Originally broadcasted 9/26/06
Confessional Booth – Afternoon
A priest sat inside his confessional booth and opened the sliding window.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” the priest said, and made the Sign of the Cross. “Amen.”
“Amen…Bless me Father, for I have sinned,” the woman said on the other side of the grating. “It’s been…ten, maybe fifteen years, since my last confession.”
“That’s a…long time,” said the priest from the other side of the grate. The voice was deep, but kind.
“Yeah,” the woman sighed in agreement. “I’m not a good person. See, I’ve hurt a lotta people. And now everyone’s looking at me like I’m the best thing since sex…tants. Sextants. Y’know, like Christopher Columbus…”
“Others have forgiven you,” the father replied, “but you don’t think you’re worthy of their forgiveness?”
“I’m not,” the woman insisted. “I haven’t told you what I –”
“You are worthy, Faith.”
Faith’s tone instantly became suspicious. “How do you know my name?”
“You think if Oprah Winfrey or Angelina Jolie stepped into my booth I wouldn’t recognize them?” the priest asked. “You may not realize it, but you’re bigger than pretty much any celebrity right now. There aren’t too many people who have died for days and then got up to walk again. In fact, I know of only two others.”
Although Faith didn’t see his expression, she could hear the smile in his voice.
“That’s the problem,” Faith said. “I do realize it. I can’t go outside anymore without somebody telling me I’m their inspiration, that they have a poster of me over their bed. And the religious nuts – no offense – they think I’m the second coming…but I’m nothing special.”
“I think you’re wrong,” the priest answered. “Everything God creates is special.”
“Yeah, well, I was trying so hard to balance the scales already, y’know? With what I’ve done against what I’m doing today? But now…I’ve got people that either curse the fact I’m around when people they love aren’t, or they praise me for being more than human.” Her eyes rose to the roof of the confessional booth. “How am I supposed to live with all that?”
“Faith, let me explain something to you,” the friendly voice said. “You cannot do more than you already have done. You gave of yourself fully, gave your very life, in the service of others and God. You still give of yourself. Why you were saved when so many others perished…it’s a miracle, but not one without merit.”
“How do you figure?” she asked.
“Faith is not just your name, you ARE Faith. You personify it, exemplify it. As such, you’ve been rewarded with renewed life as a means to show all of us that we can make a difference, each one of us. Christ died for our sins and rose from the grave. You died for our lives and showed the world that helping others matters while we’re all on this earthly plain. When we do that, we’re all one step closer to happiness…and heaven.”
“I thought you weren’t one of those religious whack-jobs.”
“Don’t you understand, Faith?” the priest continued. “It’s not just me. This is what everybody thinks.”
Faith ran her hand over her face and sighed.
Doctor’s Office – Consultation Room – Evening
“So tell me, how do you feel?” asked the doctor. He leaned forward in his seat, the sound of the leather creaking under his weight, to rest his clasped hands on the solid glass table before him.
Across the table was an average looking man in his mid-thirties – cropped brown hair, wearing a short sleeved buttoned down checkered shirt and clean-shaven. Somewhat aptly positioned next to him was the mandatory tall glass of water and box of tissues.
“Honestly Doc, I feel…I feel like a new man,” the patient replied.
A humble smile crept across the doctor’s face. “Well, good, that’s what it’s all about. Everyone’s got to feel comfortable in their own skin, and I’m just happy to be able to give folks that confidence.”
“Is that what that feeling is?” the patient quipped with a chuckle.
“The change is going to take some getting used to, but I’m not worried about you,” the doctor finished with a grin.
Reaching over to take a brown folder from his tray, the doctor opened it to a medical printout. “Your labs look great…your body seems to be taking to the procedure like a duck to water. The healing process is more or less done, though you might have some minor skin irritation over the first couple of weeks. So, to counter that…” The doctor brought over his prescription pad and, with a click of his pen, began to write. “…I’m going to prescribe you some topical cream to soothe the irritation. if it occurs. It’s more or less a moisturizer, but slightly more effective.” He tore the prescription off and handed it to his patient. “Give this to the nurse at the front desk and she’ll call it in for you.”
The doctor stood as his patient took the prescription.
“Thank you so much, Dr. Colton,” the man said as he, too, stood, taking his jacket from the back of the chair next to him. “I don’t know where to even begin.” He offered his hand to the doctor, who was only too happy to accept.
“You’re more than welcome. After all, it’s my job.”
With his jacket in one hand and prescription in the other, the man moved towards the frosted glass door. As he opened the door, Doctor Colton, who had now taken his position back behind his desk, called out to him.
“Oh and Steven, good luck,” he beamed another smile.
Steven reciprocated the gesture, shaking his head. “No, I won’t need it.” With a look of adoration still on his face, he stepped out into the corridor, carefully pulling the door closed behind him.
Content, Doctor Colton turned his attention to a pile of papers stacked in his inbox. Not more than a moment or two later, his phone began to ring. He switched his phone over to speaker mode and a woman’s voice filled the room.
“Dr. Colton, your five thirty is waiting in reception.”
Retracting the nib of his pen with a click, the doctor shuffled the papers together and placed them back in his inbox. “Okay Carol, thanks. Send them in.”
Doctor Colton sat up properly, pulling the creases out of his white lab coat. Clearing his throat, he reached over to the next brown folder in the stack and put it in front of him.
From his seat, he could see the distorted form of a man walk up the corridor and through the frosted glass door. As he approached, his outline refracted through the manufactured impurities in the glass, casting a cascading shadow on the floor and walls of the consultation room.
Doctor Colton stood to greet the man, not only with a hand, but with a smile.
“Welcome to The Clinic. I’m Doctor Colton, please take a seat.” He motioned to the chair across the desk from him. Following suit, Doctor Colton sat down once the man was seated. “So what can I do for you?”
“The same thing you do for everyone else …” the man replied in a guttural tone. He sat forward, his true form and appearance now revealed – a demon. Two small horn-like protrusions stuck out of his chin. His eyes glowed an eerie dull gold, with two large, black slits down the center of each iris. His cheekbones, which seemed to merge with his brow on his forehead, looked near to rupturing out of his moist russet skin.
“Make me fit in,” he hissed, smiling sadistically at the doctor with his large needle sharp teeth.
Apartment Block – Night
Stepping out of a taxi, Steven reached into his pocket, producing his wallet, and paid the driver. He turned to face a large apartment block that appeared to have seen better days. The front face of the building was discolored, and various bricks had begun to crack and crumble. Yet despite this, Steven still wore a sparkling smile.
Apartment Block – Hallway Outside Apartment #302 – Moments Later
Walking up to his front door, Steven took his keys into his left hand. In his right, he carried an ordinary white plastic bag. A small round pot could be seen pressing against the plastic.
Lined in a row down the left side of his front door were four keyholes. Unlocking all bar one, he muttered to himself, “I’ve always wanted to say this…” Steven put another key in the final, lower keyhole and said, “Honey, I’m –” Pushing the door open, he was greeted by the sight of utter destruction inside his home – broken furniture and turned over tables and chairs. Strewn across the floor were broken picture frames, shards of glass and splinters of wood.
Steven cautiously entered his home, softly closing the front door. “Vala?” he called out. The once happy smile was now replaced with fear. “Vala?” he called again, but to no avail.
Taking another step forward, something could be heard squelching under his foot. Looking down, the half-light in the apartment from a broken flickering lamp, now sans a lampshade, revealed a dark, wet patch on the carpet. Quivering, Steven glanced up to see a trail of blood on the carpet, leading to the closed kitchen door.
As he neared the door, his free hand left his side. Trembling, he brought his hand up and placed it on the door. Casting a look down to the door handle, he saw bloodied hand marks around the handle and on the area of the door surrounding it. With a hesitant breath, Steven applied the slightest touch to the door.
Groaning at the hinges, the door slowly swung open, inch-by-inch, revealing the horror in the room. Meeting the wall, the door came to a stop.
Steven’s eyes widened in terror and the plastic bag dropped from his right hand. Tears instantly flowed from his eyes. Shaking his head, he stumbled back against the wall with a thud and let out a howling cry at the sight of his wife lying face down on the cold kitchen floor. Smears of purple blood covered the white tiles surrounding her body.
Steven slumped down against the wall, crying inconsolably, his entire body shaking as he frantically tried to fill his lungs with air between gasps.
Abruptly his wailing stopped as he looked up, his eyes darting around the apartment. “Kids…” he wheezed. “KIDS!!” he shouted at the top of his voice, pouncing to his feet.
Devoid of balance, Steven used the walls to propel himself forward as he rushed toward his children’s bedroom.
With greater force this time, Steven flung the door to the children’s bedroom wide open and immediately jumped back and screamed at what he saw. He threw his hands to his head, the tears stinging as they seeped from his eyes. Steven now struggled for breath and he stepped back from the foot of the door.
From behind him, he heard a floorboard creak under pressure. Spinning around, his eyes fell on that of a man, his face concealed by a black balaclava. The masked man swung a baseball bat at Steven’s head.
End of Teaser