Weekend Writing Warriors #12


Portals ~ WeWriWa Snippet ~ 9/8/13

By: Susan Schiller

   Previously: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10  Part 11

Welcome and thanks so much for visiting today – your helpful comments have inspired me to keep writing and are helping me to improve – THANKS!

Synopsis: This is a true story that I'm slowly rewriting into "Portals," a fictional work. Sara Baldwin is slowly waking up to the fact that she has been part of a deadly cult, all under the guise of an evangelical, charismatic church. Although she has been warned to keep quiet, Sara's on a quest to not only discover the truth but to expose the deception. She didn't realize how deep the treachery could get or how far the church leaders would go to keep their secrets. Sara's dream life closely parallels and links to her conscious life, supplying her with uncanny wisdom that fuels her escape to freedom.

In the previous scene, a black Chevy van collided into her Mustang as she was parked alongside a rural country road.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This week's snippet…

Hovering halfway between consciousness and reality, Sara heard a calm and authoritative voice say, "Put him in a strangle hold. Cut off his air supply!"

Still gasping from the terror of the sudden attack, Sara thought, "Me put him into a strangle hold?" She grimmaced as she tried to sit up straight, bracing herself to fend off an attack.  With two of her best friends dead, Sara began to suspect that she was face-to-face with the murderer who had destroyed their lives.

Her mind frantically raced to thread together a strategy that included living past her 29th year.

To be continued…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The 8-Sentence Weekend Writing Warriors Blog-Hop Challenge: Each week, participants sign up HERE at WeWriWa, then post 8 sentences of their work, published or unpublished, to go live between 12:00 noon Saturday, and 9:00 AM Sunday EST.  Then we visit each other, read, comment, critique, encourage–all those great things that do a solitary writer's heart good.


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2012, Susan McKenzie, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline and bio, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Hamonou September 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

Hum, who is talking to her? It seems to get worse and worse, I don't really see what she could do now.


Susan Schiller September 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Hi Linda 🙂

Sometimes Sara forgets, but she is never alone. Evil people may seem to be so powerful, but they are limited… there are more on God’s side – the side of Light – than on the side of evil. Love always wins, and so don’t worry about Sara. Although I’ve left her in a predicament here, there is a way out for her. She’s never alone.

Thanks so much for caring, Linda 🙂



Princess Shimari September 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Sadly, Sara's story is too familiar. 

Mankind's need for social acceptance, a philosophy to hold on to, and gullibility serves as the perfect backdrop for unscrupulous leader to use to lure us into these situations.

Hopefully, (like Sara did), others willl examine things more closely and be more vigalant in what is happening int heir lives. 


Princess Shimari September 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

WOW. Sadly, Sara's story is all too familiar. 

A combination of mankind wanting a social entity to belong to, a philosophy to hold on to  and being gullible, makes a perfect backdrop for unscrupulos leaders to lure us into this kind of deception. 

Iike Sara did, I hope that a lot of others would come to this reality and be more vigalant. 


Susan Schiller September 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

You speak with wisdom and discernment, Yvonne… you’ve nailed the top reasons a person, or a group of people, fall into cultic-type traps and worse. I hope with you, Yvonne, that we can all wake up and be more vigilant over our own homes, communities, and see the end of this kind of darkness – all darkness!

Thanks so much for your insightful thoughts. Not many people understand the roots of abuse and can identify it right away, as you have, Yvonne!


princessshimari September 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Susan, unfortunately, this kind of insights come only with age and experience. That is why it is so imprtant for us to write about what ever we are called to share with the world, so that less of us will fall into these traps. (I was kind of speaking to myself there) But it's OK. 


Susan Schiller September 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm

True, Yvonne… I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned for anything!


Millie Burns September 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Oh wow, I'm really excited for next week…you've had me hanging at the edge of my seat for a week or two too many : )


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

That means a lot to me, Millie – thanks so much!


Caitlin September 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I have a hard time imagining someone as battered as she must be from that wreck taking on an uninjured (and presumably dangerous) henchman. I'd be very interested so see how she manages it. And where that voice comes from…

Intrigiuing snippet!


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

It’s hard to know where to start a story, at least for me. For Sara, this is the turning point of her life. From this point on, her eyes are wide open to the full extent of the bad guy’s plans for her. She’s done just trying to survive, trying to fend off the attacks… she’s had enough.

Most victims never get out quick enough. Many try to get help and are not believed… or worse. There are quite a few “rescuers” out there ready to “help” a victim to escape, only to find themselves right back in the same or a similar trap.

I’m not sure the world – my world, anyway – is ready for the truth of what happens in the worst cases of the worst abuse. It’s pure evil. But I’m going to try.

Yesterday, as I was watching the movie, “Schindler’s List,” and it got the end where the war is over and Schindler, after purchasing the lives of 1100 Jews, must flee for his life, for he is as guilty as any other Nazi… in the eyes of the law, at least…. and the leader of the Jews he saved gave him gifts. One, a ring. Two, a thank you letter signed by every single Jew he had rescued. When Schindler broke down crying, remorseful that he hadn’t been able to save more, the accountant quoted to him: Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. — Mishnah Sanhedrin

And that has stayed with me… that if I write this and only one person is rescued, then it will be worth it. But if I remain silent, then I become an accomplice to the abuse.

Like my character, Sara, I have with my own ears heard the words spoken to me by my ex-husband, after threatening my life: “I just want to watch you suffer.” There is a deeper evil that goes far beyond domestic violence… far beyond church abuse… and because of where I lived, I raised my children in a spiritual concentration camp. I know I’m being vague… not intentionally… but even right now, it is hard to speak the words publicly.

For there are such camps in the United States…. places where scientific research and experiments take place. And I wish I had never known. No human being is designed to see or hear such things. But in this book I will be adding humor, love, and hopefully enough “pure good” that the “intense” and “dark” parts will only serve as contrast. It’s my goal, my hope, my mission.


Lauren Smith September 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Way to leave me hanging! great snippet!


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Thanks so much, Lauren 🙂


Sarah Cass September 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Oh my! So very intense!  This is my first week and you have me caught up for sure!  I'm hooked and can't wait to see more of where you take this.


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Hi Sarah – it’s great to meet you, and welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors. I look forward to reading your snippets, and thanks for the kind words 🙂


Sue Ann Bowling September 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

How much freedom of movement does she have?


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

She’s pinched at the waist but not totally paralyzed. She can still use her arms, but not her feet. Very good question, Sue – thanks! She’ll need to survive more by her wits than by physical strength. There’s more than one way to put a strangle hold on a perp… she’s about to discover how.


charmaine gordon September 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

It takes courage to write your story. Bravo. Know that I'm with you and your writing has captured me.


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

That means so very much – thank you, Charmaine!


Veronica Scott September 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

Very dramatic and intense excerpt, as everyone has said, but it's true. (I love the book cover by the way, so beautiful.) 


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

Your words are so very welcome and kind – thank you, Veronica 🙂


Anne Lange September 8, 2013 at 9:19 am

Very intense.  Wouldn't want to be in her position.  Nice snippet 🙂


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

Thank you, Anne – it’s great to meet you! Thank you for coming by to read 🙂


Summer Ross September 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

Intense snippet here.


<a href="http://summersvoice.blogspot.com">My Blog</a> 


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hi Summer… I’m glad to see you again – thanks for coming by to read – have a great weekend!


Teresa Cypher September 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Wow–intense. Is it a dream–or is it happening. Did they use some kind of mind control? This story if so intense, Susan!  Good 8!


Susan Schiller September 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

Sara is involved in uncovering a mind control operation, which is always a risky business. Lots of paranormal activity… and sometimes it shows up in her dreams. She hasn’t yet discovered how deeply involved she has become, so this is just the beginning. The whole business of mind control is a deep, dark place but it’s much  more common than most of us realize… especially inside some churches. The events described here (so I don’t spoil the story by revealing too much) happened both in her real life and in her dreams, which have served to predict her future and to guide her out of a maze which is impossible to navigate purely on the rational level.

In essence, this is a story of a woman who is writing a story, using the dreams as a compass to escape to freedom in her real life. The dreams, when compiled and pieced together, form a map that not only help her to escape to freedom, but will unlock prison doors for all of captives of this type of abuse… if they dare to believe. Her character is growing and soon she will be risking everything, losing it all, and abandoning all that she has ever known to be true. While her world is rocking she feels abandoned by all, even God – like a drowning victim whose ship went down at sea… but in the midst of  the shaking an unlikely array of characters – the nobodies of this world – connect with Sara. Each one has a piece of the puzzle. So it’s not just the dreams that compose the map to freedom and begin the healing process, but the sum total of each experience with these unlikely characters.

All I can say is that as “intense” as some of these snippets are, I have experienced each one personally, both in dreams and in reality… and this is only the beginning. Sometimes the Truth is too much for our human rational minds to handle, all at once, and for that reason, I’ve decided to use fiction. Besides, it’s more fun. 🙂


Teresa Cypher September 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I am rivetted to this story, Susan. WOw, is all I can say. You are an incredibly strong woman. Kudos!


Susan Schiller September 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Thanks, Teresa… likewise, I'm rivetted to your story. Perhaps some day we can chat – I'd love to here what inspires you to write 🙂


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

2010-2016 All Rights Reserved. No information on this website has been evaluated by the FDA. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before undertaking the suggestions on this site. Actual results will vary depending upon the individual and their commitment to the steps set out here. Testimonials are from real persons who are readers of this blog. Before using this site, please read our Website Agreement, which contains terms and conditions, plus our privacy notice. Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”