child-owain_icon.gif griffin_icon.gif

Featuring the corpse of….


Scene Title Rosary
Synopsis Griffin answers a text, but it is too late for one family member.
Date December 08, 2010

Le Rivage

After Duty to Country or Family

He got here as quickly as he could. After helping to neutralize some members of Humanis First, he checked his text message, unknowingly far too late to help his sister and his son. His face is pale, and his eyes are glowing white, the man having slungshot over rooftops as quickly as he could. He waited a few minutes outside, watching the parking lot and the apartment to be sure that he wasn't walking into an ambush.

Once certain that he wasn't walking right into a trap, Griffin quickly made his way up to his sister's apartment with a worried look on his face, and a sinking feeling in his gut. The sinking feeling only gets worse as his vector easily pushes the door open; he pauses for a moment in the doorway, unable to see inside just yet.

Then, swallowing, he steps in. "Mackenzie?"

Somewhere…over the rainbow…way up high….there's a land that I heard of…once in a lullaby…

Judy Garland is singing from the radio. Her voice is soft, sweet, and gentle. The light on the kitchen is on, and as Griffin's eyes adjust, a horror will be there waiting for him, lurking in those shadows.

Blood. Blood, so much of it, everywhere. Across the sofa, the wall, and pooling on the nice carpet Marjorie so adored, that was set under the dining room table. He'll notice the blood, and the drip, drip, drip from the table into the soaked carpet, so soaked that it's leaking across the wooden floor. There, beside that dripping blood, is a hand. A well-manicured, soft, cared-for hand. The hand leads to a soft, pale arm, and then a shoulder and neck. Whomever the woman is, her hair has been tossed over her face. It's red…should it be red? It is. Her legs are twisted at a freakish angle where she fell off the table. Her other arm has fallen across her belly.

It looks as though tea has been set, with one teacup missing.

Slowly, Griffin steps into the kitchen. The smell of blood, that metallic smell, is the first that catches his attention, sending that sinking feeling even further. A shaky voice calls out, "Mackenzie?" He slowly makes his way into the kitchen, toward that sound of the dripping.

The sight there has him coming to a stop, as if struck by a brick wall. He stands there, in the entryway to the kitchen, his eyes wide. Silence, as he stares at the horrifying sight, even with Judy Garland singing of better places. He swallows quietly.

Then, the man slowly sinks to his knees. He doesn't go close. There's no doubt that the woman in the blue dress is his sister. The dress, those manicured nails. Even so, he can't stop himself. He reaches out with a vector, unable to bring himself closer, to gently pull the woman's hair away from her face.

When Griffin pulls back the hair, his own green eyes will be staring past him. Not up at him, but past him, like he's not even there. Well, one of those green eyes is. The other is gone. In fact, half of her face is gone, caved into her skull. Her head is half the size that it ought to be. But her mouth is straight, her nose still unharmed, oddly enough. She's just staring, expressionless.

Perhaps Griffin may have had some hope, even a small one of coming here and finding her alive, perhaps to die in his arms. But not before apologies were given, as they surely would be, and apologies accepted as they ought to have been. Perhaps he had hopes of at least having a final moment of peace with his sister, where all mistakes, on both sides, would be forgiven.

But that's a luxury he doesn't get. Marjorie Mihangle's body is still slightly warm, but she is far beyond and gone.

As his worst fears are confirmed, Griffin can't help it. He bursts into tears, the sob catching in the back of his throat as he throws his hand over his mouth to muffle the sound. No…no, no, no, this isn't how it was supposed to be. He was working— he was taking steps to making things right with her. He had an apartment, and he had his talk with his son, and he was so close to speaking to her again. He even got her a Christmas gift, one that now lays broken in the street.

And for a long moment, all the man can do is cry. He cries into his hand, staring at the gruesome sight before him with a pained expression as the tears flow freely. He never got to thank her, for all she had done, for giving up her life for his son. He never got to apologize to her for everything. He never got to spend another Christmas with her— he didn't even visit her for thanksgiving.

He speaks again in a tone barely above a whisper, his voice hoarse from the tears. "Marjorie…oh god, Marjorie, I'm so sorry…it's my fault." His other hand reaches for the fallen woman, though he moves no closer for a long moment.

And then, those vectors are at work, untangling her legs and gently laying her on her back, brushing her remaining eye closed and moving her hair back over the gaping hole in her head. Her arms are folded over her stomach. He even goes so far as straightening her dress, making sure it rests against her body just right. At the very least, he can let her rest in dignity, and not in that twisted pose she's in.

His final move is to pull a blanket from the living room with his vectors, one he's seen Marjorie curled up in many times, ever since they were children. This is unfolded, and spread carefully over Marjorie, to cover her.

All of this is done as he sobs, his hand over his mouth.

When he covers here, it seems a little darker in the room. There had been so much hope in her, even in her body, that now to have it gone from sight is a sad thing in and of itself, though Griffin can never know that really. He never knew that Marjorie was planning to adopt another child, never knew that she was meeting with the Secretary of Evolved Affairs for her work with Messiah. He never knew that she lied to the man that killed her in order to keep her brother and his son safe.

And maybe there is a heaven, and if so maybe she's there. God knows she prayed enough, she had a rosary she kept in her purse and she did the stations of the cross almost once a day. Maybe now she has wings, and she's resting on a cloud with 76 male virgins around her.
Or perhaps everything is forgiven. Perhaps right now a specter hovers over her corpse, reaching for her brother but unable to touch him, sobbing just as he sobs, forgiving him and begging his forgiveness though he'll never hear her.

Anything's possible. The truth is simple. The truth is that the shape under that blanket is Marjorie Mihangle, and she is cold and will breathe no more, laugh no more, bake no more, play no more pianos and say no more prayers. And the truth is all anyone can ever really know.

That same rosary, the one she kept in her purse, is fetched from there, Griffin taking the tiny container that holds the prayer beads. These are lifted from the container, and Griffin wraps his hands in him as they are folded into a prayer position, the man dipping his head down and touching his fingers to his forehead, as though the action will ensure that God can hear him.

"God of hope, we come to you in shock and grief and confusion of heart. Help us to find peace in the knowledge of your loving mercy to all your children, and give us light to guide us out of our darkness into the assurance of your love, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." He cuts off at the end of the prayer, bursting into tears once more as he grips the rosary in one hand, making the sign of the cross with tear-stained eyes.

Then, he raises to his feet, moving over to the blanket covered body, placing his hand gently on his deceased sister's shoulder, tears still flowing. "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face." He pauses, choking back a sob. "May rain fall softly on your fields until we meet again. And may God hold you in the hollow of his hands."

The rosary is gently laid over her covered form, and the man steps back, wiping his hands over his face. "I loved you, Marjorie…even if I didn't show it. I'm so sorry for everything."

There is no solace for Griffin here. Perhaps there won't be anywhere, but here, where he might expect it, where the arms of his sister are so close, there is no warmth. She doesn't rise to hold him to her and cry with him. She doesn't touch his hand like she used to when she was teasing. The smell of baked goods is long since gone from her hair, replaced with gunpowder and blood.

There is no return of sentiment of love. She is cold and unfeeling - and that is not her fault.

Shaking his head, Griffin turns, slipping out of the kitchen with tears in his eyes. He's got her covered up— he doesn't want Owain to get the eyeful he got. Thank the lord Marjorie showed him the secret closet, where he's sure his son is. He pauses outside of the door to Owain's room, rubbing his hands over his face once more, as his eyes fade from their glowing white to their normal green.

Oh god, oh god, how the hell is he going to do this?! How is he supposed to just walk in and tell his son that his aunt…no, his mother, the woman who took him in to raise him on her own when she was only nineteen years old, is dead now, and that he'll never see her again? He can't let him see the sight in the kitchen.

Then, he's slipping into Owain's room, glancing around. The window is eyed thoughtfully. Best place to get out, right? "Owain…" He murmurs this as he makes his way toward the closet he is hoping his son is in, opening it and gently rapping his knuckles against the false wall with teary eyes, before moving to open it. "It's me, dad…"

Griffin will have to open the back-panel that Marjorie showed him - that she built herself for their son - before Griffin will get any response from Owain. He is on the floor, looking just as small as when Griffin saw him the day Cindy died. Just that small. His knees are pulled up and he's curled down on them, hugging himself. He seems to be asleep a moment, but the movement wakes him.

"Mom?" Owain asks sleepily, confused. His face is pale, his knees wet from sobbing and keeping it quiet, his eyes red. But then he realizes that it's not the person he was sobbing over. It's someone else.

"Dad?" Of course, the first time Griffin hears that word, it has to be now. It has to be like this. "Dad….where is she?" Already tears are starting in the boy's throat as he says that. "Is she with you? Is she okay?"

The moment the back panel of the closet is opened up, Griffin sweeps into the tiny hiding spot, wrapping Owain into a tight hug— as much for himself as it is for the little boy who got to listen to his mother die. He's quiet for a long moment, holding his son close and closing his eyes tight, squeezing the tears out and willing himself to stop crying, if only long enough to break the news to the boy gently.

"N-no…she's not okay, son. She—" His voice catches, and he takes a breath. "The government came, Owain, and they did a very bad thing." He swallows, pulling back to look his son in the face. "Your mom isn't going to be coming back. I…I'm sorry."

He makes sure to hug his boy, to protect him from the sight in the kitchen. A glance is cast toward the door, before Griffin frowns to Owain. "We can't stay here. We have to leave— they could come back any second. I need to take you somewhere safe."

The sound Owain makes is a choking one. His little hands dig into Griffin's shoulders. "No! No!" He fights. "We can't leave her. Please don't leave her. Please, we can't leave her! They'll take her! Please please please she's going to be okay, please make her be okay!" By the time he gets to the end of his little rant, he's screaming. Not just yelling, but depths of his soul screaming. "She's okay! She's okay! Mom! MOM!" Right in Griffin's ear at that, as he just clings. "Please make her okay, Dad, please make her okay!"

A wince, as Griffin holds tight to Owain, keeping him from escaping, and trying to be comforting at the same time. "I can't. She's— your mom isn't coming back. I wish I could…I wish I could rewind time and stop it from happening, but I can't. She's not going to be okay…she's gone, Owain." He doesn't seem to mind the screaming…he would be doing the same thing in this position. The poor boy…he's lost two mothers in his short lifetime.

Then, he's gently raising to his feet, lifting Owain with him, still holding the boy close as he moves a little closer to the window.

"NO!" Owain struggles, fights. It's nothing personal, he just doesn't want his mother to be dead. That's not right. She's not supposed to be dead. She talked all the time about seeing him in high school and college and how she couldn't wait to meet all his future girlfriends. She still has to do those things. That's what mothers do. "MOM! MOM! Please we have to get her! We can take her to a hospital! Please!"

Griffin hugs his son close, weathering the boy's reaction. Tears roll down his cheeks, soaking into the boy's clothes. "The hospitals can't help her, Owain…I don't know anyone who can." He says this quietly, squeezing the boy. "We have to leave now, Owain. We can't stay here any longer. If we do, other Government people could come, and try to take you away from me or hurt you, or try to kill me too, or both."

Even as he speaks, his eyes are flaring their bluish-white, and the window suddenly shatters outward. "Owain, you need to hold on very tight to me, okay? We're going to fly." He wishes this could have come at a time other than this one, too. It should have been on a good day, nice and sunny, and Owain should have been smiling and laughing with this.

Instead, Griffin is shooting out of the now glassless window with his son held close, flying out into the night regardless of the boy's cries. His coat is wrapped around the boy, to keep Owain safe from the chill.

As a cool wind rolls in, Marjorie's body is left to chill in the New York night. The blanket around her ruffles as the breeze curls around the hallway, and blows the corner away from her face. For now it looks like she's sleeping, at least, the half of her face that is visible. Perhaps if she were sleeping, she'd dream of better things. She'd dream of Owain, of Griffin, of bringing Anna into her home and welcoming her. Making cookies and candles and teaching piano to strange one-handed men. Of changing the world, not much, just enough that her son would never have to know her fear.

But all of her wishes have died with her. She wanted the evil of being Evolved in society to be kept from her son. Now it will be his life.

Eventually there will be police, and questions, but for now Marjorie's corpse is left alone. Not to think, or to dream, or to hope. Just to take up space, because that is all science says we can do.

Even as the light catches the rosary just so, making it a little brighter for just a moment before darkness takes it all.

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