Reborn

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
cover Image: pixabay.com

Submitted: April 28, 2019

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Submitted: April 28, 2019

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Reborn

They were all seated there, the ‘congregation’, all eager to listen to her condemning. They were so eager to see her sins ‘washed away’ that they could barely keep in their seats. He stood there in all his God-given glory, the mouthpiece of the Lord. He would list her sins for all to hear, and oh, the shock and the horror, for how could one so young have fallen quite so low.

He would hold her underwater and they would pray and all her sins would be washed away. She would be reborn, begin again, faultless, untainted. Wasn’t that the way it was supposed to go?

And yet there was her mother seated right at the front. Her head was in her hands and she was weeping. That was her first clue that somehow she had got it wrong. Her mother should be smiling and laughing if it really was such a joyful occasion. Even with her depression, so severe that she’d been electro-shocked in an effort to jolt her out of it, she’d have managed a smile. Her father refused to have anything to do with her mother’s new ‘religion’.

God’s mouthpiece stood waiting, and there was a worrying glow to his eyes. The few times she had seen him she could not have failed to notice how he lapped up the attention. He had power as he stood there, the congregated were, for the time they were in attendance at least, completely under his power. If he said praise, they praised; if he said condemn, they would condemn. He was too eager and as she stood beside him, he pulled her roughly before him, his hands digging viciously in to her shoulders.

She wanted to cry out to her mother, to tell her the man was hurting her, breaking her skin through the flimsy gown and making her shoulders bleed. Something told her that it would only make things worse, should she dare to open her mouth. At twelve years of age she had long since learned to bear her pain in silence.

She tuned him out for the most part as he listed all of her sins, culminating in the proclamation that the devil must be driven from her. What devil? She had never done anything wrong, had tried to look after her mother, keep the house going. She had learned to cook, to clean, to buy the groceries...where had she gone wrong?

And then she saw them, the nurses from the ward. The very ones who had whispered to her that they knew she was to blame for her mother’s ‘illness’. There were other patients there too, that she recognized from her visits. What a perfect hunting ground for a cult! Members, maybe qualified, but still on the look-out for more recruits to their cause.

With her twelve-year-old eyes she saw it too late. She was in the water, under water, thrashing around and trying to escape from that vicious grip. The more she thrashed the more feverish their cries became, demanding that the devil left her. Satan be gone!

She stopped struggling, stayed still and finally got to breathe in air again. She spat out water, vomited it up from her lungs, her stomach. And then she ran, without stopping, did not even pause to look at her mother.

She had been reborn all right. Not as THEY had intended, but the scales had been washed from her eyes. Never again would she pray to a God, follow a religion, cult or not. She would follow her conscience, listen to the voice of her own integrity, and would never, ever fall in to their clutches once again.


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