They Had it Comin’

For what seemed the millionth time, Norma had brief nagging thoughts of backing out. Yes, she was in only one number out of the whole production of “Chicago,” but it was also “The Cell Block Tango.” What many considered the sexiest, most memorable scene by far. Getting cast as one of the Six Merry Murderesses was so exciting, though scary at the same time. She again reassured herself she wouldn’t be up there alone. Her sister would be up there on that stage with her, and besides: Emma-Christine would never let her hear the end of it if Norma so much as hinted at quitting.

At first, Norman was definitely not enthused at the idea of his mother dancing provocatively on stage while wearing a black V-neck halter top, hot pants, fishnet stockings, heels, and a fringed skirt that flared out when she turned. It helped a bit that his aunt and four other murderesses were wearing the same costume and slithering suggestively over their male dance partners during the number. He also relaxed somewhat to learn all six of those guys were very much gay. Even so, it was no secret all eyes would be on the Calhoun sisters during that number.

After the jaw-dropping auditions they’d given, one right after the other, the rest of the cast and crew could talk about nothing else, albeit in hushed tones away from any of the family. Every WPB denizen knew to err on the side of caution when saying anything remotely controversial about the Bates family. Things had a way of getting back to that insular foursome, and the results had the potential of being…unpleasant, we’ll say…

But any gossip was forgotten as rehearsals started and became all-consuming, especially for Norma. The dance choreography was so damn badass, and slipping on that costume made the air around her nearly crackle with sexual energy. Nowhere else was that more obvious than at home, more so than on the rehearsal stage. It almost made up for the growing stress. Norma struggled to pick all of it up as fast as the others did. Her sister was stronger, fitter, had that martial-arts- and a little gymnastics training, and therefore she mastered it faster. Emma tried to brush it off and downplay it, saying it had been over 20 years since she’d been in a musical; she wasn’t doing that great. Norma tried not to let it get to her, but sometimes she wondered what it would’ve been like: to have grown up in Emma-Christine’s shadow. Never mind; she pushed those thoughts out of her head as she spent nearly every spare minute going over the routine, while washing dishes, standing behind the motel desk, or anywhere else there was enough room to mark through it.

It helped a lot that she had a stand-in dance partner at home, whenever she wanted him. Norman was reluctant and grumbled at first, until he saw what became their favorite part. All he had to do was drop onto his back on the floor, as his mother made it appear she was grabbing and pushing him down. Then she straddled him with her legs straight, sliding down with her hands braced on the floor until her body rubbed over his.

It ended with “You know, some guys just can’t hold their arsenic!” At the same time, she had to pull a long piece of blood-red silk out from the front of his shirt. Then she had to yank it out of her teeth, roll off him, and pretend to kick him so he rolled in the other direction. It was fast and it was the part Norma most often messed up. Either she couldn’t get the fabric into her teeth and out quick enough, or it slipped out of her hand when she rolled off him. That would screw up her exit, since she had to pretend to strangle her dance partner from behind with the red silk right before exiting offstage.

The second week of rehearsals was almost over when his mother tugged him by the hand out of the kitchen, after they’d finished drying the dishes. Norma had spend so much time practicing Six’s lines that Norman could say the whole thing himself from memory. “Upstairs, come on!” she urged him, “I want to run through it one more time tonight, then we’ll watch a movie after!”

“Oh, Mother. You’re gonna be able to do this in your sleep by opening night.”

“If I could do that and not screw it up, that’d be great!” Norma gave him a playful push that made him sit on the edge of the bed. “Wait here.” His smile widened as she emerged from behind the folding screen she’d added to their bedroom. The sight of her in that curve-hugging costume made Norman want to pull her down with him, kiss her deeply and give her some much-needed relaxation. Her hips rolled in those skimpy black short-shorts as she walked to her vanity table and rummaged through the drawers in search of that red silk. Her fringed wrap-around mini-skirt dangled from one hand.

This close, with her slow sensuous movements, he could see the afternoons of hard dancing had made her already-perfect figure a bit tighter. Her arms and legs were a little more toned. When her top slid up her midriff, she was even showing a trace of ab muscles. The silk fabric was nowhere to be found in the drawers, so Norma next looked in her handbag for it. She bent all the way over to get it off the floor. Slowly. Giving him the full lovely view from behind, knowing exactly what was going through Norman’s fevered mind. Before she straightened, Norma made an arching movement flow through her lower back.

“Found it. Are you ready, honey?” She glanced over her shoulder at him, with a wicked little smile. “Norman?”

“What? Oh, yes, of course Mother.” He rose and grasped both of her hands, then slipped one arm around her waist. Her breasts pressed against him. “I’m going to know this tango just as well, before long.” he promised.