Excerpt: The Factory


Swale by PavellKiD



The night she read aloud the story of Dinah and the Shechemites, looking up at me after each dramatic part of the parable.

“Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her.”

She paused to glare at me.

The story continued. Shechem wanted to marry Dinah. Dinah’s brothers lied and said he could, before slaughtering and looting the whole town and bringing back its women and children as prisoners. Then Dinah’s father, Jacob, was furious with his sons because Shechem’s people had a bigger army.

“So you see,” Mother says, “all the trouble that she caused, just by wanting to be friends with the wrong people.”

What had always seemed like love, her wanting to protect me, now sounded ridiculous. We had a tablet or two that we kept for writing letters and for schoolwork. That night I sat down and rewrote the story of Dinah, so that Dinah runs a spear through Shechem before he gets the chance to touch her, and the girls she went to visit said he had always been a bully and a rapist.

The next morning, Laurel had already been sent home on her own. I took a pack with a cup and some dried fruit and nuts and slipped through the gates before anyone could miss me, to see if I could catch up to her. The morning fog was still heavy on the hills, and I had forgotten my purple triangle.


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