This content is part of a series.
Series: Painted Window
This teaching download includes Chapters Two and Three of the Painted Windows book, as well as discussion questions and biblical study and application.Chapter Two
She knew this place, and she knew she was dreaming. It was dark, but not so dark that you couldn't tell where you were. It smelled of old urine and new wine. She could hear muffled voices from the walls surrounding her, the voices of women and men, all of whom neither cared that they were heard nor wanted anyone to really know where they were. It was an amusing combination of sentiments, one that always confused her.
Then she could hear voices outside of her room. She knew what was coming, and even though she closed her eyes and clamped her hands over her ears, she knew that nothing she did would waylay the inevitable. When she heard the door hinges creak, she peeked out through mostly closed eyelids, more out of curiosity than anything else. But what she saw startled her.
She knew instinctively that it was Humphry, but he looked different somehow. He had the same build, the same slouchy frame, and the same rank odor emanating from his torso, but something was different. Then she looked at his face.
He stared at her as he entered, and she could tell he was smiling, if that is what you'd call it. Humphry's smiles were not like regular smiles. There was always something slightly off about them. The difference now was his eyes. They were small, beady, just like normal, but they glowed bright red. There were no irises or whites; there was just red, and he inched closer and closer to her.
She withdrew on her bed, drawing herself as close to the wall as was humanly possible. What was wrong with him? Why did he look that way? She tried to speak but found she couldn't. Suddenly, she couldn't move either, and then she remembered that she was dreaming. Actually, she realized, this must be a nightmare! Why couldn't she wake up? What was Humphry doing?
He came closer and closer, and then, just as he was almost at her bed, he stopped. A sound came from him that she didn't recognize, and then she began to make out the words.
''You are dirty, Elizabeth. You know it. Don't blame Mrs. Percy or me for what you are. You are bad. You've always been dirty. Why do you think your parents left you on the street? You're no good, no good, no good, no good!!!''
Elizabeth sat up in her bed, drenched in sweat, stifling a scream with her hands over her mouth. She looked frantically around her room, trying to reconnect with reality. She knew it was a dream; she had known it while she was dreaming. But the emotions and the truths that dream-Humphry screamed clawed away at her insides. She knew he was right: she was dirty and no good. She knew that she deserved every bad thing that had ever happened to her, but the sobs wrenching her body in the dark of her room that morning af ...
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