The movement caught Joshua’s eye. A small – well, not so small, it was after all a Texas Water-bug, or roach – skittered from the dark leg of one pew further up the row, across the aisle, and up the dark leg of the next pew. His extra long antennas fluttered this way and that testing the air, while his legs clicked and clattered as he raced for the safety of the pew….Bruce’s pew.
Joshua watched it run right up the side of the pew and over Bruce’s fingers. Bruce jumped and turned to his Mommy who hushed him while she rocked the new baby. Unconcerned, Bruce watched the roach run back down his armrest to the floor. Jules, sitting in the pew in front of Joshua, noticed the boys were no long listening to the sermon. She pulled her feet up off the floor as the roach left the safety of Bruce’s pew and raced back to her side of the aisle. She craned her neck to see which row of pews it hid in now. Ellie – Julie’s little sister – pressed her plump baby hands over her mouth suppressing a giggle she knew would get her a reproachful glance from her mother.
With the roach no longer visible, Joshua nudged his big sister Constance and whispered in her ear, “There’s a roach up there.”
Sure enough, four pews ahead of them, their Aunt Abby and Uncle Price both twitched. Aunt Abby took a death like grip on Uncle Price’s shoulder. Then, the people behind them started.
It was coming closer….
Imogene stood up in her seat and turned around to watch the roach skitter towards Joshua. Her Mommy picked her up and turned her back around to face the front of the sanctuary.
Only Jules’ pew remained between Joshua and the roach.
Constance met Joshua’s eye. This needed to end. They both raised their feet to stomp. Julie hissed, and Ellie giggled.
Two long antennas rushed into view.
Their feet came down right on top of the roach.
“Shhhhh,” Daddy said. “Sit still.”
Sitting very still, the smashed roach under their Sunday shoes, they waited until Daddy looked back at the front of the sanctuary. Extra, extra quietly they lifted their feet and grinned.
They had flattened the roach.
Bruce glanced back at Joshua giving him a thumbs-up. Uncle Price gave them a wink. All was quiet in the pews.