The Thorn in my Flesh *shortlisted for Movellist of the Year 2013*

Escaping captivity was just the beginning. “My breathing speeds up as I slowly come to realise what is going on, why I’m here, why I’m bound up, why he’s attempting to be nice to me: I’ve been kidnapped.” My name is Farrah Fisher, and I was kidnapped for nine years. Even though I escaped, am back home, the nightmares of the long, torturous days I spent in captivity still haunt me. The secrets I buried won’t stay hidden for long, no matter how hard I dig. Even I know that. Jordan Frost is hailed ‘the best defence lawyer in the City’. But when he takes on the most complicated and mysterious case he’s ever had, will his reputation be destroyed? For Farrah, escaping captivity was just the beginning.


5. Chapter Four



     It is the kidnapper that was murdered; they confirmed it last night.

    The annoying thing? I know there is something more to this than meets the eye.

    Apparently, he was hit – hard ­– on the head with a hammer which caused brain herniation and, inevitably, death.

    To be honest, I don’t know what any of that means; all I got from that was that he was hit with a hammer – what side of the hammer I haven’t a clue – which caused him to die. I’m not a doctor.

    Well, this is a news report anyway, so what would they really know?

    Right now, though, the police are searching the kitchen, where he died, for DNA to get the murderer. Well, without being a forensic expert myself, I can guess what happened there last week:

    Someone with a grudge against this kidnapper guy went to his house and murdered him for being such an asshole. And good on them, I say. I can’t stand people like that, murderers and kidnappers and sexual attackers, they are all scum on the earth and need to be either locked up or murdered brutally. And I can honestly say whoever murdered this bastard deserves a pat on the back.

    I hardly ever take cases like them on, because I can’t stand those cases, but on the off chance I do, honestly? I think the defendants deserve to get convicted, though I will never admit this to them. Professionalism and all that.

    You may be wondering why on earth I am a defence attorney when I hate the evil bastards that are my clients? Well, let me tell you, the secret is: I get more money doing defence. I also have a better win rate here than I ever did doing prosecution, and to be perfectly honest, I hate the people, but love the job. Especially when I win.


    Thinking back; this kidnapper was found by the police last week and denied everything, then escaped. Many people were outraged, including me, but he managed to go back home, and now look where he is – in a body bag – on the floor, dead. I laugh to myself. This is such a big mess, this situation. I feel sorry for the family of the girl he kidnapped nine years ago. If that was my daughter, I would be so…words cannot even describe how I’d be feeling, I would’ve murdered that ass myself. It’ll be interesting to watch this case unfold…


    I turn in my bed, looking at the bright clock face: three-fifteen-am. How can it be that time? When I checked it last, it was two-fifty-five.

    Sarah groans on the other side of the bed and turns to face me. She’s awake and giving me a questioning look.

    “What’re you doing awake?” she questions.

    “Can’t sleep,” I respond wearily, rubbing my face with my hand.

    “What’re you thinking about?” she asks, sitting up a bit.

    “That…that murder, the kidnapper?”

    Sarah sighs and looks at me. Even in the dark, I know what she’s doing.

    “Why’re you thinking about that at…three am, Jordan?” she questions.

    “Because something doesn’t feel right about it. Something…I don’t know, it just feels wrong,” I sigh.

    “Jordan, until they arrest someone, find a suspect, nothing will be right about it. Someone murdered him, and the first person they’ll look to is the girl he took, and then the wife,” she says. “And unless you’re called to be involved, you won’t know much either. Stop worrying about something out of your control.”

    She’s right, I know she is: I can’t do anything unless I’m hired to do something. I am worrying about something out of my control. But at the same time, I know something more is going on there, something more than just a murdered kidnapper in the kitchen, something more than is seen, and until I know what it is, it’ll keep coming back to me…


    In my office the next morning, I’m sitting at the desk, tapping the back of my pen on the form I should be filling out. This kidnapper murder is getting to me again. All I can think about are the theories on the morning programs, my own theories…

    Maybe the girl did it? Maybe the wife did it? Maybe someone totally unrelated to him in every way did it? Someone who hated him and everything he did? A neighbour in distress after finding out the girl he kidnapped was alive and next door to them for nine years?

    I can’t work it out.

    ‘Stop worrying about something out of your control.’ My wife’s voice runs around in my head, mixed with all the theories.

    The girl…I keep forgetting her name…Farrah Fisher, that’s it…the media have been camping outside her house since the police reported the kidnapper dead. The only outing she’s made in that time is to and from her counselling sessions. Reporters have followed her there are back just to make sure. Her and her family refuse to answer questions about it, which to some journalists, makes her guilty, but to others, not guilty. What I don’t understand is how they can think inside the box about the killer – why would the girl kill her kidnapper if she’s trying to move on?

    ‘Stop worrying about something out of your control.’

    I look down at the form that I really should be doing right now. The words begin to dance around the page, making unreadable patterns.

    “Jesus Christ…” I curse, throwing the pen down in frustration.

    Yeah, I really should take my wife’s advice…


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