Chapter One – The Dead John
“There’s only one kind of dead, the not moving and the not breathing kind, and that’s the kind of dead he is.” Despite her hysteria, Shelley Hansard tried to whisper on the phone from The Lanesborough.
“Not necessarily.” Marianne’s voice squeaked down the line. “Just because things seem a certain way, it doesn’t mean they are.”
“Sometimes it does. Sometimes things are exactly as they seem – and right now, this is one of those fucking times.” Shelley sat rocking on the edge of the bed in the Regency-styled suite. “I’m telling you, he fucking died on me.”
“You’re not a doctor. You can’t go around pronouncing people dead.”
“If you don’t believe me, get off the line and I’ll call someone else.”
“Don’t you dare. You don’t tell anyone. Do you understand? You come straight here.” Marianne grunted. “Have you got the money?”
“What the fuck does that matter now?” A hot tear landed on Shelley’s thigh.
“Get a grip, Kiki. Start acting like a professional.”
Fighting the urge to look at the motionless body spread-eagled next to her, Shelley pushed herself up from the bed. Her neatly folded suit lay by her feet. She stood, staring down, burrowing her toes into the plush carpet. She knew she should get dressed, but clean clothes didn’t belong on skin that felt unclean.
Taking a step towards the bathroom, she felt unbalanced. Her legs shuddered and her backside hit the floor. Reunited with her brown, pinstripe suit, she reached for her skirt. With trembling hands, she dragged it towards her. Shuffling on her back, she shimmied into it. Her fingers grappled with the hook and eye. Making a hasty exit was important, but making an exception to her rule was impossible. She couldn’t do it.
She managed to stand but, stepping out of her skirt, she collapsed again. Pressing down on the carpet with her palms, she tried to lever herself back up. Her jolting arms gave way. The last limbs to surrender to the convulsionary rhythm that had overtaken the rest of her.
She didn’t have control over her body. Instead, she had a helpless feeling of being completely powerless. The rush to leave the hotel and the corpse was over. As a periodic convulsionist, she knew the beat could monopolise her for hours. She just had to wait. She knew what to expect. Soon she’d be gone.
On regaining consciousness, her shaking had reduced. She staggered to the walnut bureau where earlier she’d left her handbag, took out her mobile and checked the time: nearly midnight. Two hours lost to another world.
Slipping the mobile back inside her cream handbag, she shut her eyes, realising what she’d done. She’d called Marianne from the phone in the hotel suite. Under the circumstances, that wasn’t the phone she should have used.
After a shower, with hair wet, she dripped a track back to the bed. She dressed, trying not to look to her right but as she buttoned her jacket, she couldn’t help it. She breathed in deeply, as if inhalation through her nose would draw the tears back through her ducts from whence they’d sprung.
Quietly, she said aloud, “God bless you.”
What was his name? She tried to remember. She couldn’t. She didn’t know him, not in a real sense, only biblically. The last few hours they’d spent fornicating, high on a combination of crack and GHB. In the midst of proceedings, he’d complained of a chest pain. So, when he asked her to make him another pipe, she refused. On gently reminding her who was paying for the evening, and whose desires were to be met, he took the crack pipe from her hands and on the ash-covered foil, prepared himself a rock. The rock that would emerge to be the last ever smoked by the late, greying-blond john.
“Come to me, you— you— you nymph,” he said, beckoning to her as he exhaled his final pipe. “Come over here and pleasure me— my penis. I mean, pleasure my penis. Would you, with your mouth, please?” The client reclined on the bed, unaware that his last words had just been spent on a bungled request for fellation. And from a young woman whose name he didn’t know – at least, not her real name.
Some time in, Shelley became aware that the penis in her mouth was lifeless. She stopped to look up and saw the fixed expression on his face. It wasn’t changing. He wasn’t moving. He looked like a waxwork from Madame Tussauds.
“What are you doing?” she asked, prodding his chest. “Stop fucking around,” she shouted through the hairs in his ear.
After a vigorous shaking failed to extract even the slightest reaction, she put her fingers under his nostrils. He wasn’t breathing. That was when she called Marianne.
Soul Destruction: Unforgivable will be released worldwide in paperback and ebook on 29 April 2013. Pre-orders can be made from 29 March direct from Caffeine Nights http://www.caffeine-nights.com.
About the Novel:
Enter the bleak existence of a call girl haunted by the atrocities of her childhood. In the spring of 1997, Shelley Hansard is a drug addict with a heroin habit and crack psychosis. Her desirability as a top London call girl is waning.
When her client dies in a suite at The Lanesborough Hotel, Shelley’s complex double-life is blasted deeper into chaos. In her psychotic state, the skills required to keep up her multiple personas are weakening. Amidst her few friends, and what remains of her broken family, she struggles to maintain her wall of lies.
During this tumultuous time, she is presented with an opportunity to take revenge on a client who raped her and her friends. But in her unbalanced state of mind, can she stop a serial rapist?
About the Author:
Ruth Jacobs writes a series of novels entitled Soul Destruction, which expose the dark world and the harsh reality of life as a call girl. Her debut novel, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, will be released on 29 April 2013 by Caffeine Nights. Ruth studied prostitution in the late 1990s, which sparked her interest in the subject. She draws on her research and the women she interviewed for inspiration. She also has first hand experience of many of the topics she writes about such as post-traumatic stress disorder, rape, and drug and alcohol addiction. In addition to her fiction writing, Ruth is also involved in non-fiction for her charity and human rights campaigning work in the areas of anti-sexual exploitation and anti-human trafficking.
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