Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Splicing

P   R   E   V   I   O   U   S   L   Y      I    N 
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S
“Even the empty air can contain a rival to be destroyed!” Hara said this, her arms aloft, hands flapping, “Destrooooyed!” Two nurses jogged toward the table.
“Damn it Hara, you know where I’m headed if you can’t help me …”
“Hahahaha … Woohoo!”
“You know what she’ll do to me.” 
When Hara fell off the bench, he grabbed his bag before dashing out the room, rushing past confused staff, making for the stairs, then down through the lobby in a streaking Technicolor blur of velocity. 
“You know what she’ll do to me.”

Tired and bleeding from yet another alleyway battering, the god of chaos lent against a phone box, marvelling at the otherworldly smog as it levitated down to street level.  Living white gas in search of victims.
He gazed the snaking fumes slither out of the afternoon sky, sentient trails smoking along the tarmac and in through the door cracks of the pub with the broken window.  The spectres travelled up orifices, wafting into the brains of the unlucky folk who stood agog at the bar.  The spirits performed their role in keeping order, reverse engineering memories of a street fight, a crazed conflict that brazenly rollicked into The George.  When the constable questioned Miranda Jones, she leant against her mop and said: “There were four of them.  Three ugly men – vicious-looking.  Beating up this poor skinny fella, had a Superman hoodie and big red coat on.  Kept warning them about his dog and after smashing up this place,” Miranda pointed at the open port with jagged glass, the pool of broken glazing beneath, “they went through the window.  Scariest thing I’ve seen.  Those men were so ugly, like, not being funny.  Maybe down-syndrome?”
Neither Miranda nor the police would report the green blood on the floor.  Nor would anyone notice the severed three fingered claw in the middle of the pub. 
Miranda would throw it away, dispensing it without question, her recount of the action muddied, the Pseudologoi would see to that.  Their wispy vigilance eternally poised to rearrange memories around the existence of divinities and the brutes that served them, or in this latest skirmish – didn’t serve them.  The world would never believe in Spiderfingers, how his war now included young and restless enemies that happily caused accidents to draw him out of hiding.  A small, famished, dark part of his soul ached for these circumstances to erode into nothingness. 
I’m going to become the new Coca Cola.  This shadow growth inside him, it multiplied in size and influence as the night fell and the world presented him with new opportunity.  I’ve got to become the new Coca Cola.  Success demanded assistance.  “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!”
Wars such as his could never, would never, be fought alone.
“Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes!”
He sluggishly trooped toward the gates of St Martins Gardens, bracing himself for the arduously long expedition.  A trip straight down.  Last time, he’d wound up in L.A and even though he despised the fact during the day – he couldn’t argue, the changes that Hollywood had triggered in him had proved invaluable on many a level.
I need to become McDonalds.  
He fell to his knees, hands grinding into the icy grass.
“I know how to save the world.”
Hara’s life could be summed up with the one word.  Sacrifice.  The woman had given everything to the cause, the gambit, a day by day, night by night, war on behalf of an innocent planet.  Hara equals giver, she decided.  And now she was a frail thing sitting on a bench of a mental hospital’s garden, the taste of bitter treatment rode upon her tongue.  The tale of Ungumpo fluttered in her hand.  She remained still.  When the breeze stole Blackest Black from her shrivelled fingers, she didn’t blink.
Overlooking the flowerbed of Bellevue’s front lawn had been a privilege since she’d arrived, although, there was something about this particular instant, this midday unlike any other.  No, she thought, chin resting upon her chest, your ego wishes it were different.
“Do you want to join us for cake tonight, Hara?” Nurse Patel waited a while, but when no answer came she continued pushing the wheelchair of her main concern: “Hope you change your mind.  Don’t want to be alone on New Year’s Eve, now do we?” Nurse Patel’s voice may have well been a broadcast on a muted television.  Hara didn’t see her.  She attuned to a force much older, much more complex than the residents and medical staff that occupied Bellevue’s gardens.  She continued private communication: Every time I call on you, you ignore me, until now.  She summoned the courage to kneel down, deserting the wooden seating place for the freshly mowed greenery beneath her slippers.  So many battles won, so many evil minions slain because of the advice intended for her chosen deity; psychic messages delivered through her alcohol-fuelled shamanic practices.  She rubbed her hands across the grass, kneading her fingers deep down past the ice of the winter.  You bent my mind, twisting it innocently so that it could hear your will with increasing clarity, none of us realising how you neglected to fold my brains back the way you found them.  No one knew till it was too late.
“No one ever wants to be an old woman, much less an old hag whose lost her marbles.  And what is this?” She shoved her hand into her cardigan pocket for the crumpled notes there.  As nurses made their way to pick her up, Hara read her writing out loud:
“Twins.  The boy shares the face of chaos and terror.  The girl has rainbows in her dreadlocks and her closest friend is a black man with white skin – what in heavens have you made me write?” A nurse crouched down to console her.  It may as well have been a ghost. “He has a white Mohican hidden under a black hat.  First, the Ceremony of Knives and then, the Time of Tides.  What does it mean?” She chucked away her papers.  She drove her delicate hands into the vegetation, sure that her answer lay below.
“Hara?” asked the nurse, “Let’s get you inside, shall we?” Hara: completely lost in a world of shadows, spirits sprawling atop the grass, copying her finger raking.  Translucent men and women stroked their palms across the lawn.  Echoes of the long dead paraded in a show only she could attend.  A lone nurse half her size used ineffectual bartering to draw her out of it.  Life with the departed had been a hefty price to pay for her regular commune with the Earth Mother, a relationship forged on necessity but resulting in the madness of the weaker mind.  Instances of clarity proved burdensome.  The tarn in Blackest Black had devoured Ungumpo.  Through booze, the inner self of the world had leached Hara’s lucidity for its own longevity.  How she hated parallels.  No, she thrashed to straighten her thought process, attempting to concentrate through all her medication.  It’s only this one I can’t stand. 
“You’ve taken so much,” she whimpered, ‘grubbing on my brain, making me more liability than asset.”
“C’mon, Mrs C.” said the nurse quite unable to handle Hara’s spindly flailing arms, “We’ve been doing O.K, haven’t we? Just in time for New Year’s Eve, yes?”  
“You may as well have your fill.” Hara clawed at the frosted hard soil, shoving clumps down her throat.
“Oh, no, no.  Stop! Stop it Hara! Do you want some cake? We don’t have to wait till midnight.  Let’s get you inside and fetch some of that lovely Victoria Sponge.  Wouldn’t that be nice?” Hara didn’t notice the nurse grab for her radio.  She could only fall, flat against the cool frosted undergrowth, releasing herself into the Earth.  Her life-source oozed through the mud.  Personality, dreams, heartache’s and every electrical impulse that constituted Hara’s character, they drained from her, swiftly, through the skin of the planet.  In her corner vision, the nurse and all things Bellevue slowed in their movements.  Each of its many controlling efforts time lapsed into a freeze frame.  The still shuffled itself to the back of her mindfulness, filed away as an irrelevant experience, and for the most part, the outer world may as well have been a long extinct dream.  Since Hara had always been a giver, it came as a wonderful surprise that her final twinkling defined itself by a supreme receivership.  Mother Nature was giving back.  Hara’s essence blasted back through the ground and into her physicality.  Her soul realigned with her body.  It didn’t travel alone.
Facts regarding wildlife, both studied and unknown poured their details into Hara’s mind.  Particulars of landmass soaked through the grassland, the statistics travelling in the form of sound-waves, invisible High-Frequencies, every single code depositing a fragment of the planet’s history into her brain.  The data-stream transmitted instantaneously.  What lived and died on each continent; what species and sub-species relied upon the Earth, what aliens had helped terraform the planet and thus be responsible for the cosmetic make-up of its forests, deserts and mountain peaks; all this primeval information became a part of her.  She smiled throughout the process, scarcely aware of the nurses who towed her off the lawn.  Her mind responded so well to the private whispering, the clandestine incantation travelling via the mud stuck beneath her nails.  She became optimistic, absolutely sure, that when the primordial mother-mind could detail these visions further, she would, and with extreme clarity.  Thank you, oh Lady of the Flowers, thought Hara, nurses laying her body onto the hospital bed.
Thank you!
A rolling river of thought raced through the old woman’s mind, sensations unique to her transfiguring mentality.  She could sense the slow movement of tectonic plates, the ebb and flow of great oceans, all those creatures that swam beneath their waves.  She sensed that her slide into the black of a coma had been her body’s way of shutting people out.  All those little doctors and specialists, they would spoil their underwear should they ever become privy to Hara’s evolving psychology, let alone the humongous breadth of the entity splicing itself into her, expanding her very consciousness.   
The old woman obtained a new centre.  A hidden sphere.   One encased under tonnes of rock and filament.  Recent memories of the Mother-Mind exuded into Hara’s mindscape.  Spiderfingers shouting at her green foliage skin:
“Let me in!” she heard him call, “Let me in! I can’t live like this anymore.  Let me in so you can arm me.” Hara felt Gaia’s relief.  In fact – she shared the contentment that Spiderfingers’ admission meant for the safety of the globe.  The magma filled internal realm loosened itself to Hara’s curiosity, allowing her transfiguring sentience to witness the anomaly searing beneath.  Burrowing deep within her crust, pushing rock and mud out of their way, powerful hands ploughed towards the middle of her.  She felt the purge of the diggers, localising her cognizance in order to identify the species that dug away at her body, for she ceased to consider the planet to be a large far-off concept.  
Aha, it’s him she realised, the return of the son ... Wait, she thought, inspecting closer, he isn’t tunnelling through me.  I am pulling him in.  It’s as if he’s not strong enough to do it himself.  Oh yes – his powers are fading, aren’t they? Thank goodness he’s relying on me now.  If only he’d submit to the logic of initialising Operation Genie Bottle.  Gaia’s knowledge melded with her own, suddenly, absolutely.  She shared the warmth of new found faith.
When Spiderfingers reached her fiery innards, his plea was immediate: “I’ve given it a lot of thought.” she heard him speak, “Hara’s been right all along.  Gaia, you both were.  The only way to defeat the gods is to go ahead with Operation Genie Bottle.  So let’s do this.  Give me what I need so I can defend you.”
This admission filled her entirety with warmth, as spires, flaking brown stems of rock, they shook.  The ground beneath him rumbled as the earth’s caverns erupted with steam and gas, the likes of which surface dwellers and their scientists would never see.  Accompanying these propulsive vats of release were the scurrying and rampaging movements of life, many a subterranean beast surrounding he that was Boleraam.  He that was John Clay.  He that is Spiderfingers.  Hara used her connection to the Earth Mother to monitor the man-god as he ducked reptilian wildlings, feral critters leaping and zigzagging about him.  She watched him snag one; a large worm with ridges along its purple spine, glassy eyes swivelling this way and that, frenzied and insistent on escaping his grip.
        “Thanks Miss World.  Thanks a lot.  Now tell me, what’s been happening in the Oma? Are the Dilfs of village Po still safe?” Hara felt the pang of the Earth Mother, for she could give him no answer.  Then, the worm in his hands opened its fanged jaws and said, “Gaia’s connection to the Oma is eternal, but like Hara before you, it would take at least six of your Earth months to learn the sufficient words to interpret Gaia’s quakes.  Do you have that time?”  Hara distressed at his inability to comprehend the hiss and snap of the creature.  She only gained relief when her comrade crawled out of the inner Earth.  Even though he is unaware of the troubles of Po’s people, the birthing chamber had given up something that would aid him in his fight against the gods.  The Grapple-Worm in his possession can save the garden, but only if he is prepared to sacrifice a few of its flowers.  Through the lives of microbes and plant-life, Hara sensed his ascent to her over-crust.  She thought of a Dilf warrior’s similar ascendance, his large dragon’s egg firmly within his clutches.  She hoped – an anxious, feverish hope – for the journey of her protectorate deity not to end in death.  She wished the bad thoughts away, freeing her mind to mutate for new purpose.

N   E   X   T      T   I   M   E      I    N
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S
The world had left him behind again, the proof flapping in his hands: a free newspaper, the date six days wrong.  So that’s how long it takes to travel to the centre of the earth and back.  That’s one thing Jules Verne messed up.  His hand let go of the paper, as he wheezed, out of breath, eyes stinging from the extremity of his tunnelling.  He took a little over an hour to acclimatise to the air, lines of a new performance running through his brain before he pulled himself to his feet.

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