Bad: A Memoir of Good & Evil
Couldn't Call It Unexpected
Cyn & Tangents
Lead Paint Double Date Set Diaries
Moving to Mars
New Roman Times
Saint Red
Suspension of Disbelief
What Fools


Saint Red: My Aim Is True
Chapter 9 - Mystery Dance

By Jordan D. White

"Th-that's not t-true," said Red, "Th-that's-"

"I assure you," said Father Patrick, "It is entirely possible and it's entirely true. Simon, the pictures, please." Simon walked up to Red and held a photo in front of his face. It was a picture of Alison, all decked out in her full Goth attire, being escorted out of DI&R. Simon flipped to another picture, and another, and another all similar shots, Alison with her parents leaving, Alison with Argento…

Father Patrick, clad in his robes once more, rather than the borrowed sweats, smirked. "As you can see, the tender young lady you once knew is gone yet again, replaced by the brooding suicidal girl the rest of the world remembers. By now she's home again, with no memory of the Rechristening, you saving her life, or even you existing. Probably not the Christmas present you'd asked Santa for now is it?"

"Christmas?" Red asked. He could feel his limbs begin to loosen as the effects of being frozen wore off.

"Oh, yes, it's Christmas day, my birthday in my previous life on Earth. You've been frozen for four days. We thought it the best way to keep you from interfering with our preparations. We've got quite a holiday event planned, and you're an important part of it."

"Not a ch-chance," Red said. He lifted his right foot off the floor, the first bit of movement he could manage, but was unable to shift his balance fast enough to keep upright. Fortunately, Simon was still close enough to catch him.

"Lay him down on the couch," Father Patrick said. Simon swiveled Red over to a sofa in the corner of the room and lay Red down upon it. The movement gave Red a chance to see a bit more of the room. It was very unfinished, as if it was a room in a warehouse or factory that had had some furniture put in. "Come now, your Holiness, what have you got to lose? You know you can't trust DI&R- they betrayed you. They were going to wipe your mind of the incident, just as they did with Alison's. Your good friend Argento knew about the whole thing- I was there when he got the order. A whole troop of their men waited in the room and when Kimmy and Scott came back, they saw you and Alison and took them before they even said a word. Isn't that what happened, Kimmy?"

Kimmy glanced nervously at Patrick, who nodded at her. "It's true," she said. "They only took… Scott and I because they thought we were you. And they did 'Rechristen' Alison."

"Join us," Father Patrick implored. "Get revenge on those who would use you as nothing more than a tool to be discarded at will. They've lied to you from the very start. The Holy Implements we had, the masks, the cryonic freezing device, where do you think we got them? They gave them to me to facilitate my rise to power, before I revealed them to be the corrupt and sinful organization they truly are." Father Patrick leaned in and whispered into Red's ear, so no one else could hear. "How do you think I received this Holy power?" He kissed Red's cheek lightly before he rose again. "They wanted me to be their tool as well, but they were mistaken trying to use the Son of God thus. Join me and they will pay for their discretions against us both."

As the cold numbness began to leave him, Red realized that every muscle in his body ached immensely. "What are you going to do?"

"It's not what I am going to do," Father Patrick said, "It's what He is going to do. His justice will be served and I shall be revealed as Savior, and with you by my side, no one will stand in our way!"

Red would now had regained the full range of movement from his body, if not for the fact that even the slightest utilization of his locomotive functions caused tremendous shooting pain throughout his being. "You can take your offer and-"

"Before you decide," Father Patrick said, walking close to Red and grabbing him by the hair, "There are a few choice bits of information you should consider. First, considering what you did to Scott, I am being a benevolent and merciful God, am I not? Were I to do unto you as you did unto him, you'd be a bit more widespread right now. Second, you have a very simple choice. We've already made arrangements to ransom you back to your old pals. Either you join us, we steal their five million dollars, usher in a new era of paradise with all the… girls you could ask for, and, hey, why not, I'll even get back Alison for you, or…" he let go of Red's hair and smoothed it out gently, "Or we can refreeze you and give you back to them and you forget all about her as she has you."

Red looked up at the Father hovering above him, waiting smugly for the answer he knew Red would give. Red desperately wanted another option, but could think of no alternative. Until he could find out more, find out what was true, he had no choice. They had him against a wall.

"Fine," Red sighed, "I'll join you. What are we going to do?"

"That, your Holiness, is a surprise. Just remember- if you want me to heal your little girl's brain, I expect everything to go perfectly at this exchange. If it doesn't… I may still stop by her house. It might do a pretty young thing like her some good to find Jesus."

"If you even think about-"

"I wouldn't dream of it, your Holiness," he said. "She's all yours, as long as that money is mine. Deal?"

"Deal," said Red.

"Wonderful," Father Patrick said, "Now you're one of us. You should meet the team. You know Kimmy and Joshua, of course." Kimmy was sitting nearby sort of anxiously. Joshua was in a rocking chair nearby, rocking back and forth. Father Patrick stood beside him and put his hand on Joshua's shoulder. He nodded towards Simon. "Simon is my right hand, the first I ever healed. These two fine gentlemen over here," he gestured behind Red, "Are Charles and William."

Red craned his neck to see the two men who had operated the frog launcher almost a week earlier. The searing pain made him wince.

"Oh, of course," said Father Patrick, "Forgive me, your Holiness." He walked back to Red and placed his hand on Red's chest. Almost instantaneously, Red could feel the pain melt away from every muscle in his body. "That should be better."

"Much," said Red, sitting up on the couch.

Father Patrick sat down on the matching loveseat. "We have about an hour before we need to leave to get ready to meet Argento." He looked at Joshua and patted himself on the lap.

"Argento?" Red asked.

"He's supposed to bring five million dollars to a certain phone booth all by himself. We'll have Charles here watching him there. If he's all alone, we'll call him, tell him where to meet us. That's where we're supposed to make the trade, but instead, you can help us take everything." Joshua draped himself across Father Patrick's lap, resting his head against the priest's shoulder.

"Oh, Jesus, guys, no, please!" Red said.

"Come now, your Holiness," said the Father, "It's just a little affection." He rubbed noses with Joshua.

"Yeah," said Joshua, "A boy's gotta get off somehow, no thanks to your cocktease girlfriend."

"Oh," said Patrick, "My little boy sounds so grown up!"

"God," said Red, "You guys are going to make me sick…"

Father Patrick clucked his tongue, "Why, because he's a boy? You're just as bad, and you know it."

"I am not a pedophile!"

"Not this again…" he rose, taking Joshua's hand. "Joshua and I are going elsewhere to amuse ourselves. Kimmy, take Red and get him to relax."

"Gladly," she said, rising.

"I told you," said Red, "I'm not-"

"Kimmy, give me your wallet," said Patrick. She picked up a purse from one of the end tables and took out a wallet. She handed it to Patrick. He flipped through it. "Let's see… OK, here we are. Date of Birth: December 19th, 1984." He turned it to Red, then after a moment, he flipped it closed and tossed it back to its owner. "Do the math. It really was her eighteenth birthday. Girls turn eighteen every day."

"Come on," said Kimmy, picking up Red's hand.

"No thanks," Red said, pulling himself away.

"We can just talk."

"Forget it," he said, "Just leave me alone."

"I'd really like to talk to you."

"And I couldn't give a crap what you'd like, so bug off."

"I think it would be best if you did come with me. I am eighteen, see?" she opened her wallet back up and held it towards him.

"Yeah, yeah, I saw."

"With a set of goggles like those, I'm sure you-"

Red rose and slapped her. "Don't you ever, EVER say that again," he said. The outline of his hand slowly began to shine bright Red on Kimmy's face. Her eyes were wide and her hand went up to cover her cheek. She began to tear up. "They're glasses, you call them glasses. And when I tell you to leave me alone, you leave me the hell alone. I'm a Saint, who the hell are you to push me?"

"Exactly," said Father Patrick. "That's exactly right. You're a Saint; you can do whatever you please. These children, they are all below you. They are yours to do with as you please. I'm glad to see you finally assert yourself. Bravo."

Red stood staring Kimmy down. She looked as though she would burst into tears at any second. "Red, please, I-"

"Why don't you just stick with 'Your Holiness', ok?" Red said.

"Kimmy," Father Patrick said, "You can join Joshua and I."

"But I-" she said.

"Kimmy!" said Father Patrick. Without another word she rose and quietly and walked to the priest's side. "We'll all leave you alone then. Simon, Charles, William. See that everything is ready when it's time to leave."

"Yes, my Lord," said Simon.
Once the six of them had gone, Red sat back down on the couch and found himself recalling chapter eight of Oliver Twist, "Oliver walks to London. He encounters on the road a strange sort of young gentleman." It was the chapter in which Oliver first met Dodger and Fagin. With nothing better to occupy his mind, he recited the book to himself.


"OK," said Father Patrick into his cell phone, "I'll give him a call." He clicked the device off. William was in the driver's seat of the van, Kimmy was in the passenger seat, while Red was in the rear with Father Patrick. They had parked in a parking garage, on an empty floor, about twenty minutes before, waiting for Argento to show up at the phone booth. "Argento's in place," Patrick told them. "I'm going to call him now. Let's get out of the van. Red, you get down on your knees."

"Yeah, fine," said Red. He got out of the van and knelt on the ground behind it. Patrick walked up behind him as he dialed. "Argento," he said, "Get back into your car and go into the parking garage down the block on the right. Fifth floor. I see anything I don't like, his Holiness gets one in the back of the head." He hung up the phone and pulled out a silenced pistol. He put it to the back of Red's head. "Ok, Red, now remember the plan."

"I got it," Red said.

"First we get him to show us the money, then I make my speech, and when I say 'the might of my Righteous Angels and…' then I'll pause for effect, 'even your own Saint,' that's when you jump up and grab Argento."

"Yeah, I got it," Red said, "Don't worry about it. Then we get Alison back and make everything better."

"Quiet, here he comes," Patrick said. Red felt the gun jab into the back of his head a little harder. Argento was driving a black sedan. He appeared to be alone. Red did his best to look vaguely nervous. He kept his hands behind his back, as if they were tied. Argento pulled his car to a stop. Father Patrick gestured for him to come out.

"Are you all right, Red?" asked Argento as he climbed out of the car and approached them.

"I'm just peachy, Frankie," Red said.

"Did you bring the money?" Patrick asked.

"Five million dollars," said Argento. "In twenties. Nonconsecutive. Right in the back seat. Just let us have Red back, that's all that matters."

"You son of a bitch!" Red said, springing to his feet and punching Argento in the face. In his left hand he'd been holding the cryo-freezer. He grabbed Argento by the back of his collar and put the tip of the device up against his face, careful to keep his finger off the button that operates it.

"Red!" said Patrick. "Uh… Yes, Mr. Argento, now you realize the wrath of my fully-"

"Shut up!" said Red. "Have them get the money. Frank and I need to talk."

"Red, what are you… whoa! Hey, hey, easy!" said Argento as Red jerked him over to the side of the garage. Red pushed Argento's torso over the edge so that only his own grasp on Argento kept him from falling. "Please, what are you doing?"

"You know, Frank, ever since we first met, you've been holing back information from me," said Red. "And I've heard the key to a good relationship is communication, so, I think it's time for you to communicate some things to me, ok? I am sick of this mysterious crap, dancing around the truth! I want you to tell me straight, and I mean now, unless you'd rather find out how many pieces you'd shatter into if you fell frozen from this height?"

"No, no, please, of course not, no" Argento stammered. "What do you want anything, anything!"

"Red, this was not the plan!" Patrick said, hovering behind Red.

"You got the money," said Red, "And I think Argento knows whose side I'm on, so just get over it. We all know you’re not the Son of God, all of us with half a brain anyway. Now, shut the hell up and let me find out the truth!"

"Fine," said Patrick, "Do as you will. He'll only confirm what I have already told you."

"Ok, Frank, here we go, answer everything truthfully and I'll let you go- in the non-falling-to-you-death way. First off- what did you do to Alison?"

"Alison?" said Frank, "Alison, you mean… oh… Alison, Alison is back with her parents… we, ah, had to put her mind back the way it was intended to be…"

"So, when you captured Kimmy and Scott, you were trying to take us?"

"Red, you have to understand," he said, "Oh, God please, I was just doing my job! We're trying to make the world a better place, and sometimes we, ah, you see, have to do things that-"

"Did you give Father Patrick his power? Did you set this sick bastard up so he could do the filthy things that he's done?"

"Hey, now!" Father Patrick said.

"Red, that's not fair," Argento said, "We didn't, we didn't know he was going to, you have to understand, the prophets told us he would help children, they didn't, they didn't tell us…"

"Father!" called William from next to the van.

"Red," said Patrick, "Bring him."

"How could you do this to me?" Red said as he pulled Argento back from the ledge and threw him onto the floor of the lot.

"Red, you have to understand," Argento said, "You don't know the half of it yet, what they put you through, what they put Alison through… that's just the beginning, but trust me, I'm on your side, I promise, I'm not trying to-"

"What the hell is this?" Father Patrick said from near the van. "Argento, you shouldn't have, you naughty boy."

Red dragged his former partner to where the others were gathered. Kimmy and William had been taking the packs of money out of the bags that Argento had brought them in and been transferring it all into a huge box that they had brought with them in the back of the van. They had also been unwrapping each individual packet of money, checking quickly for markings or tracking devices, leaving a huge box full of two hundred fifty thousand loose twenties. It seemed it had paid off however, as William held in his hand an incredibly thin device that had been slipped in between some of the bills.

"And what is this?" Father Patrick asked.

"I don't know, I swear!" said Argento, "I didn't put the money together, I'm just delivering it, I promise you, I didn't, I…"

"Don't worry about it," said Red, "We caught it, so it's ok." He pulled out his gun and fired at the device in William's hand. He missed. "Heh…" he said. He tried again. He missed again. "Oh, just leave it here then, who cares."

"You see, Red?" Argento said. "That proves it, what you're doing isn't right, Just like I told you, please, you have to come back with me and-"

"So you can wipe my mind, too? No, thanks."

"We're finished here. Red, take care of Argento's car," Father Patrick said, dialing a number on his cell phone.

Red tossed Argento back onto the ground. "Stay down," he said. He drew his sword and slashed through the hood of the car and the engine beneath. Another car pulled up, this one driven by Charles with Joshua in the passenger seat.

"William, Kimmy, you take the van and the money back," said Patrick, "I'm going to go with Red and keep my part of our bargain."

"Wait," said Kimmy, "Let me go with-"

"Kimmy!" said Patrick. "I am tired of having to say things so many times."

"Kimmy," said Argento softly, "I know."

"Shut up!" she said.

"I didn't tell," he said. "Not anyone."

"What?" said Patrick, "What is he talking about? What do you know?"

"What do you know, Frank?" Red asked, touching the cryo-freezer to his neck.

"I know… I know what was done to Kimmy," said Argento, "When DI&R took her."

"What was done?" Red asked.

"Shut up!" Kimmy shouted at him, kicking Argento. "We don't have to talk about this!" She was almost in tears again. "We don't need to talk about this right now, let's just go."

"I'm on your side, Red," Argento said, "I promise you-"

Red froze him. He threw the cryo down on the ground. "Let's go get Alison," he said, climbing into the back of the car.

"But-" said Kimmy.

"Kimmy, we'll have words later," said Patrick. He joined Red in the rear of the automobile and they took off, heading for New Hyde Park. "That girl," he said. "I don't know what they did to her in there, but since she came back I've practically had to rape her… it's not like her, not like her at all."

"Oh God," said Red, "Can we not talk on the way? Thanks."


Red was doing his best to block out every word, squeal, or giggle coming from the back seat of the car. Red had remembered from his childhood that ever Christmas night, Alison's parents would go out for a special dinner, just the two of them, having had the family dinner the night before. They were waiting for the couple to leave before making their move, which is why the car-full had been sitting just down the street from Alison's house for just over an hour. About half way through that, Joshua had climbed into the back seat and rather than be next to anything unseemly, Red had moved up front.

"Wait, hold on a moment," Red said. Alison's parents were leaving the house, dressed to the nines, just like every Christmas night since Red had known them. "OK, here we go, guys. Put your… pants back on, or whatever you need to do. It's time." Red slouched down low as the Inneses drove past, although he realized it was pointless a moment later. After their car was out of sight, Charles drove them up to Alison's driveway.

"Alright, let's do this fast," Patrick said. "We break in and Charles, you help Red hold her down and I'll work the healing on her head."

"No problem," said Charles.

"You keep my seat warm, Joshua." Patrick winked.

The three of them walked up to the door and Charles, being the biggest, threw himself into the door with all his weight and strength. The bolt cracked out of the frame and gained them entry. "Upstairs," said Red, taking the lead. He ran up the stairs to Alison's room and threw open the door.

Alison was lying on her bed writing in her journal. Her face was much paler than when Red had seen her last, makeup of course, and the black eyeliner around her eyes was drawn in elaborate designs. Her lips, both black with lipstick, spread apart wide as she screamed a piercing b-movie shriek.

Red and Charles lunged at her and were able to grab her before she could move. "Alison," Red said, "Please, just relax, this is for your own good, I promise you." They held her down on the bed. As Father Patrick came into her view, her screams turned to tears.

"Oh, God, no not him!" she wailed, "Don't let him touch me, please! This has to be another dream, please!"

"What is she talking about?" asked Patrick, moving in closer.

"Please, God, don't let him touch me!" she said, "Don't let him touch me again!"

"I don't know… a dream?" said Red. "Maybe she saw you in another prophecy. I don't know, just do it!"

"Alright," said Patrick.

"Please, Alison, just relax, it'll be over soon, I promise," Red said.

As Father Patrick put his hands onto her head she fell silent. Red could feel an energy in her, making her body feel exceptionally warm. After a moment, Patrick took his hands off of her head. "She is healed," Patrick said.

A moment or so later, Alison's eyelids fluttered slowly open. The tears that had been welling in her eyes rolled down her cheeks. "Who… who are you people?" she said. "What do you want from me?"

"You didn't do it right!" Red said to Patrick. "Do it again, you didn't do it right!"

"I did, I swear!" Patrick said. "I did the same thing I did before, I swear on my Father in heaven! They must have… I don't know, they must have found a way to stop me!"

"Please, don't…" Alison said, her tears flowing more freely now, "Please, don't let him touch me, please…"

Red looked deep into Alison's eyes and saw no recognition, only fear. Her tears were leaving black streaks running down her face. He had never seen her so sad, so afraid. "Let's get out of here," he said. "Fast."

As they released Alison, she curled up into fetal position on the bed, hugging her legs tight to her chest and sobbing. Chaser was rubbing against Red's leg. Red picked him up and put him on the bed with her before leaving and closing her door behind him. He said nothing as they went back out to the car.

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