Mom’s been acting weird lately. She hasn’t cooked dinner all week, she missed two of your soccer games, and as of late, she always smells like smoked turkey.
Maybe it’s menopause. Maybe she’s depressed. Maybe she’s acquired a new love for seasonal meats. Either way, you’re worried about her.
And you hate turkey.
Tuesday morning, you realize you forgot your phone on the way to school and head home to grab it.
You hear a loud humming coming from the basement. It’s probably Mom doing laundry before work. You decide to pop downstairs and say hi before heading back to school.
Halfway down the stairs, the humming stops, but you hear a choir of singing voices instead.
You peer around the corner and see five women sitting in a circle on the floor, and a man with a long, scraggly beard and large glasses standing in front of them.
“Good morning, sisters.”
The congregation answers back. “Good morning, Father.”
The man continues, “Let us pray.”
“We pray to you, Father,” the women recite in unison.
Their voices quiet, and the man’s echos over them. “I am the light with which you rise in the morning. I am the night with which you sleep. I am your savior, your divine ruler.”
“Yes, Father,” the women answered back.
He continues, “Give me your sins, and I will give you redemption! This world is dark and tortured, and I am the light to guide you.”
“Amen!” the woman rejoice.
“The time has come to expand our family, and I have done just that. Reach out your hands to our newest sister, Sister Linda.”
Uh oh, it seems like Mom must’ve been seduced into joining a polygamist cult! By the looks of it, she’s found herself at the mercy of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints.
“What do you hope to gain from our family, Sister Linda?” Father asks.
“I hope to lead a life free from sin. I hope to find forgiveness from you, Divine Ruler,” Mom says.
“A life from sin, it shall be, Sister Linda, but only if you believe in yourself. But more importantly; if you believe in me,” Father replies. “Do you believe?”
“Yes, Father,” Mom answers in a solemn tone.
“We all believe, Father,” the women sing in unison.
“Sisters, your loyalty is bound to me, and only me, for only I can save you!” the man’s voice bellows. “Come to me.”
The women line up and take turns kissing the man. Mom is the last to go.
When the women are finished, the man speaks. “Mmm…daddy like—I, I mean…your Divine Ruler is pleased. Now, we must join in the daily sacrament.
He passes around a turkey leg, and each woman takes a bite (and the case of the mysterious meat smell is closed).
“Fuel yourselves with the body of the Divine. May it bring you strength to overcome those who have wronged you!”
They continue passing the turkey leg until the bone is clean.
“You are released for the night, sisters, but remember: you will never be released from the grips of Satan if you stray from me.”
“Yes, Father,” the women respond.
You’re about to retreat up the stairs, when your cell phone rings, blowing your cover.
All eyes turn to you. Mom steps forward in a panic.
“Oh, honey, I can explain!” she cries. “These are just my friends I have sex with sometimes due to a binding contract I signed with the Lord!”
The room is silent. After what feels like forever, Mom finally speaks.
“Hey, while I have you here, what do you want for dinner, pizza or Chinese?”