by Whisper Rain
Whisper stared at Angelica’s letter for a long, long time. She forgot to blink, and the words on the page blurred. “Whisper, are you saved?” She started to tremble… then shake… the horrible descriptions of hellfire she’d heard long ago rang in her ears. “YES!” She told herself. “I prayed the prayer!.. I prayed it so many, many times. I meant it! I MUST be saved!”
Phrases from Charity sermons she’d heard around the house came back to haunt her… painstaking, detailed descriptions of all the actions that “naturally flow out of a life TRULY dedicated to God.” Whisper was not submissive. She did not give a hoot about “modesty”… not according to those people’s standards anyway. She loved her rock music. She valued discussion- and even arguments!- much, much more than the appearance of a “meek and quiet spirit.” Heck, there wasn’t an ounce of “meek and quiet spirit” in her body.
All that and more… a mountain of “biblical proof” of her lost condition piled up in Whisper’s mind, towering over her like a monster. It was as if God himself stood on top of the pile, glaring at her. She was obviously worthy of hell, and it didn’t matter how much she meant that prayer… her choices and preferences, and even her anger at being told what to do like a child, all witnessed against her, that she was nothing but a screw up. God was terrifying. Hell was terrifying. And Whisper felt like she was suspended between them, being dragged toward hell by a force she couldn’t control… her own identity.
Whisper was physically shaking with fear. She sat down. She feebly prayed the prayer again. Nothing. She rephrased it. Still nothing. Slowly, she made her way to her bedroom. She had to do something. Her mind was cracking. She rummaged around and found the dagger she had bought awhile back. She pulled it out of it’s sheath. It was shiny and beautiful. For a moment, Whisper wanted to hurt herself with it… it would be a distraction from the pain and fear that were gnawing at her stomach. She shook her head hard… NO. What if she messed up? What if she bled out and died? Hell was right there, waiting for her. She had to avoid it while she could.
She glanced up at her bedroom window. Through the screen, she could see sunlight sifting past the leaves of the tree outside. It was beautiful out there. She could get out. She could run. Maybe she could get away from the fear- she could find someplace to go where she wouldn’t have to hear that oh-so-humble voice with the funny accent… telling her what a failure she was… ever again. She got a grip on her dagger and decided to slash the window screen wide open and run. She paused for just a moment…