Play dead. No - not like that. What are you doing with your face? This shouldn’t be hard. Just lie there for fuck’s sake. 

I had a dog that used to “play dead.” I’d point my fingers at him like a gun, say “bang,” and he’d flop over and put his paws in the air - the universal sign. It took me weeks to train him. Every day after school, I’d put him in my room, stand in the mirror, and practice. We went through a few bags of treats, and I had to roll over a thousand times before he learned the connection. Once he mastered it, we took our show on the road. I was young — maybe nine or ten — and I’d race downstairs with him nipping at my heels, calling to my mother to come watch. Then, just like we rehearsed, I’d point my fingers, say the magic words, and he’d roll over. She was impressed the first dozen or so times, but our trick, like most other things, quickly lost its charm. 

Goddamn it! Charles, are you even hard right now? You — yeah, you — take your shirt off or something. Christ, Howard, you remember when we could hire actual fluffers for shit like this. 

Now that the roles are reversed, and someone is pointing an imaginary gun at me, I finally understand why it took my dog so long to learn the trick. It’s hard to play dead. I don’t know what to do with my face - do I close my eyes? Do I leave them wide and terrified? Should my palms be face-up or face-down? Is it more realistic if I hold my breath? Or should I take shorter, shallower breaths? Does anyone really care? Is the person watching this video really going to criticize my performance while they mercilessly masturbate to the idea of a dead girl getting fucked? 

Okay. Let’s just start from the beginning. Rhoda, get up. Stand in front of the mirror - pretend you’re getting ready. Charles is going to throw the door open, and you need to be surprised. Scream if you think you can make it sound real. Is she helping, or do you need another minute, Charles? 

My best friend did a scene like this last week - almost identical, actually. She played a housewife, home alone while her husband was away on business. While she pretended to cook, the male lead kicked open the front door and took her down. She “fought,” but she was easy overtaken - a fulfillment of the typical rape fantasy. Except, in this scene, the rape goes too far - he “accidentally” chokes her to death, and, upon realizing the mistake, continues to rape her “dead” body. 

When she told me about it, I was mortified. 

I said, “Jasmine, are you fucking serious?” 

I said, “That’s the sickest shit I’ve ever heard.” 

Then, she said, “They paid me three-grand to shoot it.” 

Apparently, it’s all the rage now. 

Rhoda, you have to actually fight him. Dig your nails in. He can take it. Don’t be afraid to bite either. Get a close-up of Rhoda biting into him - that’ll really sell. 

My mother told me if I went into law or medicine, I would never have to worry about finding a job. She wasn’t wrong, of course. People need lawyers and doctors - they always will. Still, neither of those occupations seemed appealing. They involved too much work, too much time. I wanted something with instant gratification. 

I took my first job as a waitress in high school, and I was hooked. I’ve always been pretty, but I never considered anyone would pay me for it - until they did, handsomely. I made more money than any of the other waitresses by far, and they resented me. I had a few regular customers, mostly middle-aged men, who came in several times a week just to remind me I was the “prettiest thing” they had ever seen while handing me wads of cash. 

Working in the restaurant taught me something: while the world would always need doctors and lawyers, the doctors and lawyers would always need something else. 

I resolved to be the “something else.” 

Okay guys, I think we have the first part down. Damn Charles, she really bit you, didn’t she? Way to go, Rhoda. Let’s take a quick break. Clean up and meet back here in thirty. Remember - when we come back, Rhoda’s getting killed. 

A few girls in the restaurant worked at the strip club just outside of town. I heard them talking about it one night while we were closing up, and I asked if I could tag along. They didn’t want me to — probably out of jealousy — but they reluctantly agreed. The moment I walked in, I knew I had found my calling. I saw the manager and asked for an application, but I didn’t need one. He said, “Just lift up your shirt, and you’ve got a job.” I did it without a second thought. 

I was underage, but that didn’t matter - no one asked. I started lying to my mother about spending weekends with my friends, so I would have the availability. I thought I knew what money was, but when I started working at the club, I realized I was wrong. I started making an embarrassing amount of money - too much to put in the bank, too much to talk about, too much to hide. I couldn’t believe it. 

Understandably, I was worried about getting caught. I was sure one of my mother’s friends would wander in, recognize me, and yank me off the stage. So, I wore wigs. I put on heavy makeup. I made sure the lights were dimmed. 

Then, it happened. One of the men from our church stumbled in near closing time when I was out of costume and taking last-call lap dances from the remaining patrons. He waved me over. I was on the verge of tears as I made my way to him, fully expecting the worst, but he didn’t want to turn me in to my mother - he wanted a dance, and he paid double. 

So, Rhoda, I really need you to feel this. He’s going to pull out the knife and press it against your throat. It’s sharp, so don’t lean into it or anything. Or do. Whatever it takes. He’s gonna say something threatening to you, and you’re gonna try to get away. Then, he’s gonna stab it into your back. That’ll cut into one of the fake blood bags. You’ll start bleeding. Crying. Begging. I want you to touch it — the blood — and smear it all over yourself. You’re fucking frantic. 

I was a senior in high school when I started stripping. Everyone kept asking me, “What are you going to go to college for? What do you want to be?” 

I said I wanted to be a lawyer. 

My mother was ecstatic. 

Can someone pull up the footage from the rape scene? I want to be sure Rhoda’s clothes look the same. We want this to be as seamless as possible. 

I started applying for colleges I knew I wasn’t going to attend. I quit my job at the restaurant, so I could pick up extra shifts at the club through the week. After my encounter with the man from church, I wasn’t scared of getting caught anymore. In fact, I wanted it to happen - embarrassed people paid more. 

The manager had a strict policy about prostitution: don’t ask, don’t tell. A lot of the girls went into the back room with a customer, or they would agree to meet after-hours in the parking lot. The bouncer — a stocky, tattooed man named Archie — took it upon himself to play bodyguard. I saw him charge into the back room and drag men out, pants around their ankles, plenty of times. He would even sit in his car for the girls doing business in the parking lot. I don’t think he approved of what was happening, but he had a soft spot - he wanted to protect us. 

Charles you knew what we were doing today. What are you? Some kind of fucking amateur? Go get one of the pills out of my bag. Just one. I know how many I have. Better yet - take two. I don’t wanna be here all night because Mr. Ten-Inch-Cock can’t perform. 

I had my first “client” the night before I graduated. 

It was three days after my eighteenth birthday. 

He was an out-of-towner with big, blue eyes and deep pockets. He told me he wanted a blowjob. I was embarrassed - I told him I couldn’t do it, but I knew a few girls who would. He said he didn’t want them. He said he only wanted me. He pulled out two hundred-dollar bills and stuffed them into my top and told me to meet him in the parking lot. I walked over to Archie, but I didn’t need to explain. He escorted me outside and waited by the back door while I worked. When I finished, the guy turned to me and said, “Have you ever thought about porn?” 

Okay, now that Charles can finally get it up, maybe we can finish sometime before tomorrow. Someone get the fake jizz ready - he won’t be able to cum for hours. Mix it with the coffee creamer. It needs to be extra thick. 

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get accepted to any of the colleges from my list. My mother was disappointed, but I wasn’t - I knew what I wanted to do, and I didn’t need a degree. I walked down the stage on graduation day with a confidence none of my peers could match. While they were busy planning to move into dorms and start the next four years of their life, I was renting my first apartment. When my mother asked me how I had saved up so much money, I just shrugged my shoulders. My first night there, after everyone who had helped me move was long gone, I sat down on my bed and called the out-of-town hotshot from the parking lot. I didn’t need much convincing - by the end of the call, I had booked my first scene. 

Rhoda, why the fuck is it so hard for you to act scared? What do I have to do? Threaten to call your mom? That usually does it. 

I thought porn would be easy - it was just sex on camera, after all. 

The reality was much different. 

Porn was nasty. 

Some of the girls didn’t shower. Some of them got their period in the middle of shooting. Some of them knew what they were doing, but most didn’t. My first scenes were girl-on-girl, and we fumbled over each other for hours, trying to make our fake orgasms as believable as possible. 

The guys weren’t any better. Most of the time, they were under strict orders to be as aggressive as possible, which was painful and uncomfortable and degrading. The vast majority of them were unattractive to me, but that didn’t matter - I still had to perform. During a particularly sweaty scene, I threw up during a blowjob. The director, making the most of the gross situation, made me clean it up - with my mouth. The guy I was shooting with stood over me, yelling for me to “lap that shit up like a dog.” I started crying, which made the director even happier. As he requested a close-up of my tear-soaked face, I could hear the guy whispering his apologies - he felt sorry for me. I went home that night and sat in the shower, screaming into a pillow while the hot water pulsed. 

I hated it.

It was exhausting.

I hurt in all the worst places. 

I felt disgusting. 

The pay was terrible. 

Then, I met Jasmine. 

You just got stabbed. Fucking act like it. It hurts. You’re in pain. You’re scared. You’re bleeding out. Do I need to make Charles stab you for real? Will that help? We’re not paying you to half-ass this shit. 

We were shooting a girl-on-girl scene together. By then, I was a pro. During one of our breaks, Jasmine motioned for me to follow her outside. She pulled a poorly rolled joint from her pocket, lit it, and took a long drag. When she offered it to me, I accepted, even though I didn’t really smoke pot. Between coughs, she asked me a thousand personal questions. It was strange. I wasn’t used to talking to people, especially other pornstars, anymore. When we finished shooting, she invited me to dinner. At first, I thought she might have misconstrued our scene as a proposition. I started planning my, “I’m not a lesbian,” speech on the drive. 

To my surprise, we met up with her boyfriend - James. I didn’t have much of a personal life. I spent most of my time at jobs to make ends meet, so seeing Jasmine there with her boyfriend was baffling. When she introduced me to him, she said, “This is Rhoda. We had sex earlier, and it was actually good!” 

Our friendship blossomed. She took me under her wing in the industry - introducing me to new, better managers and helping me book scenes that wouldn’t leave me crying in the shower. After she and James split, we found an apartment together and became roommates. She was a godsend. 

Smear it all over yourself. Grab your face. Grab Charles - get him bloody, too. There you go. Make a fucking mess, baby. 

Jasmine made more money than me, and I was determined to understand why. She wasn’t notably prettier than me. She took fewer jobs, and we had the same manager. I knew it wasn’t a competition, but it felt like one. I wanted to know her secret. 

So, I started asking around. Most of the people I shot with had heard of her, but they didn’t seem particularly proud of that fact. Finally, one of the guys in the gang-bang scene I was filming gave me the answer: Jasmine took the jobs other girls wouldn’t. 

BDSM. Fetish. Rape-fantasies. Fake “teen” porn. You name it - Jasmine starred in it. 

I instantly judged her. I took my fair share of shitty jobs — gang-bangs, anal, even a few cosplay scenes — but I had a line. Clearly, Jasmine didn’t. 

We were sitting on the couch watching a movie, and I couldn’t stop myself. I looked her in the eye and said, “Jasmine, what the fuck are you doing? Why would you take those jobs?” 

Without flinching, she said, “Because I make more money doing it. And you would, too.” 

Charles, just because she’s playing dead, that doesn’t mean you can fuck her like you’re humping a pillow. Get enthusiastic. You raped her. Killed her. And now you have her exactly where you want her. This is your dream. Act like it.

She took me to one of her gigs the next day, so I could see for myself what her scenes looked like.

It was brutal. 

I watched her get punched and kicked and spat on like a dog. One of the guys put his cigarette out on her back, prompting the others to follow suit, and I had to stop myself from jumping in to save her. All I could think was, “I can’t believe someone watches this and gets off.” It didn’t seem real - it was too violent. How could anyone find that attractive? 

But they did - they do. 

Jasmine walked away with two-thousand dollars, and, as I rubbed cream into the burns on her back, I was jealous. 

We booked a scene together a few weeks later, and I never looked back. 

Alright, alright, alright. Pause. Charles, I want you to go jack-off in the back. Try to get as close to cumming as possible. Rhoda, I don’t want you to fucking move. Lay there. Think dead thoughts. We’re almost finished, people. It only took us all day, but I think we’re almost there. Did anyone ever mix up that jizz? Make sure it’s not too white. 

So, that’s how I ended up here - covered in fake blood, pretending to be dead while some guy fucks my corpse. 

Last week, I thought a scene like this was disturbing. I thought there was no way in hell someone would pay for this. 

Last week, I thought Jasmine was insane. 

Now, all I can see are dollar signs. 

Now, I know better. I know there’s a market for this shit, because there’s a market for every type of shit you can think of - this is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Next weekend, I booked a three-day job. The first two days, I’m going to be hog-tied in a tent, alone. If I’m lucky, someone will give me sips of water and maybe a granola bar or some peanuts. I’m expected to shit and piss on myself, so my manager suggested taking some laxative before I drive out to the site. On the third day, three guys are going to find me — covered in my own waste, unshowered, desperate — and take turns with me until I pass out. If for whatever reason, I don’t pass out after two days without food or water, I’m sure they’ll have some sedatives on hand to get the job done. Once I’m unconscious, the director said the “real fun” would begin, but I didn’t bother to ask what he meant - I don’t really care.

I’m getting paid six-thousand dollars. 

Here it goes - the big finish. Charles, I want you to pour that on her face. Just drizzle it all over her. Then, I want you to reach into the “wound,” get a handful of that fake blood, and stuff all of it into her mouth. Deep. Rhoda, I swear to god, if you fucking gag… 


There it is! Cut! 

Tell me the truth - for six-thousand dollars, wouldn’t you do it?

May 18, 2020 05:59

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A.R. Eakle
19:11 May 18, 2020

Holy shit. That was one of the most well put together, crude, vulgar, beautiful works of story that I’ve ever read. Your layout, the pacing, the glimpses of the scene she’s in, the narrator voice, all perfect. I loved it. Great job!


Najwa Zandlo
21:45 May 24, 2020

Thank you so much! I LOVE that you used the words "crude" and "vulgar." That's exactly what I was trying to get across!


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17:00 May 23, 2020

Holy shit. I was disgusted and I felt for Rhoda and the way you interspersed the director's instructions - what a piece of work - and I couldn't stop reading. This is singularly one of the most affecting pieces of writing I've seen in forever. Well fucking done!


Najwa Zandlo
21:44 May 24, 2020

Is it bad that I get a little happy when someone calls one of my stories "disgusting"? Because that's exactly the emotion I was trying to convey. Thank you so much!


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Grace M'mbone
18:24 Jun 28, 2020

Najwa the style in which you have written this is just brilliant. Wow. I am amazed. Wonderful piece of work. One of the stories I learn writing from.


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Praveen Jagwani
21:35 Jun 18, 2020

Coffee creamer will never be the same again :) I like the racy pacy style of the narrative. Hilarious for the most part but disgusting after the dark turn. Rhoda's practical nonchalance is a treat. Great character development. I have to read your stuff from now on.


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Richard Khamani
18:30 Jun 06, 2020

My God! Your born to write. I wondered how many drafts did you need? How long did it take to perfect? another milestone...gasping for more. " Was I Looking for an interesting or good writer? Now, I don't know, perhaps I was looking for a writer to look up too. That was quick. Is it then an oddity or a stroke of luck?" Love great writing."


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Vrishni Maharaj
23:31 Jun 01, 2020

Wonderfully written! I like this :)


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Bruce Lorenzo
21:11 May 27, 2020

damn. amazing read.. really compelling, and most of all it just felt brutally realistic. good stuff


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23:32 May 25, 2020

Hi!! I really truly love this story, and it would be amazing to see more of your writing! It would be awesome if you read Daryl Gravesande's stories, and then like and follow!! His favorite is the first! Then please spread the word! I would gladly do the same for you! Thanks so much for the support! Stay safe!-Avery.


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Inna J
07:10 May 21, 2020

Your stories are so dark and compelling. I love them. Do you have longer works?


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Joey Carroll
05:51 May 21, 2020

The swapping between current actions and what lead your character to how she got there is amazing. I felt I could relate to a situation I have never been in.


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