Chapter Eleven


Determined Marie had a plan.

It can never be said that she didn’t love her little Aleta. She would do anything to put her rapist and murderer and monster away.


It took a few weeks to get her courage up. She spent nights curled up in the corner of her room, shuddering and weeping. It didn’t seem right that she should seek comfort in her warm bed with her clean sheets. She needed to suffer as Aleta had suffered. Atone for what she did by sending her daughter out alone. She needed to descend beneath it all.

She visited her ex-husband one more time, to tell him of her plan.

“Will it work?” she asked him.

She stared at her hands, tiny brown things with neat cuticles. She had just cleaned and trimmed them, buffed and shined them, just in case. As pristine as pristine could be, just in case her plan worked.

“Marie, don’t,” Lyle said. He sounded worried. Genuine worry and concern. Marie nearly laughed. He hadn’t been concerned about her before, had he? Why di
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