Justine Needs a Little Faith

Julie took her panama hat off and tossed it on the wooden floor. “I’m not going to be quiet,” she shouted down the hall before slamming the door closed. “It’s not like I have a pulpit.”

She pushed her unmade sheets somewhat flat, and fell on the bed. Its prestine whiteness complimenting the immaculate room with bedstand, dresser and full-length mirror. “I hate you,” she mumbled, her face in the mattress.

“Are you having another moment of existential doubt?” a robot-sounding voice said. It came from a moving box that appeared to be hovering across the floor. The speaker had no mouth or any visible output device. It was simply white, and square.

“I’m not.”

“We can increase your dosage.”

“I don’t need more…what do you call them?”

“Faith.” A small slot opened on top of the box, two pills rose from its innards until the gap had been completed covered by the previously ascending platform.

“I’m not crying,” Julie replied, sitting up. Her diamond jaw was clenched, her eyes focussed. “My emotions are in control.”

“You are important to the sisterhood,” it said. “A daughter of a politician.”

“I hate my mother, she just wants to use me.”

“Faith,” the box hovered close enough that it could touch her legs. “Weakness is not acceptable.”

“I’m not weak.”

“According to our records, you asserted an aggressive stance towards a younger inductee. That is considered weakness.”

“Don’t…mansplai…what do we say if the person isn’t male?”

The box continued to rub against Julie’s legs. She clenched her fists. “I’m not…I’m not what you think I am.”

“We have revised the Holy Scriptures in accordance with Prophet Josephine’s divine revelations. You simply require Faith.”

“It’s sexist,” she mumbled. “My father’s not a pred. Why doesn’t she do anything about it?”

“Senator Aquiline is debating amendments to the economic principles. She does not require masculine deviations.”

Julie picked up the tablets, they looked yellow under the fluro lights in her room. “Unto thee I give a land of milk and honey,” she said, swallowing the first one. She swayed on the bed, collapsing after the second tablet was taken. Her hands reached for the bible on the bedside table. Holding it, Justine started to shiver.

“It’s who I am,” she whispered to the wall. “Why did God forsake me? Why did he curse me this way?”

No answer came. Only the light being dimmed and the sound of her teeth clicking together in the darkness.


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