Writing Contest Story #3 By Natalya

{Aidyl’s Note: Here is the last of the story for the Writing Contest. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the three stories. I’m putting out the voting poll now, please vote!}

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{A Note From Natalya: I wrote this story because I know some people who are persecuted in other countries. The “soldiers” are not actual militaries in the countries. They are soldiers of “jihad” Muslim holy war. She’s not in prison, she’s kidnaped in a house, just to clarify. I hope you like story everyone!}

By: Natalya 
I choked out a scream as I landed hard on my stomach, my hip-long hair flying around my head, and my bare legs scraping against the stone floor of the cellar where I was being kept. I tried desperately to wrap what was left of my skirt around my legs, but it was useless. 
“What have I done!?” I sobbed, almost choking on my tears. The soldiers were never kind to me, and now my body was racked with pain. I could hardly stand it. My question was stupid though, I already knew the answer. 
The soldier scoffed, slammed the door in my face, locked it, and walked away, leaving me alone once again. Everything from the past few days flashed in my mind… 
* * * 
“Soldiers! Soldiers are coming!” The lookout ran down into the dark cellar to warn us. 
“Hide the children, quickly!” Our pastor grabbed up his own son, lame from birth, and hid him behind some furniture. 
The women scrabbled to hide their children, even the small babies, keeping them with the older children, and keeping them quite as best they could. Everyone was terrified. The children were silent as we hid them, knowing if we were scared, then it must be bad. Of course, growing up here they knew all about running and hiding. I hid my little sister myself. 
“Don’t leave me!” She cried, the tears falling fast. 
“Sh.” I whispered, “Not another sound.” 
“Don’t leave me…” She whispered too. 
“Don’t worry. God will protect us no matter what happens, ok?” 
She nodded. 
“Do you remember our song? Our lullaby? About the river?” 
She nodded again. 
“If anything goes wrong, I want you to remember that song, ok?” 
She nodded again. “Ok.” She promised, “I love you.” 
“I love you too.” I forced a smile as I stood to join the others.  
The teenaged, like me, couldn’t hide. There was no more room, and we were old enough to stand before the soldiers. My mother grabbed my hand and held me tight. Every since father had been captured we’d been extra close. 
“Mom…” I whispered, “I’m scared…”
“Me too.” She kissed my head. 
I held her hand tightly, and blew out my candle with everyone else. The room was instantly darkened. Then we waited. It seemed like hours of waiting. Hours and hours. The silence was unbroken, we hardly dared to breathe. 
Suddenly a bright blue light shown in my face. Instinctively I put up my hand to block it, but I knew what it was. That was it. We were caught. 
The soldiers had instantly gone for the women, and anyone else who couldn’t put up much of a resistance. I fought for all I was worth. My friend, Jonathan, came up next to me and tried to keep the soldiers away, but they just shot him down. I’ve not seen him since. I don’t even know if he’s dead. Before I could take anything else in, I was unconscious. 
When I woke up there was nothing but darkness. I was in a small prison cell, alone. I didn’t know if I’m the only survivor, or if everyone else was just as alone as I was. That alone was torture enough… 
* * * 
Just thinking about that horrible night made me want to start crying all over again, only I wasn’t given enough water to make tears. I barely had enough to live on. I licked at the wounds on my arm like a dog, desperately trying to sooth their sting. I rubbed my torn up knees, trying to ease the pain. 
God… I prayed, Why are You letting this happen to me? Why? 
Trust me. 
Is that all You’ll ever say? The tears began to fall. 
Just wait on Me. I will never abandon one of my children. Never. 
I know…but Lord, sometimes it’s so hard! I can’t take this pain much longer! I almost cried out loud. 
I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I know your pain. I will never test you beyond what you can bear. Be strong, my child, I will never leave you alone. 
I raised my hands in submission, Take my life, Lord. All that I am belongs to You. Just take all of me… Tears rolled down my cheeks. I’d said it a million times, but each time I meant it more. Suddenly and idea flashed in my mind. It sounded crazy to me at first, but I couldn’t let go of it. Painfully I got on my bloody knees, and raising my throbbing hands to Heaven, I began to sing. 
“When Peace, like a river, attendeth my way… 
When Sorrows like sea billows roll…”
My voice sounded choked at first, but the more I sang, the more my old voice began to return to me. My beautiful voice…the one I use to use to sing to my little sister every night before we went to sleep. As I sang, my body began to hurt less and less, as new life filled me up. The guards shouted at me to be silent after a while, but I wouldn’t. I just kept singing. No matter what they threatened to do to me, I would have to keep singing. When I reached the chorus, the tears started falling again. 
“It is well…” 
“It is well.” 
I stopped for a moment. A man’s voice had echoed me. It was a voice I knew well. Jonathan… I wanted to scream his name, but I didn’t, I just kept singing, but my mind filled with a million questions. What is he doing here? Is he captured too, or outside the house? Is it just a voice in my head? Did he survive being shot or did they miss him? Is he injured at all? How did he knew the voice was me? Does he know the voice is me? I thought they would never be answered. 
Suddenly, around me I heard loud clanging and smashing. Coming from outside the room from all directions. I heard shouting in the street above where I was being kept. What’s going on? I wondered. Before I could think another word the door flew open and light hit me in the face. 
“Come.” I was ordered. 
I didn’t think, I just obeyed. The man had a big gun, and I wasn’t going to try his patience. I stepped out of the room with him, and a battle met my eyes. I saw Jonathan out of the corner of my eye. I screamed his name. Suddenly a hand was clapped over my mouth. I struggled to get free, but felt the barrel of the gun against my ribs. 
“Stop fighting now, or I’ll kill the girl!” My captor shouted.
The fighting hushed, and Jonathan stepped forward, but one of the other members of our church held him back. 
What’s he doing here? I thought, looking at the man holding Jonathan. My mind was quickly brought back to the current situation when I heard the gun at my side cock. 
“Line up, you Christian dogs!” The man holding me spat at them. 
They obeyed, almost all of them looking in my direction. 
“Prepare to fire!” The man holding me called. 
NO!!!! I tried to scream.
“Fi-” The man’s voice was cut short with the sound of a gunshot, and his hand and gun fell away from me. I glanced down at him, and I could see he was dead. I turned to see the face of my rescuer. 
“Daddy!” I cried, grabbing his shoulders like I was little again. 
“Hello my angel.” He smiled, touching my bruised cheek very gently. 
“How did you…” 
“Later.” Dad picked up the big gun and pointed it at our attackers. “Get out!” He snapped at them in a tone I’d never heard him use before. 
They weren’t going to obey, I could see that. I glanced around me and spied a pistol. I knelt down, and discreetly reached for it. As the men looked like they were ready to charge I pointed it straight up and fired. It worked, they all stopped, almost looking down to see if they’d been shot. I pointed the pistol at their leader. 
“Get out.” Dad snapped again. 
The men looked over at the other Christians, all of whom were now armed again. After a moment’s hesitation, they fled. 
Dad picked me up in his arms, carrying me like I was just a little girl again. “Oh precious, I thought I’d never find you.” 
“What happened?” I asked, cuddling up next to him. 
“I was being held in another house. They rescued me, and when we went back to the church last night we heard about the attack. I’ve already seen your mother, and you sister, and they told me about you…” 
“So they’re all right?” My eyes shone. 
“They’re all right.” He smiled, “I came as soon as I could. Are you ok?” 
I nodded. “Can we go home now?” 
“Hospital first, then home.” 
“Ok…” I nodded. 
Jonathan walked up to me, “Hey.” He smiled, brushing my hair away from my face, “You all right, song bird?”   
I nodded, my eyes shining, “Then it was you?” 
He nodded back. 
“Are you all right, Jon? Didn’t they shoot you?” 
“No, they missed, but you were out before you could see that.” He smiled. 
“How many were captured?” 
“Only you, and two others. They’re here too. The whole church agreed to make the rescue.” 
I smiled again. “Daddy?” I asked sheepishly, “Do you think they’ll be back?” 
“Our attackers?” 
I nodded. 
“I’m sure they will, sweetheart. There will always be people who hate us for our faith, but God will never turn us over into their hands by mistake. He takes care of His children, just as I take care of you and your sister, only better.” 
“I know, but sometimes I’m still scared.” 
Daddy nodded, “Me too. It’s not wrong to fear…just don’t forget to trust God through the fear.” 
“That’s hard…”
“I know, angel, but God will help you as you follow Him.” 
I smiled, for the first time since my capture, a real, genuine smile. 
* * * 
Almost a week later I was released from the hospital. After getting there I’d collapsed. It turned out I was injured more then I thought I was… No permanent damage though, unlike Daddy. He’ll always walk with a limp now… but he’s alive. So am I. And as long as I’m alive, I’m going to follow Jesus, no matter what any of His enemies threaten me with, or do to me. I live in a dangerous country, people hate me for my Faith, but that doesn’t matter. God will make me strong. Those men have attacked our church several other times, and sometimes they’ve succeeded in killing some of my friends. They really got the last laugh though, because in heaven, they have crowns of glory for being martyred. 
* * * 
You, reader, may be wondering my name by now, but it doesn’t matter. You may also be wondering where I live. I live in Israel, China, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, India, Syria, Cuba, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Vietnam, North Korea, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Laos, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bhutan, Colombia, Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Kyrgyzstan, Burma, Qatar, Tunisia, Oman, Mindanao(Philippines), Eritrea, Gaza, Chiapas(Mexico), Comoros, Maldives, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Yemen… the list goes on. Maybe you’ve heard of me before, and of how I was treated. I’m still in danger, but you, dear reader, you can help. Fold you hands, close you eyes, and pray for me. My brothers in Christ need help too. Jonathan lives in my country too. You may not think your praying does anything, but we know you’re praying for us, and that’s one of God’s ways of helping us stay strong. Praying doesn’t take long, and means the world to us. God bless you! 
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6 thoughts on “Writing Contest Story #3 By Natalya

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