“Arise chosen ones. Prepare for your future.” The booming voice came from a rather small old man dressed in a white suit. In fact, he was completely white with the exception of his piercing blue eyes. “What is it with these blue eyes?” thought Lola. The old man led them from their room to another chamber. Three women, cloaked in white habits awaited them. “Dress them appropriately sisters.”
Lola attempted to make eye contact with them-to see their faces. But the trio’s eyes were riveted to the floor. They appeared to be a silent cloud of nothingness blending into the colorless surroundings of the chamber. At once, they lifted their arms to reveal three white gowns. They held them out to Lola, Tasha and Grace as if they were gifts. In unison, they moved behind them and began to remove their thin slips from their bodies. Then, just as swiftly, the elaborate dresses were erected onto their frames. At least that is what Lola was thinking. She was no more than a mannequin awaiting display in the window of a department store.
But she had to think fast. Find a way to communicate SOMETHING to these mute maids. “ACHOO!” Lola sneezed so loudly and with such drama that the three could not help but look up and reply with the standard “Bless you.”
And in that instant, Lola locked eyes with her missing mother, Adrienne. A woman of prominent stature, full of vigor and light in the days before, during and after the Revolution, Adrienne was not even a shadow of her former self. Her spirit was erased by the abuse she suffered as a prisoner of the Restoration Party. But upon seeing her daughter, she began to feel a bit of hope. For what, she was not sure. Pulling the secret language from the recesses of her brain, she told her daughter snippets of information in the smallest of gestures. Her companions joined with Tasha and Grace.
It was all the six of them could do to control themselves. They had struck gold in terms of moving the plan forward. Lola and her friends discovered Adrienne and her two colleagues were to accompany them to meet the Master. They also discovered that these women had access to all parts of the center because of their status as maids. When they weren’t preparing females for their fate, they could be seen cleaning the Master’s quarters and cooking meals in the vast kitchen. The Master and his councilmen often held elaborate feasts to celebrate any new births that occurred in the Breeding Center or within their own families. These three women were indispensable as chefs for such occasions. It was the only time in their captivity that they could actually speak or give orders. Only females worked in the kitchen and the entire staff was under constant pressure to present a perfect menu. The kitchen was also a training school for women as they were not considered worthy unless they knew how to cook and serve their future husbands.
The kitchen-the place where women belonged of course! But also an epicenter of untapped power. If Lola remembered anything that her mother taught her it was this: Never underestimate the inner strength and tenacity of women. Adrienne’s spiritual core may have been corrupted; but Lola’s arrival was the route to its resurrection.
Just a little reminder that this story is a continuation in my “Lola” series.
Last week’s story was entitled Subjugation and Subordination