Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Identity By Tracy Davidson

Carefully cut out letters pasted onto white paper mocked her as she read the threatening note. ‘WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE’ it said. ‘YOU ARE GOING TO HELL BITCH!’

“Of course,” said Sarah. “Strictly speaking, there should be a comma after ‘HELL’. Unless there really is a place called ‘Hell Bitch’. Clearly we’re not dealing with the brightest bulb in the box.” She strived for an amused tone, trying to make light of the situation.

Bill, the witness protection officer in charge of her case, was not fooled. He could see how scared she was. How disappointed it had come to this. Again. He would take the note away for testing, but didn’t really expect anything to come from it. Just like the last note. And the one before that.

“You know what I’m going to say don’t you?” he asked.

Sarah sighed and nodded. She looked around the living room. She liked this house. It had only been hers for a short time but she had decorated it to her own tastes and was fond of the bits and pieces she had collected. She wouldn’t be allowed to take anything with her.

Sarah wasn’t her real name. It was the third name she had been given in as many years. She wondered what her new name would be. Something more unusual for a change perhaps. She had already been Jane and Rachel. Maybe this time she could be Persephone or Cassiopeia.

But Witness Protection didn’t have that much imagination. Besides, she was supposed to keep a low profile, not draw attention to herself. Which meant sticking to ordinary, unmemorable names.

Bill led Sarah from the house and drove her away. All because she once trusted a man, once lied for a man, who turned out to be a killer. He was now on death row. But even though she had given the evidence that convicted him, she had still been damned by association in the public’s eyes. And so the authorities gave her a new identity in a new town. But then the notes started to arrive.

Sarah turned her face away from Bill so he couldn’t see her smile. Silly man probably thought she was crying. He didn’t have a clue that she had sent the notes herself. Every time she got bored with a town and wanted to move on, out would come the scissors. It was pathetically easy.

Sarah knew her luck would run out one day. But not yet. When she suspected they were on to her, she would disappear. For good. From watching Bill, she knew how to do it. She had money, lots of it, hidden away. She would leave behind a trail of bodies in every town she’d ever been in.

“Your name is Anne Wilson,” said Bill. “You’re moving to Las Vegas to…”

Sarah, now Anne, was delighted. Vegas! All those men with money to burn. And all that desert… Perfect.


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