“Open them.” 

Rose jabbed at me, her words full of irritation. 

I keep my eyes low and on my hands, which are bound in front of me by chains attached to a hook in the floor. 

Surrounding me are multiple sets of studio lighting and behind me a camera stands on a tripod, poised for the perfect shot of my naked back. 

Rose sighs and places her hand under my chin, forcing my head up in an attempt to make me look at her. 

“Come on now, Sweetie. Give me my front page shot. One photo is all I need…LOOK AT ME” Her voice booms around the room, my eyes flicking straight to hers in complete submission. Her hair has fallen out of place and bags have started to form under her eyes from hours of agitation.

Tears threaten to spill down my cheeks as I stare at the woman who promised to save mine and my family’s life only a week ago. 

“Bring her in,” Rose instructs. 

Horror fills every inch of my body as two men drag my daughter into the room. Gagged and bound, her eyes dart around the room in terror. Delilah’s mulberry coloured eyes land on me and her terror turns to anger as she takes in my body and the torture that has been inflicted on it since our capture. She begins to thrash against the men in an attempt to break free but is quickly stopped by a kick to the stomach from Rose, forcing her to her knees. 

Rose pulls a gun out from the back of her jeans and places it on Delilah’s temple. 

“What about now?” 

Delilah starts to shake uncontrollably as the click of the gun being readied echos around the room. 

My wings fly open behind me, knocking a lighting rig over as they fill the room. 

Rose lowers her gun and smiles as the lights around me start to flash and the shutter in the camera fires. 

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Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
1 year ago

I love this Nikki and ooooh I would love to read further! We’d certainly do anything to protect our children, even at detriment to ourselves. Great story that leaves you wanting more!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

This is a great piece of writing Nikki, loads of tension throughout. I loved it!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Your story had me on the edge of my seat Nikki, full of intrigue and tension. Really well written.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

It’s a great story, Nikki, and a very well written one!
This seems to be a possible act of a paparazzi photographer, going to great lengths for a selling picture.
Your story reminded me of a painting I saw about 20 years ago at a museum in Helsinki. If you want to look it up, the artist’s name is Hugo Simberg and the painting is called The Wounded Angel.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

Very dramatic plot. Raises questions – what is this creature? Is there a significance of mulberry coloured eyes? Is that a bird thing?

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Well Nikki, you have everyone guessing here! This is indeed a powerful write, and I must confess I still can’t get to see the full picture, what am I not seeing? So just please a little hint, or is this your intention, just to leave it to the readers imagination?

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

It’s good to leave us guessing and finding our own interpretation…but frustrating in a fun way. My take on it is that an angel trying to hide in the community has had her secret discovered and the evil paparazzi and cohorts have kidnapped her and her daughter and are trying to get her to reveal her wings. I could be, and probably am, way off the mark her but it’s fun and I’m so glad to read that others have been similarly unsure. I can imaging us all sitting around a writing group table putting forth our theories. Instead we have a far-reaching electronic table here 🙂 Once, I would never have dared to suggest something unless I was sure (a hang-up from a pompous English Lit teacher!) but it is a credit to this site that we can all comment and discuss without fear. Well done, Nikki!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Nikki, well done on writing a very tension-filled piece. Like everyone else, I’m left guessing. I like Sandra’s take on the story. I was thinking maybe they were in trouble and in hiding when Rose found them and made these empty promises while only seeing financial gain.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Wow. Well done on this one, Nikki. Like others, I am guessing as well. There are many playful stories in my mind regarding your story, Nikki. Most likely the mother and her daughter were caught by a syndicate and they were imprisoned and used to make money by taking photos that were sold.

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