Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Full Novel Synopsis: Sequel to 'The Spiralling', itself a sequel to the Kick-Ass (2010) movie. However, this novel can be read on its own. After Big Daddy died, Mindy was driven mad, subdued by Dave, and locked away in an Institute after killing all who she deemed responsible but Dave. Will she recover? What will happen next to a New York without her nor the Motherfucker? Elements of the Kick-Ass 2 (2013) movie and comic series will be taken in.
Chapter 8: Old and New Friends Part 1
Today’s Sunday is an unusual one, the first of its kind in a long, long time. We hadn’t been to church for years, even long before my mother died. I remembered church as a kid, but not as a teenager. And as a common kid who read comic books and dress up as Spider-man, I hated church. I thought it was boring. Now, it was a time for me to be with my family, which now had Mindy in tow. With Mindy around, life was never boring, although sometimes it was too much of an excitement with her around. The church would be the safest place possible for Mindy’s mental health, or at least that’s the general knowledge.
Me and my dad were new, so we couldn’t get into their groove as much. We met a few people, sat with them, but when it came to the praise and worship, we stood stock still, awkward. We were the traditional type, having been out of the league for too long. Mindy, on the other hand, was just shy, so she joined us in doing nothing. She was furthermore cowed by the active crowd.
The only moment I could really remember was the testimonial bit. For that, the pastor invited on stage a guy with an Italian name too complicated for me to remember. When he came on stage, he was in a navy blue suit with grey tie, but what was above his suit reminded me of a military guy with his seasoned face and well-trimmed and well combed hair that was only beginning to bald. It touched neither his forehead nor his ears, or even the back of his neck. He had some facial hair which was as grey as his hair. As he smiled, two of his teeth gleamed, not from hygiene habits, but because they were silver prosthetics. He looked like he’d seen quite a bit of action, but the last I heard, bullets won’t just knock out your teeth when you were shot in the mouth. His teeth reminded me more of a brawler.
“Boy do I have a story for you guys.” The military guy offered, his Italian accent there but quite light and barely noticeable. He was perpetually smiling, breaking the military impression he had on me. He was far too casual to be a veteran, but then again I was being shallow. “Now some of you may already know who I am, but for the benefit of the newcomers… I’ve been in here for a year now.” He took a sip from a glass of water placed at the podium, as if what came next was a huge challenge, a difficult thing to say.
“I used to be lead a life of sinful crime, roughing people up, extorting for the devil’s spawn on Earth. I took a few lives for him, that devil. Some good, some rotten, but God’s children all the same, and the devil would get me out of jail to kill again.” He seemed a little beefy under his suit. With that and his Italian accent, he reminded me of the stereotypical gangster in mafia movies. Looking around back to Mindy to check how this was treating her, I saw that she was relatively fine, if a little frightened by the bare mention of hurting and killing people – Military guy’s choice of words were fine so far with nothing explicit. It gave me a little confidence for the church, “Then she came, this girl who might well be God’s miracle. How else could the tower of babel fall like that? Many called her the-” Before he said the name, I rushed to cover Mindy’s ears. She didn’t object and I appreciated the trust she puts in me. We looked and smiled at each other.
“Demoness, and rightly so, because she’d sent many innocent souls to heaven, but at the same time, this… Divine Sword of God tore down the Tower of Babel, delivered justice where there was none.” It was all sounding all too familiar, the only shocker being just how religious it could be made to sound, “And I was spared for some reason. Took a bullet to the chest, but I was spared.”
Thunderous claps. Me and my family clapped along. I had plenty of good reasons to – his survival meant one less notch on Mindy’s subconscious, or Demoness’ swords. Not to mention, he was one less criminal to deal with, if he was really Born Again. And he was proof that there was still some good left in this world. He took another sip from his glass of water. I could see that he was suddenly conscious about his stomach.
“And here I am, after eating a ton of jell-o in hospital for a month.” There were some giggles and laughter, “I knew I was born again even before I came here. I had lots of time to think about that. God has a plan for me. I know he does, because I’ve been having a little chat with him.”
After the service…
While the crowd was dispersing, starting to talk amongst themselves, Dad was holding hands with Mindy, going up to the front, to the stage. I was walking beside her. We looked like a happy family, even if it was incomplete with my mom out of the picture. Picture this: Dad was in a brown suit and I was in a grey one, with Mindy standing between us, in a formal black dress and shoes with a cardigan over that.
We brought Mindy to the pastor, so she could ask her burning question, the one she’d been going non-stop about. When we were at the foot of the stage, Mindy grew a bit shy and in awe of the stage and the ceiling-high cross up front. We had to egg her on. As we were new, the pastor noticed us immediately after finishing a chat with a couple.
“New guests! Welcome, welcome indeed!” The pastor, a man in a black suit who was hardly wrinkled despite his age, was a highly animated man. He was spreading his arm, as if to hug the whole bunch of us, at one moment and then shaking our hands the next, “Pastor Harkman, at your service! What can I do you for?”
“Yeah, my daughter’s got a question for you.” Dad said, straight to the point. Sure, he was always that way with me, but I was never sure if he does the same to everybody. It seemed likely now that I’ve seen how he talked to the pastor.
“And who might you be, missy?” The pastor crouched down at the edge of his stage, and even then, he was still taller than Mindy.
“Man-Mandy Lizewski.” Mindy replied nervously. It’d been a week and she had yet to beat her stutter. She’s had me convinced that it was something that would take months, if not years, and that’s not including the other problems Dr Paul had given her: Clumsiness and… dumbness, “May I ask you my question?”
“Sure, go right ahead, little miss!” The pastor said excitedly as he stroked her head affectionately, reminding me of the way Kindergarten teachers would talk to her flock. Mindy pursed her lips a bit, she looked like she’d been overwhelmed by his enthusiasm.
“W-well, I was praying yesterday. I think it was the ‘Lord’s Prayer’?” Mindy went on with her story. The pastor nodded attentively. Like I said: Kindergarten school teacher, “While I was saying the prayers, I saw a face. It had…” And again, just like yesterday, she closed her eyes so that she could envision the face again, “blonde hair and moustache, and a pair of big spectacles. Is he God?”
“That’s a brilliant question, Mandy!” The pastor said animatedly, sounding like he was pleasantly surprised, “Well, you see, God could appear in many forms. Did he say anything?”
“No…” Mindy replied, shaking her head.
“What do you feel when you see his face?” At this, he seemed to have toned down a bit, either from tiredness or professionalism.
“I feel… I feel…” Mindy had to close her eyes again, to think. I had no idea if that had anything to do with Dr Paul, “Loved. Like he’ll protect me, like Daddy and Dave!”
“Ah, then he could be God! But we’ll have to wait and see what he says, Mandy, because there are other things in this world other than God.” The pastor continued. Even without going to the church for, like, a decade, I knew what he was driving at, “Such as the devil. He’s the bad guy. So if he says anything that feels wrong, or asks you to do something that didn’t feel right, pray for the real God to appear, alright darling?”
“Yes, Pastor Harkman…” Mindy replied in her usual child’s way. She seemed to be taking the devil business well, so I saw no reason to intervene. I’d known a long time ago that her illness wasn’t that sensitive, otherwise she would be stuck in the closet. Doesn’t stop me from being on edge though – It feels like I could actually lose weight from just worrying about her alone. After her burning question was answered, Mindy’s mind began to wander, and she set her eyes on the knee rests just before the stage, before the cross, where people would kneel down and pray. The Italian guy who was giving his testimonial was already there, preparing to kneel down before the cross.
“Can I pray some more? I wanna see his face again!” She asked excitedly. The pastor looked thrilled, with his wide eyes and fatherly smile. I could relate – after all, there weren’t many kids who professed to loving prayers and church. The only person of my age in this church I knew was myself. Marty and Todd weren’t churchgoers themselves – their religion revolves around reading comics, attending comic cons and debating about the sexual orientation of their favourite heroes. Katie Deauxma… goes to the needle exchange, no church, and her friends stuck with her.
When Mindy scooted for a prayer, we didn’t follow – I wanted to, to look out for her, but dad decided that she needed some quality time on her own, since she’d been with us 99% of the time.