The Handmaid’s Tale

by: Margaret Atwood

Chapters 26-28

1

The fact is that I’m his mistress. Men at the top have always had mistresses, why should things be any different now? The arrangements aren’t quite the same, granted. The mistress used to be kept in a minor house or apartment of her own, and now they’ve amalgamated things. But underneath it’s the same.

2

It occurs to me that she may be a spy, a plant, set to trap me; such is the soil in which we grow. But I can’t believe it; hope is rising in me, like sap in a tree. Blood in a wound. We have made an opening.

3

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.