20. Optophobia

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♡Chapter dedicated to HelenAnneBraveflower

"I'm waking up, to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and sweat my rust
I'm breathing in the chemicals"
Imagine Dragons

"I'm waking up, to ash and dustI wipe my brow and sweat my rustI'm breathing in the chemicals"Imagine Dragons

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Anna couldn’t be prouder of herself.

In fact, if her pride was an element, she assumed it would be helium. It filled her entire body, making her feel light, as though she was floating on air.

Her benefactor had left, slamming the door behind him and muttering ‘crazy bitch’ under his breath. She basked in his absence, enjoying the freedom to congratulate herself without his doubts.

She had done it. God, she was brilliant.

All those days spent in solitude as a child. All those nights in the trailer being forced to listen to her mother ‘entertain’ gentlemen callers. The hard won scholarship. The long hours at work.

It had all been leading to this moment.

The boy’s death was a small matter in the grand scheme of things. His family would have the opportunity to mourn him and move on, although she hoped they wouldn’t dwell on it too long.

Grief was a waste of precious time. Anna had experienced this first hand.

Mavis Baker had been many things, loving was not one of them. The day Anna had found her mother dead on the kitchen floor, drowning in a pool of her own vomit, had been one of the happiest of her young life. She wasted no time mourning, she didn’t feel sorrow at her mother’s passing.

Instead, she saw it as an opportunity. She would get out of the trailer park and make something of herself. She would become famous and absolutely nothing like the woman who gave her life.

The woman who sold her body to feed her addiction.

Finding her father had been another monumental moment. He was her idol, a man who had built an empire. She had no doubt that he would be proud when he found out about Phobia.

As long as she kept her temper around her benefactor. She didn’t think their father would appreciate his death. No matter how annoying she found him.

It absolutely stymied her that she was related to him at all. He was, for lack of a better word, completely dense. But he was also rich and had access to the funds she needed to pull this off.  As much as she hated to admit it, she needed him. Their father hadn’t trusted her with the family bank account just yet.

But he would after this.

As soon as the word got out about Phobia and what it could do, people would be clamouring for her attention. Begging for her wisdom. She would go down in history.

She had left her trailer park roots behind her, but they still clung to her like vines wrapped around her ankles. A weight that she could never shake.

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