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We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. Dirt and sweat coated our bodies, our clothes were torn, and most of us suffered from intense hunger pangs. It had been weeks since we ate a decent meal. Groups of us huddled together, seeking warmth from the collective gathering of our bodies. We were still alive, although we are starting to feel like the walking dead. Every siren, every gun shot, and every loud cry placed our senses on alert.

We were condemned to die by those in power. They have corrupted those around us, turning them against us. We have wept while families and friends were shot or stabbed in front of us. Those were the lucky ones. Others were burned alive, the stench of melting flesh mixing with the acrid sulfur aroma of the raging inferno. A select few have been crucified, dying slow and torturous deaths to send a message to the rest of us.

In the face of adversity we have come together, strengthened by a common bond. We have been forced to take cover, to flee across rugged terrain, being hunted and tormented by a nation we love. Our sanctuaries have been torn down or converted into pagan temples. The great structures and achievements of this civilized nation have crumbled under the weight of lawlessness and the self-gratification embraced by our peers. The justice system has become a mockery, used to parade us in front of the public eye while remaining oblivious to the corruption rampant in the cities.

They blame us for all their troubles. They believe that exterminating us will solve all of their problems, and for too long we have sat idle. We watched as they eroded the sanctity of our core principles, eventually eliminating them completely from society. We remained passive while they removed our weapons of defense from our homes, leaving them only in the hands of criminals who obtain them through the black market. We enabled them to encourage the majority to believe they were entitled to have their needs met by others, placing the burden on those laboring to make a living.

We have sat by through it all and done nothing to change it. Instead of fighting back we have fled, choosing to be hunted and slaughtered like animals. Our right to live has been revoked by our society. We are dead men and women, even though we still breathe.

We are not sinners, we are Samaritans.

We are not the godless, but the godly.

We are not hunted because we are criminals, but because we are Christians.

And it is time we take a stand and reclaim our right to live our lives.

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This post came from the Master Class prompt this week, which was the first line from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. Even though I didn’t get the post done in time to link up for the week, I figured I would allow the idea I had to be written anyway. As always, feedback is welcomed and encouraged.