Chapter 20:

#TheFaceofAdversity - 2

Midnight King

The police station looks like the center of a rotting apple. Yellowing walls with water stains in the ceilings that look like they’re about to cave at any moment. Rattling metal fans provide what was supposed to be air conditioning, but felt like someone’s hot breath on the back of your neck.

Honey simply refuses to sweat and smear her make-up.

Did they think perspiration spots were fashionable? All the uniformed men that passed the window seemed to sport sweat stains like a new trend that wasn’t catching on.

Not like the navy blue was doing anything for them anyways.

The air is suffocating in this holding cell they’ve tossed her in. She’s fanning herself with just her hand, but it’s doing nothing but creating a rhythm with her jingling bracelets.

If they were going to wait for her to bake in here, they might as well let her go. She’s one to go down burning.

The other sad excuses of teenage boys were in the other holding cells next to hers and although the walls are supposed to be soundproof, she can vaguely hear them pounding on the wall and calling her names.

It wasn’t any different than when they were face-to-face.

She can barely hear what they’re saying.

Nor does she care.

A drop of sweat rolls down the side of her face and she hurriedly pats it down with the tip of her sleeve.

Could someone just get her out of here before her foundation melts? Is that so much to ask?

Like an answer from the gods of beauty, the door opens and the oily looking officer gestures for her to present her wrists for some new jewelry.


Her nose scrunches.

“Alright Missy, come with me, you’re getting called in for questioning.” The policeman says with a voice that sounds like he eats nothing but grease and salt. Gurgling like acid in the back of his throat.

She holds her tongue. Just this once where she could get into trouble that not even Sinstagram could get her out of. Her teeth sink into the side of her cheek.

Every fiber in her being feels ready to snap at the slightest inconvenience.

While he adjusts the cuffs, he seems to give her a glance over. Not in a leering way, she’d kick him in the face, prison sentence or not, but as if he were unimpressed. He snorts and shakes his head in exasperation.

It makes her hands feel hot with irritation.

Out in the police office, piles of decaying papers overcrowd desks occupied by decaying officers sitting on decaying chairs. Everything looks miserable. Like an oil painting damaged in some sort of flood, where all the pigment leaks off the canvas.

If she doesn’t get to a fan any time soon she’ll look the same.

She dreads the thought.

More so than what will happen to her next.

Some of the officers eye her wearily too, which confuses her because she knows these judgemental glares. But she’d only seen them on students before. Or the idiot boys that tried to attack her today. Condescending, the look she hates most.

One gives an incredulous laugh and turns to the officer beside him. They whisper something to each other that she doesn’t quite hear, but she can see flashes of their yellow teeth with every word.

It feels like she’s being tested, the way you’d bet on a horse in a race. Evaluating her at a single glance and by some miracle she seems to be failing. Every one of their looks is like a fresh cut on her skin.

Annoying. She wants to kick over their neat little line of desks and send their papers flying.

Honey’s lead to a room with one table and two chairs, the walls are cinderblock and there’s a one way mirror cut into one of them. A dust filled cobweb in the corner extends all the way down to eye level. Dangling like some ceiling decoration.

She glares at it to keep from sneering.

The oily man locks her cuffs to a bar in the middle of the table and tells her to wait.

Like a dog.

Honey considers if she could throw the table at the window and demolish the glass. The table is bolted to the floor.

So maybe her chair?

Before Honey can do anything that would surely put her behind bars for an indefinite period of time, the thick metal door swings open. The air is stale whether inside or outside of the room.

Another officer, no surprise, enters.

He’s got his nose turned up like he’s trying to sniff out the criminal records of any individual who has ever sat in Honey’s chair and his bushy eyebrows twitch when he seems to catch wind of her bloodlust. His pores are visible from all the way across the room.

Honey already hates his face.

She’s not sure how long she’ll be able to keep her mouth clamped shut.

The policeman clicks his heels together before making for the other chair, taking his sweet time, pivoting his shoulders around like he wants his gleaming pins and patch to catch the fluorescent lighting. Acting as if he were an overpraised child showing off a participation award.

He’s probably the police chief with how decorated his uniform is. And how crusty he looks.

Honey’s cuffs rattle when she leans back in her seat.

She wants to do everything she can to keep her distance from this man. Just looking at him makes her skin crawl.

“Miss Honey Bun,” He says with a voice that sounds like the curl of a cat tail, “Looks like this is your second recorded offense,”

She chews on her gums, face straining not to pull into its regular angry scowl. Don’t say anything. Don’t make a scene.

Honey’s not great at compliance.

“This one would’ve been just a slap on the wrist with a warning since you mainly acted on self defense, however,”

He sits up higher in his seat and he leans over the table like he’s about to tell her a secret. With a sly grin that Honey wants to rip off his broad face with just her nails.

“It’s come to our attention that you’re involved with something called The Midnight Fights, have you heard of it?”

Honey says nothing.

The man chuckles. An ugly sound she never wants to hear again.

“Well, that illegal fight club wasn’t made for young girls such as yourself, so we’ll waive the warning if you promise us you won’t get involved in something so dangerous.”

Honey scoffs. Again neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Trying her best not to make the warning turn to juvenile prison.

She can’t really get her revenge on Charlotte in prison could she?

Also she couldn’t post on Sinstagram, which would probably devastate her followers.

“I have a daughter, about a year older than you, who's in her third year at Vainglory Academy. You went there-”

Honey slams her cuffs into the table. She doesn’t want to talk about this. She doesn’t want to talk about Vainglory Academy or his precious daughter. She doesn’t want to talk about the first offense on her record.

The fake one.

The officer’s smile turns to a thin line.

“Well, if my daughter ever joined something like The Midnight Fights,” he continues as if Honey hadn’t interrupted, “I’d be terribly worried. I’m only telling this to you for your sake.”

“Thanks for your concern.” Honey says with about as much emotion as a plain slice of bread.

He looks a bit defeated. Aware of what types of people would cooperate and what types of people wouldn’t. Good, Honey thinks as he sighs and releases her from her cuffs. The chains clatter against the table, cutting through the thick tension.

Honey wants out of there.


Luckily, the officer gets up and moves towards the door. Apparently the interrogation finished, which puts Honey in a mood. She’d been waiting in that holding cell for nearly an hour for less than ten minutes of questioning.

He doesn’t open it just yet.

“I hope we do come to an understanding, otherwise the next time we meet might not be so fortunate.”

The door opens and she feels almost relieved to be back in the depressing police office that smells of old socks and mold. Other officers are still sneering at her like she’s done something worthy of holding a grudge.

Their lips are moving. She knows, from personal experience, that whatever is coming out of their putrid, chapped mouths isn’t something good. They don’t mean for her to hear it, but they do mean for her to see their twisted smiles and looks of contempt.

Honey sends them a glare that makes one of the officers fall back into his chair.

When the police chief leaves her at the front desk to get her paperwork settled out, she’s itching to get away from this man, he puts a hand on her shoulder. Her whole body tenses. Hypersensitive to his deathly calm grip on the fabric of her button down shirt.

“Oh and one more thing,” He pats her shoulder once.

Her knuckles crack. She wants to grab that disgusting claw off her clothes and flip him over her back and onto the floor. Where he rightfully belongs.

“Stay away from that black-haired kid, his parents used to be gangsters, that boy will probably end up like his father.”

Her nerves ignite. Heat coursing down her back and through her arms, intent on shedding blood with little remorse. The police chief had said it like he was pitying a helpless animal. One he’d gladly put out of its misery.

Honey was never curious about whatever Misha’s backstory was.

She’s not any more curious now.

Misha’s family problems aren't hers and this awful policeman with even more awful eyebrows couldn’t stop her from getting her eventual revenge.

“That’s all for now...” He starts and Honey immediately tries to rip her shoulder from his filthy hands, but his grip tightens.

Then he speaks in a voice so low it could’ve been a voice in her conscience. One she’d bash her head against a brick wall to get rid of.

“It's been a pleasure meeting you, Lady Rook.”

He lets her shoulder go.

She had been leaning forward to get out of his hold so she stumbles when he finally releases her. He’s wearing a smile that makes the acid bubble in her stomach and her mouth taste sour.

Honey knows what the other policemen had been talking about.

She knows it wasn’t her appearance or her fashion or her undeniable beauty that earned her those snickers and derisive gazes. It wasn’t about the grimy state of her uniform or her reckless public behavior that had caused a mess in the streets.


Honey reads their lips now.

She doesn’t have what it takes to be King. 

Joe Gold