Ellie’s New Reality

The rooster finally crows.  I beat him by over two hours today.

Slippers shuffle across the wood floor downstairs.  Mama.  I don’t know if I can face her.  Last night’s words squeeze everything else out of my brain.  Ellie, sweetie.  You’re fourteen.  You should know that the elders have placed you with Derek.  You’ll be married in one year.

Just like that, I’m “placed”- like a dog from the pound.  I still can’t believe she stole my life with such ease, with no more emotion than if she’d announced supper time.  I’ll never let her know, but that hurts more than my fate.

Metal frying pans clang.  On cue, my stomach clenches and rumbles.  I turn my attention back to the Bible in my lap.  For the last hour, I’ve waited for God’s words to speak to me.  I forget the words the moment I read them.  Married…364 days.  I can’t get the reality out of my head.

Psalms.  Those verses are short.  Maybe my mind can handle that much.  I find Psalms and mindlessly flip a few more crinkly pages.

The aroma of frying bacon slips up the stairs and under my closed door, taunting my stomach.  I decide I won’t eat.  If I don’t eat long enough, I won’t have to get married.  Married.  My gut twists again, but I don’t know if it’s hunger or dread.

I look down.  At first, my eyes see blurs of black on white pages.  Then, in the middle of the left page, two lines come into focus:  The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

My heart pumps an extra beat.  Is this a sign?  I note the verse:  Psalm 9:9.

“Ellie, breakfast is ready!” Mom calls from the bottom of the stairs.

I hear my brothers and sisters chattering at the table.  I want to refuse, but my stomach overrules and my feet betray my will.

I’ll start not eating after breakfast.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

This my entry for the Trifecta challenge this week.  It is a continuation of my Dear Diary entry from last week.  If you missed it, click here to view it in a new window.

Here is this week’s word:  trou-ble (noun) – an instance of trouble <used to disguise her frustrations and despair by making light of her troubles>.  The response must be betwen 33 and 333 words (mine is 328 words).  If you want to submit your own entry, check out Trifecta’s site for complete guidelines.

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32 thoughts on “Ellie’s New Reality

  1. Annabelle May 15, 2012 / 1:18 PM

    Glad to see more of this story! I hope she gets out… Love the opening paragraph.

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:50 PM

      Thanks for reading, Annabelle. I have no idea where this is going yet, so we’ll see!

  2. Widdershins May 15, 2012 / 1:26 PM

    Serialising the story … great idea!

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:52 PM

      We’ll see how long the story goes, Widdershins. Thanks for reading 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:56 PM

      As alway, thank you for reading, Newwhitebear 🙂

  3. Debbie May 15, 2012 / 2:09 PM

    Poor Ellie. Still hard to believe this sort of thing happens in our supposedly-enlightened world!

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:56 PM

      At least this story is fiction. But yes, it is sad that this does happen, Nancy. Thanks for reading!

  4. suzicate May 15, 2012 / 2:51 PM

    I love your last line “I’ll start not eating after breakfast.” – sounds just like my dieting plans!

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:57 PM

      I’ve said similar things, too Suzicate. My will power was gobbled up by my appetite, I guess. Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. Diane Turner May 15, 2012 / 3:51 PM

    Love this post! It’s poignant and too real for comfort. The last line is priceless.

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:57 PM

      Thank you so much for reading, Diane. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  6. pattisj May 15, 2012 / 10:53 PM

    I enjoy reading your writing, Janna.

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:35 PM

      Thanks so much for the compliment, Patti. I appreciate it 🙂

  7. GodGirl May 16, 2012 / 1:45 AM

    This is both sweet and heartbreaking… good job, I like it..

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:35 PM

      Thanks, GodGirl. I appreciate you reading it!

  8. cuhome May 16, 2012 / 6:16 AM

    You draw readers in like a magnet, Janna, with your words! I love to read your writings!

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:36 PM

      Thanks for the kind words, Janet. I appreciate you visiting and reading so much of my writing!

  9. k~ May 16, 2012 / 10:29 AM

    What a horrible thing for a fourteen year old girl to have to contend with! Just imagining being “placed” with a man at any age is enough to make me want to wretch, let alone at fourteen.

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:39 PM

      I would have to agree, K~. I like the freedom of choice (even though our own choices can be bad sometimes.) Thanks for reading!

  10. Imelda May 16, 2012 / 12:41 PM

    This is a heartbreaking story yet somehow you managed to inject some humor in it. I feel for Ellie. I hope she gets out of this rut.

    ~Imelda

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:41 PM

      Thanks for reading this story, Imelda. I appreciate it 🙂

  11. Libby May 16, 2012 / 4:55 PM

    Poor Ellie! She should run away…after breakfast, of course!

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:41 PM

      She’d be crazy to pass up breakfast – especially bacon 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Libby!

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2012 / 11:42 PM

      Thanks for reading the second part to the story, Sandra!

  12. Ruby Manchanda May 17, 2012 / 10:04 AM

    My heart goes out for Ellie. I hope this ends well for her.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2012 / 8:12 PM

      Thanks for reading, Ruby! I’m sure she’ll gain strength from this experience.

  13. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) May 17, 2012 / 12:23 PM

    Oh! I’m glad to hear more from her. But ohhh, she’s still doomed. I still want her to get out and get safe. And OH a breath of humor in such a bleak situation. Well done!

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2012 / 8:16 PM

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read, Jester Queen. I don’t know what’s going to happen with her yet. Maybe future prompts will help with that 🙂

  14. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) May 18, 2012 / 4:30 AM

    I love seeing the continuation of the snippets we get in our weekly challenges. Given the nature of the challenge, we often never get to see what becomes of characters that we have begun to get attached to. I’m glad you’re developing this one and I look forward to seeing where it goes. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2012 / 5:15 AM

      Thanks for the prompts and the opportunity to see where we can take them 🙂

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