Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Deus Ex-Machina Chapter Three: Anger

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Big fists and hammerheads punch butt and pummel all over. An endless soundtrack of thumps, cracks and crashes rise up in my consciousness. My tired legs - they buckle into a rubbery useless tangle. I’m flat on my face with the audience battering the life out of me.

    ‘He is unremarkable.’ states one as a hoof clubs my chin.

    ‘He is less than nothing.’ giggles another before something slimy and wet slicks round my bleeding neck. Something serrated and metallic is being used to cut open the crutch of my jeans as I spit my reply through the goo swelling up in my mouth,

    ‘Call me nothing? Eh? Tonight you motherfuckers get the package deal.’

    Rooenn’s chain wraps around my arm and he’s stridden over me, my night-terror slicing out at the many fangs of Mr Lime. Collectively the rabble begins to back-step. None of them retreat exactly. Not even as they are torn limb from limb.

They keep attacking whilst Youssef observes every move I make.

    ‘Don’t you get it?’ I say as Rooenn spikes a talon through a centaur’s jugular, ‘From now on fighting me at night's a suicide mission.’

    ‘Ah but this is my play,' says Lime mimicking my own voice from behind my right ear, 'and I know the inner workings of all my players. I get to say what time of day it is.’

Across the backdrop of the stage a large sail with an illustration of the rising sun is levitated high up. Rooenn, my minion whose life force is sustained by lunar presence - he disappears.

    ‘The tales your mother has told you barely keep you in check.'

    Lime's voice echoes throughout the playhouse, 
'You may project your nocturnal lunacy as a wild grey skinned animal, but you fear the truth...boy-god. Perhaps you're not worthy of the dance?’

Deus Ex-Machina 
Chapter Three

A   N   G   E   R

 ‘Let there be night.’ – Spiderfingers

    There’re more of them, the fuckers either able to spot my smoking headpiece or sniff out the jasmine fume that I give off. Jonathon Ross and Graham Norton have taken up medieval axes, both talk show hosts flanking Keira Knightley in a fat suit. All over the place, climbing the roofs, a Lance-alike or three, guitars strapped to their backs.

I see these cyphers swinging chandeliers to reach me. Then there are horned-trolls, ripping out of the floor hurling seats out the way. Mr Lime’s in-fatigable army of devotees are servants of the limelight that shines out from the stage area. I note the mental connection down as a probable weakness before I’m battered out of a leap toward them.

    Youssef. I unleash a torrent of heat vision at his towering bulk.

    He’s on fire and his face - his expression is clown-like. I think my solar flare's tickled him.

    ‘You play Tom whilst I play Jerry"’ I shout this as I make a great bound away from the usher to the far side of the venue. I crash-land on Blunderbus’ other case of steps. I rip out the jugular of a Lance-alike that’s broken through the stairs I stagger upon. Graham Norton? He gets his axe cleaved into his arm. Knightley? I push my thumbs into her eyes. Like a chef with an egg I crack open her skull, splitting it into two neat halves. As Jonathon Ross rushes at me with an axe, I plant both halves of the cranium into his chest. Then his groin. I slump. My body can’t take much more of this and watching a smoking fuming Youssef rip a trail through the aisles to get me – well – if I could still piss myself I honestly would.

    ‘Stop me if you’ve heard this before,’ says Lime as I listen, because fuckers like him are arrogant enough to give the game away before the final whistle, 'I make wild prayers, absurd offerings to any creature of worship my recollection coughs up.’

I shove the carcass of a vampire granny into the mob reaching down the flight after me, and as I trip over a step I hear Lime recite my recent past as though it were written down, ‘Hades?! Athena? Who will have my villages? Sound familiar?’

    I roll down the stairs and with an almighty thrust I lift off, back the way I’ve come, sailing over the heads of collective murder.

    ‘Do you like it? It’s all right here, page thirty four of Forces of Nature. So many plot holes...your life literally makes no sense.’

    I roll through the curtained arch back into the balcony overlooking the foyer. And I go over the marble railing. I wake up on the ground below with the enemy meters away from me. I heave myself into the exit doors. I'm pushing the handle but they get me, all of them with green eyes, they motherfucking get me. Before I know it the world is spinning and I’m on my back, pinned down by the metaphysical jaws of a violent stranger.

    I’m at the eye of a feral atavistic frenzy.

    ‘You can rule in your weird-arse way in here, but out there,’ I ram open the exit doors grinning manically rushing into the dark of the street outside, ‘I say, let there be night.’

    Rooenn beheads and disembowels a gangster rapper. Another arsehole wheels in from inside the foyer. He’s a wheelchair-bound legless man. He’s juggling spiked balls in his bleeding hands speeding toward my broken body. Rooenn strafes between us, my naked chain-faced Terrorsmith grabs the amputee's spiked balls. Each one forced down the man's throat as lethal impromptu edibles.

    This is a battle of wills that I can win, and he’ll expect me to keep the fight street-side. Time for unpredictability.
    I pick myself up and rush over the heads of Lime's minions and it’s a vast sea of menace I have to jet across. Fortunately, I get back into the main theatre and as I reach the stage I freeze-breath the sun-flag.

    ‘Before I kill you, I want you to know why I respect Spiderfingers enough to have made your death into a show...'

    The flags all iced up and prone to a leap, a punch…it breaks apart and each shard that falls down around me is a weapon that I collect with superhuman speed. All this whilst my invisible bad-guy shows off how much he knows about the real me, ‘...The oldest super-hero trope in the book is that the villain can hurt his nemesis through his loved ones.’

    Black clad stage-hands cartwheel and backflip toward me as he blabbers on, ‘...But what do I really know about John Clay? I have no idea of the whereabouts of his family. He’s just a name to me, just the way Spiderfingers intended. You should be honored to be his copy.’

    I remain flat on my back. Too fatigued to walk just yet, but I’m not too tired to play darts. One by one they all fall prey to the flying of icy sun-flag shards, deadly weapons in my hands.

    ‘...If I’m going to hurt chaos it won’t be through his human past. It will be through the continual and violent torture of his remnants, here, in the brain of his avatar.'

    Then I blow a hurricane breath into the approaching front row of biker O.A.P’s, smashing the enemy through seats and into the rafters. Still my super-hearing collects up all his chatter, the pantomime-villain prattle of Mr Lime, 'Here I get to kill a creature who genuinely believes himself to be the real deal.’ 

He can’t help himself. He has to talk whilst he's eating - his words are a marinade. His audience are his snapping teeth.

    'Who are you?' I ask.

    'If you were the real Spiderfingers, you would already know the answer to that, doppelganger.'

    'Fine,' I whisper, ‘Burn.’ and the lasers that fire from my vision incinerate the stage curtain, the oncoming theatre-goers, the stalls, the box seats…everything is the colour of hell.

A Handy Andy Club member is dragging his body towards me, half a jagged Budweiser can in hand. Laughing, I make a bonfire out of him. And still, storming relentless, there are the others closing in on me. My world goes dark.

    I wake into the arms of awareness, briefly as something bulky and wall-sized lifts me from the stage I’m sprawled upon. Up I go, high high up.

    My left arm won't halt with the twitching. The fuckers chatter helps bring me round, ‘He moans, he wails, and frankly he bores. It’s a wonder anyone follows his adventures. The mad thing is he enjoys it, his small zone.’

    Slowly I figure out that I’m hung up on a chandelier, looking down at Youssef’s crazy hulk circling beneath, him laughing at how hard he’s managed to punch me. Him ripping his ushers shirt open to reveal a Superman logo cut deep into his hairy brown chest. Here come the big guns.

    ‘Observe him my lovelies – observe how little he knows himself,’ I look across to the stage lights, ‘Put your hands up if you think Spiderfingers knows why his hairs alight.’

    As I laser beam the rigging I hope that I’m not reaching for straws here. This world needs rules for me to apply my mind to. Otherwise, no more face of chaos.

    ‘Come on oh mighty one, tell us all – what does your hair smell like?’

    I want to shout out your mum’s dildo but he’d win in the distraction of me, when all I have to do is shut his voice out and heat blast his luminescence.

    ‘Audience! Spiderfingers’ hair reeks of dead warriors, demigods like Prometheus who fought by Boleraam’s side.’

    As the many players transmute into leafs of typed paper, I grin.

    ‘He hasn’t the foggiest has he watchers? The real Spiderfingers had his sense of smell removed for some peace of mind.’

    Youssef and his fellow killers are nothing but ideas. Just unconscious mutant notions that depend upon Lime’s light. I have to confess that my still hearing the fuckers voice is a surprise. I can only express pure dread. See, I thought that the crazy bastard might perish with his cohorts also. Oh, the long long night.
    From my swinging chandelier, through the soft glow of the theatre’s natural lighting, I see movement rush for the fire exit. A short stout old man. He has wacky Einstein hair and spectacles, a long and flowing lab coat pouring out behind him.

A jerk in the chandelier causes me to grip onto it tight. It’s my hair. My fire for hair is burning the slacks that attach this chandelier to the roof. No time to think now, so I use all my concentration to glide down as a simple leap is impossible. Not unless I want to break my legs. Ironic that my most taxing power – that of flight – is used now, this moment where the great and powerful Oz is gonna get his comeuppance. On my belly I dig my elbows into wood panels, crawling like an angry wounded animal. It pleases me to swat the question-mark-dancing thing out of my warpath. Nothing will stop me killing the wiry haired big cheese, his cackling laughter leaving an aural trail for me to hunt him. I belly-crawl through the cinder and debris, hauling myself up the stairs and onto the balcony.

Down I go into the foyer, following Lime at a speed impossible for humans because I must catch up with Lime, this escapee who has dashed into the snowy night. Lime, he can’t be a simple thrall. Him, a non-thinking minion? He is Lime and it’s my time to shine. More corny lines flow through my brain as I find myself on the entrance steps of the Blunderbus Theatre. Me, using my ice breath to petrify Lime’s legs to the middle of Camden’s busy high-road. Cars circle around him as I drag my ruined mass closer, vengeance clawing inside my demigod heart. In these desperate snarling climbing moments I drag myself up off the orange sludge of grit and snow, hoisting my weight up Lime’s stature. When I get to eye level I scream a victory cry, the success of my palm firmly and ravenously attached to his collar,

    ‘Look at yourself. Look at me overpowering you. I'm the more powerful idea here. Don't fuck with me. Now, Aronson’s plan, spill it,’ I shout this as I lean into him gushing the full brunt of my tramp fume‘or I’ll throw you back in there to fry.’

    Even though he hides it expertly he doesn’t flinch from my noxious breath. And he’s looking past my flaming fringe and deep into my eyes, deep for something as people begin to line both sides of the street, mouths agape.

    ‘Spiderfingers, promising to let me go if I talk? Surely that’s the t-shirt talking.’

    ‘You’ll never talk again if you give me any more lip, and I know how much you like to talk.

His eyes panic at the gathering audience. So, I remind him where to target his fear. A quick slap to the face and he’s looking straight at me, an idea he's learning to fear. The crowd grows as he blurts, ‘Aronson’s achieved the impossible. Now he wants his prize.’

    ‘Prize?’ I say twisting my fingers into his lab coat, snaring him closer as I slap and slap again. His face is a beetroot focussing only on me. The beetroot speaks,

    ‘Whomsoever kills Spiderfingers will rule the Oma alongside Zeus. It’s the prophecy, Let me go.’

His eyes keep addressing the Camdenites and so I shout,

    ‘Prophecy? Of course. What would today be without a prophecy?’

    He sneers at me, as though I’m the dog-shit he’s found underneath his heel. Mr Limes says, ‘Boleraam’s slayer must host The Games of War upon Mount Ekul. The lights of the opening ceremony will signal the High-Father to return and proclaim the host his heir.’

    ‘Oh, I see,' I reply, 'Aronson attacked Po just to get the Discordians to re-group so that he could kill Spiderfingers and recruit the survivors as gladiators. Hmph, typical. Hey, since when did Zeus learn to share?’

    ‘The day he sacrificed his only daughter as a holy sacrament.’

    ‘He did that?’

    ‘He did many things before he voyaged, but then you know of the expedition? His journey to find some weapon to destroy you finally?’

    ‘O.K, the history lessons been fun, gotta go be a hero n’ save the Earth now.’

    ‘Deary deary me. Adventure to save her but you won’t survive the journey. There is no chaos, there are only rules you cannot hope to learn.’

    I drag him to the floor to give my legs a rest and to make sure he doesn’t get any funny ideas about skedaddling. The crowd is closing now and somebody shouts for me to leave Lime alone. I punch Lime in the nose.

    ‘Rules are as breakable as your nose, dildo.’

    ‘No interference from you,' he says dribbling, 'not in this life. They’ll be no magical swords wrapped up in sorting hats – your heroine must face Aronson, alone and unaided.’

    ‘Y’know,' I say tightening my grip on the fucker, 'there is no reason to keep you alive. No reason at all.’

    That’s when a young looking man, the kind that one might expect to be having this kind of a tussle, he’s got his hands on my shoulders saying, ‘Alright mate, off – off the old man, let’s have it.’

    I haul my hand out behind me and grab down. I snap the young man’s leg in one blinding movement. The crowd shrieks. Most of them keep with the walking once they see me do it – me spinning round and diving down, severing through the trousers skin and bone. The man’s femur gnawed away by my incisors. Gotta love a bit of old school martial manoeuvring. With this howling man’s leg held over Lime’s face I’m yelling,

    ‘More info if you have it, or I’ll make a corpse out of you.’

    ‘You’ll kill me anyway!’

    ‘There is the slow battered version or the rather quick burning building option.’

How I’d love to laser his face off but I’m way too close to passing out as it is.

    Mr Lime says, ‘Aronson wields the Black Tarn, it’s the un-dead blood of Aries’ son, Phobos. Without it he couldn't have killed Spiderfingers. Remember Phobos? The rise against Zeus? Don't tell me you've forgotten?’

    ‘Hey, watch it. See, if it were my last words, I’d think more carefully.’

    ‘Liar. You won’t kill me because you want more answers. You need me alive. Face fact's, and listen to yourself talk - you mistake eloquence and rogue-patter for character when really you speak in exposition for the watchers of my home-world.

    ‘Fuck this.’ I say rolling him along to the licking flames that reach out for him, the heart of a nightmare palace steadily going up in smoke. Somewhere in the shuffling legs I hear a fast and rhythmic tip-tapping sound.

    ‘Don’t you get it?’ he says as the tapping sound gets louder, more pronounced, ‘You’re a slave to a fiction that would have you risk your life for a creator you’ve never even seen, let alone believe in. What kind of a goddess is she? You might be fighting for something just as selfish as the Oma gods,’

    For a brief second my fire goes out. Him noticing it lasts an eternity, ‘In here you get to dance. Out there, you’re the result of what Vicky nicknamed Operation Genie-Bottle. You don’t even exist.’

    He’s right, I don’t – I won’t – not unless I do the right thing.

    ‘Why carry on?’ The tap-dancing question mark handstands just inside my line of sight, ‘Give up. The right thing in a dream is just the right thing in a dream.’

    ‘C’mon, fucking nutcase.’ I smile as a purple bus pulls up onto the kerb, a red faced man in a gangster’s hat poking out of its open door, ‘Ever get tired of your own voice?’

    ‘There is another reality,’ he continues, ‘Far above this one. From up there this universe we occupy is but a fringe play. All the Elemeno’s and the Mr Blue’s of this world, they are merely playthings my brother - toys.’

    ‘Another reality huh? How about we send you back there?’ My eyes flare with the heat of the sun and what's left of Lime's charcoal remains are not sufficient for identification.

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