“It was me,” I whisper, hardly audible. “It was me!” I screamed to the Crowd of ever silent people, waiting to convict me. You could hear a pin drop. The judges sit there, stunned to silence. “I killed mayor Kragen,” I say in a low tone. Judge three stands up and slaps his hand on the desk. He has a receding hairline and a smirk that never leaves his face. He smells like everything artificial and I hate him for it.

“Case postponed!” He growls. The crowd stares in disbelief. Postponed? What is that supposed to mean? The crowd slowly rises and exits the courtroom, faces mirroring my disbelief. 

“Quinn” Someone calls in a low, rusty voice. “I love you” 

“Dad!!!” I scream and start running toward him. Judge three stops me with one arm, but I fight. I'm biting, kicking, screaming. 

“The judges have come to the consensus that in punishment for what you did, we will sacrifice Someone you love.”

“Take me!” I choke “Kill me! My father did nothing to you!” I scream and bite down on his arm, strong as steel.

“Ah, that is true! But you can’t expect to get away with killing our beloved mayor.” He is wicked. He is breathing in my face and just when I can't take it anymore, I knee him in the groin with all the strength in me. He lets out a startled cry and slumps to the floor. I take off running but someone grabs my ankle. And in a split second, I watch a strange tattooed man take an ax to his head. 

“Daddy!” I shout and let out a baffled cry. “Daddy” I weep.

“This is not the end of it.” Judge three snarls.

“What are you gonna do? Kill my Mom?” I scream so loud, my throat is burning as bile raises, distraught with the possibility.

“A lovely thought” He answers. I get up on my feet and slap judge three right across the face. Everything turned black and I spiraled to the floor. The last thing I remember is being dragged away restrained by the cuffs that held my hands together.  

I woke up in the arms of the man with tattoos. I shrieked, horrified.

"Quinn, calm down. It's me." He whispered in a voice that rocked my whole body. My body shook in recognition. Ashton. He planted a kiss beneath my brow. I sat up quickly, completely horrified and saw that I was in a room. A room with white everything. There was a bed, a small table, and a chair that we were sitting on. No windows, just a dimly lit room. And I was in the arms of the guy that killed my father.

"You, dense rat! You killed my father, and don't even try to tell me otherwise!" I spat, jumping out of his arms, only to find that my legs wouldn't hold me up.

"Careful, Quinn. You cannot walk." He said in his ever calm voice.

"What did you do to me?" I asked, in utter hatred, horrified at the discovery that I could not walk.

"Quinn, I did nothing. They did." He said, motioning toward the door. "I'm a prisoner here, too. If I hadn't killed your father, I would be dead. And you, too."

"I deserve to die," I whisper, overcome with emotion "if it meant that my father could live"

"Quinn, no one deserves to die. If I had any control over the situation, none of this would have happened. I lifted my head to face him and gasped at the abrupt realization that sitting there was not Ashton. It was my best friend, Kiel.

"Kiel," I whispered.

"Who did you think I was?" He chuckled and then, in all seriousness, he grasped his hand under my chin and lifted my face forcing me to look at him. "We are going to escape. I don't care what it takes." I nodded my head and let him carry my limp body to the hard, cold bed.

I wake up scrunched on one end of the bed, sweating. Kiel tells me that they had to give me some sleep syrup so I would stop screaming in my sleep. He says that I screamed constantly throughout the night about my father. Screaming that it wasn’t real. That he’s not dead. But he is. I watched Kiel bring the ax down on his head. I watched the blood spew and his head fall to the floor, lifeless. I heard his last, strangled cry. Telling me that he was proud and never regret killing Kragen. Quinn, I love you. Kill Kragen. Kill anyone. I will always be here to support you. Kiel gently brushes a piece of beet skin on my cheeks to give me some color and attempts to remove the bags under my eyes.

“We have to go meet the owner of this place. You are going to tell him what you can do and make yourself seem valuable. Tell him everything good about you so he wants to keep you. Don’t give him a reason to kill you. Don’t rebel. Do you understand?” He demands. I nod again while he continues to work miracles on my face. 

“It will be okay. You have a way of impressing people. It comes naturally for you.” He says, trying to calm me.

“It’s not that easy…” I utter.

“I’ve seen you in action. Now get out there and impress me.” He lifts my face in his hands and inspects his work. Kiel gently pries the corners of my mouth, forming a smile. “Do that often.” I form a weak smile. I linger in the room for a little while longer before exiting into the hall which is speckled with guards. To my surprise, two gently grab me by the arm. 

“Were on your side, Quinn. No matter what. What you find might surprise you, but we have your back.” Says guard one. To my surprise, every guard in the hallway smiles and nods their heads simultaneously. Some of them muster something reassuring, so quietly it’s barely audible. Tears form in my eyes as the two guards lead me down the hallway. They swing open the double doors at the end. Sitting there is Judge three and next to him, Mayor Kragen.

April 15, 2020 16:58

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All of your stories are beautiful Adrie, talking about hope and love. Thank you for writing them.


Adrie Byman
17:55 May 20, 2020

Thank you so much! as a beginner, your words mean much to me. Thank you.


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21:33 Apr 22, 2020

I like the scope and ambition of the story but it leaves me feeling I missed a connection somewhere along the way and need to retrace my steps in order to figure out what happened. I don't think that's what the author wanted, is it?


Adrie Byman
15:12 Apr 23, 2020

I'd be the first to admit that was not the intended effect. I wanted it to feel mysterious like you only see half the story. Is that what you were feeling? I can work on that, thanks for the feedback! :)


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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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