By Lanette Kauten

General fiction, Literary fiction

Paperback, eBook

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Chapter 2

If I hadn’t been assigned to write an article about her performance, I wouldn’t have been sitting on a dirty seat in the third row of a darkened theater-in-the-round. At least I had Nick with me. He provided a perspective as one who would enjoy it.

A hard driving rhythm began—a thundering bass line overridden by a throbbing guitar note, bent, twisted, then released, followed by another. To the right of the stage, a screen dropped. Projected onto it, a stunning beauty wearing a blue lace bra and panty set spun around on a pole with enough speed to match the music. Her legs splayed out gracefully, with one foot landing on the stage and the other above her head. She let go of the pole and performed a perfect pirouette.

My breath caught. Her talent and beauty more than matched the rumors, and I finally understood how she captivated the local scene.

I broke away from the view of the screen for a brief second, and composed myself. All I could think was her parents wasted their money on ballet lessons for... this.

Then Cassia sashayed and reached behind her back to give the eager men in the recorded performance the gems they’d been waiting for. At that moment, the screen went black and the music stopped playing. Silence. Complete darkness. The only sounds were nervous shifting in the audience.

I waited, believing it to be for dramatic effect. After an undetermined amount of time had passed, the audience grew restless and spoke in low murmurs. Nick stood but sat back down when I grasped his arm. I scanned the front of the theater for a crack of light. Nothing.

A Middle Eastern song filled the room, and backlighting on the screen highlighted the movement of dancing curves behind it. Her hips swayed back and forth, as her body rolled with her chest rising and falling. Writhing and sensuous, her dancing was as hypnotic as a cobra’s, except she was both the charmer and snake.

When the screen came up, Cassia strutted up the steps in her glow-in-the-dark body suit. Had this been a concert, the crowd would have erupted into praise, but this was art of a different type. This was theater and more. Her adoring subjects expressed the awe that one might show in the presence of a god... or a goddess.

She circled the stage with slow, purposeful steps, and then stood right in front of me and yelled, “Stop!”



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