2 PIECES
Nate Clute

LONG NIGHT'S JOURNEY INTO LIGHT

Four fifths of a fifth drunk, one fifth left in the fifth, my James’ son, Irish whizzing key in cardinal, I am. Are you, my fraternal brethren of sigma nu? You bet you’re damned hearse I am. Bud, light our brand in the basement sty did run atop a-rye, son long done with college ten years near now coarse-sinning a-fly. When does it end? So bury it all in the past, or set it alight. Let the flame of the present light eat it alive, liquor sopped sac ridden and all, right on down to its hell-hardened, core-infested lie. Defects within the being universal within us we all did die, verge on the cusp of the paradoxical, ultra dichotomized souls transmigrating to the eternal universal. Metempsychosis, karmic binds within us all we do most certainly find. In the maelstrom of worldwide calamities we fare better as humankind to be humane in kind. But ruthlessly kind, fair to those who rule and engage in actions most cruel, hard we all do find to treat those as kin in kind. Nonetheless the same in humanity, we all do find. Dare I presume, but not ass whom, that most remain fairly blind. And therein lies the rub.

Luminosity, candled candelabra, its wick lit, held by a young man in Prague on his way across cobblestones three alley ways from the entrance gate to a Bavarian style castle. Dapper dress, clad in smooth Levi jeans and a suede button up brown shirt, gray boots no less comfortable than appealing to the eye, their bohemian style, his tan skin feeling cold air goose bumps rising still beneath his pea coat thick, draws nigh. He lights his cigarette from the flame, and inhales deep the tobacco of his smoldering, burning, fuming cigarette. Alight, the flame from the candle in his eyes reflecting, burning strong and bright. In Kafka’s realm, the castle of the night, dark, its shadows’ in tangible sight. A symmetrical patterns’ eyes upon the cobbled path its gate does with gaping metal teeth welcome this hip, boots clapping cobbles young stranger as a distant cathedral’s bell dongs eleven times in song, this night net yet fully sung, not nearly done with James’ son. Thoughts of his father popping up often enough for him to question his life and where it has taken him, stuffed all back down every time he drags upon that cigarette alight, tobacco leaves concentric symmetry, smithy like a third eye bright. His would be destination there in sight.

I arrive, for I am he, you see my sight? Siphoning off from reality any when but here and now, I look to my right, see a button, press. The modern adornment rings bland, waiting, beeping, answers from the other side a voice dreary, yet the faint hint of excitement I felt in her salacious, a tone. Meant by me, sincere in my venture this far side of a foreign town, curiosity bound even when danger sounds.  

For I had been invited by my dear lady friend, Gertrude Coyle. We’d been dating for some eleven teen months now. Eight years the younger, she held my hand for spades that paid in fun. A trickster of a lass, she had those witchy Hazel eyes that sass an Irish look. Fore took eleven teen thousand years to evolve in its seductive spook.

—Come on in, her voice chimes in over the intercom, her fey countenance sounds contrite compared to the other woman’s voice that initially had greeted me. Her maid, or her mother, either or, I couldn’t help but shutter. As the gate opens slowly, a train whistle blows loud its oncoming, freight outbound a warning blight in fury. Smite!

I found serried along the castle’s entrance walls beyond the gate, knights in draconian armor guard. Stood their blackened by age dented metallic garb, scarred by swords, battle axes and Time’s scything remind I, Brandon James, that I do feel the cull of a distant age’s bind. When was last I the page? Humble and meek, most certainly not in these last few debaucherous, Gertrude for ruck us in sheets. In bites. Since four in Hekate spate weeks gorgeous frocks of curls, coils, spiral swirls of hair, did join us forlorn. Tempted me to have other women join, I could not them, us scorn. For other loins I could not help but with her, Gertrude Coyle, enjoy and adorn. All of us more gorgeous merry, ripe and full of that craving for our lives in full. Sincere in our youth, soothing each in gall. Experiencing everything. Enjoining in one, in all.

The aftermath of which these past few days I have never felt the same quite since. Having tossed a tan, trick ball, bouncy, she did see us one and all. And gave us that present same trick bouncy ball, tan in color, thrown on the marble ground for one and all to see it rise and fall. Gifted us each at our present age in a sense still as of yet not upended this night; for I, Brandon James, still do yearn to see her late.  

—Early yet, Brand... done, her voice silks inside sweet the hallway, knight serried walls listening from a none too distant age of man waylaid, a lie in Morgana’s glories paid. Gorge he ides the church bells did chime before the end of your March from home to my sweet rind. Did you bring your bouncy, tan, trick ball for me to see it bounce upon the castle ground? To see it rise and fall, from me to you to meet my family here upon this midnight drear in call?

Fog outside descends, a run furl weather begins to swirl, the wind hounds in a destitute call for I do sense some portent beck about this night’s strange, calm before, whining winds’ attack this late in winter did befall.

In the shadows, out she saunters on into bits of scattered moonlight, stands still a moment further. Then she spoke. Her voice etches in time that which does escape description mere words alone pretend to belie. Colors out of space and time begin to replace, I dissociate, still standing quite still, as of yet still young James’ son, incorporeal sight, sound, texture, the smell and the taste of sulfur ethereal a-round, round, round, merry go-bound. “J’aime le bon ton fashion, Brand... ennui. C’est tres chic,” she bemoans with more than a hint of derision in her tone. Sarcasm? Her own garb a black and white checkered dress, strands of tattered grey in her once pure brunette hair, though no less young nor old in appearance she does rebound her voice in echoes neither lost nor found. “Ancient as the time before civilization, before the world, before The Word, before any and all, I was, and remain, the wisest, the most beautiful of them all. Neither angels nor demons would dare to proclaim. For you see, you are but a player upon a checkered board. I control your movements, some, if not all, the same to me. Did you enjoy your brand... on ball, Brand... done, James’ son, as I recall?”

Memories flash before his then young, aging fast now bloodshot eyes upending, downed, as I into my body back do rebound. A seismic shift, the superb fluctuations of time remiss, though the images of deeds past done they do persist, in sins hellacious in nature they do insist, every thought, word, action, all those deeds they do bequeath summation for a cleansing rinse. Lives dating back to civilization’s birth, primordial ooze, amoebas, a sole amoeba as a tentacle reaches out from beneath Gertrude Coyle’s waist, lifting garments up to reveal more, an infinite galore, more tentacles from centrifugal petals in tentacular chase, each one slithering into my James’ son’s, psyche, body, mind, spirit, soul, sucking out the rest of the filth, slowly, painfully, from his sour sac-ridden in whole, four fifths finished now, on hold, a pause in the feeding. I, Brandon’s near all over now life, keeling. Reeling. Anything to make the hurt stop, I’m on my knees now begging for God to save me from his monstrous revealing.

Please make it stop!!!

—Anything, God, to make the hurt go away...

Pop!!! And there she stood upon the same spot fey, though the scenery changed, her family surrounding her. In pre-Victorian aristocratic garb, Gertrude at the head of the table, her bosom held in corset, the bouncy tan, trick ball atop her cleavage she did balance it there holding it still with ease in balance for one and all, her mother, father, and grandparents in awe and me my jaw agape at the other end of the dining table hall, feeling my paralysis, held stiff, still by tentacles infinite, invisible, though for what I saw I must admit I do feel more than a fair bit of sinuous enthrall. 

—Tonight, we’ll be eating sole fillet, Brandon. It’s best to try it with a little seitan. It’s a delicacy of ours, spiced up and diced, mixed together with human, compliments of yours truly, Brandon James. As a reward for your enduring our colorful treatment of the rainbow plus indigo, a color unseen, plus many, an infinite, in fact more in hue mane characteristics of my family, dare I proclaim? Like a lion roaming about, my silent entrance roar anyone, if heard, would most certainly abhor, looking for just a meal, solo, ready to devour. Why that look upon your face so sour?

She admonishes me with a longing look, not without a bit of the winds’ howling tantrum. Forsaken by my call for help, I could not but guess I did upon her other worldly senses impress, the enfolds of her gown whirling with the wind’s abound, a surly knight she found? This night, might I chance a rebound?

And with that thought at the forefront of my consciousness, subterranean dungeons I did hear them quake beneath my feet as she gave, in turn, an equal in measure, surly wink, then mirroring my look to perfection personified, such was the artistry of her capacity to demonstrate reality, to turn the mirror to mine own nature and see Hell’s flaming lights in mine own eyes in her sweet rind as the bell did chime midnight late, in spate. Awake!!

Now early, rising from my bed in sighs pleasurable and horrible, thunder crashing outside, to look at my clock on the bedside table, stopped at midnight on the tick, between the tock. And atop it did I see that tan, trick bouncy ball balanced to perfection upon the clock’s round surface, defying gravity for more than a moment did I behold it rise and fall, bouncing upon the ground as my eyes and ears do recall. That bouncy, bouncy, pouncing ball and Gertrude Coyle’s silent roar, crackling her proud as lightning catty call.

***

DEAREST READER

Dearest Reader, It was five o’clock in the afternoon when I received a phone call from my employer regarding a request from a well known high-end client who was looking for someone fresh to renew his sense of purpose.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of his circuitous approach to requesting my services.  But I will tell you this:  I have never before been requested by someone as determined as he was to keep our exchanges, though strictly professional, as quiet and non-disclosed as possible.  Meet four needs I did and wouldn’t dare to repeat.  He maintains what I believe most would see as a high degree of notoriety in his particular field of expertise.  He is political.  And regarded by many as contemptible.  His name begets any would-be fiction writer as rather Dickensian.  I’ll give you a few more hints, though given the current zeitgeist, it can’t be too hard to guess of whom, or of what, I leak. How interesting that the word “ald” refers to a municipal serviceman in Old English ...to don a sense of higher purpose.  The gentleman of whom I speak does thump with every step leaving much disarray in his rather ignorant wake.

So when he invited me for tea that Tuesday evening I couldn’t help but feel a not surprising weakening of the knees and a feeling of awe in whom I was about to meet.  I am of the fee, male persuasion is just my thing, you see?  Flirt tea, not too surly, I know how to cock a tease to please, this ald’s donned attention I did seize.  But not too much to my surprise, I discovered he had company already in his penthouse suite of the Watergate Hotel.  A couple of other women not unlike myself.  One of my compatriots remarked, “Yes, the tea does come before the rump.”  I couldn’t help but smirk.  Our host grinned from ear to ear, apparently found the remark endearing, yet I couldn’t help but feel a tingling of fear as my other comrade downed the rest of her sangria to hold back what appeared to be a tear.

The penthouse suite, its location not without historic irony given history; Her-story is but a nightmare upon which we all are but a country trying to awake.  English, ah, yes, the language of commerce.  Or ...well, it doesn’t hurt to wonder why the word “country” isn’t pronounced count tree. Especially after that one Tricky Dick president founded the E.P.A... The one who went to Whittier, Dick Nixon’s alma mater, Dickensian snide aside, the expression “put-in” dick-tat-tore-he-ally comes, grotesquely, to mind as another man arrives.  Tearing, rushin’ Russian into the sweet he, quite drunken, flies.  Just in time for tea, our host, his kindred American tea-totaling friend not even remotely surprised. 

To see such a show of venison upon a platter at a dining table, my compatriots and I complied, and were offered meat to suck and nibble upon before the arrival of another guest both men were so excited to induct into their zeal.  A lot meant to both the other men by this third guest’s imminence, though both regarded him as far more the frightful in his vehemence.  But such quiet, touching, kindred understanding they really did seem to possess for this one un-dulating, somewhat young, Nero-esque, no less slender than the teetotaler, slug. Though pugnacity not in lack,  him to whose ill dead North-Korean daddy issues we all did wonder would the world erupt in misbegotten thunderstruck and flack?  And while waiting for this third to arrive, between festivities not one symphonic Bach can all I describe, both men did break wind while playing with a lighter to tempt and taunt each a new clear of rumpus toot from organs most foul, their continued gorging upon us, gorgeous meat, patoot, and forging a-head without remittance for sense in lute.  Plenty of footage for any one spy to shoot.

Such are the wicked, something comes this way all the time, ways of the world.  You’ll have to pardon my pun-gent, ill, woe-man lease word.  My pen is certainly mightier than any fund a mental listless felaheens’ fat, what sward? Moo ha, mad? I sin, all... ah, for a prophet.  Maddening show, venison rich profit nest of gout, dare I with my pen-is bold describe to you the third’s arrival and what to the other two he too told?    

Imp potent rage he did exhibit with his cold, merciless glare, the other two not quite able to return his stare.  And finally, not without dignity and grace, staring, the other two men, naked, an audience of five, right into their eyes most base, his face stern and chaste:  “I can’t believe you two would cheat the election!”  Emphatic with his sarcasm, “Pulled a fast one on one and all!  At least I’m honest about my duplicity, my megalomaniacal superiority.  You two still cower behind a plastic mask of democratic process.  I scoff at your moderate oligarchy.  I’m old school tyranny, and I know you both secretly admire my impeccable Empire regalia Star Wars inspired style!  I am everything you want to be, but more with my wile!”  And with that, once his translator had finished emulating his tone and oratory style in both diction and friction, he whispered in that same man’s ear, and a few moments later the translator puked up not but a small bit of bile for the other two to behold in garish flare.  Its stench in the penthouse suite of the Watergate Hotel no less pungent than urine soaked sheets by hookers in a “put-in” reek hotel bed old pile.  We all did share that same sordid old air.  Compliments of my employer, Lucy Fair.  But who’s to care? 

Yours truly,

Stefanny Demurely Dedalanus

P.S.  No need to pity me. The smithy of my soul remains ever so pithy.

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