November 5, 2013
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“Good night, Daddy,” Hermia said sweetly as she slipped the poison into his water, handing him his nightly pills.
“Good night, my love,” Mallory replied ever so gratefully. He had been worried about his daughter lately. Her judgment was a foggy smokescreen. She could not evaluate the morals of her actions, or so it seemed. Her sudden whims and odd behavior made her hard to please. Mallory had always thought his daughter to be as magnanimous and selfless as the person she was named after- her mother. Hermia’s mother had passed thirteen years ago. Now all Hermia had was Mallory. Though, she so clearly did not realize this.
Hermia skipped across the hall and skidded to a stop as she reached her room. She felt something. Her mind, like a junk drawer filled with a prodigious number of disparate items, emptied itself. The cold of the marble floor impressed upon her feet. She felt a shiver working up to her shoulders. The smokescreen that was her judgment started to clear up. What had she just done? Will she get caught? What if this does not work? No, it was not guilt that jittered through the cells in Hermia. It was purely egocentric concern. Hermia entered the room and frantically ran towards her bed. Worry racked her brain. She thought of calling Chance, the only one who could comfort her, but he would most likely not answer at this time of night. She flipped through her diary to remind herself of the reason why she was doing all this. The only light she could see in the dark. The hope that all of this worry and risk would be worth it in the end. As the city outside calmed down to welcome the arriving dawn, Hermia drifted off into sleep.
“Hermia,” Chance whispered in her ear, “you have to give me the company-“
“I’ve tried! I’ve asked him twice to sign it over to me! I don’t know what else I can do.”
“Listen, if you get the paperwork to me and sign it, it will be mine. That’s all we need. I can get it to number one again. We can keep up this lifestyle. You won’t have to leave the city. You won’t have to sell your possessions. You won’t have to-“
“I get it!! What do you want me to do?!”
“How bad do you want this?”
Chance came closer to Hermia. He stroked her neck, “You’re staring right at the answer. You’re Mallory’s only heir, if I’m not mistaken.”
“I don’t see what you’re getting at,” Hermia managed to eke out, paralyzed by Chance’s whisper.
“Once Mallory dies…”
“He’s in perfect health…”
“Eliminate him. The man has no idea what he’s doing. He’ll just be collateral damage. He can’t even provide for you the lifestyle you deserve.”
Hermia jolted her eyes open, waking from the memory she had just relived. She got up and put on a new red dress. She walked to her father’s bed and stared at the lifeless corpse. She removed her fingerprints from the glass she had handed him the night before and dialed 911.
The police arrived minutes later and searched the entire penthouse as Hermia sat quietly, answering questions with a fake look of concern plastered across her face. The rest of the day was a blur to her. Lawyers came in and out. Press crowded around the sidewalk. Detectives and authorities ran around in hysterics. Not one of them suspected his loving daughter.
At the end of it all, Hermia was now the owner of her father’s company. Upon realization of this fact, Hermia called Chance to celebrate with her, disappointed to find he did not respond. Surmising that he must have business matters to attend to, Hermia went out by herself to celebrate the life she planned to live until the day of her death.
Hermia hailed a cab and headed straight into the Upper East Side. She stepped out of the cab with the confidence of Icarus as he soared through the sky with his waxed feather wings. She felt rejuvenated. She could do anything now. She was so young, so fresh. She had the world at her feet. Endless possibilities were in her hands. That single step out of the cab represented a new start for her. No more worry would be in her life. No more compromising or grief or anything but a life of decadence and pretention laid in front of her. She would now live how she, in her mind, was meant to live. The devils of pleasure and desire sat on her shoulders; the angel that was previously her conscience was now completely out of the picture as cognizance of the spree of revelry she was just about to embark on swelled up inside of her like helium in a balloon, ready to be popped.
Three hours later, Hermia had spent nearly twenty-five thousand dollars on extravagancies. She knew Chance would make a fortune when he took over what was now her company, so the brakes on her train to material pleasure were now completely beyond repair. Right as Hermia was about to enter yet another store, her cell phone rang. It was Chance.
“Hello?” she answered, slightly annoyed with his reluctance to get back to her.
“Hermia, I presume everything went as planned?”
“Yes, just as planned. I’d actually say everything went a little too well…”
“No such thing. Can you come to my office on Madison? I can imagine you are in the area as we are speaking…”
“Now?” she asked, eyeing a shiny Chanel sitting in the store window.
“Yes, now!” Chance replied hastily and hung up.
Hermia worked her way over to Chance’s office. Let in by his secretary, she met with Chance and his lawyer.
“Here, sign these and the transfer will be secure.”
Frazzled by his abruptness, Hermia stayed obedient and blankly signed the papers.
“Thanks for coming tonight. See you another time,” Chance said after Hermia signed in the final blank.
“What? You don’t want to celebrate? Is something the ma-“
“You fool,” Chance scoffed, “it’s my company now. I don’t need you anymore.”
“But Chan-“
“I don’t care! You are nothing to me! Go to your daddy, he’ll help his beloved Hermia. Oh wait, that’s right. You murdered him. ”
Hermia, now drowning in her own tears, ran out of his office. She ran out onto the street and hailed a cab home. Shaking inside and out, she managed to make it into her den and lay on the floor, broken into a million pieces. There was nothing for her. No money, no boyfriend, no family. Hours later, Chance called her. Hermia ignored the piercing ringing of her phone until she could bear it no longer. The moment she picked up, she heard Chance’s glib voice going on and on. She could not understand what he was trying to say at first, but as she listened, she made out a few sentences.
“You never told me your father’s company was in debt! Were you even aware? You are such an airhead, you didn’t even know! I owe millions because of you now! I can’t…”
Hermia sat up and smiled. She let Chance’s voice ramble.

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