I'm in the church my mother once took us to on Sundays when I was a child. I'm in a small children's room and we are about to join our parents in the sanctuary for the sermon. We are walking across the familiar carpeted room where we play tag and dodgeball before classes, and we line up single file at the door on the far end. There are ten of us counting my brother and myself. The teacher, a friendly fat old lady with short red curls on her head and pale whitish blue eyes that, even of they were not squinted in an eternal smile, she probably couldn't see out of anyway, puts one knobby finger with a pink manicured nail up to her lips and we all know we are supposed to follow suit. Finally we file into the sanctuary. The room is small, with about thirty pew benches in total. There are probably half as many families in the building, some familiar and some new. Then I see my mother standing in the middle of the aisle way and realize what's going on. This is a memory, and I know exactly what's about to happen.
The church we are standing in is a very moderate group. Most of the people are middle class, day to day people with moderate, day to day beliefs, and the speakers at this church generally reflect that. In short, they are not prepared for my mother.
"There are devils in this church!" is what I remember hearing her shriek. I remember fear, her terror and my own, as a grasp my brother's hand tightly. I remember being confused and embarrassed, because, even though I was young enough to believe my mother really saw these things, I was old enough to know that it was a secret, and strangers shamed her for it.
What I don't remember, however, is what happened next. Those familiar faces, which I remember showing faces of fear and anger, are instead melting away, corroding, lengthening into the jaundice profiles of my subjects at the lab. There is moaning and screeching and my mother's incessant declaration, and it all jumbles together in my view and ears and I can't understand what's going on til I see my brother looking at me and calling me. His face starts to morph and I scream, waking myself up to stare into John's concerned face.