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The Descent Chapter 8: Old and New Friends Part 1

by D4RKR4VEN


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.

The Descent

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.


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Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:24 pm
SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...



Hey, Dark Raven!

I must say, that you have an interesting vocabulary, and not in the bad way. I've actually learned about quite a few words from reading your works, and I like them. Just, they merely throw me off a lot of the times. For instance, I had to look up what 'cowed' meant, because I wasn't sure if that was the word you meant to use or if it was merely a typo of the word 'cowered' (and strange usage).

Of course. There had to be mention of Demoness. Especially the one week they came. Obviously the universe is trying to keep Mandy as an insane psychopath, murdering everyone who dares steps into her way.

Alright, so while reading through this, I was sort of confused about the testimony. At first, I believed it was the pastor, and I'm not all too familiar with how things at church work, so I didn't question it. But then there was something mentioned about being born again, which threw me off completely. Did it mean he completed some kind of religious journey?

I wonder if Dave and his dad have caught on yet that she's seeing her father as the image of God? I mean, they'd be watching out for that, would't they? To try and insure the memories stay hidden. But then, when she told them about the image, wouldn't they think to connect the dots and then be all like, "No, Mandy. That man is of the devil and you can't pray anymore."

One thing that I love about your plot is that Dave has been given an impossible task. He has to change everything about Mandy's life so nothing lines up. But, that's so difficult to do, when she is naturally drawn to things of her old life and then her memories are trying to resurface...

Sorry, I don't have much else to say, because your chapters just keep getting better and better! Keep on Writing,
~Wolfare~




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Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:11 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hey Dark Raven,

Making it harder for me to catch up hm? I wonder at the amount of reviews you must be producing to be able to fund all these chapters... And you only joined about the beginning of this month!

It seems that everywhere they go, they're encountering difficulties for Mandy's development. It's almost like the world doesn't want her to get better! I mean, a person in a church just happened to be one of those harmed? Wow.

What I'm not so convinced here is that all that Dave would do to stop her from listening is clamp his hands over her ears. I don't know, it seems too stage. I understand why Mandy would trust Dave, but if her interest was piped up by a 'bad shop' being in a shopping centre, then wouldn't she wonder what bad stuff could happen at a good place like a church? Wouldn't she wanted to listen just a bit for herself? I could understand if Dave had a bit of a struggle here.

I know when I clamp my hands over my ears, most times I can still here. If it's something as serious as a mention of Demoness itself, if I were Dave I would be rushing Mandy out of that room as fast as I could get her to agree. In this scenario I picture Mandy half trying to listen and being led hurriedly away. Otherwise it just seems like an easy escape, and from the character plots you've drawn out already, I'm not sure they'd act like that.

Now, it was a time for me to be with my family, which now had Mindy in tow.


The repetition of now is once too many in this line. I suggest just cutting the second one because it's unnecessary.

With Mindy around, life was never boring, although sometimes it was too much of an excitement with her around


Again, the same thing with around. And this was just the next sentence! Don't forget to vary diction. Maybe you could change the first to: With Mandy in our family... It saves you a bit.

Looking forwards to tomorrows chapter!

Deanie x




D4RKR4VEN says...


Oh man, now that's one feedback to which I've no answer to. The part about Dave covering Mindy's ears... Your argument has merits... But I just don't know what to do. I couldn't take both of them out of the church, because it meant missing out a very important part of the story. Moreover, the technical difficulty of shutting one's ears doesn't ring well with me - there are ways to cover your ears to ensure maximum deflection of sound. At the same time, what you said had merits - it may not be the most realistic reaction on the part of Dave. I'm torn between these two places.



Deanie says...


Hmm, I see what you mean. Maybe Dave felt helpless and the dad saw what was coming so he took her out for a bit? That means Dave is still there to hear and see all that follows on afterwards. And then of course, the Dad could bring her back in again. Or if you find an alternative... it could also work.



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Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:51 pm
yubbies21 wrote a review...



Hello!

As I have said before, I really am not good with novel chapters...Have to get this Green Room Empty!

You skip a couple of times in between the tenses, an easy mistake. Just read over it quick to fix the few places were that happens.

This chapter wasn't super awesome, only mildly entertaining. Is there anything about this that can be fixed?

Happy Review Day!

yubbies21




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Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:36 pm
EloquentDragon wrote a review...



I only noticed a few sections here. Or I only took time to notice a few sections. ;)

read comic books and dress up as Spider-man,


“dressed.” Keep this in past.

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.


This has a few sticky areas. Maybe you meant:

my family, now with Mindy in tow. With her around life was never boring, although sometimes there could be too much excitement around…
or at least that was the general assumption.”


bullets won’t just knock out your teeth when you were shot in the mouth. His teeth reminded me more of a brawler.


What? This doesn’t make much sense.

Edited:

bullets won’t knock out just your teeth if you’re shot in the mouth. He looked more like a brawler than a gunman to me.”

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.”


Is this church harboring dangerous criminals? Last I checked they were still giving the life sentence for murder. And he’ll only add time if he broke out. Sure, the underworld can pull some strings but I doubt that he would ever make such a confession in a church.

She’s had me convinced that it was something that would take months, if not years, and that’s not including the other problems


“She has convinced me that it’s something that will take months…”

or “she’s convinced me.”

as he stroked her head affectionately,


This is a really, really strange thing for a pastor to be doing. But maybe that’s just because of they way you put it. Maybe try: “he patted her on the head.” Sure, it’s cliché, but the reader won’t get the wrong intentions.

their religion revolves around reading comics,


“Revolved” there.

So nothing really struck me as being wrong with this chapter here. It’s sort of meh, just a filler. However, I sort of wonder why you have a church scene in here at all. Remember, scenes MUST accomplish something in the story. They need to reveal something, either character-wise or plot-wise. This scene here might do that, but it comes across as a little weak. Give it more of a purpose.

The only other thing is that these are really short for chapters. Maybe you’re just doing that because of the way YWS is set up (and that’s what I suspect,) just make sure you change that in its final form.

~ED




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Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:11 pm
BunnyBot8 says...



I feel that this is a very good novel. It has a lot of potential in becoming something better. You should continue this novel into a whole series. It is amazing. The whole story is awesome!




D4RKR4VEN says...


Why thank you, kind bunny sir!




Just because you don't feel like a hero in your own story, doesn't mean you're not a hero in someone else's.
— Tenyo