Saint Abigail



Scene Title Saint Abigail
Synopsis In times of great turmoil, sometimes all you need is to keep the faith.
Date November 8, 2020

The multi-faith chapel in Elmhurst Hospital is through necessity fairly plain; there are no symbols or icons present, merely a very simple wooden bench that could be an altar before a featureless wall of wood, with stained glass windows that betray no particular religious affiliation on either side. Flowers abound, and there are simple wooden seats as well as room to kneel throughout.

At this hour of the night, there isn’t anyone here, and as Richard Ray walks into the chapel he neglects to turn the lights on. It’s not as if he needs them.

The waiting room and all those expectant faces behind him, he can let the facade drop. He’s tired. One thing after the other, and none of it he has any power to affect, to change, to stop or fix. He can see the board now, glimpses of it, but it seems that he has no pieces he can move right now.

So who does one ask when all realistic options are exhausted?

His upbringing tells him the answer to that.

Stepping up to the wooden altar, Richard lets his knees give out, and he drops heavily down to them - the kneepads he’s wearing with the armored vest keeping that from hurting as much as it normally would. One hand comes up to rub over his face, and then he digs out his phone. He squints at the bright illumination of the screen as he does a search, as he finds the words he’s looking for. He reads through them a few times, mouthing them, and then puts the phone back and draws in a breath.

It’s been a long time since this lapsed Catholic has read a novena. It’s out of order, and he doesn’t have nine days to pray it, but it seems… appropriate.

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. “


“Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us Your servant, St. Abigail, as an example of holiness. Help us to imitate the devotion to You she showed in choosing to establish a convent and to live out the rest of her life as a religious in Your service.”

“St. Abigail, you obediently followed the instructions of God’s angel to find the place where God wished you to spend the rest of your life. Then, you established a convent there in order to faithfully serve God as a religious sister.”

“Please be faithful in continuing to bring my petitions before God!”

“After working with your brother to establish this convent, you spent the rest of your days in prayer and works of service.”

“Pray for me, that I may be faithful to the duties of my vocation, as you were. Pray that I may eagerly serve God in whatever manner He calls me to.”

“Please help me to find my path, for I fear I have lost it.”

“St. Abigail, pray for us!”

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”


“Richard,” comes a voice over his shoulder, “this is a bit much, even for you.”


That southern drawl, that faintly chastising tone. When Richard turns, he sees Abigail Beauchamp as she was a lifetime ago. A young woman in her early twenties, a little tired around the eyes as she always was. He even remembers the outfit she’s wearing, one fit for a southern bird in a winter climate, wool coat buttoned up to her collar with a scarf around her throat.

“It’s a little sacrilegious too,” Abby adds with a modicum of amusement, one brow raised. “What’s gotten into you to go knocking on heaven’s door like this?”

"Excuse me, I was praying to Saint Abigail, the one from Ireland, it's not my fault if you thought I was talking to you."

Richard can't help a smile despite himself, shifting to push himself up to his feet; a tired smile, but a smile nonetheless. "You look just like you did back then. Better than…"

…she looks right now. In her hospital bed, parts of her nervous system spasming from oxygen deprivation. Thoughts that he pushes away for a moment, one hand coming up to rub at the nape of his neck in that self-conscious way he's always had.

"Well, anyway. This was actually… your suggestion, so it's your fault, technically."

“I’d like to say I understood my own ideas, but here I am I suppose.” Abby says with a helpless little shrug, slowly making her way over to Richard’s side. “You’re here, in God’s house, praying to a little-known saint and what, looking for guidance from me?”

Abby laughs, bringing a hand up to her mouth. “Richard, you know well I was the one who always needed guidance. How many times did I come knocking on your door asking for help with this, or Flint did that? Lord, I don’t even want to know what that man is up to in the absence of my good— ” Abby pauses, as if realizing something. “I am still alive, right? Because if this is heaven, I have some complaints to make.”

“Wh— oh, yeah, you’re alive,” Richard shakes his head a little, half-raising a hand to offer to hers before remembering she’s a memory and dropping his hand back to his side, “You’re not doing great today, which is one of the reasons I’m here in the hospital, but you’re gonna live. Flint’s still alive, last I heard, off brooding somewhere like he always did given half a chance. He never changes.”

A slight smile crooks to his lips, “And you were always a guiding light for me, Abby. Even if you didn’t know it. You needed help but I needed wisdom and you always had that. Even if I was bad at listening to it sometimes.”

“You— what’s it like for you?” Curiosity wells up suddenly as he blurts out the question, “I mean— the Black’s hosts, they’re in an infinite graveyard. What about you and the other hosts to the White? Are you— happy? Content, at least?”

Abby squints at Richard, then rolls her eyes and smiles. “You always were like a dog with two bones, couldn’t ever pay attention to one long enough to appreciate it.” She walks up to the altar, to the non-denominational stained-glass window at its back, then down to Richard. She smiles, laying a hand on his shoulder that feels as real as any.

“I don’t know nothing about an infinite graveyard, so if that’s what you conjured me up for you’re gonna be disappointed,” Abby says with a teasing smile. “But I figure that weren’t what you wanted to talk to me about. Not why you’re here praying. How can I help, Richard? Because that’s what everyone wants when they come to me. Help.”

“Sorry. Sorry, you’re right, of course…” Richard brings one hand up to rub against the nape of his neck, ducking his head and smiling a bit, “I always have too many questions I want answered and too many irons in the fire.”

Someone should maybe, one day, try giving him adderall.

He lifts his head after a moment, admitting quietly, “I don’t know why… I remember what you could do, Abby. You did it for me— more than once. You could work miracles, heal anyone. I can’t. The best I can do is pull life from someone else and give it to another, but— “

A grimace, “My friends, my loved ones— you— you’re hurt. People are suffering, and I can’t do anything to stop it. There’s what’s basically a god running around that’s going to destroy the world that I can’t do anything about, I just… feel so damn helpless, Abby. I have all this power in theory but there’s shit-all I can do with it.”

Abby’s smile is at once a fond reminiscence of a friend she hasn’t seen in a long time and also paternal in a way. It’s that smile Richard saw from Hadley on numerous occasions in his youth when he’d be wrong about something, and she was going to patiently explain the correct way of things.

“Here you are, Richard,” Abigail starts with a soft laugh, “holding a broom in your hand and thinking you have a hammer.” Moving up to Richard’s side, Abby puts a hand on his shoulder and she feels completely real. Richard can feel the weight of her hand, warmth of proximity, though were it not for how new his ability is he might notice she isn’t alive.

“You don’t have my gift.” Abby says with a furrow of her brows and a slow shake of her head. “You don’t have Kazimir’s either. This isn’t about light or dark, Richard. It never was.” She lifts her hand up to his cheek, brushing a thumb across stubble. “It’s about new beginnings.”

There’s a start as her hand rests to his shoulder, Richard’s eyes widening slightly. He hadn’t known the— whatever they are, ghosts, echoes, memories— were actually physical. Was it just a phantasm of the senses, or just to him, or— no, focus. Too many bones to gnaw on.

He ends up leaning into that touch to his cheek all the same, a faint and sad smile curving to his lips for a moment. So many times she’d been there for him, and now— she was laying in a bed and there wasn’t anything he could do in return.

Then her words sink in.

“It… they’re not separate, anymore? If they— “ He frowns a little, “If they ever truly were. One whole, a— snake eating its own tail. An ouroboros. Heh. Like me.”

Abby wrinkles her nose and gives Richard the subtlest of nods. “You’re not all that far from the truth now. Whatever this was, it isn’t two things now. It’s one. It’s something new, different. But you’re learning to control it, and that’s good. But you aren’t the only one pulling on the end of this thread, Richard.”

Abby squeezes Richard’s shoulder, then lets her hand fall away. “She’s got the other side covered. Maybe one day… you two can meet in the middle.”

“She…?” Richard’s brow knits in sudden worry, “You don’t mean— Uluru? I don’t think there’s much meeting in the middle with her— it— whatever they are, Abby.”

What other she would she mean, after all?

“Gesundheit?” Abby says with a little wrinkle of her nose and a smile. “No, silly.” She reaches up and brushes a lock of hair from Richard’s brow. “Nathalie.

“Nath— “ Richard pales significantly, his eyes widening both in shock and a bit of hope, “But she’s— she killed herself, she’s— is she still somehow, I mean— ?” He’s stammering, now, unsure what to ask or what to think. Carrying guilt for his cousin’s death around had become a familiar burden, but with those three words the weight of it shifts to the forefront once again.

“I think so,” Abby says quietly, looking up to the stained glass window. “She’s lost, Richard. But she’s trying to find her way, and figure out what all of this means. I can feel it in my heart.” As Abby says that, she places a hand up to where a cross hangs around her neck. “I don’t know it so much as feel it. I don’t know where she is or what she’s doing… but I know she’s there.”

Slowly, Abby turns to look at Richard. “She’s different, Richard. She isn’t like me. Like the others. Not even like Gabriel.” Her eyes divert to the floor for a moment, brows knit together. When she looks back up to Richard there’s conviction in her eyes.

“But this is different too,” Abby says, gesturing to him. “What we’re doing now? The others couldn’t do. Together, whatever these powers are have become greater than the sum of their parts. But I don’t know what that means… only one person does.”

Abby smiles faintly. Richard knows who she means. But God isn’t here right now.

Richard draws in a slow breath, then exhales it, eyes closing as he swallows a sob; grimacing, he shakes his head to push the emotion back down. Repression is his right as a Catholic, god damn it.

“If you… see her? I don’t know how any of this works,” he says quietly, unsteadily, “Tell her I’m so, so sorry. And that if she’s different, maybe… maybe I can find a way to bring her back.”

A twitch of a smile, “After all, if we don’t know what any of this can do… who says we need to limit ourselves?”

Abigail smiles, nodding once and then laying her hand on Richard’s shoulder again. “Anything is possible, Richard…” But was she ever there at all? Richard is left staring at the open space where he had seen Abby a moment ago. Her voice haunts his memory.

“…so long as you keep faith.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License