Some people find their god in a time of strife. Others are born into it, their family raising them in the traditions of belief. For Dancelap Sweetchest, she found her god beneath the curve of a coin glued to the wall. Read below to find out how such a simple thing sparked a new way of life for one of our favorite halflings.
One dancer in front of her.
Dancelap counted the names written in chalk on the board from her place on the cigarette burned couch in the touch-up room. She picked at an invisible piece of nothing on her leather skirt and told herself she wasn’t nervous. If only the other girls weren’t all so tall and glamorous; and here she was dressed like a caravan stop waitress with clothes she brought from home. Bah, what did it matter, she wouldn’t be wearing them for long, right?
There was nothing to it. On the other side of the curtain was a room full of men with coin who were here for one thing — well, two. And she had those in ample supply. Jiggle, giggle, wink, and pretend to be having a good time: profit. It wasn’t brain science.
The music stopped, and the muffled voice of the MC announced “—big round of applause for Sapphire as she comes around to say hello!” The next song started up as he continued, “And next, hold on to your souls, gentlemen, and please welcome to the stage, our own infernal princess, Kiki!”
The tiefling, Kiki, kissed her fingers and touched the wall by the side of the door, before stalking out onto the runway in a dress so tight and red it would have its own sin named after it back in Green Hilly.
Dancelap looked away from the hypnotist swing of Kiki’s retreating hips as the curtain fell closed behind her. Curiously, she checked the wall where the girl had left her lipstick fingerprints. And saw a larger than should be practical coin with a woman’s face set into the wood there.
“What’s that?” she asked the smoky air of the cramped dressing room that acted as the on-deck circle for the stage.
Loud enough for Sehanine to hear, as she touched up her eyeliner nearby. “What’s what, hon?” the half-elf woman asked without breaking eye contact with herself in the mirror.
She didn’t like being called Hon, it felt condescending, but that was probably in her head. “The coin in the wall over there?”
Sehanine used the mirror to look and smirked as she went to work on her other set of eyelashes. “That’s Waukeen,” she explained gamely, “Our Lady of Commerce. We kiss the coin so she smiles on us and grants us a profitable night.”
Dancelap frowned, “…there’s a Goddess of money?”
The other girl barked out a laugh. “There’s a Goddess for us making the money,” Sehanine took her attention away from her work long enough to wink at the new girl with the dumb questions.
Dancelap must’ve made a face, because the girl tilted her head at the reaction. “What’s wrong with that?”
She looked around the dingy surroundings and back to the woman who was two drawstring pulls from standing there in the all-together. “Just… doesn’t exactly seem like a holy place.”
Sehanine chuckled and returned to put the finishing strokes on an eye surrounded with enough makeup already to lacquer a Green Hilly fence. “Honey — Dancelap, was it? —Those men came here to worship and tithe same as any gleaming church in the Castle Ward. It’s up to you to deliver the sermon.” She recapped the mascara brush and smacked herself on the thigh as punctuation.
Dancelap looked from the half-elf, to the coin, and back, dubiously. No, she was pretty sure those men came to get drunk, catcall, and watch her take her shirt off. Hey, she was willing, she just didn’t know that there needed to be any more poetry to it than that.
Spying that she was unconvinced, Sehanine turned to fully face the Halfling for the first time. “Are you ashamed to be here?”
“Do you think there’s anything wrong with what we’re doing?”
“Do you think we’re all sinners in the eyes of Lathander or something?”
“No,” Dancelap answered, increasingly defensive with each iteration.
“Then why shouldn’t there be a Goddess for us?” Sehanine reached her thesis pointedly.
Dancelap realized she was leaning away from the woman’s one-stripper inquisition. Yeah, okay, she didn’t have an answer. Sure, why not? She—they—could believe whatever they wanted about their lucky coin. It became apparent, her only forthcoming response was silently shrinking from the question still hanging in the air.
Sehanine sighed and smiled tiredly. “You’re almost up, kid. Knock’em dead,” she vacated the vanity with a creak of the stool and walked up the steps back to the costume room proper.
The dressed down hick from Green Hilly watched the half-elf’s skinny little ass go with a series of baleful curses in mind. But the music was winding down, and she was running out of time to stew. What did that bitch know, anyway?
Dancelap clicked and clacked up to the curtain, trying to banish the last of her rueful thoughts.
“Let’s hear it for Kiki, everybody!” the announcer prompted a crowd of drunken louts.
Her eyes drifted to the coin with the placid looking woman’s face on it. Sh’yeah, right, Waukeen, Our Lady of Commerce, smiling down on them, her Green Hilly ass.
“There’s nothing small about this next girl, fellas, please, welcome to the stage, for the first time… Dancelap Sweetchest!”
The erstwhile Honeysuckle Niceblouse took a deep breath, put on her fakest smile, and reached for the curtain… but she paused as Sehanine’s voice haunted her one last time: Why shouldn’t there be a Goddess for us?
Ahh, fuckit, Dancelap kissed her fingers and slapped the coin before walking out into the dancing lights.
Written by Marty