Peter Bovoff emerged onto the stage. Lance followed him and stood patiently microphone in hand as Bovoff worked the crowd, holding his hands aloft in an almost Nixon-like pose, before pausing to look skyward, for a second in prayer at each side of the huge platform Gospel music played and 3 highly accomplished singers provided a shrill and altogether joyful song of praise to Jesus. Those present in the crowd who could, stood hands aloft swaying to the rhythm of the music.
Rachel stood amongst them. Just observing as she had done 20 years previously.
“Hallelujah.” Lance bellowed into the microphone, causing the music to be momentarily drowned out by feedback. “Welcome one and all, I know what Jesus has brought you here for. Do you feel the love?”
“Yes!” replied the crowd.
“Brothers and Sisters, I said Do you feel the love?” retorted Lance throwing his arms out to the crowd.
“Yes!” the crowd responded. At fever pitch.
“And do you feel, The Power..”
“Hallelujah!” exclaimed Lance, backed by the three singers.
“Hallelujah!” replied the crowd, almost in perfect unison.
“Brothers and Sisters. He’s the man, the man with the love for you direct from Jesus. The man with a gift to heal your very soul.” Lance well into the script giving it a big build up, which the crowd lapped up. “He can talk to your dearly departed. He is the man you have come to see.. Can I have a A-Men?”
“Amen!” the crowd replied on cue.
“Brothers, Sisters. Reverend Bovoff.”
Bovoff at this point sprang forward, taking the microphone from Lance, embracing him rather like a cheap suited bear.
“Thank you my brother.” Bovoff said into the microphone. “Thank you too my brothers and sisters for venturing out into this blessed auditorium. We are here to celebrate the love and power our Lord Jesus has for each and every one of us.”
Bovoff paced around as he spoke like caged tiger. Organ music was piped in through the speakers to add impact to certain words. “Through this love Jesus can help me heal the sinners of this world Smite them.” Bovoff punctuated the word “Smite” with a fist pump into the air.
“But my Brothers and Sisters, the love of Jesus Christ can also heal you. Cleanse your very soul, take out those evil spirits and banish them. So I ask you.. Can you still feel the Love?”
“Yes!” replied a captivated crowd.
“And the holy power?”
“I feel it..” Bovoff screamed, scrunching up his face. “I feel the power. The power it guides me.
“It’s not the power Pete.” Hissed Elizabeth Bovoff through the radio earpiece in Peter’s ear. “Can you hear me? I hope so because if not you are in trouble”
“The power is telling me. I must heal the soul of someone here tonight.” Bovoff continued the show.
“To your left. Row 5. Pauline Masterson” Elizabeth guided him.
“The power is here for… Pauline,” Bovoff’s face contorted. “Can I have an A-Men for Pauline Masterson.”
“Amen.” The amazed crowd replied.
Bovoff walked down the steps off the stage, accompanied by one of the his security drones, and a bed of powerful gospel music.
“Masterson is the one in the blue headscarf. Almost right in front of you. She has a tumour.”
“Come forward for Jesus, Pauline.” Bovoff commanded. “Get ready for the power.”
Pauline shuffled forwards, hands aloft. Smile as broad as the East River which she’d crossed to visit the show. She’d lived in Brooklyn NY, NY all her 74 years. Doctors had given their diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, in a run down clinic two weeks ago. They gave her a month to live. She was in pain. She wanted comfort. She stood before Bovoff.
Bovoff grabbed her head and pushed it backward. “Be gone devil” he bellowed. Pauline fell to the floor. Healed.
“Halleujah!” screamed Bovoff running away from his latest miracle. “Jesus is giving me a message.”
“Petey..” his wife as the earpiece sprung to life “We have a message for… um. Rachel. Rachel Larsson.”
“I have this message.. for.. Rachel.. Rachel Larsson.” Bovoff explained through a mocked pained face. “It’s from her father.”
Rachel was ready.