Fiction Urban Fantasy Fantasy

Trixie carefully shimmied along the rickety rafters that hung over the abandoned club. She imagined there was a point in time when these rafters housed lights that flashed across the drunken dancers below. Tonight they would be holding Trixie as she accomplished a lifelong goal.

It was a goal that was born at a third grade book fair. Almost by chance she had selected a photography book. Never knowing that the images inside would capture her heart. She cherished that book and the haunting photos that were plastered across its pages. Soon one thing became clear to the young Trixie and that was that she needed to become a photographer. She became obsessed with the notion. Photography became her life. So much so that Trixie Little ceased to exist and was replaced by Trixie the photographer.

It was an identity that served her well throughout her childhood and high school years. Everyone praised her photos. They filled her with confidence. Made her think that she was on her path to destiny. It was inevitable that her photos would change the world. That she would capture the truth through the lens of her camera. It just had to happen.

Then she went to Art school. For the first time she was surrounded by countless others just as skilled as, or even better than her. It was then that the uncertainty started creeping in. The first of the cracks. But Trixie was no quitter. She gritted her teeth. She took out the countless loans, she studied, she honed her craft and then she was rewarded with a bitter pill.

That bitter pill was the reality that she had graduated into a world in which everyone with a phone was now an instant photographer. The prestigious magazines were scrubbed from the face of the Earth. Replaced by the ever open, ever consuming, ever hungry eye of social media. The intrepid, adventurous photographers of the past were now mere relics of a forgotten age. It was now the random Jacks and Janes of the world who captured the images that moved and touched others. The only qualifications were simple, you just needed to be in the right place at the right time. No skill required. There were filters and apps for that.

Just like that, Trixie was irrelevant. And she was deeply in debt. Crushing, mind numbing, impossible to ever overcome debt. She would never travel the world capturing beautiful images. No. Instead she would have to settle into a job as a ticket agent for Luft Lieber airlines. In a cruel twist of fate she would go on to spend the next decade aiding others as they traveled the world capturing beautiful images on their phones. Still Trixie was no quitter.

She took whatever side jobs she could as a photographer. Her higher paying jobs involved taking pictures of scantily clad, or nude women so that they could upload the photos to their OnlySpicy page. Those were few and far between though. Her most common side gig was the paparazzi work. Her job at the airport granted her access to areas off limits to the public. She leveraged that into capturing hidden moments of famous celebrities and selling them online. None of it was glamorous, or what she ever wanted, but it all kept the flame of her fire alive. 

Then came the faithful DM.

‘Trix U ready for something big?’

The DM was accompanied by the smiling profile picture of Dax. Trixie typically only went through Dax when selling her paparazzi pictures. Not because he paid the most, he paid terribly in all honesty, but he was also the only one who never demanded a nude selfie from her. So he really won by default. Still it was extremely rare that Dax ever reached out to her first. It intrigued Trixie.

‘Airport pic?’

‘No you’ll have to travel for this one and it dangerous’


‘U can always say no’

‘How much money?’

‘2 mil’

Trixie nearly dropped her phone in shock. That couldn’t be right. There was no way.

‘Like 2 million dollars?’


‘US dollars?’



‘Phamous Gangus’

Trixie had heard the urban legend of Phamous Gangus. According to the legend she was an incredibly wealthy rapper, but only a select few had ever heard her music. Supposedly the only way to hear her music was to attend one of her events. The catch was you had to pay a million dollars just to attend one of these events and the events were only held once every three years.

Phamous Gangus was also notorious for being highly reclusive. She had no socials. No one knew her real name. Best of all no one had ever seen a photo of her. If Trixie was able to capture a photo of her then she would finally be the right person at the right place at the right time. It would be a photo that would live on in infamy. This was her chance. Finally.

Quickly she typed out a DM to Dax.


‘Got tipped off on the location of her next event. It’s an old abandoned club. I also know the former owner of this club. He has a key. I give u the key u hide out in the rafters, take the pic.’

‘Sounds good’

‘One thing tho Trix’


‘U gotta wear noise cancelling headphones’


‘Cuz they say if you hear her music u die’


‘Serious Trix. That’s y no one else wants this job’

‘People pay a million dollars to attend her events. You saying they cough up all that cash just to die’

‘People r weird Trix. What’s the price of hearing something that only a few will ever hear? Just promise you’ll wear the headphones. K?’


Next thing Trixie knew she was carefully retrieving her camera from her backpack as she laid atop the rafters. She aimed its lens at the stage that sat in front of the ovular dancefloor below her. She took a couple of practice photos before she secured the noise cancelling headphones to her ears. Then she waited.

It wasn’t long before a pair of large men dragged a set of speakers through the empty club and positioned them on stage.

For a moment Trixie started to question her decision. She wondered if maybe it was possible for music to kill. Quickly she dismissed those concerns as ridiculous.

She resumed her watch as the men continued prepping the stage. Soon the attendees began to arrive. They all entered the modest club in a steady stream. They were all well-dressed. The men wore fancy suits and the women wore sleek dresses. They didn’t at all look like the type of people one would expect to see at a rap performance. They all buzzed with excitement. They casually chattered with one another. Filling the club with the hum of a hundred different conversations all blending together into one.

Then entered a slight figure clad in a baggy white hoodie and matching sweatpants. The crowd instantly quieted as they parted to allow the newcomer easy access to the stage. Trixie zoomed in on her camera as the woman took a golden microphone into her hand.

She wasn’t what Trixie had expected. Her face was flawless and smooth. Dark make-up covered her lips and shadowed her eyes. An elaborately braided ponytail was flung over her right shoulder and extended all the way to her midsection. She was incredibly small in stature and her baggy clothing seemed to be hiding an extremely thin frame.

Without warning the speakers roared to life with a powerful bass that reverberated throughout the club. The roughness of the bass managed to shake the rafters as the woman began to perform. Trixie had to take a second to steady herself before she was able to refocus. She zoomed in once more and...snap. She had done it. She had captured a photo of one of the most elusive people in the world. She had made history. But why the hell stop at just one. She took several more as the woman bounced about the stage. She then turned her camera towards the crowd. She captured several photos of the well dressed, closely huddled together masses as they awkwardly swayed and attempted to dance.

Just like that her job was done. Trixie carefully shimmied her way backwards across the rafters until she reached the ladder. Slowly she descended down each rung, not wanting to draw any attention to herself. A sense of triumph surged through her as her foot made contact with the ground. All she had to do now was take a few more steps and go out the emergency exit at the back of the club. Easy.

Then a thick hand grabbed her shoulder. The mighty paw spun her around. She looked up helplessly at the towering muscular man. Instantly recognizing him as one of the two men who had set up the stage earlier.

Trixie saw his lips move, but his words were blocked out by the headphones that still clung onto her head. By now the bass that had been reverberating throughout the club had ended. Slowly Trixie took off the headphones and was shocked to find that the entire club was eerily quiet.

“The madam would like to speak to you,” said the burly man with a deep raspy voice.

He stepped aside and Trixie gasped at the sight now in front of her. The bodies of the attendees now all laid about the dancefloor. Their eyes opened and glaring, but listless and void of life. The burly man pushed Trixie forward. Forced her to step over the numerous bodies that laid peacefully about the ground. She had to tread lightly. Even though the bodies gave no sign of protest she tried her best not to step upon any of their more sensitive parts. All the while she had to struggle to maintain her balance and focus on not twisting her ankle. It was a painfully awkward trek which finally concluded with her standing in front of the stage.

The stage was elevated a few feet above the dancefloor which meant she had to crane her neck to make eye contact with the tiny woman who was now glaring down at her. “Phamous Gangus?” asked Trixie.

“I am,” softly said the woman. “And you are?”

“Trixie Little. I’m…I’m a photographer.”

“You’re paparazzi, aren’t you?”

“I…I am, but I’m not. I’m…I’m a photographer. A real one. There’s just not…sometimes,” Trixie sighed. “You have to pay bills. Y’know?”

Phamous Gangus extended a hand. “Let me see your pictures.”

Hesitantly, Trixie retrieved her camera from her backpack and handed it over.

Phamous Gangus gingerly handled the device. She scanned through each photo before she handed the camera back. Carefully her eyes scanned Trixie before she spoke again “You’re an artist in a world that has turned its back on art. They’ve forgotten what it is really. Not their fault they’ve been washed over by a flood of perfection and beauty. They think that is art, but it’s not. Art isn’t beautiful, or ugly. It isn’t perfect, or sloppy. It simply is a reflection. A mirror that can show you what you truly are, if you’re willing to look. That is what happened here tonight. Those people who came here, they have all spent their lives pursuing money rather than living. That was their truth. For a moment I allowed them to see that. It was an epiphany that stole their souls. That is the power of my art. That is the power that you seek as well, is it not?”

“It is.”

Phamous Gangus snapped her fingers and quickly a man brought her a plastic CD case. She handed it over to Trixie. Trixie looked at the shining CD inside of the case. A black sharpie had sloppily scribbled out the words Goaldeen Nurvana across the front of the CD.

“Some who listen to that CD are granted the ability to awaken ancient deities and bind them to their art. Those who are able to do so are able to bless this world with little seedlings of truth. Seedlings that people crave to consume, even if they have to sacrifice their very life in doing so. Others who listen to that CD are driven insane. They spend the rest of their lives barely able to function and eventually drool themselves to death. Do you believe in yourself and your art enough to take that risk?”

Trixie thought for only a split second before she replied, “Yes.”

After all, Trixie was no quitter. 

April 06, 2024 01:02

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Jeremy Burgess
05:38 Apr 11, 2024

I enjoyed this! The flow was nice, and Trixie's persistence was good. I thought the implication that she might listen to the music and die was really excellent as well, and the Devil's bargain Phamous presents her with does a good job of asking us the same thing. Nice work!


Timothy Motley
22:21 Apr 12, 2024

Thank you


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Tricia Shulist
15:26 Apr 07, 2024

Cool story! It’s almost a parable for believing in yourself. Would you listen to the CD? Thanks for sharing.


Timothy Motley
22:20 Apr 12, 2024

I probably would be too scared to listen to the CD.


Tricia Shulist
19:59 Apr 14, 2024

I just might … but with great power comes great responsibility.


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