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.


Excerpt: The Factory


Featured image by Sven Fennema, as pictured at Oddstuffmagazine.com



The regulations were posted on all the walls. Be punctual. Work steady. Keep everything moving. Stay at your assigned station, unless there is an urgent need for you elsewhere. Do not leave your department until you clock out for the day. When traveling to or from your department, stay to your assigned entry and exit walkway. Enter and exit only with your department. Under no circumstances leave your department or venture into hallways, restrooms, or other areas outside of your department unless requested…


First she showed me where the deliveries from other departments, housed in crates or tubes or temperature-controlled containment units, entered by way of the rolling assembly line, larger crates holstered up or lowered down through square holes in the ceiling and floor, or hand-delivered by  couriers. You did not want to stand within the two-foot perimeter of the hole in the floor, or you might trip and fall an unknown depth, which would take you to another department. Likewise with staring up at the hole in the ceiling. You could catch fabric, hair, and skin in a moving assembly line, so you had to be aware of that. You were not allowed to engage in horseplay, carry unnecessary objects, or secrete bodily fluids near the assembly line or delivery holes.