Young women in frilly dresses sat at picnic tables, their hair and clothes the pinnacle of fashion, none of them noticed Aldrich or Haley. Some older women were scattered between the younger ladies. Each one seemed entranced by the man on the podium. Haley held to Aldrich’s arm and drew close to him, like she was trying to get into his hip pocket literally.
“Who is he,” she whispered.
“I don’t know.”
The man, like every woman in attendance, had immaculate hair and wore the absolute best clothes. Aldrich sat next to a shapely redhead. Her eyes took in Aldrich, but she turned from him and looked back at the man in the center. Men wore the best suits and smoked fancy cigars. Their depravity lurked behind lust-filled eyes. The man on the stage tapped the floor with a black cane and stepped to the lectern.
“Good evening fine folk and welcome to our auction. Tonight, is a special night. For the right amount of money, you can go home with one of these beautiful models,” he said motioning at the people behind him, “and you can do whatever you want with them. Do you want to explore the depths of lust with someone new? Or does your desires venture past the markers of unbridled lust and into something darker? It matters not, for I, Archibald Wiggins, am not here to judge you. I am merely a facilitator of fleshy goods.”
Aldrich’s skin crawled as he listened to this slaver prepare his audience to bid on his ‘goods.’ Archibald Wiggins fancied himself an auctioneer, but he was just another demon wrapped in human skin. The ‘models’ were led to the center and a bright light illuminated ths stage. Wiggins stood on the corner and nodded to a slick looking, middle aged man whose eyes never left a tall brunette. He licked his lips and grinned like a hungry wolf at her.
“I see Mr. Frankel has already chosen another beauty,” Archibald said to the crowd who erupted in laughter, “alas, the girls are only mortal and can’t outlast his desires. But there’s always more where he found the last one.”
Haley leaned close to Aldrich’s ear to speak but her breath trembled. Aldrich looked into her eyes and put his arm around her.
“Our first model is a homegrown stud from Biloxi. Ladies, look at this powerful chest, these strong arms. Imagine the joy he could bring you, and the children he could sire. Bidding starts at a thousand dollars.”
Numbered paddles flew into the air, as women bid on the tall, athletic man from Biloxi. “Paddle 500 has the high bid at 7,000 dollars. Going once, going twice…Sold!”
Archibald Wiggins threw his head back and laughed, the crowd laughed along with him. He pointed his cane at the woman and winked.
“What’s your husband going to think about your new addition, Hilda?”
She scoffed and waved her hand in the direction of the other trailers. The crowd snickered, but Aldrich and Haley waited for her to explain.
“He’s over there trying out a new filly. He broke the last one he got here.”
“And what a beauty she was y’all. Tall, blonde, a well-rounded woman who was built with only purpose in mind. Alas, she was far too spirited for such an endeavor.”
The crowd murmured their disapproval and shook their heads. “Such a waste,” someone said. The others nodded approvingly. Rage flooded Aldrich’s body, and he forced himself to calm down. A man led another model out. In the bright lights Aldrich recognized him.
It was the bleeding man from the bar who threatened him.