Pulse for Mary Bell 2.0

Ashen grey as the world had become, the old, crooked house stood on the hill-top, view towards the forest to the north, and view towards the village in the south. In between there was nothing but the marsh surrounding the hill-top where grass had been kindly allowed to survive through time. Poppies, daisies and violets scattered the rough ground which had only one road going from and to the house and through the marsh to the main road. Practically, the road ended before the marshland, but patient souls had spent days, weeks and months making a path, throwing sand and gravel across a narrow belt which then reached the old house.

The sky was always grey, the Scottish weather was of an unpleasantly predictable structure, and people wondered when the erosion would cause the hill to slant, the house to slide and the entire foundation to collapse.

Except from Paula Mulligan. Paula would be very sad indeed, because this was the house where she lived and worked tirelessly for Mary Bell. Day in and day out. She was an elderly lady, a nurse who had attended the great battleships during World War II and had now returned to carry out simple chores for weak and disabled people.

Mary Bell was her patient whom she now, for the last two decades had consulted daily, and in the end she skipped her other patients and moved in to settle with Mary Bell as her private nurse. There was a family fortune of which she got a monthly fee, and she did not complain, even though the fee rate was lower compared to all the chores she had in the house. The creaky floors and the rickety stairs had to be mopped, the panels and half empty bookcases dusted and the cobwebs removed from the corners and the tainted windows. The plaster was peeling from the walls; the house was literally giving up and it was only a matter of time before it would fall in on itself.

There was a grey sepia tone which clung to the house. Even the flowers she brought in from outside became tarnished by the darkness behind the drawn curtains; the candles blazed dimly and the fire in the fireplace or the stove was shrouded from becoming a fully-fledged orange hue.

The house was narrow, not many rooms on each floor, and most of them were rarely used by anyone else than herself and the mice scattering across the floor whenever she entered. There was the ground floor with the dining hall and the parlour and beyond the little kitchen. The next floor had three bedrooms and a bathroom as well as a small study. From this floor there was a long, slender staircase with only a small light at the top and the bottom. It reached a narrow landing with a single door. Beyond this door, Mary Bell’s chambers lay.

It was a spartaneous furnished room, the floorboards’ lacquer worn off by years of walking, splinters protruding from them like the nails, hazardous to step upon without wearing crocks. There were windows turned north, three of them side by side, and the room was open to the roof where the rafters hung almost dismantled from the original place, spiders’ and mice nests huddled close against the roof tiles. An old unstable hospital bed stood with the bed head against the left wall, below a faded portrait of the beauty that Mary Bell had once been. Cherry blossom cheeks, red haired and radiant violet eyes gazing under a pearl adorned veil. A fair bride. Beside her stood the shape of a tall man, but he was faded so that even the facial expression had become a hazy mist. The only thing one could discern from the picture was the lily in his breast pocket, abloom and almost radiant compared to the rest of the painting’s colours.

But now, what was left of the once gorgeous young woman was practically already a corpse. She lay in the bed, her feeble hands grey against the white linen, the veins curling up like the rivers of central Europe and the drop stuck under the skin. The face was sunken and gaunt, the skin basically parchment. The lace visible by her neck was neatly done and pressed, like all her other dresses that Paula ironed in the evening and laid out in the morning. She could not bear Mary being clad in the simple uniform that was required by her bureau when she attended her patients. Now that she had become a resident in her patient’s own home, she would treat her patient like a human being and not an object. She had come to realize how the procedures she had had to follow in the past objectified people and stripped them from the last dignity they would have in life, before death took them into his embrace.

When Paula had first had the assignment, it stated nothing else than Mary Bell being old, needing help to do chores in her house and to medicate herself properly. She was on morphine and diazepam and a hoard of other drugs. She picked up the prescription, went to the pharmacy and got what she needed, once a month. She did this without really thinking that things could be different. But now she wasn’t so sure anymore.

Mary Bell had been in a wheel chair when she first got to the house. She had been kind, smiling, still some of her old vigor and her skin not as dry as it was now. She told about the house as she showed Paula around, how it had been in the family for ages. She halted by the doorways, placing her hand on the frames like she felt the tremor of memories through the wood, resembling the images that she described to Paula. The golden days with laughter, flowing gowns, golden light from the chandeliers and red wine in torrents from the now dusty crystal decanters in the cabinets. It had been marvelous times, she had said, her eyes dreamy with remembrance.

But gradually she had needed more and more help and then finally she never left bed. Paula had a hard time just getting her into the wheel chair to drive her to the shower. She saw the woman slowly crumble, destabilizing into the old woman she had now become. Paula was sick from watching her patient dying in front of her eyes. She couldn’t take it much longer, and sure Mary Bell would also die off one day with nothing left for the world but the house already falling apart. Once, though, a young man in a suit had come by. She hadn’t even got his name before he was up the stairs to the next floor and out of sight. She did not want to bother if it was a private matter, but she never saw the man again and his visit was the one that had started the downward spiral for Mary Bell’s health.

Whatever had happened, whether he was the family lawyer, a son or a grandson, she had not given it a second thought. To be honest she remembered very few of his features seeing that he had been a whirlwind through the entrance hall when she had opened the door to let him in. So whether he was a relative, she could not tell. She had tried to find some family photographs but none depicted a man his height and slender built. Children were there, true, but they had to be older by now than he had been. But then on the other hand, she could not even remember when he had visited. A few years into her service, maybe?

For the last few months the visit had haunted her often in her sleep. A faceless man and Mary Bell’s increasing illness in his wake. A curse of some kind. She imagined him standing by her bed, shrouded in the darkness of the late afternoon gloom. The darkness would stretch out towards her, embracing her and rendering her of her last life force, leaving her like the corpse she had now been for the last many years. The man would then straighten up and walk towards the door, his motions graceful and smooth, like a dolphin swirling in the ocean. Paula watched from the sideline but somehow the man would know she was there. He would reach for the handle and turn to look at her with eyes that weren’t there but still he saw her, he looked straight at her, such a piercing gaze that she would wake up in an instant, panting with fear.

Now she had frequently glanced to the road, through the shimmery curtain of rain drawn across the window panes, expecting him to return one day. Either for herself or for Mary Bell. Paula was not young anymore, she herself was beginning to feel the pressure of old age building. And where would she go when Mary Bell was no more? She had no other homes and only distant cousins with literally no idea where she was and what she had been doing. Her dedication to the old and dying woman in the attic had taken away her life. When she had come back from the war and peace had finally settled, she had had a dream about moving to one of the big cities, going to college and maybe studying at the university, finding herself a nice boyfriend, buying a house, having kids and a car, maybe even a puppy to raise.

But the dream had never come true. She felt the bitterness swelling up once in a while, a sickening taste of bile threatening her cleft. And when she felt it, she looked to the road, somehow wishing for the man to return and take her and Mary Bell away, ending their tiresome existence, alone in the big old house, the entire structure creaking and churning whenever a storm hit up; even when the wind was a mere breeze, drafts would make doors slam and curtains quiver.

But she could not predict the end just as little as she could predict the weather. It was late autumn 1978, and the wind was gaining across the plains. In the distance the cattails rustled like a choir and the trees wavered forth and back, a black mass pulsating against the leaden sky. Whatever day it was, she had no clue as a matter of fact. It could have been a Friday or a Tuesday. It would not have mattered much. This was the day the burden lifted from her heart and made it skip like it had not skipped since being aboard a ship during a firefight.

She saw him.

It was a short glimpse that day, but it was enough for her to make her legs shaky and force her down into one of the dining table chairs staring out of the window where she had seen him. He had been there, on the road, like a glitch. There was no rain to trick her eyes through the window pane, no shrubbery to block her view. He had been there. Nicely dressed in a suit and, with a red tie and a hat. His face had been turned to the house but too far away for her to make out any distinct features.

But he was there in the blink of an eye, and then he vanished. Gone for good. She thought for a moment that her mind had deceived her, that her hopes were getting too high, but in her heart she knew that she was right. The rest of the day she kept her eyes to the windows but nothing showed up. Rain came in and washed the air clean. She opened the windows in the entrance hall to let it all in, like a cleansing potion through the old house. Dust rose and hurled itself through the corridors, making her cough violently.

But somehow the air helped. The grey layers thinned and revealed the colours of the plaster and the wood. Deep auburn rosewood with carvings now recognizable, the plaster a faded blue with green leaves in an ornate pattern. Cobwebs disappeared places she had never been able to reach. Even the chandeliers regained their former glory. She almost laughed as she stood in the entrance hall and saw everything anew. Although weathered, it was all there. The memories that Mary Bell had spoken about. Her laughter almost revived them, flowed through her as she imagined everything come alive. The prehistoric guests going forth and back, glasses shimmering in their hands, jewelry tinkling and voices floating down the hallways.

She put Mary Bell to sleep around nine o’clock. After that she sat in the parlour with a well-earned drink before she left for her bedroom upstairs. As she lay down, she felt as lighthearted as she had not felt for a long time. Things would be better in the future. There was hope.

Then for a week she saw nothing. The house returned to its gloom and her hopes sizzled away until one evening when she, once again sat in the parlour. The grandfather clock ticked and tocked as it had always done. Then, in a heartbeat, there was a knock on the front door. The sound sent shivers down her spine. There had not been any visitors for the past six months. Not even the doctor had been around to check on Mary Bell, her next checkup would be in two weeks.

The knock startled her. Especially because it was just once. Not the expectant two or three knocks. Just one single sound breaking the monotone cycle of the clock’s ticking. She sat still a while before grabbing her cane and shuffling to the entrance hall. She halted midway through the room and listened. Her heart was galloping.

“Hello?” she called. She was amazed at her croaking voice. When had she spoken last? She hummed tunes when cleaning and she occasionally talked to soothe Mary Bell while dressing her or bathing her. But it was a while now that she had done so. Forgetting herself. Forgetting how to speak.

Seeing that there was no reply, she approached the door cautiously, unlocked it and slid it open just a few inches to peer out into the dark. She fumbled for the switch on the inside to light the porch but the lamp had gone out apparently. But against the light reflected on the ground and the sky, she could see the silhouette of a man on the doorstep. The light from inside did not hit anything else than his chest where the satin tie shimmered nobly.

“I’m here to see Mrs. Bell.”

The voice was just as cold as the air that came in from outside.

“Who shall I present?” Paula asked.

“She knows me.” The man moved forward, the light hinting the chin but still no light on the face. Paula resisted with only the door as her force against him.

“I’m sorry, sir. No visitors unless you’re a relative,” she insisted, but so did he, not budging his foot between the door and the frame.

“I’m here to see Mrs. Bell,” he repeated. The voice almost knocked her off her feet and she lost her grip and stumbled backwards as he opened the door, forcefully but without violence. He strode past her, once again succeeding in hiding his face from her. She tried to catch up with him.

“Sir? SIR!” she called and humped as well as she could up the stair. A draft shut the front door behind her, making her jump out of her skin, but she kept a steady pace, as steady as it could be, while making her way through the house. She could hear the footsteps ahead of her.

“Sir? Sir, you’re trespassing!” she called. “I’m going to call the police!”

She came to a halt at the stairway going up to the attic. The door was ajar and she began ascending, cautious not to make too much noise but the floorboards were not in her favour. Straining her ears, she tried to listen for anything upstairs but no sound came down to greet her. She continued, struggling with a sudden death-weight in her entire body. Lifting the cane was harder than usual and her feet were glued to the floor.

She fought bravely but in the end, at the last step, her knees gave way and she fell over, half-way across the landing. She struggled to get onto her feet but not even her cane could sustain her. It broke in two when she tried to stand with it. She crawled on her stomach towards the door and pushed it up to peek around the corner. She heard the beeping from the heart monitor speeding up as she saw the man by the bed. She was too low to see what actually happened but just like her dreams had depicted it, the darkness surrounded the bed, however from it was a glow emitting from probably where Mary Bell’s face was.

But gradually it faded as the heart monitor slowed down to the tune of the dead. In the same second the man turned around. Only now did she see his face. The eyes were astonishingly green, the lush green of spring, but the pupil was narrow like that of a snake. His face was keen with marked cheekbones and a thin lipped smile. As he turned she felt a blow against her face, like a wind pulsating against her, warm, like a caress on her cheek and brow. Her body felt heavier and heavier, her eyelids as well. The last thing she remembered was his outstretched arms as he bent over to reach her, his lips split in a smile revealing a toothless mouth, black like night, opening up, welcoming her into the last intake of breath that she would take. And as he embraced her, she heard the pulse still residing within him, the pulse which had once been Mary Bell’s.

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Content

Table of content

Introduction

  1. Imagine a Better way
  2. Abacada 1.0
  3. Ego
  4. Diamonds and Pearls
  5. Before the Dawn
  6. Sword
  7. Uninvited Guest
  8. Liberation
  9. Winter
  10. The Shadow
  11. Out
  12. Fear
  13. Fairytales and Nightmares
  14. Anger
  15. Emo Kid
  16. Celebrity
  17. The Silence Cure
  18. Don’t Wanna
  19. Sweet Underground
  20. Death and Resurrection
  21. A New World
  22. Limelight Lullaby
  23. Friday 13th
  24. Prophecy
  25. Painful Unity
  26. All the Small Things
  27. Expensive Muse
  28. Abacada 2.0
  29. Revenge
  30. Celebration
  31. Perplexia
  32. The Toddler
  33. Achievement

Appendix

Empty Designs – an introduction

Fixing a head is so much harder than you think.

To be perfect makes no sense if no sense comes in perfection. People say it’s impossible. I think they’re right, these people.

I couldn’t care less.

This is a small collection of a lot of old poems from my teens, written approximately from the year 2000 to 2012. Most of them have been conceived in a fit of rage, anger or all the built-up hatred residing within me. But this was my cure, for the time being, along with all my other poetic works, novels, short-stories and fantasies. But, as you may find, the latter poems depict the new me, the reborn me, the phoenix rising from the ashes of depression to finally meet the world with an openminded perspective of life as well as positive energies instead of negative. And even though hate and rage can be a force just as great as love, then love does not have as many negative side-effects as hate, like paranoia, fear and anxiety.

Maybe you already know this.

Maybe you don’t care, just like I do. Maybe you’re genuinely interested.

Sorry, my bad. I’m not a very good sales person. I generally tend to write the truth, at least the truth in my heart, not a scam or a hoax for people to believe me to be sweet or anything.

In some circumstances, I’d say that my novels are more genuine traits of me. True, but this is more like the spilling of blood than describing its taste, consistency or color. If you get my point.

I might bore you, I guess I bore many people from time to time, but I still hope you’ll like my writing. Not that I demand it of you, but I’d like you to just reflect, if you can, on what’s been said here once you close the book. Not big thoughts, not something important or a revelation of the bigger kind. Just, well, a bit of contemplating.

I’m not seeking pity, I’m fine as I am at the moment, and I guess I will be for a long time into the future. My only problem remains that this is the only way I can show who I really am. Or at least say it… Does that make sense? All my literary work is part of me, representing me. It might, to some, appear degrading, becoming words on pages, black ink on white sheets, but none the less, this is the purest form of me. Being simple doesn’t mean being stupid, less wise or less intelligent than previously perceived. You simply find your media and you become one with it. Those who exploit the media do not understand their function or the potential it has. Artistry has become merchandise you can buy at any store, in the market or online.

It doesn’t make a difference.

The appendix consists of a small and not entirely complete collection of children’s rhymes, made by myself and told in the fashion of one of my characters from my novels.

Enjoy.

M.J.Darklighter

 

P.s.: The content will be updated as more poems are added in the future.

Abacada 1.0

Go forth and back

Till your arms split right open,

Can’t decipher what to pretend

Or how to pretend i am lost in a world

Full of sins, so condemned,

I vanish into thin evaporation

Of old memories in a lost world.

 

Small and smouldering I give my life

To a new dawn which I beg

For mercy with my damned soul

And pity for all my crimes.

 

Sky, help me,

Victims, tear me apart,

Stars, shine on me,

Darkness, take that which is lost!

 

For I am nothing but a soul within a soul

One among others,

Likeminded bound to me,

I want to guide their footsteps into light,

But where is the lamp I need?

 

Cold, chilly snow rise from the ground,

Washing my stained face and bellows:

‘Hear ye, my darling prince,

I am the King of Ice!

I live in your heart where your love has died,

There can be no light in winter-tide!’

 

Shivering like a leaf

I descended the stairs

And found what I sought for so many years:

A gateway out of a shell.

 

Love for unnatural things,

Powers of earth and man,

I gave in to the wonders of the world,

And savoured life with my two-metre wingspan.

Ego

Smiling back at darkness of unnatural comfort.

 

Ten miles from where I lie

Is a light.

It speaks to me,

Whispering sweet lies into my ears

Such as only the evilness would be able to conjure.

 

The light is like a waxing moon

Always expanding with graceful words

And blessed deceit;

Never lessening in size.

 

Hundreds of miles from where this light is

I am.

And I have always been

So fantastic

So extreme

Incomprehensible

Rising in might like myself

Comparing a great musicians work

With a sombre note.

 

I never believed myself to be a victim of insanity

But now it seems

That it grasped me.

 

How can I unfold again?

I am a withering tree in bloom,

I am a sun unshining.

 

My nature

A presentation of myself

The nature of a thought

Unextendable,

Though being a thought should mean

No limits.

I should be evolving every second

And yet I do not.

 

Perhaps there is something

A truth which has not yet

Come alive

?

 

I am not determined on peace

Neither am I peaceful.

 

Bury my thoughts in trash of guilt

Hatred slips into my heart

Call upon wings of darkness

I can name what I desire.

 

There is no love

There is no pain

There is no truth

There is no nothing.

Diamonds and Pearls

I have never thought

How this was going to end,

But now I know

How it will all be done.

 

A small red light will glow

On the eastern sky

Beyond the horizon.

There will be no dawn

Yet people will turn their eyes to the glow

Believing it to be the sun.

How wrong they were –

How wrong they are –

How sorry they’ll be.

 

In my palm is the world

In my hand is a candle.

The world is a ball of rubber,

The candle is lit with a bright flame.

 

I place the candle on a table

Covered by the tablecloth

The nighttime velvet blue

Scattered with diamonds and pearls

The stars of the human eyes.

 

Around me,

The room is darker than night

Surrounding me,

Are the shadows of death;

I’m indulging patience

Useless,

I know.

I told myself to wait,

But this has gone beyond my reach of calm.

The continuous destruction of my life has

Brought an end to the

Good, ol’ sanity…

 

I will

Destroy every piece of human civilization

While they’re watching.

They must see their pathetic society ruined

Like a desolate field in a cold winter morning.

They shall cry bloody tears

While the fires burn their hair,

Their skin shall melt

While they watch their skyscrapers and industrial areas

Fall apart like cinders of ashes sailing on the warm winds

Borne up by the heat of the licking flames.

Their bodies shall be frozen into blocks of ice

While the oceans and seas wash over the lands

Consuming everything

Drowning everyone

Washing away their rotten filth

Along with cleansing the world from their

Festering, stinking, foul morality.

 

I want to

Watch as they cry their last prayers to a sinful god;

Hear their screams of agony

I will roast marshmallows over

Glows of their lifeless, burning corpses.

 

I want to

Smile at them

One last time

Before they die

Telling them that everything they ever did

Only made everything worse.

 

I want to

Make them regret being inhuman;

Smash their ideas of tolerance;

Make regret never truly understanding:

Make them  regret

They did not do as they knew

They were supposed to;

Hang them by their feet,

Make mice and rats gnaw at their open skulls;

Bats to bite their toes and suck their blood;

Inner demons to come out and smile at them;

Make them see:

The world was not their playground –

It was mine.

 

I want to

Heat the uranium in all the world’s power-plants and blow up the earth;

Watch the mushroom clouds rising in the distance, covering the already darkened sky;

Smell the fresh blood, the burning hair and the clothes

Feel the leaves of ashes blowing against my face,

Tickling like a cat’s whiskers.

 

I will

Make human life pointless and destruction into salvation;

Roll a dice for every man and woman who will die;

Decide their destiny while they’re still alive,

So that they may hear the judgment I make,

And shiver at the thought of the punishment

For their misconduct and unethical behavior.

 

The children I will care for

They are not yet corrupted.

I will give them a new world

A new life.

 

I will

Tell them what they must learn,

And I will pray that they will listen;

Show them the horror of the destruction;

Not show them faces of their loved ones,

But teach them

What will happen

If they fail…

 

I will

Bring down creatures of death

Upon what’s left of the world;

Watch the humans flee;

Throw meteors and atomic bombs

Into the foundations of the earth,

And watch it split

Bit by bit;

Watch the tidal waves wash over mountains

See the valleys becoming clefts filled with lava

See the mountains crumble

And the stars die.

 

And all the while

I’m holding the earth

In my palm

While the candle slowly dies

So does the glow

In the surface

Of every

Diamond and pearl.