FATHER WINTERS’ WONDERLAND
The video screen slowly fades into drone footage as it hovers above a lush green field dotted with a pristine white church and several party tents. An orchestral version of Amazing Grace plays delicately over the scene. As the drone descends from height, it rests a few feet off the ground, directly facing the church. Words begin to burn into the screen, slowly fading as they’re replaced by the next group of words.
HIS WORD AND LIGHT MINISTRIES PRESENTS
A HIS WORD AND LIGHT PRODUCTION
STARRING THE REVELATOR DON WINTERS IN…
FATHER WINTERS’ WONDERLAND
FEATURING THE TALENTS OF THE WAYWARD DIAMONDS ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN OF DAYTONA DIAMONDS CHILDREN’S CHOIR
TODAY’S EPISODE: RESPONSIBILITY
The orchestra swells as an image of Don Winters and Max? Kael, in the midst of shaking hands and grinning at the camera, flashes on screen. All seven children are at their feet, and not a single one of them makes eye contact with the camera, bless their hearts.
As the video cuts back, the doors of the church are swinging open into the nave. Six children sit among the right handed pews, heads buried in religious texts. As the camera makes its way up the aisle, a man sits in the front left pew, in a familiar white suit. He turns his whole body and smiles warmly, as the seventh child, sitting on his lap, bleats softly.
DON WINTERS: Oh, hello there! What a surprise to have you with us today! We certainly weren’t expecting any visitors!
Don strokes the head of the child in his lap, who looks up at him with a distressingly rectangular set of pupils.
DON WINTERS: I’ve been here with the Diamonds Children Choir, getting ready for Colossus, but more importantly, imparting the lessons of His Word and Light on these impressionable little scamps! Isn’t that right Billy?
Billy the Goat Boy bleats his approval, tongue slightly lolling out one side of his mouth.
DON WINTERS: (Don is chuckling slightly) He’s a great kid. And let me tell you, friends, that is why we are here today. We’re here for the future. Now, I know it’s a tired old cliché, but the children really are our future. Because of this, it is our responsibility as adults in this crazy, mixed-up world to provide them with guidance, nurturing and above all else, love.
The smile from Winters fades, and he lets Billy the Goat Boy off his lap, who trundles off on all fours, two cloven hooves and two human hands.
DON WINTERS: I’m pleased to be here with The Wayward Diamonds Illegitimate children of Daytona Diamonds Children’s Choir tonight, on behalf of the Max? Kael Adoption Agency. These poor children are the avatars of shirked responsibility. The man I’ll be facing tonight refuses to accept these wonderful little boys, girls, and Goat Boy as his own. We all know that Mr. Diamonds is eternally damned to spend his afterlife walking the plains of Hell, doing the bidding of Satan, but it’s not too late to keep his children from falling to the same fate.
Winters stands from the pew and walks up to the lectern. All seven children stop reading and look up at him with bright, inquisitive eyes.
DON WINTERS: Good morning children, and welcome to Father Winters’ Wonderland at His Word and Light!
Their response was in unison and warmed Don’s heart so much it might just melt.
THE CHOIR: Good morning, Father Winters!
DON WINTERS: It is so good to see all of you here today. Look at those bright and shining faces, almost like diamonds. Now, we have a VERY fun day lined up for all of you. We’ll have a prayer session this morning before Mirmiam and Mary take you for your singing practice, but before all of that, we have a little show for you! Is that something you’d like to see?
THE CHOIR: YEAH!
DON WINTERS: (laughing) Okay! Okay! Let’s get this show on the road!
Samuel and John appear in the camera’s view, rolling a small puppet theater stage out in front of the children. A slightly curved sign over the top of it reads “WONDERLAND.” Several of the kids are clapping their hands excitedly as a penguin puppet dressed in a crimson jacket pops its head out from beneath the stage.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Hi Kids! I’m Pious Penguin and I’m here today to teach you about something very important. Responsibility! I want you to say that word with me, because it’s a big word and it has an even bigger meaning!
THE CHOIR AND PIOUS PENGUIN: Re-spon-si-bil-ity!
PIOUS PENGUIN: Great job everybody! Does anybody here know what responsibility is? Can I have a show of hands if you do?
Absolutely zero hands fly into the air.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Well that’s okay, kids! You certainly didn’t learn responsibility from your father, and do you know why?
Again, no hands raised, the children are silent, mesmerized by Pious Penguin’s tiny flapping arms.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Well kids, it’s because he never learned to take any for himself! If he had taken responsibility for each and every one of you (a flipper arm points at each child), we wouldn’t be here today, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and we wouldn’t have this chance to learn about responsibility!
Pious Penguin does a little dance on stage that gets the kids clapping again.
PIOUS PENGUIN: So responsibility is when you have the duty, or the task to take care of, or giving others instruction or direction! Isn’t that exciting? It may seem like a lot of work to have responsibility, and it can be, but it is also something we pride ourselves in! What are some things we have a responsibility for?
A single hand shoots into the air, Billy’s.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Yes Billy?
BILLY THE GOAT BOY: We haaa-ve a responsibility to Mr. Kael aaaaa-nd to His Word aaaaaa-nd Light aaaaa-nd to each other. That’s what it means to me-ehhhh.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Great job, Billy, that’s exactly right! (Pious Penguin turns to face Father Don). Excuse me, Father Winters, but could you come here for a moment?
Don Winters walks over to the puppet theater stage and gets down on one knee, putting him eye-level with Pious Penguin.
DON WINTERS: How are you, Pious Penguin?
PIOUS PENGUIN: Amazing, Father Winters. Can you believe all these great kids we’ve got here?
DON WINTERS: It truly is hard to believe, Pious Penguin. It’s even harder to believe that their father won’t take responsibility for them! These are beautiful, bright and intelligent children, and all they need is a loving home.
PIOUS PENGUIN: That’s right, Father Winters! And for just pennies a day you can support these wonderful children by calling the number on your screen.
In big block letters a phone number flashes on the bottom of the screen: 1-800-NO-DMNDS.
PIOUS PENGUIN: You can sign up to donate daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or in a big old lump sum! At least 35% of all donations will go to these wonderful children, while the remaining portion of your donation will go both to His Word and Light and the Max? Kael Adoption agency. Two groups working together to stop homelessness in children and to stop Daytona Diamonds from creating more orphans!
As the final words pop out of Pious Penguin’s mouth, a new puppet jumps up from behind the stage. He’s got a sparkly hat and jacket on, and big mean eyebrows pointed downward in the middle to show how angry he is. The children gasp and Pious Penguin flaps his arms around.
PIOUS PENGUIN: Oh no, kids! It’s that no-good, responsibility shirking deadbeat, Dastardly Diamonds! (The kids boo loudly.) What does he want with us!?
DASTARDLY DIAMONDS: I’m here to drink booze, congregate with women and do hard drugs, woooo!
PIOUS PENGUIN: I’m sorry Dastardly, we don’t have any of those things here. This is the House of His Word and Light. Would you like to pray with us today?
DASTARDLY DIAMONDS: Prayin’s for the weak! (The children boo again, louder.) I’m here for a good time! Where the girls at!?
PIOUS PENGUIN: Is this any way to speak in front of your own kids!?
Dastardly Diamonds closes the distance and grabs Pious Penguin by the neck. The children are aghast at this show of violent puppetry. A third, incredibly handsome puppet with auburn hair and a crimson suit appears behind Dastardly.
FATHER YARN WINTERS: (Don has snuck behind the theater box and is now playing the role) My poor child, if you choose not to learn responsibility, you must seek Absolution.
Dastardly Diamonds drops Pious Penguin, who makes some adorable little gasping noises while flapping his cute little arms, and charges at Yarn Winters. Little Yarn Winters kicks Dastardly Diamonds in his little felt gut and throws his arms out in the crucifix position, before hitting a devastating puppet version of Absolution. The children go crazy.
PIOUS PENGUIN: (still comically clutching at his throat) Thank you so much, Father Winters!
FATHER YARN WINTERS: You’re very welcome, Pious Penguin. Children, this is what happens when you don’t accept the responsibilities for your actions. His Word and Light can give you direction and teach you the meaning of responsibility and give you the tools you need to succeed in life.
The curtain closes and the video abruptly cuts to the children doing vocal exercises with Mary and Miriam. The video cuts again to Billy the Goat Boy wistfully grazing in the lush green field, kicking his hooved feet in excitement. It cuts a third time to black and Don Winters slowly walks into frame.
DON WINTERS: I truly hope you’ve enjoyed tonight’s presentation of Father Winters’ Wonderland, which is made possible by the support of viewers like you. If you’d like to support the Children’s Choir, you can call 1-800-NO-DMNDS right now, operators are standing by and will be ever so thankful for your support. These children, until today, have never called a man Father, please consider that and consider a donation. May you all be blessed and may you all walk in His Light.
The camera fades to black, but the arena stays dark. The only lights are focused on the musicians and singers and their music sheets. The members of His Word and Light are organized in an orchestra. The entire Wayward Diamonds Illegitimate Children of Daytona Diamonds Children’s Choir are standing on tiered bleachers. They are all dressed impeccably. White suits and crimson shirts for the men and boys, crimson dresses with white shoes for the women and girls. Billy the Goat Boy is dressed in the finest crimson lederhosen and crimson and white buffalo plaid shirt. His golden tuft of hair perfectly coiffed, his little goat nose pinker than it had ever been and he was ready to sing.
We then fade to ringside.