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Legend In Death

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"Legends die hard. They survive as truth rarely does."

Helen Hayes


She was foolish to be out so late wearing only an evening dress. It was April, and April in Star City was a fickle month. The midday sun lured you into thinking that summer was right around the corner, only to leave you shivering at dusk when it slunk below the horizon. And by midnight, which she was certain it was now, it was cold, plain and simple. She should have gone home to change or at least found a decent coat. But she'd been anxious and hadn't wanted to take the time.

She was foolish too, she knew, for coming to this part of the city, especially this late and especially alone. When she'd moved to Star City a few years ago, one of the first things she'd learned was that you didn't wander the Glades after dark. The Glades was for people who lived on the fringes - those with little money and no hope of ever climbing out of the hole that life had buried them in. The Glades wasn't for people like her; a celebrity and a woman of means. She didn't belong, and standing in the dirty alley she was vulnerable, the same way a diamond in a pail of rusty nails was vulnerable. She was the shiny object.

Normally she liked standing out - standing apart from the rest of the world. But not here. Here, it made her unsafe.

Of course she could have insisted that they meet someplace else. But she knew that the Glades, for all its misery, offered her one thing that the rest of the city couldn't; anonymity. She might stand out, but no one in this part of the city was likely to know her name. And there were no security cameras or gawkers ready to take her photo and post it on social media for all the world to judge. The public could be fickle, every bit as fickle as April in Star City. One moment of weakness - of being human - and you fell from idol to joke. What she was doing now could easily be interpreted as weakness by those who didn't understand her world and the demands it put upon her. So she accepted the risk in order to keep her business private.

She stepped deeper into the alley and peered into the darkness, wrinkling her nose at the smell of garbage and urine. There was no sign of him, no fucking sign of him anywhere, she thought. She crossed her arms over her chest and hugged herself, trying to restore warmth to her body. She had hurried here; hurried, without going home to change because he had told her that she had to meet him right away. And now that she'd arrived on time, the bastard was keeping her waiting. She tapped the toe of her elegant, spike-heeled sandal and huffed out a breath. She'd give him five minutes. Five minutes, and then she was gone.

There was a soft, scuffling sound from somewhere in the alley and she spun around, searching for its source.

"Well, it's about time-" she began; then she heard a sharp thwack followed immediately by an even sharper pain in her chest. She glanced down and barely had time to register that there was an arrow protruding above her left breast before she began falling backwards. What the hell? she thought.

She was dead before her head hit the pavement.