Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dali's Egg ~ 8. Circles of Power

The transition was seamless, immaculate and cold stomach-pit frightening. The cold blue of the pool was replaced by the warm yellow sunlight. She was standing facing the giant black chain where it ran out to sea, creaking in the swell. The gulls circled above her, cacophonous,
“Go back, go back, dangerous”
“Huh?” she took her first breath since Mars had taken her last in his mouth.
June McBride wondered what she was supposed to do. The chain seemed to call to her but she was reluctant to travel so close to water so recently left behind. She turned to face the land that rose behind her, imagining briefly that she saw a scraggly figure dancing on the small flat area at the top of the red mesa.
“I’m dead” she croaked, the sound of her voice dull against the moaning surf. The cool of the ocean’s spray caused her to look down to where her abdomen should have shown the evidence of Mar’s brutality. Unblemished, her naked skin prickled, the hair on her arms brisling despite the warmth of the sun; suspended in the pond she’d felt nothing, here she was afraid.

“Jane Grissom wants to see you after lunch old man”
John looked up from his plate, his eyes drifted up from Morose's half smile through the shimmering heat above the treetops to the hut on top of the mountain.
“Who lives up there?” he asked.
Morose looked up through his eyebrows, picked a piece of meat from the plate he held at his waist. His tone was flat, “Nobody lives up there old man, best not to wander too far from the paths eh?”
John pushed his plate away, his meal only half eaten, “Who are the Judiciary?”
“Jesus Gabriel, not while I’m eating, you’ll give me indigestion – keep your nose clean you’ll have no cause to worry about the Judiciary.”
“One of these days I’m gonna get a straight answer out of you Morose”
“Good, well let me know when you do and I’ll have myself severely punished” Morose wiped his mouth and hands with a white handkerchief and, placing his empty plate on the table, he said in a clear voice “My compliments to the chef! That was delicious.” He continued in a businesslike tone, “We’ve got another incoming tomorrow. It’s a woman this time so Saki will do the initial contact. You know the drill folks; make yourselves scarce when the word comes in. Thank you.” Morose wandered out into the clearing and lit a cigarette; the aromatic smoke encircled his head briefly before being carried away by a gust of sea breeze.
John turned to Adam, the boy was distractedly picking at his food with both hands, elbows on the rough wood of the table, his eyes followed Morose as he ambled across the red dust.
“How does he know that someone is coming?” John asked quietly
“The Blueman tells them.” murmured the boy, nodding his head in the direction of the mountain.
“The blue man?”
“Guy on top of the mountain; knows everything, and he can get stuff for you, he’s really scary though. I spoke to him once before she got here, now she won’t let anyone see him.”
Adam turned his tanned face toward John and rolled his eyes,
“Grissom” exasperated, he turned his back on John and lifting his plate, he moved to another table muttering “Jeez, what a dumb fuck”

The path grew gradually narrower the further he progressed up river, the bells on his ankles tinkled a melody above the rhythm of the river’s song. The path forked after a twenty-minute walk, a walk long enough for John to notice that forest had taken on a two-dimensional quality. He also became aware of a subsonic humming that clung to the air at hearing’s horizon – white noise. The left hand path continued inland along the riverbank, the right hand and broader path headed away from the river. John took the narrower path on the left.

“Hey Anubis, here comes Jerry”
“Jerry Who?”
“Jerry Atrick, gghh gghh gghh”
The black suited figures fidgeted manically in the throws of phlegmatic laughter; flecks of spittle fell on their lapels. They regarded John with canine amusement.
“What you want Jerry?” asked one of them, his voice composed of a deep rumbling extended growl.
“You come for your pension Jerry? gghh gghh” added his brother in a higher pitch, his shoulders jerking with puerile amusement, “Come for your bus pass? ggghhhwaaah”
Pinned to the expensive fabric at one of their chests was a highly polished silver star that bore the inscription ‘Top Dog’.
“Whatsamatta Jerry, cat got your tongue?”
“Yeah, that pesky old Tomcat got Jerry’s tongue?”
“I want to go up the mountain,” said John, indicating to the path that disappeared into the trees behind the sniggering duo.
“Fuck off old man” barked top dog, baring ragged teeth.
“Yeah, fuck off Jerry,” echoed the other, still sniggering, “And don’t try sneaking past us. Cos we can smell your bells baby.”
“Shut it Osiris,” snarled top dog, slapping his brother across the chops. “And you,” he turned his yellow eyes back on John; “you stay on the paths and stay away from the fucking forbidden areas – got me?”
“What forbidden areas, nobody’s told me about…” there was a hint of puzzled indignation in John’s voice, which he struggled to conceal
“I’m telling you now, you old fuck, stay away from the forbidden areas, else you’re gonna feel the full weight of the law”
“Yeah, Jerry, you fuck with the law, me and Anubis will fuck you up big-time.”
“How do I get to Jane Grissom’s house then?”
They crossed their arms over their chests in unison,
“Back down the path and take the inland fork, half hour’s walk half-wit” said Anubis, silver star flashing, “Don’t you go upsetting the Boss now hear, she’s still well pissed off about the other night’s transgressions and you annoy her now you might find yourself on the end of a chain baby.”
“Thank you” John did his best not to sound sarcastic, this was not one of those occasions where being smart is an advantage.
“Fuck off” said Anubis, eyes locked on John.
John fucked off, slowly at first; stepping backward before turning wearily and after the first few shaky steps he broke into a sprint, unable to stop himself. Behind him he heard the Judiciary break into high-pitched giggles.
The two dimensional edge to the world that he’d noticed earlier was gone – He gasped for breath, hands on his knees at the fork. He spat a few times, re-tasting the gull meat he’d eaten earlier, and recovering his breath at last, he continued down the path that led inland.

“chka-chka-chka-chka-chka-chka” John started as a magpie swooped low over his head, flapping frenetically as it followed the path to disappear in the green up ahead.
John followed, the path smoothing progressively, gaining a sense of human involvement, a sense of manicure.
Eventually he found himself walking on zigzag brick paving. Flowers bloomed in arrangements of colourful abandon at the side of the path and their powdery scent was accompanied by the sound of birds and cicadas and crickets. John realised that he had not heard these sounds anywhere else on the island. The air was cool and as he crested a blind rise the trees thinned out to reveal, nestled amongst them, a large two storey white timber-framed house with a veranda that ran around all four sides. The Stars and Stripes flapped idly from a flagpole that projected out diagonally from the fa├žade above the veranda. Roses gushed a perfect rectangle of colour in front of the house, colours of impossible vibrancy and variety. To the sides and rear of the house the trees had been thinned out so as to allow the sun to glorify the impossibly green lawns where sprinklers hissed at the edge of hearing. John stood transfixed, the back of his neck prickled with the uneasy feeling that if he moved or made any sound, the illusion would shatter and he would be left facing the inevitable wrath of the Judiciary.
The smell of baking caused John to salivate uncontrollably, he swallowed a few times as a slight creaking sound brought his eyes to rest on the figure of Jane Grissom who swung slowly back and forth on a double swing chair with orange floral upholstery that hung at one corner of the veranda.
She gazed out into some point in the distance, her expression so melancholy that John almost felt sorry for her. She wore a white calico dress and a straw hat with floral headband and puffed distractedly at a large cigar.
John drew a deep breath and walked toward the house.
“Ah, John,” she said, noticing him “good to see you again” she extended her hand and he shook it briefly; the cigar had disappeared.
“Dr Morose said you want to see me?” John tried hard not to sound resentful.
“A formality really, just to check that you’re settling in and to clarify what is expected of you as a resident of our little community. But please pardon my manners, a little refreshment first, you’ve had a long walk” she rose from the swing chair, causing it to squeak loudly, and motioned for John to follow her into the house.
He passed through the open double doors over which was nailed a small wooden placard inscribed ‘Eden’.
The room was huge; four rotating ceiling fans caused a draught at the open doors where John hesitated momentarily, unable to equate this room with the rudimentary living quarters enjoyed by those in the village. To one side of the door a black metal cage hung suspended from the ceiling on a black chain. The cage swayed slowly from side to side as its occupant, a large black and white magpie, bobbed on its perch.
“chka-chka-chka-chka-chka-chka” it chattered, “chka-chka-chka-ch-cunt!”
“Kali, we have a guest.” Professor Grissom chastised the bird, giving its cage an affectionate tap, “Behave.”
The polished wooden floor was covered with intricately woven rugs in deep red on which were arranged an unnecessary number of chairs and sofas, the walls were adorned with framed tapestries in red, white and blue bearing slogans like ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Count Your Blessings’. Jane Grissom motioned him to sit on a rattan sofa with floral cushions. She reached down to a matching glass-topped table where she lifted the tiny brass bell and shook it briefly, causing it to give off a single high-pitched tone. The deep silence that followed the ebbing note of the bell was broken by the sound of a door slamming open. Startled John turned in the direction of the noise, noticing, as his head whipped round, the pained expression on the Grissom’s face. Through the door came a large black woman in a pale blue uniform, complete with lace cap. She carried a wooden tray bearing a teapot, china cups and two plates of steaming apple pie. The woman made her way unsteadily across the room, bumping into an occasional chair. As she drew close John noticed with horror that her eyes and mouth were crudely stitched closed with coarse black thread.
“Thank you Grace, you may go now.”
The woman executed a sort of bow in Grissom’s general direction before shuffling back to wherever she had come from – the kitchen, John presumed.
Grissom sat down on the sofa opposite John and with a slight frown of concentration, began to pour tea into the two cups. Her powdery perfume was identical to that given off by the flowers beside the path, only now John caught a whiff of an underlying scent, a scent of decay, of unwashed bodies and sweat. She handed John one of the china cups and he once again noticed her bitten fingernails, the cup rattled against the saucer as he nervously placed it on the glass-topped table.
“How come…?” he began
She raised a hand in a now familiar gesture, palm towards him
“Please Mr Gabriel – no questions,” She handed him a slice of apple pie “Eat, enjoy”
Saliva gate-crashed the back of his mouth but caution made him hesitate until the Professor began to tuck into her own piece with obvious relish. He scooped a forkful of the hot pie into his mouth and the sweetness infused his whole body causing it to tingle like too much coffee, sending the blood rushing around his body, hair-trigger sensuous. In the back of his mind he could hear his fork tinkling against the plate as he closed his eyes and was engulfed and enflamed with pleasure. He welcomed her hand on him and, opening his eyes, was not surprised to find her kneeling naked between his splayed legs. Her mouth was hot and wet and her tongue was velvet on the underside and he watched intrigued and enraptured at the slow rhythm of her head and the colours that swirled in her hair and just before the void swallowed his awareness he watched through occluded lashes as her head exploded in a blizzard of flowers and he smelled once again the odour of decay and rot, strong and real and… and…
…and he opened his eyes to the smile in Grissom’s blue eyes and the thin rivulet of blood that escaped from the corner of her swollen lips. She sat across from him, straight-backed, with the china cup resting primly between her hands on the calico dress.
“Things are not so bad here John,” she purred, “all you need to do is to decide what you want – whatever it is, we can get it for you, you can be whoever you want to be here.” She sighed in obvious pleasure, “Good apple pie isn’t it?”
“Uh…” John managed, struggling to make sense of her words.
“It is available to those who are strong enough to do right by our little community, and I believe that you are just such a person John; I believe that you have the right stuff.” She licked the blood from the corner of her mouth, raised one eyebrow and smiled, “What is it that you want?”
“How do you… Why…?”
“Ah, you see, the questions, always the questions. Listen John, information is a valuable commodity here. If you want information, you are going to have to earn that right, learn to follow the path laid before you, do not stray and eventually you will rise to a position where all will be available to you. Like I said John, you can be anyone you want to be, just as long as you follow the path.”
John had a momentary vision of himself standing naked in the centre of some Victorian bedroom; his eyes and mouth stitched closed with coarse black thread.

The Judiciary emerged from the undergrowth onto the zigzag brick path where, moments before, John Gabriel had stumbled past in a daze.
“Pussy power Bruv, you gotta laugh. One sniff of pussy and the mind goes blank. I doubt whether he’ll be straying from the path, not today at least.”
“So whatcha think?” Osiris bent and grabbed a handful of the flowers from beside the path and shoved them in his mouth, “Think he’ll knuckle under?”
“Fuck no” replied Anubis, sniffing the air and listening to the receding tinkle of John’s ankle bells, “No way, the old cunt’s too fucking stupid to know when he’s got a good thing going on – he’ll walk the chain for sure, or die trying, betcha anything”
“Can’t teach an old dog new tricks ay? gghh gghh gghh” Osiris ripped up another bunch of flowers, chewing on one side of his mouth.
“Speaking of old tricks brother,” said Anubis, “let’s hope the new bitch is willing to do some favours for the Judiciary eh? With Irene gone we’re gonna need someone to do the business eh? I mean, she may have been a bit vacant in the head department but she sure gave good head and never said no to a good fucking either. I’m gonna miss that crazy bitch.” He glanced sideways looked at the vacant expression on his brother’s face, “Stop eating the flowers you twat, you know that only makes the boss even more pissed off than she normally is.”


Anonymous said...

Pisces, you render me speechless sir...almost. Now that John's curiosity has had a taste( so to speak ), I can see him forming even more questions. Oh yes...Eve is definitely the temptress...

Justin Russell said...

This is officially classified "S.S." for me P.I. Superb Stuff! All I can say right now.

Yodood said...

Nothing like eating the old apple, Pi.

Anonymous said...

Pisces, spam alert! And apparently word verification isn't stopping the infestation. Look for comments by "disa" it's a spam bot!

Pisces Iscariot said...

Subby: Thanks for the heads-up, just deleted 22 spam entries over various posts

Justin: "SS" thank you!

Yodood: believe it or not I had not noticed the Adam&Eve analogy here - it all comes from the unconcious I guess :)

Anonymous said...

Calls, determines and follows
Day by day, do not forget to feed
what shines in you.
Rescue whenever you can, a bit of peace that is in thy heart and with it celebrates and strengthens your steps,
your directions.
Rest in the silence that settles in your being when your eyes meet the mountains,
sunrise ...
When your ears Communion with the winds, with rain falling in the sea.
Learn with the patience of awakening that is slowly everything is being defined,
is moment to moment that everything is being remembered,
rebuilt and enjoyed.
Not feed the rush that your mind has to come,
but the peace that your heart needs
Learn and accept truly
what you wish to be you're given, always.
Maybe not now and perhaps not the way we dreamed,
but the way God knows you need, the way God knows that
well, you will be happier.
Day by day, takes care of you.
Do not punish strengthening the pain, anger, belief in the darkness ...
Just observe such states and feel what you can learn from each one
what changes you can undertake, and then left them behind.
Calls, determines and follows ...
The path may seem long,
but one who is engaged, day by day,
in building their own temple,
this is given to know the joy of living only for the moment, the present moment.

I hope your visit Idaci

Google Translation

Tom said...

deeep stuff, and getting deeper! If i ever hear my dog talking like this, i'm getting out the bar of soap.

Anonymous said...

Pisces, unlke John, this new spam-bot is choosing multiple pathways. And apparently it can get through word verification. I think the Judiciary should deal with this, wot?

Pisces Iscariot said...

clikamigoss: ??????

Tom:if your dog starts talking at all, run!

subby: never voluntarily involve the judiciary - alternatly flag his blog as spam with google

Anonymous said...

Heh, heh, oh that's been done! Plus an alert in the forum, gghh, gghh, gghh!

James Higham said...

Hey, Anubis?