Bruce woke up early Sunday morning. Then again, he always woke up early on Sunday, because his mom and Stevie would never let him miss church.
Church for Bruce was an all-day affair at the Reformed Baptist Church of the Redeemed, which was a long way of saying the ministers were a bit different from anything you normally connected with a church. Well, they dressed the part, with fine suits and styled hair, and they talked the talk, with lots of emphasis whenever Jesus was mentioned, as if they went into mild delirium every time the Savior was mentioned – and they mentioned Him a lot. Jesus was summoned to pass blessing on pronouncements of every conceivable sort, from baptisms and confessions, to upcoming elections (which it seemed was the Devil trying to destroy the world by getting his minions elected, usually characters whose style of dress and speech was suspiciously similar to the good reverends), to corporations and evil forces luring around every corner. Bruce sometimes wondered if the church should stick the word ‘paranoid’ in its name somewhere.
He didn’t do well in the sword drills. Despite his mom’s confidence that it would be Deuteronomy this week, the class worked on 2nd Timothy. Stevie teased Bruce about it all day afterwards.
Lunch was chicken and salad. It was always chicken and salad et the Reformed Baptist Church of the Redeemed; maybe that thing Jesus did with the loaves and fishes in Israel, this church had worked out with old chicken and limp salad.
Bruce didn’t see much purpose in going to church all day on Sunday, but Stevie loved it, and it seemed to be the one thing his mom could depend on, so he toughed it out, even the mix of church ladies who either considered him an angel if he would just not talk so much, or a future hoodlum who needed a beating to get him set straight. That second group always included several of Bruce’s teachers.
Across the street from the church, the watcher peered intently at the congregation, as he nibbled on the body of a stray cat, taking care that the remains would look like the work of a dog.