To be Perfect

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story about a meeting of a secret society.... view prompt

95 comments

Mystery Thriller

Does any innocent child ever look up to the stars and wish to become a killer one day?


Do they read about prosecuted murderers in the newspaper and hail them as their heroes?


Valora never did this. She had respectable heroes, one’s who changed the world with their brilliant ideas and made the most magnificent masterpieces using the art of science. She had the perfect uprising, loving and caring parents who taught her the difference between right and wrong, and the value of hard work.

She studied harder than all of her classmates, being dedicated to becoming the best version of herself that she could be. She even put the focus on helping others in her valedictorian speech at her med school graduation


All of the stars in Valora’s life had aligned just right. She had everything she needed to become the perfect person, a hero who could do no wrong. She had everything she needed to change the world, just as she had always dreamed of doing.


If it was all perfect, then why did it all go wrong?


She tried as hard as humanly possible to forget the ungodly act she committed, but there is no better reminder than the feeling of cold metal around her wrists. They rang out as she did her walk of shame out of her hospital unit. The sound attracting all those who had previously looked up to her.


The ride to the police station was silent. There was a conversation between the two offices and chatter coming from the car radio, but it was nothing but hum in her ear. The only thing she could focus on was her tears running thicker than the blood that coated her hands.


She had failed to be perfect. Her crown had shattered, and now she was nothing more than dust. As soon as they brought her to the interrogation room, she knew what her plan was going to be. Valora would confess to her crime and plead guilty to the jury before accepting her fate as a prisoner.


But that wasn’t how things were going to turn out. She was no longer perfect, so why would anything else she did be perfect, either?


An hour into the silence, the door opened to reveal two new faces. There weren’t detectives as Valora expected—wearing grim faces while drinking mediocre coffee—but instead entering the room were two women who were dressed to impress.


The first woman to enter was a pale, short little thing, the glasses on her face almost covering the bags under her eyes. She stumbled into the room, placing a briefcase on the table before taking a seat across Valora. This stranger was attractive, but she was nothing compared to the next woman to enter the room.

She strutted in with a king’s confidence, wearing the beauty of the night as if it were a gown explicitly made for her. Her eyes glimmered and struck Valora hard, a quick sensation ran through her body as she immediately became intrigued by these two new strangers.


“I already know the whole story, so don’t even bother lying to me,” The black woman stated while unloading the briefcase the other woman brought in. “I want the entire story from beginning to end, skip the boring stuff but keep the facts. We have much to do and don’t need any more delays.”


“Beg my pardon, but who are you?” Valora asked, feeling quite timid under the stares of both strangers.


“Amira and Dixa, legal defence,” The black woman pointed to herself than to the small white girl, their choice of clothes finally making sense.


“I didn’t ask for legal counsel.”


“That man you killed didn’t ask to die, but yet here we are.” Amira’s face told Valora she wasn’t playing any games, but even if they were, Valora had no doubt that she would win. “Now, please stop wasting my time. Start with your name, education and occupation.” Valora wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and die, but the glare Amira gave her forced the words out of her throat.


“Valora Mour, I have a Ph.D. in toxicology, and I work as an ER doctor at the Red Rose Hospital.” Amira nodded while Dixa seemed to be cross-checking information on a paper with a chart on it.

“On what day did you meet Michael Romariz and his son Sam Romariz?”


“September 16th.” Her voice started to waver, but Valora didn’t want to show any more weakness. Something told her that Amira was the kind of person to slap adults who sob at problems they caused themselves.


“What caused him to come into the ER?” Amira asked, clicking her elegant long gel nails along the counter, mimicking the sound of a countdown. Valora starting picking at the skin on her arms, her nerves getting the best of her.


“He had the symptoms of Appendicitis, he went into surgery that same day. I was the lead doctor while he was in the ER. He was one of the hospital’s biggest investors, so he was put on high priority.” Amira and Dixa shared a quick glance and nod before getting back in Valora’s face.


“When did you first notice that Sam was being abused by his father?”


“I noticed a lot of bruises on his arms and legs, along with a limp that he couldn’t explain with a plausible story.” Amira tilted her head, urging Valora to continue. She struggled through a deep breath before telling the rest of her sin. “I used one of our social worker’s accounts to look up his family history and saw the father had won full custody of Sam. After I questioned him more, he confessed to the abuse and asked for my help to get him back to his mother.”


“Did you attempt to get support from your fellow co-workers.” Valora shook her head with more tears trying to push through.

“They were too scared to mess with such a big investor.”

“What did you do after no one was willing to help you get this young boy out of his situation?” Valora’s heart started to race while Amira only gained a more intense stare.


“Michael was prescribed fentanyl to relieve pain after the surgery so he could sleep through the pain. I changed his prescription to be more lethal, so when he went to bed..” Valora wanted to continue, but she felt her breath catch in her throat.


“He wouldn’t wake up,” Dixa spoke for the first time, finishing what Valora couldn’t say. She just nodded while her tears finally broke through. Amira poked her hand into her bosom and produced a handkerchief to which Valora covered in tears and snot.


“You did the deal, and the aftermath has already taken place.” Amira stated, sliding her a news article covering Michael’s death and the reunion of Sam and his mother, the biggest smile painted on both of their lips. It was beautiful. “I’m going to ask you a question, and I only want to hear yes or no. Would you do it again?”


“Yes,” Valora whispered without a moment of hesitation.


“That’s exactly what I want to hear,” Amira smiled while placing another set of documents in front of Valora, this time they contained different pieces of ID, all with her face on it but instead having the name ‘Elsa Salour’.


“What is this?” Valora asked, a slight sniffle in her voice.

“You have two choices here. You can risk it with the court and be sent away to jail to rot for the rest of your life, or you can join us and actually do something worthwhile.” Amira offered while Dixa nodded, her smile being stiff and sweet.


“Who exactly are you?” Valora felt terrible for having to ask again, but the last answer she received gave her nothing more than names to stick to two faces. Amira slipped a card out of her pocket and handed it to Valora. She had to read it over a couple of times for the words to sink in.


“The Peace Lily Spa, a place where all your problems disappear!”


“You work at a spa? I thought you were lawyers?” Valora questioned the two women, never having felt more confused in her life. “Why do you care about me?” Amira scoffed as she snatched the card back.


“As the card says, we make problems disappear, and you made quite a big problem disappear. I have been looking for someone new to join the Peace Lily team, and your qualifications line up perfectly.”


“You want a doctor to massage people? I don’t know how to massage.” Amira’s face dropped as she leaned in, getting as close to her ear as humanly possible.


“I want a toxicologist who knows her way around drugs and poison to help deal with our client’s problems.” Amira pulled back with a smile on her lips instead, as Valora understood what was happening.


“How many of you are there?” Valora asked in a whisper, Amira’s smile now growing.


“Sixteen, all with different skills. Daxi, here is our forensic psychologist while I am a lawyer.” Valora nodded, looking back down at all the pieces of a fake ID.


“Can you make all of this just go away?” Valora gestured vaguely to the room they were sitting in, but Amira seemed to get her point.

“Consider it done. Now, do we have a deal?” Amina stretched out her hand, calling out for Valora to submit. She contemplated the decision, thinking back to her aspirations as a child. She wanted to be the perfect girl, to change the world for the better.


Maybe this was what she was meant to do. Play her part as a killer, to help those who need it most. Change the lives of more who suffered in silence the same way Sam did. Valora beamed as she embraced the hand, accepting the deal.


It wasn’t ideal, but she went for it anyways. In no way was it all perfect, but it was a perfect way to change the world, and that’s just what she needed.

August 16, 2020 22:12

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95 comments

Deborah Angevin
08:00 Aug 23, 2020

The opening sentences are powerful, Lynn! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story! P.S: would you mind checking my recent story out, "Yellow Light?" Thank you :D

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Lynn Penny
18:33 Aug 23, 2020

Thank you! I'd love to read your work!

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This was soooo good. I enjoyed reading this a lot. I could picture this as a tv show or a movie. Great job Lynn!

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Lynn Penny
22:49 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks!

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Velma Darnell
18:43 Aug 22, 2020

Wow! This story is fantastic, you made such an unexpectable plot twist, and descriptions of those "legal defense" ladies were so well-thought. Also, Valora's (such a unique choice of name, by the way) attempts to be perfect went to another level. I would also love to read more about The Peace Lily Spa, and I think its background could be sooo interesting! Very well written, Lynn :) p.s. I was wondering if you could check out my story "Hi, darling" when you have time and tell me what you think? Thanks!

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Lynn Penny
21:18 Aug 22, 2020

Aww, thanks! I'd love to check out your work!

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Kate Rucker
08:20 Aug 22, 2020

:0 WHAT A PLOT TWIST!!!!! This was so good!!! You clearly have a gift! I love how you described Amira! “with a king’s confidence, wearing the beauty of the night as if it were a gown explicitly made for her” Ah! Gorgeous similes! I wish you all the luck in the world with the book you are writing and hope your moments of writers block are few!

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Lynn Penny
13:41 Aug 22, 2020

Awww, thank you so much for your kind words. They made my day 🥺

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Kate Rucker
18:53 Aug 22, 2020

Haha! I’m so glad! ♥️♥️

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Abhishek Todmal
14:41 Aug 20, 2020

Lynn, great job with the story ! I loved it. So much. There are few things that tempt more than a story with an element of mystery. I was so tempted to write a story on this prompt but in order to divert myself onto other spheres, I chose to deal with another prompt this time around. But if I was going for this one, I'm sure I'd have given you a fair fight on your hands ! :D Seriously though, real nice work. I see many who say you should turn this into a novel. I was tempted to butt in and say writing a novel is a completely different ende...

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Lynn Penny
15:02 Aug 20, 2020

I agree, writing a novel is a pain in the butt. I’m currently working on my first one now and it’s going to take FOREVER! It’s fun at the same time. This short story was kinda based on a novel idea I had and the secret society prompt just gave me a hailstorm of motivation. Are you working on a novel? I’d love to discuss ideas with you.

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Abhishek Todmal
10:02 Aug 21, 2020

I am working on a novel( maybe two) depending on if I can convince myself that there's a story to be told there. The process seems mammoth for a beginner whose starting off. It's like gazing at a colossal mountain ahead wondering how you're going to climb it . Yes, I would love to interact with you and pick your brain . Maybe email works for you ? Would love to get in touch. I haven't many "writer friends" as to speak. You might very well be the first !

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Lynn Penny
14:53 Aug 21, 2020

Awesome! I’ve got two in the works right now, and it honestly feels like a mountain. You shall be my first writing partner as well! My email is corrie-lynn@hotmail.ca

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Jen M
13:41 Aug 20, 2020

Love the idea of this! If I may offer some constructive criticism. Try to slim down your sentences. Like, instead of "Valora would confess to her crime and plead guilty to the jury before accepting her fate as a prisoner of the justice system" you could remove the last few words and end with "... accepting her fate as a prisoner."

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Lynn Penny
13:44 Aug 20, 2020

Thanks for the advice! I tend to get carried away with writing and end up with many long sentences.

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Kendall Defoe
19:24 Aug 19, 2020

Hitchcock, call your office... This was very well done! Good work.

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Lynn Penny
20:27 Aug 19, 2020

Haha! Thanks!

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Dunya Zatde
16:35 Aug 19, 2020

From the starting line itself I was pulled into the story. Amazing plotting and flow!

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Lynn Penny
17:07 Aug 19, 2020

Thank you!

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Sadie Black
14:07 Aug 19, 2020

This story was a lot of fun! Too bad it was only a short story - I'd read a whole novel about The Peace Lily Spa!

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Lynn Penny
15:28 Aug 19, 2020

Thanks! It may become a novel one day if I can get my butt into gear and keep writing :)

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Fraser Ramus
17:52 Aug 18, 2020

Really enjoyed it. Great descriptive work. Good flow to the story

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Lynn Penny
18:31 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you!

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Charles Stucker
17:33 Aug 18, 2020

This has a good blend of show and tell. You get through the background quickly, and break it into short paragraphs, to keep from bogging down the story. Everything becomes a single protracted scene. All teh pieces fit and at teh end, you see a person aspiring to perfection worn down by a brutally imperfect world deciding to make a devil's deal to try and make a change. I say devil's deal because she knows nothing of the group recruiting her. it was a very high pressure sale. Sign your soul or suffer the penalty of not. I might sugge...

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Lynn Penny
18:30 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you so much! This one was so much fun to write. I love your title suggestions but unfortunately I have fallen in love with “to be perfect” 🥰

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Anna Maria
14:32 Aug 18, 2020

Wow! The descriptions were impeccable and told us a lot about the characters! Nice story!! I love the beginning especially!

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Lynn Penny
14:36 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you! I always find beginnings the easiest to do:)

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Barbara Burgess
08:17 Aug 18, 2020

I love this story. I also love how you describe the people. Well done and do keep writing.

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Lynn Penny
13:39 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you, you as well!

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02:01 Aug 18, 2020

WOOWW! Amazing, I loved how you kept me hooked by not telling us what she did. I loved how she became a hero in the end. I also loved the flow of everything! This is amazing! Can you check out my stories(if you want) and tell me what you think thank youuu. Once again Amazing story

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Lynn Penny
03:32 Aug 18, 2020

I’d love to read some of your work, and thank you so much for the kind words.

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Katina Foster
00:10 Aug 18, 2020

Love it. Great opening hook!

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Anika G
23:25 Aug 17, 2020

I really like this piece! I completely forgot about the prompt that inspired it as I read it, because it was so interesting. I was really surprised when the secret society was introduced.

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Lynn Penny
02:15 Aug 18, 2020

Aww, thanks. That means a lot to me. 😊

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Bookmark Here
16:00 Aug 17, 2020

Very intriguing! I believe this idea would branch off nicely into a novel. Great work!

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Lynn Penny
16:25 Aug 17, 2020

Thanks! I’m hoping to develop this idea further in the future.

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Rambling Beth
10:32 Aug 17, 2020

This was an interesting read and I really liked it. I would love to see more of Valora's story, how does she fit in with the society, does she ever regret joining, etc? There's lots of places this story could go, which is fantastic. Wonderful. :)

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Lynn Penny
13:10 Aug 17, 2020

This is something I’ve always wanted to turn into a bigger story so maybe one day we will see more of Valorant.

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:07 Aug 17, 2020

“wearing the beauty of the night as if it were a gown explicitly made for her” This was such an awesome way to describe her skin color! Wow, this was a thought-provoking story. Really makes you think about the line between vigilante justice and legal justice, and the difference between right and wrong. A well-written and compellig read, good job! 😊

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Lynn Penny
13:09 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you so much! That was my favourite line to write. 😊

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:20 Aug 17, 2020

No problem! And I'd also like to add that this story feels like it could be a first chapter/prologue to a full novel... Btw if you have the time I'd love your opinion on my latest story! :)

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Lynn Penny
15:16 Aug 17, 2020

I am hoping to turn this into a bigger project sometime in the future, so I will keep that in mind! I’d love to read your work :)

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The Cold Ice
03:22 Aug 27, 2020

Wonderful story.Great job👍keep it up.Well written. Would you mind to read my story “The dragon warrior?”

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Lynn Penny
04:43 Aug 27, 2020

Thanks! I’d love too!

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