Thriller Suspense

No snacks, no fancy pens, no phone, these things she was absolutely not allowed to carry with her. Iris knew there was no bending around with these rules, they were clearly stated, she kept on reminding herself again and again to make sure she carried only essentials with her.

But what was essential and what was not, confused her at times, there were items she wasn't exactly sure about but she knew what she wasn't allowed to carry and that gave her some certainty.

As the lady in the blue dress checked her bag, she felt anxiety build up within her, she didn't want anything to be tossed out but luckily for her, the lady although looked very stern, nodded slightly and she took that as a sign of approval.

As she sat in the large orange van, her heart skipped a beat, she didn't know exactly where she was going but all she knew was that she was going to the large house that was perhaps at the outskirts of their town and she was going to stay there until she realized her mistake.

Their town was a quaint little place, not as little as she thought, it was quite large for a town that wasn't in a very strategic location but to her it felt little, she had gotten bored with the scenery that didn't seem to change at all.

She had been seeing the same things since she was young, nothing changed here or rather people didn't want anything to change, they liked the same routine and followed it like a ritual, the houses were built the same, they all grew the same crops and if there was no color to differentiate them, they all even dressed the same!

There was no sense of individuality in anything and that irked her, it irritated her soul, she wasn't a big fan of individuality but too much similarity bothered her.

The van stopped with a screech, she was startled by it and looked around confused, as she peeped out, she could see the house, it was built the same dull way as the others in the town but it was larger than the ones she had seen before.

She sighed and got down, the driver led her in and guided her around the house, the rooms looked spacious and she could see the house was well equipped for everything, as she walked around she could feel the familiarity but it didn't feel like home.

When he was done showing her around, he locked the main door from the outside and drove off, leaving her standing there in the hall, she was left all alone in this place for an indefinite period of time but strangely that didn't seem to bother her.

She was happy to be left alone for the first time in her life, no rigid rules to look out for, no need to stay in fear all the time, it was lonely here but also kind of freeing and she liked that feeling.

All her life she had been bound by the rules of her community, there were so many that she had forgotten to count them all, some were stated outright but there were many that weren't told directly, unwritten rules that they were supposed to remember and follow.

The sheer number of unwritten rules weighed heavily on her mind, she was infamous for forgetting them but had never broken any before, this was the first time she had broken a rule and she couldn't remember what it was.

Rather than crack her head trying to recall what it was exactly, she decided to relax and enjoy her time here, there was plenty of time afterwards to think about that, so she put it off for later.

She found the flour and eggs in the pantry, they were easy to find and she decided to make herself some pancakes, as she whipped up the batter, her mind flowed with thoughts of all the food they weren't allowed to have, they were never told why, just had to follow what they were told or understand what wasn't told.

Broccoli, that was one forbidden food but that wasn't directly told, you had to figure it out in your own way, for Iris it was her mother suddenly going quiet whenever she wanted broccoli for dinner, she hated asparagus but never got anything else instead. Soup shouldn't contain garlic, that was another never told rule, she never understood why but as an unwritten rule she just followed it without a second thought.

As she admired the perfectly plated pancakes, she decided to put a sunny side up fried egg on top, as she sliced through it and the beautiful yellow yolk oozed out, she was taken back to her love for all things yellow and found that was the color that most suited her.

Her mother didn't share her opinion but that didn't disuade her from filling half of her wardrobe with yellow tops and dresses, she had all shades of yellow, from the brightest to very dull looking shades and she admired them equally.

Days turned into nights and nights into days, there was no clock in the house and she let her biological clock guide her when to have lunch and dinner, she had started getting bored of being there, she missed her friends, her moms cooking and her phone.

Her hand hoovered to her neck, she could feel the absence of her necklace, the necklace with a beautiful 'I' shaped pendant, the one she cherished the most because it had her name's first letter, she found it in a fair and it had become her constant companion but she wasn't allowed to bring it as it was considered unnecessary.

Cooking no longer gave her joy, she was tired of it all, she just wanted to go home but she knew that was impossible until she could remember the unwritten rule she had broken but the rule slipped through her memory.

The driver would come to check up on her maybe in a few days, she was told he would come but when she didn't know and she knew well that if she couldn't recall the rule she had broken, she would be left locked up.

Her eyes began to fill with tears, she wanted to burst out crying, she missed her art book, she missed sketching out the flowers, she missed so many things but still she controlled herself, trying her best to remember what it was, as she glanced at her reflection in the mirror, she couldn't help but admire it and then suddenly it occured to her what she was being punished for, that she had began to love herself.

October 09, 2023 10:31

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Shannakee Weaver
19:44 Nov 16, 2023

Wow. This story is filled with fascinating worldbuilding. I can feel the pressure of the unwritten rules as I read, partially because the story has no dialogue and partially because of the almost detached descriptions of what life is like for Iris; it truly captures the feeling of being isolated physically and emotionally. The main character feels very real and sympathetic, and the last line caught me off guard and completely blew me away. Beautiful story!


Sarah Saleem
07:55 Nov 17, 2023

Thanks!✨️ I wanted to capture the loneliness and isolation that a person feels when they are in a cult.


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