CHAPTER 4 — Sticks and Stones

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As promised, this chapter is from the point of view of Sonia (Turn Back, O Man), based off Morgan James. A note about Sonia: I am basing her looks off Morgan, but with the personality of Sonia. I don't like Sonia's costume (it really doesn't look her at all), so I'm going to make Sonia the way I want her to look.

Wallace Smith as Judas, Anna Maria Perez de Taglé as Robin, Telly Leung as Lee, Hunter Parrish as Jesus, Nick Blaemire as Jeffrey, Celisse Henderson as Gabby, and Uzo Aduba as Peggy. I imagine that Gabby and Peggy are sisters (mainly because of Celisse Henderson and Uzo Aduba, who are both African-American).

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

John 8:3-11, KJV

The next day was hot, and emotions ran high. Sonia James leaned against the counter of the bar, listening to a drunk customer ramble. She eyed him, and decided that though he wasn't her first pick, she'd make a pass at him. Sonia ran her hands down the sides of her skin-tight black tank top, and the customer's eyes followed her hands. She slowly brushed her long hair over a shoulder and her lips curled into a smile at the man, but her dark eyes were trained on the door of the bar.

"Come here often?" she said in a sultry voice, leaning towards him.

"I... uh, yeah," he said, eyes wide. He was only twenty-something, and had that naive look. He looked shocked beyond belief that Sonia James was taking any interest in him, and she half expected him to die from happiness. Men, she thought, mentally rolling her eyes. Getting any attention from her was what almost every man on the street dreamed of, but she never paid any of them any heed - except Judas. "Do you? Come here often?" he asked, choking out the words. Honestly, did he know how to talk?

"I work here," she said dryly, laying a hand on his arm. "I'm here all the time," Sonia said in a low-voiced purr.

The door opened, and Sonia's eyes snapped up. Seeing the figure who entered the bar, she nearly threw the young man out the door, saying words of farewell that did not bind them and would keep him from slinking back to grovel for her affections. Turning around, she saw Judas sitting at the bar, watching her. She walked slowly to the bar, making every step to her advantage to keep his eyes on her. Sonia had chosen her outfit carefully - a tight black tank top that accented every curve of her body, an impossibly short skirt, and heels that made her shapely legs impossibly long. Her long hair fell down her back, and she brushed it behind her ear.

"What brings you here?" she said, going behind the bar. "I don't get off for another hour." Sonia handed him a cold beer, and he drank it without a word of thanks.

"Judas," she said, changing tactics, "where have you been?"

"With Him," he said. Sonia immediately knew who he was talking about. Who hadn't heard of Jesus? Judas then drew an orange Gideon Scriptures out of his pocket and put it on the counter.

"Did He give you this?" Sonia asked, picking it up and flipping through it without interest.

Judas nodded, eyes hard, and brought the beer to his lips. Sonia tossed the Scriptures on the counter. "It's a load of-" here she swore, "and nonsense. Empty promises that only idiots believe. Why are you even following Him around, anyway? Sure, He's a good Teacher. Made some miracles," she said, thinking about the rumor that Jesus had healed someone with an incurable disease of some sort. "What's so special about that?" She put her hand daringly on his chest, her voice low and meaningful. They stared each other in the eye, and Sonia knew she almost had Judas under her control. "You and I can make some miracles..."

The door opened, and a flood of customers entered the bar, demanding drinks. Irritated, she served them, and watched as Judas left. Slamming the drinks down on the counter, she glared at the customers. "What's gotten into you, Sonia?" a man who often hit on her asked. She refused to respond.

I almost had him under my control, but you ruined it, she thought angrily.

"I bet it's the heat. Ain't it the heat, you-" here he called her a female dog.

Sonia slapped him with so much force that he nearly fell from the barstool.

Hours later, Sonia went into the 7-11 nearby almost drunk. She could get a few cans of beers in relative privacy here, rather than in the bar. Sonia had gone through her supply stashed in her apartment, but that wasn't enough for her to escape from her miserable life. She wasn't drunk enough to forget.

Going to the beer aisle, she leaned against the cool glass for a moment, resting her forehead against the glass as nausea welled. A couple of voices registered on the edge of her hearing, and she tried to ignore them. But they were talking about her, and her mind, though addled from beer, would not let her ignore the voices.

"Doesn't she have any self-respect?" said a woman's voice. Sonia recognized the voice as Gabby Henderson, one of the African-American sisters. Clearly, Gabby thought she was more drunk than she actually was.

"Harriet, do you really think gossiping about Sonia is what Jesus would want us to be doing right now?" said another voice. "She's twenty yards away from us. She can probably hear us!" Sonia recognized Peggy, the older sister of Harriet.

"She's too drunk to notice," Harriet said. "Look at her! Perfect example of a sinner. Only a fool would act the way she does, drinking herself stone drunk and cavorting around with any man who will have her. And furthermore-"

Perfect example of a sinner.

The phrase echoed in Sonia's mind. She had long ago built up a barrier around herself to block out emotion, but that cut her to the core. Grabbing a case of beer, she walked as straight as she could and slammed it on the counter, never letting her red-rimmed eyes even come to rest on Harriet. A mix of fury and shame coursed through her.

"Harriet."

Sonia looked up instinctively to see Jesus standing in the doorway of the 7-11. He looked straight at Harriet, who looked like she wanted the floor to open up beneath her and save her from embarrassment. He walked towards Harriet, His eyes serious. He was not angry, but seemed sad that one of His followers would stoop so low.

"Let those without sin cast the first stone," He said, putting a hand on Harriet's shoulder. She could not meet His eyes for a moment.

"Please forgive me, Sonia," she said, turning to the counter.

Sonia was gone. The only sign she had been there was the money that the girl behind the counter was putting into the cash register.

The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"

"No one, Master."

"Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

John 8:3-11, The Message

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hope you like how Sonia turned out! Any feedback on the Judas/Sonia relationship is greatly appreciated. Frejennix, author of the fantastic Prodigals, set the standard for Judas/Sonia, and I hope I did this pairing as well as Frejennix. To read a really good Judas/Sonia fanfic, read Prodigals.

This story from the book of John in the Bible is actually Peggy's scene, but it suits Sonia more than Peggy. This chapter was about Learn Your Lessons Well, which Gabby/Gilmer sings. My inspiration was the line "I can see a swath of sinners sittin' yonder/ and they're acting like a pack of fools..." Partly I just wanted to write about Sonia (I didn't expect this chapter to turn out like this, but it practically wrote itself). But what if Gabby wasn't telling this to the whole group, but aiming it at one person (Sonia)? What if we saw how Sonia felt?

Next chapter, one of the guys for a change: Henry/Herb (Light of the World). I know LotW happens in Act II of Godspell, but Henry hardly comes in at all if I just left him at LotW.