How I Joined A Secret Satanic Cult

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October 15, 201X

Another Sunday another sermon diary,

How was your night diary? Mine was nice. I fell asleep crying in the wardrobe and woke up at 5am just in time to move to my bed and mom to wake me up at 6am. But I wasn’t really tired at all, crying myself to sleep is how I get the most rest. I think it’s because I didn’t dream?

Anyway yeah, church. I had hoped that because I hadn’t helped Nathan clean yesterday morning they wouldn’t take me to church as punishment, but no such luck. It was like life had reset to the baseline. Mom came into my room all cheery and asked me to dress up so we could get going. Since I had left Satin in the wardrobe I didn’t even have to make sure he didn’t see me looking ridiculous. That’s the silver lining in all of this I guess.

Upon Mom’s request I put on the silky dress with the red cherry pattern. It’s hideous, diary, and don’t think I’m being dramatic either. The silk is so thin that I had to wear a grey bra and even then you can clearly see the outline of it through the dress. And the thing is so ill-fitting that it hangs like a fancy potato sack from my shoulder. But it’s a testament to my taste that I wasn’t the one who picked it out. Mom bought it for me, even though I resisted, when we went shopping with one of her friends last July. The friend not so subtly commented that I had been wearing the same five dresses to church for a while (and that’s true, the rest are up in the attic) so Mom pretty much had to buy me a new one. And unfortunately her taste is as good as her parenting skills so I ended up with the silky cherry trash bag that I wore to church today. When I looked at myself in the mirror I contemplated throwing in some fishnets or leather or something but Mom would be more than embarrassed if I went to church in any of that so it was just me and the dress.

Even though I’ve worn it once or twice before Nathan still acted like it was the funniest thing he had ever seen while we were eating breakfast. (Waffles and fruit salad if you’re interested diary). Every time Mom and Derrick turned their heads or went to the kitchen to refill something he just looked at me like I was wearing a panda suit. And right when we were about to leave the house and get into the car I actually saw him take his phone out like he was about to take a picture. I might hate my reputation at school diary, but being the weird punk girl who isn’t Nathan’s sister is better than being the freak in the cherry dress so I dashed outside before he could get a clear shot. Although that did have me on edge for the rest of the day, constantly glancing at him to make sure he didn’t have his phone pointed at me.

Last Sunday it had taken me twenty minutes to walk to church in the rain but today it was a five minute drive in partly sunny weather. When we got out of the car it was like highschool in a way. Everyone was hanging out outside talking and catching up even though we see everyone at least once a week. But it seems like every Sunday they’re on something different.

Today it was a dinner party that someone is hosting this week and who and who isn’t invited. There was also very rude staring at which teenagers had bruises on their cheeks. It’s the tell-tale palm shaped bruise on someone’s cheek that everyone knows who went home drunk after Nathan’s party and the empty pews marked who didn’t go home at all.

Derrick works at the bank so he pretty much sees everyone and everyone knows him. That’s why we get to church twenty minutes early. For me last Sunday it took three minutes to get through the parking lot but for Derrick it took thirteen. Those extra ten minutes were just people saying hi to him and Mom taking part in conversations. Nathan and I just followed along and for once we were trying to do the same thing, getting into our pew as soon as possible.

Actually it’s kind of, I don’t know something, how everyone seems the same. The same two to five kids following behind the two parents not really wanting to be there. Although when they’re grown up they’re going to take their kids to church too. It seems like the only thing that really changes here is the gossip. Honestly I don’t know Brooks does it, I don’t I can survive my required eighteen years here let alone twenty.

When we finally got done talking about everyone and everything we finally got to listen to the sermon, hurray! More nonsense about the part of the bible they want us to listen to while not staying a word about the sinful gossiping and underaged drinking that took place everyday. But I guess the church hasn’t really been about god in a while, it’s just about the status-quo. I still saved a few choice quotes from the sermon today though, just for your amusement diary.

“We are the foundation of this town and the lord thanks us for it. The devil is creepinging into every aspect of our life. Our children will embrace the devil if we are not careful. It is the parents that have to reign in the children and prevent them from falling into sin. And children, mind your parents they are your connection to god in everyday life.”

Pastor Reason went on and on for his required two hours. I only paid attention for about thirty minutes anyway. My mom used to say that it was normal for children not to pay attention to the sermons but as I got older I would start to understand what the pastor was saying and be at the edge of my seat. But I guess I’m still a child because I still hate listening to that old man go on and on.

Today I ran through my list of things to do while I was at church instead of listening. By now I knew how many individual pieces of glass were in each picture and now many different colors were in each different window. They’re beautiful, yes, they’re actually the best part of church actually, but by now I’m a bit bored of them. Instead of looking at them or counting wood grains in the pews I decided to look at the people.

It’s weird seeing the people you know from a different angle. At first I thought I would be able to tell everyone apart by their haircut but with only two barbers in town everyone looking a little bit same-y. Some new mom with chunky highlights and the same three buzz cuts on the thirty year olds. It made me wonder if my hairstyle is unique. Probably, Mom and I are some of the few people in town with a hair texture that isn’t fine/normal and she told me that when we moved in Mr. Jenson and Mrs.Jenson (who we go to for our haircuts) had to take special classes to know how to cut our hair. It doesn’t really matter to me though, I braid my hair most of the time anyway.

Watch actually told everyone apart was the clothes, although not by much. I could tell who was trying really hard to look godly and who was actually just there to enjoy the sermon. Some people’s clothes were elegantly folded and ironed and other people had just thrown on a dress or a suit or a blazer. One of those types of people got sideyes when we were walking into church, the other’s eyes looked glazed over as Pastor Reagan continued to drone on and on and on.

Then suddenly, it was over. We sang the last hymn and then we were off. And by we were off I mean it took us about twenty extra minutes to say bye to everyone and gossip a bit more and Nathan to deny ever having alcohol at his party. I was so happy when we were finally in the car and tried to play some music but by the time I turned on my phone (Mom always insists that every phone is all the way off when we’re in church, and mine takes forever to turn back on) opened up spotify, and got through all the ads we were already in the driveway.

That was fine for me though, I was planning on embroidering this afternoon and could listen to my tunes then. I was about to go up to the attic and finish the hat but Derrick cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention when we walked in.

“I heard that there has been some fighting in the family.” he stated.

Of course he heard it because he’s either at work or if he’s at home he doesn’t care enough to get into anything that doesn’t involve Nathan being perfect. Honestly I don’t why Mom even told him, and I really didn’t think he would care.

But Derrick managed to surprise me today, in the worst way possible, “So I think that we should all hang out today and come together as a family, since it is the lord’s day.”

That was going to be fine, embroidering in the living room with my earbuds was almost the same as embroidering in the attic with my earbuds in. Though I thought that one would go much slower. I continued up the stairs, planning to get my embroidery. Derrick was already halfway to the living room at this point but Mom saw me on the stairs and practically yanked me down from the steps.

“I’m just going to get my embroidery.” I told her calmly.

Mom responded harshly but not loud enough for Derrick to hear, “Just get to the living room you will not be embroidering today. You will be hanging out with us and talking to us. Do you understand me?”

I had to resist rolling my eyes or crying, “Okay.”

And I went into the living room with Mom and Nathan. It seemed like Derrick didn’t even know what family time meant. That’s probably because he’s only around to eat and sleep. Since I wasn’t allowed to go up stairs to get my embroidery that meant I also didn’t get to go upstairs to change my clothes. So we all just sat down in the living room. Nathan and Mom on the sofa, Derrick in the armchair, and I sat on the floor next to the couch where I hoped they would forget about me.

It should have been a bit relaxing. Sitting down with the tv so slow that I could barely hear it because of Derrick’s sensitive ears but I was on pins and needles for the entire... Actually diary, guess how long Derrick kept us all in the living guess. Guess, Guess! Not half an hour, not an hour, THREE HOURS! And I couldn’t relax for the entire time.

Just sitting there, in my own house in that stupid cherry dress and heels. No makeup, no fishnets, just that dress made my skin crawl. Mom actually looked at me when she saw that I was shaking, but she didn’t say anything even though they were tears in my eyes. And I know that sounds extreme, but in a way I guess my clothes are a sort of crutch. They remind me that I’m not the same person I was a year ago, that I don’t wear cherry dresses to school because Mom wants me to look presentable.

Three hours of sitting on the floor and watching terrible tv. Believe I almost went to the bathroom just to get a break but I didn’t think I could take it if Nathan, Mom, or Derrick said anything about it. So I was just left there, trying to calm myself down for three hours. As soon as Derrick turned off the tv and fell asleep I was off. Didn’t say bye to Mom, didn’t even look at Nathan just went up the stairs and straight to the attic.

Now you already know about one of my de-stressing hobbies, embroidery. But another thing that I haven’t grown out yet is dress up.

This house that we’re living in has been in Derrick’s family for years and over the years lots of stuff has accumulated in the attic. Aside from the wardrobe there are boxes and boxes and racks and racks of clothes, from pretty much every period that I could think of. Most of them were fifties clothes from Derrick’s great-grandparents but there were some gems on the clothing racks too. Derrick’s mom had been into renaissance fairs and even though I’ve never met the lady I have to admit that she had a great fashion sense.

I popped on my earbuds and started to pick out something to change into. Since I wasn’t going back downstairs until I felt better there would be no makeup for me but this lyric of the day made up for that.

Another contusion my funeral jag here’s my resignation I’ll serve it in drag, you’ve got front row seats to the penance bowl. When I grow up I want to be living alone - The End // My Chemical Romance

For my first outfit I ended up trying to look like Isabel. A black dress (of course) with a skirt that was wider than me and sleeves that were so tight they had to be buttoned up. I even threw a corset on there, just to be extra. And believe me diary, I’m so glad those things can be tied in the front because I don’t think I want to take that outfit anywhere below the attic.

Anyway once I was in the outfit I took a few pictures. I have this app on my phone that password protects certain apps, like my gallery for example, so even if Nathan gets in my phone there is no way he is finding those pictures. Using a rag I whipped down one of the mirrors and took a few selfies. I even found a parasol and held it like I was in victorian england trying to shield myself from the sun. Even though I wasn’t smiling in any of the pictures (I opted for a kind of dramatic pout, it seemed fitting) I was happier than I had been all day and I couldn’t just keep that happiness in.

I was in a dress with a hoop skirt and a corset so I couldn’t exactly share those pictures with the whole school. Instead I decided to send a few to Willis and Charlie. And I thought about sending them to Kelly, Steven, and Lowell but I knew that they would find a reason to tease me.

They both sent back positive messages. Charlie said I looked like I could be in Downton Abbey and Willis said I looked like a demon, so pretty high compliments from both of them.

The dress was pretty comfortable but I wanted to do some more dress up. And I did. For hours. Trying on different dresses, pants, hats, and quite a few pairs of shoes. By the end of my try-on sprew I was laying on the dusty floor panting, but happy. I had missed lunch but I wasn’t hungry, I guess family time took away my appetite.

It’s almost dinner time now and I’m dreading eating at the table. The day’s pretty much all over and I only really enjoyed a few hours of it. Gosh, it’s going to be the exact same thing next Sunday, isn’t it diary? Well I’m going to need to rest for tomorrow, thanks for listening diary,

Naomi J. Morgan

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