Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

I grew up today.  I wish I could un-know everything Mama told me, but I’ve got no magic lamp.

My fourteenth birthday party is over.  We played games then ate chocolate cake and strawberry ice cream.  After my cousins and aunts went back to their homes on our farm, and my five brothers and sisters went to bed, Mama said we had to talk.

‘Course I wondered what I did wrong, ’cause talking usually meant trouble.  My instinct was dead-on.  She told me I was a woman now and it was time I knew things.   In ten minutes, she stole my childhood and ruined my life.

It’s all ‘cause of Uncle Damian.  They say he’s a prophet, which makes him an enigma to the outside world.  People believe he speaks the Lord’s words.  Damian preaches that the best way to honor God is to multiply our flock and to avoid the outside world.  He warned that the world persecutes what they don’t understand.

Uncle Damian is in jail.  Today, I learned he’s my father.  I loved Papa as the dead man in a photo Mama keeps in her dresser.  Now I know that man is Mama’s daddy.  Mama said he doesn’t talk to us ’cause “we’re all sinners damned to Hell.”  Papa’s still dead to me.

So, my cousins are my half-brothers and half-sisters, and the seven women I knew as aunts are… I don’t really know what they are.  I cried when I found out Damian’s blood filled my veins.  I want to get it out of me- all of it.

Then, Mama handed down my sentence:  marriage to Derek, my oldest cousin (half-brother, I guess) in one year.  He’s twenty-nine and already has four children, two more on the way.  I said “no” but she said it’s my time to honor God.

God, I don’t want to be fourteen.  I want to be fifteen even less.

Today I grew up.  I have 364 days to get out.



This is an entry to the Trifecta writing challenge. This week, we needed to use to enigma as defined below:

enig·ma noun\i-ˈnig-mə, e-\ – an inscrutable or mysterious person

The response can be between 33 and 333 words (mine came in at 332.)  If you want to give it a try, click on the tricycle image to check out Trifecta’s website for complete instructions.


58 thoughts on “Dear Diary

  1. newwhitebear May 8, 2012 / 1:02 PM

    Dear Diary,
    I write you becouse I’m sad. I’m growing and i would stay like a children. I’m a novel Peter Pan.

    It’s a wonderful page of a diary, that you wrote.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 8:51 PM

      Thanks for reading it, Newwhitebear. Peter Pan could write one heck of a diary page!

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 8:53 PM

      That’s exactly what I had in mind, Scriptor. There was a FLDS sect in northern Arizona until a few years ago (they moved to Texas) and their leader is in jail there. Beyond that framework, everything else was made up 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your links.

  2. nrhatch May 8, 2012 / 2:00 PM

    This type of behavior makes me sick to my stomach. Organized religious fanaticism at its best . . . and worst. 😦

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 8:55 PM

      Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Nancy. Tell me what you really think 🙂 (only teasing you, because it’s fun!)

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 8:56 PM

      It’s a sad situation. I think kids should be allowed to be kids without adults ruining it for them. Thanks for reading, Evelyn!

      • xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken May 9, 2012 / 5:28 AM

        Yea I agree, many children are robbed of their childhood 😦

        Kids need to be kids & enjoy it while theyy can!

        • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 5:53 AM

          There’s a lot of heavy stuff kids have to deal with these days. Marriage shouldn’t be one of them!

  3. clarbojahn May 8, 2012 / 2:58 PM

    So glad this is just a will written story and not the true state of affairs. So glad the you I know is happy and safe. And in a marriage by choice.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 9:01 PM

      Unfortunately it is true for some. They’ve had child bride stories on the news where young girls (13-14) were forced to marry men in their 50s. So sad.

      I am glad for myself that I married at twenty-three to a man I chose. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts, Clar!

      • clarbojahn May 8, 2012 / 11:55 PM

        OH! no doubt but that it’s happening. didn’t mean to imply that. Just that you personally wasn’t experiencing it as the narrator is in first person. 🙂

        • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 5:50 AM

          Ah, got it, Clar! It would be nice if it didn’t happen at all, wouldn’t it?

  4. Debbie May 8, 2012 / 4:12 PM

    So sad the atrocities committed under the guise of religious ardor. Especially sad when they’re foisted upon children. But you nailed the “enigma” challenge, Janna!

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 9:08 PM

      Thanks, Debbie – glad the enigma works for you (I’d hoped it would pass!). The child bride practice is one I don’t understand. Thanks for stopping by to read the story 🙂

  5. Annabelle May 8, 2012 / 6:23 PM

    How awful. You gave us Ellie’s voice so clearly; the mental image of wanting to get her blood out of her does a great job of conveying her total helplessness to do anything about the revelation. Well done.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 9:09 PM

      Thanks for reading the story, Annabelle. I appreciate you sharing your reaction to the story and what ‘worked’ for you 🙂

  6. Sandra May 8, 2012 / 6:31 PM

    Janna, this story is SO WELL WRITTEN! It breaks my heart. She did grow up all right: into a cruel and illogical world. I hope she can manage to brave the world and choose her own path.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 9:12 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Sandra. I’m rooting for her to get out before her fifteenth birthday, too. You sare so right about our world being cruel and illogical!

  7. pattyabr May 8, 2012 / 10:01 PM

    powerful writing. I remember being that age. How weird to feel adulthood thrust upon you like that.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2012 / 10:35 PM

      Thanks for reading my story, Patty! I would have in no way been prepared for marriage at 15. I was barely ready at 23 😉

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 5:51 AM

      Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts on the story!

  8. Chris May 9, 2012 / 10:35 AM

    Wow! Not only steal a childhood, but force the KID into a sense of adulthood she has no business knowing yet. That is not religion…that is something else entirely hiding behind the title. Great response to the prompt.

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 4:28 PM

      I agree – way too young! It is a “religion” I don’t understand, for sure. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story and share your thoughts, Chris.

  9. Imelda May 9, 2012 / 1:46 PM

    How tragic. I hope she is able to escape.
    This is a very well written piece. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 4:30 PM

      Thanks for reading it, Imelda. I appreciate your comment 🙂

  10. Widdershins May 9, 2012 / 3:17 PM

    The beginning of an incredible story. I hope you write it one day

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 4:31 PM

      Thanks Widdershins. Maybe I will contunue it 🙂

  11. Gina May 9, 2012 / 4:40 PM

    Whoa! What a diary entry about a sad life and what lies ahead….I’m hoping someone helps Ellie figure her way out. Great story.

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 4:55 PM

      Thanks Gina. I’m thinking she has to find her way. Without hope, life isn’t much. Thanks for reading my story!

  12. Tamyka Bell May 9, 2012 / 5:49 PM

    Oh! Horrible! Yet so beautifully written. I hope you continue this story, but I understand if it’s difficult. (In Australia, writing a tale about a culture of which one is not a part is generally frowned upon. It restricts our writing a bit, I guess.)

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 9:19 PM

      Your comment about writing outside one’s culture is interesting. I would think it’s acceptable if it’s accurate (have to do our homework and avoid stereotyping.) We’ll see where this one goes. Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your comment, Tamyka.

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 9:21 PM

      Thanks for reading, Mel. I’m glad it flowed well…sometimes it doesn’t when I have to get rid of nearly 150 words 🙂

  13. Renada Styles May 9, 2012 / 8:02 PM

    it instantly reminded me of a religious cult. growing pains, we all go through; having your world turned upside down with such truths is another.

    this was a unique approach to the prompt. good job!

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 9:23 PM

      I’ve always been fascinated with cults (read books on several of them, but not FLDS yet.) When I looked at the situation from the child’s view, it was just devastating. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment. (I love that you said it was unique – that’s really hard to do when there are so many great entries.)

  14. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) May 9, 2012 / 8:29 PM

    Woah! The normalcy, and the implication that Mom told her about getting your period were completely wiped away at the first mention of Damian. Exceedingly well done.

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2012 / 9:24 PM

      Thanks, Jester Queen. I considered not posting because it’s a pretty twisted story…then I decided I should post it for that very reason 🙂

      I bet she would have preferred the period talk, by the way!

  15. Tara R. May 10, 2012 / 6:08 AM

    A very poignant story, and sadly a situation that still occurs far too often.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 6:31 AM

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my story, Tara.

  16. KimB May 10, 2012 / 8:02 AM

    Ooo, good job. I thought she was just going to get “the talk”. Nice twist.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 5:26 PM

      Oh, “the talk” is bad, but it would be preferable to the talk she did get. Thanks for stopping by to read my story, Kim!

  17. Linda Vernon May 10, 2012 / 1:13 PM

    Fantastic Jannat. I felt like I just read a mini novel! And a good one too! 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 5:34 PM

      Thanks for the huge compliment, Linda! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  18. Sandra Tyler (@SFiberworks) May 10, 2012 / 1:18 PM

    Dear Diary, that’s great. Reminds me of Beloved, Toni Morrison’s wasn’t that a dear diary? Anyway, great story telling and interesting enigma. Visiting from the challenge.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 5:36 PM

      I’ve not read Beloved, so I’m not sure! I appreciate you stopping by to check out my story and I’m glad you found the enigma interesting, Sandra 🙂

  19. Libby May 10, 2012 / 3:58 PM

    This is great. Turn it into a book, “Diary of a Branch Davidian.” I think it would be cool 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 5:39 PM

      Ha! I probably could turn it into a book – ending with what happens around her fifteenth birthday. Something to think about. Thanks for your comment, Libby!

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2012 / 11:25 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Diane. I appreciate it 🙂

  20. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) May 11, 2012 / 6:21 AM

    You’ve nailed this one. It’s not an easy read because what you relate in the diary entry reflects real-life situations. But you handle it sensitively and make it a pretty powerful read. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites May 14, 2012 / 9:21 PM

      My job here is done 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Jen…it’s been a while!

  21. cuhome May 16, 2012 / 6:25 AM

    I really feel badly for Ellie…. at least most of us get to pick our own mistakes!! Hehehe! 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:38 PM

      Thanks for reading, Janet. I’m sure she’ll find her way!

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