Love is Criminal
Published by Jesus Millan at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Jesus Millan
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Table of Contents
“Excuse me, but are you sure this is a good idea?” Joel asked Vivian. They were surrounded by other cult members who were looking on at another argument that the two were having.
“Of course, we can’t just leave it there,” answered Vivian. She was cradling a sleeping baby in her arms. The baby was sleeping comfortably in a blanket it was left in.
“You cannot accept this burden into our society. It will not be able to follow what we preach. It must be gotten rid of.”
“Under no circumstance are you to suggest that the child be left alone in the woods. I don’t know who left this precious thing at the door but whoever it was rang the doorbell. They clearly want someone to care for it, so I will.”
“This is no orphanage, in case you forgot. Look here.” He opened the door to reveal the trees and nighttime darkness that surrounded them. The house they lived in looked puny compared to the trees, its ancient walls all that can be found for miles. “This is the peace and quiet we have tried our best to keep to ourselves. An intruder has made its way here and left an unwanted present. That baby belongs anywhere that’s not here.”
“Only in theory. This little one was rejected by the rest of the world, just like us. That makes it more than welcome to stay.” She then looked at the child and smiled, who was giggling. “You are the only one who opposes the child staying here, the others don’t seem to mind.”
“Brothers, sisters,” Joel said, “please understand where I’m coming from. We have vowed chastity to gain acceptance into this home. If we allow this child into our ranks, then we will surely be swayed into breaking our pledge of abstinence. I know that going against the woman that saved us is intimidating, but we must stand by the beliefs we hold dear.” Some of the other cultists started giving themselves looks of confusion, tempting what they believed to be borderline treason.
However, none of them spoke up, either too afraid to speak up or simply agreed with Vivian over Joel. He just snapped. “How dare you fools resign your voice out of fear and ignorance! All of you, spineless!”
His angry tirade startled the baby and it started crying. Vivian started shushing it and rocked it back and forth in her arms. After it settled down, she turned her attention to Joel.
“I’m fed up with your hostile attitude. You have been nothing short of a nuisance since you joined. I have tried to calm you yet all you continue to do is question me and chastise the others. This is the last straw, Joel.”
“What are you insinuating?” he asked.
“You don’t belong here.” The other cultists grabbed his arms and squeezed, preventing him from escaping.
“W-what’s going on?”
“Out of all my disciples, you have been a constant pain. You are not the first or the last, but we deal with them all the same.” The cultists began punching Joel to the point of drawing blood.
“Please, I can change. I can change,” Joel pleaded. His tears and blood streamed down his face.
How pathetic, Vivian thought. Pleading for his life after the chances I’ve given to reform himself. She then signaled them outside, where the other unruly ones go.
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The first two stories are dark fantasy with a much slower pace and a sense of mystique. In "Newest Member", a worn down house in the middle of a thick forest is home for a cult that isolates itself from the rest of the world. It's matriarch, Vivian, finds a baby on the house's doorstep and argues with a member whether or not it should stay. Several years later in "The Outside", the baby has grown and plays with a doll that she tries to play with. The next two stories are lighthearted and more about the back and forth interactions between the two main characters. "Clothes Shopping" stars Aaron and Sabrina, two criminals pulling off a simple heist that quickly goes wrong. "Black Friday" has them in the middle of a shooting scare and attempting to escape with their lives.