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Scratchy seat, tight shoes, full bladder.
I am 7 years old, it is Sunday,

and I am afraid of my mother.

I look up from my coloring book, now salt water stained, to find the source.
She rocks
backforth
eyes shut tears slowly streaming,
splashing on my masterpiece-
Jesus nailed ****** to the cross, sporting hot pink lipstick,
****** blue eye shadow.
Her lips savagely spit out serpentine whispers,
sinister alien tongue I can't decipher.
Glacial dread seeps through my veins,
horripilation crawling up my back.

I do not know this woman.

Crayons, jump rope, stickers, and paper dolls ignite into flames as I glance around me.
Muttering hisses,
demonic breaths
echo wall to wall in this
"House Of God".
Brothers and sisters mutate to strangers,
bodies hosts to malignant beast before my wide, child eyes. Dry cracked palm upon foreheads of those beneath him, brother Tom's eyes curl back,
facecrimson
mouthwide
voicebellowing psychotic prattle I could not mimic for the life of me.
The diseased,
fearful,
weak sinners cower,

actually bow down before JesusTomChrist,

eyes gleaming hopeless, seeking forgiveness,
refuge,
salvation.
Dry cracked palm gestures towards collection plate.

— The End —