Illegal Religion

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  • Published: 13 Dec 2017
  • Updated: 19 Dec 2017
  • Status: Complete
A sneak peek at my manuscript possibly getting published next December.

Read the first two chapters for free and review please.

One quote sums up this story. "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

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2. Chapter One

Rebecca Mills picks up the pregnancy test from the bathroom counter as soon as the timer goes off. She shakes it and then it happens. A single pink line, a negative pregnancy test. All she wants is a baby…all she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Rebecca throws away the negative test and washes her hands in the sink. She pulls her red locks back in a ponytail and away from her white features, big nose and huge turquoise eyes. I’m never going to have a baby. I’m not good enough to be a mother. Samuel’s going to be furious.

            Rebecca stares at her sapphire and diamond engagement ring. It sits perfectly next to her sapphire studded wedding band. Rebecca could still clearly remember the day she and Samuel became husband and wife. That was a good day. Unlike today. As soon as he gets home…

“REBECCA!” Her thoughts are interrupted by the loud booming sound of her husband. The man she loves and the man she took an oath to be with until she dies or he dies. Let’s hope he dies first. Rebecca takes a sip of water and replies back.

“I’M IN OUR ROOM.”

            Rebecca runs from the bathroom and leaps into the bed. She slips on her black glasses and tries to act like she’s been reading a book. Samuel’s more obsessed with her getting pregnant than she is. He insists that she doesn’t leave the bedroom. ‘It could hurt the baby’. Joseph’s a fool. We were once in love. Alas no more.

            Samuel’s burly and rough and tan fingers push open the door and linger before he pushes the door all the way. The man with dark brown eyes, dark skin and thick, unkempt black hair takes up the entire doorframe. His golden wedding ring…

“Rebecca…what are you doing?”

“Reading a book. Not leaving our room.” More like prison. I should’ve married Marcus Kayne. Marcus Kayne…Rebecca’s long-lost sweetheart. But alas, he died the week before she and him were to be married.

“Your sister Regina called.” The mention of Rebecca’s best friend and sister brings her back to reality. She puts down her book and directs her attention to the man she’s confessed her undying love for. Regina…Rebecca’s sister and best friend. Regina has been Rebecca’s anchor their entire lives

“And what did my fraternal twin sister have to say?”
“She and her lover boy Sean are expecting their first baby. It’s a shame my brother gets a child before I do.” Sean…Regina’s true love and Samuel’s fraternal brother. Complete opposites. Much like Regina and I. Too bad Sean didn’t have eyes for me. His eyes match mine and his eyes…man, they’re so blue. His black hair and chin stubble. He’s so dreamy. Then there’s Regina…her brown eyes and calm brown hair…her perfect tan. Oh, how I adore my sister! Samuel’s cold stare brings Rebecca one more time back to reality.

“What?” He stares at her. She continues.

“You wanted me to respond. It’s not my fault that I can’t get pregnant. Pregnancy begins with the man.” Rebecca gives her husband and false smile and returns to reading her book. Her husband continues to talk as he removes his shoes, his socks, his clothes and as he climbs into bed after a long day at work. I hardly think it’s work. All he does is…he’s…an inventor. He runs a corporate business. He helps run the Mills family business.

“Your older sister Raven also called. She and my older brother Simon are finally settling into their new house with their new baby.” It’s odd how the three lovely daughters of Rowena and Richard Radcliffe managed to be married to the three sons of Cora and Henry Mills.

“How are Raven, Simon and their daughter Emma?”

“Peachy. Aren’t you going to ask me how my day was?”
“No, I don’t care. You and your brothers do the same thing. Keep their wives locked away until pregnancy…I could care less.” Rebecca puts her book down and takes off her glasses. She rolls over and closes her eyes. Wishing that somehow, somewhere she wasn’t married to Samuel Mills and stuck in 2550. What I’m I doing here? I’m 30 years old and stuck in an age of technology like a wife in the 1930’s. It’s the 26th century and Earth is barely populated. One family has four kids and names them all with one letter…they all have the same gender child…and marry their daughters or sons off to the same family with equals but opposites. It’s not fair.

A year later…

            Rebecca picks the pregnancy test up off the counter and takes a deep breath. She closes her eyes, flips it over and opens them again. Two pink lines, faint pink but obviously two lines. Rebecca covers her mouth and tries to conceal a silent scream. I’m pregnant…I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant…this isn’t happing. I can’t be pregnant. I don’t want to be pregnant. Sam’s going to be so happy and I’ll be sick. I have to call Regina…where’s the phone? No, I can’t call her…then she’ll tell Sean and Sean will tell Samuel.

            Rebecca takes a deep breath and puts the pregnancy test into her back pocket. She adjusts her t-shirt and pulls down her hair. She runs a brush through her red curls and applies eye-shadow and lip gloss. She exchanges her New York tee for a simple green blouse with buttons. She hears Samuel come in and readies herself for his entrance. She waits.

“What are you doing out of bed? Get back down now.” Rebecca sits and stares at her husband. He’s furious…he’s mad that she didn’t obey his direct orders. She’s been stuck in this room for two years…since the last…since the last miscarriage. No Rebecca, don’t cry be strong. It’s okay. You’re pregnant now.

“Sam?” Her husband twirls around in fury and stares at her.

“What?”  Rebecca takes the test out of her back pocket and gives it to him. He snatches it away and stares at it. He looks up at her questionally. She nods and his eyes light up in happiness. He strides over and lifts Rebecca into his arms. He’s happy. Thank you, Lord. He’s happy. Maybe he’ll take me out to dinner. Maybe to the Robocafe. I love that place.

“Rebecca. Are you serious? Are you really pregnant?” No idiot, it was a false pregnancy test. Of course, I’m pregnant.

“Yes, I’m really pregnant. This is happening. We’re going to be parents.”

“So, Emma and Ellie are going to have a cousin?”

“Yes Sam, Emma and Ellie Mills are going to have a cousin…Wait, who’s Ellie?” Who’s Ellie? Did Regina have her baby? Who’s Ellie?

“Ellie Grace Mills. Regina and Sean had their baby today. So, Emma Grace and Ellie Grace are going to have baby Emily Grace?” Emily Grace…I like Emily but why Grace? Why must siblings have the same middle name? And then marry husbands with the same middle name and all the siblings’ children of one gender must have the same middle name? It’s enough that I was Rebecca Nicole…then Regina Nicole and to top it all off our elder sister is Raven Nicole. I should’ve had the middle name Leigh…it’s much prettier.

“Emily’s a good name for a girl but why Grace?”

“It’s family tradition. You and your sisters are Nicole’s and my brothers and I are Peter’s. Simon Peter, Samuel Peter and Sean Peter Mills. Just like Raven Nicole, Rebecca Nicole, and Regina Nicole Radcliffe. So, the three Grace Mills’?” No, I hate tradition. I hate repetition. I hate our boring lives. The only good thing is church…when there was a church. Rebecca longingly glances over at the Bible peeking out from under her side of the mattress. Religion was outlawed years ago. She knows somewhere that Samuel keeps his bible. She also knows that her parents have theirs and her sisters have theirs and her brother in laws have theirs. Oh God, why don’t you come back. I wish you would. I know that there are still Christians out there. Remaining faithful but still conforming to the rules of our false Utopia. Planet Earth needs you Lord. Ever since 2019 when that…the terrible thing happened. Religion’s been illegal for five hundred years.

            A heavily pregnant Rebecca reads from her Bible and rubs her belly as her husband reads from his. The baby kicks and she smiles. Hello little one, please stop kicking. I know you want out but soon darling, I promise you soon. The baby kicks again and Rebecca moans in pain but keeps reading her scriptures. Her phone rings and she picks it up. It’s her sister Regina.

“Hello sis. What? No, please say it’s not true? No, okay we’re on our way.” Rebecca puts her phone down and gets out of bed. Samuel stares at her with a look of confusion.

“Raven, Simon and Emma have been in a terrible accident. They’re at Hospital 7. By the time we get there they’ll be at Hospital 10. It was a 25-car crash on Air Route 13.”

As Rebecca and Samuel rush to get ready Rebecca’s mind races with thoughts of her older sister and brother in deep trouble. What happened? Are they okay? Please Lord, please let them be okay. Let baby Emma be okay. Rebecca’s computer chip in her head rings. Oh, did I forget to mention? In 2551, all the people are cyborgs and have microchips in their brains telling them what to do. Not all of them have the word of God to fight it.

            Samuel takes his wife’s hand as they run into the hospital and into the waiting room. There Regina, Sean and baby Ellie are waiting. Regina gets up and wraps her arms around her twin sister and fills Rebecca in on the information.

“It wasn’t a car crash. Raven and Simon have been trying to hack the system. Trying to infiltrate it with Bible. Tonight, they got caught. Chances are they were given a killing serum.” Rebecca looks over at Samuel and realizes Sean must’ve told him, too. The family comforts each other until the Doctor comes in.

“Rebecca, Regina…Raven would like to see you. Sean, Samuel…I’m sorry. Simon’s dead.”

“And Emma?”
“The authorities have been notified. Emma can’t stay with you…her mother is under arrest for interfering and hacking. Emma is going into the system unless she dies.” Rebecca pipes up.

“Why can’t a family member take Emma?”

“Because…it’s the law. You can’t have less than four years apart and with both of you…Emma is too young to meet requirements.” Stupid law. Keeping families apart. Who invented that stupid four-year law to begin with? Unless it’s twins…it’s the law. Good thing Raven’s four and a half years older than Regina and I.

            Regina and Rebecca walk hand in hand into Raven’s room. Their beautiful raven-haired sister with her big green eyes and pale white skin is hardly alive. An oxygen tube keeps her breathing and a machine makes her heart pump. She’s not going to last long. Raven’s eyes sparkle as she spots her baby sisters. She beckons them to come closer. Regina takes one side and Rebecca takes the other.

“Bex…Gina.” The twins smile at their childhood nicknames, affectionately given by Raven upon their births. The twins say Raven’s nickname in unison.

“Ray?” Raven takes her sisters hands and smiles. She beckons for them to come closer.

“You must download my brain chip into your brains and continue hacking the system. Find another way in…but I beg you spread the gospel and destroy this vile Utopia…this God forsaken country. Look at the city…look what Satan has done.”

            The twins look out at the city and see…Smog nothing but smog, pollution, homeless…endless crime. Where is the blue sky of the countryside? Where is the green grass? Where is the England I knew as a child? This is all still so new. When I was a young girl the city wasn’t like this. Then again, I am 31…England’s been like this since I was three. Regina’s voice snaps Rebecca out of her daydream

“Ray, what do we need to do?” Raven weakly gives her sisters a smile and takes a deep breath before saying.

“I don’t know. You two are smarter than me. I’ll tell you one thing: stay together. Whatever it takes, stay together. Let your husbands help you and above all DON’T…you DON’T EVER GET CAUGHT! Find a way…don’t try to hack…it doesn’t work. Whatever you do…never give up.”

“Raven…” Raven’s eyes close and Rebecca takes a deep breath. Raven’s eyes flutter open and Regina smiles. Raven grips her sisters’ hands and says…

“Bex…do you remember what Mother used to say to you and only to you? Well, whatever she used to say. I don’t want you to forget that. And Regina…Father used to say something to you. Don’t you forget that.” A thought enters into Rebecca’s head.

“Ray, what did Mother or Father say to you?”
“Nothing…they knew I would be gone before that time to use their wisdom ever came. But I do remember what both of them used to say to all of us. Come on girls say it!”

The three girls join in chorus as the whisper Cora and Henry Radcliffe’s last words.

“Don’t ever give up.”

            Later when Raven’s body is gone. Regina places a hand on her sister’s shoulder. Rebecca smiles at the touch of her twin. Rebecca puts one hand on her huge belly and leans against her sister’s shoulder. I wonder what Dad used to tell Regina? Should I ask? I should ask. We’re going to need all the wisdom we can get from our beautiful parents. What was that…what did Mom say just before she died?
“Regina, do you know what Mom told me just before she died?”

“No, what?”

“The ones that love us never really leave us.”  Regina smiles at her sister’s words and nods her head in agreement.
“Dad said something like that before he died. He said ‘Fire burns brighter in the dark.’ These are dark days Rebecca. Dark days in deed. I have a question for you.”

“Go on ask…I’m your sister…you can ask me anything.”

“What did Mom tell you?” Rebecca smiles. I was going to ask that silly. I should’ve asked before I let my younger sister by two minutes beat me.

“What did Dad tell you?” Regina smiles and replies.

“You’re the oldest…you go first.”

“Only by two minutes.”

            With words left unsaid as the twins watch the city they love grow dark Rebecca thinks of her favorite bible verse. Matthew 5 verse 14. “Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”

 
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