“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

~*~Ecclesiastes 9:11~*~

Friday, August 31, 2012

Chapter Seven, Part Two

          The older members looked at each other, shocked, as though he had just said he had murdered someone.  The newer members just looked at Derek with wide eyes, not believing that one of their own would actually admit to this sin.

            Pastor Jeffrey closed his eyes, gathering himself before speaking, then opened them again and said, “Having doubts is a weakness, cowardice.  It is saying that you do not trust your brother and sister Roses.  It is the greatest sin of our church, for doubt is what will keep you from performing the most holy acts and leading others to our church so they too can see the light of our worship.  We are all greatly disappointed in you, Derek.  For this, you must meet with your Rose Angel for at least two extra hours a day, pray for an extra four hours a day, and you must publicly apologize to this church—both now and at worship tomorrow.”  He looked expectantly at Derek.

            Derek now moved his gaze to his folded hands.  “I’m sorry.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chapter Seven, Part One

February 6

            I’m in Sandra’s car again with Sandra, Delia, and Morgan.  We’re going to some Rose youth group bible study thing…no idea what it is.  Sandra won’t tell me.  Both of them—Delia and Sandra, I mean—are being particularly secretive about whatever’s going on.  I wonder

            Elizabeth, put the journal away,” Delia ordered.

            Liz looked up to find Delia glaring at her—not in a particularly harsh way, but stern enough that Liz knew she meant business.  Quickly, Liz shut her leather-bound journal and put it and her pen back into her bag.

            Delia didn’t see any of this.  She seemed to know that Liz would do as told, because immediately after telling off Liz, she returned to staring out the front windshield of Sandra’s car.  Delia was right, of course.  Liz would always do as told.  She liked both Delia and Sandra—they were her friends, after all—but she had absolutely no desire to cross them.  She had the feeling that they wouldn’t be quite as friendly if she and Morgan didn’t obey.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chapter Six, Part Two


            Liz jumped slightly, jerked out of her thoughts, and turned to look at who was addressing her.  She found herself looking up at Derek, whom she hadn’t ever seen outside of Children of the Rose functions.  Ever.  And yet, here he was, standing on the sidewalk, staring down at where she was sitting on the grass under a tree.

            For a moment, she couldn’t think of what to say.  She hadn’t often found herself speechless around guys, but for some reason she found herself unable to think clearly when Derek was around.


            Derek cocked his head to one side.  “What are you doing here?”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chapter Six, Part One

        Liz slumped into Sandra’s car, followed closely by Morgan.  Delia and Sandra, as usual, took the front seats.  Rubbing her eyes, Liz glanced at the clock.  Two in the morning.  The group had just been released from another seminar.  This seminar was about the proper dress of the Children, led by Pastor Jeffrey because Pastor Simon was at another colony this week.

            “We are a humble group,” Pastor Jeffrey had explained, “thus we dress humbly.  People should be attracted to our path to God because of what we portray from our hearts, not what we portray from our clothing.  Women wear long skirts to keep the men from the temptation of their bodies.  Remember the words of Matthew, chapter five, verse twenty-eight: ‘But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’”

            The older members had nodded their agreement, like they always did during seminars.  The newly baptized members had merely stared blankly ahead of them, nodding slightly with the others.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chapter Five, Part 2

         The prospect of returning to school the next day made Liz uneasy.  She didn’t have many friends in the first place, and those she did have she was afraid to encounter.  She didn’t want to hear the comments they would have about her wardrobe or her new diet.  That morning, she dressed carefully.  She selected a long denim skirt and long sleeved black t-shirt.  She pulled her hair back into a French braid, as she had done so many times since her baptism, pinning back the stray ends with bobby pins.  And lastly, she fastened her Rose cross around her neck.  Sandra had given it to her at the last church service.

            “A small token,” Sandra had said as she handed Liz a long, thin box.  “Just something to commemorate your baptism.  Each Rose has one.”

            Liz had opened the box carefully.  Inside was a silver chain with a single charm—a cross wrapped in a rose.  She had pulled it out of the box and stared at it with fascination.  When she had seen this same necklace on Jackie’s neck, it had meant nothing to her.  Now, she was actually excited to have one of her own.

            “Allow me,” Sandra had said with a smile, taking the necklace out of Liz’s hand and fastening it around her neck.  “I’m so proud of you, Elizabeth.  Have I told you that?”

            Liz had returned the smile.  “Yeah, you’ve told me.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chapter Five, Part One

          The Christmas break had ended.  The day Jackie went back to Drighton was a hard one for Liz.  Jackie stood at the bottom of the stairs, her suitcase sitting beside her, and the family gathered around.  Her father stood nearby, spinning his keys on his right finger.  Everyone in the family except Liz gave Jackie her space.  Liz kept close to her older sister and tried to ignore the fact that the rest of their siblings were standing several feet away, watching them warily.  Their brothers and sisters just didn’t know how to approach them anymore.

            “I’m going to miss you,” Liz whispered as she gave Jackie a hug good-bye.  She had changed too, over the last couple weeks of being in the Children of the Rose.  It wasn’t as drastic as Jackie’s change, yet, but a change was certainly evident.  Her family couldn’t understand how quickly this had happened.  Her wardrobe reflected that of Jackie’s, her hair always pulled back in a French braid.  The vegan diet had set in almost immediately after that first seminar.  She had found herself subconsciously repeating “It is right to be vegan, the outsiders are wrong” in her head several days after that lesson, and even now she would start writing it against her will in her Rose notebook.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Going on a Brief Hiatus

Greetings, Readers!

Starting today, and going through next week, I will be on a brief hiatus from posting on this blog.  It's not that I don't love you guys.  It's that I will almost literally have no time.

Tonight starts the Dublin Irish Festival here in Columbus, Ohio...and as an Irish dancer, that means I will be living at the festival all weekend (and am currently freaking out about my dance competition tonight).

And then next week will have to be devoted to packing and heading to LeakyCon in Chicago.

However, never fear, because I will be back with a vengeance the week after next!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chapter 4, Part 2

            After the service, Sandra took hold of Liz’s hand and led her out into the atrium.  A large table was set, filled with donuts, cookies, and large containers of lemonade.

            “Grab some food, Elizabeth,” Sandra said.  “We have some time to socialize.”  She handed Liz a plate with a couple donuts and cookies.

            “Aren’t you going to have more?” Liz asked.  She noticed Sandra only had a small sugar cookie on her plate.

            “Nah,” Sandra shrugged.  “I’m not very hungry.  But that’s no reason for you to not enjoy!”

            As the socializing ended, the congregation split into two groups—one group was filled with the members of the church who had been there longer.  The other group consisted of the newly baptized and the older members who had helped baptize them.  Jackie headed off to the group with the older members.

            “Wait!  Where are you going?” Liz squeaked, grabbing hold of her sister’s wrist.  And then she let go quickly, realizing that she sounded like a little kid.

            Jackie smiled and squeezed Liz’s shoulder.  “Don’t worry.  I’ll see you in a bit.”

            Liz kept her eyes on Jackie until Sandra took her hand and led her off down another hallway, away from the larger group of older members.