June 24, 2007

The Crane (19 of 19)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

The rod between his legs, hard and firm, poked the sheets. He opened his eyes, and saw the electric lines of the clock display. They told him it was 3AM.

‘Bollocks.’ Mr. Alpha couldn’t believe he’d made it to sleep only to have a nightmare break his slumber. Three hours left before the old man would be up and about, doing his morning meditation.

Mr. Alpha rubbed his eyes, disbelieving how much of an idiot he had been in the dream. The execution of Morgana’s parents had taken their toll, but he was no fucking crybaby. He had earned some more respect from Mr. Omega, having carried out his duty, no matter how dark it might be. Clothmen ruled their emotions, trusting belief as their rock. The orders of the Saints were clean and pure. The execution was without sin and he remained unsoiled, in the employ of The-God-To-Be.

No matter where this road took him, he was not going to abandon its course. A throat slit in the countryside. Distraught parents deceived into suicide. Morgana was not going down without a fight. Even if it took them ten years to hunt the tart down, he’d be there, every step of the way. Two bullets in the head, darling. Two bullets blessed with Cloth love for you.

He could make out a couple of hand prints on the window and, between them, another greasy smudge. The kind of smudge that a head might make. Had he actually got out of bed? He could see the crane from the bed; it still stood there, proud and unwavering, loaded with threat and menace. No fog.

Then he noticed the tip of the crane’s jib was broken. The last section of the crawlway dangled, swaying in the breeze, like something had spilled from its structure.

He reached for his jacket beside the bed and pulled out a small, shiny emerald green diary. He flicked through the pages quickly, wanting to check if he had imagined the last entry as well. It hadn’t been there when he’d recovered the diary from the Bolts’ house. Perhaps he had just imagined it. It would be better if he had. It would all be better.

As he reached the page he was looking for, he considered the crane’s purpose. It was unclear what it was trying to build. So far, there were only foundations, the dim, fragmented outlines of something sinister and alien that didn’t fit with the surrounding urbanwork. This was progress. This is what we make.

Mr. Omega emitted nasal snorts like a jammed machine gun. How comfortable he sounded in his sleep, his dream universe consistent yet incomplete. It lacked knowledge. The last entry of the diary, dated after the death of the Bolts, was just legible enough in the grim light from the alarm clock.

Tricked the Cloth into killing Mum and Dad. The handle turns.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1318

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