Friday, February 27, 2015

Last Breath

Story about Religious Persecution

'Persecute her!' 'Persecute her!' The voices rose high into the dark night. The moon was hidden behind a cloak of clouds. I felt the heat encircle my legs, the occasional stench of alcohol from his breath. The faces were familiar. Faces that smiled and hands that gave friendly waves now had grim expressions and the same hands pounded the air in anger.

It became hotter, crawling up my legs like a family of ants, but I was almost numb, shocked and happy that I stood for Jesus. My arms stretched above my head felt broken and separated from my body. The pain ran through my body over and over, and I tried to ignore it.

'Run Elizabeth!' I looked back to see the pain in his eyes, marked by courage. The men in masks tossed the Bible in the fireplace and greedily devoured the left over bread.

My breath came in huffs until I was wheezing. I could not see through the dark night, but something led my feet to prevent falling. The footsteps were behind me, a far off but close enough to catch me.

His scream pierced the night. His howl of pain ran through my mind as I dodged the sharp twigs and branches. The hot tears streamed down my hot face, my legs became limp and wobbly, but I ran on for his sake.

The feet came closer. The wind pushed me on when my legs couldn't. I splashed through a pool of water, soaking my skin and adding weight. I could hear them cursing aloud each time a branch caught their masked faces.

My breath was no more, but I kept going, hoping to see a light, or a friend, but there was no one, only the sound of taunting owls and howling wolves.

They were coming, right behind. Warm liquid trickled from my inner thigh into my shoe. The shouts were louder and the night became hotter. A stench of blood rose in the air and covered the skies. I searched above for the moon, but I could only see the dark clouds that held up the dark sky.

My foot hit a log and I went sprawling over into a shallow pool. I waded through the water breathlessly. They were right behind me. Sounds of desperation and determination filled my ear, but there was no energy, only my father's scream which pulled my body downward.

A strong hand gripped my hand and pushed my head into the dark, murky waters. The water filled my nose and mouth. I struggled and tried to grab the hand, but it kept ducking my head and lifting me up again. The hand finally lifted my head and brought my face to his. A man, his breath reeked of alcohol and my father's cooking. Anger gripped me. My tired body tried to wrestle with him, but he ducked me into the wet darkness and it consumed me.

The voices were loud and clear, "If you don't kill her, we will!". I struggled to lift my aching body, but a hand struck my face onto the cold, dirty concrete. The pain went through my body. It crawled around my ear and mouth, but I could not die. I heard the sounds of rats crawling about the unfamiliar floor and felt them crawling about my bounded arms and legs. Laughter encircled the air while I pleaded.

'Please', I cried, but the laughter grew louder. A glossy liquid fell from above; the smell filled the whole area and burned my eyes and nose. A hand forced my lips open and slashed it with something sharp. I screamed as another round of pain racked my body. The taste of blood filled my lips and flowed on my aching face. I could not move. I could not save myself.

An unbearable heat came over me. The torches exposed their faces. Women who asked to make dresses and children who I taught to read laughed as they tortured me. They all became one and the sound of their laughter was the same.

Fire scorched my leg, taking my skin and breath. My lips were no more. The fire travelled up my legs and waist stripping me of my clothes and life. The flames were bright as it travelled upon me in beauty but pain. The rats squealed as it took them in their bright orange grasps. It slowly took me, but I was at peace. The laughter was now a mockery and the faces were no more. My breath slowly escaped my ruptured lips in short gasps, and before the darkness finally took me. I chose Jesus.

ReneeJ. All Rights Reserved.


For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

If you enjoyed this story, don't forget to comment and share.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Arrangement (An excerpt)

Below is an excerpt of "The Arrangement," the story of an unhappy marriage.

"Our families made an agreement; my guess is my family offered more than the price of a new Mercedes. The wedding was as massive as a baseball game. we sat motionless, battling to maintain the gaze. Her mother's lace dress suited her. It would have been perfect without the scowl and the sadness in her eyes. Many passed and ran their hands along the dark Tuxedo, giving me sympathetic pats. Her fingers, when she touched me were filled with an unnatural force. An effort much appreciated but not necessary.

Kissing my bride made me uneasy, almost angry. Our lips touched and no chills ran down my spine. She gripped my neck and her fingernails dug into my skin, leaving an impression of fright and uncertainty. It travelled up to my face and left a scowl which can be seen years later. There was only one question racing through my mind during our kiss. If her middle name was pronounced Le-e-s-a or L-e-e-z-a.

My bride needed a bit of flesh on her bones,her behind pressured my knees. She shifted her weight frequently as though she realized my discomfort. We smiled at the flashing camera lights, fake smiles cooed at by guests. Her fingers trembled around my neck and her eyes roamed all over, as though she was searching for an exit, a refuge, but she found none. We shared in that moment of sadness, momentarily hanging our heads in deep regret.

Sleep seemed to abandon me, and  God’s hand  kept me from punching her. The snores rose from her small lips and spun around the room. The little monsters settled before me, taunting and threatening to take me over. The pillow saved my ear, but morning refused to climb over the high, green mountains.

Crunching and chewing were the words exchanged around the dark wood table. She piled exceptionally prepared scrambled eggs on my plate, and slumped in the chair facing me.

“Please pass me the toast Sal.” I asked her. Disgust and a look of poison decorated her face

“Sally please!” Her voice rose high and the monsters sat in the centre of the table. She knocked them away when she flung the bread, and we went back to our chewing.

We both had urges, but dared not touch each other. She tried to hide her sobs over the volume of the radio, but the painful sounds travelled down the stairs and took its place beside me.

We never thought to leave each other because of custom. She stopped going to women rallies, and her voice reduced to a whisper. Her legs got fuller, much to my glee, but the pretty white dresses diminished to pale house frocks.

Work became my solitude, no longer was the scowl plastered on my face and nobody asked about us. Evenings came too quickly, and we would sit under the glow of the lamplight chewing politely and wiping crumbs from our mouths. We slept like strangers, and tension crawled in the middle at nights.

When the disease made its way into her, the uncertainty to hug her bothered me. She only sat in the couch and drank canned soups and found the weather channel interesting. The bills piled high, and my parents immediately removed that burden. Visitors piled into our living room. She looked beautiful and happy with her friends. However, mine seemed a burden and her jaws ached from smiling.

© Copyright 2014 Renee . All rights reserved.

 If you want to read the rest of the story, go HERE

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

***Don't forget to comment and share :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

For awhile...

To understand this poem, it has to make you sad. I hope it will tug at your heart strings, as it did mine. 

She told me that she wanted to be alone.
I simply wanted to embrace her in the dark room;
fragranced with the scent of sadness, and a hint of hopelessness.
She didn’t have to speak to let me know that she was hurting,
before the breakdown, her back was already turning.
I let her eyes burn and liquid fall through,
while I listened on the other side.

Success stories tend to leave out the part,
when the pressure finally rips through the Heart.
The moment when the feet stop moving, and the eyes start glimmering,
With tears held back for years.

The moment when time stops ticking,
And darkness gets comforting.
She had to stop and rest while,
Because it was getting crazy, 
And the words were making her achy.

I dared not tell her it would be alright,
For my eyes too started burning.
I felt for her what no one cared to consider,
That she simply wanted everyone to be pleased,
With her efforts, and to see what she saw,
When she dressed, when she cleansed.

She only wanted, even once for dreams to be alive,
And destined hearts to collide,
But failure got too frequent,
And the devastation finally set in,
And she only wanted to rest,
But simply for a while.

© Copyright 2015 Renee. All rights reserved. 

First, accept sadness. Realize that without losing, winning isn't so great.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Days in River Rock(An excerpt)

Happy Friday everyone!This story, I promise will give you a glimpse of life in the Caribbean as a young white girl, during a time when Race was an even bigger Issue. 

"When we docked in Jamaica, I stretched and breathed in the fresh air. It was beautiful with trees all around. Small homes hid between large trees. Children ran along the dock in dirty, shredded shorts and yelled in the same gibberish as the ones on the boat. Women discarded hats and ran to various men in crooked ties and limp hats. The man from the boat passed and gently brushed against my shoulder. I blushed and held down my head, when I looked up, father’s face held an expression I was unable to read.

I gripped the suitcase tightly in my sweaty palms. A nun with a pink and spotted face stepped towards us. She held on to her rosary and smiled at us. Mother smiled a genuine smile at her and I despised her even more. She led us to a small, damaged car at the side of the dirt road. I sat in the back seat of the hot car; a tall man with skin like coffee threw our luggage in the back which made the car scrape against the road, and made the journey go on forever. The nun was chatting to my father about the community, it was called River Rock, but I didn't hear why, because I was distracted by the greenery that seemed so surreal.

We passed some small shops along the way. Shirtless men leaned against the broken down shops smoking and drinking. They waved at us as we passed, All waved except mother who turned her head away. We pulled up at a small catholic church at a beach, I sniffed the salty air and ran from the car to the huge ocean. I have never felt or seen the ocean before and mother’s glare wasn’t enough to make me stop. I pulled my dress above my knees and ran into the cool water, squealing when father picked me up and threw me in and soaked me to skin. We walked to the back of the church where a small house stood. It was surrounded by coconut trees and a little hammock under a fruit tree I didn’t recognize. The nun opened the door and handed us the key to our new home. We were greeted with a tropical smell which blew me away with happiness. My room was  small and cool, with a large window looking over the ocean. I fell backwards on the bed in my wet, salty dress, and closed my eyes thinking of the man on the dock.

The water under the shower was different from the one in England. It was warm and silky and plunged deep within my skin, relieving me of the crowded boat. I didn’t wear dresses or stockings on the island, only breezy T-shirts and cotton shorts. My skin became tanned, while mother stayed in the house in her long dresses and sipped tea. I didn’t see the man anymore, but each time I went to Mass I couldn’t close my eyes during the prayer, in case he would walk through the door with his smile lighting up the world.

I stopped looking for the man when I started school. I sat in a class with twenty children staring at me. I used to have a tutor who came to the house every other day, but when he migrated to England, father decided that I should go to school where I could make some friends. Mother disagreed and cried that I would adopt their ways, but father said in a clear, thundering voice that made mother silent. “How am I to preach neighbourly love, if I don’t want my family to be a part of them?” The morning was rainy and gloomy and we drove around a couple times before we realized that we passed the school.

The sign “River Rock All-Age school” was written on a piece of cardboard with almost all the letters missing. Father gave the devotion; the children stood before him gaping and staring at his hair, skin and eyes, then all over again, as if they just couldn’t believe. I tugged nervously at the dress, wondering if I was over-dressed. The principal beamed at me as he led me to the grade twelve class. The class stopped as the children stared fixedly on me, and then they whispered loudly among each other. “Her eye  dem blue!”

“How her hair yellow?” The principal barked order and he lead me with pride to the front desk that shone with polish. I stopped short and couldn’t sit when I saw that my teacher was the man from the dock. He stood at the front with the chalk in his hand. He looked different, his skin seemed to glow in the warm Caribbean sun and he looked professional. He looked so serious in his sharp shirt and pants that I felt like so young sitting before him.

The students surrounded me each time we had break. They watched me as I ate, their mouths opening and closing each time mine did. They were my shade and shelter from the rain, and I would award for their service by allowing them to touch my hair and skin or stare into my blue eyes. 

Mr. Harris would often ignore me in class. He would never pick on me or he would merely glance at my raised hand. I gave up and didn’t bother, but every day I would run home and soak my pillow with tears. I was sure he could see me, because I could feel his eyes on me as I ran daintily from school each evening. He would glance at my legs when the light wind blew the my dress above my knees.I would let it stay there, for just a piece of his attention.

I sat on bed staring at the electric light. I didn’t really give it much thought, but when father asked some men to fix the roof in my room. I realized that they hadn’t a clue about it. They would gaze on it for awhile before they could actually start working. There was going to be some fish catching in preparation for Jamaica’s independence from England; a piece of information I didn’t even know, and It happened three years ago, when I didn’t even know a place called Jamaica existed.

I saw him in the dark pulling in a net, his muscles bulging. He was sweating because he would frequently  wipe his palm over his face. His laugh was like the rumble of an engine, so smooth and clean. I heard mother yelling “Josephine!” but I ignored her and walked further along the beach, until her voice was drowned by the crashing waves. I stepped towards him, but a woman held him from behind and pushed him in the rough sea. He giggled like a girl and held her waist, pulling her down with him. She playfully slapped him and then he picked her up and kissed her.

My eyes burned with tears and I ran towards the trees. A voice like thunder yelled out my name. I stopped and listened to the feet padding lightly on the sand. I turned to face him, the moon shone on his face and his eyes sparkled. The moon was full, so I could see him clearly. His hair lay flat on his head, almost straight like fathers. He wore no shirt, so I could see the wet straight hairs on his chest. A line marked his arm, showing a contrast of colour, one so light he seemed white, and the other as golden as his face.

He stepped towards me and I shivered. He held my face and laughed, murmuring my name under his breath. 

“Josephine, you too young.” I flung his hand away from my face and glared at him, but he still smiled.

“I’ll be seventeen this year!” I said a little too loudly. He chuckled and held up his head to the moon, I could see that his eyes were brown. “Why don’t you choose me in class?” I said a little too desperately. He looked at me intently, his eyes burning and he glowered, which scared me.

“You think dem children will ever forgive you,"he paused “if you answer anything ‘bout slavery?”

I understood him and held down my head. He pressed his face close to mine; I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I spoke before he could.

“How comes you are so light?”He laughed and glanced at the activity behind us.

“My father a white man, he own the estate over by Glendon, that’s where I live.”

“You live in that big house!?” I marvelled. 

“That’s why she want me,” he glanced at the girl he picked up and we laughed. 

We were silent, listening to the men tackle the net and the birds overhead. I heard my mother’s voice, once more I ignored it. He held my hand, they covered mine, and then he stooped to my level and pressed his plump lips against mine. My mind swirled and spun, at this new pleasure. He stood at looked at me and smiled shyly, and then he cleared his voice.“Take care Josephine.”

**If you enjoyed it, and want to read the full version, then click HERE. Happy reading!