Youth Group

by Elise Ventura

It’s a silver-plated siren call, the words of the youth pastor’s wife: God is real, demons are real, the battle is real, and we are fighting for your life. To a teen girl who lives in her books, it’s everything she’s ever wanted to hear. You’re beautiful, you’re special, you’re strong, and we need you is what they say, though in more words than that. The lies are hidden behind pristine smiles and fervent prayer, and ever so slowly, the message changes. You’re tainted, you’re a sinner, give up your worldly ways and submit. They’re only right about one thing: demons are real.


Elise Ventura is a writer living in Minnesota.