Murder in Her Headspace

Welcome to my contribution to Friday Fictioneers. Each week, about 100 writers from around the globe respond to a photo prompt with their 100-word stories. You are welcome to play along.

My story this week weighs in at exactly 100 words.

This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of Emily L. Gant.

2016 03 07 EmmyLGant

Copyright Emily L. Gant

Murder in Her Headspace

Shelly plopped into a plastic chair on the roof of her Chicago apartment building and began to write. Online photos of this “greenspace” omitted the dumpsters and blacktop. Instead of feeding urban tranquility, the space provided fantastic inspiration for the thriller she was writing.

As the sun sank, Shelly began to shiver despite the late-summer heat. Her sense of foreboding grew. Time to return to reality. She closed her notebook and entered the stairwell.

The attacker came from behind as Shelly passed the second landing. She didn’t have a chance to scream before a gloved hand clamped over her mouth.


public domain image

public domain image

When she was little, Savannah’s mother would say she was wired for sound. Daddy used to say she had been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

As Savannah grew older, she learned to listen before speaking. What she heard inspired her speech. Tenderhearted by nature, she became an advocate for those with no voice. While completing her law degree, she volunteered in a shelter for battered women and later became a prosecuting attorney specializing in domestic violence.

Four years after Savanah passed the bar exam, her parents were shot and killed in their home. First grief, then anger began to shape her sentences. Work consumed her as she sought justice for others and abandoned hope for herself. One morning, she met a former client for coffee.

Public Domain

public domain image

“How are you and the kids?” Savanah asked after they hugged hello.

“Great.” Gina was glowing with confidence.

“I hope that bastard gets an unhealthy dose of prison justice after what he did to you.” Savanah’s eyes glinted with hatred.

“I don’t.”

Savanah stared at her friend. Was this Stockholm Syndrome? She started to list the reasons why Gina’s ex deserved to suffer.

“Savanah, he can’t hurt me anymore. Why are you still letting him hurt you? He’s paying for his crimes. Bitterness would only cause me to suffer more.”

The attorney shook her head and took a sip of coffee. She couldn’t believe her ears. How could this woman forgive such an abuser? Without warning, the picture of her own parents’ bullet-riddled bodies popped into her head. Tears threatened to betray her.

“This isn’t about Michael, is it?” Gina placed a sympathetic hand over Savanah’s. “I’m here if you want to talk.”

The sound system in the coffee shop began to play a song from Disney’s Frozen. Tears rolled freely down Savanah’s face, and she realized the time had come to let it go.


My readers have recently shown an appreciation for videos. Frankly, I find this song a little overdone, but I have enjoyed seeing this version in person: