As usual, the service was boring. In pew three Roxanne leaned back, spying on the Woolworths next door, wiggling left for a better view. Colleen, being older, was babysitting in the nursery. It was getting dark outside. Chick Woolworth stood in his kitchen window, deliberately drinking a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, his hairy belly exposed. Catching Roxanne’s eye, he raised one finger, and she immediately looked away. The Christians ignored him, of course, but it took lots of energy. Now Chick Woolworth disappeared. Alcohol precipitated the Woolworths’ insane behavior. Once it touched your lips you could not control anything you did. Roxanne waited curiously, but the window remained maddeningly quiet.
Some sinners were nice, of course. A few of the kids at school were friendly, but still, you would not be seeing them after death. The way was straight and narrow. Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, they flouted God, sitting in movie theaters, wanton. Roxanne sighed...
Suddenly Roxanne sat up in the pew. Sister Beverly Cedars had seen the devil in the laundromat, staring at her from behind a dryer.
“He kept right on lookin’ at me!” Sister Beverly Cedars cried. Her voice was wild and her eyes were wide. A chill traveled down the congregation’s spine.
“Get thee behind me, Satan!” Sister Beverly Cedars’ voice rang out. “Glory!”
-- Copyright (C) 2000 by Rhoda Huffey. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.