STORY: The Bill

The Emperor is sitting on his throne carefully looking over a thick, multi-page, stapled document. The Courtesan is pacing behind him, dressed in her signature red cocktail dress. Standing next to the throne are two bikini-clad ladies. One is holding a bowl of grapes and the other is fanning the Emperor with a giant leaf.

“I’m not sure I agree with all of these charges,” he says, turning the document to page 24 of 76. “Some of these seem to be made-up.”

“I assure you the bill is correct, Monsieur,” says the Courtesan. “I don’t usually make mistakes. It appears you’ve been visiting me for several years now. The charges you’ve accrued in that time period are numerous. You’re not a man who is easy to take care of. You’re selfish, easily bored, and overly demanding. While we are more than happy to cater to your type here, pleasing you on a whim does become expensive.”

The Emperor rolls his eyes and looks at the bill.

“What is this?” he demands. “You charge a grape-feeding fee?!”

“Of course we do. Grapes are expensive. They’re considered a luxury in some parts of the world. It’s easier to buy a bottle of cheap wine. Luckily for you, we are in an area where they are freely available, but you do eat a lot of them.”

The Emperor looks over at the girl holding the bowl of grapes and glares at her.

“You never mentioned anything about this being a paid service,” he mutters. “I thought it was free! You just walked right up and offered it to me! I thought I was entitled to it. I’m the Emperor!”

“In here you are just another man,” the Courtesan replies. “We see you as a customer to be pleased and nothing more. That is why you come here, no?”

The Emperor gives her a sour look and continues reading the list.

“What is this? A plant-fanning fee? Are you kidding me?!”

“This fern is not indigenous to this area,” the Courtesan snaps, pointing to the fan. “It was imported from a tiny tropical island on the other side of the world. It became too expensive to import regularly, so we bought a plant to keep here instead. As you can imagine, the upkeep of a tropical plant in this climate is very difficult. It gets expensive. You are the only customer using the leaf-fanning service, and therefore you have to pay for it.”

“But why is it only me that has to pay for it?”

“No one is asking you to pay for some other guy’s S&M dungeon. If he wants whips and chains, he’s gotta pay for that shit himself.”

“You have an S&M dungeon here?”

“Of course we do. What do you think we are? Amateurs?”

“How come I didn’t know about the S&M dungeon?”

“Because you’ve never requested it.”

“Well, what if I want to go down to the S&M dungeon?”

“Then you’re going to have to chip in and pay for it.”

The Emperor furrows his eyebrows again.

“This is getting expensive. Are you sure you’re not running some kind of extortion operation over here?”

“I could ask the same question about your bar.”

“I could have you shut down for this, you know. Technically speaking, running this sort of operation is illegal.”

“But if you shut me down, you’ll have nowhere to run to when you want to get away from your wife. Then you’ll have to go three towns over to the cheap, trashy place rampant with STD’s. You won’t last five minutes there. You like your PYT’s smart, clean, and classy. The best money can buy. After all, a three dollar ho is a three dollar ho.”

The Emperor glares at the Courtesan again.

“And what about this here? What is a ‘Costume’ fee?”

“You think those bikinis were cheap? What about those shoes? And before you even ask, yes, they do get paid an hourly wage to stand there next to you. We’ve been at this all day. Ten hours at least. They’re tired. Their feet hurt. Those thongs are chafing. They just want to go home, put on yoga pants, eat some junk food, and watch Netflix. But no. They have to stand here all night worshipping you like a god. Angelica over here has tennis elbow from fanning you all the time. Her healthcare bills are astronomical. If it weren’t for Obamacare, I’d have to charge you even more! Did you ever even think about that? No, you didn’t, because you only think about yourself.”

“I don’t come here to think!” he snaps.

“And we are happy to provide a relaxing, stress-free environment so you don’t have to. We’ll cater to your every whim… for a price. We thought you understood this when you signed the contract. That is why you keep visiting us and spending so much of your time and money here, yes?”

The Emperor sighs in defeat and tosses the document over his shoulder.

“All right, all right. I’ll pay the damn tab,” he mutters, pulling out his wallet. He gives the Courtesan all the money he has and sits back in his chair.

“This won’t be enough,” says the Courtesan. “Your debt here runs deep.”

“I’ll deal with it later,” the Emperor replies. “Just take me away on a grand island escape.”

“Your wish is my command.”

The Courtesan snaps her fingers. Within an instant, they are transported to a fancy, upscale resort on a tropical island. The Emperor and the Courtesan find themselves lounging on a set of chairs by the pool. The Emperor looks over and sees the bikini-clad ladies making out with each other in the pool.

“I suppose you charge a fee for that too, I imagine,” he says.

“Oh yes,” the Courtesan replies. “Lesbian shows are very popular with the boys. You can join in for a small-but-reasonable fee. If you’d like to include me as well, there will be an additional cost.”

“Is there any way I can get all of this and you for free?”

“There’s no such thing as free,” the Courtesan replies. “But if you’d like to be with me without paying for my time, you’ll have to get divorced. Then we can date like normal people and I won’t have to charge you a cent! Unfortunately, as long as you remain chained to your wife, I will be forced to consider any relationship with you a service which must be bought and paid for. Otherwise, I’d just be the stupid little girl whose time you’re wasting because you’re stringing her along for attention. I’m not afraid to ask for the sort of monetary compensation I deserve for my time. Do you understand?”

The Emperor nods solemnly.

“I understand.”

“Good,” says the Courtesan, taking a sip of her drink. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to sit here and watch the show.”

She turns back to the ladies making out in the pool. The Emperor stares at her for sometime longer until he too returns to the show.

The End

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