April 6, 2008

The Weeping Maw (8 of 11)

Thread: Mission

From the balcony that circled the spire, Colin had expected to see the sparkling web of a city at night, the glistening vibrancy of a London after dark stretching into an unknowable horizon. St. Paul’s Cathedral. The London Eye. The Houses of Westminster. The frayed edges of the suburbs. In fact, the view was bollocks. Office blocks and modern buildings cut out dark, towering silhouettes, swallowing chunks of the vista in their hungry jaws.

‘You see this?’ Tom said, standing beside him, looking out into the cluttered cityscape around them, smiling. The wind blew through Tom’s blonde, stiff locks, disturbing his usual tidy and clean facade.

A crisp packet drifted through the air, hovered briefly before them. Ready Salted. It continued on its journey.

Colin didn’t want to offend and glanced around a bit before answering. ‘Uhnmmm, yerh.’

‘Looking at it… what would you think of God, if you were a believer when you saw this?’

Ugly. Wrong. Dirt and grime and fake hope. A broken palace, decorated with pretentious grandeur and corpses on trees. An economic engine that took no prisoners and made a handful of mega-winners. This was what he saw.

‘Come on, speak to me,’ shouted the reverend, still smiling.

Colin didn’t want to speak, but he forced the words out. ‘Yerh, well… would ffffink, why? Why werd he do such a thing?’

Tom didn’t respond.

Had he answered correctly? ‘Erm, ‘sraight?’

Tom responded, ‘Personally, I find it magnificent. He allows us to build such grand dreams. Many fail, of course, many fail. But he won’t stop us from trying. Keep making new dreams, perhaps better than before. Perhaps… worse…’

The reverend’s eyes were empty, but his smile was implacable.

‘Making new dreams is like making new beliefs, and belief can be a terrible curse as well as a blessing, Colin,’ the rector continued, an empty grin straining his lips. ‘Just intensely believing in something, doesn’t make it true. It can be made into a trap, like a web. Reeling in victims. London itself is a trap, which is why I came here, really.’

That was exactly why Colin had no religion; take your pick of arbitrary beliefs. Anything that wasn’t provable could be made true through belief. It reminded him of some rule from higher maths that reflected the same idea, God’s theorem or something like that.

Colin wanted to believe in a just god; but a just god wouldn’t have trampled over his life on a whim. Suddenly, the anger was back. Colin stared out at the offices and the drunken wanderers frightened to go home to an empty flat, or worse, to a flat with someone there, waiting and judging. Unaware, blissfully ignorant of the fine line between their inconsiderate existence, and the end of everything.

Bollocks. Snap out of it. Poor, poor me.

‘Tom, uhnmmm, whassron? Rrrrong?’ He was flustered, unable to get the words out he wanted. He sounded stupid. Like an idiot. Like idiotic bollocks. People judged him all the time. People thought he was an idiot. He wasn’t an idiot. Tom, concentrate on Tom. Something was wrong with Tom.

Tom turned, facing Colin head on. He stretched his smile as far as it would go; it now looked surreal, like a sad clown. ‘Oh, nothing, really. Nothing, well… I just… just need your help.’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2105

2 Responses to “The Weeping Maw (8 of 11)”

  1. Jennifer wrote on 9-Apr-2008 @ 1258:

    oooh it’s heating up!!

    It’s Tom wot done it!


  2. Jennifer wrote on 9-Apr-2008 @ 1258:

    oooh it’s heating up!!

    It’s Tom wot done it!


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