Judgement Day II

A maelstrom of chains,

Rattling, diving, flying,

They all have questions,

Flailing and failing.

Ships are torn apart,

Cities are crushed,

People are smashed,

Scarlet smudges,

Witness the deity.

Do you remember?

Dusky dead sun

Breathless sails

Hacked totems

Eating their tulip hearts

Do you remember?

Maudlin Messiah

Flimsy carcass

Counted out

Rotting in a puddle

Nibbled on by fish

Do you remember?

No.

I choose to forget.

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The Horseman

seconds

minutes

hours

days

weeks

months

years

decades

centuries

millennia

hourglass

cosmic

the

cosmic

hourglass

 

so

many

too

many

words

Another skull cracked under my iron-heeled boot. There was no mistaking the dry splintering of bone. I smiled. How long had I been walking in the charred wasteland? It didn’t matter. This was my dominion.

credo

logos

nego

What did I believe in? I made my choice. I lit a cigarette, exactly the same way I always did. The others did not suspect me. Why would they? All that would ever be was written down. No one was allowed to read the scroll. Those were the rules. We were supposed to wait for a sign. It was a bit vague. One of us spent the equivalent of two hundred years staring at a traffic light until his head exploded. That was a sign alright.

What of destiny?

The traditionalists said the sun would go black and the moon blood-red. Which pretty much meant that when we ran out of tokens to put into the universe’s electricity meter, the cosmic plug would be pulled and those dimensions which had been so carefully folded into the unblinking vortical eyes of black holes would unfurl like the monsters from your worst nightmares.

The way I see it, even though I caused the end of the world, it was going to happen anyway so technically I had an alibi. What did you expect? I am one of the Fallen after all. The scroll was fated to be eaten. I sort of set it on fire.

O

O

P

S

!

Limbo was a neutral realm between Heaven and Hell. It was good to catch up with old friends and enemies. Believe it or not, we behaved ourselves. The war had been eons ago. Family is family. Limbo was just one massive entertainment complex – table-tennis, pool, arcade games, mini-golf with dwarf caddies.

The scroll was pinned to a wall near the cocktail bar. The parchment was supposed to be fire-proof. I sourced a special type of fire, God bless Bitcoin and the Dark Net. A massive fight broke out, everyone was blaming each other, you know how religion works. During the melee, I wedged open the trapdoor to Earth. The words fled the parchment, aflame in the purple sky, they sensed the noxious odour of mortality and thought they could save themselves. The words ignited as they entered the atmosphere. The humans watched in wonder…it was a divine omen. Well, not quite. I burned their sky. The blaze was awesome, it made Hell look like a beach resort.

In the beginning of the end, the Atomic Angel (That’s me!  up, if I haven’t already cut them off with a sword) torched the heavens and burnt the sun. The seas, rivers and soil were already polluted. If I was blessed enough to be given a brand new planet, I would keep it tidy. Sure, I would have a party now and then but I would always clean up the empty bottles and the bloodied cadavers the next day. I rewarded human arrogance with pestilence and contagion.

God resigned his position of CEO for this universe. If the truth be told, I think he had been considering a more lucrative offer from a parallel universe. Angels formed new alliances. Some went with God. Those were optimists, the second time lucky mindset. Those that stayed in this universe were the hardcore angels. The ones who wanted a piece of the action and had no problem with another almighty war. Earth was the only planet I desired. Jesus texted me good luck. He’s still sore about the Crucifixion. Talk about holding a grudge. He wanted to pitch in with me but his Dad was having none of it. Some angels did join forces with me. Naturally, I killed them the first opportunity I got. Never trust an angel.

Earth needed a reboot, or more specifically, the human race needed a reboot. No artifice was needed. I was open about who I was, what I had done and what I intended to do, which was to slaughter a quarter of the global population. It transpired that nihilism was a powerful motivational tool for recruiting an army intent on a scorched Earth policy. I even managed to teleport in a load of dinosaurs back from the past. I dumped them in America and China to thin the numbers.

Electricity doesn’t exist any more. I had stolen the Doomsday EMP from Heaven before they shut up shop. It was configured to fry any electrical circuits but also to detonate any nuclear device. Atomic sunsets were something to behold. No one was keeping count of the dead because, yeah, there’s no internet.

All I know that is my sword’s thirst has not been slaked even though it is drenched in hot blood and caked in fleshy gore. Remove the veneer of civilisation and the human race becomes noble in its savagery. I like them now. Well, the ones on my side. There are still a few pesky angels trying to muscle in on my planet. They want the kudos of killing me. Probably because of what happened with Lucifer. He tried to pull rank on me. Hell had become so decadent, there was even a roller coaster ride. Lucifer wanted to be by God’s side again.

I

 obliged

               him

                      by

                          lopping

                                        off

                                             his

                                                  head

                                                           …

                                                              …

                                                                 caput!

The human race had overreached themselves and no one had been prepared to do anything about it. Wallowing in their embalmed conceit, they had not even noticed God had abandoned them. I decided to give them a second chance.

I

am

Ω

&

α

I

am

DEATH

&

LIFE

I

am

ABADDON

C=at²

You have probably heard of me, except you have not. Ay, there’s the rub. Rub denotes friction and that has to matter. An ongoing battle of creation and annihilation and sublation. What about dark matter, I hear you murmur? Scientists say it exists. Where is the proof? Theory is sufficient. All they know is that something is out there. Ooh, spooky!

Ergo quod non erat demonstrandum, dark matter is God. Or a god. Or a collective of gods. The rungs are slippery when you start playing Jacob’s Ladder. Imagine the kerfuffle if scientists discovered they actually worshipped a deity because of an erroneous equation? How would they square that off?

Maybe I am a god? Accuse me of blasphemy all you like, wage a holy war against me. You will never find me. I am in lockdown, Guantanamo Bay style, but in a more (in-)finite way than you could ever imagine. No orange boiler suit for me. I do like orange though, it brings out the colour in my eyes. Your souls are stuffed full of my eyes – I see you all. Melting pots of jumbled protons, electrons and neutrons. Throw in some Higgs bosons for seasoning and you are ready to be served up as stardust to the cosmos.

I digress. Excuse my manners, I am a bit quarky at the moment. Those tech anarchists fired up the Large Hardon Collider again. Oops, lapsus lingus, I meant Hadron. A Big Bang always gives me a headache. Seriously, they will not be happy until they accidentally open up a black hole then…blip! Has anyone seen Switzerland? It was here a minute ago.

If I had my way I would focus the LHC’s energy up into the sky, dial in the numbers for a collect call and bring back David Bowie. A rather sublime deus ex machina. The starman has to be floating somewhere up there, dancing to some cosmic jive. Shiny tin cans rocket into space and zip around the Moon looking for Buck Rogers. Life on Mars? Absolutely. Why do you think so many probes malfunction near that planet?

The LHC is a magnificent apotheosis of our evolutionary creation. It is perfect. If it spoke it would have exactly the same voice as HAL – calm, reassuring, psychotic. I have a recurring nightmare that I am being murdered by a calculator. Surely there has to be a finite set of equations for this?

Trinity was a technological terror which blossomed into a beautiful atomic horizon. The Alpha and the Omega. That was a day for designer sunglasses – ‘Would you prefer Armani Armageddon or Versace Vortex to watch the end of the world, sir?’ – as the sky was riven with fires of golds, purples and blues. Scientists are the destroyers of worlds, except they like to call it progress.

The LHC is progress.

Miaow! I will calm down. Physics is a divisive topic, just ask the atom. Physics can be a Bohr and you may feel like a Planck but ultimately you do not need to be an Einstein to understand the basics.

Here is my take on it…

Reality exists as much as it does not exist. The universe is flux and you are fluxed if you cannot get that into your head, if indeed your head is even real. Flux is both constant and inconstant. Uncertainty is the only certainty. So to sum up, there could be a human out there who could make your head explode through the power of thought.

Despite everything, I believe I have a place in this world. People have written about the presupposition of my existence within an equation. It is not so much quantum superposition as quantum superstition. Alive and dead at the same moment in/out of and beyond time…aren’t we all?

I find the experiment to be fallacious. Where is the saucer of milk?

I reject the premise there is more than one of me. That is the whiff of righteous mortality. I do not care about this entangling malarkey because I have been falsely imprisoned in a chamber with radioactive matter and poison.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you, Schrödinger?

Oh! The cat is out of the metaphysical bag now, if you had not already guessed.

All I ever wanted was a name.

City Exit

Sauf-effing-ampton! The Atlantis of Hampshire. Not. If you ask me the Titanic hit that iceberg on purpose so it never had to return to port.

I was supposed to be on secondment for six months and now I was trapped. It was month twelve.

Before the trouble started, my rule was NEVER to go into the city centre on a Saturday afternoon. This was the peak time, the spike in the head, sorry I mean, demographic where bovine creatures shuffled along in their tracksuited finery, drooling debt like crash test dummies reanimated by Dr Frankenstein. The missing link? Scarily evident and it was breeding.

I used to wish that a huge iceberg would crash into Southampton and unleash an armageddon of bazooka-toting polar bears and penguins with Uzis. It could happen. Global warming, right? And flying killer whales, yeah, that would work. A brattish kid having a strop on the High Street then whoosh! A killer whale swoops in and minces the child in seconds. All that is left of little Tommy would be a bloodied shoe and red rain falling from the sky.

Sometimes I would go into the centre on a Sunday and pretend to be a homeless guy with Tourettes. Used to have some good scraps, especially on match day, until the rozzers turned up and I had to leg it.

People say I have anger management issues…they can go fuck themselves! Anyway, I threw a Molotov cocktail through Primark’s window one night. I was beered up and it seemed like a good idea. I was never identified because I was wearing a Mexican wrestling mask.

A while back I was attacked by a girl. I had made a harmless comment about her hair and she tried to burn my face off with ceramic hair straighteners. I think she was Lithunian or something. That’s why I decided to get a gun – angry birds, the Southampton edition. I popped over to Millbrook to do some shopping and take in the lovely architecture. Left with a snub-nosed revolver and a box of ammo.

You may be judgy and say it is a bit extreme me packing heat like some gangster from Thornhill but I had a premonition something bad was going to happen.

Southampton is now a quarantine zone. Anyone trying to get out over the barricades is shot. The bodies piled up quickly at the beginning. People could not believe they would be executed in cold blood. Blame Brexit.

The bridges into the city were blown up. No one had any interest in getting in. The city was left to fester, decay and burn.

No one really knows what happened other than a cruise ship crashed full tilt into the docks late one night. The emergency services attended and the virus escaped the ship. It’s called the I-Virus and it is one of the most virulent known to humankind. They started burning the bodies alive or dead and the cruise ship was blasted into oblivion by fighter jets. They thought it was airborne virus. They were wrong. It’s passed through saliva. The virus attacks the red blood cells which mutate at an exponential rate. Symptoms manifest in murderous rage and cannibalism.

I still shiver when I think of the first time I encountered an Infected. It ran towards me screeching, its eyes were terrifying, I shot it in the face.

I have not felt pity for a while. The Infected are no longer human. It’s still bad if you have to kill one you know. I shot Dave the plumber. That was tough. He had fixed my ballcock once, decent job for a decent price. Plus he wasn’t stingy with the beer either. I was gutted. I had hoped he was okay because I had a leaking pipe in my flat.

Marvelous, isn’t it? Successive governments allowed the NHS to crumble into ruin, the train services were medieval and the police spent more time filing paperwork than accidentally shooting Brazilians on the Tube YET one little outbreak of contagion and Southampton was walled in quicker than a dead pharaoh. Personally, I think the government always had a plan to do it, they just needed an excuse.

I like the city more than I used to, which is a bit screwed up I guess.

Prophecy

Metallic watches, ticking orbs of illusion…what can you tell me? Wrap me up within the folds of time, it will only cost a dime. The rigid hands reach out to stab my throat, time impales…sacrifices & lusty murder. Who are the masters? Ghosts flutter like vague dreams, whisper my destiny then cut out your tongues, I have a bucket for your offerings, did you not realise this was an abattoir? Dull cow eyes filled with fear, shuffle along the conveyor belt, we will create monuments from your bones and etch graffiti with knives, centuries later they will read them without understanding, who were the savages? A prophetess made of glass, drinking opiate inspiration, Sibylline utterances, swords are grasped.
Lampposts are false beacons, they betray you, shadowy figures lurk while you cling to the light. Flickering yellow, blinking reality, slipping inside the soft angles. Do you feel hunted? They are out there, waiting, light & darkness mean nothing to them. The candle wavers, a shift in the aether, coldness seeps. A warrant has been issued, drowning phantasms in a waterfall, assuaged energy, the thirst invigorates, marshmallow landscapes, mutating, immolating. Faceless mannequins stumble, they escaped the vitreous façades, discounted & de-marginalised, why fight for a vote when you can just kill? Democracy is a myth, greed & arrogance are the tenets of rule. Political vampires draining us dry of our life-force, slowly, implacably, such conceit! Vultures will peck out their eyes, grasping hands seek charity but they have turned our hearts to stone, flung into the Thames, pagan rituals to honour the gods, which ones? Any will do as long as there is a human sacrifice…what trend do the viewing figures favour…a fleshy pumping ruby ripped from a chest, it will be swapped with a burning piece of wood, in it goes, there you go good as new, welcome to the NHS. Doctor, I think the patient is dead. Put him out back with the others. We are running out of room(s). Have you been trained to use a flame-thrower? Whoosh, a fiery tongue caresses, purging our sins. Expiation. What was that explosion, Doctor? Looks like we need a new trainee. See if you can save any of the organs.
Cathedrals of hypocrisy, pick a pew, prefer suffering? The ecstasy of the martyrs. That is art for you, glorifying painful torturous murders, if you turn the other cheek it will be sliced from your very face and eaten by the homeless. Cheek by jowl. A choice cut, two TV chefs battle for the winning sauce, in poor taste? The correct garnish can hide a multitude of decomposing vegetables. The EU quota must be followed, too many fish, throw them back in, so what if they are dead, do as you are fucking told. You are not a very civil servant! Less backchat or you will end up in one of those landfills in China. Is that covered in the EU quota as well? More a reinterpretation. You will easily fit inside a wheelie bin. As long as it is the one with my house number on.
Syringes gleam like expect smiles. It won’t hurt a bit. Isn’t unusual to be jabbed in the head? Infusion of crystalline delusion, faces stretch, hands grasp, jump from the bridge, swirling liqueous grave. Images are caged blackly, don’t light a match, you will wake them. What is that in the distance? The path of the righteous. Is it new? No one has ever walked along it. Another construction quango. Everything will be okay, won’t it? Recession is a myth, it is all the public’s fault. I thought the Labour Prime Minister, Chancellor & greedy mortgage lenders were to blame? Are you a communist? Did you not see the PM’s fine speech, the forecast is good. I thought he was talking about the weather! I heard lots of pigeons kamikaze-ed Nelson’s column during the speech. Ah, see, that is the patriotism this country needs. Well, I am not cleaning that up. Don’t worry the rats will. Fallen angels…were they cast out or did they just forget how to fly? You get more Air Miles in a Boeing 747 to Australia then you would flying around the celestial spheres. Don’t even start me on the tolls!
Striped contours, floor, wall, ceiling, trapped in a cube, wrap my mind in blue cellophane, it will make a good passport photo. No smiling or you will have to pay £20. Can I pay in Euros? Fuck off! You are in England, our Empire spans the planet. Don’t read much do you? The Commonwealth is all that is left & most of them would happily exile the Royal Family to Tierra del Fuego. I hear that puffins visit it to sniff peach schnapps, off their beaks they are, they shear the sheep so they look like giant poodles. Pissed Puffins! Did you see the docu? It was great, they wrecked the recreational centre. So now the kids have nowhere to play? No, now the kids have nowhere to score dope.
The blue sky turns crimson, the clouds are on fire, fluffy Zeppelins, hydrogen wraiths whirl, banners to unfurl, alliances are chosen, the paid audience cheers, the impoverished jeer, drifting shades that haunt the streets. Can you spare some change? Do I look like a fucking ATM? Charity begins at home! Oh, the irony! I work the stock exchange, I am the suit behind the man, Saville Row, a stitch in time. An umbrella with an ivory handle, stylish, non PC, we can afford to be. Gentleman’s Club, no lap dancers, inherited tradition, blue bloods, inbred some say. Polo & rugger, tally ho, boating in the Thames, watch out for the whale! Excuse me, old boy, I don’t mean to be presumptuous but you are buggering up our yearly regatta, it’s terribly important. The whale was hungry, too many E numbers, binge eating on fast food, the rowing boats were not fast enough.
The blue mirror is empty, where is my reflection? Someone has stolen it, I keep looking behind me, hoping it will wave back. A nuclear kiss billows, waxen figures melt, tears flood out of broken hearts, flaming ruination. From the ashes, the Nuclear Messiah, atomic angels hover, this time there is no redemption, thorns will wreathe. Splintered crucifix, buckled soul, blue static, blue umbrella, rusted Stygian horizon, a severed phone line, divine miscommunication, rerouted fate, palest blue porcelain memory, You drink a glass full of withered petals, choking on dust, death is grinning, gracile & furtive, a fatal caress, vast floorboards creak under the weight of shadows, tread carefully, abyssal pools of seduction, injuries wrapped in linen, barbed wire was the accessory, like a second skin to be cast away, flailing & inhaling, something wicked this way comes, defiant youth, disjointed tooth, inbred trash, societal crash, playing with knives? Not for stabbing, old skool rave, they called it acid but who knows what the fuck it was? Purple Ohms, a new kind of vision, distortion of energy, creatures slink in the twilight, they are probably always there, fourth dimension some say but where is the last dimension? An enraged waiter beats a man to death with a baguette, bread rage is on the up, only last week a woman was bread rolled to death, she had been baking the wrong type of dough, rules are rules, especially if it is scribed in a book that is immutable. Free thought is a sin.
A millionaire was cryogenically frozen. Was he trying to buy time? If so, who was he billing – God? I guess the cheque bounced as there was a power-cut, he thawed out but was trapped in the pod so suffocated. A modern day parable. & now for a paramour…the porn star climaxes and bursts into flames. The professor threw out his thesis about spontaneous combustion being caused by sexually repressed neurotics and cleaned his pistol, musing on its ironically phallic symbolism before shooting himself in the head. A priest cleared up the mess with a dustpan & brush, he did not have much time for science as it embodied heresy. Quantum physics and black holes, where was the beauty in that? He pressed his crucifix to his lips, praying for a new Crusade.
A pack of hyenas running amok in the House of Commons, the police laughed, not the best of euphemisms. They were not laughing when they saw a hyena run past with the head of the Prime Minister, who was still drearily droning on, apparently not realising he had been decapitated. They jumped on their bikes, pedalling furiously but lost the hyena in the Tube, turns out it had a season ticket! The hyena obviously had a sense of humour, an anonymous tip off helped the police locate the PM’s head at Traitor’s Gate. The Prime Minister was very annoyed, complaining of a severe headache.
The skinny lattes were assembling in Shoreditch. MI5 did not know how many of them were present as they all looked alike with their skinny jeans, second hand tops & unkempt hair. You could be walking up a street that seemed empty but a hundred skinny lattes could easily be queued up behind a lamppost. It was easier to get a Caucasian graduate from Eton into a deep cover terrorist cell in Iraq than get someone inside the skinny latte movement. Sure, an extensive knowledge of existentialism, a beret & a pipe would not have anyone bat an eyelid but the moment you could not disappear from sight simply by standing behind an anorexic size zero model, well, it marked you as an outsider. MI5 operatives spent months studying surveillance footage slowed down to a thousandth of a second and concluded that at least 145,000 skinny lattes lived in one Shoreditch square mile alone. Sleeper cells were operating in charity shops, skinny lattes were smuggled in & out in the bags, after all, how could you find one, they could be folded in a Jackie Collins novel?
A crescendo of applause, the pianist bows but is suddenly eaten by the grand piano, the applause is momentarily stopped then resumes with fervour, how wonderfully avant-garde. Next week’s performance would be a ballet performed by amputees that survived the Khmer Rouge, a prodigal opus. The Turner Prize is awarded for a sculpture made out of rusty, partially melted, soup cans, simply entitled ‘Souped Up’, It later transpires that the cans were from Chernobyl & Britain hysterically accuses Russia of a covert nuclear attack. Putin smiles grimly as he watches CNN & puts in an order for some umbrellas with poisonous tips.
The hubbub of Oxford Street, hordes of determined shoppers armed with sharp credit cards, slashing their way to purchases. Shopping is now a habit rather than a necessity, remember that as your house is repossessed. The security alarm blares, stolen CDs cascade to the ground, the career criminal shrugs nonchalantly, he will be out in a week, for every time he is sentenced, there are five times he has not been caught. Unfortunately, for the thief, an interesting new law has been sneaked through the Commons to help alleviate the problem with overcrowding in prison; the security guard pulls out an Uzi and shoots the thief dead, everyone freezes then cheers, the security guard smiles as he utters some inane Americanism like, “Now that’s what I am talking about!”
The child gestures to the motionless water, he could walk on it. The epoch is out of joint, no miracles for the moment otherwise he would end up being consigned to life imprisonment on daytime television programmes where terrifying mutants screech at each other incoherently. Where do television producers find these monsters? Underground caves, sanatoriums or housing estates? It’s a wonder that anyone has the courage to leave their home on a daily basis.
The Cross became malleable, through no fault of Its own, our whims have corrupted It. Pilgrimages to undertake, mythical beasts to slay. The dormant Sphinx sprouted wings & flew away, the Egyptians chased after it like insane children, until they died. One quick economy flight to Egypt (the taxpayer kindly covered the cost) & the Asbo kids sort the Sphinx out by spraying it with graffiti tags. The Sphinx was so confused trying to decipher the symbols that it crashed into the Isle of Wight, the antique masonry was a big hit with the yachties. White caps, cravats & canvas shoes, moustaches are optional, pipes are not. Quick glide around the Channel, hoping not to be sunk by any submarines, and back to the harbour for tea & scones.
At night, the sea is darksome, tainted with fear, mottled with souls, skeletons glide near the surface, searching for memories. One of them had been an angel who had flown too close to the Lord, the sun resembled a pulped heart, his wings were singed, an aqueous doom, mere flotsam/jetsam. Dawn tinges the horizon with creeping orangey tendrils, the souls shrink down to the depths, sunlight reminds them of loss & heartache. A conch falls like a discarded halo.
The killer wears shadows, it is a hollow mask, his glib smile shines like a dagger. The highway sways & blinks like a concrete snake, bewitching him. Change shakes its wet limbs, portals fluctuate like molten honey, sweet to taste, oblivion will be granted. But for now he will continue to be a bus driver, “Exact change, please!”
Global warming…what is the problem? As long as corporations are making huge profits & a percentile of the profit ends up in a politician’s back pocket, what does it matter that the Earth is raped? I know I would rather have a offshore bank account with huge wads of money than acknowledge that the world is spinning to ruination. The planet will shake free from its shackles, countries will be cast into the oceans, cities will become tombs, nature will reassert its dominance, mobile phones & I-pods won’t help you, a global EPM will see to that, chaos in the truest darkest sense will be prevalent. Who will rise up? A Messiah or a Fascinator? The sun will be as black as the Hiroshima angel. The horror, the horror.