A very small tale of the pursuit of the sensual, originally published as part of Lily Childs' Friday Prediction.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone.
Lars's friends thought he was crazy to want to visit the burned remains of the Moulin Rouge, but it was worth it - even though so far, he hadn't seen anything unusual. The very wood of the place sang with energy and ecstacy of orgiastic evenings devoted solely to the pursuits of pleasure.
Suddenly hearing voices from behind the stage, Lars sprinted up several black, broken steps that lead to the dressing rooms.
He parted a mildewed and singed red velvet drape to reveal a long room filled with mirrors and lit by the soft amber glow of candles. Before him stood seven women; anonymous, gorgeous, and transparent. There was too much to look at. Swells of breasts and buttocks, pressing and straining against ornate, yet delicate, corsetry overwhelmed his senses. Long, muscled dancers' legs wrapped in the finest silk stockings brought the visions closer to where he stood. He smelled perfume and the faint odour of burnt hashish. He had nowhere that he could look that was not beautiful.
"Voulez-vous couchez avec nous, monsieur?" breathed a short blonde ghost to his left, barely dressed in white gossamer lace. His whole body throbbed for the courtesan phantoms.
"Yes ... oui. Oui!" Lars stammered, determined to give in to the experience. He would taste and savour the pent-up sexual energies of a century.
"C'est bien." said another, peeking over the top of an ostrich feather fan. She lowered it, and Lars saw that only her eyes had been untouched by the blaze. His rising excitement was instantly quenched with cold and certain dread. The scents in the room changed from perfume to rot, from incense to charcoal. As the women surrounded him, their façade of flesh melted away, revealing their charred and ruined true forms beneath.
Somewhere, music started playing.