1965-01-07 - Miracles in McMullinsville
Summary: In which the boys head off to follow a lead on something rumored to be divine happening in upstate New York.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine jesse cassidy 

Reports of some strange happenings in a small town on a lake in Upstate New York normally wouldn't even reach the radar of New York City, but the boys had been keeping an ear to the ground just in case any signs of God's presence on earth might come up. It had been quiet. Then there was a small story in the newspaper about a little town where a couple of what the townsfolk were deeming miracles had occurred. Not only that, but no local mutants, aliens, government agencies, or terrorist organizations had claimed responsibility for them.

A few weeks ago, a busload of children on their way back from a field trip slid on some ice and went off an incline into the lake. Residents reported that the bus had sunk clear to the bottom, when a strange and otherworldly light had appeared and it simply rose right back up to the surface of the water long enough for the driver and all of the students to get out. There were cases of hypothermia and bruises and lacerations, but none of the children were seriously injured. Some residents said that a man was spotted standing on the bridge, observing from afar, but none could agree exactly what he looked like, but all agreed he gave off a sort of radiant glow.

A week later, a woman reported that a man showed up to her house and warned her that a bad storm was coming, and that she and her children should consider going to stay with her sister. She'd thought it strange, but the figure reminded her of the one in the story with the bus, and so she went to her sister's. The next day, during the course of the storm, the power went out and when it came back on, an electrical fire started in the wiring of the house and it burned to the ground.
Hisll around town, strange stories of this figure showing up are rampant. There are plenty who put it off as mutants, and various other things, but the devout claim that it is God, or perhaps an Angel who has come down to earth. But why McMullinsville, NY?

Constantine was slouched down in the car that he had no doubt was hotwrired from somewhere, and frankly John Constantine didn't care enough to ask. It was find by him either way. He was using half the trip to catch some overdue shuteye murmuring into the conversation as they went. Arriving the exorcist took a look around turning to Cass whichering sincerely, "Where we wanna start? Church? Hospital? School? Lonely mother of two?"

"Because he's a cocksuckin' bastard who wants me to freeze m'balls off, that's why McMullinsville," Jesse groused, but he was the first one with his jacket on, and this seemed the most pluck he'd had in his step in a long time. Since he fought with Tuplip and she went packing, in fact. Muscling a shake upon Cass' shoulder as he passed. "Boys, load up."

Of COURSE the car was stolen. Are you kidding me? Religious escapades have really shitty pay. But the heater worked. That's all that mattered to him. Rolling onto down, driving slow down the roads on the look out for, well, he's honestly not sure yet. "Did they give the name of that woman with the burned down house? Guess we start with what we know."

"Janet Wilburn, aged 34, got three lil' bastards aged 8, 6, and 3. Says here she's stayin' with her sister since the house burned down on a little farm just on the north side o' town," Cassidy says from where he's slumped in the passenger seat, because of course Vampire gets to ride shotgun. He's covered completely from head to toe with sunglasses on and a hat with a hoodie on over it that keeps his face out of the sun. It'll eventually set, but until then, he's covered from gloves to ski mask. Super friendly look, that. He has some print-outs in a folder and some scribbled notes.

Constantine was so done being scrunched up in the back, but it wasn't a bad sprawl to get that nap in. Cigs came out, and that Zippo gifted from Lamont to replace the one he dropped into Hell to banish a thing. He offered the case out. Any takers? "I'm surprised you can bloody well read anything wrapped up like a mummy. Alright we start there. If they ask too many questions…" John took a moment to turn and fix his hair and put himself together. looking to Jesse, "I'll clean up. Lay on MacDuff."

"Yeah," Jesse lifts a hand out lazily when he hears the sound of cigarettes in the vacinity; yeah, he'll take one. Sticking it in the corner of his mouth and turning his head with one eye on the road to ask for a light from John. Jesse grins crookedly at Cass, the cigarette managing to hang on. Dark eyes shine like jet briefly. "He's right. You look like yer gonna rob a bank. Or appear in a snuff film. What's yer film name, Cass? Bob Dyldo? Mick Stabber? Clark Cable?" Still driving up the icy roads, heading north.

Cassidy smirks, not that anyone could see it, and slumps further in his seat. "I'm tryin' not t'be lit on fire, not blind," he mutters and waggles the papers in John's direction before Jesse decides to get in on the action and Cass narrows his eyes at him. "Har de har," he says to them both. "Maybe I will rob a bank. Figure that small a town? Shouldn't be too hard. How much is rent on that place we're stayin' in?"

Constantine took a drag and asked. "Last I checked? About one to two souls." Of which the prior owner paid up on. John ashed and considered back to the Vampire, "Government isn't aware it's even there, which means zero, which means I get 15 of the earnings after we post your bond." It was his turn to pat Cass on the shoulder. "And I'll make sure you don't go up as kindling. How bout that?" He looked up and considered the irony of knowing every damn vampire in New York. He did decide a mixer would be the worst of possible ideas and followed the Preacher quietly instead.

Jesse winks at Cassidy's glare and looks back at the road more responsibly once his pilfered smoke is lit. Taking a drag off it before holding it pinched between his fingers, low on the steering wheel. "I'm just gettin' your goat, Cass. We got other business here fer now, so no robbin' until after we're done. Don't want to go drawin' unwanted attention and tip the big man off."

"It's Peter O'Tool, ain't it?" Jesse adds and shakes his head, suppressing a smirk as he pointedly does NOT look at the vampire next to him. "Irish."

"Are you callin' me a tool now? Them's fightin' words, padre," Cassidy says from within his muffled coccoon of winter gear. But he concedes, "I won't go robbin' the bank. We're here on your quest and I won't be takin' any side trips until the business we got's done." It's said in much the same tone that an eight year old might promise to do their homework before going outside, but it seems like his intentions are good. He waggles a gloved hand in the direction of an upcoming right and says, "That's it.. the street the farm's on."

Constantine actually seemed slightly disappointed. There goes 15%. The glance to Jesse seemed to forgive him for being a fun wrecker but he figured they'd find something interesting soon enough. It was time to be (God literally forbid) charming. Hand hung in his coat pockets for the plod up there taking inventory of the odd collection he still had in the lining of his coat. Not useful to now, but good to know it's all there. "Here's the stop." the remainder of his cig was flicked out into the snow. He exhaled. He knocked on the front door and stood aside so Jesse could say hullo.

"It's a euphemism fer yer dick, Cass," Jesse candidly fills the vampire in on the slang of the day with a bemused look in his direction. Wheeling off toward the farm, Jesse parks and gets out, still smoking like a chimney, his breath hanging just as thick as the smoke in the frozen air while he eyes the house. "Well…let's see what we got here, gents."

Jesse strolls up with his posse, just a preacher and his buddys the damned and the vampire. He scrubs the cigarette out on the heel of a raised boot, putting the butt into his jacket pocket. A faint nod to John in gratitude when he knocks. "Let me know if anythin' seems weird, yeah?" Put on your personable face, Jesse. Solemnly concerned with just a bit of earnestness; you know, like a man of God not here to kick His ass.

"Is it now? Well that explains that, ain't nearly been gettin' the use out of it that I used to," Cassidy complains, as they pull up to the house, his attention captured by the quaint little farm with the little white farmhouse and the horses out in the field. He shrugs his shoulders and says, "Aye, right then." And out he climbs, following on after Jesse and John. They look like quite the motley group, with the Preacher, John's usually rumpled self, and then Cassidy who looks like he's going to mug someone or rob a bank. Except for Cassidy's playing in the snow off to one side of the yard, building a small snowman next to the one already standing there. "Huh?" he says over in Jesse's direction. "Uh sure, weird, right. That snowman over there's lookin' a little shifty."

It's about then that a woman who could be in her thirties answers the door when John knocks and Jesse steps in. She looks Jesse over for a momentd and smiles, "Hello. What can I do for you, Father?" She then notes John, and there's a little confusion that registers there, and then Cassidy … playing in the snow, and she looks even more dubious, before looking back to Jesse questioningly.

The farm itself doesn't seem unusual. There are animals, the horses, some cows, a barn that looks in decent shape. Everything is older, but well-cared-for. There's a pick-up truck in the drive and enough tracks in the snow to indicate that there's probably another vehicle or two that likely park there that aren't present at the moment.

Constantine nodded the 'cheers' back to Jess and drily commented to Cassidy in the offhand, "Eh I got some friends. I'll introduce ya." And JOhn cleaned up presentable. He could pass as an actual detective at this rate which he was likely banking on. It's why the coat is beige and not black. Carries authority and that's just the colour his mac was to begin with. But it was versatile! FOr now he remained mostly silent falling into his 'detective persona' giving her a polite, "Madam."

"Try wearin' a clergy collar at single's night some time, Pal," Jesse mutters in Cassidy's direction, sympathetic to that problem. Though he doesn't seem to be watching him too closely while the vampire goes wandering off to play in the snow, which the city has been oddly bereft of this year. He glances back, ready to bark at Cassidy when the door opens suddenly. Jesse swings forward quickly, his brows swept quickly upward and caught offguard. "Uhh…"

"Ma'am. Sorry. Mah name is Jesse Custer, this is mah associate, John and…" Jesse turns and looks back over Cassidy. Playing in the snow. There's a halting moment as the Preacher blinks a couple times, turning back to the lady. "That's…Cassidy. Ah'm told that this is where Ms. Janet Wilburn and her children are staying, is that correct? We've got a couple questions about her home an' the man she spoke to."

Yep, Cassidy has asembled a snowman, complete with twig arms, a jaunty beret from a flat stone, and a … there's no telling what that bit of bark is supposed to be. Is it a shield? A book maybe? There's no telling. He glances up when Jesse looks over to bark at him and tilts his head, looking back. But the woman in the house seems to interrupt any further conversation on the topic.

The woman in the doorway surveys the trio and turns her attention back to Jesse. "You want to talk to Janet? Alright.. let me see if she's up to it," the woman says and then the door closes and there's the sound of some conversation going on inside before Janet opens the door and nods. "She'll speak to you, but that one stays outside." She nods toward Cassidy and his snowman. "He'll frighten the children."

Provided that there are no objections, which there don't seem to be. The Vampire seems more than content to hang out on the lawn playing in the snow while the others go inside. He's bundled up well enough, and it's not like a little frostbite would kill him. Provided John and Jesse decide to go inside, they are greated by a warm cozy little house. Three small faces watch them from 3/4 of the way up the staircase, staring at the men who come inside. Janet is seated in the livingroom, in a chair by the window with some knitting in her lap and seems to have been doing that while some old movie was playing on the television. She smiles to Jesse and John, "You have some questions, Father?" Then she looks over to John and says, "What would you like to know?"

Jesse whistles at Cassidy and tosses him the car keys when the mummy-vampire playing with the abominable snowman looks up. If nothing else, when he gets tired of playing around, he can get back in the car.

Walking into the house, Jesse peers at the three sets of eyes in return, hesitating a moment, he gives a wave of his fingers and slight smile up the stairs before moving back on to the woman by the window, nodding his gratitude toward the sister. "Ma'am. M'name's Jesse Custer, this is John. Thank you fer seein' us. Ah'm sure this has been a trying time for your family. Ah understand that before the storm happened, a man came to your home?"

Constantine smiled warmly out of respect, not solicitations and extended a hand as a professional courtesy. "M'am, nice to meet you." Hoy mackrel mother of goats the Englishman had manners under there when it suited him. That or a damn fine immitation. FOr now his hands sat casually in his pockets looking around noting for the usual things: Americana horseshoes above the door, things at all out of place, an abundance of memrobilia of one solidited religion or another. Anything that might be able to make possible connections, though this was the sister's house.

The house itself seems homey and cozy. There are family photos around. The furniture shows the sort of wear one might expect from age, but it's neat and it smells nice, like some tea had been brewed earlier and the scent lingered in the air. There's a small cross that hangs in the hallway among the photos, but otherwise no abundance of religious paraphernalia. The house, to all appearnces, is pretty normal. The women, for that matter, and even the rugrats watching from the stairs, seem entirely unremarkable.

Janet smiles and says, "It's nice to meet you. Please, gentlemen, make yourselves comfortable." She gestures toward the other chairs in the livingroom, and then turns her attention to Jesse. "Well, yes. Like I told the news reporters and the police and the insurance folk — this man came to my door, and at first I thought he was a salesman and told him that we just weren't in the market for anything. But then he was so nice, and he apologized for how it must sound, but he told me that there was a storm coming, and that he worried for my family. He suggested that I should come here and stay with my sister. And I don't know, there was just something about how earnest he was. At first I thought, this is some kind of creep trying to get me to leave the house so he and his buddies can rob me blind.. but he had the kindest eyes, and he seemed almost to.. glow, like some sort of angel. I promised him that I would think about it, and I was just about to offer him a cup of tea.. when he was just.. gone, as though he'd never been there. It was the darndest thing."

Jesse murmurs a gentle thanks in a tone that clearly must get taught at whatever seminary school they send people off to and they hand out access to when they hand out clergy collars and special underwear or whatever.

Preacher offers an apologetic smile at the long list of people she has already explained all this to, but listens intently when he sits down, leaning his forearms on his knees. Nodding encouragingly as she opens up about the experience. "Do you remember if you'd ever seen this man before in town? Could you describe him or anything significant about how he looked that might help us find him? An accent, anything like that?"

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Constantine had a score of questions of his, mostly pragmatic. OH how to make this not sound… eeeeh callous and John like. Yeah. Casual as if it were obviously a non-issue? Maybe… He sighed. He was coming up with absolutely no means to ask her if there ws anything of value in the house without a- upsetting her, or b- coming across as a completely callous ass right now. to that end he just took notes in the small notepad he carried with him and let Jesse do the talking.

Janet says, "No, I don't recall ever seeing him before, though I'm sure there are people in the town that I've never met. He was about your height." This is said to Jesse, rather than the slightly taller John. "He had brown hair and grey-blue eyes. He looked like he was maybe in his thirties. He was dressed in a nice suit, and had a nice smile, real straight white teeth. He looked, clean cut, short hair, tie, a wool coat. He had a nice watch on his wrist but it was mostly under his sleeve so I didn't get a clear look at it. He didn't have any sort of an accent that I could recognize. He spoke like one of those radio announcers do, with that real clear voice so you can understand what they're saying."

Jesse listens intently, though he isn't used to this investigation stuff, so he didn't hav ethe foresight of actually bringing anything to take notes on. He nods, hands clasped loosely together in front of his knees. And he looked…like a guy, basically.

Jesse. You're bad at this.

"Brown hair, clean cut gent with a real clear voice that you didn't recognize from town. Sounds like a nice guy, Ms. Wilburn. And he didn't stop to say anything to yer children at all before he vanished." He turns to look back at John, brows arching upwards slowly. "John? Do you have any questions for Ms. Wilburn?"

Constantine scratched at his cheek thoughtfully and finally abandoned trying to be super polite on all sides and just played the cop. "I'm trying to find a contientious way to say this with your family's recent loss, so I apologize if this sounds callous, but was there anyhting out of the ordinary that was lost that wasn't covered by insurance? This person sounds genuine and seems to have helped a few people. But for the sake of rulling anything else out I would be correct in thinking nothing in particular was lost outside of household things and fmaily keepsakes?" he looked to Jessee and just had to rule the scam artist out so they could focus on the pattern and intent.

The children, waiting on the stairs, seem to whisper and confer among themselves. It's then that the oldest, a girl, comes creeping down the stairs and hovers in the doorway of the room, rocking back and forth a little bit as she watches the adults talking.

Janet shakes her head and says, "Well I thought perhaps, and the insurance folks thought perhaps that they set the fire to cover up a theft, but honestly we couldn't find anything gone that wouldn't have reasonably burned, and everything else was there, if ruined. The fire department said it started inside the wall from what they could tell, so it would be hard for someone to just.. do that, you know?"

The older girl moves over slowly across the room toward Jesse and stands next to him. While her mother answer's John, she leans over and whispers something in his ear and holds out something to him in her hand.

Constantine was actually relieved, "That's… actually a good sign. Like to make sure if there was anything missing it might be recovered were that the case." Just standard procedure. Leaning over to Jess he waited for him to get the message from teh shild were she still talking and murmured to the Preacher, "I'm gonna go check on Cass." He really didn't wnat his friend on fire in a literal ditch while they were on investigation, or other ties for that matter.

Jesse doesn't seem the least bit offended as John steps in. The taller man gets the slightest look of astonishment when Jesse realizes…wait…John's a REAL PI? He's not just a hobo that he picked up on the side of the road somewhere? Oh. Right.

Jesse is distracted in the middle of his momentary reminder of who John Constantine actually is by the eldest daughter, bowing his head to listen to the whisper. Whatever held out to him also taken, running his thumb over the token. He looks at it front and back, and smiles gently. "Can I borrow this? I'll make sure it gets back to you." He promises, then stands slowly to thank the two adults. Ashy piles of former friends were not a good time.

The girl nods to Jesse when he asks if he can borrow it. She gives him a smile and says, "I hope you find what you're looking for," with genuine warmth, and then she goes to climb back up the stairs, dragging her brothers with her when it seems like the men are going to leave.

Janet smiles curiously between the two, but when Jesse stands she says, "I hope I was able to help. You drive safe now, those roads are icy."

Jesse pockets the token when it's freely given up, a kind smile for the young lady, bereft of the terrible things he's done in his lifetime. "Thank you. So do I. You and your brothers take care of your momma, you hear? Everything'll work out as it should." Turning to each woman before he leaves, Jesse thanks them each for enduring the invasion and promises to be careful.

Back into the cold and the army of snowmen that are popping up. Great. "Come on, fellahs." He just hopes none of them have dicks and doesn't hang around to look.

None of the snowmen have dicks.

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