She was wearing a lacy push-up bra, a matching black thong, and bright red stilettos. She stood front of her computer screen, as the anonymous voice stared on and drooled, he looked like a dog desperate for a treat, waiting for his owner to drop it into his mouth. Each breath he took intensified as Parker slowly swayed her hips at him, her thong pressing even harder against her buttocks, and each time, the voice’s breath got faster. “Like that, don’t ya, big boy?”, she said, as she pulled the right side of her thong up while her backside faced him.
The voice’s only response was a quick, nervous chuckle, followed by a grunt. “I’ve finished. Will I still have to pay for the full hour? It’s only been like 5 minutes”, the voice said – now sounding more confident and assertive. “Yeah, you asked for the full hour. I can keep going if you’d like to go for round 2?” Answered Parker, who had heard this question many times beforehand. The voice grunted condescendingly, “Nevermind. Fuckin’ bitch, thanks for the stiffy”. Parker checked her bank account as he attempted to insult her- great, his money’s in, she thought. She immediately closed the cam window as the 5-minute-guy finished his insult, and dragged his name onto her blocked contacts. BigD666. What a charmer, Parker thought.
She threw on her comfiest lilac dress from her bed, put on her unzipped black winter jacket, then turned her laptop off and pushed the screen down. Well, time to get to uni, she thought as she walked out of her room. Parker was only 19 years old, but being a cam girl was the only way to properly finance her art career while she studied it at the Paris College of Art. Her family thought she worked part-time at a call centre, “speaking” to English customers, but it wasn’t quite “speaking” which she did, though it was difficult enough getting a dish washing job in Paris…
As Parker walked down the stairs and out of her studio apartment, she felt the cold air brush against her face gently, yet briskly. It was December in Paris, and the wintry weather reminded Parker of her home back in London – only not so grey. Just for a second, she felt like she was back home; in the comfort of her family, and not here studying. The thought was comforting, yet eerie – all Parker ever wanted to do was to become an artist. Being a cam girl was just easy money, which left her with more time to actually paint. Besides, creepy perverts were good inspiration for angry paintings, so who was it hurting really?
As Parker walked deeper into town, she noticed a worrying amount of looks. Well, she always got looks really; she was a beautifully light-skinned, natural redhead, with freckles that seemed to be sculpted and placed individually and symmetrically across the top of both her cheekbones. She had light green eyes that felt like they looked right into your soul, and a slim, runner’s body – after all, she needed to look good for her side job.
Still though, the looks she was getting were over the top – and only by men. Did I forget to wear a bra? She asked herself as she wondered what the looks meant, then looked down at her chest to check, Okay, bra – check, clothes – check, shoes – check…So what the hell? As she continued to walk down the street and turned around the neighbourhood corner store, La Commodité, a man passed by, looked her dead in the eye and smirked, “Hey mademoiselle,
Je t’ai vu”. I saw you. Parker didn’t know much French, but she knew enough to get around. What the hell was that about? He saw me? Where? The mysterious man was wearing a black leather jacket, a black vest, blue jeans, and a cheesy dog tag. He kept scanning her eyes as he walked passed her, leaving her in fear and confusion; his eyes felt like they were trying to jump on to her – to invade her, Parker couldn’t understand how he could make her feel like that just with a look.
Parker tried her best to brush it off, and pushed forward to university, as the odd looks continued, “Mademoiselle! Venez ici!”, and so did the yells. She noticed her own pace gradually increasing as she headed to university, and she could feel her heartbeat quicken through her chest, every beat feeling like a drum hit, warning her further of the danger. The only problem was that she didn’t know where or what this danger actually was.
She thought she would be able to push through the looks and walk to university, until one specific moment. As Parker turned around a corner and saw her university a few blocks down the road, another man whistled at her. Parker’s entire body froze. Suddenly, the drum beats felt like pits of fire trying to escape through her throat – but her throat tightened, the fire couldn’t get out. It was stuck inside her chest, she was almost convinced her body was being burned from the inside.
The girl couldn’t take one more second, she blinked until she was aware again, turned around and ran back home. She ran as fast as her legs would take her, she ran until the fire tried to escape through her throat once more and until the cold air slapped her across the face once more; this time it was not so gentle. A few streets back to her apartment, she felt she could breathe again and the fire was no longer so strong – but she was not okay. Her hands shivered as she finally got back to her home and attempted to unlock her door.
The door slammed shut as she ran up the stairs. Parker rushed into her room and sat at her computer desk. She opened up her laptop, ready to find out what the hell was going on, and who was seeing what. Parker proceeded to open her internet browser, and as soon as she did, her heart sunk. The browser automatically went to a page full of her, just her. Naked. It was a website on the dark web – the most gruesome part of the internet.
Parker knew this part all too well from her younger, teenage hacking days. Hacking was her hobby and passion back then, she would find out everything about anyone that she knew, just in case. It was her method of escaping reality, before art came into her life.
This webpage wasn’t just full of naked pictures of her from her webcam shows; it had her address on it, and everything about her. Her birthday, her height, her real name – everything. She couldn’t help but feel that this was 5-minute guy. No one else had been so rude to her for a while, it must’ve been that douche bag, she thought. She quickly went through her IP history list; it was a list she kept of all her past webcam clients, she might have wanted easy money but she wasn’t stupid.
Eric Dunphey was his name. She managed to crack into his online records, but everything came up empty. This guy was incredibly dodgy – he probably hacks too, she thought. Parker kept searching and searching; looking for his relatives, their relatives, their friends, anything she could get her hands on, but this guy came out clean –was his name the only thing in existence? As Parker kept searching, she finally came across his brother’s profile, Peter Dunphey.
She clicked his name, and – Pitch. Black.. Her entire apartment went dark. Her heart raced as she felt so blind and terrified, then 3 words lit up her screen.
“I SEE YOU”.