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?
When you’re a man with nothing to lose, deciding what to do with what you have left is the ultimate test of character.
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.
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A caddy of pots hangs above. A malcontent young man, DOMINICK, sits at 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 ye 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.
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, drown or slaughter 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. Evening.
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.
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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.
Media control and wealth to spare makes Owen Inc. one of the most formidable presences within the Shady City. Owning the COLDFORD DAILY gives them the chance to tell the truth. Well, their version of the truth.
They may be from the Great States but they never let their position as outsiders hold them back. If truth be told they hold a lot more sway in Coldford than most of the others. The only one able to match their deep pockets successfully would the the BECKINGRIDGE FINANCIAL FIRM.
Lead by CEO CHARLES ‘CHICK’ OWEN they have their work cut out for them. Not only does he have to fight to maintain his family’s position but he also needs to deal with disruption in their own ranks. That being said, Chick is respectfully titled The Cappy because knows how to steer a large ship.
A huge Owen Inc. asset is the KAPPA SO CHAPTER HOUSE. Linked to FILTON UNIVERSITY the KAPPA SO fraternity was founded by Henry ‘Hen’ Owen, an ancestor who, as a Coldford native, had a huge hand in making the city what we know it as today. Take from that what you will.
Founded on the principle of pioneering for the future, Owen Inc. is the most forward thinking of the power houses in Coldford. Still with a firm eye on tradition the company boldly pulls the city into the future and it pulls some of those much discussed shades.
A centuries old religious sect that originated on the island of HATHFIELD BAY, the Wigan monks have spread further and further into the city of Coldford over the years but their presence goes largely unchallenged. They ring their bells and cry their chants but given the state of affairs in the city it would seem there were more important things to worry about.
Prominent members of the church include the mother of JULIA HARVESTER, Nan. Raised in the church was the BARONESS of the Knock Knock club. Tawny refused their teachings before departing for the island. They had a strict set of rules that she refused to follow. Speaking of their rules, to be a member of the church you must live your life in accordance with the teachings of St Wigan. Blasphemy, infidelity and homosexuality are just some of the misdeeds that will see you punished by the church.
As an ancient group there are some practices of the Wigan faith that modern minds would consider barbaric but stepping inside their commune on the island leaves all trace of time behind. Upon the island it is their rules and the LAW MAKERS of the city struggle to hold them accountable.
The church is headed by His Reverence, Dominick Parson. Those of his church adore him because he speaks the truth to them. However, for some, the truth can be hard to hear.
A spirited team from the Hathfield Bay Islands, their competitive edge is always trumped by the enjoyment of the game. Their love of the game and the enjoyment of their fans will always be more important than any trophy. What is best known about them is their friendly spirit and the welcoming atmosphere of their stadium. Given the beach side setting, travelling fans often make their visit a holiday.
Known for the standard age of their fans being older than the rest of the league the Islanders are always well treated at away matches. Trouble doesn’t suit Hathfield so when the fans of BELLFIELD caused trouble and damage to the stadium after a disappointing result, the public were shocked.
Supporting the team and supporting each other is important to the islanders. The sponsors – Moray Marina – is the location of the ‘FEED HATHFIELD’ program and has been running since the first great recession almost closed the bay down.
Our most notable Shady City fan of Hathfield is TAWNY, affectionately known as the Baroness. An islander herself she is best known for being the aunt of KNOCK KNOCK boss lady TABITHA. Tawny, like her favoured team is spirited, friendly and willing to enter the thick of the action when the moment calls.
Enjoy this? Why not pay a visit to the Baroness’ old club?
Immerse yourself in the Shady City with the hit Knock Knock graphic novel series which is free to read here at Vivika Widow Online. You can also download for kindle by clcking below.
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.
Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with. They will always have a home here at Harbour House.
Will the Baroness recover? Check out Vivika Widow’s latest thriller.