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“That’s insane!” Adam Butcher hissed, wiping the sweat off his brow with one hand and scrunching up a piece of paper with the other. He was a short, plump man with a round face and a receding hairline. “Insane? Possibly.” Gloria Gravesly replied, her painted lips barely moving as she glared intensely at the hateful man in front of her. She had stern eyes like bullets that darted from place to place at lightning speed before settling themselves on his face and burrowing into his skin. The two sat opposite each other, a cluttered desk in between them in the small office with the flickering bulb. The room was tall but claustrophobic; bookshelves covering each and every wall; a slim, window-less door; and a dying plant squatting in the corner. A moth was fluttering aimlessly towards the light. It landed on the bulb and with a hiss of wing on glass it fell to the desk, dead. Gloria moved the lifeless insect out of the way with the tip of her pen smoothly. She was determined to keep Adam in the verbal choke-hold he had fallen into. “Are you saying you’re not up to it, Mister Butcher?” She whispered. Butcher jumped slightly, his attention being snapped away from the moth and back of the face of his employer. He gulped and pulled a silk handkerchief out of his pocket, embroidered with the letters ‘L.C’. He dabbed his dripping forehead again. The room was hot and the distant buzz of a fan could be heard but was not visible. He silently begged for its cool relief, his collar tightening around his flabby neck. “I…I don’t think I’m…she’s…“ He spluttered hopelessly. Eventually he dragged his eyes up to hers pleadingly and she understood.

Gravesly pulled out a pistol and shot Butcher in the head.

Of course, Adam Butcher wasn’t meant to die that dreary September morning. When Gloria sat over her bowl of watery porridge he hadn’t planned on becoming a murderer. But Butcher was covered in his own blood and Gravesly was behind the trigger.

And what does one do after committing such a heinous crime? Hide the body? Dispose of the weapon? And after that? What then?

How can you go about a normal life?

For a woman of such high power, the answer was simple – blame someone less important.

And that’s just what she did. Arrested, charged, shipped off to jail; Adam Butcher’s case was closed and an innocent person was behind bars.

Lily Murphy-Burke


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