Theta Waves Thursdays: Kat’s Cradle installment 3

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00026]It’s just about release time, so I imagine by the time you see this, the novella will be ready for consumption in its entirety, but for those who still want a bit more before committing, we left Kat in a back alley. Will Kat disappoint her little frog? Read on!

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Kat’s Cradle: installment 3

Remember, it’s raw and first draft…so grammar and spelling may be wonky

She stepped from the alley, pulling her hood over her hair. She wished she had her motorcycle; her legs trembled, making it difficult to walk over the heaved up asphalt. Her breath was coming in short gasps from the effort of putting one foot in front of the other. Even her heart labored to keep a consistent rhythm and each flutter she felt in her chest reminded her that she was now a patheticly weak.

Thankfully, the cloak of midnight would disguise her infamously well known face. Should the disguise fail, her nine millimeter pistol would succeed. Twelve blocks of walking already, and several hours, give or take the miserable sweating of the last two in the back alley, she should be only a few blocks away from the Center.

It was a dead easy plan on paper, but a hellish one in practice. She wasn’t even sure she could trust the information she’d tortured out of the physicist in the few hours before the frog had battered her insides.

“A gal never burns her bridges, though,” she mumbled to a man that pushed past her, making her stumble against a building. She caught herself before her legs gave out.

He swung round on his heel to give her a threatening look. “What was that, bitch?”

“I said a girl never burns her bridges.”

He shoved his hands in his pockets. “Crazy bitch.” He shook his head and made to move off.

Pushing against the blocks with her palms seemed to put some steel back into her shins, some spit in her spirit.

“Crazy would be burning my bridges,” she said to him.

He paused. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

She reached beneath her jacket. “Just trying to explain that if I had killed her, then what would the consequences for her be if she gave me bad information?” She pointed the pistol in his direction. “So the bridge is still there if I need to cross back over and beat the black shit out of her till she oozes good intell.”

His hands came out of his pockets when he saw the gun and went into the air.

“Listen, lady,” he said. “I’ve got no beef with you. I’m sorry I called you a bitch. I’m sorry I pushed you.”

She shrugged. “I am a bitch,” she said. “And I got no problem with a little physical aggression.”

She watched the muzzle of her pistol shaking in the near dark. She was obviously much weaker than she thought. The frog’s abandonment had taken too much out of her if she couldn’t even hold her own pistol straight.

He started to back away, subtly enough that he was barely moving. “You don’t have to do this,” he said.

She shrugged. “You’re a bridge I can afford to burn,” she said. “You might even say you’re a necessary bridge to burn.”

She squeezed the trigger.

Dammit all if it didn’t sound any louder than a click. And the fool didn’t even have the grace to collapse from contact. He did wet himself though. There was a suspiciously black pool at his feet that made her think of the last few hours she’d spent in the alley. His face softened with relief. He’d obviously thought the misfire was an incredible stroke of good luck.

“You think you’re lucky, issat it?” she said, shaking her head. “Man. This is so not your lucky night.”

Even in the dim light of the streetlamp, she could see the confusion creep over his expression. She advanced on him, willing her shaking legs forward.

“Now I’m just going to have to beat you to death.”

She marshaled enough energy to throw herself in his direction. She remembered the puddle at his feet, the puddle she’d left on the filthy pavement, and she let go on him. She stuck her fingers into his mouth first, tearing at his jaw so that he couldn’t plead with her, then she used her purchase on his teeth to slam his head against the pave.

It took several seconds before she heard the distinctive crack. Normally she would have reveled in it; instead bile rose up into her throat. She leaned across his torso and heaved up her stomach until she collapsed on him in a shuddering pile of gelatin. She waited for the quivering to abate with frustrated resignation, and when she thought she could move without her belly twisting into a gnarled fist, she inhaled a lungful of sour air.

“You’re better off, anyway,” she muttered as she pushed herself upright. “You don’t know what’s coming. If you knew you’d have begged me to kill you.” She ran her palm down his face, closing the eyelids. “You can thank me when we meet in Hell.”

—-****—-

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Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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