Marie hated the church, religion and God. If she had the privilege of acting as she wished, she would strip all the churches, regardless of the deity they worshipped, from all the gold and jewels they used as useless decor. She would sale the art and redistribute the wealth to those who needed the most. Then she would light the greatest fire the world had seen; the big Cathedral in her town would be the first to go down. The whole universe would see it being blown to pieces and her walking away from the explosion in tight leather pants, black sunglasses and red high heels.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t a criminal mastermind or had a governor’s resources. Marie was just a 14 year old not allowed to do anything her Mother didn’t approve of. So, here she was, sited next to her in the Cathedral, daydreaming about exploding churches and the downfall of religion instead of paying attention to the vicar’s sermon.
The vicar was quite old and prudish. Everyone held him in high esteem except her. Marie once commented ruefully that he must have an insatiable hunger for sex; otherwise how could his wife have been pregnant ten times… unless she committed the sin of adultery. Marie’s insolence didn’t amuse her pious Mother. Instead she thought that skipping the most popular party of the year would help her reassess her view of people.
Anyhow the vicar’s voice was flat and boring, with the exceptional quality of driving her nuts and sleepy at the same time. She wished to be anywhere else but there, a sentiment that apparently she shared with her Mother. Fascinating, she thought as she observed the adult fumbling with the hem of her woollen dress, a movement out of place as her usual pose was clasped hands in her lap and staring the vicar with puppy eyes.
What could have caused her Mother agitation? The girl looked around once more and noticed some younger kids stifling their giggles behind their Bibles. The baker was stroking his beard in a futile effort to look thoughtful instead of amused and her school’s uptight Principal looked as if she wanted to send the vicar to detention.
Marie, for the first time since she decided to become an atheist during her seventh birthday, paid attention to the obligatory Sunday sermon. As the words registered in her mind, a laugh bubbled up her chest endangering her attendance to the following weekend’s party. She was sure that what the vicar was reading in his usual flat voice wasn’t what he had intended to read that day. How else could his sudden fascination with animal mating rituals be explained? Well, she had a theory about it, but it didn’t really fit with the topic of “loving your neighbour”, unless the vicar tried to bring forth a polyamorous lifestyle in their community.
As the vicar progressed with his sermon, and her Mother almost destroyed the hem of her dress by pulling that one thread that threatened to come loose, Marie grew more and more entertained by the sheer ignorance of the vicar. The old man went on and on pronouncing one word after the other, without processing them at all, so confident he was on the text he had written the night before.
A satisfied and somewhat evil smirk appeared openly on her face now. The Cathedral was filled with murmurs from every corner, people were openly discussing with each other. As a long thread started unravelling her Mother’s dress, Marie caught the eye of only other person in the church with a wicked smile on his face. It belonged to Nico, the one year older, rebellious and somewhat handsome fourth son of the vicar. Nico seemed too pleased with the content of his father’s words; and by remembering his last year’s record of expulsions, Marie knew who had orchestrated today’s fiasco. Anyway everyone knew that the vicar made his sons act as his personal scribes.
Nico winked at her and she winked back. She might not be a criminal mastermind or have a politician’s resources yet, but it seemed to her that she had just found a possible collaborator in her ambitious plans.