They have made a fetish of running water. The fountains are clean as chlorine can make them; the mathematically precise banks of their streams are clean of algae, pure of weeds. Water over aesthetically placed stones blends with the gentle murmur of soft music, softer speech. They walk their paths through orderly regiments of flowers, and are pleased.
“Seven points up since yesterday,” concludes Suffer-the-Children. “Almost ten dollars a share since this time last year. I think we can call that a success.”
“The members will be pleased,” agrees Jesus-Wept. “That’s a solid ROI.” They turn a corner and stand a few minutes in contemplation of one of the statues. He is sternly sorrowful, and His hands are open to welcome the penitent soul back home. “I’m glad we had this chance to talk. It’s been months, and that’s a long time. I’ve been missing you.”
Suffer-the-Children smiles. “It’s been hard to find the time. There’s so much to do. But, yes, it’s nice to reconnect.”
“Listen, I wanted to ask you about the agenda for this year’s retreat. There’s the Deacon question coming up again, and I wanted to know where you stand. The Sunshiners–” it’s foul in his mouth– “are sure to make a big push this time, and I’d feel better knowing you were on the side of the angels.”
“Something can be arranged,” say Suffer-the-Children, and frowns. “I’m sure we can work something out.”