The Atrocities(taster chapters)

here are a couple of taster chapters for my book The Atrocities.

" Magical Neutralization Forces have been deployed. The Nexus will Fall."

Books are outlawed, possessing them is a death sentence. Helping an Atrocity is a death sentence. Death is the penalty for those who refuse to conform. Nightclubs are highly illegal. Death comes for those who own them, but the Magical underground is stronger than the corporations think.

The corporations are gaining power everyday. Propaganda replaces News. Hit lists are published every year and T.V is now a money grabbing scam.

But the revolution is beginning. Alicia is out of the Library. The Nexus is singing. And the Corporations want you to believe that everything is fine.

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2. Chapter Two

Chapter Two Alicia walked through the front door of Val’s small apartment, it was surprisingly clean, considering that Val worked at a strip club but then so did she. Val said nothing as she locked the door and double checked the latch before moving into the living room and checking the window locks. “The sofa pulls out into a bed, I’ll get you a pillow and a blanket. Tomorrow, you will have to get your license to live.” Val stated as she vanished into the tiny kitchen and began boiling some water for tea. Alicia gingerly sat down on the edge of the sofa, dropping her plastic bag at her feet. She didn’t notice the tears falling down her face until they dropped onto her hands. She wiped furiously at her eyes, smearing mascara and eyeliner across her cheeks. “Alicia, are you okay?” Val asked gently as she set two mugs of tea next to the plate of pink biscuits that was sitting on the small table that squatted in front of the sofa. “I’ve lost my home and the last Arias.” She sobbed, burying her face in her hands as she cried. Val gently hooked a finger under her chin and tilted her head up so she was looking at her. “Hey, everything will be okay. You’ve got the girls and you’ve got me.” Val rubbed at her tears with the pads of her thumbs, smearing more of her make up. “Has anyone ever told you how beautiful your eyes are?” she asked suddenly. Alicia shook her head. “Well I am telling you now. Your eyes are beautiful.” Val watched as a small smile tugged at her painted lips. “I made you some tea.” She handed her a mug. Alicia took a tentative sip, the drink was warm and sweet and milky. She took another sip and soon she had drained the mug. “I like tea.” She whispered, her voice ragged from crying. Val laughed and passed her a pink rectangular biscuit. “It’s a pink wafer.” Val said as she watched Alicia bite into the biscuit. The pink wafer vanished in three bites. “I guess you like them too.” Alicia nodded and reached for another one. “So you’re an Atrocity.” The biscuit fell from Alicia’s hands and landed on the carpet. Kitty’s words replaying in her mind. “It’s okay. I won’t turn you in.” Alicia nodded. “What is an Atrocity exactly?” Val rubbed the back of her neck, searching for a simple way to explain what made a person an Atrocity. “People who don’t fit in to a social binary.” Val answered. At Alicia’s questioning look she elaborated. “Society had rules that everyone must follow to the letter. You were born from the Magic of books, therefore you are in danger, books are outlawed and so is your existence. There are many Atrocities in the world and awful things happen to them. Some are killed others are tortured to death. I’m going to protect you, I promise.” Val met her gaze. Alicia threw her arms around her and hugged her tightly. “Thank you.” She whispered into her neck. Val awkwardly returned the hug, she wasn’t used to such displays of physical contact. “I never break my promises.” Alicia pulled away and took a deep breath, composing herself even though her smeared mascara gave away her tears that had long since dried up. “Where’s your bathroom? I need to wash all this crap off of my face before I get some sleep.” Alicia said as a small smile tugged at her lips. # “Just through there.” Val gestured to a door that was open slightly. “The door doesn’t close properly so you’ll have to put the doorstop behind it.” Alicia nodded and rose from the sofa, heading into the small bathroom. By the time Alicia had managed to scrape the last of her make up off, Val had made up her bed and returned with a t-shirt and a simple long sleeved dress that was a deep shade of purple. Val silently handed her the items and the vanished behind a long black curtain, that separated her bedroom from the rest of the apartment. Alicia peeled off her jacket and jeans before she pulled the t-shirt over her head. It was two sizes too big and fell almost to her knees but it was adequate for sleeping in. She crawled under the soft white blankets and the minuet her head hit the pillow she fell into the waiting jaws of sleep. The club was empty, which was unusual since the midnight hour was fast approaching. The music throbbed and Alicia danced, her costume dissolving into nothing as she spun around the single pole that stood centre stage. As she spun, someone grabbed her around her waist and pulled her hard against them. “Tell me your fears.” Val whispered in her ear. “I can make them disappear.” Val vanished into the air leaving her standing alone on stage, shivering in the cold air. The door opened and a menacing figure stood in the shadows. “It’s time for you to die.” The figure dropped the Pearl to the floor and crushed it under his heavy boots. Alicia jolted awake. The deep rumble of the coffee maker filled the apartment and it set her on edge, the sound was alien to her and she buried beneath the blanket, hoping to block out the noise. But it kept rumbling and bubbling like a monster in a fairy tale. She closed her eyes and waited for the sound to die down. Val’s laughter sliced the air. “Please tell me you’re not afraid of the coffee maker.” She quipped. Alicia poked her head out from beneath the blanket and glared at Val. “No.” she stated firmly, Val continued smirking as she handed her a mug of hot sweetened coffee. Alicia inhaled the scent before taking a curious sip. It was bitter and sweet at the same time and a delicious warmth spread through her body. “What is this strange potion?” She asked. Val raised an eyebrow. “That potion is called Coffee and there is no magic involved in making it.” Val responded sipping her own coffee. “I didn’t know how you liked it so I just put some milk and sugar in yours. I figured that black coffee may not be to your taste.” Alicia’s eyebrow twitched in subtle amusement. “I’ve never had coffee until today.” Val nearly spat her coffee out. “You’ve never had coffee. What did you live on in the Library?” Alicia hesitated before answering. “Magic.” Val shook her head and smiled slightly as if her answer was obvious. “I forget. Some Atrocities live off of Magic before they venture out into the world. So I guess you have a source of Magic to keep you alive. If you didn’t you’d be dead already.” Val looked pointedly at the peach jacket that lay on the floor next to her plastic bag. Alicia tensed visibly. “Don’t worry I won’t destroy it.” Val set her mug down on the threadbare carpet and stretched, her painted toes centimeters away from knocking over the battered mug and spilling the remainder of her coffee onto the already stained carpet. Any further conversation was interrupted when a sharp knock sounded on the door. Val groaned and rose to answer it. “Hey Val, is Alicia ready, the girls and I are officially welcoming her into the Space Crew today.” Kitty strolled past Val and stood in the doorway arms folded. She was dressed in a simple blue tunic and black leggings, her feet were clad in a pair of blue combat boots and her hair was pulled into a simple pony tail, a few wisps had escaped and now perfectly framed her delicate face. She reminded Alicia of a character from a book she had read once. “Well, hurry up new girl. We have a lot to do today.” Kitty prompted. Alicia seized her jacket and the purple dress before vanishing into the bathroom. Once she was dressed, Kitty whisked her off to a small tattoo parlour owned by Mya’s brother Steven. Mya was waiting for them, her long black hair was fastened up in a bun and she was dressed in a simple green shirt that matched her eyes accompanied with a pair of torn blue jeans. “Come on, Steve is ready to start tattooing her.” Mya practically pushed them both inside the parlour and ensured that the sign on the door was turned so that the Closed side was facing outwards. “Are you okay with having a tattoo on your back?” Kitty asked, showing her the design that all the girls who worked at Space had on their spines. She didn’t want Alicia to agree to something if she didn’t want to do it in the first place. “Yes. I want to feel like I belong somewhere.” Alicia answered. Kitty breathed a sigh of relief and guided Alicia through to the back where a bearded man who was an almost exact copy of his sister was waiting. “Right. Let’s get you tattooed.” Steven said as he pulled on a pair of latex gloves. Alicia unzipped the back of her dress and lay face down on the table. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Kitty asked once more. Alicia grinned. “Yes, now please stop asking.” Alicia stated as Steven began to prepare her skin for the tattoo. She shivered when he applied the cold sterilizing agent to her bare skin. Alicia bit her lip when he began to draw the design into her skin. It took five hours for Steven to complete the tattoo and by the end of it Alicia was panting hard. The tattoo was beautiful, the colours stood out sharply against her pale skin. The cherry blossom branch symbolised the balance of strength and delicacy. Alicia rose from the table after the tattoo had been bandaged. Kitty helped her fasten up her dress and thanked Steven for tattooing her. The moment they left the parlour, they ran straight into Bianca. Her face was swollen and bloodied, she swayed on her feet and collapsed, Kitty caught her and caught Alicia’s gaze. “What did they do to her?” Kitty muttered. “Mya is going to be pissed.” Bianca moaned loudly and spat a streak of blood onto the pavement. Passers-by ignored them and some intentionally avoided them. “Steve, we need help!” Kitty cried. Steve came rushing out and scooped Bianca up. “We have to get her inside. Now.” He stated, green eyes filled with anger. “Steve. What’s ha….” Mya trailed off when her eyes fell upon the broken body of Bianca. “Oh my god, Bianca. What happened to her?” Her eyes glistened with tears as she rushed forwards and placed her hands on either side of Bianca’s face. “The City Police did this.” Kitty answered. Mya growled low in her throat. “Those bastards will pay for this. Just hang on Babe, hang on.” Mya quickly opened the door and rushed upstairs, Steve followed her, carrying Bianca inside. Kitty let out a shuddering breath and cursed loudly. “This is my fault.” Alicia whispered, staring at the blood that stained the ground. “Everything that the Corporation does is our fault. If we didn’t exist, those who help us wouldn’t have to suffer. Magic is what they fear the most, they want us dead but they don’t know how to destroy the source of our Magic, they can destroy our Life Links but they cannot destroy the Nexus until they know where it is. So far, those who they take haven’t yielded anything.” Kitty rose to her feet. “Come on, we have to tell Val. She will want to know.” Kitty gently took her by the arm and guided her away from the blood stain and back to Val’s apartment.
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