Judith leaned back into the shadows of the dank office. The windows, though open, were pointless under the cold indifference of the moonless night. The temporary setup was located well off the main road, tucked away among the trees and distant hills. Safe, or so the ring of traffickers thought, especially their benefactor, James Griffith.
Griffith was a rising star in the legal field. Top 30 under 30. Humanitarian, social activist, a champion of the people. He was the one you wanted on your side if you were ever wronged.
If the people only knew what their angel of justice really presided over, she thought, her gaze hardening with each passing second that she watching him work unaware that someone like her infiltrated his secret side business.
Judith rose from her chair with the grace of a snake sizing up its prey. Her slender fingers casually curled around the back of the chair as she began walking towards the man that tormented her even in her dreams.
Griffith looked up at the sound of wood scraping over wood. “Who’s there?”
The increased pounding in her chest echoed in her ears but she pressed on. This was his punishment, her retribution. He deserved it.
“Rule one, a slave knows their place.” She ticked off the first rule and nearly preened when the man who used to whip her paled. He almost looked sick under the dull yellow tinted light of the cheap desk lamp he was working under. Nothing too pricey. Pricey was what got people caught, she remembered him saying it once when he thought she was too weak from a thorough beating to be conscious.
“Rule two, a slave does not talk less they lose their tongue. Rule three, a slave lives to serve. Rule four…” Judith stalked closer as she continued down the degrading list of commandments Griffith and his cult brainwashed her and countless others with.
“You. How are you alive? We-“
“Threw me into hell and didn’t look back. I know. Rule seven-“
“No! No.” Griffith moved a shaky hand over his slicked back hair as if pushing away his visible nerves. “You’re supposed to be dead.”
Judith cocked her head to one side and laughed. It wasn’t the kind of laughter that filled a room. No, this was cold and disheartening whisper of a laugh that chilled the blood in Griffith’s veins. “Do you think death was the end for someone like me? I’ve been dead since you sold my body for the first time all those Christmases ago. This, this is my birth.”
Griffith hurried to the other side of his desk to escape her advances but she hurled the chair his way. He wasn’t as ready for it as he tried to be. In his efforts to dodge it, his foot clipped the edge of the desk and he went tumbling into the wall. Seeing his doom advancing, Griffith stumbled and tripped over himself to get to the door.
Not caring to necessarily stop him, Judith kicked the chair out of her way and prowled closer. There was no escape. She changed the door handle so it locked from the inside and she was the one with the key.
“Don’t draw this out, Griffith. We both know it’s better to submit.”
“I’m not going to be gunned down by a no-name whore.” He rattled the knob in aggravation. “You think you’ll get away with this? I’m going to be missed.”
“Good.” She purred.
“I want everyone to miss you. I want them to mourn you. The more they do, the better I’ll sleep at night knowing I saved every last one of them from a bastard like you.” Raising the gun, she smiled. “Enjoy Hell.”
His mouth hung open long after the shot rang out and she put the gun back in the desk drawer. It would take a week before the body of James Griffith was found in his apartment. Murder, the papers read. Judith chuckled under her breath as she read the article. According to the sheep, it was a hit by a group he sent to prison a month ago. Idiots. His cult was smarter without him around. They had the sense to not only move his body back to his respectable home but to also stage the whole thing as a murder pinned on people that were set to die anyway.
“Guess I’ll be working right into summer.” She tucked the paper and her coat under her arm and looked up at the cloudless sky. It was unseasonably warm that spring, and for the first time, she could feel it.
Next Up — It only hurts when I move my shoulder