hip hip hip hippopotamus

As I step over the threshold my breathing is amplified, my footsteps reverberate loudly off each wall. The air becomes dark and cool, the huge, tall paintings glowering down at me, towering over the stone floors. The scenes depicted are graphically violent, as expected here.

I take a tentative step up to look at the pulpit, the statue of Christ gazing emptily at the floor. I am suddenly struck by how strange it is, that this place of supposed adoration and loving faith seems so surreal and sinister. It is leagues away from the happy renditions of ‘hip hip hip hippopotamus’ that we sang as children in Sunday school.

I tiptoe back out into the balmy evening, humming quietly to myself.

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