Standing outside the Church of St Wigan, FATHER VERGER is greeting his congregates as they leave. He is approached by DELORES and her daughter TAWNY. DELORES Is dressed in a sombre black dress with a Wigan pin on her chest. TAWNY is dressed in a cheerful red dress with white polka dots.
It was a beautiful service Father.
Thank you Mrs McInney. I trust you are keeping well?
Turning his attention to TAWNY.
I would have thought you would have worn a more mournful outfit on account of your father.
Pa hated to see people glum.
Still, show a little respect.
Not paying much attention to the priest her focus is caught by someone waving to her from offstage.
Hi honey! It’s good to see ye. When did you get back?
Speaking to Delores.
Excuse me, ma.
TAWNY exits the stage.
Shaking her head
I’m sorry Father. i thought with Reuben’s passing she would pray with me. Every week is a struggle to het her to come along.
Looking over in TAWNY’S direction.
She needs the church’s guidance now more than ever. As her mother it is up to you to take care of her. Her immortal soul is at stake. St Wigan will impart the strength you need to correct her.
I don’t want to lose her.
They both look towards offstage where TAWNY has just exited.
Still looking after TAWNY.
DELORES is sat at home. The home appears draughty and uncomfortable. She is seated at a table centre stage where lighting is focused on a single empty plate and a Wigan book. DELORES is holding her Wigan pin in her hand. TAWNY is not present but her voice can be heard off stagein a dream like sound as DELORES reflects on her words.
Sounding as though she was in some pain when the words were spoken.
I am who I am.
Rests her hand on the Wigan book.
I was worried about you. You were my daughter and you were putting yourself in mortal danger. I wish you could understand. If you turned to the Church maybe you could find forgiveness.
Why can’t ye just love me for who I am?!
Sighing she sniffs back the emotion.
I do you love. You’re my daughter. You wouldn’t listen to me and you made me angry. I was losing you and I had to do something. Ye were embarrassing yerself night after night like a wanton hussy.
If your church is asking you do this what kind of religion is it! Help me Ma!
DELORES raises a napkin to her lips.
it was for your own good.
She sniffs again and composes herself.
You cannot be saved …
When Tabitha is sent to Hathfield Bay to meet her estranged grandma, she is given an inside look at the Cult of Wigan of which granny is a member.
I’ve had many strange dreams throughout my life. Maybe it’s the symptom of having an over active imagination. If you follow me on Twitter you may have heard me discuss this (@VivikaWidow).
The dream world has always fascinated me. Those little stories that your mind tells you as you sleep can be vivid and memorable. They can be akin to some of the best experiences of your real world and they can also make you realise worst. Since I’m a lover of all things macabre I’m going to take a look at some of the darker moments I have experienced in the dream world.
Yes you read that right. The earliest dream I can remember must have occurred when I was about six or seven. In the dream I had heard my mum wildly exclaiming at the news. (In real life this was no rare occurrence. She was an excitable sort). She was crying to my dad to get me away from. Whatever was on the news would be too much for my childish sensibilities. It didn’t work though. I saw the report. In the news report the journalist was discussing the spread of an unexplained phenomenon that was effecting children just like me. The footage showed a large spider in a box. This spider was unusual in that it had the head of a child. His name had been Ricky before. Now he was spider boy and not in a friendly neighbourhood spidey kind of way.
This was so upsetting for me. However, before I could process anything this dream was telling me I found myself at an indoor carnival. Who doesn’t hate clowns, right? I just happened to have watched Stephen King’s IT at the time and my elder brothers, the darlings that they were, told me Pennywise hid in my closet and waited for me to go to sleep so he could eat me. So as fun as this carnival was with all the lights, music and rides I was deeply concerned. I was on my own. I was lost. Then I saw a clown. (He was remarkably like Pennywise – no surprise). He was handing some candyfloss to a little girl with blonde pigtails and little pink glasses. The clown turned his attention on me. I knew better. My brothers had warned me so I ran away. I didn’t want any of his damn candyfloss.
Running away I stumbled into a storage room. I could hear the clown and all his clown friends looking for me. I could hear a rattle of something tapping against glass. As my eyes adjusted I could see hundreds of jars, each containing a child with a spider body. Including the little girl with pigtails!
“Come e’re!” The clown cried.
That’s when I woke up. I was so startled by this dream I was crying. It sounds like childhood fantasy now mixed with the unfortunate placement of being the youngest sibling in a household of wind up merchants.
Ducks in a row!
I was just a young teenager when I moved 200 miles away from my home to attend medical school. Needless to say it was a time of stress and big changes. It is common to experience vivid dreams during times like this.
During my first week of classes I had a dream whereby I was walking past a river and saw a group of baby ducks. A raft of ducks I believe is the proper term. These baby ducks were struggling to get back to the river so being the caring soul that I am I decided to lend a hand. I gather the ducks in my arms and start to head to water. One slips out and splats on the ground (complete with side effects and everything!). Then another slips. SPLAT! Then another. Before I know it all the ducks have splattered on the ground. With there being no real logic in dreams I scoop those splattered ducks up in my arms and still take them to the river. The ducks just fill with water …
This dream obviously speaks to my anxiety of beginning a new part of my life and moving away from home at a young age but it was really vivid at the time. It played on my mind for some time afterwards. Well, having just recounted it for you it seems it still plays on my mind …
Dreams aren’t all bad. There have been some where I’ve been rested on a beach with a bronzed hunk. There have been some where I’ve achieved impossible odds or met my idols. There have also been some where my devious sister in law has tried to send me into space or billions of years into the future. My point is, anxiety and hopes, fears and ambitions all reveal themselves in the dream world. When time comes for us to wake again it’s up to us to do decide what to do with that.
So tell me about your dreams. What’s some of the wildest you’ve had?
Speaking of nightmares … The circus is in town and there’s no coincidence home invasion robberies are on the rise.
Performers of Stoker Circus can slip in anywhere. When fresh money making opportunities are offered it may be their downfall.
What can we say about Father Gerald ‘Jerry’ Owen? He is the shame of his powerful family and he cares not a jot about that fact. Over the years his decadent behaviour is well documented. Most notably he stands accused of abusing countless young girls, using his place in the Church of St Wigan as a cover.
One of his victims includes the notable Boss Lady of the Knock Knock club, TABITHA. You will be pleased to note though that was where his life as a libertine came to an abrupt end. Details of his very disgraceful exit from society are still sketchy but it was confirmed he came to a grisly realisation he needed to stop thinking with his crotch!
Joining the church was something of a last resort for Jerry. His brothers, his father and his dear mother were all at their wit’s end. When the abuse started to surface more and more thanks to protests outside his church thanks to the Knock Knock Baroness, TAWNY, he realised his number was up. He was not immortal.
Jerry had an easy life in the Church. His family were huge benefactors so he had the largest parish and every luxury a Holy man could ever hope to indulge in. Things changed though. The Church fell to the new leadership who weren’t quite as sympathetic to his quirks. As with any cult It was time to follow or lose it all. When the purge came, Jerry Owen could not be saved.
Available May 14th
Jerry Owen was sent into the priesthood to be hidden as the family shame. When the Church of St Wigan decide on a zealous new leader it could expose everything.
Cult deprogrammer, John Reynolds is called to action when a close friend joins the Church of St Wigan.
With the help of a pandering con man, Reynolds uncovers a much larger problem as new Wigan Church leader, Dominick, sets his sights on cleansing the city.
We’ve all fallen into holes throughout our lives but do we have the strength pull ourselves out of it?
Dennis has managed the Knock Knock club and never was there a dirtier job. Would you believe me if I told you he had done worse? Does he now have what it takes to put his past behind him?
Coming 2021, from the Author of MAESTRO ; MUSE and HARBOUR HOUSE , step outside the Knock Knock club and head on over to Hathfield Bay Island for a nail biting, knuckle whiting , full in your face exciting glimpse into the lowest depths of humanity.
A caddy of pots hangs above. A malcontent young man, DOMINICK, sits heat a table. His arms are folded. His head is down. He appears to be crying. His father, GABRIEL, enters. He too has dark hair with salt and pepper speckles. He is wearing the cross of the Wigan church around his neck. He kisses is as he takes a seat across from the boy.
Looking up and appearing more frustrated now than upset.
How could you replace her so quickly?
A man needs a wife. You need a mother’s guidance.
Scowling at him.
She’s not my ma mother, nor will she ever be. Her two brats are not my brothers.
Reaching out and slapping his son.
You will treat my wife with the respect she deserves.
I’ll treat exactly how she deserves to be.
Standing from the table and removing the Wigan cross from round his neck. He places it around his son’s neck.
I’m not going to tell ye twice. If ye like ye can spend the rest of yer days hiding down here in the scullery with the staff and the mice or ye can take yer place upstairs. I have taken Miriam as my bride. Yer ma is in St Wigan’s embrace now. She’s not coming back.
Clutches the cross around his neck.
You’ll be taking the oath to the church soon. Your life will be dedicated so start behaving as such and come upstairs and show some respect to Miriam and her sons.
Managing a sardonic smile.
I’d much rather stay here with the mice.
Slapping him again.
You are a disappointment. I have high hopes for ye so stop acting like a petulant wean! Your brothers are showing you up.
His lips tighten and he appears angrier.
They are not my brothers!
Shaking his head with exasperation he reaches up and collects one of the pots from the caddy. He whacks his son with it causing DOMINICK to fall from his seat.
GABRIEL starts to lose patience watching DOMINICK collecting himself.
Finally, he gets back on his feet. He sits back on the stool rubbing the pain from his face.
You’re a child of St Wigan. Start acting like it.
What do we have if not our faith?
A whack with steel about yer head is what ye’ll have.
A small kitchen area. Day time.
DOMINICK is holding one of the pots. He is sat on the floor tapping the steel against it.
Speaking in a chant.
We are the children of Wigan and our hearts are pure and strong. We praise our beloved saint and so we sing this song. We know, we know, we know we can’t be saved but repent and you’ll be in his embrace.
Entering the scene is the sister of DOMINICK. She is a young woman but older than her brother. NATALIE seems flustered.
It’s time for me to go. I’m getting a long way away from here.
You can’t leave me on my own here.
Your place is with the church. Pa decided that long ago. My place is to marry well. I couldn’t have married much better than James. I will have a good life. I suppose I’ll have to perform ma wifely duties but I can do that. Oh, Dom! I’m getting out of here.
I’m pleased for ye my sister, but what about those of us ye leave behind?
Take the oath. It’s your way out baby brother. Give yerself to the church.
Drawing on her cigarette.
I guess this is farewell Dom. I don’t know when I’ll be back. If I’ll ever be back.
Do ye even want to marry this man? You don’t even know him. Ye’ve only met him once.
That doesn’t matter. I’m getting off this island.
Looking at her brother she gives him a scornful look. She takes another draw of her cigarette.
You look like a wean that’s been sat in the corner. Stand up.
Why should I listen to you?
Voice fading. Lighting on her starting to fade too placing more focus on DOMINICK.
You have to get up.
You all abandoned me.
DOMINICK stands. The lights continue to lower and put more focus on him as he moves to centre stage. The figures of his family loom as shadows in the background.
I took the oath that day. I swore I would never abandon those who followed me. I took an oath that would save as many souls as I could. I took an oath that in the name of St Wigan I would burn any who resisted. They abandoned me. They left me with all but a prayer. But that was all I needed.
He clutches his Wigan cross. He grins sardonically as he looks up.
St Wigan Church altar. Night time.
DOMINICK is stood on a church altar. He directly addresses the audience as though they are his congregation. He is wearing full Wigan robes. He has a purple stole around his neck with gold detailing. He is invigorated. He is more mature in appearance now. A melanin streak has formed through his dark hair.
Brothers and sisters. We have gathered here today because we don’t want to be abandoned. I’m here to tell ye that you haven’t been abandoned and you never will be for as long as I’m head of our church. For too long we have wandered, lost and forgotten. Across the sea, in the city lies a place of fornicators, thieves, whores and every possible vice you can imagine.
It was written that when St Wigan first came to our shores, he told the natives that they could not be saved but if they were to follow him they stood a chance of being forgiven. With the city descending into chaos, my brothers and sisters, they bring their filth onto our beaches. It is time to remind the city dwellers that their actions will consume them in Hell fire. I will tell them now as Wigan told us then, you cannot … CANNOT be saved.
City street. Night time.
A single reporter stands centre stage. The noise of cries, chaos and burning sound in the background. The reporter, SANDRA, fixes her blazer and poses with her mic as though she’s about to perform a live broadcast. The Coldford Daily jingle sounds.
Coldford fire department were rushed to City Main in the last half hour as an out of control inferno tore through the lower floors of the Weir Hotel, leaving fifteen dead and another eight seriously injured. Although the cause for this hasn’t been confirmed the police department are suspecting extremist activity. As the fire department continue their efforts to evacuate the building more details will emerge.
I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news.
Cult deprogrammer, John Reynolds, finds a loved one in the hands of St Wigan’s zealous leader, Dominick Cole. Time is ticking before they are lost for good.
Dominick is a life long resident of the Wigan commune on HATHFILED BAY island. He was known among his people to be a spirited, intense young man and the Wigans have always adored him. He is dedicated to his faith and as such he was granted the leadership of the church. There isn’t much that can sway him from his oath and he is willing to go to ridiculous lengths to spread the word of St Wigan, also known as the Patron Saint of Sinners.
Although he is known to be wild in his pursuit of purity in the world around him he does also have a whimsical side which people usually respond to well. The Church is known as a cult in some circles and cult leaders tend to have a natural effervescence.
Dealing with the city dwellers over on the mainland can be a bit of a culture shock for Dominick. Luckily he is supported by a knowledgeable clergy who help steer him. The sinners would all be battered over the head with an iron cross if His Eminence was left to his own devices.
His church is steeped in history but his mind is set on the future. That future sees him tasked with purifying the Shady City. No easy feat …
A mysterious illness and a desperate phone call sends Cult Deprogrammer Reynolds’ sights on the Wigan faith of Hathfield Bay island. Time to face the past.
It was written many years ago that Noah Wigan crossed from the mainland of what would have been Coldford City to the Island of Hathfield Bay. There had been three attempts but each time the Wigan boats approached and considered landing, the wary islanders gathered on the beaches to see what was heading their way. Ill-educated in the way of God they were a simple people. They mostly frolicked in their nakedness. The women wore garlands of flowers and the men were restless and curious. So Wigan retreated. That night through to early morning he sat in counsel with God.
“God give me strength,” he prayed. “So that I may teach these people of your ways and bring them into your fold.”
Deprived of sleep, Wigan heard the Lord speak to him.
“They will follow if you lead,” said the Almighty. “For your heart is pure and strong. They will see your love for them. You must be prepared to bring the word and as any good father would you must punish the children who will not obey.”
So, the following morning Wigan took the boats again and travelled to Hathfield. As before, the islanders gathered on the beaches to observe their arrival, but rather than retreat this time Wigan felt himself filled with the grandeur of God. He climbed from his boat. His feet were cooled by the waters of the bay. He crossed onto the sands and he fell to the feet of the first man he encountered. He kissed his feet as the islanders watched on in bewilderment.
“My friend,” said Wigan. “I come with good news for you and for all of your people. My name is Noah Wigan and I am a messenger of God. Your people cannot be saved but I will show you how you may repent.”
Wigan stood and looked around himself. His own people who had followed him from the boats were already in good cheer.
“God has come to Hathfield!” they announced excitedly. “And you should rejoice.”
The islander man bid him to stand
“I don’t know of your God,” he said. “But you are welcome friend. Please stand so that we may become acquainted.”
Wigan stood. He embraced the islander in sight of them all.
“I’ll teach you of the one true God,” said Wigan. “So that you may find eternal happiness for you, your family and your people.”
Quite enamoured by the spirit of the new arrival the islanders offered their hospitality.
“You must be thirsty from your journey across the waters,” said the man whose name was Riley. “You must be hungry from your desire to visit my people,” he added and it was the truth.
Riley lived on the west of the island with his wife Anna and his two young daughters, Rowan and Willow. He opened his home to Noah and his companions and so for weeks Wigan spread his good word over the island and began to educate them in his ways. Most of them were intrigued and flocked to him to hear what he had to say. A great many of them decided that Wigan’s word – the voice of God on the island – was a path they now wished to follow but it would not be an easy path, Noah Wigan warned. It meant that the fruitful relationship they had always enjoyed with sands and the sea was no longer in their control. It meant that a higher power was what they owed their crops to and not the hard work of their own hands or their own toil. If they were to believe what Wigan was telling them it was a higher power to which they owed thanks to for the fruitful wombs of their women and not the women themselves carrying, birthing and feeding from their breast. That was where the problems for Wigan lay.
His presence was no longer a novelty. The numbers he had gathered to him were starting to dwindle and the islanders who resisted the outsiders were starting to stir. But Noah Wigan was persistent. He knew the natives of Hathfield Bay would require a little more convincing. He needed to be patient in demonstrating the glory of God. So he gave it more time. He prayed. He began to fall in love with the daughter, Rowan. He began to lose his focus and in desperation he wrote letters home.
The island is a blissfully happy place.
The people don’t seem to show any penance for their sins. They fornicate and dance. A man will lie with another man. A wife will lie with a man who is not her husband. It is anarchy and I fear my journey here may have been a little misguided.
After three more months the islanders were beginning to return to their own ways and those who had opposed Wigan were now preparing to usher him from their shores. Wigan began to lose his faith as his relationship with Rowan deepened.
“Why would you send me on a fool’s errand?” Noah asked of the Lord as he prepared to leave the following day.
But the Lord spoke to him again as he took slumber under the sound of the waves.
“You misunderstand your mission,” said the Lord. “You must punish unruly children for it is said that the hand of the father should be loving but firm. It is for their own good. They will soon respond.”
At that Wigan was awakened. The waves were now crashing. The people of Hathfield Bay were his children and they had to be taught.
And so it was that his preaching became more frequent, more filled with rapture and more demanding.
“Submit yourselves to God,” he warned them. “Or you will be punished.”
The islanders who opposed him took up arms. It was time to remove the new comer from the sands.
“I don’t wish to cause any bloodshed,” Wigan spoke of his concern to Riley. “Perhaps we can meet with them and I can explain my view to them. I love the people of this island. I’d like the chance to embrace them. Tell them to come together and I will provide proof of my God.”
Riley then invited the non-believers to the east of the island. They gathered in the shack on top of the eastern hill that was Riley’s home.
“Come inside,” they were beckoned.
“He needs to go,” one non-believer named Yuri spat.
Riley looked around his family. As any good father would he wanted to keep them safe. His wife Anna was by his side in whatever decision he was to make. His daughter Willow was prepared to follow. But where was Rowan?
The shack was bolted closed from the outside. St Michael the Punisher, Wigan’s right hand, stepped forward and dropped the first flaming torch. God’s fury fell on them as flames of punishment tore through the shack. The non-believers were burnt in a fiery torment for their refusal. Rowan clutched Noah’s hands and knelt before him as they listened to the screams of the heathens rise above the waves in a glorious triumph for God.
Those who chose to believe and follow Wigan survived for God said it would be so. Upon the bones, teeth and ashes of the non-believers was built the first church of St Wigan.
John Reynolds is an experienced cult deprogrammer. He has spent a lifetime bringing people to their sense. When someone close to him runs off to join the Church of St Wigan he has to delve into th darkest side of the City if he hopes to bring them home.
When your looking to escape and the Shady City is where you choose to go then flying in from abroad will bring you to Coldford City international airport. With arrivals from the Great States, Levinkrantz, Subala and Luen it is one of Coldford City’s busiest places. Located in the west of the CARDYNE if you can get there, you can get anywhere!
Coldford City Airport also boasts being home of Dynasty, the personal jet of Captain Charles ’Chick’ Owen. The Cappy is no stranger to smooth landings so it’s always his first point of contact when he arrives in Coldford to deal with business, pleasure or his unruly family.
So book your tickets. Come fly with us or sit in the foyer, enjoying some of the great cafes on offer and do some people watching. We’ve got some strange people passing through the gates! As if the Shady City wasn’t shady enough!
Complete Season 2 of the Knock Knock series is free to read here on Vivika Widow. com or click below download for Kindle
Care to discover the true whereabouts of the Knock Knock Baroness? Tawny was last seen as a resident of the Shady City’s premier rehab clinic. Check out Vivika Widoow’s hit thriller Harbour House. Free on Kindle Unlimited.