She’s been having nightmares of a loveless God. She’s been itching her skin at the thought of possession. Maybe it is the tea she drinks that is poisoning her to believe the Holy Ghost to be less than righteous. In this land they say “come to church.” In this land they say “be saved.” She is learning their language still. She is in silent rebellion of their clothing and customs, their noose corsets, their tame hair.
The people are kind. Their town is small, and their children happy. She sees how they love their parents as she loved hers, some time ago. Their harvest is good. Their sunrise as glorious as anywhere. “There is always good where the sun shines, somehow,” her mother used to say. She does not trust them, though. They feed her and they gave her a bed. They close their eyes and fold their hands beside her. They say that they pray for her, that they care for her. “It was all for you,” they tell her. They hang crosses above their doors and heads on pikes. She does not see how they can be such fine folk, after what happened. The same men she watches smile in the pews and kiss their wives, she has seen with torches in their eyes and pitchforks in their hands. The same horses that the young boys pet and groom, she has seen run atop her own family, after they were left breathless. The same dirt they sweep from their floors buries the flesh of her father, her mother. They wear good, clean clothes. The wives are well practiced in washing away blood.
They tell her “God is good.” They tell her of a man called Jesus. They tell her there is power in His name. She believes them on that. They tell her to read His words. They tell her to talk to Him. She reads His words. She reads them too off of the priest’s lips, but the sounds he makes do not match. These folks mouth one word and speak another. They tell her they are good, they are saved. They tell her to be good, to be saved, as they are. They tell her they are good, but they lie, they lie, they lie.