Commonwealth, III.XI: “Nothing But Willpower”

Commonwealth, III.XI: “Nothing But Willpower” August 27, 2021

Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 3, chapter 3

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

The days marched by in a dreary blur of work and routine. There were no calendars, no newspapers, not even a window where Zoe could see the sky. She lost track of time, and could only guess at how long she had been imprisoned.

A month? Two? It can’t have been longer.

She tried to make friends, but other than Anjulie, her efforts came to naught. Most of the other inmates were Black or brown, and Zoe didn’t fit in among them. She could tell they were suspicious of her, perhaps believing her to be an informant, and rebuffed her overtures with a grunt or with no acknowledgement at all.

Besides, there was Carla and her gang to worry about. They wouldn’t touch Zoe while she was under Anjulie’s protection – they were wary of the woman, for reasons Zoe didn’t understand – but they could and did pick on anyone else who was friendly to the newcomer. She often saw them lurking nearby while she sat at her sewing machine.

The thought of friends inevitably brought to mind her best friend in the world. Zoe wondered, with the idle curiosity of hopelessness, what had become of Rae.

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