Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013 -

Whipping Girl

by Jon Thorn
Published: Jan 26, 2013
Words: 29,650
Category: general
Orientation: F/F
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'My name is Felicia Quinliven. I have just had my eighteenth birthday. I live in District Twelve. Three months ago I was a tribute in the Pain Games. My sister Anastasia was a tribute too. I have not seen her since that day.'

I repeat those words to myself as I come through the door of my home. They help me to focus. They remind me to keep the anger burning.

I come through the door and there is something different about the house. I sense it immediately. It is not empty, there is someone there. Ana! Ana is home! My heart leaps for a moment before it sinks - it is not her. There is someone there but it is not my sister. There is a scent in the air, a perfume, and Anastasia cannot afford perfume, none of us can. My stomach lurches as my mind makes the connection. I have smelled that perfume before and the memory it invokes is not a good one.

It is the scent of Imogen Goldthorpe. She took my sister with her at the end of the Pain Games. There is not a day that goes past without me yearning for Ana or feeling sick at the thought of what that evil woman is putting her through. And now she is here, in my home, invading our private space as she invaded it so traumatically three months ago. The nightmares have ceased but the memories can catch me unawares. A click that reminds me of those plastic cuffs around my wrists, or a swish of a branch in the wind that sounds like a cane cutting the air. These can have me back in the arena in an instant.

I push open the kitchen door and there she is, sitting at our kitchen table, beautiful, elegant, ice cold.

"Felicia," she smiles. "How lovely to see you again."

"I wish I could say the same," I spit.

"Oh gosh," she says, "I can see that you have the same spirit that made your sister so attractive."

'Made'! Why is she speaking in the past tense? What has happened to Anastasia, what have they done to her? My mouth goes dry, I can hardly speak.

"Anastasia?" I managed to croak.

"Oh, she is well. She amuses me still, but she pines after you, which I find rather tiresome."

My heartbeat steadies. She is alive then.

"When is she coming home?" I demand.

Miss Goldthorpe fixes me with her cold grey eyes. I can sense amusement and calculation in the way she looks at me.

"I'm glad you raise the subject, Felicia," she says calmly. "I know that both of you are keen to get back together. It's what I've come to talk to you about. Sit down."

I sit. Strange to be invited to sit in your own home but I don't question it. If I can get Anastasia back I will do anything.

She gives me another cool, appraising look. "Still as pretty as ever, Felicia," she remarks.