- Text Size +
Author's Chapter Notes:

This is part 2/2 of the prologue. 

The timer reached zero. Accompanied by the distinct sound of a door being unlocked, the red light above the door dimmed, and the green one lit up. The session was over, and Allison was free to leave the room. Wasting no time, Allison rose from her chair and made her way out, ever careful to avoid looking at, or stepping on, the bloody mess on the floor.

She opened the door, and found herself in a hallway. Roughly 5 feet away, a door marked “EXIT” was nestled in the wall. The wall behind her, which housed the metal door she just came from, stretched far away to Allison's right. What this hallway lacked in depth it more than made up for in length, and a number of identical metal doors were placed roughly 15 feet away from each other along the wall, stretching into the distance. Allison just so happened to occupy the room at the left-most corner of the hallway, conveniently located close to one of the two exits. Above her door was an ornate label reading “SPAR 1.” That’s “Shrink Penalty Adjudication Room” to you, the only room where a Chevalier was permitted to carry out their duties. Through no fault of her own, Allison occupied room number one, freshly stained with the blood of a tiny criminal. This was the “Silver Strip,” one of the few Chevalier facilities located in the United States- specifically in Los Angeles, mind you.

Allison looked to her right, as the other metal doors along the wall began to open, their occupants strutting out one by one. One of the perks of being a Chevalier is that there are surprisingly few rules. One foundational rule, however, is that SPAR sessions last precisely 60 minutes, and the Chevalier is not allowed to leave until the time is up. There are no cameras, witnesses, or rules inside the SPAR during those 60 minutes, but the convict must be dead or guaranteed to die soon when time is up. Why trap them for an hour? Well, frankly, because it encourages them to “play” with their convicts, if for nothing else than to stave off boredom. As Allison was well aware, doing the deed right away leaves them with nothing but time to sit in a strange metal room. Many Chevaliers made full use of their hour, but Allison had a rough time making it past ten minutes.

People of all races, creeds, looks, and genders came spilling out of their death chambers. A person looking at them would be hard pressed to find anything all of them had in common, except for one notable thing. As they all exited their SPAR, their faces were painted with pure satisfaction. If the phrase “job well done” could be translated into an expression, every last Chevalier in the hallway would be wearing it. Well, all except one.

Allison was different from most Chevaliers in one distinct aspect- she took no pleasure in the act of executing convicts. That’s not to say she felt sympathy for them, far from it. In some ways, she probably was the least sympathetic to their cries and pleas, but she simply saw it as a duty she must carry out, nothing more. Quite frankly, this distinction made it rather hard for her to make friends with her coworkers, even if she wanted to. Chevaliers tended to talk about one thing amongst each other- the details of their executions. This just so happened to be Allison’s least favorite subject, so if given a choice she would choose not to interact with her coworkers in any way of substance. There was one person who did not give Allison that choice, though, and that person was finally exiting her SPAR- the one right next to Allison’s, in fact.

“Allie!” rang out a cheerful, girlish voice. Before Allison could fully turn to face it, she found herself wrapped up in a giant hug, long arms squeezing her frame tightly.

“How was your SPAR session?” asked the voice, before finally releasing Allison from the surprise bear hug. Freed from the embrace, Allison fully turned towards the source, and found herself facing a gorgeous woman.

“It was okay, Cathy,” replied Allison politely.

Catherine Gates, age 28, was a woman who demanded familiarity with everyone she met. Extremely outgoing, unbelievably gorgeous, her bubbly flirtatious personality was enough to charm virtually anybody lucky enough to meet her. Her long, curly, blonde hair framed a stunning face with meticulously applied makeup that perfectly accentuated her sky blue eyes and vibrant red lips. She had a body to match, with an hourglass figure that was sure to turn heads wherever she went. At 5’10, she just stood above Allison’s respectable 5’9. 

Unlike Allison, who preferred to keep her “assets” well protected behind a layer of professional office attire, Cathy chose to utilise her charm like a weapon. Currently, she was wearing a low cut, sleeveless red dress, just short enough to emphasize her deliciously long legs without taking attention away from her sky-high red heels. Looking like she was heading to the club rather than executing criminals, this was all in service of torturing whichever “lucky” convict was sent her way. Cathy couldn’t have cared less about the lustful eyes or declarations of love that were often directed her way, for her only true love in this world was tormenting and squishing bug-sized criminals, and she used every tool at her disposal to make each session a good one. If her face at that moment was anything to go on, then it seemed like she had just had a very good session.

“Was it? What kind of bug did they send you?” asked Cathy, with burning curiosity in her eyes.

“A triple murderer. He murdered his wife and two daughters. He lied about how many people he killed, and made up a generic story about how the mob framed him. I let him think I was going to help him for a minute before...well…”

“Ooh, I just love pretending that we don’t already know what their crime is. Watching the little liars squirm is such a turn-on” replied Cathy with a wink. Allison internally cringed at the sexual insinuation.

“So, let me guess,” said Cathy with an exaggerated pout, “you squished the bug with your shoe again. Actually, I don’t need to guess,” said Cathy as she peered into the SPAR Allison came from, scanning the room before spying a tiny red spot on the floor. Rolling her eyes, Cathy groaned.

“Boring! You’ve been here over six months now darling, you’ve GOT to start experimenting! I’ve been here two years, and every session is an exciting new experience” she said, as if lecturing an unruly student.

“For example, the bug they just sent me was this fat, disgusting rapist, so I took his little body and shoved him-”

“Cathy!” cried Allison, “you know I hate to hear that kind of stuff. You promised!”

“Yes, yes, my bad, my bad. At the very least,” said Cathy, “try eating one alive next time. They say bugs are high in protein, and they’re very…” she purred while rubbing her stomach, “satisfying.”

Allison flinched in slight disgust, and sarcastically said “yeah, maybe next time,” before making her way towards the exit.

“Wait!” shouted Cathy, preventing her from leaving, “did you hear that they’re sending him here tomorrow?”

“Who?” asked Allison.

“Brian Bentley,” Cathy said seductively, each syllable dripping from her tongue like honey.

“You’re kidding.”

“Never. Turn on Channel 6 at 7 tonight, babe. Wear your best shoes tomorrow,” Cathy said with a wink.

“Will do. Have a nice night, Cathy,” Allison said as she walked out the door.

“Buh-Bye, Allie!” Cathy called out after her.


Allison returned home, closing the door behind her with a sigh. 

“I’m home…” she declared to the empty room, slightly sad that nobody was there to answer her. She lived in a modest but impressively sized apartment. Although she lived alone, the apartment was technically two bedroom. Her income from being a Chevalier was more than enough to cover her rent and then some. Her apartment was sparingly furnished, with little greenery aside from a small potted plant on a table directly next to the front door. Allison was a woman of simple taste, valuing effectiveness and comfort when it came to furniture. Although she was a capable cook, she decided to order some takeout for dinner that evening.

Later on, she was lounging on her humongous sectional when she noticed it was getting close to 7:00. Remembering Cathy’s advice, she quickly turned on her similarly humongous television and switched to channel 6. Just in time, she found herself watching a middle-aged newsman beginning the nightly program.

Good evening, welcome to the 7:00 news. Let’s begin with the largest story of the day- an update to the trial of Brian Bentley. Today marks the three year anniversary of the murder of Timmy Osment, and as promised his legal team had some exciting news to share with us today. As you all recall, three years ago Brian Bentley, 18 at the time, was found brutally strangling beloved child superstar Timmy Osment, nicknamed “America’s Little Brother.”

Suddenly, two pictures were broadcast on the screen while the newsman spoke. One was of an adorable child, who couldn’t have been more than 10. He was smiling brightly next to a dog, with figures who looked to be his parents in the background. This was Timmy Osment, a beloved child actor nicknamed “America’s Little Brother,” who was murdered three years prior to the day.

The other picture was of a mugshot. The face was that of a downtrodden young man, with messy black hair and striking green eyes- eyes that were showing an eerily neutral expression. Hidden behind these features was a surprisingly handsome figure, although nobody in their right minds would say that out loud. This was Brian Bentley, the man convicted for the murder of Timmy Osment, and one of the most hated people in the country. The newsman continued.

Although Bentley’s trial was not televised to protect the privacy of the families, the jury reportedly took less than two minutes to sentence Bentley to life in prison, citing “overwhelming evidence.” Despite public pressure for the Shrink Penalty, at the time of the murder Bentley was only 18, which is below the age threshold for who can be given the Shrink Penalty. Several months ago, however, new evidence was discovered which reopened Bentley’s case. Due to his now being 21, and thus of age to receive the Shrink Penalty, the new evidence potentially meant that he could now face death via shrinking. This was indeed what the judge ruled, and Brian Bentley was re-sentenced to death via Shrink Penalty. This marked the only time in history that a single murder warranted the use of the Shrink Penalty. Breaking news today is that his date of execution has been set to tomorrow, and he will be sent to the “Silver Strip” Chevalier facility. To the lucky Chev who gets him, make sure he gets what he deserves. Coming up, we have interviews with the families-”

Allison turned the television off.

She sat in silence.

Brian Bentley, huh? she thought.

I bet Cathy is dying to get her hands on him.

I better be the first one in tomorrow.

Maybe I can avoid her.

With this in mind, she decided to go to bed early.

Brian Bentley…


The next morning, unreasonably early, Allison parked in a supermarket lot two blocks away from the Silver Strip, and made the unpleasant walk to the facility. She breathed a sigh of relief, for she was indeed the only person in the building right then. She clocked in, letting the facility know that she was able to begin a SPAR session at any time. She rested against the metal door of her SPAR while she waited, praying that nobody else turned up.

Her prayers went unanswered, however, as a familiar voice called out “Allie!”

Allison inwardly cursed, giving a polite smile as she was subjected to another one of Cathy’s bear hugs.

“So, you just couldn’t wait to get your hands on him either, huh? I always knew you enjoyed this job more than you let on,” Cathy said with a knowing smile. 

Not wanting to admit she was actually trying to avoid her, Allison gave an awkward smile as she said “yeah… I guess you would find out sooner or later” along with a forced chuckle. Cathy squealed in delight, and at that exact moment two harsh buzzing sounds rang out across the hallway. Looking at the source of the noise, the two women noticed that both of their SPARs had unlocked, the green light shining brightly above them. This meant that a convict was soon to be delivered in both of their rooms, and the sessions were about to begin.

Cathy took a few deep breaths, before turning to Allison.

“50/50 chance, huh? I’m afraid I can’t wish you luck on this one, babe. Be sure to wish me luck though!” Cathy said with a wink, before she flew into her SPAR and slammed the door.

“Good luck…” Allison muttered before making her own way inside her SPAR.

Setting her bag down in a corner, she approached the familiar metal desk with modest trepidation. Without sitting, she opened the cabinet and pulled out a document. The document was simple- it listed three things, and contained a picture. Her eyes widened. The picture was of a downtrodden young man, with messy black hair and striking green eyes- eyes that were showing an eerily neutral expression. Hidden behind these features was a surprisingly handsome figure, although Allison would never in her right mind say that out loud. The three things were as follows:

NAME: Brian Bentley

CRIME: Murder of Timothy Osment







Chapter End Notes:

And thus ends the prologue. Are you looking forward to what comes next? Let me know. This story is not over!

You must login (register) to review.