The House of the Bloody Hand
Five little monsters jumping in my head
One fell out and now he’s dead
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
“There’s no such thing as monsters jumping in your head”
The shift of power back to Religion was unprecedentedly fast. Islam drew converts simply through the level of discipline and physical humility required. Five times a day on your knees on a rug is an ever-present reminder of the sickness of your existence, and that recurring submission comforted many.
That’s the gist of all the monotheistic faiths: You are an offense that cuts through all creation, one that, save the merciful hand of God, should be erased from existence–though erasure is, by many, considered too kind, so you get to burn forever instead. Mercy gets lost in all that mercy.
Still, Christianity had a nationwide renewal. Camp meetings sprung up in tents in any park big enough to house them. More than one traveling circus paired with a local organization to bring divine fire on the road. In most towns you were already stone-throwing distance from a church on every block, but in many ways, it was a faith in decline prior to the outbreak.
The House of the Bloody Hand was one of the earliest cults to arise after the initial breakout. They had the advantage of a grasping preacher, an established congregation with deep pockets and hearts that were conditioned for generosity, and all of the facilities any organization might hope for–from racquetball courts and a gym to a bowling lane and screening room. At least the screenings acted as a permission that might be liberating, something that the could be applied by shrewd legalists to permit similar films. The problem is, there wasn’t much they would screen. Out of one side of their face, they’d tell you how free you are in Christ and out of the other they’d lay layers and layers of chains around you if you wanted to watch movies.
Of course, situations are different.
And one must use wisdom.
Yes, of course.
But these things can wisely be avoided for the potential threat that they represent.
Yes… of course.
But when the dead are returning to life, even prayer-rug burns offered by the Mosques, or the less dramatic legalism offered by Christian faiths aren’t enough to calm a fearful heart. And The House queued into this, with their services becoming more extreme–shark-week on meth. Faith healers were already a recurring feature of the services, but they became more frenzied. The congregants wailing in unison, rolling on the floor, crying with the abandon of children while a traveling healer held viscera of the undead (all undead were said to be burned in the beginning of the outbreak, so how they acquired the six feet of blackened intestines at that time is worthy of inquiry) and lifted them triumphantly in the air like venomous snakes.