HALLELUJAH! AMEN! I’m Going To Burn In Hell!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
She’s looking at me again! I kept singing ‘Amazing Grace’, as I wondered ‘why’ she turned around to look at me. The next song was ‘Little Brown Church’… I loved this song, and I sung with my best voice! It felt wonderful!
Someone punched me in the back, and I didn’t want to turn around to see ‘who’. We were all standing up in church, singing songs. I was in the choir at my church (I was visiting this church), I knew I could sing (later .. I would find out how badly I sang! when the choir director asked me to sing with my mouth, but…. not let my voice be heard!).
I was the youngest in the choir at my church, I hadn’t been singing long. I loved it, I’d discovered I could sing! It was fun. I was catching on to little frowns here and there from the older women here at this church. I was a child and I didn’t understand ‘why’. Why some of those old-ass women looked right mean at me!
We sat down and listened to the pastor talk about someone was surely going to hell if they didn’t change their ways. I knew I was going to change my ways.
I was only twelve years old, I sure didn’t want to go to hell! He screamed ‘Amen!’ making me jump in my seat. Hallelujah! I couldn’t take much more of this! All this screaming, hollering, jumping up and down…. I saw this at grandma’s all the time… I came to church where it was peaceful, no one to scare me, or make me nervous. This new church did all of that. I’m not coming back here anymore!
I was trying to stay awake, I didn’t sleep good last night. Grandma and George were fussing about something. I hoped they wouldn’t go to hell. I didn’t want anyone I loved to go to hell, now that I’ve just learned about it.
Damn, I didn’t want to burn up. I think I had better stop saying the word ‘damn’. I’d been using that word in my mind since my mother washed my mouth out with Ivory soap when I was younger. It made me remember that word, that’s what Ivory soap did! Damn! There he goes again! Amen! Give me a hallelujah!
Damn! That preacher sure can scream, he scares me every time he screams ‘amen!’ and ‘hallelujah!’ He’s talking about people who talk in tongues now… what in the …… is talking in tongues?!!!
I’m not sure what this means at all… I only had one tongue! I was at this church ‘visiting’. An older lady wanted me to come to her church this Sunday with her. I wasn’t sure if I liked this church better than the Baptist Church I’d been attending. It seemed older women took it upon themselves to save my soul… I must have looked like I was surely going to hell.
What? I look to my left to see the older woman I was with…. why, that’s white stuff on her mouth! Oh my God! I began panicking… I’d seen this not long ago on my mom’s face when she suffered a seizure. I slid over away from the woman, staring at her in shock! I never thought about how others probably were looking at me!
This woman began to talk, she jerked like that chicken I saw one time… when someone chopped its head off! I cried for that chicken! She stood up hollering ‘Thank-you, Jesus!’ She began to walk like that chicken up the aisle… I just couldn’t understand this! I’d never seen such in my church. I felt very nervous, my stomach had butterflies in it.
That woman’s head was going backwards and forwards… she was walking, she really did look a lot like that chicken! What the hell! Why she just fell on the floor, she’s rolling! That white stuff coming out of her mouth!
Damn, I’ve got to get out of here! I’m going to hell as sure as I stay in here, I keep being shocked, scared… I keep saying ugly words!
I wanted to go outside where the other kids were playing. This was the perfect opportunity to ‘get away’! I looked around, people were praying and saying ‘amen!’ and ‘hallelujah!’ They were talking but….. wait a minute, is this ‘talking in tongues?’ I think they were talking in tongues, I couldn’t understand a word they said!
I got the heck out of there. When I got outside, a boy handed me a…. straight pin. I looked at him and asked him what that was for? He said to protect myself… stick somebody back if they stick you!
What have I got myself into! Damn that girl! She just stuck me with a pin and ran. I’ll catch her ass, and show her how it feels! I ran and sure enough, I caught her. I stuck not one time, but, two times! She cried. She deserved it. I was mad now! I didn’t like being stuck with a pin.
Ouch! _____!!! That hurt like ____!!! I chased that boy until I grabbed him by his shirt, and I stuck him in the _____! That’ll teach you to stick me!
I’ve got to get away from this church… it’s dangerous here! I thought my life was hell, but, this was something else. I wanted to go back to grandma and George’s!
I stood on the church steps watching those boys and girls running, laughing and…………. bleeding!!! I looked on my arms and sure enough, there was blood running down my arm. What the____?!!!
A boy ran up to stick me again, I stopped him in his tracks. I told him he would be most sorry if he stuck me with that pin, I wasn’t playing anymore! He laughed and ran back to stick somebody else!
I came to this new church and feared for my very soul… that preacher said somebody would surely go to hell. I could see ‘why’… those kids were mean! They needed to be inside listening to the preacher so, he could scream and scare the hell out of them. He’d already scare it out of me!
I peeped back in the door of the church… there were grownups lying all around in that floor! They were moaning, talking strange, why…. that looks like that white stuff on their mouths! Amen! Hallelujah! That preacher shouted. I can’t take no more, I’ve got to go… no where is it calm, or safe for me!
I keep looking toward the street… it isn’t far to just walk back to grandma and George’s! I’m going to walk back home! No one is paying attention to me, those kids were too busy sticking each other with those pins!
I walked back to grandma and George’s and swore to myself that I wouldn’t be going to church with that lady again. I knew I’d surely go to hell if I did… I didn’t like those kids sticking me with pins….