The mark

bleeding heart

It’s not like she could readily erase her mark. She made sure her clothing covered it, as the law dictated. Wearing long sleeves and high collars in the summer made her stand out, but she could play it off as modesty. The stigma of carrying the mark, surely, was clear on her face. She knew it, and knew her life would be immensely more difficult if she didn’t follow the rules.

Placed on her before she was old enough to remember, it was once a sign of favor. Those carrying the same mark were once revered, or at least respected. All that changed. Fanatics ruined it for everyone. Society came to regard the tribe as hostile, as harsh and insular.

Many went underground. Afraid to reveal themselves to neighbors. Rituals were lost, traditions forgotten, folklore was no longer passed down to new generations. Their history was near extinction. Written records were long ago burned. Anyone found with a proscribed book was imprisoned. A few rogue members were made examples and put to death at public executions.

She missed that feeling of belonging to something bigger than herself. She missed family, and ceremony, the sense of wholeness. That was all replaced by fear, and shame. Being labeled a pariah for something she once thought was pure and righteous, was difficult to rectify.

There were rumors of a few who tried to have their brand removed only to die in the attempt. Others rejected their past, but could never completely escape. She just wanted to stop the lies, and be honest about her birthright.

Her end was near and she was done hiding. Plans were in place. There were others willing to expose themselves, who were working to regain their standing, or at least come out of the shadows. With only close friends attending, her favorite hymns would be sung and childhood prayers recited. A handmade cross would openly mark her grave, her name engraved on the stone for all to see.

The Trifecta challenge this week is: Brand [ noun \ˈbrand\] 3b (2): a mark of disgrace

  1. I can’t imagine having to live in fear and hide my true identity! I love your character-she is brave, and this piece is an inspiration! Well done!

    Like

    Reply

  2. A metaphor for modern day activities as well as past wrongs against humanity. Nicely done.

    Like

    Reply

  3. What a powerful piece. Great job.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Yes, I love this too. She had real courage and commitment.

    Like

    Reply

  5. This is like Eye Of The Tigers inspirational but real, slow, and kind. I love the last 100words. One of your best recent pieces. Love it.

    Like

    Reply

  6. It takes courage to come out of hiding. I admire that in her .

    Like

    Reply

  7. A brave woman to face her end with exposure. I would like to think I would do the same.

    Like

    Reply

  8. The oppression is prominent through your words. I liked the ending how she decides to claim her identity, even if it would lead her to death.

    Like

    Reply

Join the discussion...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: