Summerhill Nova’s other job besides running the Bemberg sim in its entirety was preaching to the congregation who congregated at Church of the Elmers in Melder in its entirety each Sundae. Unlike with the Main Church of Cheese, usually a packed crowd for this one, and no exception this day. They began by honoring a fellow parishioner who had been killed in the recent, new troubles down in, “Bena or Bennington or whatever they call the miserable village these days,” white Summerhill lectured from her white pulpit in her big white church to a host of white people dressed in black. She knew harping on the evils of their degenerative sister sim to the south was a certain crowd pleaser. Then she started talking about Ben Wolf.
“I know many of you’n’s frowned when we accepted Ben into our congregation. You said he smelled weird, especially around the full moon. You said he howled when he went to the bathroom. You complained — silently mainly — when we found out his wife the Irish Lass (Summerhill couldn’t remember her name right off either) was also a beast underneath it all, a fox in her case. Yet he heard the calling of the Lord (Summerhill stops here, as if hearing my voice as well), and came to us for guidance, for shelter from the harsh world he saw around him, trying to tear his very limbs apart, pull his very head out of his body and parade it around for all to see and mock. Yes, this Ben, this *Wolf*, was just as much a *man* as any of you lot here.” She pointed around the congregation for emphasis, singling out various men. “And what else has he done for the church you might ask? Well, we set him to tasks — menial tasks but after all he was grateful just to be here. I think each and every one of you will agree that the 17 bathrooms spread out in our various churches across the compound look spotless now; he will be hard to replace for sure in that area.” Agreements and nods across the congregation here. “And what of tree trimmings, and the squirrel bombings, and so many more tasks we set for him that he accomplished with great joy, great glee, great triumph. No, this *man*… will be sorely missed around these here parts.”
“And now — a word from the widow, an exile from Bena or Bennington…” she stops here and covers the mike with her hand, calling over to Phyllis Phox sitting in one of the nearby lawn chairs positioned below the main congregation. “What’s the name, dear?”
“Phyllis,” came Phyllis’ answer, not understanding what Summerhill Nova meant.
“… Phyllis,” Summerhill then continued, thinking that was the correct name of Bena/Bennington now. Phyllis approached the podium to scattered applause.
(to be continued)