Loren felt the sharp sting of the cane against her back as tears trailed down her cheeks. She did what she had been trained to do. She went out of her body. For a moment she had the impulse to reach out and clear the whole room of the women and men who were watching her punishment. Than again she wasn't strong enough to kill everyone in the room and furthermore, she would be drained, weak and probably pass out from the mental drain. Than she would be hunted and killed for murdering the Church leaders. No, she will take her punishment and learn from it. Just like the other punishments.
Loren wasn't like the other children. She wasn't raised with parents who were religious. Infact, unlike most of the other Miracle Children she was taken in when she was 7. Maybe, if she had been taken when she was 3 like the others she wouldn't be so rebellious.
Her parents had been gypsies roaming the world, seeing the sights, loving everyone and everything. Loren hadn't realized they were considered 'Outsiders' and was hunted by the church for not believing. Any nonbelievers were to be killed on sight. Later, in her studies, Loren learned this was because of the Holy Wars and a way to eradicate anymore wars was to get rid of all nonbelievers.
Her family was hiding in a small room waiting for the night so they could escape in the dark. Loren knew something was wrong she just didn't know what. Her parents wouldn't say what was going on just for her and her sister to be quiet and be ready to go at a moments notice. Her parents had even made it seem like an exciting spy game. Unfortunately, the Church had found them and Loren couldn't control it. She had used her mind and took out all heartbeats that weren't her family in the vicinity. She then passed out.
When Loren awoke she knew she was lucky to be alive. She should have died. They used one of the other children, a healer, to keep her alive. The church saved her, but would never tell her what happened to her parents or to her little sister. 16 years later she had more control over her abilities, she had forgotten what her parents or sister looked like, and she was loyal to the church. She followed their orders. She prayed daily. She never cursed, smoke, drink, or had any relations out of the church. Still she was considered rebellious for wanting more than just this life. Using her abilities gave her massive headaches. Sometimes putting her in a coma-like stasis for days. She wanted to run away and pretend like she wasn't one of the Chosen few. She didn't want to kill anymore.
Today's punishment was for telling the High Priest no. He had told her to kill an innocent child, whom he claimed was not innocent because of his parents. She was to kill the baby, but leave the parents unharm so they could mourn. Loren couldn't see how a baby could be evil. She had argued the point and when he gave her a command, something she would be obligated to do, she simply shook her head and left. She never did what he asked and for this she was to be punished. She had to learn rules, the order of things, and her place.
So she was to be caned 100 times.
Loren didn't think she was going to make it to 100 without passing out. The pain was too much. Too intense. Darkness wouldn't claim her and at 100 strikes she stood with her back split and bleeding. Her head was raised, her chin high as she focused on the pain. This will help her stay strong. This will give her strength. Her knees buckled, but she locked them standing tall. Her shirt was on the ground and she saw the Priest eye her half naked form before he sneered at her. She gave prayer and thanks for the physical reminder of her place and slowly walked up the rounding staircase to her room. These wounds would heal and add more scars to her back. She laid on her stomach on her bed and let the tears finally fall.