Newlyden Prison. Leinchaster.
The prisoners room was in a dreary, damp part of the prison. The walls were covered with dark stains and a small, unkempt window let in light that barely penetrated the gloom of the gloomy cell. A single thin candle was lit at night to ward off potential infection by rats. A thin mattresses rested on top of an old, moth eaten, wooden frame. There were no furnishings other than a small wooden bench with two holes in it for holding water or food, a few rags, an empty metal water bucket, and one chair.
I stood up from my place on the floor, chains jiggling announcing my movements.
I do not like this. Too noisy.
The sounds of the guards walking down the halls, the shouts and screams from prisoners being transported to various parts of the prison, and occasional cries for help were enough to drive any man mad. I sighed. It was going to be another long day.
As I approached my makeshift seat, a clank echoed throughout the room. I turned i A guard came into view, the cold glare from his steel helmet piercing my eyes. He looked down upon me disdainfully. My hair was dirty and ruined from the excessive yanking. My form was bruised, bloody and scarred from the lashings.
The guard stepped aside and revealed a primly dressed man in a trench coat and a hat that covered his face.
"Be careful, Mr Clarke. Although she is chained, the wench still murdered many. I will be right outside, give a hollar if you need me."
The man nodded and watched the guard leave, closing the door. Once he did, the man turned towards me and removed his hat, his aura deathly as ever.
"Good evening, Miss Benedict."
This... This man. No.
This is a lie.
It can be.
Was he the one responsible for my arrest?
"What are you doing here?" I said as calmly as poss
He took a step forward, stopping when our feet touched each other. He smiled warmly at me and spoke softly, "How have you been faring?"
I scoffed, signalling at my condition, "How do you think Im faring?"
His smile faltered slightly. He reached out his hand and placed it on my cheek, his thumb grazing lightly across it.
"You should know better than to say such cruel things," he scolded gently. "You will get out, soon. You just have to wait and see."
I slapped his hand away.
What is his motive? Why is he acting as Im his love interest in some sick twisted way?
e only trying to distract me," I muttered, turning my head away. "Just go away. I don want your pity."
There was silence between us for several moments before he spoke again, "Do you remember when we first met?"
In Dorsel Street, waiting for him to continue. His hand went to the chain around my neck, pulling it ever so gently to bring me closer to him, his eyes softening.
"You killed the Marquess then, didn you?"
Bollocks. Mercy, calm. Be calm. Remember what you were taught. He is just trying to get a confession out of you.
"Judging by your silence, I am right. Well done."
He leaned down until his nose was almost touching mine, his breath wafting over me. His hand moved back to my shoulder and began stroking it, his thumb caressing the skin there. His voice silvery, "I for one, think he deserved it. Don you?"
I closed my eyes tightly, trying to ignore him, hoping he would get bored and go away.
A soft laugh filled the air.
Oh, how I wished I could forget about all of this. How could my life be worse, even in some way?
"I did not admit to anything."
"I am not here to get a confession out of you, Miss Benedict."
"Now if you will excuse me."
His hand lifted and went straight to my neck. I tried to evade it, but I was too late. For the second time, I blacked out in front of him.
When I came to be, I was no longer in the prison. Sunlight streamed through the windows, illuminating the rooms contents. Sitting at a simple wood table was a tall, slender man wearing an open white shirt and black pants, reading a book. As I slowly sat up, he glanced up and smiled. He set the book down on the table and rose, extending his hand towards me.
"Welcome back, Miss Benedict. Did you rest well?"
"I had no choice. Where am I?"
He chuckled slightly, a strange expression forming on his features.
"Ah yes, the question. Please forgive me. I too, didn have a choice."
I frowned at him.
"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Reuben Clarke. I am a Criminal Consultant and I need your help."
"And why does a figure of authority such as yourself need help from a criminal of the dark side?" I cocked my head.
"I knew this wasn going to be easy," He mumbled. "I suppose the best way to explain things is in terms that you understand."
Reuben began pacing back and forth, looking lost in thought as though trying to find the right words to describe his current predicament.
"Have you heard of the Whitechapel murders?" I nodded, feeling uneasy.
A series of murders happening in the city with homeless, poor citizens of the kingdom. It has been quite a topic recently.
"Yes, they are notorious. However…"
"I believe it is important you understand something, Miss Benedict. These murders have nothing to do with crime, per se. Rather, they happen because of corruption of the system."
My eyebrows furrowed.
"The government, and every organization is corrupt. If you look closely," he said as he pointed behind me, "you will see how poorly equipped our police force is. There are few officers who know their job. They cannot protect citizens, civilians and criminals alike against crimes that threaten society itself."
I glanced out the window again. A small town could be seen through the window, houses and shops lining the streets and surrounding them were dense woods, as though the city had been created just for that purpose. The people were quiet and seemed content with their own lives.
"This is what happens when someone goes too far. One day… they turn and try to take what they shouldn , or kill for no reason whatsoever. In this world, only crime is punishable with violence, but these men...they don even feel remorse for doing such horrible acts."
He paused, taking a deep breath and looking around the room.
"This is why I wanted to see you, Miss Benedict. I wanted to ask for your assistance in getting rid of these men."
"Why should I help you?" I asked, crossing my arms.
"Because I am helping you, Miss Benedict. I can help you avoid your sentence."
"And if I say no?"
"I will have to notify the Peelers of your location." Reuben smiled.
This man... ** him.