Christian Fiction: Scoury Moments by Bamidele Imisioluwa

The shouts of 'Hallelujah' and 'Amen' rent the air,  jarring her awake. She jerked, coming clear-eyed despite her intention to remain oblivious, and with the arrival of her consciousness came the unavoidable memories of last night's events.

Her lips curled in disgust as she flung herself out of the bed, annoyed out of her mind already. Her favourite mug was still on the floor from when she'd angrily flung it yesterday, splintered to pieces. Her father had reprimanded her for coming home late, like she was a child. . .like she was Sara.

She stepped over the shards and jerked out a scarf from the pile in her wardrobe, and reluctantly staggered to the sitting room, making a haphazard knot on her head with the Ankara strip.

She took a seat beside her sister who was reading the devotion that morning, thankful she hadn't been asked to do it. Then cursed under her breath as she realized the passage Sara was emphasising. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord. . ."

Her parents kept on passing pointed looks at her, darts reprimanding and judging. She couldn't take it for one more second.

"Laura, get back to your seat."

She looked around, realizing she had come up to her feet and was halfway to her room already. She had not even registered her own movements. She was that angry.

There her father went again, talking to her like she was a child. She faced him, looking him squarely in the eye. "And if I don't?" She could barely recognize her voice.

"You don't want to find out," he replied, tone stern.

She turned and flung open her door, but her mother wasn't having it. The woman followed her into the room, delivering a sharp slap that left her cheeks red. 

"When did you become such a monster?" Her voice was even more cutting than the slap, but a tear dropped from the woman's eye as she watched her daughter. "Where did I go wrong?"

Her sister watched from the door, eyes wide and unblinking while her father’s eyes welled, weary and disappointed. 

"Your blood won't be on my neck, God knows I tried my best. Only you can choose your path."

It was not a peaceful day in the home of the Paulsons. The face-off between Laura and her parents continued till late into the afternoon, shocking their neighbours who knew them as the epitome of peacefulness.

Laura slammed out of the house and took the sheep to the meadow, desperate to clear her thoughts. As the wooly animals meandered in the grass, her thoughts danced in clear precision. The other night, she had gone for a house party that her boyfriend, Jeff invited her to. They had just met through Cara, one of her friends, and she had to sneak out of the house because her parents were so rigid. They barely gave her any freedom, so she had to take it herself.

They even warned her against moving with Cara, because apparently, she was a 'child of the world.' If Cara was a child of the world, Laura wanted to be, too, because their last party was the greatest. She lost her control for the first time, and it was amazing.

And Jeff, oh. He had made out with her and groped the sensitive parts of her body, and she'd quickly realized the forbidden had a good taste. Her parents needed to loosen up and see she was a twenty-year-old woman, responsible for her own actions.

She was jerked out of her thoughts when the sheep flock grew distressed, bleating uncontrollably. This wasn't normal. The sheep were usually docile.

She rushed out to calm them, and stopped abruptly as they began to attack each other. Fear gripped her. What was going on for God's sake?

She lingered, unsure of what to do, when they suddenly turned to her, advancing to attack. She didn't think twice, broke into a dead-run with a screech.

Everything in the forest seemed off as the ambience became eerie. The birds flew around, like they were desperate to escape something, and the sky was turning dark fast. Too fast. A sudden thought hit her, and she gasped, breath ceasing. "Has it begun?"

Her life began to flow into her focus in dead clarity. Her Sunday School classes. Her early-morning devotions. Her school's fellowship. They all boiled down to one thing, living an acceptable life because of rapture.

She remembered the verse that talked about 'fire and brimstone.' And the way she'd snapped at her father and cursed her mother came rushing back to her. And how she'd let Jeff touch her, oh God. . .

Please, I don't want to go there. The town was in disarray when she got back, whispers about people disappearing filtering into her ears. She ran to her house with some part of her already knowing what she'd meet. Denial wracked through her, tears burning in her eyes.

Silence. Her parents and sister were gone, and the house was about to catch fire from a burner left untended.

Her mother would never go anywhere without putting her gas off. And Sara, her favourite slippers were at the doorstep. That girl was attached to the pink rubber, she could barely walk an inch without them.

Rapture had come. It was true. All these time, it was true. It had happened, and she was left behind.  Youthful exuberance and lust of the flesh had gotten the better of her.  

The first tear dropped, and within seconds she was sobbing, knees digging into the tiles, begging for a second chance.


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