Stories

Swing Low – Wendel Lux

Genesis:
        —Spiders under my skin.
        That’s the image that hits first, before the blurry faces or smell of aged and rotten fish.
        —Fish from where? Not sure.
        —Was it a dream? No, something real…
        It makes me panic worse. Panic about going outside makes no sense. Why so suddenly? My reflection in the window does not even look…right. I look at the picture of Jesus on the wall… beautiful…white—blue eyes and dark long hair… I want to go to the door and listen to the hymns… but… I am too scared… Every time I am near the door, I hear the faint noise of… a… what is that instrument? A horn…
        —It is quiet now… very quiet.
        I can usually hear it better on the edges, but I don’t want to go there now… the horn is too loud… are they horns? Or is my mind playing tricks… The sound of it is so grating. Yet so faint and mon… mon—
        —Monstrous?
        —That word feels right coming out,
        No it doesn’t… because—every so often, the grating goes away… you know—every so often it plays the best little… little…
        —Me-
        No.
        —Har-
        But, right now, it is too bad… so here I stand in the center of my little one bed, one bath apartment. I step into my little square of solitude and look around me and see the shadows begin to dance. The windows say it is about…
        —two?
        No…
        —three? Four?
        I can never seem to get the time right. My clock is in my kitchen… and that is in the south part of my house… and that is where the sound is loudest… and when I hear the sound of a tune I usually go to my door. It is where the sound is muffled but louder.
        The walls are too thin in the kitchen. I know because it is always colder there.
        —And how I wish I could stay in there.
        Because… the outside is turning a yolky orange and—
        —I see it…
        The bright thing… that thing.
        That big thing, it always… why does it always do this… right at this…
        —minute?
        —hour?
        —day?
        Those, those, shadows always dance. They dance and it feels like someone is coming into my apartment. No. NO! I will not let them, no I will not give in! I will cover my eyes and make a slit through my middle and ring fingers. Did those—things… always look like that? Where? Where are their?
        No… no… I can hear it again… the sound of a… a… the damned word always slips my mind… I look at the door and see my handle jiggle… wiggle… shake and vibrate… it is growing vines. It is coming toward me… it wants to grab me.
        I cover my eyes with my fingers again… they are still coming for me… I scream and kick and begin to pray, “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we—”
        The vines have gone away.
        —were they vines or something else?
        I shudder and begin to look all around—knowing something else is lurking in my small apartment. Waiting for me… something… wants me. I feel it… I feel its insatiable hunger in the way the room feels. It… it feels like the air is warm and humid. The same way it feels when a dog sees something you are eating—and you feel that warm, wet breath.
        That is why I wish I could go to the cold parts.
        —but the sound is never pretty when I am in the kitchen.
        Suddenly I think I hear the tune—want to go to the door.
        —but the door is where they come in…
        —maybe if I didn’t go…
        I still wriggle over to my door and see if there is any noise… I hear it… the faint noise of a trumpet… that is what it was… a trumpet… it… it is playing a hymn… I lightly sing along.
        —Swing low—sweet chari-SQUONK…
        —Coming for to SQUEAK-HONK me home!
        I begin to see a flash of something… something… I do not think I quite know what it is. It almost looks… like… like rotting fish, but wrong. No scales, no water, just meat throbbing… I run away from the door…
        —why?
        —Why was it so pretty, yet so… terrifying?

 

Exodus:
        —Why?
        —Why do they stay inside?
        Have they not seen how beautiful it is?
        —Why did I stay inside?
        One peek out the window. I see them.
        —How did I not know how beautiful they were?
        The sound of the trumpet is louder now… I hear it clearly… I hear the tune…
        I hear the sweet sounds of the Lord as He is calling me into my eternal and heavenly home… I think I can hear the sounds of the angels blowing the trumpets and I see visions of the two prophets. Their eternal and heavenly selves high amongst the clouds. Looking down upon us with grace and reverence.
        I stare forward at my door… I begin to sing…
        —Swing low… sweet chariot…
        I look around the room and see the things… the petty things… The TV mocks me—all those smiles, now just meat for Him.
        —Coming for to carry me home!
        I look down at the toys, and books, and vanities—the sinfully used devices of pleasure. But this joining with Him, so much sweeter a touch. The vain and filthy magazine—I feel as if there is no more fear. The times I had slipped in sin… the times He… Forgave me. My heart is filled with pure euphoria… bliss… I shudder with an odd titillation.
        —Swing low… sweet chariot….
        I walk to my door and hold the handle. Tendrils wrap themselves around my hand. I twist the knob. I step outside and smell the burning. The hair. The flesh. Like the skin of pig, but almost sweeter…
        —Coming for to carry me home…
        I feel the air, warm and inviting… not scary… not scary at all.
        —Coming for to carry me home…
        I stand outside and see the yolky orange… was never the sky…
        It was the eternal glorious radiance of Him. It was Jehovah Jireh. The Almighty YHWH.
        His body stood sentinel… a titan amongst atmosphere. His body is covered in solar flares and His body burns bright. Bright for any mere mortal to see… but He covers my eyes. The same as I did before, a sideways and slim diamond to see through. I look all around me.
        This… this is radiance. This is the Man among men! The Almighty God and Savior!
        The second shadow—was His son… a dryad. A tree, a large tree, made of flesh… like a beautifully horrible Yggdrasil. He moved around, the same as a snail slides. An almost primordial creature of wonder. It was His beautiful and immaculate tendrils—His body and flesh. The bread of Life—it was that, that grabbed me and pulled me in. I was to form into His beautiful flesh and become one with His body and blood.
        Jesus Christ stood as tall as a California red sycamore and His tendril vines shot all around… to doorknobs on houses and the handles of cars… and if He could not reach—like on high-rises—He would just break the window. And immediately they would become divine. His radiance was that of an aurora. And it projected, clearly, an image of the same Jesus I had come to know and love.
        The two prophets high in the clouds, opened their mouths, and music began to play… those hypnotic hymns.
        The sounds between were of pure terror… Reality itself has begun to morph. It seems as though some invisible black holes are sucking in the whole of reality.
        And it looks like that sucking in of reality… is agony. The stretching of bodies that seem to be distorting—are breaking apart slowly. Atoms and flesh. Oddly, their bodies taffy-stretch while going in, head and tail twisting like some unholy corkscrew. The head and the tail go in at different rates. Oh, and clearly, the ones who aren’t screaming are the ones who went in headfirst.
        These holes were speckled all around the streets and valleys and alleys. It seems the holy spirit is the culprit! He has been doing this for weeks… no… months… no years… I walk to someones home and see a window cracked open and a computer sitting on the desk. I am with Him now—I no longer have needs for my body, I will return to His flesh and luminescence momentarily… my spirit zooms into the house and powers up the computer.
        —February 28, 2031
        —The day I went with the Lord.

 

Revelation:
        No longer do we have the same senses as those in the sinking black holes. Those in the sinking black holes are destined. No they are bound for hell. For in their last moments, they chose to retreat in the spirit. To seek worldly pleasure alongside the pleasure of the Lord. But ours is a jealous God!
        Our body begins to become one with his… our veins are filled with a searing, burning, yolky orange that seems to glow as bright as Him. He looks at us with a wondrous, yolky glory. His glory shines brighter.
        The voices of the prophets are fused in our heads now and we feel an intense pleasure… an intense climax. We feel our body explode with a pleasure beyond that of physical intimacy and sexual arousal. The feeling of pure, white-hot ecstasy surges through our flesh like a supernova’s shockwave.
        —This is what the feeling of nuclear bombs would be—if they felt good.
        The feeling of pleasure and intense glory continues to grow as we begin to moan in unison with the damned souls. Their screams of horror—the ones who did not lose their heads—are as loud and pitiful as ours are boastful and cosmic! We feel the feeling of joy and burning and pure fire.
        Jesus has held us in one of His thousandfold arms and His body has begun to twist around us. He holds us dearly and nestles us in the sky and fills each orifice with His roots and they begin to take hold. He fills us with the cosmic sap of His Yggdrasil limbs and they impregnate us. The budding flowers meet the fire in our veins and fuse together. It becomes an intoxicating blend. The fire and the flower and the buds and the light. It blends in such a way as to give us a power beyond all might and reality.
        The air we breathe out is different. Our senses are fully contained. Jesus has filled us with the power of angels and God grants us wings and a burning halo. We become warriors of God! We are Ambassadors for Christ, Our Heavenly Father. We stand with Him for what is good and right. You shall be damned if you try to think otherwise. We jump down to the invisible black holes and raise our wrist into the air. We have no need for weapons—not when we are made of His flesh.
        Long claws rip through—covered in a hardy keratin.
        —I looked over Jordan and what did I see,
        We slam the claws down into the body of a man in an invisible black hole.
        —Coming for to carry me home?
        Suddenly almost fifty more people—fifty more… each like we, yet also warped and unique. It is His beauty made manifest. Horrific. Magnificent. Our claws sing in rhythm with their bodies. We are all bridegrooms of Christ.
        —A band of angels coming after me
        We swing down. Squishes and rips. Red blood drips.
        —Coming for to carry me home.
        We swing back up… The intestines, the skin, the livers. … Flesh stretches—not like meat, but blooming flowers from those thorns. Petals shimmer with our same yolky glow—another kind of scream echoes the victim’s…not horror, but… jealousy? They want this too! We continue this gruesome rite… and sing the last bit of song, together.
        —Swing low, sweet chariot
        The sound of ripping and sloshing plays a beautiful backing track…
        —Coming for to carry me home
        We bask in the shine of the Lord… Through those blooming wounds we do not see stars, but more of those thousandfold realms beyond this one. More to break open. More to… more to—blossom into His likeness… is that His smile that we see in the rippling chaos, or is it finally our own true face reflected back?
        —Swing low, sweet chariot
        The sky is full of glory and shining…
        —Coming for to carry me home.