“….to strap my wrists and ankles to the bed. I don’t fight, I don’t know how…” (96)
“When he enter me, it be through the skin. First a swift wipe of a cold cotton pad, then a needle, sharp and hot, into the biggest vein of my right arm.” (96)
“…with his own hot flesh.” (98)
This passage interested me, as I was fully expecting the section on page 96 to be a rape scene. I think we were supposed to suspect that, and I also think that we were supposed to relate the forceful taking of someone’s blood to a rape When it actually happened on page 98, I was unsurprised. It seemed like a forgone conclusion at this point.
During this chapter, written wholly in italics, we get a preview of what life was like for Fen before the novel started. In the previous chapter, she is hiding in a church on stilts that doesn’t feel quite right. “This church ain’t seen god in a long time” (76) says Fen upon entry. We get the feeling the entire time she is in the church that something is amiss and she senses it. The two members of the clergy living in the place are two tall blonde people that we are getting an uncomfortable vibe from. When I was reading this scene, while she described Henrietta and William, I was under the impression that they were more than just clean, friendly, people.
Once Fen was drugged, she said the name “Mama Gentille,” whom we felt would be a significant character. This is the point at which we received the flashback. Mama Gentille reminded me of William and Henrietta. They were the kind of people that seemed too good to be true from the beginning, and in fact they were. There is a trope in apocalyptic literature that those who are very clean or friendly are often hiding something, and this was the case. Those who are dirty and scarred like Fen are those who are genuine.