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Thread: The Ceremony

  1. #21
    Ofjed

    "She shouldn't have said that," Carmen whispered. "But she was always like that. I got in trouble so many times."

    The Red Center staff had diplomatically said that Carmen 'had difficulty adjusting' when they described her to Jedediah Walker, but the reality had been far more brutal. Carmen's upbringing had left her completely unprepared for Gilead; she had grown up feeling safe, and within reason having the freedom to choose her own path. The stifling rules of Gilead had made her panic, and she lashed out like a trapped animal. It had resulted in plenty of beatings, and worse - eventually she had learned to hide her rebellious nature a little better. But only a little.

    "For what it's worth, I'm glad you hit her," Carmen said with a faint smile.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #22
    Ofjonas



    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    "Yeah...She shouldn't have."

    She agreed, although she knew that was what Aunt Mary thought of Adam. He had been born out of wedlock. Even if she and Damien had been married, it wouldn't have mattered. Not in Gilead, because their marriage wouldn't have been recognized.

    "I'm sorry she hurt you."

    She truly meant it. She remembered all too well the punishments at the Red Center. How the aunts tried to be break them. After her arm had been broken, she had gotten more reserved. She hadn't wanted to be hurt again. But being reserved didn't mean she agreed with the lifestyle. Just that she was more careful about expressing her opinion. She learned to be quiet and go with the flow. Even if it killed her inside to do it.

    Talking to Carmen felt good. She didn't feel as alone anymore. She gave Carmen a small smile back as she said.

    "Thanks. It was worth it."

    Even if her arm had been broken and she had to stay at the Red Center longer. She hadn't been assigned to Commander Morgan's home until her arm had been fully healed. They didn't want to send an injured Handmaid to him. Of course, if he wanted to hurt her, that was his choice. No one in Gilead told a Commander what he could or not do in his own home.

  3. #23
    Ofjed

    "I think..." Carmen began.

    But what Carmen thought was never destined to reach Amanda's ears, because a Martha passing on the other side of the street had taken notice of them. She stared at them a little too long, and goosebumps stood up on Carmen's arms. There was no way the woman could have heard them by normal means - she was too far away - but her presence reminded Carmen that there were eyes and ears everywhere in Gilead.

    "That... may not have been good..." Carmen whispered when the Martha had passed.

  4. #24
    Ofjonas



    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    It seemed like everything happy in Gilead only happened in brief moments. The brief joy she had slapping Aunt Mary across the face. The brief joy she felt talking to Carmen and knowing she wasn't alone. It ended, when like Carmen, she also noticed the Martha staring at them. This wasn't America anymore. They were Handmaids, the lowest of the low in the social classes of women. She sighed.

    "I think you're right."

    Thankfully they weren't far from the grocery store.

    "What do you have to pick up for your household?"

    She asked. Shopping for food was another safe, boring topic. At least, it could be. Something that Gilead would prefer they talk about then what their conversation had been before.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 05-11-2019 at 05:25 PM.

  5. #25
    Ofjed

    "Eggs, salt, and meat," Carmen replied, keeping her voice light and cheerful, but inwardly it made her seethe to have to suppress herself like this. What had their world come to, that they couldn't speak their minds at all anymore? That they had to accept the most grotesque of abuses and pretend it was normal? That it was righteous?

    Carmen couldn't bear it. This was almost worse than the actual physical suffering. Being unable to talk about any of it just made it chafe more inside.

    "It shouldn't take long. What is your household in need of?"

  6. #26
    Ofjonas



    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    She nodded her head when Carmen told her what she was sent out to get. Like her shopping partner, she wondered what the world came to. Shopping, weather....babies that's what they were supposed to talk about. Other things, like how messed up Gilead was, were supposed to be too much for a female mind to handle.

    "Sugar and cherries."

    She could have left it at that but she couldn't herself. She added in a whisper.

    "Mrs Morgan wants the Commander to have his favorite dessert tonight."

    At least that what's Luna, the Morgans' Martha, had said. She had no idea that it was Luna's idea, not Paige's, to celebrate her arrival tonight. She wished she could tell Carmen how messed up she already found the Morgan household. That the Wife was the same age as them. That Bryce was the Commander's son but also the Guardian assigned to his house. She couldn't, the Martha that had looked at them too long reminded her that speaking her mind was dangerous. Being outspoken in Gilead was a good way to get killed. Obviously, she didn't want that to happen. Not just because she wasn't suicidal, but because she believed deep down that Damien made it to Canada with their son. She needed to survive so someday she could be with them again.

  7. #27
    Ofjed

    "I've heard about Mrs. Morgan," Carmen said. "My Commander's wife knows her. Though they aren't close."

    Carmen let a faint emphasis fall on the last part to indicate that there was more to the distance than just lack of direct acquaintance. In fact, her Commander's wife disliked Paige Morgan. Mrs. Walker considered Paige haughty and arrogant for her lack of interaction with the other wives. Carmen had also heard her describe Paige several times as weak. Of course, Carmen wasn't supposed to hear these things. It just didn't seem to occur to Mrs. Walker that she could - it was like talking in front of a piece of furniture, nothing expected to be sentient or to understand.

    Since Mrs. Walker disliked Paige so much, Carmen automatically liked her. She didn't know Mrs. Morgan well, but someone who was so annoying to Mrs. Walker couldn't be all that bad.

  8. #28
    Ofjonas



    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    "Oh, I see."

    She replied, not sure what she thought of Paige Morgan yet. From the faint emphasis in Carmen's words, it seemed that Mrs Walker didn't like Mrs Morgan. Funny, she thought all the wives would get along splendidly. After all, they were supposed to want the same things, weren't they? But then again...Even from her brief interaction with Paige, she thought she seemed nice. And it was clear that Jonas was in charge of everything. But it could be Paige was just nice to her because of the future baby that would come.

    God...She hated Gilead. No one could tell anyone what they thought anymore. It was so frustrating! She and Carmen arrived at the store and knew she needed to get the sugar and cherries. Everyone wanted Commander Morgan to have his favorite dessert. To celebrate her arrival.

  9. #29
    Ofjed

    Carmen had a game she liked to play at the store, a little petty act of rebellion. She always acted like she couldn't quite figure out what her tokens were meant to be used for, much to the annoyance of the shop supervisors. Of course, it was plainly obvious what each little picture represented. Carmen had been a journalism student before the war; it was unfathomable that she would be unable to comprehend that a picture of meat stood for meat. But the beauty of her small con was that it was absolutely impossible to call her out on it. To do so, the authorities would have to accuse her of playing dumb. They would have to admit publicly that a woman was smarter than she was pretending to be - which would call the whole premise of the system into question.

    Carmen allowed herself a small smile once her purchases were in her bag and her back was turned to them.

    "Are you ready to return?" she asked Amanda with feigned innocence when they had both completed their shopping tasks.

  10. #30
    Ofjonas



    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    Amanda couldn't help but smile as she watched Carmen play her game. Although she kept her head down so her wings would block the shop supervisors from seeing the smirk. She found it amusing, especially seeing how annoyed the supervisors were. A little act of rebellion, but one she didn't dare to try. She had just left the Red Center, she knew the men in black suits with guns were watching her carefully. She quietly picked up a small bag of sugar and a quart of cherries. She put both items in her bag and nodded her head to Carmen.

    "Yes."

    'Unfortunately,' she thought. She was enjoying her time with Carmen, but she knew it couldn't last. She had to return with the items so Luna could make Commander Morgan his beloved dessert. Celebrate her arrival and what he was going...She shuddered a little at the thought.

    'Please, if you are really out there, God, let it only take one time.'

    She thought, hoping the first Ceremony would be successful and she could spend the rest of her time with the Morgans counting down a pregnancy.

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