“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~*~

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Three, Part Two

          Without noticing it, she had arrived at the cottage.  Silently, she walked through the front door.  For a moment, she had managed to convince herself that Benjamin was out.  That idea disappeared fast when he came storming into the room.

            “Where have you been?  The bell signaling the birth rang over an hour ago,” Benjamin said.

            She pushed past him, answering, “We had to bless the baby and find out the name and pray.”

            “Sandra stopped by.  You are required to attend a seminar tonight with a group of the new Level Fours,” Benjamin said.  Elizabeth walked into the bedroom and picked up her tote bag that she used to carry her Rose Bible and notebook, but she also threw in her journal and scarves.  “I am not your secretary, wife!”

            He stormed into the bedroom after her, grabbed her by the shoulders, and whipped her around to face him.  Elizabeth pushed against his chest and tried to twist out of his grip, but he just squeezed harder.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Three, Part One

        Throughout the weeks that Elizabeth spent as a wife of the colony, she quickly learned how self-sufficient the community actually was.  Besides having its own school, there was a large garden from which they grew their own organic vegetables, they had a doctor that was a member of the church, and there was a midwife to help the wives through their pregnancies and natural births.  It was truly its own little town and it would be easy enough for someone to live at the colony and never again see the outside world.  There were only a couple of pregnant women in the colony when Elizabeth moved there, so she got to experience her first birth only four days after her talk with Morgan and Jacqueline in the park.

            It had started at six in the morning, just as Elizabeth was waking up and beginning to prepare Benjamin’s breakfast.  A loud and fairly obnoxious knock sounded at the front door.  Elizabeth hurried to answer it as Benjamin yelled, “Answer the door, woman!”

            She opened the door to find Mary and Caroline standing on the stoop, looking more excited than most women looked in the colony.

            “What…?” Elizabeth asked, looking suspiciously between the two women.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two

           “What if we left?” Jacqueline whispered.

            “What?” the other two asked simultaneously, shocked.

            “What if we left the Children?” Jacqueline repeated.  “Maybe Aimee was right.  There’s something not right with this whole thing.  And I didn’t see it before.  But…I can’t keep seeing you like this, Elizabeth.”

            “We’ll go to Hell!” Elizabeth cried.  “And, besides, I can’t leave.  Benjamin may very well kill me!”

            “Look, I’m not leaving without you, Elizabeth.  You’re my sister.  I’m not leaving you behind for Benjamin to torment.  If and when you decide you’ve had enough, when you finally decide to become your old self again and fight back, then I’ll leave too.  But it has to be your choice,” Jacqueline said.

            “I can’t leave,” Elizabeth whispered.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One

            “WHAT are you doing?”
            The yell made Elizabeth jump to her feet and face her husband, eyes on the floor.  The list and pen were both still in her hands and the bag lay opened and half-packed on the bed.  She hadn’t heard him come home, but she hadn’t been doing anything wrong.  He had never once forbidden her to put clothes in a bag.
            “I’m…getting ready to go to Drighton.  I have to move in a little over two weeks,” Elizabeth explained in a whisper.
            “Excuse me?” Benjamin hissed, approaching her. 
            She felt him standing close and tried to keep her voice even.  “Drighton…the college I’m going to.  I have to move there in two weeks.”
            He grabbed the list out of her hand and pushed her so she was sitting on the bed again.  “Did I ever say you could go off to college?”