A Sanctuary

On the desolate main drag of a small town, quite a ways from Vancouver, crouched a great old church.  When the Antagonists took over, most places of worship had been pulled down, but there was just something about this particular church.

In the early days of Antagonist control, when resistance was firey, the exterior of the church were covered by many a tagger, but not with the usual imagery meant to "stick it to the man."  Whatever that was.  Instead, they coated the stone with scenes from the Bible, crosses of varying intricacy, a few depictions of various saints, but the most popular subject was the Blessed Mother.  She was shown in differing styles with various expressions (one brave soul even decided to show her ascention, body and soul, into Heaven, up near the second story.  How he or she managed that, only God himself knows), but they all shared a particular trait: they'd all been done with an aura of reverence.  Even though they'd have normally gone to great lengths to cover up the tags, the LitPol didn't dare to whitewash these pieces.

The residents didn't mind either, as it was long since abandoned, because most of them claimed the place was haunted.  The Antagonists tried to throw off the story as ludicrous (although that word was made illegal, they still thought of it as such), but the LitPol officers in the area knew there just wasn't something natural about that church.

Recently their supersticion was further confirmed.  At about sundown, although many times before, everyone in the immediate vecinity could hear, ever so faintly, a singing voice.  People bustling along would stop a moment to listen, only to be hurried on by the LitPol.  But even they would pause to listen to the voice.  An investigation was considered several times, but no one would even pass through the threshold of the church.

The program was never quite the same each night.  Some nights would be a few old show tunes, other nights it would be jazz.  Most of the time it was a great jumble of things, ranging from Bach to the Beatles, from Rogers-and-Hammerstein to rock-n-roll.

Two officers strolled down the middle of the street when they caught ear of the voice.

"It's that ghost again," the lankier one muttered to his shorter partner.  They stopped to listen, although they couldn't understand a word of German:

"Bist du bei mir,
geh' ich mit Freuden

zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh',
zum Sterben undzu meiner Ruh."

"Aw, how are you so sure it's a ghost?" scoffed Shorty.

Lanky shrugged.  "Everybody's said that it's a ghost.  And fabricated stories are illegal, remember?"

"True, true."

"Ach, wie vergnügt
wär' so mein Ende,

es drückten deine schönen Hände
mir die getreuen Augen zu!"

Lanky sighed.  "It sounds sad."

Shorty glared up at his partner.  "Whadeya mean?  Cant'cha tell by the high voice?  It's obviously a she!"  Lanky blinked, surprised but the outburst.  "But you're right," Shorty continued, "she does sound sad."

"Y'know," Lanky noted, "I'm guessing she used to be an arts supporter, if not a Protagonist."

"Why do you say that?"

"Just listen t'what she's singin' now..."

Blue skies smiled at me,
But nothin' but dark skies do I see.
Bluebirds used to sing songs,
But nothin' but blue sighs all day long.

Used t'see the sun,
Shinin' so bright,
Used t'see things
Goin' so right.
Notice all the days
Hurryin' by,
When you're on the run,
My how they fly.

Blue skies, most of them gone,
Seems nothin' but blue days from now on.

Shorty shook his head.  "Can't seem to sing anything cheerful, can she?"

Lanky shrugged again.  "Can't blame her, frankly."  They continued down the street.

The End

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