voicemail alerts. She turns on the TV, switches channels randomly, not really looking for something to watch but merely clicking the remote out of habit. It lands on some cartoons – she leaves it there. Animated, bright-colored things are killing themselves on the screen. Dawn’s brain begins to bother her again, flashes of her youth filtering back in through the wall of drugs, herself 11 years old, sitting in front of the giant TV, her face only inches away from the screen, pixilated cartoon characters butchering each other with mallets and axes, her step dad drinking a beer on the couch behind her, Lacey, her younger sister sitting next to him, the mom in the kitchen cooking. The mom shouts for Dawn to turn that goddamn thing down, and for Lacey to come in the kitchen to help out with dinner. Dawn instantly panics but doesn’t take her eyes off the screen. Her step-dad re-positions himself on the couch (she can hear the leather cushions squishing underneath his fat, stinking, hairy, goddamn moving flesh). Hey, come here, he says softly, being cautious of the mom and Lacey in the kitchen close by. Dawn pretends not to hear him. Pshh, hey, kiddo. The step dad is insistent. Dawn keeps staring at the TV. He gets up, goes over to her, gently grabs her by the arm, says sit down with me; I’m lonely. She doesn’t want to make a scene. Besides, what can she say, what can she do? She sits on the couch. Frank rubs his bulging crotch. Dawn is still staring at the TV but steals a couple of glances at his crotch. Touch it, he says. Dawn can’t speak or move. It’s always like this, like I’m stuck, like I’m crippled, like I’m sick. I am sick. And he eagerly takes her hand and puts it on his lap, his forehead shining with sweat. He moves her hand over to his crotch and rubs it soft up and down over his erected cock then harder until Dawn can feel the skin moving over his dick through the pants but she doesn’t take her eyes off the cartoons and they’re killing themselves, hitting each other with mallets and axes but no one is bleeding and it looks like it doesn’t hurt; there was an explosion but only smoke has marked the cartoon body and faces, and they wipe it off easily. Dawn, Frank, dinner’s ready, says mom. And everything dissolves into nothingness.


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About Luis Rivas


Luis Rivas lives in Los Angeles, California. He was a telemarketer, construction worker, flower delivery driver, fast food cashier, sales clerk, non-profit canvasser, adult store and strip club manager and package handler/zip code sorter. His work has appeared in the following publications, some of which he contributes to regularly: Zygote in My Coffee, Unlikely Stories, My Favorite Bullet, The Hold, Cherry Bleeds, Corium, Rural Messenger Press, Thieves Jargon, Origami Condom, Outsider Writers, Full of Crow, Counter Punch, Gloom Cupboard, where his is Poetry Editor and Red Fez, where he is author of the Last Days of Los Angeles column. He dropped out of Los Angeles Valley College where he was studying journalism to work full-time at a porn shop. Then he got fired. Now he has gone back to school, continuing his studies in journalism and Chicana/o Studies at California State University of Northridge and Los Angeles City College. He is currently building up his own literary website, peaceisillegal.com and plans on publishing a book on his youth. Once upon a time, he grew a beard. (There is evidence on the Internet.)

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