The Word

The Word

A Story by Natasha Zoya

Little Rebecca wants to get out of church. Only one word can get her out.


The Word

            Little Rebecca sat between her mother and father this Easter mid-morning at church. Some elderly person was preaching the word of God. In truth, Rebecca was bored out of her little mind. Of course, she wasn’t the only one. She had seen some kids her own age or younger either running around or screaming and crying their eyes out. Two sisters in matching yellow dresses were laughing and running down aisles. Rebecca itched at her sides. She envied the Yellow Sisters. When she was younger she would pull the same tantrums on her parents but now she was eight. She needed to start acting like big girl. Big girls are good girls and good girls are rewarded candy or so her mommy promised. The laughing stopped once their mother grabbed each arm. The Yellow Sisters whimpered quietly as their mother whispered a threat and sat back down in one of the pews. Once more it was quiet again except for the texting thumbs of bored teenagers. Rebecca finally stops itching at her red dress for the moment.

As quiet as she was it didn’t change the fact she was still bored. If this wasn’t for the promise of sweets Rebecca would have tried everything in her power to try letting her parents leave early. She tried faking sick a couple of times but that never fooled them. So, she had to entertain herself by some other means. First, she looked through the hymn book. The paper makes a whisk sound as she turns the pages then puts it back. She looked through the Bible her mother brings every Sunday. The pages are thin and make a weak sound, weaker than the hymn book. Too many words Rebecca didn’t understand yet and too many ‘thou shall not’ so that was back where it belonged. Lastly, she took out the picture books of the Bible stories, the pictures where nice but not enough to keep her attention. Rebecca flipped the pages mindlessly. The whisking sound it makes is almost like the hymn book but, louder. When there was nothing left to do she said quietly, “Mommy, what time is it?” In the background, the elderly preacher spoke on the martyrdom of Christ with a zeal no one else shared. The small clicks of the cellphone keyboards and long sighs spoke loudly in small volumes.

“Its 11:30, we have thirty minutes,” answered her mother. For an adult thirty minutes wasn’t long but, for a bored eight-year-old girl it sounded like an eternity. A teenager whispered behind them with the clicking of keyboards, “This is f*****g bullshit.” After the swear it was followed by a slap and harsh whisper from the mother. Rebecca slouched in her seat with a sigh. Her daddy patted her shoulder lightly. In a gentle whisper, he said, “Hang on there, sport. It’s almost over.” She nodded ok for her father and wondered if a person can die from boredom then straighten up to observe her surroundings.

The church itself was red and gold like the dress she was wearing. Rebecca wondered if God loved those colors. Her sights went briefly to the scenery in the back of the pulpit where golden stars seemed to be falling from the sky. When she was younger she thought they were real stars. One day she ran up to the pulpit. Her mother yelled out her name but it was too late. She thought the stars were alive and warm because her daddy said stars are hot energies. Rebecca never felt so disappointed. She turned to her parents, “Why are these stars cold and plastic feeling?” Her daddy picked her up.

“Because those stars aren’t real, honey,” he said. Her mommy snatched her out of his arms as if a stranger danger picked her up. “That’s nonsense,” she said. Mommy puts on her soothing voice. “Of course, they’re real, baby.” Usually the soothing voice worked wonders, especially when it’s bedtime. That soothing voice didn’t help her forget the fake stars. Those fake stars made her wonder if God existed at all.

Rebecca shook her head at the thought. Mommy would surely be mad at her for thoughts like that. Wasn’t there a certain place in Hell for people that say God doesn’t exist? She remembered her mommy reading a book on it called Inferno. She likes to read it as much as the Bible and the pictures are scary. Other than the Bible and Inferno she never saw her mother reading anything else. It’s as if her mommy dutifully sealed herself to God.

While her mommy was stuffy, her daddy was adventurous. Rebecca and her daddy were pals. He always had something interesting from his job at NASA to tell her. The stars can be planets. Stars can be born and they can die. Most interesting thing of all, there’s possibly life on other planets and galaxies. Looking through a telescope, her daddy said something life changing, “You might not believe this, honey, but there was a time mommy actually liked seeing the stars with me. She stopped looking up to the sky weeks after you were born.” She was looking at the planet Venus when he said that. Rebecca backed away from the telescope and said, “So it’s my fault mommy’s so stuffy?”

“No, it’s not your fault. She just had a break down one day and decided to look for God for help.” Rebecca went back to the telescope and gazed at the wonder of Venus. Was there any hope mommy would look up at the sky again? She prayed every night to God for mommy to get her nose out of those scary books and look at the Milky Way. Rebecca jumped back to the present when the preacher said in a booming voice, “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for our sins!” The red dress began to itch again. Why does mommy want her to wear lace? She poked her mommy, “Is it time to go yet?”

“It’s only 11:40,” she said. Rebecca made a long sigh of despair and slowly tried to slide out of her chair. Mommy wasn’t going to have any of it. She forced her back in her chair. “Don’t slouch in church, Rebecca. It’s un-lady like.” Rebecca wanted to say she didn’t want to be a lady and she didn’t want to be in church, but held her tongue. She looks to her daddy for reassurance. He patted her shoulder again. “I promise it’s almost over. Just go into imagination mode. I do it all the time I come here.”

“Why do we come here, daddy?”

“Because we love mommy and we want her happy,” he said. Once again, nothing but the preacher’s voice and texting thumbs filled the church. Doing what her daddy said, she went into imagination mode with the inspiration of every sci-fi movie they watched in secret from mommy. She imagined she was going to space with her daddy to a planet called Hell. They were going to save mommy and other trapped souls from Satan. His minions kidnapped her somehow from her stuffy protection from God. Jesus Christ, who looks oddly like Kurt Russell, was there caption. They land on a blue planet and immediately are surrounded by sticky, bug like aliens. They fight with laser guns, killing the bug things, storming into the prison were its all dark. She hears her mommy calling for help but there’s something scary behind her. A dog with slick green tentacles reaches out. She’d shooting the lasers, getting one, two, three tentacles but, there’s so many.          

. At that point, her mind is in overactive imagination mode that she temporarily forgets she’s in the House of God and utters the dirtiest, filthiest word in the existences of mankind. Rebecca doesn’t know what the word really means but it is the perfect word for her imagined surprise attack she clearly got from The Thing. She stands up to say it to the dazed, tired and guilty adults as well as for the restless and bored children in this holy place, “F**K!”

“Rebecca!” exclaimed her mother. It was the sound of her voice that got her back to reality as well as the force of her hand that got her to sit back down on her seat. Rebecca felt confused then once she saw how wide her mother’s eyes were that she had done something wrong and remembered why.

“I said fork, mommy,” said Rebecca rather quickly. Of course, that was a white lie but she was determined to get some sweets once this boring sacrament was over. Both parents said nothing but she could see the red on their cheeks and felt embarrassed. For a whole two minutes it was silent, nobody said a word, not even the preacher up front spoke. They were all staring at her, not out of shame but of amazement, even the bored teenagers looked amused by the tiny smiles on her faces.

“You see what our immoral society has done to that poor girl in the back row?” preached the elderly preacher, “if we don’t put the Word of God in that poor child she’ll be sinning by through the rest of her days!” Rebecca felt a twinge of guilt at the words yet strangely she felt exhilarated. Once the sacrament was over Rebecca never felt so happy to run to the old Ford truck. The first thing she’s going to do is get out of that red dress, ask daddy for sweets (there’s no way mommy’s going to give her any) and either watch the sky or a sci-fi movie or both.

While mommy got into the car, daddy pulled Rebecca aside and whispered in her ear, “I know it’s not right to reward bad behavior.” The sound of a candy wrapper made her smile. He handed her a yellow Easter egg Reese’s. “When it comes to giving religion the finger I think it’s worth rewarding bad behavior. Just don’t let mommy know about.”

“I won’t,” said Rebecca, hiding the egg in her sleeve. Daddy opened the door for her and sat in the back seat. While daddy drove them home, Rebecca returned were she left off in the day dream. They saved mommy but she wants to be with Jesus Kurt Russell then daddy. Daddy is sad but takes her back to planet Heaven with her Savior. After that, her and daddy go to a place called Venus were all the Godless women live.    



© 2017 Natasha Zoya

Author's Note

Natasha Zoya
I wrote this back in writing class. This is considered my second draft but feedback is still welcome.

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I like it! Very amusing and relatable. The poor girls parents sound like an odd match but after being in a relationship with a religious fanatic I get it!

Posted 3 Years Ago

I love it! Very well crafted, incredibly funny at certain points (I laughed out loud at "This is f*****g bullshit"), and somehow eerily similar to my own childhood experiences with church. Well, except for standing up and shouting "f**k!", but this made me wish that I had had that opportunity. 10/10 would relive vicariously again.

Posted 3 Years Ago

I love this I really do like this style but the very last para didn’t understand can u plz explain

Posted 3 Years Ago

Natasha Zoya

3 Years Ago

Thanks for the review, I knew the ending wouldn't be perfect but I wanted to get across that Rebecca.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on August 14, 2017
Last Updated on August 14, 2017
Tags: Family, religion, doubt


Natasha Zoya
Natasha Zoya

Wichita , KS

Hi, I'm Natasha. It's nice to meet you all! more..