I hated going to church. I leaned back in the pew and raised my feet to prop my sneakers on the back of the row in front of me. A few people gave me dirty looks, including my mother, but nobody said anything. I wanted to take out my mobile phone and play the game I had downloaded last night, but that WOULD get me into trouble.
Shifting on the thin pad that covered the pew, I stared up at the fans slowly spinning on long metal arms all over the arched ceiling. If I fell asleep I’d get into trouble too. I doubted I could sleep on the uncomfortable bench anyway.
Twisting to try to get more comfortable, I scraped my sneakers on the bottom edge of the pew in front of me and for a few seconds I pushed hard against it as I levered myself into a better position. It was too late when I heard the crack! and I felt the support for my legs give out.
My feet hit the floor just as the bottom of the pew splintered away and dropped like a door on a hinge. My first thought was that I was going to be in so much more trouble than if I had been playing games on my phone… But as I watched, things clattered out of the underside of the pew, scattering back over the hard wooden floor under my own seat.
The noise was echoing in the huge chapel, and people were instinctively raising their feet around me and others turning to look at the noise. It took a few seconds for the sight to sink in, and my mother was the first one to scream. Others quickly followed and jumped from their seats, scrambling to leave the pews.
I just sat there and stared down at the floor in front of me. Bones lay broken and crumbling on the polished wood, scattered around and underneath me. Many of them were still resting on the ruins of the underside of the pew I’d broken, including a cracked skull that stared out at me from the pile. Its eyes seemed almost sad in the chaos that was going on around me.