Keep the Faith

I've written this story based on a game that I played with my sorority in which we had to answer questions based on the bible but if we didn't get them right we would get sent back out of the house.

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3. What is Love?

David’s POV-

I get home and pull out my backpack, my parents are not awake yet so I have time to pack before they come and knock on my door. I walk to my nightstand and kneel down to the bottom drawer. I pull the key out from under my bed and unlock the drawer. My bible is still sitting there like it always is which means that my parents haven’t snooped around while I’ve been gone. I pull it out and quickly stuff it into my backpack before moving to my dresser to pack some clothes, not too much because we can’t be weighed down in case we need to run. I then pull out a chest that I keep in the bottom of my closet and open it. Inside there are crosses and those such things, I only keep them around in case we are actually able to prove our faith and change at least a few people’s minds, hopefully my parents. I pull out one cross and stuff it in my backpack before zipping it up and hanging it on the back of my door. I climb back into my bed and pretend to sleep as I hear my parents get up and start moving around the house before my dad comes and knocks on my door.

“Son, it’s time to get up.” He says in a monotone voice. I groan and sit up as he pushes my door open to just kind of sit there and stare at me for a few seconds and then walk away. I stand up once he is gone and move around my room to make the illusion that I’m getting dressed before heading down the stairs. I walk into the kitchen and see my father sitting at the table while my mother stands at the stove making the same breakfast as always, eggs and sausage. My father treats mother like a slave now that the world has fallen into these new religions, we’ve gone back to having no women’s rights whatsoever. I sit at the table with my father ignoring my urge to go and help my mother in the kitchen. Mother serves us and then waits until we get up and leave to sit and eat her breakfast alone.

“Son, we are going to the store today? I need to pick up a few things for our prayers tonight.” My father tells me as he walks down the stairs to where his study is. All I do is nod and then run up to where my room is. I open the door and relish in the comfort of my own light blue colored room that has a few posters on the wall of some bands that I don’t even know. I collapse on my bed and roll onto my stomach as I reach down and grab my phone. I turn it on to find a lot of text messages from Ashley, she’s asking a bunch of questions because she’s unsure of what she’s doing.

‘Hey.’ Is the first message. I roll my eyes at the way she naturally starts the conversation. I scroll down through the messages. She continuously asks what to bring and how we are going to handle food and what are we going to do when we get caught, I laugh to myself before thinking of a good response that wouldn’t scare her even more.

‘We will be fine. Just pack a few different outfits and don’t take any extra shoes. Take a bible and a cross and we will eat during the day when we can leave our packs hidden and go into town like normal. When we get caught we must stand strong and give them our best answers based on what we know to be true.’ I answer her. I lock my phone and lay back on my bed and stare up at the ceiling.

“What am I doing?” I ask myself. I sigh and roll over on my side. I reach into the second drawer of my nightstand to grab my journal. I grab the pen off the top and sit up. I open the journal to a new page and begin to write.

August 8, 2015

                Today begins a new journey in my life. I will be fighting for my religion alongside some of my best friends. We will be stopped by the guards and they will kill us if we give wrong answers. This is probably the most frightening thing I’ve ever done but it must be done. We must fight back against whatever dark forces may try to lead us astray. I will stay strong and I will get through all of these trials even though I am scared beyond any fear I’ve ever felt before but I trust that God will guide me through this valley and bring all of us out on top of the mountain.

 

My phone rings so I close my notebook. I pick it up to see a long message from Ashley.

‘I’m so scared, David. I don’t like this but I want to keep my religion. What do we do? I want to help you get through this but I don’t even know if I can do this.’ I can almost see her sitting in her room crying her eyes out. I close my eyes for a second before looking back at the screen.

‘We will get through this together. You don’t have to say anything to the guards but you must stay quiet while we walk so that we can get past most of them. There is nothing that we can’t do with God on our side and He will be guiding us the whole way. He will walk before us, stand beside us and watch behind us as we make our way to the end of our journey at the capitol.’ I tell her. I turn my phone off after that and leave it on the charger to preserve the battery so that I can have full charge when we start our travels.

“David! Let’s go!” My father yells from the bottom of the stairs. I walk out of my room to see him standing at the bottom in a black robe. I can feel myself getting nervous just seeing him look like that. He’s one of the “pastors” for our neighborhood and the neighbors all come to our house to worship at night.

“Dad? When are we going to be back?” I ask looking at the clock. I see that it’s already 2 in the afternoon. He gives me a look and then stares off into space, thinking about an answer.

“We should be back by 5. Are you going out with your friends tonight?” He asks with a weird smile. I smile back at him.

“Yeah.” I run down the stairs and out the door before my dad. I walk a few strides ahead of him as we head into town. We have cars but we just prefer to walk everywhere we go, basically they are just decorations. It takes us about 20 minutes to walk into town and five more minutes to find the store that he needed. The building is black with curtains hanging where a door used to be. Dad pushes the curtains to the side and walks into the very dark shop probably to get some black magic tools for whatever ritual they are doing tonight. I stand outside and watch the people walk by, children are in normal clothes but all of the adults are wearing some kind of black robe as they walk in and out of stores not really buying anything but pretending to shop. I close my eyes and take a deep breath as I wait for my father to come out of the shop.

 

“Alright son. Let’s go to the next place.” My dad says coming out of the shop about an hour later. I nod and start to get more nervous as we walk to the next shop. I could see the sun was starting to set and I’m getting worried about making it to my place on time. The next shop only takes about five minutes and then it’s time to head home. By now I’m really jumpy because the sun is starting to set. We walk through the front door and I start running up the stairs but my dad stops me. “Where are you going with your friends?” He asks me. I stop for a second before turning around with a smile.

“Out to the more secluded part of the city where most of the farms and stuff are. Is that okay?” I ask even though I know he will be fine with it. He nods with another weird smile and I turn around and continue back up the stairs. I run into my room and lock the door before grabbing my backpack and climbing out the window. I start running for the secluded part of town to meet up with Ashley.

 

 

“Hey!” I yell to Ashley as I approach her about twenty minutes later. She jumps and puts her hand over her heart when she turns to see that it’s just me.

“Don’t do that. You know how nervous I am about this.” She scolds me as I walk closer. I just smile and shake my head at her.

“We will be fine. We have the power of God on our side. There will be nothing that can stand in our way.” I tell her. She sighs and closes her eyes as she looks toward the ground. “Don’t start second guessing yourself now. You’ll be fine as long as you keep a straight head and think about your answers before just saying something. And we should be able to answer everything with confidence because this is what we believe.” I tell her. She looks up at me with wide eyes but then her face turns into a look of determination and she nods her head. I smile and take her hand. “Let’s pray before we head out.” We bow our heads and I start praying.

“Dear Lord, please guide us through this trial and help us to speak only your truth to these lost souls that seek to destroy us. Give us the strength to keep walking and make it through this valley of death and let us come out at the end victorious. And if we don’t end up victorious at least let us rest peacefully in eternity with you. Amen.” I finish. I feel Ashley tense up at the last sentence. I squeeze her hand and give her a smile.

“We will be fine, I promise. Just remember to keep a cool head as we go out to face the guards.” I tell her. She nods and takes a deep breath.

“Okay. Let’s go.” She says as she turns to face the path. She grabs my hand in a death grip as we start to walk down the darkened path. It’s eerily quiet as we walk, not even the leaves under our feet make a sound as we step on them. Ashley pulls out her flashlight and turns it on to flash into the face of a man looming over us with a creepy grin on his face.

“And what might you kiddies be doing out here so late at night?” He asks. Ashley shrinks back but I stand tall in front of him.

“We are headed to the capital.” I tell him. He raises an eyebrow at me.

“And why would you have business there?” He asks. I take a deep breath to calm my shaking hands.

“We are fighting to keep our faith.” I answer him. His face falls into a mask of anger. He draws his gun on Ashley.

“Really? Well then I’ve got a question for you. If you answer wrong your little girlfriend will die.” He answers me. I gulp and take a deep breath before nodding and agreeing to his terms. He scoffs and the grin comes back onto his face. “We will see how much a brat like you knows about the bible. What is love?” He asks me. The question throws me off until I remember that all of these people were Christian at one time too.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I recite to him. His face scrunches up in disgust before he releases Ashley and sends us on our way.

“Get out of here you damn brats.” He spits at us as we run down the path away from him.

“See I told you we would be fine.” I tell Ashley once we slow to a walk. She looks at me with wide tear filled eyes.

“I don’t feel fine. I mean I almost got shot.” She says. I nod with a sad look on my face.

“The important thing is that we got through our first test. Now that we know what it’s like we can be better about how we approach the rest of them. For now we can rest. We will get up and move once you are ready to.” I tell her as we sit on the ground and lean up against a giant tree to close our eyes for a bit.

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