Jessica Kristie is an award winning author, a writer, and a lover of poetry. She is an advocate for art, an activist against human trafficking, and a soulful contributor to the strengthening of our creative communities.
Barbed-Wire Butterfliesby Jessica Kristie
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Elani Benjamin had never imagined the level of fear and uncertainty that was now a demoralizing part of her everyday life. With freedom ripped from her world, Elani must stand alongside the hundreds of other women forced into slave labor by the mysterious organization that runs The Hub. At only thirteen years of age, she must decide if she will give in to the daily atrocities surrounding her or keep fighting her courageous, emotional battle for freedom. Malnutrition, intimidation, and abuse force them all into an isolated depression that guarantees compliance. On the edge of surrender, Elani finds an ally in Eddie, a repentant long-term employee of The Hub who gives her the resolution to find a way out of her imprisonment and the hope of reclaiming her stolen freedom.
100% of all print royalties and a percentage of digital copies go to Courage Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.
- Winter Goose Publishing
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This story was compelling to me, maybe because the sickening problem of slavery has never ended. Even though we have laws against it, human trafficking still continues. Another reason is maybe because Jessica Kristie will be one of our presenters (and the one who will listen to pitches) at the Write to Inspire Conference in Sacramento on July 19 and 20. Thirteen-year-old Elani Benjamin has been kidnapped by people looking for cheap labor. Hundreds of girls work in an ugly, concrete-walled building. They make clothing, electronic equipment, clean the place, and sleep in cells after their long days of work and little food. The guards could take their pick of the girls whenever they wanted. In other words, a living hell on earth. Elani has no choice but to follow their orders, but exhaustion does not stop her from making friends with her three cell mates and one friendly janitor. They warn her not to make waves and above all not to make eye contact with the guards or the Captain. Especially not the Captain. Horror stories circulate in whispers as the girls work and in their cells. Minor illnesses can become fatal. Small injuries must be avoided at all costs. Hurry to each assignment or else. Hope is in short supply, but Elani must cling to the hope that one day she will be free, or she will lose her individuality and her soul the way so many around her have already done.