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The Bible Lady
by Rachel Carmody

When you think of a church, what do you think of? At sixteen, I thought of a playground. My two younger siblings, being predisposed to my antics, were more than happy to join me in exploring the building. Everyone else, meanwhile, was outside along with my very religious mother eating hotdogs and hamburgers, chatting politely. We rogues, we crossed the red duck taped hallways, whispering loudly to one another with only the vague impression that anyone could still hear us.

Upstairs, I found the silent prayer room, the one with the dark screen that we could always see from the preaching hall, where parents should have taken their screaming kids but never bothered because God loves me trying to sing over screaming babies. Now of course this was very exciting to see the door half open, light off to assure us the room was off air. I snuck in with my brother, took one look out into the fully lit, empty hall and told my sister, ever the pawn to our schemes, to go in there to see if she could see us. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're trying to play in a church, God is supposed to let you have your innocent fun, right? Even if you're nearly of age? Well, God screwed with us, because apparently dark screens don't work when there's light in the room. My brother and I, we didn't close the door behind us. So when my sister got to the entrance, and we egged her on, moving our arms even though we were assuming she couldn't see us, she looked urgently to her left at a woman. This woman was on the far end of the hall, all the way at the back wall, and she came towards us, pointing one arm at us, the other clutched to her chest. You know of course it was a bible.

We couldn't hear a word that woman said, but you never saw kids run that fast the hell out of there.