Friday, November 26, 2010


WARNING:  Content may be offensive to some individuals. Proceed with caution.

“You’re morally damned, Madison Grace Wescott!” Bruce Wescott screamed the outraged whisper into his daughter’s face. “It shames me to recognize you as my daughter.”

Madison shrunk further into the corner of the church bench, wishing she could shrink out of sight. Maybe if she were out of Daddy’s sight, she’d be out of his mind too, she thought as she blinked back the stinging tears. A hurried peek around the church sanctuary confirmed no one else witnessed her setback.

Unsure what she’d done to receive his censure this time, she offered a weak, “Yes, sir, I’m sorry, Daddy.”

Not that an apology ever appeased him.

“It’s not me you should be apologizing too, young lady, but the Lord,” he snapped drawing to his five-foot six stature. “If you don’t repent and alter your ways, God’ll see you burn in Hell.”

“Yes, sir, I understand.” She hoped she sounded meek enough to suit his temper or she’d find herself on her knees after church service praying for her soul. Depending upon his mood, she could pray for hours without a restroom break or a knee break. And boy, oh, boy, could her knees suffer brutal agony in that position.

It would be great if she knew what to repent so she could avoid the burn of Hell. She didn’t want to burn any more than he wanted her to burn. A typical complaint centered on her appearance. Her hair was too blonde, her eyes too blue, her boobs too big and her figure too lush for her too-tall frame. At 15 she was already three and a half inches taller than him. All these complaints apparently forced men to sin against God by lusting after her. Not that she encouraged men to lust after her, mind you, but on the off chance that they did, it was still her fault in Daddy’s eyes.

“Brother Wescott,” Becca Slayter said with her hand extended to her father, cheap red lipstick smeared outside the lip-line of her saggy mouth. The over-abundance of lipstick did not give her the appearance of fuller lips. Reminded of another one of her father’s complaints—her lips were too full and sensual—Madison pinched her lips together. “I wanted to extol how much your sermon last Sunday enriched my life this week. Why I was telling Cynthia Jones…”

Madison stopped listening to Becca Slayter’s conversation with her dad because she didn’t much like ‘Sister’ Becca or her high-pitched annoying voice. And she was old, like thirty or thirty-five, and all Sister Becca ever did was brag about some new object she’d received or would soon receive.

She peeked around the sanctuary and took special care not to openly snag the gaze of any man. Opening her worn leather-bound Holy Bible to the Gospel of Luke, she began to read and mentally pray God would forgive her for whatever sin she’d committed. If she were lucky, by the time Daddy finished his morning sermon he would forget all about her morally damned soul. She sure didn’t want to spend her Sunday afternoon praying on her knees.

© Gracen Miller 2010 ~ No part of this site may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller.


The Sweater Curse said...

Love the beginning--strong character development.

Gracen Miller said...

Thanks so much!


Deanna said...

what a fun way to get people psyched up for Pandora's box....or use all the info dump from your first draft. LOL. That may be just me. I think you gave me an idea, though.! Can't wait to read it!

Gracen Miller said...

Howdy, Deanna, thanks for dropping by! Nope, none of this was in the first draft. I started Pandora's Box with Madison as a grown woman and her past was only hinted about. These Life Lessons are to show what she went through as a young adult and the choices she made to get her where she is when Pandora's Box opens up. I'm thinking of adding some Life Lessons for Phoenix as well, but that's to be determined as the muse figures out what all he wants to say. lol


Cindy said...

I love that you posted this. The only problem is that it makes it difficult to wait for it to finally be released!!

Gracen Miller said...

Aww...sorry, Cindy! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm not writing the prequel to to tease ya--well, maybe just a little--but I wanted everyone to have some of Madison's backstory before you pick up with her problems in Pandora's Box.

Hope you continue to enjoy!


Andrea I said...

I liked that you shared so much of Madison in this excerpt.

Brandy B aka Brandlwyne said...

Wow... that is harsh, I went to a church that was similar to the one described here. Nothing was allowed and they wanted everyone to admit their sins infront of the whole congregation. I am a firm believer in God but my God wasn't like theirs. I can't wait to read more!!!


Gracen Miller said...

Thanks for the comment, Andrea I! I don't know why I didn't get a notice that you commented, so I'm sorry for the late comment to your post.

Brandy, my girlfriend's church in High School was like this. I remember going with them once and they asked a guest--a guest!!!--to leave because he wasn't dressed appropriately. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I was horrified!! It is definitely NOT the way of all churches or Christian religions.


Betty said...

Somehow I don't think God really cares how you dress when you pray..

stina6891 said...

Wonderfully written! Can't wait to read more! :)

K.T. Bishop said...

You've come a long way writing-wise!

Gracen Miller said...

Thanks, K.T.


Mindy fangedmom said...

You totally have me hooked my friend! Madison is being abused by her overly religious fanatic father...hmmmm....makes me hisssssss. Off to read more!

Gracen Miller said...

Makes me hiss too, Mindy!LOL


Heather Powers said...

Like the premise....I'm a pagan so I can identify what she feels.

Heather powers
earthsbooknook at gmail dot com

Nicole H. said...

Yeah it's us who make men sin *grrrrr* Love the lesson!

Andie said...

Whooaw.. "Daddy" is pisses me off *grr* C'mon Madi, don't give in!! :D
let's hop to the next lesson ;)

Robin said...

Yikes, I want to know how she gets away from such a strict father! On to the next lesson...

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

rhonda said...

when I was a kid my church had a Becca Slayter too, lol. I think she only stepped up to Madison`s dad so she could be nosey. Women like that can be a cancer in the church.

Crystal Trent Dotson said...

So luv this , cant believe I havent read these before now !!!

Judi said...

This is something I can relate to, though I got out 5 years earlier than Madison did.

I'd love to read more. I'm definitely bookmarking your blog.