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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: Enlightened Words
By Allison Egley


Hanna sat in the corner, rocking back and forth, mumbling to herself. "Must keep reading. Must memorize the rules. Must keep reading." She turned the pages in the well-worn black leather book. The hand written pages were difficulty to read, but she knew she must persist. She must pass this test.

A voice told her to pick up the Bible next to her. She felt drawn to it. Then she remembered Father's words.

I have spoken with God himself, and he has revealed to Me alone that the Bible is corrupt. Not only has it been stained by human hands through translations, but it was never touched by the hand of God.

God has revealed this to Me because he knows he can trust Me to carry out his bidding.

So burn your Bibles. They are not God's words. It is an abomination!

I have taken the time to write God's
true words with My own hand.

And now, children, you are old enough to have your very own copy.

Hanna didn't even know if Father had a name. Her whole life, he had just been Father.

Hanna heard footsteps and shoved the Bible beneath the mattress.

"Hanna," her mom called. "It's time. Let's go see Father."

Hanna clutched the book to her chest and looked heavenwards, silently apologizing, as she glanced longingly towards the hidden Bible. She knew. She knew Father wasn't right.

As they approached Father's dwelling, Her mom placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "I know you're nervous, but I've seen you studying Father's Words. I know you'll pass."

If only her mother knew the true reason behind her fear.

"You have to do this on your own. I'll be waiting at home."

Father greeted her as she opened the door. "Hanna. I see you've read and studied My Words. Come to My Courts to see if you pass the test and are found worthy. I know you're nervous, but you have nothing to fear if you are seeking Me and God."

Hanna stepped into the Court.

"Hanna, I trust you’ve been studying hard."

"Y-yes, Sir.... I... I mean... Father."

"Here's your first question. When are children allowed to speak?"

"Only when spoken to by an Enlightened adult."

"Wonderful. The True Light Of God is..."

You, Father, are the True Light of God."

"Good. What happens to people who own Bibles?"

"They will... will... be burned along with their Bibles."

"Don't worry, Hanna. So long as you have done what I've told you, you have nothing to fear. Just one more question. You've done well so far. If you read My words and never stray, what will happen?"

"You will be blessed, never fear, and live eternally with Father and God in the Holy Place."

"Good job, Hanna. Do you have any questions?"

"Father, how... how..." She struggled, then surged ahead before she lost the courage. "How do you know you're the True Light of God?" As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she regretted them.

"How dare you question My authority!" Father bellowed. He opened a door and threw her down a flight of stairs. This will teach you to question Me." The door slammed shut, and Hanna was alone.

She whimpered in pain, as she clutched her arm to her chest. She tried to forget all Father had taught her. She knew he was not the one. The Bible was true. She rocked back and forth and mumbled, but this time the words filled her with hope and peace instead of fear and dread. "...I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Hanna's words fell into rhythm with her rocking. She wondered if her mother was looking for her. Had Father told her? Would she try to find her even if she knew? Or would her mother follow Father's wishes and leave her here? She knew now that she could only trust in One. "God," she whispered. "I believe. I know Father isn't right. I believe in You and Your Son, Jesus. He it mighty to save. Please forgive me." Peace filled Hanna's soul and she fell asleep, despite the pain. Someday, whether now or later in life, she'd be with Him. But she still wished someone would save her here on earth.

John 11:25
John 3:16
(All NASB)

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This article has been read 732 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Wolther04/23/10
Wow! I know what this makes me think of, but don't know if you intended it to bring any particular teaching to mind so won't say it.
Joan Campbell04/23/10
Interesting look inside a cult. I liked your strong, independent-thinking MC.
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/25/10
Oooo, creative use of the topic and a realistic look into some cults. Scary.
Beth LaBuff 04/25/10
Your story is chilling and sad concerning the Father. Your MC is amazing and wise and puts hope in your story! I enjoyed this!
AnneRene' Capp04/26/10
Well written, I felt as if I were Hanna and enjoyed how you showed her dealing with such an overpowering adversity in her immediate life. She stayed respectful even though, I as the reader wanted my chance to get in her father's face!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
This is outstanding. One of the best I've read. I like how you left the ending opening, knowing that whatever happens next Hanna will be safe with Jesus some way or another.
Loren T. Lowery04/28/10
A chilling tale, one I'm sure is true of those who trust in cults rather than Christian communities. My one small quibble, and it could just be me, is that you capitalized the word Father. I think in reference to whom the true Father is, He should be the only one reserved for the capitalization. Maybe the other "father" could have been italicized. But, like I said, that's just my observation and I truly enjoyed your story.
Rachel Phelps04/28/10
I liked how you handled the capitalization as if in the Father's mind, he was now on the same level as God. Chlling, but excellently rendered!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/28/10
Chilling story opening a curtain to what it might feel like being in a cult and knowing that what they were teaching was wrong.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge04/28/10
Well told message that applies to everyone...what price are we willing to pay to stand for the Gospel? Lose a job? Friends? Family? Dreams? This isn't fiction, it's fact for READERS of the Bible.
Ruth Stromquist04/28/10
I've studied cults a lot and this is an excellent, very realistic snapshot. A vivid portrayal of the types of stuff that goes on in some cults.
Edmond Ng 04/29/10
Excellent work on the topic coming from a not so usual take. If only those who are in such deep darkness can read God's word and see the truth, falsehood will never be able to have a hold. Heaven and earth will pass away, but God' words will not pass away (Matthew 24:35).
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
Congratulations in placing in the top 40 over-all. Good job!