WE CAN BELIEVE IN THAT FOR YOU WHOLESALE
Nick Stuart: It looks like we’ve got Don Winters and it seems as if he’s got more cultists somewhere backstage again.
Richard Parker: The Revelator is…
Nick Stuart: Don’t say it. Not again.
Richard Parker: Revelating, baby!
Nick Stuart sighs deeply into his headset as the camera cuts backstage to show Don Winters with a man and two women in tow. The male is dressed exactly like Winters in a white suit, while the women wear crimson dresses with white shoes, and white flowers in their hair. They carry plain smiles and blank expressions, only showing interest when The Revelator speaks.
Don Winters: I’ve been saying that we can’t live in the past, we have got to look and move forward. To the future. He demands this of us. ReVival 38 and Cancer Jiles? Gone. In the past. While it’s true that Jiles is a sinner that will not see the Kingdom of Heaven, nor be granted Absolution, there are much more important things to be focused on.
The three followers nod along vigorously, drinking in every word. Don looks more confident than he has at any point since coming to PRIME. He smiles brightly while adjusting his cufflinks.
Don Winters: Yes, there is more to life than victory. His Word and Light has reassured me of this. Some folks are simply born cheaters and while they cannot be beaten in the moment, triumph and the spoils of victory will be mine in the end. I truly believe this, and I know the three of you do as well.
The Revelator briefly looks upon his doting followers as a proud father might look at particularly well-behaved children.
Don Winters: And honestly? What a prime night it has been for His Word and Light. Rob Williams has met Miriam, and I can tell you that those ships will be burning well into the night. The real question is whether Rob will turn out to be for the cause, or another non-believer in need of Absolution.
The male of the group goes to speak, but Winters quickly presses his forefinger to the man’s lips.
Don Winters: Shhh. We’re not at His Word and Light. In this house you speak when spoken to or given permission. However, the question of Rob Williams will have to live another day before we can properly give it an answer. His Word and Light could become a very powerful friend and an ally to Mr. Williams, but he has to believe.
Winters pauses and smiles again.
Don Winters: It could be the start of something truly righteous for us. A new dawn for His World and Light. Under His guidance we are one, we are Le…
Before The Revelator finishes his sentence, he cuts himself off as he hears a voice outside the dressing room door.
Voice: (singing, badly) ♫ TAKE ME DOOOOOWN, LIL SUSIE, TAKE ME DOOOOWN! I KNOW YA THINK YER THE QUEEN OF THE UNDERGROOOOUND! ♫
The dressing room door swings open, right on cue… and there’s Daytona Diamonds. Pause for boos because you just know he’s drowning in them. He’s a stumbling, swaying, topsy-turvy mess. There’s a bottle of whiskey in one hand (see: half-drank) and a two-liter of Coca Cola in the other (see: less-drank).
His eyes are wide and red rimmed, his nostrils twitching and flaring on their own volition as they try to make room for more cocaine air. As soon as he sees The Revelator and his cohorts, Daytona stops and stares, mouth slightly agape, eyes narrowing as they try to focus on what he’s seeing. There’s a moment of long, awkward silence before he finally speaks.
Daytona Diamonds: The hell y’all freaks doin’ here…? Ain’t this The Diamond Mine…? What’d y’all do with all my god dang decorations?!
Don Winters smiles politely, holding back the bile that is surely rising up in his throat. His nose twitches at the smell of whiskey and the desperate sweat of a man in the throes of a bender. He adjusts his cufflinks and turns to his patrons.
Don Winters: People who need saving in this world come in many shapes and sizes. Some are more subtle in their needs and some (Winters motions to Diamonds) may be beyond saving. Damned to stumble through this mortal plane waiting for their eternal soul to be released into Hell.
The Revelator turns back to Diamonds, but continues to talk about him as if he’s not barely standing in front of Winters.
Don Winters: And it seems quite likely that our friend here is in the latter category. He has found the rock, but he is yet to have found rock bottom. He is on a wicked path and I’m not sure Absolution can save his wretched soul.
Daytona has a confused expression on his face, taking a swing from the bottle of whiskey followed by another swig from the bottle of Coke while he listens to Winters give his sermon. A swallow, a grimace, and then a scowl.
Daytona Diamonds: Now, wait just a god dang hiccup minute here! You can’t be talkin’ ‘bout my cough fuckin’ soul like that! Ain’t nothin’ wretched ‘bout it! This soul’s made-a one hundred percent, certified, solid burp gold!
This is the part where Daytona would have balled his hands into two twin fists and gotten ready to fight, but… instead, a slight shift forward sends him stumbling backwards into the doorframe, catching his balance quickly as he blinks rapidly and tries to stand on baby deer legs.
Daytona Diamonds: …shit fire, is this rock grunt bottom?
The Revelator smiles serenely and attempts to place a reassuring hand on Daytona’s shoulder, but he bleaches before regaining a slim measure of composure. Winters draws his hand back to his own body and speaks with warmth.
Don Winters: You’re still on the top step of that staircase, Daytona. The wallowing, the drinking, (he plugs a nostril and inhales sharply) the drugs. This is just the beginning for you, and it’s a long, long way down from here.
Winters bends his knees and hunches slightly to bring his eyes level with Daytona’s. He scans them briefly before returning to full height.
Don Winters: Even if I believe you are beyond saving, Daytona, I am compelled by His Word and Light to try. I can help you shed the ersatz skin you’re living in. You can ascend to something greater than fleeting dopamine hits. He can give you purpose.
The word hangs in the air between them, as sharp as a knife and as soft as a pillow. Daytona’s eyes stare down at the ground, his jaw hanging loose, a difficult thought starting to form in the cortex of his brain.
Daytona Diamonds: Purpose, huh…?
The way he says it, it sounds more like ‘porpoise’, but we can’t hold that against him. Wide-eyed, Daytona meets Don’s gaze, staring momentarily before slowly nodding his head.
Daytona Diamonds: Donnie baby, you done went and snort helped me more’n you know. Lissen, you probably couldn’t tell, but hiccup I’m all roostered up n’ ‘bout as drunk as Cooter Brown, buddy. How’s about… how’s about youse and that ol’ He of yours come an’ meet me at The Diamond Mine next week, huh?
A smile spreads across Daytona’s face as he looks to Don and then to Don’s ‘friends’ and then back to Don. He drops the bottle of Coke to the ground, soda spilling across the floor, and quickly reaches out with the same hand to pat Don’s shoulder. He misses, tries again, misses again, and then gives up before offering a half-cocked finger gun and a wink, turning and making his way back out of the locker room just as quickly as he came. As he stumbles away, his voice echoes back down the hall.
Daytona Diamonds: Next week, Donnie baby! You, me, and the god dang Holy Spirit! Halle-fuckin’-lujah!
The Revelator smiles at his cohorts as the locker room door slowly swings closed.
Don Winters: We’re looking forward to it.
The scene fades out as the production team cuts the broadcast to commercial.