Carry On Tuesday’s last prompt was Everyone Suddenly Burst Out Singing. I am a week behind but I’m here!
Sunday mornings Mama played the organ at church. It was one of those little white churches with benches instead of pews. Mr. Jackson built them in his shop. They were worn smooth and shiny from years of folks scooching around trying to make it to the end of Reverend White’s sermons.
The windows were open and the only air moving was from fans stuck under the benches advertising “Miller’s Funeral Home – Only The Best For Your Loved Ones” and “Eat At Smith’s Diner – Best Fried Chicken In The South!”.
I would have liked to sit on the back bench where the boys sat, but Mama wanted me right up front where she could see me. I tried to cover my mouth, and fake scratch my nose. I hoped Mama didn’t notice the yawn or I would sure enough hear about it later.
I sighed. There was a bird chirping outside the window and bees were buzzing. I could smell lilacs and fresh mowed grass. It was warm and all I wanted to do was slip off my hard church shoes and run down to the creek. I heard snatches of the sermon, something about lamps and brides and then I slipped off into daydreams again.
All of a sudden I realized there was giggling coming from below the window. I stole a glance but all I could see was the top of the lilac bush. I noticed a corner of the screen was pulled loose and glanced back at the front to see Mama frowning at me. I tried to look like I was paying attention again. I felt a hard knock on my back and almost yelled “ouch”.
Mary Sue Riley was sitting right behind me, smiling like the cat that ate the canary. She looked up and down my dress that came from “Dress for Less” and frowned disapprovingly. She would never have worn anything bought in town, she had informed me loudly before church. “All my clothes come from the mall over in Johnston. Daddy says there isn’t a thing in this town worth spending his money on. You really should try a little harder Katie. You aren’t completely ugly you know.” She had turned her nose up and marched into church like she was leading a parade or something.
I switched cheeks to try to get more comfortable on the hard bench and then I heard rustling and muffled noises coming from the back of the church. There was a bump and a screech and then all H-E double L broke loose! The biggest crow I had ever seen was flying around inside the hot little church. It was dive-bombing the Mitchell sister’s bright orange hair and almost knocked a couple of light bulbs down from the ceiling. It swooped across the front of the church almost knocking the Reverend’s toupee off (now that’s a whole other story) and even had Mama ducking and swatting.
The next thing I knew, it had landed smack on the top of Mary Sue Riley’s head and there was bird You-Know-What dripping down her nose. About that time some of the men got fans and a broom and chased the poor thing out the door of the church. People had been spinning around in their seats trying to see where it was going to hit next and I could hear the boys in the back laughing and rolling around on the floor.
The Reverend straightened his toupee and took out a handkerchief to mop his forehead with and glanced at my Mama and nodded. She started banging out “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and after a moment everyone suddenly burst out singing. I glanced behind me and Mary Sue was wiping the mess off her face with the hem of her nice mall-bought dress. Her face was red and she was madder than a wet hen. She glared at me as if I had caused the whole thing. For once I was glad that Mama was watching me. It gave me a good excuse to turn and face the front and grin as I loudly sang “There’s a better home awaiting, in the sky Lord, In the sky!”