Anesa Miller

Excerpt from Our Orbit

A scene from Chapter 2 of OUR ORBIT

Levi Winslow is at home on a summer evening with his teenaged son Josh and nine-year-old daughter Miriam—


The noise of the fan almost covered the sound of a car pulling up outside the trailer. Right behind the first, a second car pulled in, and then a third. Doors swung open, feet crunched down on gravel. Index finger lifting a blind, Levi turned to look out the window.

Six men in dark uniforms.

Levi sprang to his feet. “I put on the armor of God to withstand these devils and their wiles. For He is my shield and my strength!”

Josh looked up from reading, rose from his chair.

“Back—” Levi ordered. “Get back—!”

At the sink, Miriam jerked around to look. Daddy waved her out of the kitchen. His voice was a furious hiss. “Get to the bedroom. Shove a chair under the knob.”

Mouth open, Miriam froze as Daddy upended the coffee table. Her wooden animals skittered across the rug. Daddy wedged the table against the door. He stood tall and declared, “I wield the sword of the Spirit and will not fall in the snares—”

A hard knock rattled the front of the trailer.

Miriam ran for the hallway. She yelled, “Back here! Come on, Josh!”

But Josh stayed with their father.

The banging grew louder. Windows shook. A man called, “Levi Winslow? Open up. Federal Marshals.”

“I have put on the armor of God,” Daddy shouted, “for He is my shield and my strength.”

Miriam dashed into her parents’ room, to Momma’s closet. The dresses brushed her head with a whiff of vanilla scent. She knelt down to a slit in the wall panel—the kids had known about it forever—crouched close, and peered into the front room.

“Open up! We don’t want to break this door,” the voice yelled.

“The Lord is my fortress. He abandons me not!”

There came a tumult of pounding. Noise split the door. The coffee table toppled, and men burst inside. With guns.

“Stay where you are! Hands in the air!”

Four of them pointed their guns all around. Two held wicked big weapons close at their sides.

One asked, “Are you Levi Winslow?”

“Maybe I am.” Daddy’s arms hung along his bear-like body, flexed at the elbows.

“We have a warrant for your arrest. You’ll be smart to cooperate.”

Glass dripped from the broken door. No one moved.

“Turn around. Put your hands on the wall.”

If Daddy would come to the wall like the man said, Miriam could almost reach through the panel and wrap her arms around his knees. Her shoulder pressed the thin board.

But he answered back, “I bow to one Lord. He leadeth me, tho’ I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death—”

Some of the men lowered their guns. Maybe they were God-fearing. But then a storm broke loose. Glass screed under boot soles. The fan fell with a crash. Four men lunged at Daddy, grappled with his arms, kicked at his feet. A slam landed as they hurled him, face to the wall. Miriam fell back, scrambled out of the closet and under the bed. Arms wrapped over her ears, she pressed herself to the floor.

The voice was meaner now: “You gonna tell us where the guns are, Levi?”


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