Denise Grenncourd knew by the time she was 15 that she’d have to enter the big bad world of pornography if she ever expected to get out of Littleton, South Carolina. She’d tried her best as a junior helper at the hair salon and even at the Biscuit Barn, but sex never left her mind and her customers noticed, and they talked.
The whole porn idea had come upon Denise as she sat at her monitor, in the presence of typical boys; it was computer science class, 1:00, and Mr. Stephenson had surrendered over to his post-lunch nap. Rex Randall was elbowing the hungry boys that loomed about him as they watched a petite Mexican girl deepthroat an ex-NBA player on Rex’s screen. Denise could make most of it out from the corner of her eyes, but oftentimes it all seemed blurry—other times downright unnatural.
Denise talked to her Grandmother about it that night. It was a Friday and the air was cool.
Mama Grenncourd had earned her life’s way as a madam for the steel mill community sixty years prior, and Denise figured she’d know a word or two of honest advice.
“Your mother ought to have beat you more,” Mama scolded.
“What does it matter? What does it matter if a girl sees no aim to living other than sex, sex, sex every day? You have your pills and Daddy has his liquor. I intend to have my cup of sex, once a day. And if I get paid for it—paid for it—then life is just completely perfect, you know?”
“You’ll ruin yourself. Won’t have children; and some day you’ll want them. Now, I know what I’m talking about!”
“What do I need children for?”
“For keeping care of you when you turn old and frail. God didn’t give you a functioning brain, I swear it.”
Denise went back to her bedroom and flopped about her piles of lavender bed sheets. She thought of calling Amanda West to start something up. Amanda West was a bisexual cheerleader and a diehard river rat. In Littleton, South Carolina, you were either a river rat or a beach bum.
River rats liked the murky river, needless to say. They fished for catfish and drank beer and ate blackened chicken right off of the grill. They pumped their stereos up for all the pleasure crafts on the waterway and at night they sipped liquor and talked about the complexities of being God.
Beach bums, however, loved all of the eternal tackiness of Myrtle Beach: neon signs, neon clothing, saltwater, saltwater taffies, crab restaurants, flip-flops, hard rock, shagging, Ocean Boulevard, and sexual fulfillment right on the beach.
Denise, certainly, was a beach bum. Amanda West was a whore and decidedly a redneck. Denise, on the other hand, was a southern lady and a lover of young men. Thus, there was a tremendous difference between the girls, and an outsider wouldn’t need a Harvard Ph.D. to understand it all.
Presently Denise arose from her bed and went and undressed in front of her floor mirror. She thought she had the porn kind of body sure enough. She was barely 15, 5’9, 111 lbs, olive skin, short brown hair combed to one side, green eyes, deep, husky voice, shiny braces with some degree of elegance to them. Her Grandma said she looked like a burnt flamingo walking around the house. Denise pushed her breasts up and held them in place. She’d do fine. She’d do real fine.
There was also the inescapable issue of Pee Wee Manson. Denise would have to call him—and real soon. Pee Wee’s father was a well-respected pornographer and the family had earned small-town fame for being of relation to Charles Manson himself. Pee Wee bragged about it ceaselessly when in History class or out on the street corner with all the cigarette boys.
But just as soon as Denise got off the phone with Pee Wee she screamed and threw a hissy in her bedroom. She was tearing off posters and ripping old bras to shreds when her Grandmother grabbed a hold of her skinny back.
“Denise, you idiot child.”
“I called Pee Wee Manson! I call him, all right! And he’s already hanging out with Amanda West. Whore. Whorest of the whores, Grandma.”
“Well, you needn’t no business with Phillip Manson’s son anyhow, I should know. Scum of the earth that man. Scum.”
“But I can’t let Amanda outwit me. Never! River rat trash, Grandma. And she has no more breasts than a boy does. Nothing. If it weren’t for her wideload ass, she’d be a virgin and working at Wal-Mart part-time. Bitch. Part-time bitch!”
“If this all means that much to you, Denise, then I’ll help you, Lord willin’.” She sat down on the bed beside her and wiped out her eyeglasses and patted her granddaughter’s hand. “But you have got to learn to calm down, precious. You get so worked up over nothing. I mean, what is it? Nothing, really?”
“Thank you, Grandma.”
“Will you make me some grilled cheese?”
“Yes, and tea.”
“Kay. Then we’ll get to work on trimming your beaver up real nice.”
After the doorbell at the Grenncourd house rang three times, Denise—recently dressed in her underwear—tugged the heavy brass handle back to find Pee Wee Manson waiting with a basket of flowers and a losing smile.
“Talked to my dad about it all, Denise.”
“Would you care for a soda? Come in.”
“And he said—you know—he said, okay. Yes, Denise-the-Piece.
“I only want to do the soft-core first. That has to be totally understood.”
Grandma could be heard coming near. She had begun a bulldozing of her heavy frame down the stairs and presently she was landing near Pee Wee at the front door.
“Who is the antique?”
“Pee Wee, let’s go to my bedroom. I want to negotiate.”
“Negotiate my ass. Who is the antique?”
“I want a real contract.”
Grandma picked her eyeglasses off the floor. “Hello, and how are you? Son, now you wait, aren’t you just only Phillip Manson’s boy?”
Denise tugged Pee Wee close to her braces and gums.
Pee Wee began a rubbing of Denise’s backside and a whispering in her ears. He rubbed on in this manner for five minutes. He smiled a fool’s smile as he slow danced his way around the Grenncourd’s living room with Denise draped over his short, rat-like body. He told her he’d like to have her immediately.
“Let me fix you all some tea at least,” Grandma said.
“Naw, granny,” Pee Wee piped up. “We getting wicked, super and horny over here. Can’t you just leave us be?”
Grandma shuffled on into the kitchen and sat down with her cigarettes and ashtray. She leaned her head down low and mumbled her nonsense.
After Denise had finished having her way with Pee Wee on her waterbed she pointed to his belt and ordered him to bring it over to her. Pee Wee scratched his naked chest and quietly obeyed. He didn’t want to anger Denise Grenncourd if she was going to put out for him like that again. He scratched his red chest hairs and yawned deeply. He placed the old leather belt in her hands and knelt before her like a puppy.
Denise played with the shiny buckle on the belt as she began to negotiate her terms. She wanted 50 dollars a shoot. She would say all she had to say matter-of-factly. And she wanted to pick out the men she was going to lie down with. Furthermore, she did not intend to use her real name, and claimed “Olive Skye” would best suit her, and she informed Pee Wee just how he would love that name when he first saw it up in the big print.
Pee Wee sat nervous on the floor and shook his head a lot. He did not know how much he could agree to or even say without his father present. But he knew he did not want to upset Denise, especially with the way she was twirling his thick leather belt around the room. He decided he’d ask to use Denise’s telephone and call his father at his office. That would be best.
Denise’s grandmother came in the bedroom with a pack of poker cards and a tray of waters. She sat down and told the youths to get dressed; she was hungry and they ought to go out and get her something to eat. They would play cards to decide who would pay for what and other things of that nature.
The first thing Denise Grenncourd noticed about Phillip Manson’s office was the dank darkness spread out to every crook and cranny—that, and the soft sound of orchestral melodies coming from somewhere afar.
The old leather computer chair and dusty blinds could not hide the reflection on the massive bald head of the famous pornographer.
He invited Denise in and slipped his son $20 while he instructed him to go out and do something or other.
And then Phillip Manson stood up, ever so slowly, and he began caressing the small of Denise’s back; next he started to promise her things that she’d never even heard of. Lastly, he stepped to the side of his desk and let out a deep, warm breath.
“Yes,” he said. “Gorgeous. Delectable and seemingly fresh. You’ll be one of the bestsellers. Instantly and instantaneously. Contract is all yours. Bring your lawyer on up to HQ, meaning here, of course.”
“I will rely on my Grandmother. Ginger Grenncourd.”
Phillip Manson snorted.
Denise remembered that Mama was asleep outside in Pee Wee’s car; if she needed her, she’d go out and get her. They had bought her a discounted bucket of fried chicken and now she was zonked out in Pee Wee’s old Buick.
Pee Wee himself then returned with a camera and an unwieldy stack of folders.
He began spreading the folders out on his father’s desk. When he was finally finished, he turned the emerald desk lamp on and positioned his small body in his father’s throne of a chair.
“Pee Wee, son,” the elder Manson boasted. “Procure for Ms. Denise—or shall I enhance a little smidgen with ‘Ms. Olive Skye’—the requisite forms for pornographation. I think we shall begin her series with some girl-on-girl action with Dixie Dumpling. Dixie, Denise, is a new arrival and barely legal herself. Strawberry blonde, excellent thighs and Greco-Roman nipples. Very bubbly, brings a certain esprit de corps to my establishment, and the older girls relish it so. They really do.” He pinched Denise on the buttocks and winked hard; he kept on pinching and winking until it became very redundant and rather unpleasant for young Denise.
Denise inched herself away from him.
“And by nature of our famous American system,” he continued, “I shall have to indeed verify that you are 18 years of age. Standard practice. Formalities.”
Denise looked to the floor of the office and toyed her feet over the strings of sawdust beneath her.
“You are 18? Aren’t you?”
The giant-headed man motioned to his son. Pee Wee arose from the chair and left the room again.
“Denise, I want to show you what you could be. Now, in just a minute I expect Junior’s return with that exquisite Dixie Dumpling. A girl of virginal delight. Her posterior holds a certain glow in the epic hotel room scenes—in all lightings, actually. So, in short, you could be her, become her, when you do turn the requisite 18. How many years are we away?”
“The lawmakers are chiseling away, chiseling me away. I swear it. Pearls before swine.”
“Pearls before swine.”
“Well, how come I can’t just take the risk? I mean I’ll say I’m 18 and all. Who is gonna know anyway?”
“Hush, honey. Hush.”
After Pee Wee held the door open for what seemed like an hour, Dixie Dumpling maneuvered her disproportionate body through and took a seat on the corner of Phillip Manson’s office desk. The room was deadly quiet save for the far-off orchestral melodies. Pee Wee scratched his orange chest hairs. His father sipped from a faded coffee mug. And then, suddenly, Denise looked the other girl over, vetted her person under all the makeup and designs, and Denise Grenncourd screamed out with some degree of ire. Dixie Dumpling was none other than the dirty river rat—none other than that Amanda West.
Denise’s grandmother could be heard bleating outside. She knocked away on Phillip Manson’s office door and bleated. She claimed her head was addled and she’d need some cold water or else someone would have hell to catch.
“Manson,” she cried. “You open this door right now, Phillip Manson!”
“My god, what is that execrable noise,” he whispered to his son.
Pee Wee pulled back the door handle and Mama waddled her way inside and scowled up at Phillip Manson.
He squinted and then laughed self-consciously.
“Ginger, darling. Just how long has it been? Listen, your granddaughter has all of your beauty. So entirely true.”
“Ah, foot!” she replied.
Denise ran and stood beside her grandmother. She held onto her leathery arm and looked down at her. Presently the old woman was pulling out what looked like a kitchen knife from the innards of her plaid-patterned bag.
Pee Wee saw it too.
The first thing was Ginger Grenncourd lunging at Phillip Manson. She had her shining sharp weapon by the nape of his neck in no time. He might have died hard had not Pee Wee plowed his way in and saved his father.
Dixie-Amanda West then rent her garments and let out a blood-curdling howl. Denise quickly threw the river rat onto Phillip Manson’s office desk and began a furious serious of fists and spittings over the contours of her made-up face. The two cats scratched and screamed and called each other names like “river cunt” and “saltwater slut,” and there was no shortage of clenching of the teeth. It was entirely biblical.
Phillip Manson found he had to bite hard into the fatty hand of the old madam to make the kitchen knife fall free. Pee Wee, his servant son, slid in on his knees and scooped it up harmlessly from the floor tiles. He popped right back up so as to go hide the knife behind his father’s desk when he was met with a muddy boot to his face from the long-legged Denise Grenncourd. Amanda West then jumped on Denise’s back and pulled her hair like she was driving a coach-and-four stage.
The girls resumed on with their tussling until both were eventually naked as Nature. Pee Wee leaned against the back wall; he rested his aching head and played giddy.
Ginger Grenncourd and Phillip Manson had both run clean out of energy and had to stop for deep breaths. They gazed at the nude girls in action. Phillip Manson said it was beautiful and Grecian. Mama Greencourd claimed it was simply a form of the reverse cowgirl. Phillip Manson persisted and spoke of the obvious artistic indications at work before them. Ginger smiled and agreed with what he was saying.
Presently he asked her what the cause for such passionate art might be; he asked her if he might send Pee Wee to go round up a camera and crew. The old madam shook her head from side to side. She reminded Phillip Manson that the one thing they all had plenty of in Littleton was time. And if the law said 18 years of age—well, now who were they to go against the venerable laws of the State of South Carolina?