“Jeez, I need a drink!”
“There, there, Annie, have some Kool-Aid,” June said cheerfully, as she filled a Dixie cup on the table in the bible school teachers’ break room.
“Jell-O shot would be more like it,” Annie shot back. “Where do these kids come from? Their parents must be zoo animals!”
“I hear you,” said Betty, holding a battery-powered fan near her neck with her eyes closed. “I got one boy who can’t keep his fingers out of his nose — unless they’re in his mouth. And he’s worn the same t-shirt for three days! Still has the grape juice stain from Monday, and here it is Wednesday! Who bathes this kid? Who dresses him?”
“Think you’ve got it bad? I’ve got pee stink,” chimed in Holly between puffs from a Marlboro, which she exhaled through a window. “Someone in my class wet themself, and it’s dried and I’m not sure who the culprit is. But in this heat, it’s like someone put a cat box under the table. Makes my eyes water!”
“Now, now, they’re just children. Everyone just relax and have a cookie,” June cooed.
“Children from hell!” Betty responded, with open eyes. “Snotty, noisy and stinky with the attention span of chickens. And I’ve got a whiner: ‘Everyone’s picking on me. Joey touched me! Trudy made a face!’ Little sniveler, I just want to tell her to shut up!”
“We’re just a free lunch and day care for most of these kids,” Annie added. “The parents don’t give a hoot about Christian education. Never see them in church. Just dump the kids off and don’t look back. Off to work – if they even have a job – or off to the salon, or the beach, or the couch or wherever there’s happy hour.”
“Ladies, please!” said the matronly April Strutt, June’s mother and the bible school coordinator, entering with a rush that threatened to turn all into pillars of salt. “We’re just three days into this, with two more to go, and we can’t lose anyone at this point.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years, and, believe me, I’ve just about seen it all. Cranky kids. Booger eaters. Pee’ers and snivelers. But you know what? They’re all God’s creations, and we owe it to them to try to bring a little bit of Jesus into their lives. The fact that all of you are here, grumpy or otherwise, testifies to His power to call us to service. Nobody says this is easy, at least no one who’s ever done this before. It takes a truckload of commitment. But if you trust in God and pray for His assistance, you can reap the rewards of . . .”
“Oh, please,” Betty interrupted, “don’t feed us that heaven stuff. I’m not in the mood.”
“No,” the older woman said. “I was going to say, mojitos at my place on Friday!”
(Note: This was written as a Writers Kickstart prompt on the topic Group of Five.)