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Victim No More

All at once she was aware of the contrast she saw in the mirror. Cindy and she looked a lot alike — though her sister had always been prettier — and they had often been taken for twins with streaks of individuality. But at the moment there was no resemblance between them at all. Cindy stood there looking beautiful while she herself looked like a derelict: dirty, ragged, and bruised. [...]

Victim No More – Pt. II

She fell backwards onto the low coffee table… the side of her jaw screamed with pain — or was that her voice?… then a sharp stabbing as she landed on something hard and rolled onto the floor, hitting her head on the corner of the table… the hard object she had fallen on went down with her as the table tilted and she felt herself lying on the bruising hardness of stone… she reached down under herself and felt the slick coolness as she pulled the object out… her stone horse… the weight was solid in her hand as anger surged… she brought her arm forward, feeling the heavy stone leave her hand as she flung it at Billy… [...]


Leila listens to the sobs of the woman in the jail cell next to her, and wonders if she can hear hers. They seem to mourn together, both devastated by the loss of their freedom. Leila has languished in this prison for the past month, and while her conversations with Anna-Nina are brief, she knows well her situation. They are captives – enslaved by hearsay and accused of acts they did not commit. “The lashings, do they hurt?” Anna-Nina breaks from her crying, and whispers the question. “I don’t know,” Leila replies, hugging her knees against her chest on the steel bed. Leila reflects on the judge’s sentence six we [...]