*Le Madonna et une Phoenix*

*Act 1*

"The skeleton in that scarecrow," John heard an elderly woman say as he walked by a cemetery, then he thought 'A lilac dress… I should know this…' brushing the feeling away with "dejavu" he continued his walk through the dusty road looking for '...something.'

The elderly woman continued by saying, "He recently was cremated, and the skeleton is drying now, I wonder if it's new owner will be nice."

"Hmm?" John asked as he stopped to lean onto the fence with Lilac.

Lilac turned to look at John with an excited smile and said. "The most wonderful thing happened! A crow gave him a new soul!"

"A "new" soul?" John mumbled, "Well that sucks," then started wandering around the church beside them saying "I need a new body, and that's why I'm here… I was promised-" he stopped as he noticed the stained glass motif above the church entrance. "Le Phoenix?"

"Mmhmm" Lilac said with an excited smile, "This is the church of the risen christ, Christ rose and gave us the tools for others to rise as well! Isn't it wonderful!"

John turned his head to look at a crow looking at him, then waddled away. John then sat down on the park bench by the church, and mumbled "So that's the crow that gives new souls huh, I was hoping it could take my old soul and give me a new body though..."

Lilac sat down with John and asked "Is that what you want done dear?"

John looked up, and smiled at Lilac who did not appear very old at all anymore asked him, "Do you know much about the crows that deliver souls?"

"I heard I can get a new body, So I came here." John answered.

Lilac closed her eyes and sighed before saying "Well, you've heard of storks delivering babes, no? But not all babes live, and some do stay around not wanting to go." then she looked out at her cemetary as she continued. "It's the same with older people as well, some refuse to go. It's funny but some people actually come to see if they can stay before they even have a reason to go." she looked at John and asked "'Course, your one of them, no?"

John looked at Lilac with a confused expression and ask "So I have to be a ghost?" as he started to get up with the intention of walking away.

Lilac laughed, held her arm out to John asking him to "Wait please! I'm not quite finished with my story!" John sat down and looked at her as she finished, "See most souls do not wish to restart, as, like some ghosts don't want queer, new bodies."

'"...New bodies…"' John smiled as he remembered why he came, A few nights ago in the hospital he told me of a place that can give me a new body, "I'll probably never use the service because I don't like this broken insanity, but if you want one, I knew where the place is that you can get a new body, just hop on the Midnight train."

"The what?"

"Oh yeah, time is kinda different over there, so midnight is a different time too… what is it… I'll remember when I can get my good watch, I set it for that, it's hard though, custom made and I even have to wind it. I hope they left my stuff in my pockets... anyways, even if it's not I always keep a mirror in my coat, less someone moved the camera..."

'He told me when…' John thought as he sat still 'And here I am… was that yesterday?' He then got up and looked at the Phoenix, Jesus and Mary, after a moment he hesitantly asked Lilac, "How... Can you, how…" turning his head while sure of himself, he asked "How are they made?"

"Hm?" Lilac said as she looked up at John in front of her.

John sat back on the park bench with Lilac and asked, "They can move and stuff right, made out of stuffing and bones and other junk, so how can this be?" He looked at the scarecrows and thought.

"Hnf." Lilac smiled and simply said "They are donated to us, it's a good deed to have when loved ones are in need. Everyone has loved ones. or are themselves loved."

John looked closely at various scarecrows in the cemetery and asked with a rhyme "Are these new bodies not but poles with paper mache? and skeletons whose dead flesh has been eaten away? Or maybe they're even created with plastic straws and balloons of air!"

"Or maybe," John sadly said as he slumped back down beside Lilac. "Just the things we all wish would never, would never be here..."

Lilac put her hand on John's knee, trying to comfort him, and looked down at his dirty face with a bright smile she gave a verse of her own broken rhyme "Maybe these mementos, cause us great distress, but looking for an answer, hope really did come in, within us."

"What?" John asked as he noticed Lilacs dull grey hair had turned into a shimmery prism of colour that glittered with the wind.

Lilac looked up at the sky to watch a young crow flying around, then put her hand on top of her other and told John "Maybe it really is nothing, but remember that things are created in such amazing ways, because life has not, and never will, simply fade away."

John squinted his eyes seriously at Lilac and asked, "So let me get this straight," he held his head up and slowly asked "The crows deliver souls to scarecrows?" then threw his hands palm up adding "Why would crows knowingly want to scare other crows?"

Then John glanced up at the young crow hovering around and reminding him of a fairy tale he asked "Or this like some "Right of passage." sort of thing, where "Only the bravest dare to deliver souls."

Lilac looked at John with curiosity for a moment, then laughed a smile, then she looked closely into John's eyes with a meaningful gentle look, and asked "Isn't it nice here?"

"Où, where?"John asked

"In this cemetery," Lilac answered, then she rested her arm around the bench and added "I often wonder around here," Lilac smiled brightly at John and said "It's very nice to talk with another, even if they are but a ghost."

As Lilac loosened up a bit, she brought her leg up onto the bench beneath the other and asked John seriously "Do you want to be a scarecrow or a skeleton?"

John stared out for a moment, mumbling "Est-ce…" then he turned toward Lilac, shrugged his shoulders and admitted. "I did not know that I could choose." John blinked, looked down at the dusty ground and confessed "I was told that I could not..."

"Well..." John heard Lilac say, then he looked back at her as she held one hand on her cheek saying "I know some people." Lilac then closed her eyes, took a breath and confessed "But they may be seem odd to you."

"So what?" John burst out.

Lilac leaned back, tilted her head, laughed and asked John "Do you want to live a complex animal life? Or a simple loving doll?"

John became upset and shouted, "I'm not a toy to be played and abused! I just want my family back!" then he looked away and added "I'd rather be nothing… than a burdenful toy."

"Hnf..." Lilac laughed, "But dolls aren't burdenful, they're very helpful in many ways, they just aren't very common," then looked at John, sighed, and quietly added, "nor do they grow."

"But I need to be normal, my old life, need to fit in." as John slowly lost his voice he depressingly mumbled "dois etre digne/need to be worthy"

Lilac pursed her lips, looked out at the cemetery, then closed her eyes and took a deep breath that she let out in the sky.

"Hnf." Lilac laughed at John and said, "I suppose one needs a skeleton to grow some muscles!" then she looked shyly as John came closer and added "Though, Esthétique surgery fit in and that can be very pricey."

"It doesn't matter," John said shaking his head, as he looked over the side of the bench, then seeing rainbows shining on the ground held with his mouth slightly open.

"But my dear child," Lilac asked John, "Who are you doing it for? Why must you watch them morn you?"

"Because," John said as he hopped down from the bench to slip onto soft sand, and mumbled, 'Pourquoi est-ce si haut?/How did it get so high up?'

"Because my dear child," Lilac asked, holding out her hand to help John up and asked "Because what?"

"Je veux…" John started to say then stopped as he saw and thought, 'Le banc a grandi? The bench grew?' then he looked at Lilac and thought, 'Dame âgée?/Elderly lady?'

Lilac picked up John and with a soft whisper told the boy, "Because, you need your family."