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   Chapter 3 No.3

Sheryl's Last Stand By Kerrie Noor Characters: 5310

Updated: 2018-02-07 12:01

'Belly dancing?' laughed Frances. 'I read about that; a dance for fat women. Apparently, they all go over to Egypt and pick up Arabs for sex.'

'How much you had to drink, Frances?'

'It's true; I saw it in the Record.'

Beatrice said nothing; as far as she was concerned, anyone who read The Record like the bible wasn't worth arguing with. Instead, she turned her attention to George; his immaculate moustache was twitching.

'What you smirking at, then?'

George smiled, he had vague memories of exotic dancing during the war, and for a moment he was transported back to those days when he looked pretty good in a uniform. 'Belly dancing, I see, it is a woman's kind of thing; getting over the break-up, what?'

Beatrice pushed another coin into the centre. 'I'll raise you!'


Sheryl stood at the back of her class, numbly thinking about Martin and his pulling power. She twirled her hips and followed the elastic flow of her teacher.

'Knees together, Sheryl, this ain't no LAP DANCING class.'

Sheryl sighed. Nefertiti was a pain in the proverbial. She was a skinny woman, the wrong side of fifty-five, which no amount of black eyeliner and good dentures could disguise. She called herself Nefertiti, others in the class called her 'Naff-arse-tetity' or 'the naff one'.

When Sheryl had started the classes, the teacher was a sturdy 25-year-old Greek called Ardennes, and Nefertiti (who was simply known as Janice back then) was just another pupil in the front row.

Ardennes attracted so many members that the class was moved from the small-carpeted playroom in the community centre, to the badminton court. He had a fondness for Lycra, worn tight, with a black sequined scarf tied in a LARGE knot over his groin, making pelvic tilts the high point of the evening.

He also had a job in the Argyll Hotel.

'Belly dancing is a gift from one free spirit to another, ' Ardennes would whisper into a student's ear, while placing his hands on her hips. 'Let the drums unleash them.'

Janice had waited for him to whisper in her ear and place his hands on her hips. When he didn't, she stopped eating carbohydrates and got her belly button pierced. And when that didn't work, she informed Shifty, the barman in The Argyll, about Ardennes and his 'free gifts' from one client to another. It was the only time Ardennes was caught performing pelvis tilts with no Lycra.

He left the next day.

Sheryl felt sorry for the young man. Being caught in the act is undignified enough, but when suspended from a slightly dodgy four-poster bedpost, wearing nothing but a union jack g-string and clutching a pair of crutch-less

pantaloons between his teeth, dignity didn't come near it.

Sheryl would squirm uncomfortably as the other members of the class mulled over the gory detail of Ardennes's sex life, some wishing it was themselves who had been suspended from a bedpost.

But Sheryl didn't; it was not that long ago she was known as the girl who put sex into Scottish dancing. She knew, because Mr. Rugby had been in the Argyll and read the walls in the gent's toilets.

It was all thanks to Mavis, who ran the post office. Martin owned the post office. He also owned the flat above, which Sheryl lived in. Mavis had walked in on Sheryl's version of Scottish country dancing, and spread it about Lochgilphead that Sheryl was not only doing a line with a married man, but did it suspended in mid-air like some acrobatic prostitute. The things I did for Martin, Sheryl thought, no wonder I'm good at belly dancing.

'Strictly speaking, this ain't no belly dancing move, but as my Rodger would say, a bit of spice never harmed anyone.'

The class sighed. After two weeks in Turkey, Nefertiti had suddenly become an expert on all things Middle Eastern. She claimed belly dancing worked 'Miracles down below', or her 'Flower of Scotland', as Rodger liked to call it.

'Six weeks of belly dancing, luv, and you'll be able to laugh and stay dry, ' said Nefertiti, tilting her padded bra.

Sheryl wondered about her own neglected 'Flower of Scotland', and Martin, and wished she cared less.

George placed his hand on the table. At first, he was confident until he caught the familiar gleam in Beatrice's eye. Plying her with whisky had been an expensive mistake. He had spent the best part of an evening watching his small pile of coins disappear. He knew what was coming next, gloating by Beatrice and more drink; all from his bottle, of course.

He smiled to himself, she was so damn predictable.

Sheryl rode her bike home from class, all the time thinking about sex, or as in her case, the lack of it. It had been ages since she had had any. In fact, she had forgotten what it was like to wake up with a smile on her face and someone warm close by. She stood by the gate of her house, and looked up at her mother's bedroom window. Beatrice was in bed, the television light was flashing through the curtains and Sheryl could hear wrestling. She opened the gate, left her bike by the shed, and walked inside.

'It hardly seems fair, ' said Sheryl, trying to shut the bedroom window, she looked at the lock and jiggled it a bit. 'All those years he never wanted a baby, and then SHE comes along...'

'You going to be long with that? Johnston is on soon.'

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