by M. J. Joachim
As she felt her relationships slipping away, Gina knew there was little she could do. Rumors and lies had taken their toll on the community. “They know me,” she thought. “How can they possibly believe I’d be so heartless and rude?”
Madeline was a force to be reckoned with even on a good day. No one dared disagree with her, let alone cross her. She had money, and though she didn’t have much power, she knew how to destroy people she didn’t like.
Confronted with the evils she was accused of, Gina fell silent. There was no point in defending herself. Even if she wanted to, how could she refute a bunch of lies that made no sense? The idea was beyond absurd.
Years passed. Gina kept to herself. The community left her alone. This was her punishment for crossing Madeline.
Over time, Madeline’s reputation for being the meanest woman in town became a distant memory. In its place was the story of a woman who lost her husband and child to that crazy drunk driver, Madeline – a true story, one that Gina personally avoided so many years before.
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