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At the back of my mind, I wondered if I was going mentally insane. I was unusually happy, to say I’d just been threatened by a man who could break out of a locked room. I wondered if it was cabin fever.

I wondered what my punishment would be.

I had visions of Radley bashing my legs, and me being confided to a bed. Oh, that plan would backfire alright. He’d have to carry me to the bathroom, and lift my legs while I shaved them. He’d already kissed me once and when he saw me naked, he’d be completely powerless to me. I giggled a little at the thought.

I knew I was supposed to tremble and be scared, but I didn’t have the energy to be. I wanted to sleep but I knew he’d probably stab me while I slept.

Radley returned what seemed like hours later. I’d anticipated his return because I could hear lots of banging outside. I guessed he must have been hammering a new bolt onto the door. He looked surprisingly happy as he entered the room, much like I had been. His cheek was clean and creamy, almost bare of any cut at all. I blinked in confusion and astonishment.

He leaned against the door frame, smiling at me.

‘I’ve got a present for you,’ he said.

‘A sledgehammer,’ I said, without even realising I’d said it.

He laughed loudly. ‘No, silly,’ he said, sounding more like a mother than a kidnapper.

He leaned backwards and dragged in a huge mirror from outside the room. I frowned at it, bemused. Radley read my expression and smirked.

‘Because I know how vain you are.’ He spat the word ‘vain’ out, but apart from that sounded eerily cheerful. ‘And didn’t I promise I’d punish you?’

He chuckled to himself. ‘It took me a while to think of something, I’ll admit. What could I possibly do to punish you, the way you’ve punished me?’ He pointed at his cheek, his eyes like saucers. ‘I’ve done nothing wrong here. I’m simply trying to get a little financial relief from your dad, after what he’s done to me. But you’re so used to living the life of flipping luxury that you don’t even realise what the real world is like.’

He lifted the mirror effortlessly, placing it on the dressing table. He snapped his fingers once, pointing to the space beside him. Reluctantly, I slid my legs over the side of the bed and hopped out, shuffling towards him.

We looked into the mirror together. I didn’t understand what his point was.

‘Look at yourself,’ he whispered.

I looked. I didn’t like what I saw. I looked a mess. I looked dishevelled. I looked ungroomed. I dropped my head down, suddenly overwhelmingly disgusted by my appearance.

‘You’re so vain,’ Radley said.

The words didn’t hurt me. I knew it was true. I was obsessed over my appearance. I always wanted to look my best.

‘But I don’t know why.’

That stung a bit. I kept my head dropped down.

Look at you, Veronica. Just look. You’re so…so ugly. Look at the shape of your facial features; so uneven and distorted and just plain ugly.’ I dropped my head down again but he grabbed my jaw and forced my face up.

‘And look at your body,’ he breathed in my ear. ‘You try so hard to be stick thin and yet it doesn’t pay off.’

He grabbed hold of my T-shirt suddenly, yanking it up. He tugged at my flesh.

‘You’re so fat.’

He continued talking and I was suddenly aware of him pulling my T-shirt over my head and instructing me to look at my fatty self and I turned around and he laughed loudly but I wasn’t really listening I was just staring at myself in the mirror as I twisted and turned and my fat bulging belly wobbled and my flabby arms rippled and I was huge I was disgusting I was fat.

‘You tried to seduce me,’ he cackled, sounding genuinely amused. ‘You thought I would sleep with someone like you? You actually thought I’d look at someone like you?’ He shook his head. ‘Oh, dear. I do have some standards, Veronica.’

I shook my head slowly. ‘Why are you saying this? Why are you taunting me like this?’

He smiled smugly. ‘I’m saying it because it’s true,’ he said simply. He laughed a little, then threw my T-shirt back at me. ‘Cover yourself up,’ he said hastily.

I thought it was over. I thought that was my punishment, over and done with. I tried to move away, but he cleared his throat and I knew he wasn’t finished yet.

Radley pulled the dressing table stool out. ‘Sit,’ he commanded.

I did as I was told. I was too low to even think of doing anything else.

In the mirror, I saw him reach into his pocket, pulling out a pair of scissors. He chopped at thin air mockingly, smiling at me in the mirror.

He began stroking my hair very calmly. It was almost relaxing, so I shut my eyes. He lifted bits of my hair up, then let them fall gracefully, gently hitting my back.

Then I heard the metallic snap of the scissors. I opened my eyes, and saw a huge chunk of my hair missing.

He lifted another part of my hair.

‘Don’t,’ I croaked.

‘Just a trim,’ he said in a sickeningly assuring voice, before chopping the hair off, right from the roots.

I shut my eyes, but continued to hear the cutting of the scissors. My head eventually felt lighter. I daren’t open my eyes. I could feel the blade of the scissors digging right into my scalp. I let out a groan, but he didn’t stop.

‘Please!’ I begged with him. ‘Please. No more. I’ve learned my lesson. Just…just stop it. You’re hurting.’

He stopped cutting. I heard him place the scissors on the dressing table.

‘Open your eyes,’ he ordered.

I kept them firmly shut, but his fingertips were suddenly tugging at my eyelids, forcing them open.

I didn’t recognise myself at first. I looked like a boy. My hair was short and messy, clipped right back. It looked like he’d shaved it, never mind cut it. I quickly realised that’s why it must have hurt.

I looked so ugly.

I felt cool tears fall down my hot cheeks. Radley rubbed them away fiercely.

‘It’s just hair,’ he said, unsympathetically.

I sniffed. I didn’t know what to say. Radley brought his lips close to my ear.

‘You know what this means, don’t you?’ he whispered.

I flinched at the sound of his voice, so loud in my ear.

‘I can’t send you back to your parents looking like this, can I? I guess that means I’ll have to keep you here even longer,’ he hissed, before standing up.

He smiled, satisfied with what he’d done. ‘Does that mean I can up my price?’ he said, followed by a laugh.

My head dropped in shame. Radley sighed. ‘I’ll leave the mirror in here,’ he announced. ‘That way you’ll be constantly reminded of what you’ve done.’

With those words he left.

I grabbed the scissors and hurled them at the mirror. The smash of glass in my ears was satisfying.

A/N: Well, I just wanted to say thank you for reading so far!! If all goes to plan, then this is the halfway point of the novel. :) Just thought I'd let you know:) But thanks for reading & for all your lovely comments so far. XD

Submitted: June 06, 2012

© Copyright 2023 JayTheBookworm. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



Wow, I really don't like that guy. I tell you if that was me, I'd have hurled those scissors right at his face!! Lol. Anyways, I really enjoyed this chapter, it was really creative, you're a great writer! Looking forward to the next chapter!! kmu please =)

Thu, June 7th, 2012 2:12am


Hahaha, that made me laugh. xD Thank you very, very much! :D I will. :D

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:28am


Loved it...keep me posted!!!!

Thu, June 7th, 2012 5:01am


Thank you, I will! :D

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:28am

Lovees Smilees Heartts

Wow ! That was such a deep chapter; was it hard to write this? Cutting her hair was a really bloody mean thing to do. I know how it feels to just be disgusted with appearance but I have no one to support since I live in a whole different continent than them.Gosh you got me crying writing this . Keep me posted on this so I can keep commenting my feeling- wow I feel like a softy now! Xoxoo Terany (;

Thu, June 7th, 2012 7:14am


Thank you! It was hard actually, I was a bit torn whether he should do it or not but then I thought he's ruthless. I'm so sorry that you feel that way, but you are soooo pretty in your picture, you shouldn't worry. :) I'm just glad you enjoyed it. :) I will. :)

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:30am


Urgh.. he's mean to her. Saying her fat and ugly then cutting her hair... pls stab him already >:(
Great chapter! PLease KMU

Thu, June 7th, 2012 1:05pm


Hahaha, I know, and it's tempting. ;) Thank you! I will. :)

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:32am

Melody Rachelle


Thu, June 7th, 2012 1:49pm


Thank you!! I will. :D

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:33am


He is horrible! Great update. I like your creativity with the punishment. please keep me posted :)

Thu, June 7th, 2012 3:55pm


I know! :( But thank you very much! I will. :D

Thu, June 7th, 2012 9:34am

Cameron SeVant

I enjoyed this chapter very much, it was creative and not expected. Although what he said may have seemed mean...but I can't help but wonder if this is going to help her somehow in the long run.

Thank you.

Thu, June 7th, 2012 4:50pm


Thank you very much! :)

Thu, June 7th, 2012 3:03pm


Wow. What he did is probably worse than if he'd raped her - what kind of sick, twisted, disgusting person tries to make a severe eating disorder worse?!?! What is he going to do when she stops eating all together? He could screw himself and destroy what little life she has left.... anyways, there's my little rant. Great job! I didn't expect what he did, and I usually catch on pretty quickly. Really good chapter

Fri, June 8th, 2012 5:37pm


Haha, I'm glad you feel strongly about it! :D The rant was a huge compliment. :) And thank you very much!

Sat, June 9th, 2012 4:24pm

Taste the Rain

that was a really good chapter. I think it was good how you make Radley so insane, but at the same time, he is alos really intelligent, in a bad way. Doing what he did cut much deeper than if he cut he or hit her or something. I noticed that she really didn't care she was that hurt, but that she was so ugly.

Fri, June 8th, 2012 7:14pm


Thank you very much! Yeah, I think insanity mixed with intelligence just makes him all the more dangerous, haha. :) But thanks! :D

Sat, June 9th, 2012 4:23pm


AHAHAHAHAHA! I can't believe she said "A sledgehammer"! xD

I bet Radley must have been using his telepathy to read her mind, or he saw Mysery too and his brain waves were synchronized with Veronica's.


... what the?!

Okay, what Radley did with the mirror and the scissors was truly evil... right here he just beat the Joker in levels of antagonism. It's amazing how well it fits the title of the novel now.

I still think he is trying to help her... unless I'm going insane (hope not)... it just seems that way. He is showing her how superficial she was, this in turn could help her get over her eating disorder (considering Veronica has shown to be strong) or kill her.

A funny and twisted thought came to mind... what if Veronica's father paid Radley to teach his daughter a lesson?

Now I'm sad, I got on a reading streak today and this is the last one so far... please, keep me updated.

Sat, June 9th, 2012 5:32am


Haha, wow, comparing Radley to the Joker? That's a massive compliment, haha. xD Haha well I like your ideas but I refuse to give anything away! ;) Aw, your comments never fail to make my day! I will update ASAP!

Sat, June 9th, 2012 4:35pm


Omg he makes me so mad >< She probably isnt ugly, i don't imagine her to be ;D Anywaaays amazing as always KMU? ;']

Sun, June 10th, 2012 12:06am


Thank you! And the way I imagine her, which is like Charley Webb from Emmerdale, she isn't ugly at all! I will! KMU on Love and Tattoos! ;D

Sat, June 9th, 2012 5:18pm

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