February 27, 2007

The Crane (8 of 19)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

knows this is the end. Reaching out, the spray of the waterfall catches him and he peers into the cascade. The dreaded characters of sculpted bone dangle there like meat hooks to snag his flesh.

He crumples beneath their steely, eyeless glare because they know him. There is the sound of a fluorescent flickering to life, and his clothes ignite engulfing him in black flame. His flesh bubbles, melts and oozes onto the rocks; the pain is without comparison but a man without vocal chords cannot cry out. The superheated mixture of blood, muscle and fat then dribbles off the rocks into the pool. He returns to the mnemosyne.

‘Do you remember the sun?’

The characters in their fatal alignment have destroyed him and their work is done. He is the jigsaw unbuilt. Only a scorched skeleton remains, a charred matchstick man, arms still outstretched hoping to be forgiven. But this is not forgiveness, this is finality. The skeleton falls to its knees, ashamed.

The characters switch and twist like the dials in a grotesque slot machine whose jackpot is revelation in place of currency. They rattle into a new alignment, bones folding over bones, snapping and rejoining. They will address the old man now.

no no no I’m sorry I didn’t mean it don’t die don’t die please don’t die

The old man sees the black fire emanating from the obscenity in the water. The one true secret – and he resists. He holds a gun, trained on the skull of his devoured brother. Fear glistens in his eyes. This is the end, he knows this. They die on this island. He pulls the trigger.

Click. Nothing happens.

It was said: We bear the accumulated sin of generations past, a burden that grinds us to dust against the stone of existence. Without a god, there can be no forgiveness. Thus the Saints design him. Thus the Clothmen sow him. Belief is rock! Truth is ghost!

But the Weave is in shreds. The-God-To-Be is dead, stillborn in his womb, mankind. We are terminal. The sin-weight obliterates us.

‘He remembers you. He remembers you.’

The old man squeezes the trigger again and again. Click, click, click. Nothing happens. Bravo, friends, bravo. You will both be missed. No one will say that you did not try your best.

Above the bone characters in the waterfall, the hungry, black smoke throbs and shrieks, the teeth in its yawning mouths gleaming. Its tongues shudder and slaver, lusting and sexed. This is what we made; know that we are terminal.

The old man opens his mouth to scream and the skeleton cowers as the horror plunges and soaks them with death.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2302

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