I'll Be Bach


huruma_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title I'll Be Bach
Synopsis Joseph needs better locks on the door, he discovers, when another someone breaks into his church.
Date April 5, 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

It's late. Past curfew, if anyone bothered to monitor this end of Greenwich. A desk lamp soldiers on, illuminating the office with a soft and peaceful glow, catching glare on glassy photographs, the covers of books, a pair of frameless glasses currently lying strewn on the desk and the wedding wing on the hand lying just next to it. Falling asleep at work. All Joseph can be thankful for is that he's never done so all the way through to morning. That would lead to questions he doesn't really want to answer, and reprimands he'd rather not deal with.

So maybe it's fortunate that a sudden riff of organ playing wakes him sharply from the impromptu doze.

Whatever it's playing, it's reasonably loud within this building, dramatic and abrupt, high with tension that is certainly not the peaceful music for hymns. For a moment, Joseph only sits upright in front of his desk, staring uncomprehendingly down at the open notebook before pushing himself away from the desk to stand up.

Did Flint learn to play the organ? That's really all he can think for a moment, before he switches off the lamp and lets the room fill with a sort of blue tinged darkness that allows him to see the edges of things. He should hide up here. Instead, duty calls, and Joseph opens the door with a soft creak, and moves downstairs towards the main hall.

Maybe he should be staying up there. That room offers the pastor a sharper degree of guaranteed safety. As Joseph moves downstairs, the organ rumbles continuously throughout the lower level; Bach echoes out into the night through the stone walls, still sudden and possibly very disturbing to the residences and buildings that surround the church. Surely the new neighbor cannot be this strange.

Though the organist knows that the pastor is descending from his perch, the music does not pause nor stutter. It has been a long time since Huruma has played on a machine this powerful, and the fingers that play over the keyboards have been so restless that if it were not for the sensory spot in her mind, she would be completely engrossed. One might say that she is regardless.

The tall woman sits with impeccable posture on the organ bench, the only disruption of the dark skin at her back being the low-cut sweep of where the white backless dress begins again. The skirt is cut at her knees, though a short ruffle strays down the back hem of it, brushing against where white heels meet ankles. The contrast between those whites, Huruma, and the dark wood of the church organ is striking, and she would be hard to miss even if she were only sitting there in complete silence.

Undeterred, Toccata and Fugue in D minor continues.

He is a less striking sight, with once combed hair now slightly mussed from sleep, his shirt still tucked in to light-toned slacks but rumpled, the upper buttons undone. Dark eyes blink blearily across the worship hall, towards the stage where the organ dominates so much space, where the lights are switched off but the high windows allow for bright beams of light to come streaking inside, a hazy collection of moonlight, streetlamps and neon, outdoor ambience concentrated in vague spotlights.

The music feel electrifying, keying into his nervous system and making his heart race, but that could be due to the fact he was only recently asleep, and this could all be a dream anyway. There is a sort of nightmarish quality to it, and a surprise when Joseph does not recognise the woman at the instrument, so expertly playing.

He doesn't actually have enough saliva to politely clear his throat and announce his presence. Nervously twisting the wedding ring on his finger around and around, Joseph steps away from the stairwell and into the hall, standing amongst the pews as he moves closer towards the stage, studying the woman from behind as he approaches. Says nothing, as if it would be somehow rude to interrupt the music. Against all logical reason.

For Huruma, it feels as if the music is too short. She is only halfway through the ten minute piece, yet if she could she might choose to draw it out. The thing is, you cannot change Bach. It does not work that way. Even in the dim light, the shadows of her arms flutter over the keys, and the lengths of her fingers seem like a pair of waltzing spiders. Joseph is treated all the way through the end of the piece. When the last low pitch finally exits the pipes, Huruma's arms slink back down to her sides, hands seemingly near her thighs. There is enough of a pause to register itself as such.

"…Sleeping on th'job, Pastor?" The woman's voice echoes almost as well as the smoothest keys of the organ- a smooth purr, yet clear as a bell in the sudden quiet. One palm on the velvet of the bench, Huruma turns her torso to look across the pews. Both eyes match the dress in lack of true color, twinkling just as sharply as the crystalline little jewels hovering at her throat and ears.

He had just been trying to find a way to politely draw attention to his presence, mentally cobbling together words to form sentences as opposed to the 'uh?' sort of vowel sounds he had attempted in the past, before it seems as though Huruma is already well aware, which makes his spine go straight and rigid, shoulders squared.

"Sleeping?" Joseph repeats, a little stupidly, glancing up towards, vaguely, where his office is, then back to her glittering, pale eyes. In a pantomime to demonstrate his point, his hand goes to the opposite wrist to clasp over his simple wristwatch, with its round face and brown leather straps. "It's late, I— was reading and…"

Why is he making excuses? At least he has a key to the building, unlike some. His words die midsentence, glancing again to the organ and back to Huruma in a hummingbird speed of flickering gaze. "You're very good at that. Is there something…?"

"I doubt tha'anyone can be tha'relaxed while reading…" Her mouth parts, and the tip of her tongue slips past to wet the inside edges of both lips. She keeps her eyes on Pastor Sumter, lidding them as he fidgets with his line of sight.

Without an answer to that particular question- if it was indeed a question- Huruma finds the floor with her heels and lifts effortlessly from the organ bench, swaying around it onto the uplifted stage. Click, click, click. Spine straight, shoulders back, and chin-up, the woman keeps her weight leveled on one leg as she regards Joseph in silence. If there were a throne up there instead of an organ, she may have been sitting in it.

"Is there something what? English was not even m'second language, but at least I can finish m'own sentences…" This remark may start out as chastising, but with the upturned curl at the edge of her mouth it does not end that way.

Eyes narrow at that first part, but ultimately, it doesn't make sense, and goes ignored. With what Joseph knows or doesn't know, how the woman he has to tilt his head up to look at due to both her height and the stage she stands on can possibly know he was relaxed, it goes shuffled off to the side in favour of things he can reckon with. Like finishing his own sentences.

Yes. "Uh," Joseph starts, a sound of apology. Sensible shoes shuffle and scuff against carpet as he makes his way towards the stage, stepping into those couple of feet between the first row of pews and the raised section of the room that is easy to step up onto, the edge only comes up just above his knee, but for now he doesn't, content to stay on his chosen level as his hands come to rest on his hips. He keeps his gaze very carefully trained upwards, meeting her eyes. "Is there somethin'— somethin' I can do for you, ma'am?" That anxiety is starting to die, the effects of being startled asleep wearing away into a resigned kind of wariness.

The woman turns slightly, descending the stairs from the rise with a swagger of a cat, one foot, then the other, hips from side to side. Even on the ground, the heels and her legs still carry her a head above Joseph. The hem of her skirt floats out behind her knees, and both hands stay lingering at her sides.

"No." The first answer is short, and Huruma hovers closer to him when she does speak. "Only playing wit'your organ- crrross m'eart…" One hand lifts, index finger floating forward to 'x' the air in front of the pastor's chest.

A fleeting, intensely awkward smile flits itself across Joseph's face, eyebrows raising up and then down as he glances towards her hand, managing not to do like he does around Flint Deckard and recoil when the possible threat comes closer, makes sudden movements. She's tall, and she's mysterious, but she doesn't have to be a threat.

A slightly nervous chuckle is given in response, Joseph nodding slowly. "It's just we shut the doors to the public about 7 pm, most days," he says, voice gentle, with his own transplant accent, less foreign than Huruma's but certainly American. Just southerner. "But y'welcome any time during the daylight, the Lord knows we could stand to— to have someone around who knows anythin' about music."

He's babbling, and seems to be aware of it, clamping down on the litany of rapid dialogue before it can continue going off on a tangent, if a polite one. He clears his throat— there we go— and offers a rueful smile. "Jus' for now I should be askin' you t'leave, ma'am, no offense meant. You play beautifully."

She knows very well that closing time was ages ago. It is funny that a house of God has one in the first place, isn't it? "You should get better locks, Pastor." Let us leave that as the reason for her being in this specific church- though when Abby comes to call in the midst of her week, chances are that Joseph will find out just who he was speaking with.

"Daylight is a funny thing for me, but…" Huruma begins to pass him by, aiming her strides back down the center of the pews. She does not look back over her shoulder, but her voice carries that way as she departs. There is first a throaty laugh. "I'll b'Bach." As quietly as she came, Huruma finds the exit in the exact same manner, leaving sweet Pastor Sumter to his own devices.

"Apparently," is muttered out in a sigh, as to how he really does need better locks, like, ones that work maybe, his gaze dipping down. Them, looking back towards the woman as she makes her sinuous way through the aisle, Joseph's hands returning to his hips as he watches her go like a very alert but basically harmless watch dog. He opens his mouth to reply to her warning, promise and pun, but in the end, words fail him, and he's left alone once more in the now very quiet, very empty church.

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