The Lies of Mansion Mawthore

In the Mawthore household, the ladies of the family are isolated and imprisoned. They are taught to respect men and men are taught vice versa. When Meraine's cousin, Raya, is tortured for attempting to escape, Meraine knows she has to take up matters in her own hands. For the first time in the Mawthore history, a woman will stand up to face the cruel wits of men and that woman will be Meraine Selena Mawthore. [Fabulous cover by Prodigy]

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1. Filth and Blood

“Get down,” Raya whispered, her long fingers tightened around my small wrist. She crouched against the shelves. Her velvet streaks of curly hair stuck to her perspired skin and she breathed like she had run a mile.

“This is wrong,” I stated reluctantly, squatting beside with a loud thud.

“Shush!” she urged, clapping my mouth shut. My eyebrows pulled together in an annoyed frown and I swatted her hand away.

“You will get us killed,” I shook my head, crossing my arms over my chest.

Raya looked at me with a snarky glare. “No, you will get us killed, Meraine. If you don’t shut that little mouth of yours, we both will get our heads chopped. You hear me?”

I threw my hands in the air dramatically and scoffed, “See? This is exactly why I didn’t want to come with you. I am going to have to share your bloody punishment!!”

“Meraine, if you don’t shut up, I will kill you before anyone else can,” she seethed, turning her head away decisively.

 

This was all before she had been found out.

I had run when her brother, Edmund, found her hiding among the dirty shelves. He dragged her to the rest of the men and there the horror began. They beat her up, locked her with the pigs and let her starve for days on end. Her water supply was so scarce that her throat dried till she couldn’t even cry out anymore. She was not allowed to bathe or brush her teeth. She couldn’t sleep anywhere but with the dirty pigs. When she was fed, she was given stale cabbage soup with helpings of raw oatmeal.

It was so disgusting Raya couldn’t even eat properly. She would force it down and puke it all out minutes later. Her nails were absolutely filled with filth and her hair was thickened with gross dirt.

None of the women were allowed to communicate with her, except our oldest Grandmother. Grandmother Emily, as was her name, only treated her twice one week because she got weak and blood was running from Raya’s nose for no reason.

Grandmother Emily had the most medical knowledge in the house so she was only allowed to see Raya. When she came back from tending Raya, she was in tears. She told all the other women what was Raya’s condition and then everyone wept. I tried not to cry, but in the end, I was screaming with guilty and sadness. I wished I could have done something to save Raya.

She was treated like that for almost two whole months. They only let her out when one of the men saw that her eyes were blood red and her body was so thin that she was falling everywhere. They only released her after bringing her to the verge of death.

The men eventually did bring Raya back to us and we all did see her dishevelled, sick condition and shaking body.

“Let one more woman try to run off and see what shall happen to them!” Lord Mawthore, my great-grandfather and Grandmother Emily’s father, had announced, showcasing Raya as an example.

Then he rashly pushed her towards us. She fell flat on her face and cried, but no one said anything. My eyes went wide and my lips moved but I could not protest. I was too weak to even say anything. They left her lying there in tears. She reeked of such horrible stench that some women had to hold their noses.

Only after the men were well out of sight, we all rushed to help her. Raya was cleaned thoroughly and given fresh clothes and fresh food. She was medicated properly for she was sick. She didn’t even talk for a whole week.

My mother said she was too traumatized to speak, but I knew there was more to her silence than that. Raya had always been a girl with a strong will, a loyal sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair and she was the type who yearned justice. She was not particularly fond of seeking unruly independence, but the independence she had sought, and been punished for, was her right.

She wished for equality and she had been stripped of that wish.

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