“That, that is hell”.
A Bridgwater Story.
Media has a great power. The news media has been blamed many times for various things. This also is caused by peoples bias, it was the sun what won it. Then you have the BBC, people on the left complain its bias as do people on the right. So maybe it falls in the middle, I can not say, for the purposes of this tale its irrelevant anyway. Then you have social media that in itself is not such a bad thing as long as you understand you are the commodity. In your own little bubble its safe, your own personal echo chamber. Friends who like what you like and believe the same as you. Sometimes the bubble gets punctured you only have to read the latest news on elections and referendums to see that. These are just examples of how news media is viewed by many. These are what I call the safer media. An example of how we may be being manipulated day by day. Then you have the unsafe media. Movies inspiring killers, mass murders in with the hope of becoming the next big thing. The films are not to blame its a mental illness the films give these people purpose they may be the straw that broke the camels back but they are not to blame. Music though, musics different. How many artists over the years have said they do not remember writing something. We always laugh and put it down to drink, drugs and all that jazz. Robert Johnson and his deal with the devil, oh those crossroad blues. Do not play that record backwards or you will summon a demon. Some of these have truth some do not,but how many do you need before it is more than just coincidence?. How many before you start to believe. That is corrosive media, supernatural and corrosive. Then finally you have the written word. How many authors over the years have said they have no idea where the story is going. That they start of with a idea – maybe a literal nightmare -and the rest flows out of them. What if its not flowing from them? I do not know, I rarely know where things are heading. I know some things of course. I know that this tale is dark it will contain suicide, murder and lust. I know it will have a priest - albeit briefly - who will one day go on to save the worlds. That is all I know for sure. I am going to leave this as a first draft – save correcting typos – so it still stays valid no matter what happens. So as Dante once saw above a gateway "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" because I have no idea where this is going.
10th October 2019.
A voice in the darkness asks “Is it revenge that you want?
“It is all I ever want” comes the reply.
The priest says his last few words as the coffin is lowered into the ground. Before he was a priest he was a young alcoholic drifting from place to place. He had found his faith in a crow and a dove, they had given him a message and from that day forward he knew what he was put on this world to do. His calling was to the church – for now - and he was happy with it overall, this side of it not so much. He hated funerals, especially when it was children. It was a nice day to do it though, the late summer sun beaming down through the trees gave everything an unnatural glow. The man was the only mourner here and that was not right he had no family, no friends and was a loner. All he had now lay in two plots not even close to each other. Some things in life were just not fair he thought, he had tried to help but he was just a priest with limited space. He could not do anything practical. Sometimes a simple gesture is worth more than words he felt this was one of those times. The man’s eyes were reddened but he had not been crying. Some people like to show their emotions alone and in private he was that kind of man. He walked over and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder, nothing more and nothing less. The man placed his hand upon the priests and turned away. He started walking aimlessly towards the end of the graveyard and where there was nothing more to see but fields.
The man is wandering but not aimlessly the priest was wrong about that. He was walking this way because he just wanted to get away from it all he wanted to be free and just as importantly he wanted to have a smoke. He had lost everything and at least half of it was his own damn fault. He wandered over to the gate and lit his smoke. It was as he took his first drag that he noticed them. There was a couple in the middle of the field making love. No, that is wrong making love is something you do with a partner that you love. It is almost by definition loving. This pair were fucking. He could not got a clear look at the man. He looked dressed up for a wedding, or a funeral. White shirt, black tie and a black hat. They switched and the woman was now on top, she was smiling and laughing. Her long hair flowing back revealing a choker on her neck. He could not pull his eyes away looking down he could see the exposed stocking top, her skirt pulled up just enough to reveal it. He took a drag on his smoke, if they wanted to be given privacy then they should not have been screwing in a field. They switched again, this time he was taking her from behind. He grabbed her hair with his left hand, pulling her head back exposing her neck. He kept working away as his right hand slipped out of view. Things were approaching the end game now, they both worked faster and faster. His right hand came into view and he was holding a knife. The sunlight hit the blade and it glistened. He bought the knife around still pulling her head back and as they both climaxed he bought it to her neck. The knife cut from the side to side, her body almost instantly drained of the blood that now decorated the grass. Like some warped and deranged modern art exhibit. Her body slumped to the floor the man still on his knees only now with both arms out like he was on an invisible crucifix, only his head was back he was looking at the sky. For what felt like an age he just remained in that position but slowly his head came forward. It took about five seconds. It looked like he was surveying his, work examining his art. His head then started to turn towards the man, as it turned a smile was starting to form, a smile that would almost reach from ear to ear. He never blinked he just stared eyes opened as wide as possible. He finally stopped and was looking straight at the gate where the man once stood. The man had seen this coming, he had hidden behind the hedge after the attack had taken place. His cigarette had been finished in a few short puffs all the way down to the filter thrown to the ground with no thought for littering. He was usually very good at keeping his rubbish and binning it correctly, he even carried a bag just for this purpose but it did not even cross his mind. He was frozen unable to think clearly. Had he been thinking he would have never done what he did next. His rational mind was screaming “Run, just fucking run!” but his irrational mind wanted him to help. Maybe a stone age desire to protect the opposite sex or a more modern one drilled in to protect those in need. Perhaps it was fate, perhaps it was something more but he moved and almost leapt the gate before he even had time to judge his actions. He came to an almost instant standstill. The man was still there, unmoved. He was still wide eyed staring unblinking at him. Smile as wide as Alice’s cheshire cat, he just kneeled there staring. Our man was once again just stuck there, unknowing, a million thoughts flooded his mind at once.
What should I do?
Should I run?
Should I help?
Should I confront him?
What is wrong with him?
Why is he looking at me like that?
Then an intrusion, a sudden voice in his head one that was not his. “Run little man, run. Run run as fast as you can you cant catch me I am the” it paused for a moment “Do you like my Columbian necktie?” It was to much, he grasped his head in his hands and tried to scream. Nothing came out, he was losing control he could feel it. Who was that in my head? It seemed a stupid question, he knew who it was. Was it madness? Was it possible he was going insane. He had been bottling a lot up inside recently, was this its means of escape. The unblinking stare had penetrated the one safe space he had, his mind. He could feel it at the time but he did not work it out straight away. Would any of us? He had to look, he had to know. He was not the type of man who could not know. Besides he told himself “I do not believe in any of that shit”. He peeked out from behind his fingers like a child checking for the monster in their closet. The boring into his head had stopped that much he knew, but he still had to summon all his mental strength to open his fingers. If willing his fingers to open was hard then forcing his body to turn so he could look was agony. It probably took only seconds in real time but it felt like a lifetime. Like being under a strobe light in a dark room he seemed to move frame by frame until he was facing the middle of the field. His hands were still up on his face, eyes poking through looking. They were ready to close tight at the first sign of trouble. Hoping that if he could not see it then he was safe. Anyone who has ever hidden under their covers knows this tactic, some know that it does not always work. However the man was gone.
He ran to the centre of the field just as he arrived there it started to rain. It was like someone in the heavens had let the bath overflow. He looked at her on the floor, kneeling next to her holding her neck to try and stop what little was left of her blood escape but he knew it was useless. The rain washed the blood from his hands as he held them there. Another voice invaded his mind, this time it was pleasant it was not intruding it was just giving a final thought, its one final wish. “Find him for me”.
He wanted to run, oh god he wanted to run. Pink Floyd’s Run like hell was buzzing inside his head, almost screaming at him “You’d better run all day, and run all night. Keep your dirty feelings deep inside”. He ran, but he ran away from the only man who could have helped him and towards the only other exit from the field.
The priest stood with the grave digger watching the man. From their point of view the man had ran into the field after his smoke, stopped in the middle and then ran to the other side. They did not see any couple, or murder. They just saw a man and a field. The man in the field had seen rain. The gravedigger saw sunlight and the priest saw darkness, a darkness he had never seen before.