Monday 27 August 2012

Radiance 29 - Return to their own possession

Sorry for the slightly late posting - I blame camp and the cold that its given me. Anyway, this week marks the end of section 8, so look out for another Behind the Scenes some time soon.

“Need a ride, man?”
    Before he even heard the words, Asher dove through the open door of the taxi, feeling the acceleration as the car sped down the abandoned road. Behind him, the Leviathan let out a scream that rent the sky, voicing its deep rage.
    “Hey man, lucky I was in the neighbourhood,” the driver said.
    Asher looked into the driver’s ID and saw the warm smile and familiar eyes of Andre.
    “What the hell is that thing?” Andre shouted as he skidded down the street. “I can’t even look at it.”
    “It’s the Leviathan,” Asher answered, “and I think it might be the end of the world.”
    “No shit! Like from the Bible? I always thought that stuff was just to scare the kids, you know? Shit. What do we do now?”
    “How did you know I was there?” Asher asked.
    “Had no idea, man, just driving along picking up customers, you know?” Andre said, still thundering down the road as fast as possible. “Saw you in the distance and nearly didn’t recognise you but then I thought of my wife and I knew I had to come and get you.”
    “Well, I appreciate it,” Asher said lifting himself into the seat properly.
    “Hey, no problem, my wife’s doing well, by the way,” Andre turned the wheel hard heading into Manhattan proper.
    “I’ve got to get home, man,” Andre said, “can’t leave the kids alone at a time like this. You’re welcome to come - you have any family, man?”
    Asher thought of the phone ringing in Netanya, with no one coming to answer; his father’s spirit speaking from the grey wasteland of Sheol; he thought of Virgo, the evening they had spent together in the Palace of Understanding.
    “No, no family.”
    Where did he belong?
    “You want to come with me? You shouldn’t be alone at the end of the world, man.”
    His father had known this was coming, had tried to tell him something important.
    The beat you hear is God’s music, let Him in, Asher, let Him in and save everything…
    It didn’t make sense, not yet, but he knew where he had to go.
    “Can you drop me at my apartment? First Avenue and Second Street.”
    “Sure, man,” Andre nodded, “I can’t believe it, what are we supposed to do now?”
    Asher thought for a moment, images of the Leviathan, the George Washington Bridge simply ceasing to exist, bursting inside his brain. If such a force was loose on the world, what could they do?
    “We pray,” he said.

    The palpable fear seemed to diminish the further they drove from the bridge, as the upper west side was left far behind and the traffic of New York City seemed to continue unaffected and unaware. But faster than they could drive, the news of the Leviathan spread across the city like wildfire, catching from phone to phone, computer to computer, until the city was ablaze. The chaos and confusion seemed like another beast unto itself, slowly waking up and shaking its spidery tendrils across the planet - the wake of the Leviathan spread across the whole world.
    And soon the ground itself began to tremble, like the beginnings of an earthquake but refusing to die away, as the earth protested against the presence of the creature from the deep that had no place existing in the mortal world.
    And the sky itself began to shake, shimmering like a desert road, quaking like the foundations of the earth.
    And the city itself began to weep, as water vapour coalesced on every stone and girder, every pane of glass and wooden door, pooling into saline tears and running to the concrete.
    And the people, abandoning their shops, their homes, their jobs, began to run, and cry, and scream, or stood confused looking at their cars and cell phones, not knowing what to do or where to go, bleak shadows stealing into every thought.
    And the spirits began to congeal around them, solidifying into the air from smoke and dust, laughing and dancing, as the line between the living and the dead began to blur.
    “I’m sorry man,” Andre said, “I can’t… I don’t think I can drive any more.” He shook his head, and rubbed his eyes, as if he was walking through a mass of fine spider web. The traffic was coming to an almost complete stop as stoplights cracked and splintered, and drivers abandoned their cars to cower by the side of the road, lifting up their eyes to heaven in prayer.
    “It’s okay, Andre,” Asher said, “you saved my life. Now it’s my turn.”
    He climbed out the taxi and, leaving the door open, began to run.
    The earth shook and still he ran, as demons and spirits rose up out of the earth and the living held each other in disbelief. The sky began to waver and still he ran, until breath became ragged and sore, each torn from his haggard lungs. The world seemed to blur around him - Asher was nearly there.

    And then somehow Asher was back at his apartment, and fumbling for the key in the door that Ashmedai had ripped from its hinges nearly a year prior.
    No there was no need, the door was lying on the ground, just as Ashmedai had left it - the whole in the bathroom wall still opened to the alley at the back of the building.
    With a strange clarity of purpose, Asher barrelled through the hallway and into his bedroom, just as the light on the bedside table began to clatter and shake on its stand.
    There she was, at the back of the cupboard, half-hidden by spare bedding yet still calling to him as it rested against the wall. Asher understood though he could not have explained how or why, but he reached out to Layla, pulling the guitar carefully from its cocoon, and stroking its rosewood curves. It had been a while, but his fingers remembered.
    He clutched Layla close, and began to play.

No comments:

Post a Comment