Rise of a Queen

By: Rina Kent

“You’re just in time. I want you to go to —”

“We have a situation,” he cuts me off. Harris never cuts me off, which means this is serious.


“I just got updated when we left the meeting. Maxim Griffin is giving an interview for the first time since his capture.”


Harris’s voice continues in a grim tone, “From what I’ve seen, he’s accusing his daughter, saying it’s time she’s brought to justice, too. There’s an uproar from the victims’ families and the media about this. It’s not looking good.”


“Where’s Aurora?”


“She must’ve seen it and that’s why she disappeared. Find her. Now.” I head out. Moses is stepping out of the car, but when he sees the expression on my face, he slides back in.

“I’ll get in touch with my men. Give me ten minutes.”

“You have five, Harris. I don’t fucking care what you have to do to find her. I need a location sent to Moses immediately.”

I hang up without hearing his reply. There’s no way in fuck I’m going to let her slip between my fingers now.

Aurora Harper sold her soul to the devil. It goes without saying that she’ll never be able to escape me.



Disappearing isn’t easy.

I tried it before and it was like pulling my own teeth from my mouth. It’s not about changing names and going blonde for a few years. It’s not about cutting my hair and picking a different clothing style. It’s not even about losing my northern accent.

Those are the easiest parts of disappearing. Everything else that’s hard to change is the problem.

It’s about altering the way I walk so people don’t recognise me from afar.

It’s forcing myself to become a right-handed person after living for sixteen years as a left-handed person. That’s why my handwriting is rubbish, and when I’m exhausted, I switch back to my left hand without realising it.

It’s stopping myself from eating the food I like the most so that I’m not recognised through it. Over time, I’ve lost all joy in eating altogether and it’s become a chore.

It’s about erasing my habits and everything I used to take for granted, one by each bloody one.

Disappearance is about rebirth.

When I first escaped the Witness Protection Program, I kept watching over my shoulder and under every bed I slept on. I searched the wardrobes and installed three locks on my doors. I never slept with my window open, even if it meant drowning in my own sweat due to summer’s heat. For a few months, I moved from one motel to the other and covered my tracks in case anyone from back home was following me.

I stopped being Clarissa and threw everything about her life behind me. I stopped believing in superheroes and in love. I stopped dancing and singing in the shower.

I stopped living.

So when I find myself at the site of my rebirth again, I’m not surprised.

After watching the snippet of Dad’s interview, being attacked by Sarah, and hearing the message Alicia left about her own death, I had no actual presence of mind to think.

I still can’t.

My fingers shake, my knees, lips, and palms sting. I haven’t stopped for a bathroom break and I survived on a bottle of water through the entire four-hour drive here.

I’ve returned to where I was born and reborn.

The cottage in the middle of the forest.

Dad’s site of murder.

On the internet, there are articles about how this place is haunted and many curious teenagers film themselves inside it to prove they’re fearless.

A few years ago, I gave up ownership of our house in town. I signed it over to a charitable association and they’re now using it as a centre for disabled children. I had my solicitor make all the arrangements so that no one would know I was behind it.

However, I didn’t give up this cottage. One, it’s not really worth much, and just like back then, it’s as if a part of my soul is still trapped in there, along with those dead women’s bodies.

It’s black outside except for the silver moon. Its ghostly fingers creep between the stilled branches and the silent, black earth. The silence is like that in a cemetery, long and deafening in its uninterrupted quiet.

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