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The Town of Whill

by pendr

The town of Whill was a quaint place whose people were welcoming and traditional. The buildings were of dirt and stone. In the center of the village was a market that sold food and other daily needs. The inhabitants were all believers in God, and they had fallen into the same trap as the Pharisees of the New Testament: they focused on the laws in the Bible exactly, and had resorted to barbaric ways. They stoned their criminals, women had to leave the area when they got their monthly cycle, touching dead bodies mad you unclean, and they sacrificed animals whenever they sinned.

In this town once lived a young girl named Meredith Bethel Elen. She had dark hair and lively green eyes; her body was curvy, and dresses suited her well. She had pale, fair skin, and a quiet but delightful personality. She was betrothed by her father, Jethro Elen, to the priest’s oldest son, who was called Elijah Judah Vangeld. Elijah fancied Meredith and had the means to offer her father fifty gold coins and eight healthy lambs to be allowed to marry Meredith. Her father agreed to this, and Meredith had no choice in the matter because Elijah was the priest’s son, and she could not hurt her father’s honor publicly.

But Meredith’s heart was given to another, someone she truly loved. She wanted to be given to a farmer, Matthew Joseph Apfest. Matthew was a tall man with broad shoulders. His dark brown eyes shown when he smiled, and they were beautiful against his golden hair. He loved Meredith and wanted to marry her, but he had nothing to offer her father. Also, there was no denying the priest’s son.

When they would see each other, Matthew and Meredith would feel a deep, longing pain in their stomach. They wanted to be with each other forever, yet they knew it would never be. They would never live their lives devoted to one another for eternity. On the other hand, when Meredith would see Elijah, she would feel nothing but sadness and anger.

She tried talking to her father one day, but he started yelling that it wasn’t her decision he would never reject the priest for fear of what people would say about him. Meredith had no choice but to marry Elijah. She talked to Matthew about this at one point, and she made it clear she had no choice but to be given to Elijah. Matthew promised her that she would never have to give her heart or body to this man.

All too soon, her wedding day approached. On the dawn of her marriage she had on her best dress, the church was prepared with white décor and an orchestral quartet, and most of the town was seated in the congregation. Even Matthew was there to see Meredith, to remind her of his promise. Within hours, Meredith and Elijah were lawfully wed, promised to each other by force for the rest of their days. The night was finished with a grand meal shared between the families. The priest’s gift to the newlyweds was a new house to call their own.

Elijah and Meredith slept together that night, but Meredith wanted anything but to be with him.

The next morning Elijah went to work for his father while Meredith stayed home. She was sitting at the wooden kitchen table when there was a knock on the door. She stood and walked a few feet to welcome the guest in. When she opened it, she saw the person at the door was Matthew. His eyes were unusually sad, but so were Meredith’s.

“What are doing here?” she asked him.

He held out his hand, which contained ten silver coins. “It’s all I have to give for a gift,” Matthew replied.

“You do not have to offer us anything.”

“Yes, I do,” he insisted.

Meredith hesitated, “Will you come in?”

As she opened the door to him, Matthew stepped inside the small stone house. For hours they talked about Elijah, about their feelings for each other, and about their lives from this point on. Meredith was miserable, and Matthew wanted to save her. Soon enough, they had devised a plan to run away together, wait until Elijah died, and then marry, even if it would take centuries.

The excitement got to both of them, and before they knew what they were doing, they found themselves in bed together. By now the sun was about to set, and Elijah would soon come home. Meredith and Matthew did not think of this because all they wanted was to be with one another.

Matthew was sitting with Meredith intimately on a chair in the kitchen. The door opened, and before Meredith could stand up off of Matthew’s lap, Elijah saw them. Rage grew in him, and he started yelling. He hit them both, and asked angrily if they had lain together. Through Meredith’s tears it was easy to know that they had.

Elijah grabbed Meredith by her arm and dragged her out of the house. He brought her to the church, Matthew following all the way, and told the priest, his father, what they did. Since they were a town that followed all the Bible’s laws, a women who committed adultery was to be stoned, and the man was to be banished. The priest had no choice.

He called out to the citizens Meredith’s crime, and within a few minutes of him bellowing out what needed to be done, most of the people had gathered around Meredith. The priest told them to pick up a stone as he did so himself. Even Elijah, the man who said he loved the woman, had a rock firmly in his grasp. Meredith’s parents were there as well, and they and Matthew couldn’t bear the thought of throwing a stone at her. There were tears falling down Meredith’s cheeks as she sobbed on her knees. She cried because she would never spend her life with Matthew, would never see him again.

“By the law of God, we must purge the evil from among us,” called out the preacher, holding up the stone for all to see. Next, he brought his arm back, preparing to throw it. They threw it at the woman on her knees, and it hit her on the neck. The sharp pain made Meredith cry out in agony, but now everyone else joined in throwing theirs. The hit her arms, back, and sometimes her head. With every stone came a shock of utter pain, and soon, someone standing in front of her brought back their arm. She looked up to see who it was. It was Elijah, the man she loathed, and who now loathed her, as well. There was a burning anger in his eyes that spoke of betrayal and hatred. He hurled the rock at her powerfully, and she saw it coming towards her faster than she could process. Everything turned black as the large rock impaled her skull. She fell to the ground limp, the breath leaving her body.

Elijah walked away, as did the crowd. Eventually, even her family left her body there, knowing they would become unclean if they touched a dead human. Yet, Matthew was there, and he had his body over hers. It was now his turn to sob for their broken and unfulfilled dreams of a life together. His heart yearned for her to awaken, for her to speak of his love for him once more, and for the chance to tell her the same.

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169 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 169

Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:03 am
theironnovelist wrote a review...

I love where this derived from and your use of language! It stayed very consistent throughout the piece. It's kind of a like a Romeo and Juliet, had Juliet married Paris.
Just a few general suggestions:
a) More dialogue. It's hard to feel anything for characters, even if they're well-described. In this case, you gave a good physical description, and little else.
b) Don't explain everything about this town in the first paragraph. I know it's hard because this is a short story, and maybe you want it this way, but it was a bit of a turn-off for me.
c) Establish a message/moral to this piece and make sure it's wrapped up with it in the end. Is it the fact that true love prevails? Or that the law overrides a person's sinful lust? Or whatever else? xD

Nice job. I think this is one of my fav by you. :) glad you put it on here!

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9 Reviews

Points: 820
Reviews: 9

Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:50 am
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Yoshiki says...

I Think the story is intressting, with the small Town and the lovetriangle. However, the languge is fairly simple and would need a bit more working with. However, in some places you can see that it has starting to develop nicely and shows sign of talent from the writer, for example; there was a burning anger in his Eyes that spoke of betrayal and hatered. This sentance has a certain beuty to it, and with a Little work this could develope into a disstinct style.
I feel like the characters don't really get to develope at all, wich definatly is a bad thing. If the characters are undeveloped, they are solely plottdevices, and a story only built by plottdevices turns dull and is not very fun to read.
Put a Little more time into developeing the characters and the language, and this is a good story. I like the sad ending, it gives the story a touth of melancoly and yet hard-hitting reality.
PS:this is my first Review EVER. I tried to do it as good as i could, but it's still just my oppinion.

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6 Reviews

Points: 401
Reviews: 6

Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:53 pm
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FourThorns wrote a review...

Hello! FourThorns here. It's my third review ever, so I would take everything I say with a grain of salt, but nonetheless, I hope you'll find this helpful.
So, the first thing I noticed is that you feed a whole lot of information to me without letting the setting and circumstances of the story unfold for itself. I don't mean you should obscure EVERYTHING, but I think the tragic ending of the story would hit me with more force if you made us really get to know Meredith, and figure out her position through her actions and POV.
Something that stood out to me is that Meredith and Elijah slept together at some point- I know it sounds graphic, but this is a BIG deal and you need to explain more, if only a little bit. it's could go in just a little bit farther on the points that are more emotionally resonant. Such as when she is stoned to death(!!!). I mean, this is her DEATH. She is dying by the hands of the people she's known her entire life. HOW does she FEEL about this?!
another thing that caught my attention is the shortness of your sentences. It sounds a little bit choppy, and each line is kind of bleak. I am NOT one to use flowery language just because I can, but I really would suggest you put in a bit more in this work.
As a whole, I would consider adding information bit by bit throughout the story, and adding more emotion and character to your...characters. The storyline itself is great, and your grammar is positively fantastic. Also, maybe change the structure of some of your sentences.
Your plotting is great, if not tragic, and I'm sure a second draft would make it even better than it already is!
Keep writing! You're doing great!

pendr says...

Thanks! I will definitely take this stuff to heart and hopefully be able to improve it. I agree with this all and will do my best!

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13 Reviews

Points: 272
Reviews: 13

Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:02 pm
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BooksAndDaisyChains wrote a review...

This has got to be one of the singularly most profound and saddening piece I have ever reviewed thus far on YWS. You write really well, but I will have to say that because I am a stickler for happy endings, I enjoyed everything about this short story except it's conclusion.

I could find no obvious errors, non really stood out to me so I have no corrections to give.

Well done on being able to evoke such emotion and thoughts from a reader such as myself. Although I felt that in some places your writing could do with the tiniest bit more detail or substance, it was fluid and easy to follow.

Thank you for the lovely post and I wish you luck with your future writing endeavors. :)

pendr says...

Thank you for your kind comments! It is really sad, and I, too, like happy endings, but I like writing sad endings XD
It definitely could use more detail, so if there are any places you would like to see more at, please tell me!
Thanks again!

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables