Title: The Handmaid's Tale: An Alternative Ending
Summary: What could have happened after Offred met with Moira in the bathrooms at Jezebel's (or whatever it's called)
Author's Note: An assignment for school was to write a last chapter of The Handmaid's Tale. I wrote what's below.. don't pay attention to the strange names.. I was on a vampire diaries and glee and one tree hill train.
Disclaimer: I do not own the book, that's all Margaret Atwood.
After much stumbling, I finally make it through the crowd and arrive at the door of the bathroom. Steadying myself, I walk in. So many questions are running through my head: Has Moira been here all this time? She's been so near, why didn't she try to contact me? Has she even known where I was? Has she missed me? How did she manage to escape from the center?
There she stands, leaning against one of the bathroom stalls, a relaxed expression on her face. Seeing me she comes over and hugs me. I freeze, not used to being touched anymore, feeling uncomfortable. Sensing this Moira steps back, giving me an apologetic look.
We take a moment to stare at each other, take in how we've changed. Finally I break the silence. "Have you been here all this time?" I ask. She nods, I feel confused. How had she gotten here? I want to ask her so much, but I realize the Commander will wonder what is taking me so long. "I haven't much time," I say, "so tell me what have you been doing all this time?"
Moira leans over to my ear and whispers, "We have a plan." I look at her questioningly. She does not explain more. She only tells me that in four weeks all the handmaids are going to fight, fight for what's right, and that I should pass on the message: at noon all of us should stop what we're doing and walk out. Just walk and try to escape.
I ask her if we won't be in danger attempting this: "Won't the Angels get us?"
She chuckles at me, "What do you think I've been doing these past years? Sitting around doing nothing? We have been coming up with many different ideas, had to dismiss all but this one. We have a really good feeling about this! The Angels can't stop us if we're in such a large group. I think we will finally be free!" I wonder who this we is that Moira keeps speaking about, but realize I should be going back to the Commander. I tell her this.
She again hugs me, goodbye this time and whispers to me as I pull back, "I missed you Elena. I'll see you soon!" I startle at the sound of my name. I say it so often in my head, but hearing it from someone else's lips feels awkward. Almost like it doesn't belong to me. Elena, it used to feel like the most normal thing in the world to be called that, but now it almost feels alien. I stumble back towards the Commander and enjoy the night as much as I can, waiting till I can get back to my room and think about everything that has happened tonight.
- :) :) :) -
The next morning, I actually feel excited. I want to tell Ofglen about the plan. I get dressed in the red dress, feeling extremely plain after the sparkle of the night before. I put the wings over my face and walk out. The walk starts off silently. There are too many people around to talk without anyone hearing; especially if what I'm about to tell Ofglen is so exciting.
We arrive at the wall. Nobody is hanging there today. I wonder, when we attempt to escape, will we be hanging there? What would it say? I feel a bit queasy. I shake off the feeling and tug on Ofglen's sleeve. "Let's go back by the river," I whisper. "I want to tell you something." She nods and we walk off.
When it's quiet and I sense it's safe, I tell her of the previous night. When I've finished speaking she turns to me. Her eyes twinkle. It's still a bit unnerving to look into her eyes, but I am finding it easier. She tells me she heard about such plans, but was not sure if it was true. She tells me she will pass on the message. I want to ask who the other people are she talks about, but I feel so relieved that I know more people will know, that I don't ask further.
When I arrive back, I go to my room and lie down on the bed. Scenes are drifting through my head of how the big day can occur. Some are scary and unsuccessful. Some are successful; I can almost feel the rush of accomplishment running through my body.
The four weeks pass by surprisingly quickly. I have been called to the Commander's room several more times. I almost feel guilty for what we're about to do as these nights make living in this solitude bearable. I look at the clock: it is 11:30. My hands are becoming clammy. Sitting here, doubts are forming in my head. What if we don't pull it off? The clock shows 11:45. Rita tells me what she wants me to buy at the store. I pretend to listen, when all my mind can think about is whether we will get caught.
I see Ofglen standing at the usual corner, shifting from foot to foot. "Stop that!" I whisper when I'm close enough. "You're going to make them suspicious!" Abruptly she stops, head bowed. I look around to see if anyone is watching us. We head off to the shops, acting like nothing is going on. I can feel the nervousness radiating off Ofglen and wonder if the same goes for me.
As we're walking I hear the clock strike twelve and my head shoots up. All around me I see the other handmaids doing the same. We start to walk towards each other. It surprises me that they have managed to get the word out to so many of us.
We look at each other nervously. What should we do? Where are we going? Are you sure we won't get caught? I hear whispering from all around me. Suddenly I hear someone shout: "Run!". We all turn and see the Angels coming towards us. I panic, grab the person next to me, hoping it's Ofglen and run.
"Take off your wings!" I pant. "We will be able to see better." The woman next to me does as she's told and I look to the side. Thankfully it's Ofglen. It's the first time I've seen her without any obstructions. This empowers me, and I feel a rush of energy that gives the boost I need. I realize I'm running towards the river. If only we can cross it, maybe then we can slow down. I tell this to Ofglen and she nods her head, agreeing with me. Behind us I can hear screaming, shouting and crying. I want to go back and help, but I tell myself I'm doing the right thing running. If I'm safe I can look for Luke and my daughter. If I go back I will be killed.
We come to the river. "How do we cross?" Ofglen asks me.
I stand, not quite knowing until behind me I hear someone scream: "Stop there! I'll shoot!" Shit! I think as I look behind and see the angry face of an Angel. We jump into the river and swim; thankfully I have not forgotten how to do this. We get to the middle and I am out of breath. I keep on swimming, watching the other shore slowly coming closer.
Finally, we reach the other side. I embrace Ofglen, and we fall onto the grass relieved. I feel free, happy, hopeful. "My name is Quinn." Ofglen speaks to me. I turn and look at her, she's smiling.
"I'm Elena." Elena, I can't describe how amazing it feels to be able to call myself by my name. I laugh. When the rush of what we have accomplished has gone away slightly, I sit up and look back at the town we escaped from. I stand up and stumble, feeling a blinding pain in my side. I hear Quinn gasp and I look down. My dress is covered in blood.
I feel dizzy, suddenly everything goes black.
So, tell me what you think? :)