“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~*~

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chapter Twenty-One, Part Three

           Sometimes while Benjamin was away, Elizabeth would take her journal out of its hiding place wrapped in her old visitor’s scarf in the bottom of her drawer, and she would write.  Benjamin didn’t approve of her sharing all of her thoughts with a piece of paper.  It showed independent thinking, he said, and she was supposed to only be thinking about how to please him and bring a baby into the world.  For this reason, she hadn’t written for a while and felt the need to update her journal on the goings-on in her life in the colony.  She took a second look around the cottage, and looked out the front window, just to make sure her husband was not in fact around.  He was spending time with the other men of the colony at the church, doing whatever the men did.  He had told her that he wouldn’t be back until late and expected a hot dinner on the table upon his arrival, but in a rare moment of softness told her to enjoy her time with her friends.  And then the softness ended and he ordered her to not forget her purpose.

            Now she was waiting for Jacqueline and Morgan to show up.  She had spent time with Sandra and Aimee a couple days before, now she needed to catch up with her sister and best friend.  Finally satisfied that Benjamin was not coming back for a while, Elizabeth settled herself down on the floor of the bathroom and opened her journal.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter Twenty-One, Part Two

          There was chaos at the front gate as the two wives approached.  The men who were on duty to keep it shut off to outsiders were actively arguing with whoever was on the other side.  Elizabeth pulled the gate open and stepped outside toward the noise.  Facing her were people she had not seen for three weeks, not since before she had gotten married to Benjamin.

            “Mom?  Dad?” she asked and then also passed a glance over all five of her outsider siblings.  “What are you all doing here?”

            They all stopped arguing with the men and looked at her in shock.  She knew they were staring at her black eye, but she didn’t shy away from them.  “What are you all doing here?” she repeated louder.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chapter Twenty-One, Part One

       Dutifully following her new husband’s orders, Elizabeth quit her job at the bookstore two days after the wedding and gave herself over to being a full-time wife.  She would spend her days with the other colony wives in their own special seminars or Bible studies, cooking, and raising the colony children.  She had never realized before how many children there really were in the colony, mostly because she had never seen any of them before.  But there they were.  They were quieter than kids should be.  Every last one of them was more reserved than any child on the outside was.  None of them played with grand toys or challenged each other to games of tag.  Instead they read their Rose Bibles, or listened as their mothers read the Bible to them, and attended school with the other colony kids in the small school house.

            Following her duties as a Rose wife, she spent almost every night allowing Benjamin to force himself onto her in the harshest way he possibly could.  Elizabeth had come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t going to give up until she was pregnant with their first child.  And even after that, after their first child was born and he had met with Pastor Simon to determine what their family would look like, she knew that he wouldn’t give up until she had given birth to how ever many kids she was required to give birth to.  In her mind, the cycle was never going to end—that might very well be the case.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chapter Twenty, Part Three

          “Turn to face your espoused,” he ordered.  As they all turned to face their new husband or wife, he explained, “The rings I have handed you are a symbol of eternity, of an unbreakable bond.  Husbands, please place the ring upon your wife’s finger, saying, ‘With this ring, I thee wed.’”

            Benjamin forced Elizabeth’s left hand up and pushed the ring onto her finger, above her Rose ring, while saying with the other men, “With this ring, I thee wed.”

            Pastor Simon continued, “Wives, please place the ring upon your husband’s finger, saying, ‘With this ring, I thee wed.’”

            Benjamin held his left hand out expectantly and Elizabeth dutifully slid the ring onto his finger while whispering with the other girls, “With this ring, I thee wed.”