Logs:Sisterly Love

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Sisterly Love
Dramatis Personae

Hinata, Sister Cándida

2015.09.26


Sister Cándida takes Hinata in off the street and tries to get her a job and a room in the convent of Mary, Star of the Sea Church

Location

Mary, Star of the Sea Church



Logfile from Fallcoast Log opened 26/09/2015 - 00:39:33

=====> Sanctuary - Mary, Star of the Sea Church - Fallcoast <=====

The church is laid out according to the classic cross floor-plan. The nave is divided from the aisles on either side by a series of pointed arches, up to where the altar sits under the crossing. The southern transept is blocked off by an elaborately decorated iron screen, the church's pipe organ visible behind it. The northern is mostly filled with a little chapel, divided by a carved wood screen, and doors leading to the sacristy and out to the churchyard. The whole space is intricately decorated, from the pattern of the tile floor, mosaics on the walls, to the blue ceiling with its pattern of gilt stars. The pews are heavy dark wood, elaborately carved.

Most of the imagery depicts incidents from the life of Christ and of the Virgin. The mosaics set between the elaborate stained glass windows are the Stations of the Cross, with memorials to deceased parishioners above and below them. The windows themselves were deliberately designed in blue and green tones, so the whole space is filled with an almost aquatic light on bright days. The great east window is almost entirely blue, save for a compass rose of white and yellow glass in the center. The design is stylized, with a rippling pattern that makes it look as if the blue mantle of the Virgin is rising from the waves themselves. She smiles down benignly on the little ships that make up the window's lower border.

[A great deal is missing from the beginning of the log, but basically, it began with Hinata coming in off the street very hungry and in rags. The priests and nuns are in the basilica of the church watching a television they've wheeled in on which is being simulcasted the Papal visit in Philadelphia. There are snacks and drinks laid out on tables in the church as folks watch. Sister Cándida sees Hinata come in and offers her food and talks to her to get her story.]

"Yes'm, been here as long as I can remember." she says quietly. The approach of the other nun nearly causes her to bolt, and she does flinch back several paces. "I uh... I'm sorry. I shouldn't be here. Too many people." she shivers.

Sister Cándida gestures toward the pew, "No, pliz...jyoo seet weet me, jes? I am ale-so nyoo hjere. Jyoo keep me cawmpany, no? Pliz?" Sister Cándida sits and saves some space for Hinata to sit, on the end so she doesn't feel trapped in.

"I'm not new here. I've lived in Fallcoast my whole life ma'am." she says again, gingerly sitting down on the edge of the seat. She sips at the drinks and chows down on the food. "Th-thank you though. For letting me be here."

Sister Cándida nods, understanding the second time around. It is clear that Sister Cándida's grasp of English is rudimentary. "Oh, si," she says. "I em Cándida," she says, gesturing to herself. "Hjwat do joo call jorself?" she asks, smiling and tilting her head again to listen.

"Hinata. I... It's all I can remember about myself. I mean, besides living alone in the garbade." she says. Hazarding a small smile, she looks up to Cándida. "And you, ma'am? Candy? Who named you Candy?"

Sister Cándida nods, hanging on each of Hinata's words. She tilts her head and the smile in her eyes become sympathetic to her suffering when she mentions living in the garbage. At Hinata's inquiry, she smiles, "Cándida," she corrects. "I choose nem maisalf. Hjwen I tek vows to becawm seester, I take nem of Sent Cándida Maria de Jesus. She hjwas Spanish seester and edoocaytor een Ninteent Cen-torie."

Hinata tilst her head, looking rather perplexed... "I-I'm sorry miss. I don't understand half of what you're saying," she whimpers. "I'm sorry, I don't speak english very well, unless you count 'street talk'."

Sister Cándida gives Hinata an apologetic look for her rudimentary grasp of English. She chuckles, "Jes. I need study more my Eenglish." She holds out a gentle hand, "Joo hjave ples to stay tonight? Ples to sleep?"

Hinata looks up... "I... There's a shelter I stay at sometimes?" she asks softly. "I can find a warm place to stay, I promise"

Sister Cándida nods, "Jes, I see deh chelter today." She gives Hinata a sympathetic look at having to stay there. "Hjwen I hjwas jawng, I grow ap een orphanage. Hjwen I turn tairteen, I move eento convent weet seesters and leeve dere and work dere een keetchen. Mebbe joo tink joo cood work een convent? Den joo cen mebbe stay weet aws?" She struggles to get it out, speaking haltingly, but hoping she got her message accross.

Hinata stays silent for a good five minutes, as if trying to piece together what Cándida says. "And you... want me to stay at the convent? W-Work under the eyes of god?" she asks, suddenly shivering like a leaf. "I couldn't. I'm not worthy to tend to His house."

Sister Cándida's eyes soften like the skies of heaven, a gentle light coming from them as they twinkle in the lamplight of the basilica.

Sister Cándida's eyes soften like the skies of heaven, a gentle light coming from them as they twinkle in the lamplight of the basilica. She reaches out to touch Hinata's face...on the burned side...but doesn't press forward if Hinata pulls back. "All are werthy een deh eyes awf God. God ees love." And there is love in Cándida's eyes as she says this. "God ees for-geev-ness."

Hinata flinches away instantly, breathing hard. "No no. I'm ugly and deformed." she says, grabbing a half loaf of bread. "I'm not worthy to be in his sight."

Sister Cándida shakes her head no in response, "No, mi amor. Joo are beautiful een eyes awf God. To me, joo are beautiful. Hjwee are more den dees flesh. Hjwee are cheeldren awf God, and hjee love us. God love you." She pauses a moment to let that sink in. "Eef joo want to stay een convent and work een convent, I hjelp joo." She smiles and tilts her head lovingly to regard Hinata.

The girl sniffles and shrinks within her rags. "No... I'm ugly. And ugly girls are worthless. I can't even sell myself as a prostitute." she whimpers. "I can scrub floors. I can read and write a bit. If it won't offend the eyes of god, I'll work here."

Sister Cándida's gaze is soft as it is, and yet, it softens even more with sympathy. "Joo never hjave to leev in garbage again. Joo never hjave to leev in chelter again. Mebbe joo be my fraind hjwhile I am hjere?" She smiles amicably.

> Hinata to Here <====================================================

   Rolled 4 Successes 
   < 1 2 3 7 8 9 10 10 >

==================================> Wits + Investigation [No Flags] <

> Hinata to Here <====================================================

   Rolled 0 Success 
   < 3 >

=====================================================> 1 [No Flags] <

Hinata swallows again... "Okay." she says. "I'll work here and... I'll try to be good and be your friend." she says, in a tiny, scared voice. "Can I eat here too now?"

Sister Cándida smiles broadly and nods. "Jes, of course!" She gestures widely to the table of refreshments, and directs Hinata's attention to the tray of sandwiches, most of which are gone, but a few still remain. "Hjave soam rreal food. Nawt jawst de cheeps."

Hinata starts stuffing her face again. The little girl can certainly pack away the food. She eats, and she eats, and she eats even more. Eventually she's full, stomach bulging visibly.

The Papal simulcast finally ends and one of the nuns turns off the television. Cándida stays by Hinata's side protectively as a priest comes toward them. Cándida intercepts him a few yards before he reaches them, and the two begin speaking to each other, he in broken Spanish and Sister Cándida with a fluency in her native tongue. He finally looks at Hinata, smiles, nods and walks away. Sister Cándida remains to ensure he has gotten a safe distance before she returns to Hinata. "Joo eat," she says to her. Then she points to one of the nuns, "I go spayk to de Mader Supayrior aboat jor working ayt de convent. I be rright back."

Hinata is a nervous wretch, flinching from anyone who gets close to her, eyes wide with fear. She's short of breath, backing herself up against a wall so she doens't have to watch her own back.

> Cándida to Here <===================================================

   Rolled 2 Successes 
   < 3 5 9 10 >

=================================> Presence + Persuasion [No Flags] <

Sister Cándida engages in a conversation with an elder nun, a stern looking woman who glances periodically over at Hinata. The conversation seems to go on for a while. At first, the elder nun seems unreceptive to whatever Cándida is saying to her. But suddenly, Cándida, in her broken English, begins gestiulating, calmly but firmly, recounting some story that seems to soften the expression of the stern elder. The story isn't about Hinata, that much is clear. Cándida gestures to herself several times during the soliloquy, garnering more and more sympathetic looks from the older nun. Finally, Cándida brings her story to an end, and there is a silent pause between them after which the elder nun looks from Sister Cándida to Hinata, and back to Sister Cándida again. With an expression of acquiesence, the elder nun finally gives a single, relenting nod. Sister Cándida visibly straightens her posture with pride and turns, marching purposefully back toward Hinata with a smile on her face. "De Mader Supayrior say joo can stay for deh nait and we talk ah-boat jor workeeng at deh convent in deh morneeng." She opens her arms to invite a hug from Hinata.

Hinata's eyes widen, taking up a large portion of her emaciated face. "You mean... Like... In a bed? Not on the floor or the street? In a real, live bed?"

Sister Cándida's smile doesn't fade a millimeter. She just nods in the affirmative, her arms open wide.

That's it for the starved girl. She rushes up and hugs Sister Cándida, bursting into tears and sobbing like a child as she holds on tight. It's not a pretty sight, over a decade of pent up emotion coming howling out all at once.

Sister Cándida's tiny body rocks backward against the force of Hinata's emotional embrace. Her arms curl around Hinata, returning the embrace tightly. She presses her cheek against the crown of the girl's head, hugging her with everything she has. The nuns, priests and lay people remaining in the basilica watch the scene from a respectful distance, many of them exchanging glances, some of being moved by the scene, others of concern and worry. But no one interferes. The Mother Superior addresses the other attendees and whatever she says to them settles the matter. The continue to go about cleaning up and wheeling the television back into the sacristy. Sister Cándida just holds Hinata...for as long as Hinata needs. She gives herself entirely to her, and she says, softly, "For I hjwas hawngry and joo gave me food, I hjwas thairsty and joo gave me dreenk, I hjwas a strange-air and joo welcomed me, I hjwas naked and joo cloed me, I hjwas seek and joo visited me, I hjwas een preeson and joo came to me. As joo deed to deh least awf my bro-thairs, joo do unto me.'

Hinata isn't listening. She can't hear anything above her sobbing and crying and... Well her dripping nose. Eventually, she starts to calm down, crumpled up against Mama Candy. "Thank you," she mumbles, blowing her nose against her sleeve. "Thank you mama."

Sister Cándida smiles and says, with a slight chuckle, "Seester." She lifts Hinata by the chin to look into her tearful eyes, "I am jour seester. God is our fath-air, and la Santa Virgen ees our moth-air." She pronounces the Spanish word <<Virgen>> like: VEER-hen

Hinata snuffles a bit and wipes her nose. The rest of the day goes surprisingly well, with Hinata volunteering to help with anything that might come up. Take out the trash? Hinata's on it. Sweep and mop? Hinata's already got it taken care of. She's quite helpful... And is falling asleep on her feet by the time that things wind down.

As Hinata helps out, the other nuns begin to smile and continue on their tasks. The priests are the first to leave, and the nuns prepare to leave as a gaggle to return to the convent across the churchyard. Sister Cándida urges them to go on ahead first, knowing that Hinata would probably be more comfortable without such a large group. When they are alone in the basilica, Sister Cándida puts her arm around Hinata's shoulder and escorts her out into the cold night air. They cross the dark churchyard together and head for the steps of the convent, lit by a porch light. They enter and Sister Cándida leads her through various hallways off of which are comfortable rooms modestly and comfortably furnished and decorated. She leads Hinata to the "cells," the bedrooms where the nuns sleep, and takes her to a comfortably furnished, but unoccupied room. She points to a door two doors down the hall, "I am stay een dere. Eef joo need me, joo cen cawm to find me." She smiles, gives Hinata one last hug, and wishes her a good night before waiting for her to retreat into her bedroom.

> Hinata to Here <====================================================

   Rolled 3 Successes 
   < 1 1 3 6 8 10 10 >

===================================> Resolve + Composure [No Flags] <

Later that night, when all is quiet and calm...

Hinata lays on the bed, fast asleep. She hasn't slept in a real bed in years. Almost five years now! She's smiling as she sleeps, and for once, her nightmares don't bother her. At least, they weren't. About three in the morning, her eyes snap open and her nostrils flare. Fire. The convent is burning! She screams in terror as the flames burst through her door, clawing at the bedding and the blanket that she's trapped beneath.

Of course, the convent isn't really burning. She's just having night terrors, thrashing wildly and screaming for help.

> Cándida to Here <===================================================

   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 1 2 4 5 6 8 >

======================================> Wits + Composure [No Flags] <

Sister Cándida is the first out of bed and at Hinata's door, but many of the other sisters start to gather behind her in the hall. She softly knocks on Hinata's door and asks if she can come in. If she hears no change in the night terrors, or if she hears Hinata awaken and give permission to enter, she does so. "Heenata, mi amor, joo are okay?" Baring objection, she cracks the door open slightly and peeks in.

Hinata has said nothing, an when the door is cracked, Sister Cándida could see her there in the corner, the cushions, pillows, and blankets all piled up over top of her.

Sister Cándida rushes in, barefoot and without her veil, dressed in a white, ankle-length, long-sleeved nightgown with lace at the hem, cuffs, and high collar. Her long , straight black hair is tied up in a bun behind her head. Standing in the doorway are a collection of nuns, similarly dressed, and watching from a respectable distance. Sister Cándida begins deconstructing the pile of pillows and linens to excavate the frightened young woman beneath. When she finally finds Hinata, she caresses the back of her head and her shoulder and arms comfortingly as she sits on the edge of the bed. "Ees all right, mi amor. I em hjere. I am hjere. Joo are sef. Nobody hurt joo here."

Hinata shakes her head as she's brought awake. "The fire. I was back at the fire." she babbles, grabbing Cándida's shoulders. "I... they died. They were all around me and they died and I lived."

Sister Cándida's eyes are surprisingly understanding. Her gaze does not leave that of Hinata -- she does not need to look directly at her burned flesh to see it in her mind's eye. Her voice is soft and comforting, like silk, "God had plahns for joo, mi amor. Hje spared jour life be-cows joo hjave a pair-pose een hjees plahn. Hje works een mees-teerious ways. Baht always hje act weeth love." She caresses Hinata's arm lovingly as she speaks, letting her hand come to rest atop Hinata's.

Hinata snuffles and holds on to Sister Cándida. "I'm... *hic*. I'm 18. I'm supposed to be an adult now." she whimpers.

Sister Cándida nods, "Si...baht we are always Gods cheeldren. We always need hjis guidance. And hje is always weeth us." Sister Cándida returns Hinata's embrace tightly.

Hinata curls up against Cándida. "Will you stay here tonight? I don't want to be alone." she mumbles, tears falling down her face once again.

Sister Cándida nods, caressing the back of Hinata's head. "Si, mi amor. I stay hjere weeth joo." With one hand, she waves away the gaggle of nuns gathered at the door. They start to depart, the last of them closing the cell door behind her. Cándida returns her wagging hand to Hinata's back, rubbing her shoulder blades consolingly. She finally releases her embrace when Hinata is ready, and helps Hinata get settled in bed, fluffing her pillow and tucking her in under the sheet and blanket. She then walks around the foot of the bed to the other side, and climbs in. "Ees okay. I em hjere. Bat more eemportant...God ees hjere. He ees loo-keeng over us."

Hinata starts to slowly relax in Cándida's arms. "You promise?" she asks, starting to slowly drift off. "He'll always be here, no matter how ugly I get?"

Sister Cándida nods, pressing her cheek to the young woman's forehead as she holds tight, "Si, mi amor. Always. And remembair...joo are beautiful een deh eyes of God."