The Community

Albert Hewitt is fed up with his rebellious daughter Eliza. The final straw comes when Eliza gets expelled from her exclusive school. Albert has had enough. He decides to teach her a lesson. A good friend of Albert’s offers a place for Eliza to stay, a place where strict rules are in place and young women must learn their place. Albert assumes he is sending his daughter away to a finishing school. Unwillingly Albert sends Eliza into one of the strictest Cults in the country. Eliza finds herself in an unfamiliar place, with strange rules and even stranger people. She has been given a new name, a new wardrobe and strict commandments to live by. She is scared of her new surroundings, but one question remains hot on Eliza’s mind… Why her Father sent her here.
(The amazing cover was made by Narcy)

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2. Abigail

Silence. It was defining and yet peaceful all at once. The sound of the Vicar’s voice echoed around the Church as he asked us to bow our heads in prayer. We all did so willingly; I raised my hands to my face and clasped them tightly.

“Our Father,” the Vicar began. I was not really listening to him, I instantly felt guilty.
“Please God, forgive me,” I thought.

I tried hard to listen to the Vicar as he spoke the prayer that I had heard a thousand times before, but I got distracted. I clamped and unclamped my hands a few times to try and refocus. A sharp slap hit my knee. My eyes flung open.
I was faced with Eve’s furious face glaring at me.

“Shut up,” she hissed. Eve, my darling sister, was the model Church girl. I knew I would get an earful when we left the Church after the service.

I shut my eyes, this time I was far more focused, the thought of Eve hitting me outside the Church and telling our Father I was daydreaming during the service was a good deterrent.

The service was going on for longer than a normal one did. That was because this one was a special one, it was the welcoming of the next generation of Community members into the community, that included me.

Each year, a special celebration happened, this is when each ten year old boy and girl was officially welcomed into the Community. We had prepared for months, there was an exam to sit, which I had passed with flying colours, and there was an interview with a senior member of the Community.

It was not like they wouldn’t let anyone in. If your parent is a member of the Community, you will be too, but they like to scare us into letting us believe if you don’t do well in the exam and interview you will be kicked out of the Community, but that wasn’t true.

The prayer finished, the Vicar thanked us. He sat back down. Now it was time for the presentation.
Finally, what I had been waiting for. What we had all been waiting for. I could feel my heart pounding loudly, I had made it. Here I was.

I was about to be welcomed into my Community, to become an official member. It was the proudest moments of a child’s life; it was the celebration of a child becoming a young person.

My Father, who was sat in the front pew, stood up. Along with several other men, the most senior and well respected men in our Community, he made his way to the front of the Church.

The lights of the Church danced on my Fathers face. I was so proud; it made me happy to see him stood so proudly.
My Father was very important in the Community, his Uncle, Robert, was the current Head of Community (HOC).

The HOC was the most respected and most important man in the Community. He was like our King, our leader, we worshiped him. He was our direct link to God.

It was his job to ensure that everything ran smoothly, it was an honour to be related to him, my Father told me that our family was very important and that we needed to represent our family well.

This was perhaps why Eve slapped me a few moments ago. My Father was part of the Committee, this was a group of men, no women were allowed; it’s just the rules. These seven men ran the entire Community, most of them were related to the HOC, but some had been chosen for their skills and talents in certain areas that would come in handy when running a successful Community.

It was Father’s turn to speak first. He cleared his throat loudly; I suppose to get everyone’s attention, not that he needed to. When Father spoke everyone just listened to him, he had a powerful speaking voice. Many of the boys in my class both admired him and were scared of him.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Father began. “As you know, today is a very special day, it marks the beginning of a new era, and it marks the start of a new generation. I would like to say how proud I am of each and every one of the children sat here today. I want to welcome them to the Community, I am sure they will make us very proud by continuing to follow our ways and traditions!” he said. The crowd cheered loudly as he bowed his head. He smiled before stepping back in the line allowing the next man to step forward, he was my cousin James, he spoke about the responsibilities that we faced.
Each of the other men spoke for a few minutes about what was expected of us, now that we were members of the Community. We were told about the importance of education and following the Commandments.
Finally we came to bit that we were all truthfully waiting for, the certificate ceremony.

This was when each name of the children was read out, they made their way up to the front and they were presented with a large envelope and a small book, it was like a guide of how to live like a proper member of society and more importantly it contained the Commandments. I waited patiently for the people with surnames the begun with a, b and c to be called up. And then it was my turn.

“Abigail David,” James called. He was the most organised man in the whole Community; someone said he had an obsessive disorder, but that was just rumour. But one that was not taken lightly, rumours of such nature were dangerous. It was taken as an insult to be accused of possessing such a disorder.
God only gave the bad people such illnesses; he only gave the sinners the disorders. James was normal, just organised.

I stood up from my pew; I edged my way past the rest of my brother and sisters. Marcus, my brother, patted me on the back as I walked past. Both my younger sisters cheered wildly as I made my way to the front of the Church.
“Well done Abbey,” James said quietly.

He flashed a quick smile from behind his clipboard. He extended his hand and I took it keenly. Once he took his hand away I moved up the line of men and shook each of their hands. They each offered their congratulations and smile at me. I felt so proud. I was on the third to last man, and then I moved onto my Father.

“Abigail,” he said with an acknowledging nod. He offered me my hand, I shook it. Without another word I moved to the last person. My Uncle, my Father’s oldest brother, the HOC.

“My Darling niece,” he exclaimed, he turned around to the rest of the Church. “My great-niece Abigail, I welcome you to our Community,” I was both pleased and embarrassed by him announcing me to the rest of the Church. He had not done that for any of the other children, but I was different. I had always been told that I was different. But different was not good, different meant I was noticeable, I stood out, and it was a sin to be noticeable.
The crowd clapped and cheered. I smiled and shook my great-uncle’s hand. A lady, she was married to one of the men, handed me a large brown envelope and a small book. I thanked her for it and went back to my seat and sat down.
This was a good day.
 

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