Rainy Days and Mondays Part 1

April 20, 2015:

Wanda comes across salvation

A Derelict Church

Characters

NPCs: A preacher, his robed friends and some homeless mutants

Mentions:

Mood Music: Rainy Days and Mondays


Fade In…

Wanda, as she often does, is singing softly to herself – “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down”. The inspiration for her song choice may be the driving rain that falls on her as she wanders the near deserted streets late at night. Her hair matted to her face and sodden clothes. Her blue eyes alert and darting from one dark building to the next. It’s M-Town and she is a mutant (possibly) but that doesn’t mean she is safe. “Nothin’ is really wrong. Feelin’ like I don’t belong. Walkin’ around. Some kind of lonely clown” she continues to sing in a soft lilt. Pietro always had old records back home and though he despised ‘The Carpenters’ - nowhere near cool enough - Wanda was quite happy to listen to them over and over again. At least until he sped off with the record and hid it where she would never find it again. He wasn’t always the nicest of brothers.

Wanda stops suddenly. There are people. Down the street is an old church. Wanda had always thought it was derelict but now low light seeps through the semi-boarded windows and there is a line of derelicts shuffling inside, guided by smiling, white robed people of both sexes. The derelicts are just like her. Homeless. Destitute. Mutants. Some have claws. Some have animal faces. Some have faces that are horrifying. Tails and wings badly hidden under long coats that are holed and torn. The people in the robes are completely different. Healthy. Happy. Beautiful – in that human way. One of them spots Wanda, a fresh-faced blonde woman in her twenties and waves before walking slowly towards the witch. Apparently she has learned that some M-Town residents are quite skittish.

“I will be careful” Wanda hisses quietly to an unseen voice. “No…I don’t like churches either” she adds, recalling that time in Transia when a priest wanted her whole family burned at the stake. It may have had something to do with Wanda ‘speaking in tongues’. They had to flee in a hurry that night.

The woman stops about ten feet away, showing her open hands so as not to worry Wanda. “Good evening. My name is Lisa. Would you like to come out of the cold and the rain?” she asks with a beaming, warm smile before gesturing to the church. “The Lord’s word is for all. His warmth is for all. His love is for all. He offers you food and shelter. Please. Come join the others in the company of the Lord.”

Wanda looks at Lisa with a tilt of her head before looking past her at the church. “The Lord is in there?”

Lisa laughs and shakes her head. “The Lord is everywhere, not just in that church. Please?” Another gesture towards the building, where now the last of the others have entered, before the blonde walks towards it, expecting Wanda to follow.

Water runs in rivulets down Wanda’s face and under her clothes and she can’t help but shiver. She hasn’t seen the room that Lunair wants to give her yet and certainly doesn’t want to interrupt the bubblegum coloured armour wearer this late. It’s not as if she couldn’t get out of the church if it was dangerous. The voices in her head try to warn her to stay out but it is /so/ cold and /so/ wet. The first step is the hardest but then she is following Lisa into the church, singing softly once more – “Hangin’ around. Nothing to do but frown. Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.”

The stone church is not large but enough to seat about twenty homeless mutants on the rows of damaged wooden pews. Wanda shuffles towards the back. She is shy at the best of times and doesn’t want to make anyone move for her. Around the walls stand half a dozen of the robed figures, smiling beatifically at the congregation. Candles light the room though not very brightly. Water drips through the roof in places. At the front of the church is a pulpit where another robed figure – a man in his fifties – moves to stand upon to speak. A large, welcoming smile from the man before he begins.

“Welcome. Welcome to you all. Welcome to the Lord’s church. Here you are loved, respected, valued. Here your pain can be taken away through communion with the lord.” Wanda’s eyes wander over the other mutants. They slump on their seats, as wet and cold as she is, some even shivering. They are people who have lost the will to fight. People whose lives have been ruined by their mutations and now have nowhere else to turn. A hollow look in their eyes as they listen. Wanda wonders if this is how she looks to others. So lost. So desperate. So lonely. The witch reaches the back row and quietly slides onto the pew as the ‘preacher’ continues. “The Lord looks into your souls and He sees your pain. Your grief. Your hopelessness. But it does not have to be this way because the Lord /is/ hope. Let Him into your hearts and you will never again know fear or pain.” He smiles wryly. “I know what you are thinking. You have heard this all before. Why should you believe my words? Because what I offer is not just words…it is action.” He points to a red furred mutant with the snout of pig. “You. Life has not been easy for you, has it? Mocked. Feared. Attacked?” The mutant nods solemnly. “The Lord can stop all that. Please, step forward. Do not be afraid. Life is about to become worth living again.” The mutant stands, hesitant, looking around at the others for any kind of advice before Lisa is taking his arm and offering a warm, consoling smile before leading him towards the pulpit. Another robed figure is handing a goblet to the preacher, who bows solemnly as he takes it. He turns towards the mutant. “What is your name, my son?”

“Arthur” replies the mutant, unsure for a moment if that was correct.

“Drink” smiles the preacher, offering over the goblet. “Allow the blood of the Lord to mix with yours and you will find grace and salvation. I promise.”

The mutant eyes off the goblet before slowly taking it. What does he have to lose? A life of misery and discrimination even here in M-Town – no one is more hurtful than your own kind. He drinks clumsily, his lips not formed for goblet, but the liquid is soon making its way into his body. The others watch with anticipation and Wanda watches with curiosity before looking up to the ceiling to see if the Lord was coming. She doesn’t feel too nervous inside the church. Normally she feels queasy and uncomfortable on holy ground but here…nothing.

The mutant starts to tremble and looks to be gasping for breath. Then his body is contorting. Pulsing. Inflating and deflating in various spots. A cracking of bones. The groaning of muscle and tissue. Then he collapses to the ground breathing heavy, the other mutants standing to peer down at what was happening. Some suddenly defensive and ready to fight. But then the mutant stands and he is a changed man. Everything has gone. The fur. The snout. The misshapen body that had been beaten so many times. He is human once more. “It’s a miracle!” he gasps, turning his hands back and forth in front of his face to stare at ‘normal’ flesh once more.

“Hallelujah!” cries out the preacher with a grin of joy. “Come, brothers and sisters. Come drink communion with the Lord and let all your cares be washed away.” There is a bit of a stampede towards the robed people, each of them now holding a goblet that they refill with a purple liquid from small bottles that look more like those from a laboratory than a wine cellar.

Wanda watches with curiosity. Then a voice – 'Smooth'. She glances around, curious as to whose voice that was.

'Smooth.'

The voice has a warning tone, like she should know the dangers of that one word. It is not a voice Wanda knows and her eyes squint as she looks around for the source. And then Lisa is there. Standing in front of her and offering a goblet of the strange liquid. “Drink. Be at peace” she smiles and it is such a comforting smile.

Wanda looks at the goblet and then over at the mutants who now look ‘normal’ once more…and happy. They laugh and hug. No longer alone. No longer frightened. They have hope. “Will it stop the voices?” she asks Lisa softly and the woman nods once in reply. “Will it bring Pietro back?” That question just gets a curious furrowing of Lisa’s brow. Wanda knows why Pietro has gone now. It’s because of what happens around her. It’s because she killed their mother. And if communion will make that go away, make her normal…then the people will stop chasing them and Pietro will come back. Wanda reaches for the goblet…

Talkin' to myself and feelin' old

Sometimes I'd like to quit

Nothing ever seems to fit

Hangin' around

Nothing to do but frown

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

BREAKING NEWS: An abandoned church in M-Town exploded tonight in what authorities are calling a tragic gas leak accident. The derelict building which was to be demolished next month was being used as shelter from the rain by a small group of homeless persons. Police believe that, unaware of the gas leak, one of the victims lit a match and ignited the vapours. No damage was done to neighbouring buildings and the gas leak has been stopped. The charred remains of at least six bodies have been found at the scene.

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