Through the Motions

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I thank God for my blessings, but Jeremy weighs heavily on my mind.  After Derek dragged me home that fateful full moon in September, I snuck out to the cornfields again.  I don’t know why, but I needed Jeremy’s shirt.  A part of me hoped he’d be waiting for me.  He wasn’t.

Every night since then, I’ve held Jeremy’s shirt and prayed for his safety.  I don’t know if I pray for his body or his soul.  I fear he died for me, but I hope he lives in spite of me.  Between his fate and mine, I can’t shake the blue fog that chokes my spirit.

“Ellie, you okay?  You’ve been scrubbing the same area for ten minutes now.”

“I’m fine, Mama.”

I feel like the girl in a story Mama told me as a child.  Her sisters were jealous of her and made her scrub floors while they made fools of themselves to win the affections of the most handsome and powerful man in the compound.  They vied to become his seventh and final bride, but he chose Cinderella.  I don’t understand.  I want to be first and last:  the only one; not Derek’s fifth.

A loud knock on the door startles me.  Mama too; she drops her spoon on the stove.

I wonder if the policeman is back.  Early this morning, he asked Mama lots of questions, including my age and if I was married.  Mama guided him away before I could tell him I was promised.

Mama opens the door.

“We need to talk.” Derek grabs Mama’s elbow.

I don’t move.

She pulls free.  “We’re okay.”

“I got rid of him for now.  If there’s no wedding, your secret’s out.”

Mama looks over her shoulder at me and I snap my gaze down to my scrub brush.

She steps on the porch and closes the door behind her, but I already heard enough.  Mama’s in trouble.  I need an idea that will save us both.


This is the seventh part of Ellie’s story and we’ve jumped ahead by about a month and a half.  I appreciate everyone who has been following this story- thank you!  If you didn’t catch the previous parts, check out the links below.  Each one is less than 333 words, so it won’t take long to catch up!

Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five; Part Six.

This is also my entry in Trifecta’s weekly writing prompt challenge.  Our challenge is to write an entry between 33 and 333 words using the third definition of the following word:

BLUE (adjective):  a : low in spirits : melancholy; b : marked by low spirits : depressing <a blue funk> <things looked blue>.

If you want to try your hand at the challenge, you can find the complete guidelines on the Trifecta site by clicking the tricycle picture.

P.S.  It is purely coincidence that this word happens to fit in well with the storyline.  However, I have made a note to check with the Trifecta editors to see if bribes are accepted.  You know, for future reference 🙂

(Only kidding, of course!)


52 thoughts on “Through the Motions

  1. cuhome June 18, 2012 / 10:31 AM

    Great story, well written! Still waiting for more!

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:41 PM

      Thanks for reading, Janet. Glad you liked it 🙂

  2. suzicate June 18, 2012 / 10:37 AM

    Waiting for the next installment!

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:45 PM

      Thanks for continuing to read this story, Suzicate!

  3. momsomniac June 18, 2012 / 10:41 AM

    Whoa! That was a surprise. Nicely done!

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:46 PM

      Thanks, Momsomniac! I didn’t even know you were reading this one 🙂

  4. Rachael June 18, 2012 / 11:28 AM

    Oooh! I wonder what the mom’s secret is!! I love making guesses then you completely surprise me with something I never even considered! (I also love to be right, but I’m learning that can’t always happen 😉
    Can’t wait for next week’s installment!

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:48 PM

      Glad I can keep you on your toes, Rachael. We’ll see how long I can outrun your guesses 🙂 Thanks for reading and I do hope you’ll be back to see what happens next!

  5. newwhitebear June 18, 2012 / 12:21 PM

    Nice story and well developped. Will it be continued?

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:51 PM

      Thanks for reading, Newwhitebear. Yes, I will be continuing the story at least for a a few more weeks (until I come across a suitable ending.)

  6. Tessa June 18, 2012 / 2:03 PM

    Ooooh another twist to the story. I have read them all now and am hooked. Great story and a great segment.

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:52 PM

      I’m glad you got caught up, Tessa. I’ve been wanting to get the mom’s motivation in for a while now and finally found an opening. Thanks for reading!

  7. judithhb June 18, 2012 / 2:16 PM

    Eagerly awaiting the next installment. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 18, 2012 / 5:52 PM

      Thanks, Judith! (I don’t know why, but your comment went to my Spam folder. It’s safe now :))

  8. Annabelle June 19, 2012 / 4:32 AM

    Oh, no. Ellie’s troubles continue to pile on. You are really doing a great job keeping the tension going!

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 7:20 PM

      Thanks for checking out this part, Annabelle. I’m glad it’s keeping your interest enough to contunue reading 🙂

  9. Imelda June 19, 2012 / 4:43 AM

    Oh no. Ellie should have an ally with Mama now. Both should escape. 🙂 …and tell the police.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:19 PM

      You made me smile, Imelda. Yes, they should escape. The question is, “will they?” 😉

      • Imelda June 20, 2012 / 3:58 AM

        Now, you make me nervous. 😉

  10. braintomahawk June 19, 2012 / 6:17 AM

    I like the subtle twist you put on the Cinderella story – seventh bride! Fairy tales can be adapted to any community. Well done, I am enjoying this series immensely.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:22 PM

      Thanks, Braintomahawk. I’m so glad you like the series and continue to follow the storyline 🙂

  11. Jennifer Dillon June 19, 2012 / 1:32 PM

    This is only the second time the I have had the pleasure of reading your writing, I read you trifecta prompt from last week, and both times I was so impressed. I love this! I love the modern fairy tale aspect, I felt that you really imbued a timelessness to this piece that I adored.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:25 PM

      Thanks for your huge compliment, Jennifer. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed both pieces of writing. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts!

  12. kgwaite June 19, 2012 / 3:17 PM

    I am not liking that man. Love Ellie’s voice – I have an Ellie in my novel, too, so I’m especially partial to this character.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:26 PM

      I don’t believe I care for him much, either, Kelly 🙂 It’s funny that we chose the same name for our characters.

  13. Gina June 19, 2012 / 5:54 PM

    Hmmmmm! What’s up here? Glad Ellie is still on Momma’s side and thinking of ways to help her even though Momma did’t really help Ellie. Love to keep hearing the continuation of this.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:27 PM

      I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on…yet 🙂 Thanks for coming back to read this part of the story, Gina!

  14. Cameron June 19, 2012 / 7:54 PM

    Came over from Trifecta. I love the skewed version of Cinderella. As a first timer, it’s a great reveal for the “rules” of your world.

    • jannatwrites June 19, 2012 / 8:29 PM

      I’m glad you visited, Cameron! This is the seventh part in a continuing story, so I’m glad it didn’t leave you confused 🙂

  15. Ruby Manchanda June 20, 2012 / 1:09 AM

    I wanted the story to continue. It was binding. Hope you write the next part soon enough.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:35 PM

      I’m happy it held your interest, Ruby. Thanks for reading!

  16. trifectawriting June 20, 2012 / 4:39 AM

    Thanks so much for linking up to Trifecta this week. (We always accept bribes.) I really enjoyed this segment of your story, particularly the borrowing from Cinderella. It was a great detail to help flesh out your story. Hope to see you back soon.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:39 PM

      Thanks for the prompts each week. I enjoy these challenges!

  17. The Gal Herself June 20, 2012 / 6:19 AM

    Our heroine is tough and smart, isn’t she? You have me hooked.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 8:13 PM

      I think she’s smarter and tougher than I was at 14 🙂 I’m glad you stopped by to check out this part of the story, Gal!

  18. Debbie June 20, 2012 / 1:11 PM

    Yes! Now you’re cooking! I can hardly wait to hear from Ellie’s mama — perhaps she’s peeved, too, with this premature marriage-thing?? At any rate, Ellie seems to have a level head and a real heroine’s character!

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:44 PM

      I don’t know how much I’m going to be able to get in about Mom since I’m writing Ellie’s view in first person, but I’ll do what I can 🙂 Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  19. Sandra June 20, 2012 / 8:23 PM

    A turn in the plot! Getting interesting! Can’t wait for more Ellie and Jeremy.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 8:51 PM

      Thanks for reading, Sandra! I appreciate it 🙂

  20. awriterweavesatale June 21, 2012 / 7:42 AM

    that’s really smart to be using the challenge to write a longer piece; I’ve been using it I think to explore one character so maybe I’ll wind up with something more substantial as well!

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 7:40 PM

      Thanks, Sandra. It wasn’t my intent to write a longer piece, but it’s working out that way. I hope the prompts help with your character development!

  21. Sharp Little Pencil June 21, 2012 / 3:56 PM

    Janna, the moment I read “compound,” even though it’s my first time with the Ellie stories, I immediately went to multiple marriages, incestuous behavior, and a ton of lies. I’ve seen it before, so intrigued was I – went back and read them all. Damn, Ellie’s had to grow up too soon, as with so many children of cloistered Bible thumpers, all of whom drive this pastor’s (only!) wife up the wall. It’s all about the Charisma of Damien, his ability to control others. This is powerful stuff, and I hope you get published! Peace, Amy Barlow Liberatore

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 8:04 PM

      Thanks for reading the ongoing story and sharing your thoughts on it, Amy. I agree that the sects are more about the leaders than God’s word. I wouI don’t know the target market yet, but I’m working on expanding this into a novel. We’ll see what happens on the publishing front 🙂

  22. brenda w June 21, 2012 / 4:47 PM

    This is an engaging write, Janna. “the blue fog that chokes my spirit” is fantastic.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 8:05 PM

      Thanks for reading, Brenda! I’m glad that line stood out for you 🙂

  23. OldDogNewTits June 21, 2012 / 8:33 PM

    This is such a great story. I don’t know everything about it but know I’ve read some other segments as well. It holds me the entire time. I think I actually wrote that you once before. And not much holds me the entire time.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 9:07 PM

      Your comment is such a big compliment, ODNT! I’m glad you stopped by to read, and I’m glad it held your interest 🙂

  24. habibadanyal June 22, 2012 / 3:12 AM

    I wish instead of giving you the idea of bribing them I had done that myself. 😉 CONGRATULATIONS janna! YOu did it 😀

    • jannatwrites June 22, 2012 / 4:12 PM

      Well, I guess I didn’t bribe well enough, Habibadanyal 🙂 Thanks for checking back to read this part of the story – I appreciate it 🙂

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