Does the Anti-Christ Like Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Port Orange, Florida - Sarah Mervelle (69) is similar to a lot of retirees in the Sunshine State. She enjoys visits from her grown son, likes to socialize with others her age in the suburban community she lives in and loves to talk about her grandchildren. What makes her a little different than the rest is the altar to the anti-Christ she keeps in her living room.

Sarah Mervelle is ready to offer the antichrist milk and cookies.

"One day I was watching TV and I heard a preacher talking about how the world was soon to be destroyed when the anti-Christ made his self known to us." Mervelle told me. "Now I haven't got a darn bit of use from those slick TV preachers, I think they're just trying to get your money, so I turned him off. But later in the day I was thinking about what he said. Now if the anti-Christ is coming then doesn't it make sense that someone needs to be welcoming him? If I showed up at a party and no one was expecting me, I'd be upset to."

To help smooth things over for the transition Mervelle decided to have a little shrine put up in a bookshelf in her front room.

"Now I'm not real religious so I just kinda made it look like things I saw in the movies. It does look like his sort of thing though, doesn't it? I found the cross at a thrift store and repainted it myself. I think it looks nice. Sometimes I'll put a little plate of cookies in there for him as an offering. I think he'll like it."

Some of Sarah's neighbors have a rather dim view of the new centerpiece.

"Oh I think she's terribly misguided." says Roberta DuClane. "She's a wonderful person but I don't think she's thinking this whole thing through. I'm thinking about talking to Reverend Louis down at the Baptist church about it but I don't want him to blame me since I'm still fiends with her."

Sarah's son, Jonathan feels the same way.

"Mom was very demure when Dad was alive. He was always the decision maker in the house. Since he's passed on and Mom lives by herself I worry about her. I mean she doesn't do anything crazy like keep the oven on, or leave the door unlocked at night but. .well I guess you could say having an altar to Satan would be crazy."

Sarah feels like her neighbors and son just don't understand her. "Those old biddies from the macramÈ club came in here, took one look at it and started raising up a huge fuss. Didn't even want to see the plant holder I had spent all week in making. Johnny's a wonderful son but he's busy making a living. He hasn't got time to think about spiritual things."

Derek Barnes; cookie monster


interview with Sarah Mervelle, November 8th, 1999

interview with Roberta DuClane, November 8th, 1999

phone interview with Jonathan Mervelle, November 9th, 1999

photo by Derek Barnes

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