One night my mother went out and left Peggy-Lou in charge. Peggy was our big sister, third oldest out of seven. She was ten years older than me and seven years older than my brother, Victor. That night, Peggy had an excellent idea.
She was full of good ideas, Peggy Lou was. She decided we would all walk to town. It was late-too late for a seven-year-old to be awake-but in this branch of the family only pussies went to bed at bedtime. I might be a chicken but I've never been a pussy. I put on my sneakers.
It was a warm summer night. We set out walking; myself, my brother, Victor, our older brother Michael, and Peggy-Lou. Town was about a 1/2 mile from our house. We walked past the lake, past the bridge, past the shoe shop and past the Western Auto.
Then Peggy-Lou whispered, "That church up ahead is where the devil lives."
"Nuh-uh", we said.
"It's true. His workshop is in the basement."
We approached the church. Some of us faster than others.
|Home of the devil's workshop according to Peggy-Lou in 1970|
There did appear to be a light on in the basement....
Peggy-Lou said, "I'm going in."
"No don't! Don't do it, Peggy-Lou!", I whispered.
"Yup, I'm gonna find that devil and kick his ass", said Peggy-Lou.
Mike said, "I'll watch the door."
Me and Victor didn't say anything. I had just wanted a bag of chips from Amato's, for Christ's sake. I had zero bones to pick with Lucifer.
"Ok", Peggy-Lou said, "When he sees me, there's going to be trouble, so get ready to run or he'll steal your soul."
Peggy-Lou eased open the side door and started down the stairwell into the basement. We could see a lone light bulb at the bottom of the stairs. The door closed behind her. We waited. I'm not sure why.
We didn't have to wait long. About two minutes later she shot out the door and started running down the sidewalk. "He's coming and he's pissed!", she yelled. "Run for your lives!"
"Hey, wait for me", I yelled. I couldn't wait for my mother to get home. I was so telling on these morons.
We made it home, our souls intact, and Peggy-Lou made some cocoa, then we watched Dark Shadows. I didn't sleep again for the next seven years.
Which was right around the time that Peggy-Lou got married in that very same Church. She had promised me that I could be the flower girl, but then took it back and said I had to be in charge of the address book instead, because I was too old to be the flower girl.
I wasn't walking around with a dumb address book. There was a Devil's workshop in the basement of that church, and several bored, gullible children (including one flower girl) wandering around looking for something to do.