Theta Waves Thursdays Week 5

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Welcome to Theta Waves Thursdays

Where each Thursday, I post an act from my new and ongoing serial story: Theta Waves. It’s been a couple of months since Phoenix was released, so instead of starting there (anyone who enjoys a Thea read has already grabbed it up for free but if you didn’t, you can go over to Amazon and download it), I’m going to begin with Dragon: Episode 2.

 So settle back, prepare yourself for a typical tale that has all the darkness you’ve come to expect from a Thea read, but with a little added steam.

 Looking for more freebie goodies? I’m amassing some over at Gimmesome. Go get some!

Dragon: Episode 2: Act 5

 

The Boutique took an entire wing of the building and was lit by natural light bulbs. The costumes didn’t just droop from clothes hangers but were draped on wax figures of the famous person they were meant to represent. Alexander the great wore his linen armor as he sat astride Bucephalas. Bonnie and Clyde hung outside of their getaway car, grasping bags of money and semiautomatic rifles. Even literary characters were presented in the boutique: Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula and Mena, even Hamlet and Ophelia.

 

Anne Boleyn sat next to her portly husband, looking afraid and vulnerable. The black wig on that wax mannequin had been knocked askew and Theda moved to straighten it. She noticed the pearls around the figure’s neck had begun to brown from age or maybe from the sweat of its previous wearers.

 

“I want a smear up front,” Theda said to the redhead.

 

“Certainly.”

 

“And I want some sort of contract. I want to know how you’re going to deliver the godspit to me.”

 

“You’re getting ahead of yourself,” the redhead said. “I’ve been in this business a long time. I know how to handle it. Shall we set you up with your first hit?”

 

It was almost too good to be true. “Right now?”

 

“A girl doesn’t buy an expensive pair of shoes without first trying them on.”

 

The redhead crooked her finger at Theda, leading her down an aisle of rock stars. At the end was a solid wood door that opened without a single creak. Inside, draped across loungers and fainting couches were a myriad of youth in the throes of euphoria. Theda’s heart began to beat so fast she could hear it in her ears. She turned to the redhead.

 

“When do I get my smear?”

 

“Very soon. You have to be approved first.”

 

“None of them seemed to be waiting to be approved.” She pointed at an older woman propped against a younger man, both like everyone else in the room. It seemed to her that at least one person should be Jonesing like nobody’s business.

 

“They’ve been approved already.”

 

That didn’t seem right. Theda knew the high could last for hours, but surely some of them would be sweating from withdrawal by now, some of them smiling ear to ear uncontrollably at peak, some of them shaking into the first escalation of ecstasy. They all seemed to be equally comatose.

 

The redhead placed an elegant hand on her hip, aiming it toward a gaunt man in his early 20s curled into an overstuffed chair. “He wore the Jim Morrison outfit a few hours ago for a woman who fancied herself Pamela Courson.”

 

There couldn’t be too much shame or humiliation in that one, Theda thought. “Then why is he still here? Surely he’d take his smears and go.”

 

The redhead looked at her strangely. “He didn’t sign the same contract you have. If he doesn’t perform, he gets nothing.”

 

She’d bought him, Theda realized. Just one more slave working for his fix. She should consider herself lucky to have the option. Theda had seen enough. She’d wasted enough time already; there was a chair in the far corner with an ottoman of matching material that could have been taken straight from her mother’s living room. “I want that spot,” she said and held out her hand.

 

The redhead licked her lips thoughtfully. “Greedy one, aren’t you? I’ll get your party lined up straightaway so you can relax and enjoy.”

 

Theda was left to pick her way to the chair. She stretched into it, placing her feet on the ottoman and laying her head back against the cushion. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine being in her mother’s living room, hear the rattling of dinner dishes off to her left as her mom prepared supper. She could hear father praying over his Bible, asking his God to help him lead his flock.

 

She forced her eyes open. She would rather see the reality of where she was now, watch the spitters drool in their euphoria, than think back to that time. That time made her itch all over. It made her squirm in the chair. She should have picked another one. She scanned the room, searching for an empty place and found one, a small cot lodged between two fainting couches. She was heading for it when she heard a commotion on the other side of the door.

 

Whatever it was, was going to keep her from getting her God spit; she edged closer, leaning in so that her ear was close to the door jam. Shouting came from the other side, and crying. Sobs that raised the hair on Theda’s arms. She knew the sound of it. She knew the sound of the voice complaining on the other end, too. The first was Salima, Theda was sure of it. Selena and her portly master. She cracked the door open.

 

Her john had a hard grip on Salima’s bicep, shaking her as he yelled at the redhead. “She’s no good,” he said. “She won’t roll into the carpet. She won’t seduce me.”

 

“I wouldn’t have thought that would be such a big deal,” the redhead said calmly. “It’s not exactly what you paid for, after all.”

 

Theda watched the little Cleopatra’s eyes squeeze shut as she cried even harder. That infuriated her john even more. “I want a refund.”

 

“You won’t get a refund,” the redhead said. “It’s up to you to get your money’s worth.”

 

“Well I can’t,” he complained. “She took one look at the snake and bolted for the door. I grabbed her just in time, but I have no idea where the snake went.”

 

The redhead groaned. “You left that deadly thing to crawl into some crevice? You idiot. You didn’t pay me enough to deal with that foolishness.” She massaged her temples and then through clenched teeth said, “I would have thought you could handle a little slip of a girl.”

 

“What about my refund?”

 

“There are no refunds, you know that.”

 

For some reason, Salima began to sob uncontrollably, and this time instead of getting angry, the john let her go where she sank to the floor, wrapping her arms around her knees. The redhead looked at her irritably.

 

“You could have gone with something painless,” the redhead said. “One little bite and it would have been over.”

 

At first Salima rocked back and forth as she wept, saying nothing, but then she lifted her head from her knees as though she’d just realized something that she should have understood before. She looked from the redhead to the portly john, snot and tears mingling on her face. Theda watched her throat constrict as she swallowed in realization. She began to shake her head back and forth, the hair sticking to her face, her eyes so wide it brought a chill to Theda’s arms.

 

“No.” One single word then repeated in a litany that was almost like a prayer if prayers could be voiced in this new world. “No no no.”

 

The redhead kicked at her, knocking her to the floor into a fetal position. “I’m afraid yes,” she said. “I have a client waiting to become Jack the Ripper. Are you old enough to know who that is? No? No matter; I think you’ll do just fine as Mary Kelly.”

 

It was the way she said it that brought Theda’s mind back to the deal she’d made with the redhead. A free smear for every day she lived. It made her think about the part she had agreed to play: Anne Boleyn. She’d been married to Henry for about 3 1/2 years. She’d managed to live in the tower for 17 days before she was executed. She wondered how many hours that would condense down into.

 

The last Anne Boleyn lost her head for less smears than Theda could pay for with $400. A fistful of cash and still not enough to keep her alive for even a day.

 

She realized exactly what the boutique sold in that moment and it took the strength out of her knees. She had only to look at Salima and know that the girl hadn’t realized she was swapping a few hours of high for a part in a real life snuff play. Hadn’t realized it until just now when the part she had to play for her next john would be far worse than the deadly pinprick of the serpent’s teeth on her neck.

 

And now she was trapped here, with no way to get out except past the redhead and Salima, and the portly bastard.

 

And with Ezekiel, her bounty hunter and reluctant protector nowhere in the vicinity, it was then I have to find a way to save herself.

 to be continued next week….

Don’t want to wait till next week to see what happens? Find Dragon at the following ebook retailers

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Subscribe to my newsletter Thea Reads for goodies, freebies, and news, but never spam. Never.

Looking for more freebie goodies? I’m amassing some over at Gimmesome. Go get some!

I’d love to have your input as I write, so feel free too comment on Twitter (#Thetawaves) You have the chance to impact the story line and how much raunchiness you can handle.

Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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