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Friday Knapp

You don't kneel before the altar. You get down before me.

0 · 889 views · located in Tijuana, California

a character in “Left Hand of God”, as played by CharlotteV

Description


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AGE 21xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcxxcxxxxxxxxxQuintessential SinnerxxxxxxxxxxxcxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxTijuana CA

ImageDoes my name taste Holy on the tip of your tongue?

ɴᴀᴍᴇ: Friday Aaron Knapp
ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ: Nirvana Itself, a Few Steps From Grace
ʀᴇʟᴇᴠᴀɴᴛ ᴋɪɴ: A Mystery Pressed Between Pages of the Old Testament
ᴩᴏꜱɪᴛɪᴏɴ: Your New God
ʙɪʀᴛʜ ᴅᴀᴛᴇ: April 5th, 1996 - Aries
ꜰᴀᴠᴏʀᴇᴅ ᴇxᴄᴇʀᴩᴛ: Jeremiah 7:9 & Exodus 20:3



ᴛʜᴇ ꜱʜᴏʀᴛ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ
Born and bred straight from Sunday school exploits; there's a history to Friday few know and even fewer understand. Where he's been is dust on the back of his hand and a steel blue gaze that brushes it away without ceremony.

ᴀꜱᴋ ɴᴏ ǫᴜᴇꜱᴛɪᴏɴꜱ ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜ'ʟʟ ʜᴇᴀʀ ɴᴏ ʟɪᴇꜱ.

That boy is sin wrapped up in a prayer, his smile says he'll save your soul but his eyes say he'll damn you in the same stroke.

He wears his vanity like a satan worshiper wears blood, in perfectly pressed collars and sharp, sharp colors. A crucifix swinging low from his neck that burns into even the most silver of tongues. Oh, if Eden ever had a snake, he's it. It's his hands forcing any devotee to their knees, his mouth next to their ear, telling them it's okay to take the lords name in vain.

ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ'ꜱ ɴᴏ ꜱᴀᴠɪɴɢ ʏᴏᴜ ɴᴏᴡ.

He's a permanent fixture at a last supper that was never meant for the likes of him, a devil in an angel's skin, serenity and disruption in a single breath. There's innocence that can be found in the shape of tousled bedhead from one too many naps, across a pew, against an alter, floating on a sea of holy water. But it's gone the moment the sermons are over and the choir is silent. If you listen closely you can hear him whisper: "Even your God knows you're a whore."

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ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ

A follower unafraid to question would see through the stories Friday weaves in the sound of a Georgian accent falling from his lips. The gentlemanly southern tilt to his words gives way of his geography, but answers very little more. For the truth, the real truth, is perhaps the only thing he keeps to himself.

A Bible that lies forgotten in a box, buried in a barren river, left uncovered by anyone with eyes. Faith blinded in the way he carries himself, a grace owned only by those brought up too rich to worry. A trick of the light dear, pay attention, because Friday Knapp was raised off hand-me-downs and games of scraping pennies from lower middle class floors.

He hails from a Widower with seven under him and a Veronica brought together by religion. A marriage doomed by a void, an inability to follow Genesis 9:7. Suppose medicine didn’t understand the power of prayer. Miracle baby, gift from God, her Good Friday.

Oh, how she loved him. How his father couldn't care less. Caught somewhere between being another mouth to feed and absolute royalty. Her flesh and blood amongst the half breeds. The prettiest, the wittiest, the calmest. The only one she could drag to church. The only one who wanted to listen.

His past is chock full of ingredients for the making of a Molotov Cocktail: a volatile combination of a God Complex and a Pathological L i a r. The exterior doesn't match the mess within. Porcelain holding tar. Was it God they promised came with blonde hair and blue eyes, or Lucifer?

There's no information here, between then and now. Sorry, it must have gotten lost in translation. Didn't you know it was originally meant to be read in Hebrew? I suppose you'll have to choose your path. Jewish, Baptist, Catholic...

Friday found his. A savior by the likes of the Virgin Mary, pure in both her ideals and her soul. Untarnished, something perfect, something made in God's very image. Something he can't decide if he wants to preserve or destroy.

Someone should have warned her. His obsession only lasts as long as her devotion places him above her own oath. How long can she hold his weight?

I can show you what heaven feels like while I make you beg for salvation.

So begins...

Friday Knapp's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nico Pastor Character Portrait: Friday Knapp Character Portrait: Damon Soto Character Portrait: Isa Nash Character Portrait: Jack Soto Character Portrait: Knox Xanthi
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A PRELUDE TO BIBLICAL TURMOIL



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first person POV ♰ 2016



I’m blurry the way children get between naps, rubbing paunchy little fingers at their eyes. I’m trying to sweep off last night’s dust but I don’t think it’s worth it, because I’m just going to fall back asleep anyway. On the edge of nineteen, I shouldn’t be sleeping the way a toddler does.

“Get him on the fucking table!” The noise is drowned by attempts at whispers. Shuffling. I figure Luca and his friends are drunk again. They mean no trouble. Just men of their devices. I’m used to it; they’ve practiced being quiet around the house. Luca doesn’t like to disturb me for the most part. Not that I’ve ever minded. Recently, however, he’s gotten really p a r t i c u l a r about keeping out of my business. Or rather, making sure I don’t have an eye on his.

Light cuts through the shutters, hemorrhaging a reflective yellow onto the sterling crosses I hung up on the loose particle board of my bed frame. It does this every day. Morning. Sometimes dusk. Hits me dead in the face and that’s it - there’s no rest for myself, nor the wicked, I guess. We’re all one in the same. Only human, much to the distaste of other worshippers. Whoops.

The sun has soon come to serve as an alarm clock of God’s instrument, where my parents once stood and cooed in the doorway. I’m so tired. But the work is never over. Whether they’re here, or overseas, or scrubbing steel whisks up and down the robust oak of La Basilica’s ground level. I’ve taken up the ladder. Not as easy as they made it look.

In spite of the bible, regrettably, there’s no glory in the morning. I hate it. I’m not happy to see the old circular clock’s hour hand creeping on to 7AM. T h i s should be an original sin.

Gratitude should shine out of most people’s rear end when they wake up. Blessed to see another day. But I’m a little less than thrilled to hear the pantry being assaulted, and even less to see the sun. What can I say? Sorry, I’ve just never been a morning person. I make up for my dawn lethargy in substantial worship. Promise.

Silver is slung around my neck in very lazy preparation for yet another day. Thank you almighty Lord for this splendid gift. Amen. I loll at my bedroom’s entrance, scrounging with a single open hand to find my glasses by my good old book. I nearly bend the thin wire in my negligence, and don’t care much as long as I can see just what in the world is going on beneath me.

Banister’s whiney against my waist, again I rub my eyes like a tyke and strain my ears. It’s the only noise in this place that doesn’t belong to my brother or his gang of misfits. I hear a lot of shushing and sound swamped in quiet chiding. If I had to guess, it sounds like a drunken mess. But as I lean a little further and get under the frame of my glasses, incessantly rubbing, nosily listening

“He’s gonna bleed,” I hear Damon mention in that immune vernacular they only teach in medical schools.
“Come on, come on,” Luca exhausts, “Cállate la boca, Damon. Just… Fucking put pressure or something!”
“Get it out of me!” Who is that?…

“Get it the fuck out of me!”

A blunt, inanimate din echoes in a short story. The house is a little too taciturn and eerie. It’s sudden. My worst fears jump between horror movie plots and bad water in Mexico and I’m wondering just how wild the night got for the boys below. They have no idea I’m here. It’s as if I don’t exist at all. There’s glass between us, and I haven’t bothered to look down because I’ve been mostly indifferent and trying not to see sun spots this entire time and…

Something cuts loose from my face, but not words or anxiety to spill from my mouth. Not concern. No. It’s my glasses.

They follow the silence and the brusque noise and turn the place upside down. Clattering lackadaisically on the dining room floor, probably inches from someone’s foot. I can feel everyone looking up. Oh… Sh…t.

Lord forgive me.

Now they’re above me. I can’t tell how many there are, really. Staring into me, shocked that I’m here like I haven’t lived in this house since conception. Same as my brother. But I’m just some sad bug, flattened on a slide. That’s how it feels. “Nico,” he’s feigning serenity and I can hear it distinctly, tongue caught on his teeth, like it used to be when we were kids. He had a stutter he’s since outgrown. It rears its pesky head when he’s in a pickle. “I’m gonna’ hack the stuff at the church today why don’t you take the day off? Hey or uh,” he gives something hefty a pull. Something unconscious.

“Hey Neek what about that memorial park you wanted to volunteer at?” Damon crops up. How he remembers things I’ve only muttered while walking by, I have no idea. He’s quick. Quicker than Luca, that way. He’s saving Luca’s behind, the vice and the versa. Childhood friendship evolved into brotherhood. We love him here, we always have. But where’s that other voice I heard?? And what is Luca going to do at La Basilica on a Saturday? Yeah… Right.

I don’t ask questions. I don’t say a n y t h i n g. I just open my eyes, full as they’ll go, and sort of cock my head and peer at the dining room table. Whose table cloth, FYI, is rumpled. Mom would go absolutamente loco if she saw that. Why won’t I ask questions? I see the blood. All that blood. Dripping from the fringe, slow and thick, getting cold. Because I know for the secrets that Luca has to handle - oh man, I’ve got a big one of my own. The wicked and the pious are all one breed. I don’t ask any questions. Judgment isn’t for me, it’s for God

“If you need my help, Luca,” I fidget, nearly breaking my thumb nails on the baluster. I’ve never seen that much blood. My knuckles turn white, “D..Damon? I can help.” What could I help? Is someone going to die? I feel sick. I’ve got to help, but Friday isn’t just yesterday. He’s my private sin. He’s in the attached room upstairs. He counts on me to unlock the door and wake him up, and let him be more than just the weekend. I’ve been keeping a promise to him and to God. How much more room can I make inside of my soul for all of these lost men? It’s too big for my body, like a spirit pregnant without means to deliver.

There go I before the grace of God…

“No, Nico, it’s fine. We got it.” I’m not sure which one of them said it. But it’s enough to excuse me to expel my dinner. I push the pathetic lock of my bedroom door in and pray through wretches, knowing the wall separating myself and a l o n g weekend, is not thick enough to mask the noise. I house the excess. The way a church does for those who need guidance and a place to rest their heads. Only I am not the abbey, I’m just a girl. A sort of inadequate home now that I mention it. An even more inadequate Catholic. Did I just turn a blind eye to murder? The doors on either side of the bathroom slip latches, creak on a side of the morning… That Friday… Just doesn’t understand.

He’s not humble. Tactful when called for, but more on the vain side of my sect. A vital force that leaves a rippling wave of pigment that I really could not ignore. Like - I, just had to touch that brilliant color. My childhood chaplain makes it comparable to snakes and the devil. They’re so very beautiful and charming, aren’t they? I revert, cajole myself into thinking no matter how difficult or how harlequin, we all harbor a human soul.

I try to drown the impression that 7AM has made on me. Mouthwash doesn’t cut it, so I brush my teeth until my gums spit cherry pits back at my reflection. Pat my face with a damp rag. Roll my eyes at what he’ll say. I know he’s waking up, Knapp from his nap. I’m buzzing on a short circuit and I feel like I could flicker out of this world. As if I were a mosquito clapped up by an open palm, “Please be quiet,” I whisper and angle my elbows. Clutch the sink, “Please just be so, so quiet, this morning.” I know I look like the very ugly side of insomnia. I slept very well, thank you. I was rudely awakened so you see…..

Leave out the blood.

When he peeks, so kindred to maybe what he used to look like, a child curious and eager to come out and play, I’m swallowing a lump in my throat. It bobs in my chest. I don’t think he’s ever seen me like this. Me neither.

I imagine what he must have been like as a kid. But reality rips me from the false apparition of an angel. “We’re not going to the church today.” Declaration from my usual multiple choice. He won’t like it. But we are not going t h e r e. We may even climb out my window, now. His gaze is as extensive and intimidating as the Pacific. Asking questions, demanding answers without utilizing any precious energy he pulled from sleep. He doesn’t think I’m worth it. I’m used to it, because half the time, I wonder if I should have ever helped him. My Father is my courage and my devotion, and so I give unto.

Snowfall is equivalent to his hair, even when it’s a mess from being choked by a pillow. Plush and you’d want to touch it whether it fell from heaven or grew out of Friday’s head. So blond it’s white. He’s pale, but not too pale - just the kind of porcelain that blushes soft pink when you press it to hold hands. Jaw turns into a scored piece of marble when he’s thinking. When he’s displeased on his illusory throne. I’m the textbook definition of a schoolgirl in his description. But believe me when I say, he is every bit the force to be reckoned with. I know this. And I keep a l o t of distance between us. He judges me and he invites me. I’m not the first Catholic in his arsenal, even if he didn’t tell me that. I can tell there’s a tickle of nostalgia he gets when he’s close to me. It’s his cross to bear. Not mine. I’m no Eve. My mama didn’t raise no fool.

I love him, because I’m supposed to.

He’s been here a couple weeks beneath the radar. My compassion gauge ticks on empty frequently around him and his mouth. His teeth could cut steel. Tongue, diamonds. But somebody dumped him in this place for me to find. God Bless California.

“Friday, please stop looking at me like that.” I’m out of breath still from the contents of my stomach clogging my wind pipe. “We’ll do something fun,” I’m masking the chaos worse than my brother, and Friday is thinking, “Your idea of fun makes suicide sound like a bouncy castle.” It causes me to pull at my shirt. He never made me uncomfortable. But his flinty scrutiny is making me want to confess to murders I don’t even know happened. I imagine, this is how anyone feels even casually interacting with Friday. It gets him off. So now, he’s looking more pleased than judgmental. Fit for a thorn crown rather than his jewels if you ask me. Conceit is a sin. I haven’t gotten him to repent.

Yet, there’s an understanding between us. He softens and scrapes me with his inquiry but doesn’t step a foot onto the tile. “It’s okay.” I tell him. “They’re so distracted they probably wouldn’t even notice you, today.” I’m just as tired as he is on a good day, which is not at all normal. even he knows that. “I’ve been thinking.” Try to distract from the obvious.

“I could just make you up a room at the church instead of here. It’s less risky and you won’t be forced to be around me so much. As much, really.” Careful about my words. I wouldn’t want it to look the wrong way. Like I'm maybe covering up a homicide.

Friday’s expression shifts before she even finishes speaking, a here and gone irritation strong enough to promise a Biblical Plague. Displeased. /Displaced/. He’s taken up residence in the back of her mind more than in her home, a vice grip on her spinal cortex. She’s as aware that he’s pulling at her strings as he is.

He /wants/ to be here. The first thought she has between her morning prayer and her brothers sins. As consistent and constant as her faith. Her face doesn’t always match her words, but he can’t get any closer to see the distinction. There’s a threshold he can’t cross - /leave space for Jesus/. One day, he’ll burn that bridge down.

He resists the temptation to fold his arms least the distinction causes her back to draw up tight. /No paths have been cut yet, Friday, take a deep breath./ “Forced,” he repeats, southern lift softening his tone from the knife that it could be. “Is that how /you/ feel, darlin’?”
--Written for Friday as played by CharlotteV

For a moment I want to reach out and touch the vitality that’s been taunting me over a course of weeks. I wonder who’s the serpent and who’s the charmer. If it’s time to deliver bad news, or good. He plucks at me like fine ivory looped on maple wood. From what I can tell, I’m not quite singing the song he wants to hear. He tightens the strings and brings that bow across me slow and steady, “Darlin’.” My thumb grazes the glossy crucifix. Bad news, or good news.

How about a house blend?

Physical dominions close no space between us, but he narrows us up real analytically just with a few words. I don’t think he’s evil incarnate the way another god fearer would. But I can see the devil dancing behind blue, when it shines opal and stares at me. The sun catches him better than I, but I know he’d rather be asleep. My hair is all dark and a mess, so I cut the staring contest with a glance to the mirror. I see a reduced pupil of Christ masquerading in about a buck seventeen of thin skin. Shoulder bones tipping up into white fabric to match the collar of my body. I think of how Luca used to tease me and say I’d never grow into any shape, much less a woman’s. The girl in the glass has augmented since high school, and sometimes I don’t know how to face her like this. A virgin who feels guilty even buying a lace bra because it’s the last one in her size. Grasping a cross and dithering on the other side of sepia opticals. I don’t ask questions, let alone question God and what he’s given me. “Well if you had another choice you wouldn’t be here.”

Feebly smiling I might as well lay like a rug, but I don’t tend to get walked on easily. I only have too much patience. A surplus for Friday. Because he’s meant to be good, as I’m first to Sunday. I know that test pilot sort of timbre he uses when talks. Signifies that I’m walking a rope that could fray or be pulled to balance me out. Drop me or clock my piece of mind a little longer, I’m getting a little better at playing the game of wit with Mr. Knapp.

But as nice of a distraction as it is to what’s going on downstairs, I have to cut it short. The rood is pendent, loose from my tapered throat. Relinquished in a way that might look like surrender. Truth of it is, I’m just not afraid of Friday. God is always looking out for me, but I look out way better for handsome dressed darkness in my doorway. “Don’t look so sour, Viernes, es porque me importa. I don’t know how much more I can do for you here. I could take better care at the church.” And it’ll look a lot less suspicious when Luca finds out about you. Fully.

I’ve practiced not feeling small in the company of men. Luca taught me that. Dad sort of instilled in me that men are my superior, but Mom was a little more lax and feminist-influenced. Luca latched on to that. He gets to talking and knows how to make you feel small, but it isn’t ruled by any bias. Luca is a demanding presence. Sometimes he tells me that not even I should shudder in the shadow of God. I turn it over in my mind, thinking hard enough to grind my teeth into fine meal when Friday digests my native tongue.

He can read her better than anyone he’s ever come across. A good Catholic, a /true/ Catholic, has no need for secrets or deceptions. She’s an open book, a vibrant promise. Which means that now, the way she’s dancing around him, up all the balls of her toes to keep from causing damage, she’s carefully misplacing weight not just on his bomb, but someone else's.

He can’t smell blood, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The curiosity for her thinly veiled antics causes his own raging storm to calm. The truth is. It’s too early. He’s still more tired than her. There’s a ring on his thumb, forgotten silver from a forgotten time, and he spins it now while he thinks. Considers.

She’s not wrong.

If he had another choice.

But here he is, and the bed is made, and the monster has taken up permanent residence underneath it. The stories begin to form in his mind, flesh out, take a life of their own. /Who is he, where has he been, who does he know?/

Oh, the answer to that? A Pastor.

He see’s her play, but he thinks it’s okay. “It’s fine,” he says, and if he clips the letters a little, well, it’s only /because he cares/. “I’ve always liked church."
-- Written for Friday as played by CharlotteV

Good thing, too.

Because I’m trying to figure out how I would gently reject him over again if he got closer than a few feet. There’s been a couple walls between us - and if we creep up on a month of borrowed time on my brother’s timepiece, we might just be pushing it. Sometimes I don’t sleep at night knowing Friday’s there. Worse, knowing he’s awake. Thinking the same thing. I forced a gap and plugged it with doorknobs and gentle knocks after he first went to smooth a lock of my hair. I saluted his false prayers knowing well they carried little weight. The memory hangs onto the church and leaks through the stained glass, its own color when Tijuana’s eventide kisses it just right. It weighs on me when I’m at the pew.

ImageIt was about the sixth day we’d spent together, him in my voluntary keeping. La Basilica needed weeding and I felt like the buckets were better used for sweat than dried dandelions. Friday attested it and told me he could never look at me the same after seeing me knuckle deep in cow waste, fertilizing scorched soil. Telling me it was hopeless. Refusing to touch the stuff. But he locked onto me that day, when he was taken with my hair for some reason. I think that’s when he got his claws in me. His hands were softer than mine, probably manicured too. He took to a section of pesky hair that had frizzed free in my labor. The California sun can make the strongest women weak, but so could a fallen star.

He was so close. If I’d not known better I would have leaned into it. But I put him carefully down and nudged his digits with my clean elbow, considerate. After that he didn’t try again, just strangled a motion of his Adam’s apple in thought, murmured about leaving room for Jesus. The usual ridicule to light up his hardened expression.

The blood I saw downstairs rattles the reverie. By the time I’m back to the present world, Friday is watching me from my window sill. Unimpressed by my methods. Soon we’re to La Basilica and he’s complaining of the heat in the atrium but I reiterate his fondness of the church to shut him up. He asks why we're here when I told him we wouldn't be coming here. But there's no other place to go.

I bow my head, I break my posture, and plead forgiveness for my brother’s trespasses, and a little extra for my own.

Harmony is fleeting the same way happiness is. I know it by life itself. The peace is cracked like china when I hear familiar disarray at the front of the church, and there is Luca. Damon. Jack, with a whole lot of ACE wrapped around his trunk. There’s been no regard for moral law, but at least Jack is standing on his own. It looks like a ball has been wedged up under his skin between his eye and mandible, threatening to rupture more than just a bruise. “Come on Nico what the fuck!” Luca almost whines, “I told you to take the day off.” Instinctively I drag myself to my feet disorderly, pin myself in front of Friday. It’s the first time we’ve ever touched, and there’s a gun in my brother’s hand.

He’s too pensive to notice the peculiar timing. Or that my ‘apprentice’ has been around a little too much. Luca draws a vascular hand up to his furrowed brow, pistol dangling from his index, clearly more distressed than Damon is about his own brother. “Just open up the basement,” Jack blurts, and I can tell that Damon AND Luca think about socking him cold another time, “I need some fucking Percs and I’ll be fine in a few hours to work.”

I didn’t even know Jack had a job. Bewildered, I blink incessantly and wait for some sort of additional commentary. Luca glances between me and the century old rug, folds it up and drops to his knees. Swaps prayers for a passcode on a stout lock. “Don’t worry,” he grunts and yanks up a hidden subsurface, “I’m gonna’ have this filled over the summer.” What he didn’t tell me then, was that he was going to build a new entrance in the back, and integrate a whole staircase as well as a heavy burnished ruby door. A supplement of sin to our family’s pride and joy.






PRESENT DAY
Fiestas Patronales de San Salvador, August 3rd, 2017
third person POV


ImageWith the last day of an Americanized las fiestas agostinas upon La Basilica, the place was swarming with souls. The church’s doors were taped over with murals of the patron saint and opened for unsecured celebration. Nico had been working for weeks to take up seasonal hires just for the festival alone, employing a dutiful dozen of new preachers. They flowed even and accommodating, each to a booth both indoors and out. Dipping roses in holy water and taking confessions. Families danced in the courtyard at day, made their devotions and offerings at night. Everything felt and appeared alright.

One of the traveling clerics favored leather to traditional cottons, and Nico didn’t knock him for it as much as Luca did. He was good in his word and following of the Lord. But, so much wasn’t enough for men like Luca. Nico shoved him off the walkway when he wanted to start again, whispering, “You leave Father Xanthi alone and mind your business Luca. He’s doing his job.” And so instead, her brother b-lined for Friday, with Damon in tow knowing Damon wanted no part of it. Friday was newly accepted as a fixture of the unholy/holy stable. Nico capitulated, let it happen. He was good enough to defend himself now, even if he’d rather ten minions fall before him the way followers went before God. Even if he’d rather Nico keep herself perennial on the altar in his honor. Or anyone else thick enough to crumble. The smart ones might blink enough to think it’s worth it, looking at snow white hair in midday. A smirk that looked tacked in place and too sure…

But, the digression.

She wove through the guests of the church under the sun, and passed by Xanthi in heedful gratitude. His southern sense of humor and sort of flat satire was faring well with visitors and, so far, had pulled some of the most generous donations. She nodded at his homily, not sure how he kept proclaiming under dark garb. It was hotter than h…

Her lightweight frock clipped at the sand, and was threaded in custom-stitched flowers both gold and indigo. Part of her detested the exposure, and the other half exalted in the liberation of having an excuse to wear so little in comparison to in-house wear. Not that anyone really cared. Not when there were fetish fanatics snapping garters and whips on the other side of the good old homestead, melting condoms for fun in a declaration of sadism. She twitched at the thought of Blue naked. Or giving himself to anyone. Wondered if he was hustling a trick or wearing a little more than usual and coming out to see the revelries like he said he would. Nico didn’t try to succeed over any of the underground’s beliefs, but she really did like to try to keep them fed. She cooked almost every night and sent it downstairs. With Fiestas Patronales, there was significantly more for consumption on the top half, feasts of gazpacho, grilled corn, paella and cured meats. They’d be eating good. So where was that Blue, and where was Jack?…

ImageSophie skirted the festivities as per usual, helping how she could. She’d bob in and out of the crowd and kept reasonably busy. Nico kept an eye out for her habitually, like it had become her job to keep Sophie away from the red door. Everyone knew why that was.

In lieu of committed assistance to the family name, Luca pulled up a few new girls from the thirsty dirt of God knows what town(s) in California or over. They compliantly signed over their hearts and disappeared behind the red door. Nico really hoped he was smitten. He had his eye on a rolling stone though. She’d blown in at the first day of Fiestas, with a burlap bag and sunglasses on. Tawny, medium height, named Isa. No evidence yet of where she came from or why. Sort of lingered around in a manner that made Nico itch, like she should be worried that someone was investigating and sent in the most unassuming girl they could find. Nico didn’t want to risk losing her family. Losing the church. She needed to have a better scoop on what was up.

She approached with absurd and abrupt poise, or lack thereof, “Hi. Isa. Nico, I’m the owner’s daughter. We met a couple days ago. I haven’t heard from you since I set you up with a cot, are you enjoying your time?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nico Pastor Character Portrait: Friday Knapp Character Portrait: Damon Soto Character Portrait: Jack Soto Character Portrait: Knox Xanthi
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Divine Savior of the World. It has the kind of ring to it that makes Friday want to rip it from it’s hooks and try it on for size. He knows he’d look good in it. Divino Salvador del Mundo. Yes.

Fiestas Patronales de San Salvador could have a day j u s t for him. Paint his fucking face from La Basílica to Catedral Metropolitana.

He wonders if he could get Jack to call him Divine Savior of the World. In its appropriate Spanish.

The smirk that curls over his lips isn’t appropriate for children, so fast fingertips find a clean rose and he hides himself in the perception that the smell is at all appealing. The weight of Nico’s judgement - for more than one unholy thought - settles on his shoulders though she’s nowhere near him.

And what a shame that is.

He crushes red petals beneath pale digits and tries not to let the comparisons drift away in his head. Visions of the Blood of Christ - no, no. It’s not his blood anyway. He’s still a step higher than the son of God because he is God.

There’s too many people in His house and he tries to act like it doesn’t bother him. The festival is too big, Nico worked very hard, appreciation is just on the tip of his tongue. And yet part of him can’t help but feel like every misplaced preacher is spouting sacrilege.

E x c e p t maybe the one in leather. Friday’s a little fond of that one, though he’s not sure if it’s the blonde hair or the way his eyes widened when someone referred to him as Daddy Xanthi. Honestly, he’s a little irritated he didn’t think of that first. Lost opportunities of misfortunate souls. A pity.

(to be reconsidered later. Options: Daddy Knox, Daddy X, Daddy KnoXX. Might as well throw on a third ‘x’, for the aesthetic of the thing. Daddy Father XXX. Classic.)

Finding his Virgin Mary at a time like this is no easy feat, and he almost throws it in when he catches sight of embroidered indigo out of the corner of his eye. Ah, finally, there she is. Perhaps he’s the only one that notices she’s wearing less today as per the norm. If he tilts his head, he might even catch a glimpse of an ankle.

He snorts despite himself, and it’s only funny because Friday himself is modest just the same. Even in August heat, his cuffs reach his wrists and his collar his neck. Mint fabric is kinder to him under the sun but long exposure will, surely, be the death of him.

Or perhaps Luca Pastor will, if he ever realizes Friday has seen more of his little sister than this moment. But their secrets lie in the colors of early twilight, between folds of soft lace and curious blue eyes. He wishes it was as salacious as it sounded in his mind.

“Oh, Mary.” He’s far too amused for a day this hectic. How long was his nap earlier? It must have been a good one, he can hardly even remember. Her dark eyes land on his, she’s already losing patience. Rude, he’s only pestered her a handful of times today. All before the festivities started.

He knows e x a c t l y where her line is and he places himself just on the edge of it, where Jesus can still exist as a whisper between their forms but he’s still far enough away she won’t step back from him; even if he puts her on edge. It was a game he enjoyed playing and finding all the rules to. One day, he would break them.

One day.

Well, this is certainly longer than your mother’s nightgown,” he comments, that Georgian accent keeping his tone low enough to be just for them. “But what is this? A spaghetti strap?” He moves to pop the offending item and stops just short, a wind gust away from untouched skin and things he thinks about at night.

His eyes dark dart to her face, a smile breaking across his own. “You harlot, you.”

Maybe the words hit too close to their metaphorical home, or maybe he’s struck a cord, because there’s a hint of embarrassment under her usual stern whisper of, ”Friday. Please!”

He’s smirking again, and if that expression wasn’t appropriate for children it isn’t appropriate for Nico either. He tugs on the chain around his neck and presses a glossy black cross between his lips to hide the expression. But oh, it still tastes like Jack Rabbit.

Well, if that wasn’t heinous.

Friday never did like for his food to touch. He was lucky in that it often didn’t. His Jack belonged in hell and his Mary in heaven and himself somewhere far above. Able to keep them separated by a red door like the line of a knife between his plate.

“Don’t chastise me, I haven’t done anything.” Yet. Today? No. This hour? Perhaps. Does it count as sinning if it all stays in his head? Probably. He should repent. Confess. He knows his favorite position for it...

Nico doesn’t believe him in the slightest if that look is anything to go off of. He supposes he should feel worse for wear, but he simply drops the charm from his mouth and offers her a complicit shrug. He looks her over again, more curious than examining. “Wipe that blush off your face. It’s hot, Mary dear. You deserve a little light weight. Otherwise you’d be sweatin’ like a hooker in church.”

He’s seen a hooker in church. It’s a beautiful sight.

He’s smirking again.

Something passed his shoulder catches her attention and if he bristles at that well, it’s his business alone. His good mood dissipates and he wants to call her back, but she murmurs an excuse and shifts passed him. He supposes he’ll be in her prayers tonight, at the very least.

Though, again, not quite as exciting as it sounds. When she’s asking for forgiveness on his part and not begging for a lack of description.

Ah well, what was the proverb? Beggars can’t be choosers? Though he supposes John Heywood had never tasted La Basílica’s particular brand of religion.

Shame.

He watches as Nico catches up to her brother just in time to direct his attention away from Daddy Knox, and thinks that’s probably for the best, until Luca’s caught on him. Friday can’t blame him, he is quite noteworthy, and yet…

Ah, he’s coming over now. With Damon.

Oh joy.

Hallelujah.

Praise the Heavens.

This is going to be the highlight of his evening.

He wants a nap.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nico Pastor Character Portrait: Friday Knapp Character Portrait: Hackett Deimos Character Portrait: Blue Victoria Character Portrait: Luca Pastor Character Portrait: Damon Soto Character Portrait: Isa Nash Character Portrait: Jack Soto Character Portrait: Knox Xanthi Character Portrait: Magdalene M. Vega
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Image Guess she’s never really been one for church unless you count the little things; God showing up in the friend who calls to check in when motel lights paint you like stained glass and tawny knuckles burn white at the edges. Communion looking like long distance calls. It’s not that long ago when she sat perched on the curb like an alley cat catching whatever stray light she could from cars passing by, phone pressed to her ear, wondering why fragmented prayers make it to her and never God. Just leak out of the receiver and leave her in a pool of neon. She’s starting to think the flood’ll find her anywhere, wet footprints her insignia.

I wanna do better is something Isa doesn’t have the words to articulate, settles for fishing psalms out of the back of some stranger’s throat, crumbling walls a quiet bystander when the same story gets rewritten in hopes that one’ll stick. But she’s learned seeing the world in darkened colors isn’t without it’s lighter moments. In the morning she’ll wake up on another side of town, light a cigarette like that’s just what you do and listen hard for the sound of the ocean receding as far away as possible. Maybe off to better places, distant shores. The Santa Monica coastline’s nice this time of year, so she hears. That’s all it’s been as of yet; hearsay. A random note in her phone among other places she’ll land in eventually, once she’s got a leg to stand on. Once she’s got a little something going that’s just for her.

A parent’s sins cling like curses, a constant orchestra just for the dysfunctional, somethin only God himself could lift if he was in the business of unburdening wayward souls. It’s a relationship. That’s what her grandma preached. You gotta meet him halfway, have to reciprocate, accept his love and his grace. Isa’s got an idea or two; namely slitting her brother's throat and offering up his transgressions to the dirt. Her sacrifice for a God that’s gotta be shown some measure of deference. The first fruits. It’s not a joke -- she loves her brother every other day. But someone’s got to laugh and Isa’s not shy about it, use to tracing soft fingers along the aging wood of church pews and wondering if this vessel of a body would still float come monsoon season, come high tide. Grandma always said she was stubborn for the sake of being so. Would chalk her current lifestyle up to it if she was alive to witness the sacrilege.

Maybe there’s a version of the universe where we don’t settle for matted hair against headboards and bus tickets, for chapped hands in mountainside towns that echo as much as her wallet. She’s just not sure where it is and the search is exhausting. Makes mistaking enmity for piety behind black rimmed eyes that much easier. (Though, calling it a mistake at this point is lending her far too much grace.)

The desert stretches out for miles just to come to a head at the dip of her collar bones, dry air snagging her skin with an eagerness only met by a certain boy in Phoenix, by an elder’s endless attempts at outreach. She’s part of the EMC crowd -- easter, mother’s day, christmas -- and even when shit got strained, she could at least say she made to God’s house on those days. Had vague ideas of the passover. This is something different and if she’d had a calendar out it’s safe to say she might’ve avoided the whole thing had He granted her the wisdom. But she’s been rocking steady on E. Soles rubbed raw tryna put one foot in front of the other. Passing up a free bed while she’s passing through would be dumb, and Isa hadn’t made it this far denying a hand out sans strings. From a good God fearing girl no less.

It’s more infectious than she imagined, more enticing than a wayward soul would like to give it credit for. In all honesty, it may be the establishment’s lack of pristine sanctimony that catches her eye. From the blonde headed apollo with a pocket knife for a smile hovering over the sun starved flock to the leather clad preacher, there’s an undercurrent that lends to something a little dishonest in its gait. Or maybe they’re speaking more truth than most are willing to slip past closed lips and hands clasped in prayer. The thought lives just behind her eyelids and nags at her brain, maybe that’s why she doesn’t dip after the first day of the festival. Doesn’t peel away from the mosaic of faces around her all hovering around their lord and savior’s eternal flame.

A free cot feels more comfortable by the day, tame’s the voice in her mind that’s been tried and tested by habit, says it’s been nice but there’s more to see elsewhere. And there is. The festival only builds as the days go by and Isa stays as tucked away as a heathen could. Watches various workers flit to and fro all in the service of their Lord, a good deed gone unreciprocated to the naked eye. She may as well have carried the devil in on her shoulder (sure feels like he’s camped out up there sometimes), like it’s painfully obvious she didn’t come for the opportunity to worship. She simmers under the weight of collective gazes for a bit, loses her train of thought in festival food, in watching tanned faces spin circles in the courtyard and trying to place the most common faces to their positions in the church hierarchy. No one ever gives her the third degree that she’s expecting.

In fact, and it’s strange to say, but the festival almost reminds Isa of home. Of biting God in the wrist and feeling teeth crack left and right. Of tip toeing the line that keeps revelry at bay. Insurrection could almost be religion when you do it right, but the way Fiestas Patronales de San Salvador rolls off her tongue like gravel leaves her curious, at the very very least. There's something about God Bless You’s from the mouths of mothers when so much as a shoulder collides; all blackberries and powdered sugar, a summers worth of restitution clinging sticky-sweet to ragged teeth. All Isa can think is I might believe it when you say it like that.

Isa’s peeling petals off a rose and watching the pious to her profane get their fill in before the festival finally winds down when a familiar face approaches. Committed like she was there when Isa’s will power had an affair and divorced itself from her better judgement, though the jury’s still out as to whether or not that eagerness is just the spillage of being a good host or a preacher’s girl sniffing out the riffraff. “Right -- hey,” she pushes cherry stem curls out of her face and let’s recognition wash over as the bristle in her spine fades to nothing. For something to be so unlike her usual scene, Isa could honestly say she was enjoying her time. Here the weather hardly shifts like a dog on it’s last legs, provides a tame kind of consistency that her brain can appreciate in spurts such as this.

“I am, actually. Never thought I’d say that about a church event. Guess y’all just have a different vibe or something.” Or something. Roses by the bunch and a priest to match; lamentations and praises alike thicker than tar. The combinations usually enough to spook anybody. Still, everything’s gotta come to an end at one point or another. And it’s not like Isa came to the desert to reify God. He's made it more than clear to her that restitution rings loud and true when you listen for it -- she's just not in the habit of listening these days. Remembers when her hearing got selective as a child at dinner time. Remembers February hanging overhead, a pastel backdrop reminding her the years don't last as long as the days and perhaps there’s a little something behind the idea of foresight. You can't take the world from someone else's shoulders when your own spine's been set to snap, but youngins always try, don't they? Roll in like a freak storm in the dead of the night, dissipate completely when there's nothing left to destroy. Nothing left to drown.

It’s a shame things can’t be easy anymore. Like orange peels boiling on the stove top, southern saints reminding everyone to just be a simple kinda man and everything'll work out the way it should. Isa knew better than most that nostalgia only softened edges better left anatomically correct -- and she had a surgeon's precision when it came to taking a scalpel to the soft skin of days long passed -- but she’s far too removed to let ancient history pull itself off the shelf.

Or she will be, once she figures out how long someone has to be gone before you stop looking for them on every street corner.

“Anyway, I’m not in a hurry to get where I’m going, you know? Just trying to enjoy the whole thing while I’m here.”

“Thanks, by the way.”


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nico Pastor Character Portrait: Friday Knapp Character Portrait: Hackett Deimos Character Portrait: Blue Victoria Character Portrait: Luca Pastor Character Portrait: Damon Soto Character Portrait: Isa Nash Character Portrait: Jack Soto Character Portrait: Knox Xanthi Character Portrait: Magdalene M. Vega Character Portrait: Sophie Victoria
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Jack has seen the desperation of man; on his knees, bent backward, flesh digging into walls or dragging red marks into skin with concrete kisses.

Every morning brings in a new sin to behold, a revelation in sweet sacrilege that leaves Jack a quaking mess just waiting for the other dime to drop. The cash to be settled along nightstands, beside rosary beads laid out for safe keeping. He is a brand of faithful that reeks of gratification.

But aren't they all? A group of living pigments existing on the same color wheel of faith whether in the light, or in the dark of a room bathed red. Bleeding out over bedsheets with hands formed into fists. Pleasure in the house of god. The scandal it could be (that it is.) That he intensely enjoys.

Today is the kind of day that dregs these thoughts into tangible form. A busy day, only slightly off from his usual routine - or as much of a routine as he can manage between quick fucks and worship.

He is standing naked, staring at the mess of his bed and wondering when he'll get the energy to clean it up a little. He's a mess, from head to toe, internally and externally to the greatest extent. A trait that had never failed him the grief of others. And yet, with the sheer amount of fucks he gives (none) he still feels that crippling insecurity from a childhood of hard-hands.

After all, some shadows exist only as reminders of missing shapes with nowhere left to go. Afterimages burned onto retinas 'forever more.' He can still hear them if he thinks about it for too long. Long-suffering sighs and disappointed looks. Something, everything, that should be forgotten and yet that still balances on a tightrope in his head.

He should be more lively today.

Fiestas Patronales de San Salvador.

An event in full swing that will no doubt gather plenty of attention to feed his escapism. Theres nothing better than worship under the sheets. And he knows that today is for sinners just as much as for saints (Where La Basilica is concerned.) He wants to indulge as much as possible, only partially for the money. More so for the feeling of skin pressed to his. Tearing at him with the ferocity of a repressed beast.

Clothes first. There are steps to take today, and none of them include walking through the church with his dick hanging out. That usually came later, during those delightfully panicky moments of wondering how he would find the discarded garments without running into at least one person. Maybe, for the sake of the church itself he'd avoid the party usually responsible for that - or, maybe the thought of being caught indulging those darker fantasies makes it even better.

His own groaning snaps him from thought. He glances south, sighs, and drags his clothes on painfully slowly.

"Not the time." He reminds himself. "So not the fucking time."

Adding fuel to the fire that will no doubt be in that damned smirk that haunts him. Talk about afterimages...he isn't so sure he'll ever get away from those pretty blue eyes. Doesn't think he'll ever want to.

After dressing, with few other interruptions from his own constantly churning mind he manages to gather as much of the mess in the room as he can. Presentability aside, he needs the room to make even more of a mess later. It only takes him half the time as it took him to get himself together in the first place. He feels particularly slow today like his skin is crawling at the thought of moving with any haste. Yet there's something frantic about the way he leaves, an excitement building on top of what has already been built.

This is what he's fucking built for.

A whore is a whore, but some of them do it far better than others. None of them are here to be the victim, they're tied too deeply into the foundations of the La Basilica network for that brand of 'worker'. No. Enjoyment, on their ends, is just as deeply connected to this pretty crime of theirs. And nobody can claim that Jack doesn't enjoy every fucking minute of this place - well, shit, that's only half true. His hands graze the scar, that damned reminder of one of the few times in his life he's been truly fearful of this 'job.' A bullet is probably the least fun thing to have penetrated him.

He can think of a dozen other things he'd have rather it been...

"Nope. No. Stop that." He mumbles to himself quickly, quickening his pace as if to outrun the sudden barrage of interesting things sparking to life. On his way out he spots probably one of the worst things for his frayed edges at that very moment - then again, setting him off isn't exactly hard.


But rather than let himself be bullied by his own fucking body, he steers himself headfirst into the danger zone. Blue Victoria is an interesting addition to the troupe. In the way that makes Jack want to find the nearest hole to crawl in and hide. Fear, having nothing at all to do with it. More so, the fact that he seems to lack the necessary self-preservation to keep himself from indulging in things of a dangerous nature.

Blue, is a thing of a dangerous nature. One that Jack is sure could quite literally tear anyone he damn well pleases apart. Human confetti.

"Blue." Jack greets, "Off to the hunt?" the likeness of predator and prey isn't an exaggeration. However not all of the occupants of this place had decided to mingle with the crowd. Plenty of them had their steady flow of customers, and more so no doubt there were secrets being sold for silence above as he spoke. But Jack liked being among the crowd, pretending to be just another normal person on another normal day.

"Well," He looks past Blue, malcontent with standing still for too long when he could be doing other things. "I'm heading out, feel free to join." And with that, and one final smile of a not-so-innocent nature. He slips away and heads into the light of day.

~*~


He's overdressed, stifled by the heat of cloth fabric clinging tightly to his body. While dressed to seem less vagrant than usual, his casual wear isn't exactly his sunday best - quite the opposite in fact. His earlier excitement has faded into dull nothing, gazing without seeing over the vastness of the festival before him. There's something spectacular in the way that they have gathered so many various people under this singular guise of a holy event.

There are more than enough people who have gotten their fingers dug deep, past his skin and into the bones below. Branding like a hot iron against his soul. None of them, up until recently had been capable of claiming their place as 'god' in him. Sacrilege, bittersweet on the tip of his tongue.

He spots his target quickly, being accosted by Luca and Damon of all people. For a moment, Jack considers turning back around and finding something else to do. Lord knows there's plenty of people here to bother. However, he isn't going to change course just because of the annoyance that is his own flesh and goddamned blood. Then again, Luca also looks like he means business, and interrupting business is never in Jacks personal interests.

So, with the casual confidence, only someone who spends most of their time unclothed can master, he sidles towards Friday. Casually lets his fingers brush against the other, barely there. Not enough for anybody to notice or call him out on. He looks up, feels his breath quickening by the second. He shoots a meaningful look towards Luca and Damon.

"Come find me." He whispers. And then, as if he hadn't been there in the first place he departs.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nico Pastor Character Portrait: Friday Knapp Character Portrait: Blue Victoria Character Portrait: Luca Pastor Character Portrait: Isa Nash Character Portrait: Jack Soto Character Portrait: Magdalene M. Vega Character Portrait: Sophie Victoria
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Hustlers would glisten in this type of heat, unforgiven and unbothered every inch. The sultriness spilled more than bodily fluids behind cherry gates. Forcing her to wonder just how many had gone mad under the sun, Nico flashed a squinty slant of her face at it. But the catharsis - nor the consensus, was lost. It was hotter ’n a b….

Well, God bless the sanity and saintly, for the remarkable display of generosity and equilibrium. Wasn’t quite sure if she’d be too bold and narcissistic to only assume herself responsible for the latter, but, she felt a little better knowing she’d at least had one hand in it. The Catholic fair was going over well. Which was remarkable in and of itself, considering how many Californian home owners split their front doors open only an inch or two just to slap the space shut again. Nearly missing her fingers. Oh, that’s right. She found them under the glow of August, partially bruised at the prime few knuckles. Ironically placed. This is what most people had to say about religion or the invitation thereof. Re-imagining the slamming of the door, she scrunched her digits up and then flexed and feathered them. She’d do it all over again, God willing.

Weekly disorder danced mere inches from Nico, making the contusions on her paws just about vibrate. As to remind her that there is irrefutably punishment for entertaining sin, even just a bit. Now, you wouldn’t very well catch her giving herself lashes for imagining the glint of morning on Friday’s bare shoulder. For all that, you’d hear an superfluity of mumbled prayers both within the house and the church. As though awaiting trial. “Easy, Magdalene,” she’d recoil and ballet recite on the invisible boundary between them, “You aren’t the only one who fraternizes with hookers.” Or the only one who was aware of that red, red line ‘twix the two.

Did he expect that?

She thought maybe not, the way he flushed - not with shock. Oh no, not Friday at something so mouthwateringly spicy. He didn’t feign surprise, just hunger. An unsatisfied curiosity that begged more of such explicitness. Like a child asking for just one more story at bedtime, his winter eyes were all big and bent on her for another hot spell. It was her cue to move on.

There was certain reward to be had, in spite of humoring trespass. Sometimes you’d wait ages to see just a glimmer of it, sometimes it’d no doubt sneak right upon you in the middle of day. Display a simple smile in the few breezes of afternoon, flicking kinks of magnificent hair from pervading. How glorious was God to give this.

Someone drifting yet enjoying the fruits of spirituality. Nico relished in it for a quiet second, wholly smitten. Isa delivered the proverbial pat on the head to a hardworking student without realizing it. Always made Nico ponder, though, how the ordinary angels she deemed, came to be in just this dry, nearly damned, garden of La Basilica. Isa didn’t strike Nico as entirely lost. She thought that perhaps she knew exactly where she was and where she was going, regardless of her shuffling presentation. Maybe God had her plan laid out and she just didn’t catch it in the right light yet. And there Nico was, aching to help another lost acolyte from the darkness.

“I am, actually. Never thought I’d say that about a church event. Guess y’all just have a different vibe or something.”

Being assumptive didn’t furnish too much fruit in the past, so Nico thought it best to nod and listen. Fully absorb before bludgeoning with faith someone might not necessarily want. Indeed, not everyone came to La Basilica for the same thing. Nico - in all this, could not always be the undeclared centerfold white knight. There was so much she didn’t know. She had to be honest with herself about that. She had to be real.

You can never save them all.

A fate surely worse than fiction. There must have been a twinkle of reduction in Nico’s enthusiasm. Possibly a glaze of indication in her regard. But the words ‘not in a hurry’ tacked up her spine like staples, suturing the doubt inside, saving it for some lonely hour of gloaming she’d used to spend in the church. Before Friday started sleeping there and disabling her nocturnal bleeding of cynics and indecision. Perhaps blaming all him was wrong, sure… It became quite difficult to seek solace in prayer when every other syllable was interrupted by someone nudging her with a billfold, as if she ran the floor below. Onerous, to say the least. Directing them to a door that Lucas told her to keep up off of. She’s had more than a peek, and he knows it. He grinds his teeth, but knows her rights and her intentions are better than his.

Again she glistered, the spaghetti thin margin of her dress a perpetual ‘itch’ she couldn’t quite scratch. Dimples pinned up, Nico instinctively bent at the waist. A silent token of gratitude to Isa’s appreciation. “You don’t know what that means to me,” conceding, she murmured, shoulder to shoulder with Isa, “It’s easy to think we do much of everything we do, for nothing.” But it couldn’t all be pointless. Not if Isa landed herself here, looking for no real desire. Not if Blue entrusted Sophie to Nico. Not if every sad soul got a little something out of this place. There was purpose.

Wasn’t there?

“Please stay,” she blurted before Isa half-mentioned her appreciation, “Take in the sights and just stay. As long as you need. It’s free room and board, not to mention food. We’ll have more than what we know to do with.” A cross was motioned on Nico: touch of the forehead, just above the sternum, left and right, “Due to San Salvador, dios bendiga.” Besides… The past might not nip Isa's heels if she kept them up high enough on a bed in La Basilica. Nico just wouldn’t ever say that out loud, even in spite of Isa’s stare looking rather full of ghosts.

“Let’s catch up later.” Was all that was left before Nico trotted away toward a golden girl with hair darker than twilight. With an impressive pivot-turned-full-spin, she encircled a boat of fruit in her arms and dangled a particularly long grape stem just before the true Magdalene, “Eat. If you are going to be so quiet all the time, might as well be for the cause of having your mouth full.” She elbowed the basin into Magdalene’s hands. There wasn’t much more conversing to be done with that one. Still waters ran deep, but Magdalene gave this visage of a wolf sort of hiding in a lamb carcass. Longterm. Nico couldn't rightly say she had the time to deliver the divinity from the carnage, especially when she was so comfortable in the (self) slaughter.

ImageAs one would expect, there was time for all of God's children. Finding it was a task no less.

Where most people had too much time on theirs, Nico's mitts looked bruised and crowded with the self appointed missions of morality, benevolence and well, a lot of BS flung wayside because of her brother. Never a dull moment. All the more, as the largest light in the sky lost its luster by minutes, sneaking into nightfall, the promise of religious duty grew heavier.

She looked to Jack, just slipping by Friday. Missing some scalding from Luca by centimeters. Red sunset rippling behind all of them as they dispersed. A prophecy of the inevitable. There was money to be made, shades to be drawn, scales being tipped. Precision cuts and lines and the pendulum sway of heels and hips. In the house of God. Because there was after all, time for all of them. They'd just learned to make their own. Wages of sin.

It was as though she could feel that big vermilion door emanating inside of her somewhere, too.