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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)

TITLE: Unwilling
By Ruth Neilson


The young woman let out a held breath as the heavy footsteps passed her cell. She had been left alone for too long. Then again, she had yet to be able to produce a single piece of information that her captors wanted. But it was hard to even be tempted to give a name when she didn't know who the leaders of the church were. She tugged at the chains experimentally one more time. Nothing had changed. They still were strong and there seemed to be no chance of an escape.

She lowered her head and slowly eased herself to the floor. How long had she been there? She wasn't sure. The last time she remembered seeing outside these walls was during the trial. And that had been a mockery of one. She frowned. Had it been more than a month since she had felt real sunlight on her skin? It seemed so much longer than that.

At least, I know why they are holding me. She mused to herself.

The girl had been labeled as a weak link--an easy target who would happily spill her guts with the slightest threat. But so far, she hadn't turned into a sellout. Idly, the young woman stretched out her legs before carefully lifting herself up partially. She knew she had to stay in shape mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The prisoner grinned once as she continued to lift herself up and holding the stance. As she held it, she could feel her muscles pull and tremble with the effort. With each breath, she began to recall scriptures. Quietly, she spoke them, gaining strength and hope from each one that she spoke. She repeated the motion with each verse, her voice growing louder with each repetition.

The prisoner knew that it would be only a matter of time before her persecutors would come for her again with new and creative ways of getting her to betray her friends and family. Her lips quirked a bit at that thought. It wasn’t like she had any family for them to threaten right now. They were the reason why she was here to start with.

She had been a good little girl, blindly following her father's until she started looking into other religions. But then, they blindsided her. Not for embracing the faith, but rather, for questioning her father. Maybe her own family thought that she knew more than she really did.

The girl bit her bottom lip and scrambled to her feet. She could hear the heavy footsteps echo through the building and they were drawing nearer. She had been caught on the floor one time, and that experience was enough to teach her a valuable lesson of never being caught off guard.

She quickly gathered her wits. It was almost time for the next battle of wills. But, she knew that it wasn't like her captors would gain any new information from her today. The door swung open, revealing the silhouette of her tormentor.

In a singsong voice he began. "So we meet again."

She grit her teeth and spat towards him.

"Ahh, little birdie, today we are going to make you sing or you will never sing again."

She glared at him again. "Well, try your worst, cause like I've been telling you since I got here, I don't know anyone."

He took another step towards the girl. And for the first time, she noted what was in his hand. She panicked and frantically prayed that maybe he was just teasing her and had no real intention of using it. He took a step closer and wrestled her into a headlock as he asked his first question...

The cell was silent now. The only sound that she could hear over the roaring pain was a bird's song echoing throughout the prison.

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This article has been read 389 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke06/02/11
Chilling all the way through and leaving the reader wrestling with the unspoken intent right to the end. Good writing.
Yvonne Blake 06/07/11
*Wincing* so sad...because it is probably true somewhere today. Great writing.
Sally Hanan06/25/11
A great reminder of what goes on in so many other countries. It reminds me in parts of Heavenly Man, although his descriptions were far more violent than yours.