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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Tragedy · #2272208
The end times during the Christian persecution. For Dystopian Scrawlings
I can still remember the night they came. There was so much screaming and the smell of metal was sickening. What was worse was the smell that came from a sticky red liquid that coated the floor after the gunshots had ceased. The raiders had found us, or that’s what we called them, they took everything they wanted by any and all measures. That night they took anyone who was young enough to be “broken” or so they called it. What they meant was young enough to be brainwashed and retrained. For me, it all started that night.

“Lidia, I know you are scared, but I need you to stay right here. Don’t move until I come back, you hear baby?”

I nodded and clutched my knees to my chest. They had found us, it was time to fight. Mother moved to the middle of the room and grabbed one of the guns off the table. That was when the gunfire started. For what felt like hours I sat huddled in the corner sobbing. I had watched my mother drop to the ground, her clothes riddled with holes like all the others who had been standing when it had begun. My ears had still been ringing when a man came and dragged me past my mother and through the awful-smelling room with the sticky floor. I had been the only child there, and each day I thank the Lord no other child saw what I had that night.

My mother had taught me to pray and to read the Bible; which she had said was the most important book in the world. She died believing that. I struggled to understand how she could believe that God cared for me when He had allowed her to die that night and left me alive. But I knew that one day I would find that answer if I didn’t turn away from Him as my dad had.

My praying to the Lord had become the only thing the Raiders couldn’t take from me, they took everything else. The only reason the Raiders hadn’t killed me was because they believed they could scare other children into submission by making an example of me. They didn’t seem to realize that I only showed the children that if I could make it through all they put me through the children could do the same.

The raiders mocked me often and taunted me telling me that my God had failed me. But I wouldn’t give in to such lies. I knew my God had plans for me; I didn’t know what they were but I was okay with that. All I had to do was hang on and rely on my God who had saved me that night for some reason. If witnessing was, staying here, staying strong, and holding strong to my faith. If that was what the Lord wanted, then I would do it. I never believed I would live to the end of the world to the time of Christian persecution.

“Get up,” Darrel said, jerking me to my feet. I dropped the charcoal I had been writing with and stood tall keeping eye contact with him. “You know why I’m here.”

“I do, sir.”

“And you still won’t say it?” He questioned.

As tears ran down my cheeks, I shook my head. “No, sir, I will not deny my Lord.”

“You know this only causes you more pain.”

I closed my eyes and nodded. “Sir, did you know that the Lord will forgive you if you just ask.” I had expected the blow but it hurt. The cold stone beneath my cheek felt good against the new bruise rising on my jaw. I thanked the Lord for the small comfort before two men pulled me up and dragged me out of the room. Outside everything was trashed worse than the rallies a few years before. Outside even bodies littered the ground, making me sick, there were no longer morals in this world. Those who worshiped the Lord were murdered or like myself used as examples. I knew my Lord would not put more on me than I could bear and I took great comfort in that. All the Raiders wanted was for people to fear them and follow them; whether out of fear or love they didn’t care. I knew today would be my last day of suffering. This I also thanked the Lord for. I didn’t think I would be able to take it another day, but I knew if the Lord wanted me to remain in this terrible place, I would survive. I took comfort in knowing that I could be influencing others to hold strong to their faith.

I knew the sound of my screams by heart, but today I did not feel the pain nearly as bad. As my screams filled the streets and chilled the ones who still had hearts, I watched the most beautiful person walk through the crowd. He told me it wouldn’t be much longer, He told me He was still with me and He had great plans for me. When I opened my eyes again the pain had returned, but my heart had wings. I told the men who had hurt me that I had forgiven them for hurting me, I said it boldly for all to hear and it made me happy. I knew these men could never take this joy from me. I would survive. I now knew why my mother believed God cared for me. These Raiders could never take the Lord from me, for He was inside me and always with me. It did become my last day of suffering. Each punishment for following my Lord became a beautiful thing, no matter the pain they inflicted. I survived because the Lord gave me comfort and a Joy no one could take from me.
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