Swan Song
Bev Vines-Haines

One thing you would have to say about Cheyenne Thomas: she was exuberant.  Not the usual ‘thrust out her chest, prance around with her hands on her hips, or speak in a sultry way’ kind of thing.  More like Audrey Hepburn meets Mae West. 

She worked at Carrie Palmer’s Bordello.  Carrie didn’t often recruit.  She left that to her other girls.  But she saw Cheyenne at church where the younger woman sang in the choir.  She had qualities Carrie had never seen in another young woman:  Intensity.  Sincerity.  A feeling you were the best and only person she’d ever met.  Could have been her eye contact.  Whether she lifted her gaze to praise the Lord or turned those gorgeous baby blues upon you to ask a question or just say hello, Cheyenne’s eyes left folks changed.

Only thing, change can be brutal.  It was at the bordello.  Once she got in there, Cheyenne couldn’t get out.  Life in 1925 could be a bit unforgiving.  The other girls didn’t like her.  Said she made trouble.  She didn’t, of course.  She just made more money.  All the men wanted to spend time with her.  Half of them ended up just sitting on that fancy bed and talking.  Watching her and listening to her every word.

Eyes can only take a girl so far.  And they don’t always follow her dreams. One afternoon Carrie found Cheyenne hanging in her little bathroom.  She’d used that old choir robe cut into strips. 

First published:May, 2009
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