A Devil’s Bargain

When an arrest for shoplifting follows a purchase complete with receipt, you know you have angered someone powerful. Brynne had pleaded for someone to check the security footage. It would be easy to prove her innocence.

 “It’s out of my hands, lass,” the local copper apologised through the judas door. The lock clacked. The lights extinguished. She lay unmoving on the top bunk until the room rose again through the shadow.

 She stared at the portfolio of stains wrought on the ceiling. She thought about what she would tell her lawyer once she finally got her chance. He thought about who it was that had it in for her: the stockbroker whose wrist she broke in two places for his overfriendly touch, or the nightclub owner who thought she’d truly swallowed that laced drink before she took off his ear. She folded her arms across her chest while the crickets made a concert outside. 

 “I apologise for the accommodation,” a voice entered her heard from the bed below her own. ‘Heard’ would be the incorrect description of how it arrived. “But absolute privacy is hard to come by. And if you want to leave, you best listen.”

 Brynne crept her face over the edge of her bunk and stilled at the sight of a woman smiling through bristling rows of shark teeth. 

 “I’d like to talk to you about a job vacancy,” it grinned.

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