Chapter 32:


Midnight King

***** Beware this is a long chapter so grab your tea/coffee/apple juice and hunker down for a long read :)  *****

“I just want to be friends again, is that so wrong, Honey dear?”

Charlotte’s ugly voice. It’s like the grating of metal, the jagged blades of her teeth sing a horrid tune whenever she decides to open those curling lips. Mouth forming a huge gash that splits her face in two and reveals bone and the red flesh of her gums.

Her eyes do nothing but watch Honey with malicious amusement. Cold and unyielding.

They burn a venomous green.

Those eyes. The eyes that ruined everything for Honey.

“Friends?” Honey spits. The word tastes foul in her mouth. “If you let me post your bloody face on my Sinstagram I’d consider you a stain on the pavement beneath my feet at best.”

Charlotte pouts, the way you’d do to a child or a dog or something too stupid to understand a simple phrase or sentence. And Charlotte can make any expression she wants. Her face is about as malleable as a lump of clay, although how oh so good Charlotte would look with Honey’s fist in her cheek. 

It would be the only time in her disgusting, shameless life that she’d look good enough for her Sinstagram fame.

“We did such great things together back at Vainglory, I don’t know what got between us, but don’t worry,” Charlotte takes a step forward, examining the state of her shoes, and watches Honey through her spider-like eyelash extensions.

“I forgive you.”

Acid rises from the pit of Honey’s stomach. It turns the insides of her closing throat raw and all she can taste is bile and sour spit. Vitriol threatening to drip from her jaw.

A burning sensation fills Honey’s chest.

She begins to choke on her hatred.

Everything that loathsome wench does, everything she says, everything, all of it, reminds Honey of the moment when Charlotte reduced her to nothing but an irrelevant joke. Taking her reputation, her popularity, and her worth. Forcing her to attend a dismal school with dismal students that treat her no better than they would a cockroach. 

Making her small again, at the mercy of a single look or the end of a cigarette.

Honey would do anything to be rid of Charlotte. Anything. 

She throws an elbow at that vile, smug face. A skate aimed for the bridge of Charlotte's perfect button nose. It should have felt a crack.

But it soars through empty air.

A bitter taste fills her mouth. 

Charlotte catches Honey’s arm and with a twist, she drags Honey forward like she’s reeling in a stubborn fish, hook through its lip and about to be gutted.

Charlotte’s punches come fast and they come heavy.

Two find their way into Honey's sternum. Three get her in the back between her shoulder blades as she doubles over.

Charlotte’s knuckles are as sharp as knives.

Just like her words. And her smile. And her terrible, terrible eyes.

Her knees dig into the scuffed concrete of the warehouse floor, deep in cigarette ashes and pieces of revolting trash. Charlotte could kick Honey to the ground and keep her there, put another mark on her face in a place she couldn't hide so easily this time, somewhere everyone could see it. 

But Charlotte does none of those things. 

She wants to watch Honey suffer. Slowly.

Everything feels hot.

Everything hurts.


It stings more the second time.

“Ah, but I already accepted your apology for all the awful things you did to me the first time we did this and you know what, you really haven’t changed a bit-”

“You made up those wretched rumors.” It’s all Honey can say and she scoffs so violently it makes her words nearly unintelligible. 

But Charlotte, fucking Charlotte the monster with the bleached blonde hair, can hear every syllable, ears deaf to everything but someone’s anguish.

She hums. 

Making slow circles around Honey, stepping over the crumpled heap that used to be The Midnight Fights' infamous King as she does so. Joshua remains motionless by her leisurely gait. Her calmness, her languid movements that look like she’s walking through water make Honey nauseous.

Revolted. She never wanted to watch Charlotte pace like this again.

So she'll make it so. 

Honey reaches to tackle Charlotte's knees, to drag her down where she truly belonged, to beat that smirk and that look off her face once and for all. 

Honey dreams of blood.

But it stains her hands. It drips from a broken bottle and a red stiletto, and all that vibrant crimson is replaced with Gray’s face. 


And for some reason, all her anger and blinding rage come to a screeching halt, like it’s doused in a bucket of cold water and buried in 10 feet of ice. The flames that curled up her throat and took all the oxygen from her lungs extinguishes in an instant. 

She hesitates, but Charlotte does not.

Charlotte wraps both hands around the back of Honey’s head and brings it towards her unforgiving knee.


The world swirls in blurring bright flashes of color. Honey feels the ground come rushing up to meet her but she tenses every muscle in her body to stay upright. 

Her legs shake. Her muscles throb with sudden fatigue. Her head becomes nothing but a tangle of thoughts and feelings. 

A whole year for this one moment. For this fight. For this victory. For Charlotte to finally suffer for the scar, for the betrayal, for every single one of her sickening smiles and condescending looks.

Honey wants this. More than anything she wants this.

But why does she have to convince herself she does?

Charlotte stops in front of her. She studies the ends of her hair with unnecessary interest and Honey wishes she sees as many split ends as rumors she's made. 

“You’re a special little girl, Honey, you remind me of someone I used to know.” 

Special. Special. Special.

Charlotte is special and she proves it with the way she speaks and the way she walks and the way she can take Honey apart piece by piece until there’s nothing left. Honey begins to hate that word. It doesn’t belong to her in Charlotte’s presence and maybe it never belonged to her at all.

“That someone taught me the importance of the hierarchy and The Midnight Fights, they were my first love,” 

And Charlotte doesn’t look down at Joshua, she looks through Honey at someone that isn't there. “She was just like you, charming, sweet...conniving. But that’s all irrelevant to the fact she used me to date the previous Midnight King.”

Honey doesn’t want to listen to Charlotte ramble about things she doesn’t care about. Charlotte’s only telling her this because she knows nobody will believe Honey, that she can weave another lie, another scandal with a single teardrop and a whimper. 

She flaunts her power, dangling her popularity and her influence, just in front of Honey’s nose.

“So I took him from her, I ruined her like she did to me. And oh how easy it was, the previous King would follow anyone that spared him the smallest fraction of attention. I had him wrapped around my little finger, he would blindly follow anything I said,”

She pauses as if tasting her words.

“Even to the death.”

Honey stops thinking. Her heart is pulsing in her throat. She can’t breathe. She’s suffocating.

Hate. Revenge. Bloodlust. It’s rotting her insides and squeezing every last drop of oxygen from her lungs. Honey pushes words out of her mouth like they're solid objects.

“What did you do?”

Charlotte and her smiles.

“Well I couldn't just let your little friends take away this beautiful system now could I? Let me ask you this, how are the little redhead's legs doing?”


Fire runs down the back of Honey’s neck, crackling through the tips of her fingers and turning every thought into charcoal. Honey knows this feeling. Honey embraces this feeling. Her anger and violence brought out only through the flames of her smoldering hatred.

She puts it all, every morsel of it, into the fist that finds its way into Charlotte’s temple.

Her knuckles prickle with the hit.

It is everything Honey wants. 

It should be everything Honey wants, but she feels nothing.

Not a damn thing.

Charlotte reciprocates the fist. 

When Charlotte attacks, she uses her whole body. Every limb, every appendage working in perfect unison. A punch. A kick. One in Honey’s side, another to her stomach. Consuming her bite by bite until all of Honey’s nerves stop reminding her what pain was supposed to feel like. 

Now it is all just numb.

Honey has to win this fight because when she does she can finally forget about Charlotte and Vainglory and everything that ever caused her humiliation. It’ll all go away if she lands another hit.

It’ll all disappear if she rips out those bleach blonde strands from the scalp of that oil spill of a girl.

It’ll all cease to exist if she claws off the pink-colored smile that harasses her at every corner of her pitiful life. 

It'll all vanish if she can sink her fingers into the soft parts of Charlotte’s eyelids and pull out the green jewels of her eyes. 

It’ll all stop if she reduces this horrible, horrible monster disguised as a human to nothing but blood and bruises and broken bones.

Honey, you’re a bad person.

She knows that already.

She just used her fists and her fire to ignore it. 

Honey hands have grabbed the front of Charlotte’s sweatshirt, preparing to slam her into the ground with a twist of her torso, but she can’t get her over her shoulder. Honey stops just short. Fingers clenched around Charlotte’s clothes and in prime position to yank the devil down from her throne. 

To make her bleed like Honey had. 

But she can’t get Charlotte over her shoulder.

She curses. Mainly at herself. 

Honey hates Charlotte. Loathes her. Enough to let it consume her every action and all her thoughts. Against Honey’s will, Charlotte becomes her obsession.

Honey’s so close to getting her revenge. But she feels empty.

There’s a metallic taste in her mouth as Charlotte escapes from her grip and throws an elbow at Honey’s vulnerable face. 

One strike becomes many until it's an assault. 

And all Honey can think of is the numbing sensation starting from every fist and permeating through her skin, bruises and wounds and welts become a dull, forgettable ache. 

Honey feels none of it.

Charlotte grabs a fistful of Honey’s hair, pulling her up by the roots and peering into Honey’s face like she's ready to mount Honey’s head on her mantle and call it her reward.

She taps the cigarette burn on Honey's forehead with the tip of her finger.

Counting her words with each poke.

“She took something from me, I took something from her, now that I stole something from you, you must take something from me. Don’t you see Honey dear, it’s a cycle for people like us!”

“I am nothing like you.” Honey wants to get out. Out of Charlotte’s grip, out of Charlotte’s attention, and never see that face or hear that voice again.

But Charlotte gives one tug on Honey’s golden curls and brings her knees back to the floor. 

Charlotte is a different type of special.

And that fact keeps coming back to haunt Honey.

“We're not? We both want the same things, to be the most popular, the pinnacle of this hierarchy, the best of all the high schoolers, The Midnight King.”

Charlotte waves the King’s icon in front of Honey’s face.

A bright golden color. A fitting position. The throne. The fame. Everything.

This is what Honey wanted, isn’t it? This pitiful little icon at the end of a phone screen that makes everyone bend to her every will and worship her like the goddess she deserved to be. 

That is Honey. 

That is who she is.

But that makes her no different than Charlotte.

“Our title, our reputation, our followers, and our likes, this, this is what defines our worth, dearest.”


Honey’s worth used to be made up of how many people complimented her that day or how many fans fawned over her online or how many people claimed to be her friend just to share in her bit of limelight or how close she was to getting her pathetic revenge. 

At first, it was to prove she was something special.

Then it was for Charlotte. 

Why? Why was everything always for Charlotte?

Honey feels sick. 

The fire that had been bubbling up from inside her all this time has turned to dying embers.

A whole year of her life was dedicated to Charlotte. Everything she did was for Charlotte. Her high school career revolved around Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte.

What would Honey do when Charlotte was gone? 

Continue this cycle she mentioned, take and be taken from? Earn her popularity, slowly watch as she becomes more and more irrelevant as the years pass by, concerning herself with everyone's opinions but her own. The King of a cult of idiotic freaks who would only respect her if she drew blood and fought for her life. 

She didn't want that. She doesn't want this. 

Honey realizes she has nothing except Charlotte. 

Honey was worthless without Charlotte. 

Honey hates this. Honey hates herself.

She had something. She used to have something other than Charlotte. Before this mess of her high school career that turned her blind and full of a fire, she could never satisfy. She had her parents. She had skating. She had her fashion and her beauty. She had...friends. 

Honey had friends. Two idiots and a kid that admired her even if she hadn't been the best role model. For just a moment in time, for a measly semester, Honey had something other than revenge. 

And she gave it all away for Charlotte. 

But she won't make the same mistake twice. 

Honey snatches one of Charlotte’s legs in her grip and pulls. The merciless Queen falls onto her back, pretty little hand pulling strands of blonde along with it, torn from Honey’s scalp, but the pain is nothing. 

Charlotte recovers quickly, but not without taking a perfectly timed blow to the face. Honey made sure it’s as close to those searing green eyes as she can make it. 

Charlotte stumbles.

Hatred is a two-way street.

And Charlotte looks directly at Honey with her headlights blaring.

She tosses pieces of Honey’s hair aside, fingers kneading her cheek where a reddening welt begins to form and mar her strawberry flavored features. Still too sweet to contain that awful glare.

But Honey doesn’t feel it anymore.

“Your so-called friends came here to burn down the warehouse, I guess I shouldn’t tell you that they’re in that cop car outside, should I?”

Misha. Elias. Honey feels her stomach sink. Her hands shake, battered and bruised. Knuckles bleeding from open wounds.

“If they really cared about you, they would have supported you, right?”

“Fuck off.” It comes out raw from Honey’s mouth.

Charlotte really doesn’t know when she should stop talking, Honey’s sick of her words.

Charlotte’s foot digs so deep into Honey’s abdomen, the pain returns to her frozen nerves. Honey takes the kick. Then she spins on her skates and delivers a knee into Charlotte’s hips.

The doll-like face contorts. 

And falls.

However, there's no rest for the wicked, tossing her pale color hair over her shoulder and putting distance between them. But Charlotte never backs down. She doesn’t retreat, Charlotte would fight tooth and nail to keep her reigning title, to keep what she thought was her only worth. 

The Midnight Fights are what Charlotte was to Honey.

An obsession. 

Except Charlotte was never satisfied with what power and fame brought her. She is what Honey will be if she devotes herself to popularity, to Sinstagram, to The Midnight Fights.

Honey would end up here again, in the middle of a disgusting warehouse, covered in dirt and grime and blood, using her fists and feet for violence, grasping at something she’ll never have.

No. This is not Honey.

This will not be Honey. 

Something hits her, but it's not a punch or a kick or a knee.

It’s liquid.

It splashes on one side of Honey’s face.

It drips down her arm and soaks through her shirt.

It smells like gasoline.

“Sorry but you should know a true King, people like us, would do anything for their throne. Whether by a metal bat or by fire.”

Charlotte shakes out the last of the gasoline canister, making a trail until she’s a few feet away from Honey, closer towards the large metal doors of the entrance. She throws the empty container aside since it’s useless to her now. Just like everything that she exploits.

Then Charlotte takes out a cigarette. 

And lights it.

“This title is what everyone wants, but only a few can hold. I won't let just anyone take it from me without a little assurance. Isn’t that right Josh-”

Charlotte had turned to the spot where Joshua once laid motionless, yet it’s empty. Her peach-colored lips purse together. Her blood-curdling voice pauses for a beat. 

A crack.

It forms along with one of her gem-like irises, and every time she blinks her repulsive eyes, the abyss staring at Honey opens wider. Charlotte thinks Honey doesn’t see it. How she looks towards the shape Joshua had made on the floor amongst the grit and grimaces.

Her smile looks stuck like it takes every bit of effort to keep it there on her face.

It’s still full of contempt.

But it's a dull blade. 

Charlotte is alone.

“So you were bound to leave me too,” Charlotte says under her breath, but Honey hears every word. Her spiteful eyelashes flutter and her face hardens. “Doesn’t matter, he meant nothing to me anyways.”

Honey recognizes that phrase.

She told herself that Misha, Elias, and even Gray mean nothing to her. But it was a lie.

Because they’re the only thing she can picture after Charlotte. They are the only thing Honey has besides Charlotte. If Honey defeats Charlotte right now, on this night in this warehouse, Honey will have nothing but her bloodied hands and her brainless band of followers.

She’ll have her radiant, god-like beauty. She’ll have her envied popularity. She’ll have her sweet revenge. She’ll be King of The Midnight Fights.

But those are the things that mean nothing to Honey.


Honey understands what hers is now.

The wheels of Honey’s skates inch forward. Slow, but sure. Steady, but determined.

“Well, my special little Honey, this has been fun, but since you’re unwilling to be friends again, I’ll have to use a different method of persuasion. Don't you remember what fun we had in Vainglory?”

Charlotte’s made up of smiles. Of pretty laughter. Of emerald eyes. Of straight platinum blonde hair. Of fake tears. Of false sweetness. Of lies. Of betrayals. Of all things malicious and evil in the world as if it were combined into one entity and one entity alone.

“I remember,” Honey skates over a shard of glass. Charlotte’s beady eyes dart down to her moving feet and she holds the cigarette a little tighter between her fingers. “I even remember what you said to me when you branded my fucking forehead.”

“Oh? I’m glad I had such an impact on your life, Honey dear!”

“Yes, you did, and Charlotte dear?”

Charlotte’s smile twists like a writhing snake.

She used to be able to break Honey with just one measly glance of her condescending gaze, with one point of her bladed finger, with one rumor conjured from her gossamer webbing.

Now it doesn’t.

And Charlotte’s stupid worth means nothing to Honey.

And it won’t ever again.

Because this is the last time Honey would ever let Charlotte be a part of her life, to become her obsession and the meaning of her own self-worth.

The cigarette taps.

Honey’s skates glide.

If Charlotte wanted to end this in flames, then it would be the only thing Honey would give to her. She doesn’t know how reckless Honey could be.

Misha might be a little mad at her for this, but she’ll apologize.

She’ll bite back her pride for just a little bit to say sorry to those idiots that gave her something to hold onto other than this infuriating, fiery hatred. She has something other than Charlotte. She has something other than fire. 

Honey’s voice scratches her esophagus and echoes in the cavern of her mouth.

“You don’t deserve that pretty face of yours.”

Honey skates forward faster than Charlotte can react.

Her fist lands on Charlotte’s jaw. Charlotte’s head snaps back.

The cigarette falls.

And all Honey remembers is fire.

It would be the last time she'd let fire consume her world in a blinding red.