Tensions have been understandably high with my recent SSD. Here’s a little something that I’m sure will be a lot less contentious.
A few years ago, there was a fairly lowbrow game show in Russia known as Cash&Trash. It was a very simple one – contestants would go on and perform for an audience. So far, so very like a Russia’s Got Talent sort of show. However, the similarities went no deeper. The <Country>’s Got Talent format had judges consisting of figures from the world of entertainment (and Piers Morgan), with only one ultimate winner. Cash or Trash was rather different, and of course Panicked Productions were tasked with hosting a UK edition.
The studio was in three distinct parts. The largest part was the seating for the audience, whom all had a small remote control-like device on their seats. Each device had a pair of big buttons – a green one labelled “CASH” and a red one labelled “TRASH”. The seats gave a good view of not only the monitors displaying what the cameras saw, but also the main stage. This was a large, almost rectangular performance area with a curved front, raised off the ground to give a theatrical feel to it. Spotlights shone down on the middle, where the host stood. Stage right, there was some kind of structure that was shrouded in darkness.
The host was Nicki Stevens, the blue-eyed redhead of Goo Your Own Way and The Pairing Game fame (or infamy, as she preferred to think of it). Since becoming The Pairing Game’s “Matriarch of Mess”, she was becoming a sort of villainous figure akin to Simon Cowell or Anne Robinson, and she didn’t mind that one bit! She was looking fairly smart-casual, wearing a form-fitting black dress with a denim jacket and pristine blue high-top sneakers. Her ginger hair gleamed under the the spotlights, and trailed down behind her head to around her waist. Her make-up highlighted just how piercing her blue eyes could be, and that despite her mean and moody persona, she did have some cute features like her mouth and lips. Perhaps those who were unfamiliar with the presenter could be fooled into thinking she was much nicer than she appeared…
“Hi, I’m Nicki Stevens, and this is Cash or Trash,” she said as the crowd cheered. Even if she loved being a villainess, being a popular one had its charms. “This is a talent show with a difference. Each week I’ll be inviting people up onto this very stage and letting them perform for the most cruel and unforgiving judges of all, my gorgeous Cash or Trash Studio Audience!” One again, the audience cheered out in rapturous applause. “All you have to do is vote ‘cash’ if you like the act, and ‘trash’ if you don’t. If the act gets mostly cash votes, I will write out a cheque for £1000 and give it to them, right on the spot. Who says I’m not generous!” she giggles, winking to a camera. “But if they’re voted trash… well, you know the kinds of show I normally host! I’m sure you can fill in the blanks! Let’s bring out the first act.”
A woman in her early twenties walked out. She had olive skin and hair dyed a deep purple colour. Her hair was tied into a pair of ponytails at the front, with a fringe. Her eyes were a greyish blue, and her expression was one of confidence. She was 1.65m tall, with a thin body. On it she was wearing a rather floaty mauve dress that showed off her modest cleavage and reaches the knees, showing off her smooth and elegant legs, which vanished into a pair of purple ankle boots. Attached to the dress was an elegant white cape, which trailed down her back. She waved to the crowd with her right hand as she walked out, showing off the ornate purple manicure. In her left hand was a tiny cardboard box.
Nicki looked to the girl. “Welcome to Cash or Trash. What’s your name and where are you from?”
“I am Lucia the Prodigious, and I’m from Northampton,” the woman stated, bluntly.
“And what act are you going to do tonight?”
Lucia scoffed and turned her nose up at Nicki, despite being the shorter of the two. “I’ll have you know that what you are about to witness is no act. I am an adept scholar of all things arcane. When it comes to magic, there is nobody better than I am. Like I said, I’m a prodigy.”
“So in other words, you’re a magician and you’re going to do a trick,” Nicki smirked, looking to Lucia’s left hand. “A card trick, I’m guessing?”
“Nicole Stevens! Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!” Lucia barked at the presenter. “The display I am about to put on for you is no mere illusion. I am going to tap into your aura and blow you away!” She took a breath and continued, though with a much calmer tone. “I just require one thing.”
“And what’s that?”
“I need someone to perform my routine with. A volunteer, in other words.”
“Not a glamorous assistant? Though good luck finding someone as glamorous as I am in here!” Nicki says, giving a wry look to the camera as she teasingly played with her hair.
The self-styled scholar cleared her throat. “Like I said, I’m no mere magician so I don’t need a ‘glamorous assistant’,” she said, before muttering under her breath, “though no doubt there are plenty of people out there who would love to see you bisected.”
“What was that?” Nicki asked, glaring at Lutia.
“An unimportant aside,” said the purple-haired woman as she opened the top of the box. As Nicki suspected, she had a deck of cards. “Now, as our tonight’s not-so-gracious host got right, I am going to perform with these,” she said, turning to the audience and placing the cards face-down on her outstretched right palm, before picking the cards up with her left hand and letting them drop back into place. She then split the deck and put the cards into a pair of great fan-like arrangements, crossing her arms over and letting the audience view them. “Fifty-four absolutely standard playing cards, including two Jokers. As I’m a mage of profound genius, I have split them exactly evenly, twenty-seven in each hand.” She then turned them so the audience could see the faces of the cards. Sure enough, every card was different – even the two Jokers were, being a red one and a black one. “What I will now do is reunite the two half-decks.” In a swift movement, the two great fans returned to being piles in Lucia’s hands. She placed the cards in her left hand on top of the ones in her right hand, making sure they all faced down. “Next, I will shuffle them.” Her hands moved like a blur. She closed her eyes, not looking at them for even a split second, before stopping. Somehow, not a single card was missing, and they were all neatly in a pile on her left palm, still facing down. “Nicole, draw the top card and look at it.”
Nicki drew the card and looked. “I’ve seen enough of these to know not to tell you or let you see the card,” she chuckled.
“My eyes shall remain closed, but you may show the audience the card if you wish,” Lucia said quietly.
“Very well then,” Nicki said, showing her card to a nearby camera. It was the Eight of Clubs.
“Now place your card back on top of the deck. Do not let me see what card it is,” instructed the mage. Nicki followed the instructions to the letter. “Now, once again I must shuffle the deck.”
As Lucia’s hands once again became a blur, Nicki asked a question. “So, Great and Powerful Lucia, do you perform this tr… I mean, feat of magic daily?”
“Why I do indeed. This one is my signature feat, though I’m also rather proud of one which involves live cobras. For some reason, the health and safety executive weren’t keen on me performing such a display,” Lucia shrugged her shoulders as she kept shuffling.
“So you perform a card trick that requires you to shuffle the deck every day.”
Nicki gave a cheesy grin. “So, everyday you’re shufflin’!” she sang.
Lutia gave a sigh that was a mix of contempt and impatience. “I’m not sure which has gotten worse with age – that joke or the song it’s derived from.” She then placed the cards back in the box. “Now, here is where the magic truly begins.” Lucia pulled the top of her dress open and placed the card box between her breasts, much to the delight and shock of the crowd. She let go of the neckline before stretching her arms out and jumping on the spot. “Occumbo!” she called out as she raised into the air, her breasts jiggling. As she landed, the card box fell between her legs, onto the floor. She then crouched down to pick the box up. “Here, Nicole,” she said, passing it to the presenter. “Have a look in there and see if you can find your card.”
Nicki opened the box and took the cards out. “Okay, I’m not seeing it yet,” she said as she flicked through it, with Lucia looking over her shoulder. “No, I don’t think it’s in here,” she said as she kept looking through. “Oh, I just found the Ace of Spades again. Nope, not there.”
“Then where do you suppose it is,” Lucia smirked, looking to her chest.
“You mean it’s…?” the redhead blushed as the violet-haired woman tapped her left bosom with her index finger, pointing between her breasts. “Are you asking me to…”
Lucia giggled. “Stick your hand down my dress? Well, how else are you going to get that card?”
Nicki looked away and covered her eyes with her left hand, trying to put on a brave smile as she reached down Lucia’s chest with her right hand. “I can’t believe this is the first act!” she said, blushing, though she was drowned out by the jubilant whooping from the studio audience. After running her hand hesitantly between Lucia’s breasts for a good five seconds, she thought she felt something thin and papery. “Ah, think I’ve got it!”
“Already? Strange. You took less time to find the card between my breasts than most people do,” Lucia smirked. “Well, go on. Is that your card?”
Nicki cleared her throat, but then looked to the card. “Actually, yeah. That’s the Eight of Clubs, which is what I picked earlier!” The audience clapped as Nicki showed the card to the camera. Sure enough, the trick seemed to have worked. “However, embarrassing as that was, it’s nothing compared to what Lucia might have to face in a moment.”
“Oh really now? What could be more embarrassing than having to touch a strange woman’s bosom?”
“I’m glad you asked!” Nicki beamed as light struck the previously darkened part of the studio. There was a small room surrounded by thick, yellow wooden walls. The exterior was made to look the entrance to some sort of medieval dungeon. “What happens now is you have to enter my Chamber of Judgement. Once you’re inside, the audience will vote for if you deserve the cash, or if you deserve to be trashed!”
Lucia looked at it and smirked. “And knowing your curriculum vitae, the ‘trashing’ would involve lashings of gunge, would it not?”
“You know me so well, Lucia!” chuckled the presenter. “If I may ask you to take your shoes off and step into the Chamber…” As she started the instruction, Lucia lifted her right foot up and pulled her boot off, followed by the tiny white sock she had on underneath. “I never said you had to take your socks off too,” said Nicki as Lucia placed her now-bare foot on the ground and gave her toes, which had the same polish on the nails as her fingers, a brief wiggle.
“I expect I’ve proven myself worthy of victory, but in case I haven’t, I’d rather not be forced to stand around in soggy socks,” Lucia said as she stripped her right foot of its boot and sock. “But, one thing I must know,” she started as she removed her cape and let it fall to the floor. “Would you really be more embarrassed if you were to be gunged than you were when you touched my breasts?”
“I’d be mortified! Now, go stand in the Chamber of Judgement!” Nicki said, pointing to the chamber. Lucia obliged and stood in the middle of the small space, looking around to see if she could spot any obvious nozzles or trapdoors from which the gunge might seep out and splatter her. As confident and self-important as she was before, she suddenly felt very nervous and vulnerable. Her heart raced as Nicki called out, “Okay, if you were bewitched by Lucia’s card skills, vote ‘cash’. If you want to see Lucia looking like a loser, vote ‘trash’. Everyone vote now!”
The audience all pressed their buttons as Lutia put her hands together and kept looking around to see where the gunge might spew forth from. Her toes twitched nervously as she wondered just what exactly might happen if she got the “trash” vote. Eventually, the voting stopped and red lights turned on inside the Chamber of Judgement. “Ooh, tough break, Lutia! For your next trick, we make your cleanliness disappear!”
Lutia looked to Nicki as the presenter spoke, and gave a brave little laugh, which in turn proved to be a bit of a costly blunder. Without her noticing, a door opened up above her head, and thick, cold, lumpy yellow gunge with a strong smell of dairy fell down onto her. It splattered on her head, turning her violet hair into a clumpy, matted and very sticky mess. She wailed as it hit her, before two waves of glossy-coloured gunge flew out of the walls at her. From her left she got splattered with crimson slop, and from her right it was royal blue, both of which smelled of cheap, noxious perfume. All she could do was stand there, frozen in shock like a small, helpless animal that was about to be turned into roadkill. Her thin, flowing dress did very little to protect her, and she could feel it seeping through and sticking her clothes to her body. Underneath her dress, a black thong could be seen, but the coldness of the gunge had set her nipples on edge, and the transparency of her dress’s fabric made it clear to the audience (as opposed to just Nicki) that she hadn’t been wearing a bra for that routine. She shivered as the colourful sludge trickled down her body and pooled at her bare feet. The sensation of the cold gunge going between her sensitive toes made her squirm a little. “Eurgh, gross!” she shuddered as her toes curled. Her dress made a horrible squelching noise as she pulled it up to try and prevent a wardrobe malfunction.
“Well, that was one heck of a gunging! Who wants to see a replay?” Nicki asked. The crowd roared back in appreciation. “Well, here you go!”
The replays begin, first showing initial Lucia’s gunging in slow-motion from the front. This time, the slimy sorceress had the chance to watch it herself, but she couldn’t bring herself to. As the yellow gunge fell on the replay, she looked away and probably would have blushed, though the thick coating of the lumpy yellow sludge on her face made it difficult to tell. She caught a shot from above, again showing the initial yellow gunge falling onto the top of her head. This time she looked, just to see how badly the gunge had messed up her hair. She patted it with her right hand and sure enough, it felt very sticky. She couldn’t bring herself to watch the rest of the replays, and just looked down at the floor, pouting.
“Well Lucia, thank you for coming on the show and being a good sport. Too bad you didn’t win, but I hope you enjoyed your time on the show,” Nicki said, waving as Lucia walked off the stage, leaving a trail of goo behind her. “I know I certainly did!”
Lucia then arrived in front of a camera. “I can’t believe the British public have no appreciation for my genius and talent! I earned that money, regardless of what they think, but instead they had me covered in disgusting gunk!”
The camera cut to some people in the audience. The first one was a balding middle-aged man. “Well, I voted for her to win the cash. That tit trick was brilliant!”
A young blonde woman was next to give her thoughts. “I didn’t like her from the moment she got on the stage. She had such a big ego and that trick was so clearly for the lads that I couldn’t stand her. So glad she got gunged!”
The camera returned to Nicki. “Well, that was certainly something. I’m going to get a coffee and let the Build Team clean up the Chamber of Judgement. Join us in a few minutes for more Cash or Trash!”
I was only going to do this as a little aside… so of course I wrote nearly 2900 words. Still, I’ll probably do these as and when I fancy them. I’ve got a few ideas for contestants, but I’m open to suggestions. Future ones will have less of the description that was present at the beginning and two contestants, not all of whom will be getting messy. Can’t let it get too predictable, after all!