Double Doom – Doom in the West

Severance / Substitution of the Strand 

He is sat, spine bent, over his case neatly placing the puppets back into their shapely foam housing in the case that prevents any damage in transit. Antiques, older than he, and handed down from his great grandfather. These puppets are both more wise and more well traveled than he is. Making the trip with his Grandfather from some small village across the sea to the east. He’s never even left town before, never met his Grandfather either. Not directly.

He can tell from the wear and tear in the joints of the puppets what kind of man his father, grandfather, and great grandfather were. The types of shows they would put on, with which figures, would speak volumes to him on their nature. The length of the overhead string speaks to the generosity of the master before him. Scraps and scratches whisper about fearfulness they had for the future. It seems to decline with each of them as if they have become more relaxed over the years. He sees this as a story of the family’s hardships from the old country, to the travel to unknown lands, to the entrenchment in this country by his own father.

The threads connect us all: master to puppet to people, he reads the inscription on the inside of the case every-time he closes it. Its mantra quality always calms him and breathes a soft nostalgia through him. It’s written 4 times, one for each master. Who will read it after he’s gone, he thinks again. He has no children of his own, he doesn’t like to think too much about the future of this private family tradition. Hey Mick thanks for putting on the show, sorry the kids weren’t more into it but we appreciate you making the trip out, says one of the parents, a man by the name of Alex. It might not be the most entertaining thing to watch but the story of Faust serves as great education, Mick replies without taking his eye off his own inscription.

Yeah your Pa used to tell it too, in this very same center, your familys always had strong ties with this community, Alex begins to mutter as his voice shrinks back past his tonsil scars. Mick begins to turn his head to get a glimpse of the uncomfortable body language Alex is exuding as he tries to start his delivery of a hard message to feeble looking puppeteers. Sadly we just don’t have resources to keep you on for weekday or weekend shows, he follows up with. Mick had seen the writing on the wall long before and assumed those strong ties would be enough to keep him doing his duty, to perform. He was so far past borrowed time thinking that he once again thought he was safe.

He wanted to erupt but his heart wasn’t in it, he’d known no affections for work or personal life for some time, worn down he simply resigned to collect his things and walk out. What he thought was a firm grip on his exit was clearly a mistake for shock as he broke down once he sat alone in his car. The stage of his late father’s car had been enough to smear his failing psyche with enough anguish that he wasn’t able to collect himself by the time everyone else had left the center. He just wanted to be told how to fix this, his father would have known, he wouldn’t have lost the job. He clambers into the back to pull down the seat and get the contents of the trunk. He finds a sweet solace in the puppet’s case.

Besides his father’s addition of a new coat of paint, and his own usage of foam the case has remained true to the old design, an aegis of snug comfort. After allowing himself to settle down, and the crowds to disperse he agrees with himself out loud to just go home, rest, and look for work. Convinced of the value of his work, and his Great Grandfathers gifts he can go on as long as he stays true to strong ties he believes in. The semi-teary eyed Sunday drive to his apartment gets him home without him even really noticing, the fall to the present future is fish hooking into the black and blue bags under his eyes. Puffy, swollen, and the bags almost to his cheeks he is in the worst condition of his life.

20 years sober and now he feels a tremble in the back of his hands as he fumbles through his pocket for the keys. A rhythmic shaking emanating from the wrist to knuckle he braces against the door to stem the tremble and breath for a second. Two of his neighbours pass him by with any acknowledgement, normally paying no heed to them but now in his sorry start once again threatens to kick start his crisis. Managing to stop himself by coming to terms with the fact they wouldn’t care, and a few more deep breaths he manages to make his way into his flat. The same flat he and his father shared after his mothers passing several years prior to his fathers. Still stained with his father’s belongings, as he had nowhere else to put them.

He’s tired, more tired than he’s been in years. He’s alone, just as alone as he’s always been. He lies down in his bed, drained from the fear of having to look forward, to plan a way to survive all this. Awkwardly between his usual groove and edge he can’t get comfortable but doesn’t dare adjust. Almost laughing at himself, laughing at the concept that if he forces this mild inconvenience on himself he’ll toughen up. Letting his left arms circulation be cut off and go numb, scheming whatever else he can do to hurt himself from the safety of his bed. He smells death. Not death but rotting. Rapidly rotting, heating up. It wasn’t right, it was like how he imagined a morgue smelled, industrial chemicals singeing his nose hairs and the sterile wafts of death.

He wanted to sleep but the stench kept him awake. Only moving his head to the other-side hoping to alleviate some of the discomfort he now found his neck and shoulders forcing a lot more tension across his body. It’s been hours, just letting it build, smelling the decay. He started to think it wasn’t even coming from the building, he had simply awoken to the true aroma of his life. It had only been getting worse, for as long as he could remember things got worse. More horrors crept into his peripherals as he aged, as he weakened. Less family, less friends, less work. His only constant was the puppets and their stories. But people cared less about his shows, they did not want to learn the tales his little ligneous family told.

He was finally growing accustomed to the smell, and began to drift off, and as such, as if to be cursed with an endless stream of life, a commotion began below interrupting the only respite he can ever get from living. Banging, muffled panicked speech, and then the bark of gun fire erupts from down the hall. He stumbles across the room and throws himself into the bathtub, which was always too short for him to use, forcing him to fetally contort in fear. The cacophony continues to grow around him as neighbours now join in the panic. He hears what he thinks is a bullet cut through his room and fear begins to grip his arteries so tight he thinks he skips a beat. He passes out due to the fear while trying to clutch onto his chest for comfort.

He thinks he’s dreaming. Dreaming of his father. His father is telling him what needs to be done to salvage everything but he can’t hear him through the piano wire stitches in his throat distorting anything he tries to say with a twang that sounds cut clean from a Giallo film and transplanted into his larynx. Trying to reach out to his father he can see only his outward stretched hand with steel wire for veins and spilling out through his fingernails before ascending to the murky abyss above. He can’t fight the will of the wires. His father dangles before him for a few more moments before being whisked away on a butcher’s meat rack. When he finally comes to he’s being picked up and taken away from the tub. Finally he thinks, guidance away from the lonely hovel. His eyes sting as he adjusts to his new found track in life. A fire has taken hold of the building, he’s only being carried out. He tries to shriek and realizes his back in control of his life only to sputter and phlegm on to the upper arm of the man attempting to rescue him. He watches the spit clean some of the dirt of his patch, creating a clean spot, if only for a moment.

On the pavement outside he has people check on him, ask him who he is and if they can call anyone. He’s offered to spend a night in a hospital but he refuses, saying he can find help with family friends. He asks if by chance he can try to collect some belongings but they tell him it’s not safe yet. He tries to call Alex, to see if he can stay with them for a night or two to try sort things out. Alex fumbles his words, but his tone tells the story he is used to, it’s a burden, he is a burden. Pretending he hasn’t hung up already he has a conversation just for the cops to hear that all is ok. They let him leave, once again he is now his own master, one without a home or anyone to rule over. A personal hell, all alone.

He begins to panic again. Not about his current state, but about the puppets. If the fire has destroyed them then his family will end with him. He has to know as soon as possible. It’s all he can think about. Hanging around the streets he waits for the fire brigade and cops to leave so he can go in and check. Hours pass as he skulks around the darken streets. The charred building takes on a wholly known visage in the foul yellow street lamp lit aura he uses to find comfort on nights like this. Eventually he finds his chance to get inside, the damage isn’t as bad as he imagined but the silence and damp from the fire extinguishers force him walk discreetly as if not to wake some unseen force.

His anxious arteries begin to reach dangerous levels and threaten to collapse on him again, as he approaches his door. All the rooms past his deeper into the hall look blown out and barren, revealing the truth of the organs that kept him confined, safe. It was like seeing the corpse of a family pet that had died in a hole alone, to be found later when the earth begins to take it back into itself. From the front his flat looks fine, but being smoked and soaked at the same time gives the door a strange sludge coating. Reaching out to open the door his skin is greeted first by the sludge, which gives the door knob a burning placebo effect. He doesn’t loosen his grip till the heat dissipates from his mind and heart. He enters the room to find the adjoining wall with the completely destroyed, his bed half destroyed, bookshelf ruined, and the desk that the marionette chest was resting on had crumpled and smashed under the weight in its weakened state.

Scrambling across the floor in a fevered state with the mindset that if we can at least touch the case everything will be ok only leads him to break through the weakened wooden floor. His foot falls just a few short inches but the momentum leads his ankle to crash right into the still intact beam beneath and snaps it right through to his tendon. The rest of him follows through and plants him flat, hands and face shattering wood on impact and splinters pierce him all over. He can’t take it anymore, he wants to cry again but he suddenly feels the presence of his family. Tearing his face up off the shards that impaled his cheeks he sees his outstretched hand is only a small distance from touching the chest.

In his family, he needs to go to their rescue, they call to him, offering him guidance. Dragging himself along the floor using the splinters protruding from his hands almost like ice axes he reaches his goal. With no hesitation he opens it and finds the mantra was completely burned away. He doesn’t care who the master or threads right now, he does care about the state of the troupe. Everyone on the top sheet of foam housing is perfectly intact. He takes no heed of the blood and sweat not pumping into the case. Carefully removing the foam and placing it on a less charred place on the floor he finds seems now the extent of the damage. Some of the stage pieces are burnt, the heated steel wires acting hot-wire foam cutter have created almost perfect conditions to cause as much carnage as possible. Wagner, the assistant has been decapitated. His own blood now soaks into the puppets lifeless body, worse yet his body has been burned and the paint has peeled gruesomely displaying the bare wood.

Trying to clutch Wagner’s small frame like a newborn he goes to embrace him to his cheek. Before he can even put skin to wood he disintegrates. The crumbs of Wagner begin to slowly rain down from his hands as if to unwillingly begin a funeral rite formed of dirt and ash. It lands on top of his housing which now acts as a fresh entombment. Like most funerals the tears begin to follow him down into his final resting place, mixing and diluting what little remains in the hole. He wishes he was only a few inches tall, small on to this cozy foam world, and small enough to throw himself into the descending casket and weep for whoever will listen to bring his family back to him. Wagner, his father, anyone who can provide comfort. He feels a further constriction on his strained heart, then a writing inside begins.

The discomfort causes him to fall back from his stooped position about the foam and fall onto his back taking the wind out of him. He can’t take his eyes off the chest as he begins to breathe with an off rhythmic and labored breath as if his throat and lungs fall further out of sync. Another jolt of pain as his heart shrinks causes him to jerk his chin up in anguish and his eyes now meeting the missing mantra. In its place, or what was always beneath is a proposition. Addressed to his family name.

“House Bulgakov, Give up to us the reigns, we can guide from outside.”

The hold on his heart loosens as he reads it. Trying to not let the words catch on his teeth, he mimes them on his second attempt to decipher what is on offer. Looser still his heart aches less and now he finds himself prostrated in front of the newly erected mausoleum for the marionettes. Skulking forward he touches the strangely fresh feeling inscription, and peels back the rest of the burnt upholstery from inside the chest lid. There is no grand reveal or more to the story, just a few small symbols reminiscent of a cross and some hooks. He can’t tell how long this has been below the mantra, staring at him and hearing his prayers, but it feels like it has been listening. His tears and snot have not stopped pouring and he looks down to follow what has just left his nose down to the growing pool of ashy water.

It should be sinking down through the foam but it remains within the housing, completely still until a fresh tear breaks the surface and adding a strangely disproportionate amount each time. It spills over into the housing of the other puppets who now float to the top looking almost like shipwreck victims. Wagner’s head pierces up from the bottom of his watery grave, later than the others as if he had more reason to be down there, or had something else to attend to in his relatively murky depth. He can’t tell if it’s from the fire but a crack has appeared across Wagner’s head going from what would be the left side of his chin all the way up and curving over his right ear. It creaks open and begins to let out a soft wet rattle of pain. He reaches in to try grab the head but his hand comes into contact with the dark water first and something tells him to stop what he is doing.

Frozen almost to point of not breathing his hands remain in the water up just past his fingernails. Hes even stopped crying now as he quietly awaits for whatever is supposed to happen next. He looks at the inscription again and runs his fingers over the letters finally getting the gravity of what is going on. He can give up control to a real master, one who can make him a new Wagner, no better yet one who can make him Wagner. What will it cost he asks, he will pay anything to reunite his family, to make them whole once again and able to impart their wisdom to the world. He lets his hand descend fully into the water, impossibly deep until he is almost shoulder deep going past where the floor should be. He makes a connection to something metallic and it feels him back too. Like a corpse handshake he agrees to the terms with a terrified resolve.

He stops shaking and begins to take his hand out of the waters only to feel the weight of the metallic object follow him up. Hesitating to reveal to himself what it is that he just did business with he leaves from the wrist down in the water. He quickly pulls his elbow into his and his hand reveals now to be tethered to a bright and sparkling hook that looks to contain more space within it that it could ever possibly hold. Thin metal lines from his fingertips keep it suspended to his hand and the hook makes no noise at all as it collides with the chest. It stays in midair wherever he leaves, never descending as you expect something from this plane of existence to act. He stands up and it follows him around the room as he tries to understand what he has just brought into this world. Reaching out to test it he can grasp it. It’s warm and not at all wet from the waters. He notices his hand isn’t either. It invites him to take some swipes at the air around him leaving a glistening trail from where the tip goes.

A host. It demands a host. To hoist. That is its purpose. Wagner’s little face closes shut and sinks down into the micro abyss from whence it came. The rest of the puppets follow suit and the waters all begin to drain back into the original tomb. He watches the water level shrink to reveal nothing is left in housing, not a shred of Wagner’s body is to be seen. This doesn’t upset him, he’s found new strength in the promise of fulfilling the shoes of his former servant. He walks around the room trying to think how he can get a host for his master, peeking out the window he finds the street devoid of all life, not even moths fighting for a place on the orange gold thrones that illuminate the lands. He opens his door and listens for a few minutes, hoping someone as desperate as him could be found held up in the apartment complex. With hook in hand he lurks down the hall testing its profound properties as it cuts through the walls without ever making a noise or leaving a trace once the shimmer fades.

He heads down the hall to where the fire began, it was a drug house now gutted without any solid walls revealing itself for all to witness. The floor now consists of just the supporting beams and most of the contents of the room have spilled into the apartment below. A hot and heavy smell reaches up from the carnage below making him shiver in disgusting. This shiver descends down his body and causes his shins to shake and he loses his footing and almost falls into the hole if not for the hook catching on the door frame. Calmly bringing himself to good footing he begins to try find the source of the stench. He can’t see anything from up here so he heads back to the stairs and tries to enter from the front door. The smell is more pungent here and it doesn’t lessen, he can’t adjust to it. He wants to leave but the fact he didn’t want to face till now makes him stay. It could be a body. One he can host with it.

He knows this was an unoccupied apartment so the cops might not have done a full search. Brandishing the hook he cuts open a hole in the door so he can crawl into the hell that’s left after the drug fueled inferno had its way with this room. He gets onto his stomach and sizes up a route he thinks he can take through the mess. Creeping slowly through a minefield of IKEA based spike traps the smell begins to come and go in waves giving him a false sense of its location. He makes it to a clearing and emerges right on top of the couch, it’s mostly destroyed and covered with dried black blood that took on a flaky look due to the fire raining from above. He moves some rubble around for almost twenty minutes, the work doesn’t seem to tire him out, the smell no longer phasing him. It’s still just as strong but he seems almost possessed in his pursuit of the flesh the lies hidden in here. Finally he strikes gold. Burnt, annihilated, human, gold.

He thinks about how he needs to perform the hosting. He looks at the hook and then back to the body, back to the tip of the hook, and then down to the back of what he assumes is the back of the body’s neck. Like a mother rummaging through the remains of her burnt home to find remnants of her family he flings rocks and dirt across the room to find. He doesn’t stop until the full body is freely exposed to the air. Memories of his dad’s funeral come back and how with a closed casket he never saw him in his last form on this earth. Trying to fight off imagining this poor excuse for a human as his own father he fails. Falling back in the ruined couch he brings down on him all matter of debris slamming against his frail figure. Bloody, dirty, beaten he tries to steady himself and clamber out of the couch springs now clutching him in place, trying to stop him from doing what he needs to do. What does he need to do, he thinks. He thinks of leaving and giving up on this mad expedition in dirt and charred flesh. Trying to make a move to the hole from whence he came the hook stays frozen in the air and does not permit him to.

Staring into its brilliance, unaffected by the disgusting state of the room he calms down. Looking deeper into it he finds a presence, willing him to sink the hook into the flesh of the man laid out on the floor like a slaughter house exhibition into human anatomy. The blood has stained everything. After a few deeper and soothing breaths he slams the hook deep into the next of the corpse. At first it offers no resistance, no sign it has been struck, then it shakes as if the force of the hit was delayed in reaching it. He pulls back his arm and the hook follows right as another jolt of movement springs the corpse to a state of unlife. He looks dip into the pits of where its eyes once sat, boiled out of their sockets. Its mouth opens and a familiar rattle begins to sound, Life, it moans as the mouth does not undulate in response to the words that it birthed into the air of this foul place. Fresh, the word hisses out on top of the rattling and envelops the room causing him shudder in disgust.

With one last violent seizure it dislodges from its burial mound, raising itself up on its arms, which shake uncontrollably as they no longer have the strength to prop up the rest of the body.

Creaking its neck to face a large shard of wood the head slams right into and the wood bursts through the skull and out the back showering him in gore. The rattle has stopped. Screaming, it’s all he thinks about while wiping the chunks of mangled flesh of his face. He looks straight down and watches as they tumble down his clothes leaving little trails like stones skimmed across water, a grizzly wake on his polyester shirt. Still holding in the screams he scrambles out through the hole in the door and makes his way back to his room. Pacing around trying not look at the chest or hook he thinks about what has transpired. Life. Fresh. Something spoke in that room. It had to be the master of the hook. He goes to put his head in his hands forgetting about the hook before it’s too late. It’s right in front of his eye, suspended as if to get his attention away from his own thoughts. Looking once again into its infinite density his mind is washed over and cleansed of doubt.

Straightening his back out to a satisfying crack, he feels mental ready to answer the call. He needs a living host. As he goes to peer through the window he tops it off with a layer of blood to mix and dance with the ash and dirt. He peruses like a sketchy window shopper but nothing can be seen. Slipping away from the only illumination in the room besides the hook he calmly reaches into his pocket and stares at his minuscule phone book, which doesn’t even take up a full screen. Alex. Life. Fresh, he regurgitates the words and presses the call button. It’s nearing midnight so the dialing takes its time to connect him. He doesn’t really know what to say but he needs to convince him to join him. He finally reaches him and waits to hear confirmation someone is on the line. Hey Mick is everything ok? Do you know what time it is? a freshly woken Alex asks him. I’m hurt Alex, he wearily replies. What? What happened? Mick its really late, do you need help or something? I got injured Alex, I tried to go back inside to get my things and I feel, I can’t get up you have to help me. He begins to clench his teeth and his grip on the hook as an erratic anticipation begins to take over him. Ok stay calm, you live on Margarita street right? I’ll get help and be right over. God Bless you Alex please get here as quick as you can im bleeding, help.

He hangs up the phone and turns it off, finding a comfortable place to sit on the floor, behind the door. Clutching the hook handle with both hands he is truly transfixed by it, it holds all his patrons promises and all his own dreams. He has forgotten that he is the master. No thought enters his mind outside of his goal to fix his family and live free from the will of the world. He hears a car pull around the block and slow its pace as it does eventually coming to a halt somewhere outside his building. Waiting until he hears someone exit, he begins to scream. Almost blowing out his lungs in agony he screams and screams until he gets a reply from whoever has shown up. They have entered the building at a slow and careful pace to size up their footing before ascending to his floor. Finally Alex calls out his name, in a very shaky and terrified tone as he continues his slow climb into the worsening wreckage. Mick takes a breath, stands up behind the door, and flips the hook over in his hands so the sharpened tip faces downwards ready for its ritual. He pleads one last time for his life, he keeps his foul ruse a light forcing Alex to hasten his arrival to his doom.

Alex rushes into the doorway trying to take in the scene. He first notices the blood on the window and on the floor, adding to his panic he steps into the room hoping to find Mick and figure out what has transpired. Just before he calls out one last time the base of his neck is with a sharp chill as Mick plunges the hook into his soft skin, no match for the instrument. Mick forces the hook further up as it splits open all the flesh it touches till it comes into contact with his skull. Further still he hoists it, lifting Alex off the ground by several inches. There is no blood produced from the wound but all Alex can do is gargle on some unseen fluid that makes his throat and lungs its home. Letting go of the hook Alex stays suspended in the air, frozen in place not even able to move his eyes. The threads which once conjoined Mick to the hook now severe the bond and trail down to the floor. The frayed ends begin to appear finer, and finer until they resemble needles of incredible sharpness. Kneeling down he grabs them just above the point and begins to thread it through Alex’s left knuckles. Down through the pinky and up through the next finger, he threads up to the thumb.

Alex can only protest in increasingly rapid gargles and twitches in his unentwined extremities. Finishing up his stitch he slides the needle in the center of the wrist, pushing it deep to remove all the excess string. Moving on to the right hand he continues the same pattern as before, taking no head to the pain he pushes through Alex’s body with each thread of the needle. All Alex sees is the old water damage stains meeting the new smoke damage stains on the roof, he feels as if the blood in his arms is being forced back into his chest. As they grow cold the pain becomes sharper and sharper, building and building as his blood recedes back into his chest and pools there. His shoes and socks are slowly removed, he should know why but the agony he is enduring has clouded his mind to all but the mounting pressure in his chest cavity. Starting just above the Achilles tendon the needle is threaded back and forth down his heel a total of 8 times each. All the blood in his body has pooled around his heart causing his chest to swell and his ribs to crack. Like a hulking tumor his shirt rips to reveal the extent of the carcinogenic metamorphosis.

With his work finally finished Mick drops to his knees no longer entranced by the machinations of whatever lies deep within the hook or far outside us. Looking up at the bloated form he sees before him he can’t bear the sight of so he slams his head down to the floor, prostrate once again before this new master. It soundlessly grows outward in pulses as the light from the threads and hook start to brighten in conjunction with the growth. Hearing sirens outside he realizes Alex did call for an ambulance, which also sounds to be accompanied by some police. He sees flashlights flicker into his room from the window and a cautious bustle as they make their way into the build calling out to find the source of the light. Panicking he throws himself against the door and slams it shut, causing everything to stop in their tracks.

The fluid that once sat in its lungs erupts forth to coat Alex’s severely deformed body as all his flesh gets sucked into the center of the mass. The fluid hardens into a clear glass like shards that still move and flow like liquid around the bulbous body. The hook sinks to the center and bursts Alex, or whatever this thing now is. As it streams outwards the fluid still surrounds it and hardens again creating branch-like structures that jut out from the center in all directions creating a dazzling tree that grows up from the light. Mick can only watch now from the floor as it continues to pulse creating new branches. The flesh sinks back to the center and with each pulse it burst through again filling the crystalline spaces. He makes eye contact with its dead center to see an ever shifting and rapidly folding fuzzball with the same iridescence as the hook. It’s so bright it burns his eyes and more and more mass escape from within it with each fold it makes in on itself.

He begins to scream as his eyes solidify in place not allowing him to look away. He can see the branch erupt over him with its fleshy innards crafting finger like appendages at its tip. A bloody silver string descends from each and worms its way into his body taking full control over him. This was not the bliss he was promised, he is alone with this monster. The police bust through the door but the instant they lay witness to what is now unfolding that have lost all will to look away. More branches writhed into existence and grew out towards the new arrivals. They stop and start and crack and click with stop motion quality that doesn’t seem wholly real. The horror of the spectacle is reaffirmed as the flesh inside the branches fills deeper into the new arms with each pulse stuffing and slapping against the brittle interior of its jagged housing.

He can’t turn around to see what’s happening to everyone else but he can hear them bark the usual orders to stop what he’s doing like the pig headed fools they are. Next comes the confusion as the scene sets in and one fires a shot right at the centre mass. It doesn’t seem to notice and continues its beat by beat expansion until all he can hear is screams as they too get brought into this troupe of the unwillingly. The distraction behind him and made him lose focus on his own body, to which was now shifting against his will. The string had formed loops up and down his arms and taken away his motor skills. Now drooling slinking forward towards the mass he could hear the groans and screams simmer down to but a mumble. He continues to shuffle with the assistance of the strings towards center mass slowly picking up speed.

He stops suddenly as he falls forward and dangles on the strings, till it props him upright again. His gaze was broken for a few seconds, allowing him to shut his eyes tight, no longer transfixed by the deep light. Regaining some control over his body he fights back against the force of the string as if to grab the wheel and almost burn out he hits the floor and can see the door. The others are still stuck slowly approaching the tree without a trunk with no way to stop. As they begin to speed up he feels the tension in his skin increase as he begins to lose the tug of war for his muscles. One of the cops is dragged all the way into the ever folding fuzzball of light and as his body collides a nerve shattering grinding can be heard as skin, bone, and sinew are condensed into nothing.

The officer fades away like soap against an angle grinder and with his disappearance the tree grows exponentially bursting through the roof. He feels something slithering out the back of his neck and around his checks. It’s more string heading right for his eyes. With a last desperate struggle he only hastens the act as his thrashing inadvertently stabs his eye into the needle like tip. It quickly threads up and down his eyes peeling back his eyelids and one final time affixing his gaze. Nothing now left to do but drink deep, take in the light and hope it doesn’t hurt. The last of the police suffer the same fate, his only just delay to his pathetic struggle. He doesn’t even fight every step, only every second or third. The closer he gets the more brilliant the shifting shapes seem. He doesn’t feel anything when he embraces it. Like slipping into a warm bath for an instant before his face is ripped off and everything below is finely sawed down millimeter by millimeter he slips away from his body as it’s entirely consumed.

A faint fleeting sensation washes over him as he crosses through the singularity of flesh. Hunger, endless hunger, to consume and be all. And be all it plans to be.


I Wish I Was Not the Leader


I can never tell where it truly begins. Does it stem from the sky, does it reach up out of the earth and invite itself to crash down with a rage fit for God. It flows, and flows till it finds its perfect path, a build up of immense pressure, the good and bad are both needed for this eruption. Meandering through the near endless gray of all that surrounds us. Many of those progressing forward never reach the end they wish for but whimper out into the night alone and unfinished. Fighting and struggling, only to be wiped out in an instance.

The emotional balance sheet of good and bad can not hold, it will not hold. Its going to give way to an almighty, earth shattering explosion. If we could only play our fights in slow motion, and maybe make something of this hellish dance we seem to be so dead set on dancing. A hectic mess of chaotic movements that don’t seem to add up until its to late. Did she draw in my anger or did I simply snap down on her? There is no time to reconsider my actions, we are in scorched earth territory now.

Before I knew it shes run a knife through my hand with a follow through to my temple, before I even touched her. I burst bloody all over our floor leaking out of my new found orifices. I take a few seconds to catch up with what’s just happened. I stumble and collapse, I fade, not before a loud crash is echoed through our home. My eyes flicker uncontrollably as if not believing what they are showing me. It’s as if the lights only turned on the instant she tore through my flesh, and now they are out again. I can regain my bearings, as the crashing of my soon to be corpse shambles around the room.

A searing shift in pain from my palm as she retrieves the knife, and is poised to smash through my skin once more. There is not enough in me to resist, this is a path we both forged for each other when we met. The good in us finds pools together, and the bad finds common ground. We stuck together until we had rip each part asunder. She is compelled to strike again, there is no other way out. It descends and meets no resistance, breaking straight through my solar plexus and out the back, past my spine. Her hands follow through and become entangled in the gore of my chest.

No life appears before my eyes, I just relive this moment over and over. With each passing phase of my eyelids shutting I witness this moment over and over. I try to find something of myself outside of this loop but I can not peer past my own bloody soaked body. I retrace my steps only to be met with the same vision of her bloodied and burned grimace. The damage has been done. I can tell if it was done by me or if we have lost so much of each other I can no longer place her face.

I can’t, not even a name anymore. All I feel, all I have ever felt is the rush for us to meet each other and crescendo so vividly that all well know about us. And they will, for a few split seconds we are all anyone can think about. Our bellowing aftershock follow up as a perfect chorus to a verse so laced with violence people have mistaken us for the divine. We were but a bolt.