by Johanna DeBiase
She folded her knees beneath her and hung her head over her praying hands, “Please, please, Mother Nature, not now, I'm not ready.” She made the altar in art class when she decided that she did not believe in God anymore. Without proof of a kingdom in heaven, she was unwilling to be part of the hoax. Instead, she decided to believe in Mother Nature because there was proof of her all around. She used old wood scraps for the base and glued on pictures of plants. In the center, she glued a silver fairy to represent Mother Nature. She was pleased with her project and so was her teacher who gave her an A.
At night, she knelt at Nature's altar and promised to be good if only Desomnd would fall in love with her, for she learned in school that love was just hormones and hormones were part of Nature. When Desmond kissed her under the bleachers, she knew her altar had worked so she asked for more. And Desomnd called her his girlfriend and Desomnd asked her to the dance.
But the night of the dance, Nature betrayed her when blood, red as the plastic chili peppers she glued to her altar, ran down the inside of her thigh. She cursed Nature, throwing her altar across the floor before begging God to make it stop.