Quick Grace Before Dinner Now Hostage Situation for Local Family

MANDEVILLE – As details emerge on the ongoing hostage crisis at the Johnson family dining room table, sources close to the family have revealed that the starving victims have begun to lose hope in hearing the word “amen” ever again.

The authorities were reportedly alerted to the situation at approximately 8:42 pm last night, when the neighbours grew concerned about the sound of several respectful groans coming from the home across the street, in the midst of a dinner themed sermon that reportedly grew even louder to drown out any further subtle complaints.

“Then we saw the lights flicker on and off a couple times and we knew something was up.” said neighbour Peta-Gay Ellington, referring to what is being described as one family member’s daring cry for help, despite their captor’s frequent checks to see if all heads were bowed in the circle. “Now all we can do is pray.”

Reports indicate that the situation took a turn for the worse when Winston Johnson, 45, attempted to diffuse the tension with a joke about the dinner getting cold, at which point their captor, 68-year-old matriarch and prayer warrior Beverly Johnson, did the unthinkable: She started over.

“We also want to thank you dear Lord for Odean’s good grades last semester, and ask you to forgive him for not calling his grandparents more often,” Mrs Johnson could be heard saying, after covering all possible dinner related blessings and moving on to more general topics of interest. “Now, let’s get started on the economy.”

Recognizing the delicacy of this particular situation, which reports indicate is basically a fast now, the police have enlisted the help of a hostage negotiator trained in the delicate art of subduing rogue meal gracers with something to prove.

“I’ve dealt with fish fries, reunions, charity events, corporate retreats, birthdays when your parents are there, you name it.” said negotiator Damian Fields, “So this should be nothing.”

Fields has still not been heard from since entering the Johnson household, but police confirmed receiving an almost indecipherable text message from the abductor, likely typed with closed eyes, summarily dismissing the panic over her family’s gluttonous “desires of the flesh.”