June 16, 2007

The Crane (18 of 19)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

‘What in fuck’s name do you think you’re doing?’ shouted Mr. Omega behind him, a gale overpowering his voice.

Mr. Alpha lay prostrate on the mesh, peering over the edge into the emptiness below. The fog had consumed everything. He glanced behind. Mr. Omega, his tie flapping like a yellow streamer, clambered through the jib towards him, red with rage. No surprise.

Turning back to the sea of fog, he felt its emptiness touch him. He sought a glimmer of understanding or perhaps hope that past events had some design, some just purpose. Doubt had poisoned him. Sin had stained him. The Saints knew what they were doing, didn’t they?

‘Do the Saints know what they’re doing?’ he said. He flipped over to see Mr. Omega grimacing down upon him, perched on the upper ridges of the jib.

‘Do the Saints know what they’re doing? Did you say that? Did you actually fucking say that?’ The old man shook his head in disbelief. ‘I ought to trade you in, right now, right bloody now. You could’ve got me killed pulling this stupid stunt, coming out here alone. Fuck you, Mr. Alpha. Fuck you.’

Tears emerged from Mr. Alpha’s eyes, slipping down his temples. He blinked at Mr. Omega but then let his head loll to one side. ‘We executed the parents of the chosen…’

‘Oh, fuck, boy.’ He blew out hard as a harsh, biting wind whipped them both, whistling and taunting. ‘Morgana is a fucked-up loser, she’s no Clothman. Her parents just can’t be afforded the same status.’

‘That means nothing.’ Mr. Alpha tried to focus on where the hotel should be, but saw only fog. ‘Whose fault is it that Morgana has fallen? Her parents who gave her life? Or the Cloth that taught and raised her?’

‘Are you thinking about your own parents?’

Mr. Alpha wasn’t stupid. ‘Of course not, Mr. Omega. I’m a Clothman, through and through. But we respect the parents of the adopted. They’re about the only characters that we do give a damn about. It feels like sin. We should never have to take them out. Only… only if there’s no other way.’

‘That’s the key, you bloody cockhead. It’s Morgana’s own fault. She made her parents a target. I didn’t want to harm them any more than you did.’ Mr. Omega sounded uncomfortable with his own honesty and hesitated before carrying on. ‘But we had no choice.’

Mr. Alpha turned to face his partner again. ‘Exactly, mate. Exactly right. She gave us no choice.’ Either the cold or his nerves made his teeth chatter . ‘Y-you haven’t seen her diary. You don’t know what she wrote. A little green book. A fucking little green book.’ The wind burrowing into his eyes had inflamed them, he kept having to blink.

‘What do you mean?’ Mr. Omega said, perturbed. ‘What diary?’

The mesh suddenly gave way with a clink and Mr. Alpha found himself flying through the air. Mr. Omega’s hands reached out but disappeared into the heavens, obscured by the fog.

For several seconds, the free fall felt peaceful. He couldn’t see anything save the ambient glow of the fog around him. Alone and without anything to feed his senses. A natural isolation tank.

His back smashed against the ground as a rusty post drove through his groin.

Shock blinded him to the pain at first. He stared in horror at the post that had impaled him. It thrust upwards between his legs, smeared in blood and loose flesh. Out of desperation, he grabbed it, thinking he could pull himself up. His hands slipped and rubbed across its wet and sticky exterior, unable to gain purchase.

His mouth quivered, trying to birth a scream.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1422

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