Back to Faith (Prologue)

A/N I do not own the rights to either book.

A ruler slapped on Goffie Sherwood's desk, waking her up.

"Ms. Sherwood, if you have the time to sleep, then you have found the time to study oak identification ahead of time. Please tell us the difference between Overcup Oak and Scarlet Oak."

The class looked at her expectantly. Goffie slowly stood up and answered, "Um…isn't one of them edible?"

The class tittered in amusement.

The teachers hushed them and continued, "Which one?"

Goffie hesitated. She hated being put on the spot like this. "Um….Scarlet Oak?"

The teacher sneered, "Congratulations, Ms. Sherwood. You just poisoned yourself."

The class laughed again until the bell rang to let them out of class.

Her father was there when she came home. He had spent the day carving trimming for the new woodshed that was being built in town.

"What did you learn today, Gof?" her father asked.

Goffie sighed and gave him the summary. "Well, today, we continued the history of District 7 in Panem History, tree strength in Physics, Pythagorean Theorem in Geometry, and oak identification in Botany."

"That is a lot," her father said while wiping the sweat from his brow. "I hope you have enough energy for another Bible lesson tonight."

Her father took the family Bible out from its hiding place under the floorboard. The cover was ragged and pages were falling out. As far as Goffie and her father knew, it was the only one in existence. This book is considered contraband.

"Tonight, we will continue the story of Joseph, son of Jacob," her father began.

Goffie remembered that he was the favorite son of his father, but his brothers hated him. "Did his brothers ever hurt him?" Goffie asked.

Her father started reading.

And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, Do not they brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee to them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it is well with they brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him from the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a certain man found him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They have departed hence: for I heard them say , Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near to them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer is coming. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit; and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him from their hands: and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood; cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might deliver him from their hands, to bring him back to his father.

(Gen 37 : 12-22)

Goffie was shocked. "They hated him enough to want to kill him?! But they are family!"

Goffie's father nodded solemnly. He took a deep breath and said, "There are people like that in the world. Children want to kill parents, parents wanting to kill their children, and even siblings want to kill each other." He cracked a smile. "What else did you notice, Gof?"

Goffie thought for a moment. This is such a grim tale. Then she thought about Reuben. "Reuben, the eldest, didn't want to hurt Joseph!" she exclaimed.

"Yes, Goffie! Even though his brothers wanted what was immoral, Reuben chose to be moral. There are people like Reuben in the world, too." He closed the book and put it back in its hiding place.

Goffie yawned, "That was a good lesson tonight. I hope we can get through the whole Bible soon!" Her eyelids started to droop. "I'm heading to bed. Goodnight, Dad! I love you!

Her father smiled, "I know we will finish it. Goodnight now! I love you!" As soon as he turned away, he let his smile fade. He honestly wasn't sure if they could read the whole Bible together. Tomorrow is the Reaping.

Goffie's father went to his bed and knelt down to pray, "Lord, please watch over Goffie tomorrow. If it be Your will, please do not let her be reaped. I ask this in Thy Son's holy name. Amen."

A/N I know that the verses lacked grammar, but it is how it is written in Webster's version (I looked through my Bible app and used the first version I saw).

Now for the surprise: This is an SYOT! The form and tribute list are on my profile. The deadline is May 31st. Slots still open by then will be Bloodbaths. I hope to update at least weekly.

Update: I am so sorry! I thought the tribute form was up on my profile! I fixed it and extended the deadline to June 30. Please submit!