Manfred went over the address in his head one more time, then stepped out of the taxi he had come in and paid the driver.

Here it was. Milanesque Penitentiary. He hoped he had the right person, the right place, the right story. He could be completely wrong.

He went in, and requested a private visit with one Valerie Mason, a woman who had gotten a life sentance, with only a small chance of parole, for killing thirteen people and trying to kill her own ex-husband and two children, as well as many other small crimes.

"You're here to see Valerie Mason?" the guard asked, surprised. "You're sure that you got the right person?"

Manfred held out a printout of a photo taken at the time of her sentance. "This is her, isn't it?"

The guard squinted carefully at the picture, then nodded. "That's her. You want to see Valerie, but you've never met her before? What in the world're you going to talk about with her?"

"I just have some questions." Manfred answered calmly. "Can I see her, or are there certain visiting hours that I don't know about?"

"No, no, you can see her now. Just. . .no one's ever come to see Valerie before." said he guard, who had obviously been working there for a long time.

"Just let me in." Manfred said, trying not to sound irritated.

The guard led him down a hallway and into a room. "Wait here." he indicated a table and two chairs "I'll bring her here."

Manfred nodded, and stood near the table.

A few painfully long minutes later, the guard brought Valerie Mason into the room, with two other guards accompanying them. They brought her inside and handcuffed one of her wrists to the table. She sat obediently, smirking at the guards all the while. If Manfred were one of those guards, he'd be pretty unnerved by her smirk.

He sat down across the table from her, and waited.

This woman wasn't really what he had expected. She had long, curly her going all the way down her back, tied in a pony tail that flowed loosely behind her. Though she was really almost fifty, she was quite well-preserved, the lines on her face barely visible.

If she smiled a normal smile, Manfred thought, she could have been a beauty to rival someone half her age. But the smirk on her face and the deep, crazy yet unreadable violet eyes passed her off as one who was not entirely right in the head.

"Well, well." Valerie remarked once they were alone. "What have we got here? You look kind of familiar, kid. Did we meet up a long time ago?"

The End

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