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.


3. Chapter Two



     Sitting in my office, I pause from my hefty pile of paperwork for the day, and sigh. This place is a pig-sty. Folders everywhere; piled on the floor, piled on the desk, paperwork bulging from them; needing to be filled out…it just never ends.

    Being in the field I am, it requires so much paperwork that I just can’t handle. I don’t really know why I chose to become a lawyer. I think I must’ve been having what people call ‘a midlife crisis’ in my twenties. Too much like hard work, I tell you. But, on the other side of the coin, when you win a case, and the client is happy, that…that is the best feeling in the world.

    I loosen my tie and undo the top button. That’s what really bugs me about being a lawyer: you have to look smart all the time. It is some kind of…expectation that someone who is fighting for you must look the part. While I don’t disagree with this, I hate suits, I really do.

    I look down at the photo by my phone, picking it up. A family photo of me, my wife and my two kids. That’s also a part of why I do what I do; to give them what I never had, a stable, wealthy life.

    Pushing the file away and putting the photo back, I sigh. My last case has only just finished, and you know what? I am walking on air. We ended up winning the case, a ‘not guilty’ verdict on breaking-and-entering. The one before that, though, that was a good one. A murder trial; now that’s what I like doing, defending the poor bastards whether they’ve done it or not. It may get me a bad reputation personally: ‘the lawyer who lets the murderous bastards out’, but it’s better money and I’m good at it. Yeah, I love being a lawyer, but what I hate? The hard work. If I could just turn up at court, defend and then go home again, that’d be the best job.


    I turn on the TV, trying to get this damned song out of my head: ‘Keep bleeding love, keep, keep bleeding love…’

    It is excruciatingly annoying. The only music I like? Some good old Michael Buble. Any jazz is fine by me.

    I flick around the channels, needing to stop the boredom of the paperwork in front of me and the song in my head.

    Coming across the news channel, I stop. Across the bottom of the screen screams the headline in big, bold yellow writing: ‘Breaking News: Murder of kidnapper?

    Could it be? No, surely not, that was nine years ago!

    I think I read it at least ten times before I get in drummed into my head that the news is still unconfirmed.

    My P.A, Stephanie, walks in with my usual cup of coffee and places it on the desk. She’s tall, blonde and looks like your typical librarian. In my earlier years at this job, I would’ve found her attractive, but she has no substance, no brains. For someone like that, attractiveness is all she has. She’s a nice girl, though.

    “Thanks. Have you seen this?” I point at the TV with the remote.

    She looks at it for a minute, “Yeah,” she nods.

    “You don’t think it is…her do you?” I ask.

    Why I care about this story, I don’t know, but I seem to. I always have, for nine years.

    “I’ve no clue. There’s no way. I’m sure it’s not. If it is, it will seem suspicious, won’t it?” she says. “And there’ll be your next case.”

    I scoff. “Yeah, right, of course it will be. Can you honestly say that you can see me getting involved in that?”

    “Yeah, actually I can,” she smirks.

    I laugh out loud, “Sure.”

    “They don’t call you the best defence lawyer for nothing,” Stephanie says.

    I scoff, “You don’t need to butter me up, Princess. I pay you enough already.”

    Stephanie walks out, laughing and leaving me to drink my coffee and watch the news.

    Thinking about the girl he kidnapped, I remember watching the story unfold like it was yesterday.

    I wonder if she’s even involved in this…


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