Akerke leaned over the barrier outside a small shop and looked at the snow. She drew a puff from her cigarette, of course she knew of the health concerns – but she was cold and it was an addiction.

As she puffed, Akerke kept her eyes open for clients for her girls. She had four of them working underneath her now, she’d come a long way.

Akerke didn’t remember her parents, she grew up in an orphanage and the only relationships with adults in her life were peppered with abuse. When she was 16 a teacher she trusted told her that there was a job with good pay waiting for her in another city. Akerke went with her teacher and was bought to a sauna where she was auctioned off. The winning man took her and raped her. For the first two years in the trade as a minor she was always under security with no opportunities to go outside by herself.

Finally a client helped her escape from her owners, she fled back to the city she grew up in but had very little idea of what to do next. She had no family, no friends and no idea how to function in the adult world aside from the life she just left. She went back to the world of prostitution and recruited some girls to come with her.

The girls might not have chosen this work if they had other options, but Akerke wasn’t a monster. She was helping them. These girls couldn’t have another life, they just weren’t that sort of people. That’s what no-one seemed to understand. She was dirty, so were they. There just wasn’t anything else they were good for. 


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