Unending dream

I glance out of the garden gate

I see the world spin

In one last bliss

While the echoing bombs fall.

 

A tender sharp moment

A hand to grasp

A breath and a sigh,

but still we linger.

 

Minutes tick by like years

The world crumbles away

The open chasm cleaves the earth

And we look into nothingness.

 

One last glimpse of what was dear to me

One last memory of everything I knew

Until I fall and fall.

Into the nothingness.

 

Warmth consumes

Darkness envelopes

I don’t know where the light comes from

But it burns my eyelids

Everything is dark

When I open my eyes.

 

There’s nothing to hold on to

Nothing to see or grasp.

Just endless screams

And the huge blast

Of the bomb behind

And the bomb in front

Burning my face

Like a desert sun.

 

Everlasting destruction

Hell-fire spits out its tongues

Crumbling gates to Heaven and Hell

We’ll all soon be gone.

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Nattens Guirlander

Første Guirlande

Skal jeg fortælle alt hvad der er sket

For at folk forstår mig?

Eller er det vigtigere

At fokusere på de få ting i livet,

Der former mig til den, jeg er?

Jeg kan ikke længere adskille dagenes trivialiteter.

Hvis jeg kunne var de for længst smidt over bord

Sammen med rådne Strunge og den gyselige gotik

Som jeg finder fuld af klichéer.

Jeg forsøger at samle tankerne

Der strider afsted i strømme,

Bløde kurvede guirlander

Der former sig som en drøm.

Jeg ved ikke hvor det næste ord bevæger sig hen

Men jeg brækker mig og tømmer min sjæl

Blæk på papir,

Måske er det rødt på grønt,

Kontrastfarver ligesom sort på hvidt

Men dog forskelligt.

For du vil læse det anderledes.

Du vil tolke det anderledes.

Du vil være det anderledes.

Jeg vil være det anderledes.

Er det for meget forlangt,

At jeg er anderledes?

Jeg behøver ikke engang at råbe det.

Nu til dags er der mør og mas

Med at finde sig til rette

I den rette parket.

Man strider hårdt mod hårdt

Mens regnen børster mod hårene,

Og råber kærligt i ørerne

At de er fulde af vand.

Varm luft og perfide gener.

Man bliver tung om hjertet

Når man hører

At der er nye døde krigere

Og savnede helte

Der går til grunde

For en uudgrundelig grund.

Man får aldrig svar.

Man savner altid.

Det gør kun tingene værre.

Jeg rækker hånden ud og lader regnen danse på mine håndflader.

Er stemningen vendt eller glemt eller noget helt tredje?

Jeg sejler min egen sø

Over bebyggelse så nær og fjern

At jeg kan se det med det blotte øje.

Men det tager timevis at komme dertil.

Herfra og dertil.

Det er en livsvandring,

En pilgrimsfærd,

Og for enden venter kun tomme løfter

Fulde strofer

Sang fra et paradis der aldrig bliver.

Det bliver kun fjernere og fjernere.

Som livet farer forbi og vanskeliggører

Alle de ting man ønskede,

Alle de drømme man havde,

Alle de håb men forsøgte at stræbe efter,

Alle de løfter man ikke kunne holde.

Hele verden ligger foran mine fødder

Men jeg vil heller ligge her

I glemsel og sang

Om et fuldt paradis.

 

Livsomspændende Legesyge Hvisker

Han hvisker ikke altid

Det er kun nogle gange.

Når livet er svært

Eller du er hårdt ramt

Af alderdom og fattigdom og trolddom.

Du får ikke din recept stukket i hånden længere.

Alting flyder i en æter af idéer og informationer.

Hvis man kunne se,

En dag, alle de tråde der binder os sammen.

Ikke kun nu men også de forrige.

Hvor meget ville det gøre en forskel?

At man kan se hvordan historien gentager sig selv?

At facebook og Twitter og whatnot gør os dumme?

Gør os hadske?

Gør os fjendtlige?

Racistiske?

Nationalistiske?

Indspist hummus med en tang af salat

På sidevognen ligger resten af det blodlimede kød

Klar til indtægt, klar til fortæring, klar til afsætning.

Højest bydende er de første i rummet.

For de har penge og ved hvad der er godt.

Det siger de selv.

Men når en dag Thors Hammer slår dem ned

Og rammer husets gyldne bjælker,

Kan de give afkald på deres frisør?

Deres chauffør?

Deres interiør?

De ved hvad der er godt

Så længe livet er godt.

Måske kan de tro,

At livet altid er godt?

For det har aldrig været ondt.

Man har klaret sig.

Man har stået igennem.

Men der var altid plads til det,

Vi andre kalder luksus.

Ikke fordomsfuldt,

Næh, såmænd blot en gisning.

En guirlande af de mange.

 

Morgenguirlande

Jeg så solen rejse sig.

En spotlight på livets skuespillere.

Den våde dis ligger tåget hen

Over blygrå himmel og blåligt vand.

Der er stille, som i stille timer.

De timer, du aldrig oplever.

De timer hvor du hører flere mennesker

End du hører maskiner.

Lysreguleringen lyser op

Men standser ingen biler.

Du sukker svagt og tænder en smøg

Og mener hvad du siger.

Du gransker din egen ulyksalighed,

Mens vejrtrækningen i sengen dulmer din smerte.

Du ved ensomhed og tosomhed

Er kommet for at blive.

 

Fremtidsguirlande

Om 50 år er intet som det er nu.

Vi må belave os på den tanke.

Det er ikke apokalyptisk ment.

Det er snarere en state of fact.

Der er ikke noget du kender nu,

Som vil vare ved.

Hverken af egen eller din vilje.

Det hele må ende i et brag.

Det brag der løsner sjælen fra dine knogler.

Sådan går det også alt andet.

Os, andre, alle, det hele.

Alt.

Systemet, samfundet, livets grusomheder,

Den spirende lykke i dit svælg

Der vælger glædestårer frem for dryssende mundvige.

Du skærper dine sanser mod det ufravigelige.

Du træner, du knogler, du spiser sundt og drikker kildevand som honning.

Der er bare ikke andre,

Der har overlevet livet på den måde.

Endnu.

Hvis vi alle så verden i verdens perspektiv.

Stoppede med at tro menneskeopfundne guddomme er mere værd en mennesker.

Hvis vi spolede tiden tilbage,

Ville vi stadig dø.

Måske gladere.

Måske lykkeligere.

Måske klogere.

Men vi ville stadig

Dø.

Death

026Is it the only way out to stop your heart?

Is it really what you want?

To be free from everything that you thought

You’d love right from the start.

 

Is it right to do what’s wrong?

Is it wrong when the feeling is so strong?

To be honest when you just don’t care

Or to be safe when you’re no longer there?

 

Have you thought of the void beyond our now?

Did you get a message from the lonesome crow?

Did a scream escape your lips

When the numbness reached your fingertips?

 

It’s not a long process for you

It’s not a journey to get it through

You can choose to let it end

But what life you may just have spend.

Scratch

The tick, the itch.

Like the tick of a clock

Then the following itch.

Resemblance was dignified.

Couldn’t miss it,

Even if you tried to.

There was no escape.

The skin seared,

A flickering,

Snakes and slugs crawling

Out of reach from your

Broken fingertips.

If you scratched enough,

It ceases,

But only a moment.

Then it would be back,

Full-blown force

Distinguished from the other feelings of

Your body.

Hair bulged in pores,

Pressing on the surface

To be released,

Only the slow metamorphose

Could relieve the pressure.

It beat upon the blood streams,

Insanely unnerving migraine,

Compelling you to lie still and

Do nothing.

Nothing but scratch

Flaking, clotted blood,

Stuck under the nails.

It pierced the skin.

Wounds appeared

Where wounds

Had not been

Moments ago.

The smell dug

Into nostrils.

Old cow.

Dead pig.

Wet dog.

Heavy and sultry,

The smell of rain

And moist soil.

But also blood.

The stench was inconceivable,

All-time present

Reminder of what was happening.

Mud and blood

Mingled with gun-powder,

Sulphur poured into the

Open cracks

Contaminated

The water-supply of the body.

Veins turned ashen

Blue and black,

Stalled old pipes.

Barbed-wire cut lesions

As deep as trenches

Surrounding you,

Pouring out puss of

Inflamed holes.

The tick, the itch.

Scratch

Pulse for Mary Bell 1.0

Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep.

Such was the sound that reached Jonathan’s ear when he reached the emergency ward. This cold, distinctively eerie sound of the heart monitor’s wail. I’m keeping her alive, it told him, keeping her steady.

The car crash had just been reported half an hour ago. Witnesses had seen it. A cargo transport had collided with the dove-white Volkswagen in the middle of the street. Aimlessly, it seemed, this accident committed by the muse of fate, had struck his wife on the way home from work; she had been eager to get home, he had promised good dinner and wine, to celebrate her now finally confirmed promotion as manager of publicity in the company.

With no presumable premonition of the accident, both drivers had been speeding to get ahead of a slow vehicle. Like a mirror it had seemed, both had come out of nowhere and collided head on. The cargo transport was too large to budge on the road from the force, so it was Jonathan’s wife who had suffered immensely at the accident. Witnesses had frozen on the spot and watched it all happen. Jonathan could visualize it perfectly: The white car front being pressed against the pavement, crunched like the hammer of Thor banged against the lid, while the back of the car flipped up making it almost stand vertically on the head lights in the middle of the street. Just a pause, a breath of fate, before it toppled over completely and landed with the roof against the front of the cargo transport, still sliding forward, tires screeching from the white-hot brakes; the smell of burned rubber probably seared through the air like a poisonous fume. The cargo transport reeled and ended up sliding with its left side down the road until it stopped, on the verge of toppling over, but keeping all four tires in the road. The white car fell slowly from the front of it and down, landing on its left, the driver’s side; the window panes broke, the engine was smoking, and the entire car was smashed to bits.

The police had explained it as he had arrived. They just took care of the formalities, they had told him. Two friendly officers named Thomas and Adam. They had shown him a few photos taken from the scene. No crime, nothing, they just had to make sure. But then they had explained the rescue of his wife. A witness, the first one moving, the first one daring to cross the street littered with scrap metal and glass, had run to her car, pushed it back with all four tires in the ground again and tried to get her out while calling for an ambulance or a doctor. A young man had hurried over, a medicine student, but none the less capable of detecting the first signs of trauma. Broken ribs, large concussion to the head, possibly a broken jaw and a dislocated hip, and the spine he did not dare examine. If she lived, the student had said, it would be a miracle.

Now as Jonathan stood in the doorway to the emergency ward he could see her behind the white curtain, like snow sewn onto fabric, paralyzing cold and sterile. The smell of rubber was in his nostrils, though he had not been at the scene of the accident. He wondered how this could be, seeing that hospitals were known for their almost clinical stench of alcohol.

Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep.

He shuddered as he walked closer and drew away the curtain. He could not recognize his wife like this, tubes stuck in between her full, pale lips, a bandage around her head, a drip inserted in the pale hand resting limp on the white sheets. Her ash blonde hair had been washed and combed over her shoulders, framing her rounded face. The light over her was eerie. Was there something preparing to light up the room and guide her away from him? He looked at the clipboard hanging by the bed head.

Mary Bell, 32 years, car accident and then a lot of numbers and Latin words he did not even dare pronounce to himself. A nurse came over to check the pulse, correct the drip and then left hastily again. Jonathan looked after her. What was happening? Was something wrong or was she just off for other duties in a hurry, not missing her schedule or coffee break?

He reached down and took the pale hand. It was icy cold. Was she alive at all? Wasn’t she already dead? Why did they not tell him what was needed to make her wake up again? Did they need donation of some kind? Blood, organs? What was her diagnosis? What were her chances of surviving this?!

He looked at the bedside table. Personal effects had been put there in a zipper-bag. Her favorite golden earrings, shaped like droplets, her handbag, her cell phone, her P.A., her purse and a few coins of spare change. In another bag her clothes lay folded together neatly. The macabre details of the blood spatter on her beige flax dress and grey cardigan almost made him reel. The shoes stood on a small shelf in the table, the straps crunched and the leather torn from the sole; one of the heels had broken.

“Mr. Bell?”

turned around and a doctor gestured for him to follow out of the ward and into the corridor. Jonathan obeyed, speechless still. Was he in shock? Did he need a diagnosis? He could not feel his feet; the floor was like soft, wobbling cotton rolling somewhere below him. Had he died? Was he in heaven? Would Mary be there as well?

“Mr. Bell, I’m Dr. Evansson, I’m the physician overseeing your wife’s condition,” he explained. Jonathan nodded.

“Is she going to live?” he asked frankly. He had not meant to ask, it would be stupid to hear the answer, to have the judgment thrown into his face at such an early stage of despair. Mary would have wanted him to be positive and believe in her, believe in her will to come back and love him just as she had always done. He saw nothing in the doctor’s face that indicated either yes or no, but then again, he saw nothing in people’s faces. Usually, he was good at reading people, he had read Mary like an open book when they met in college, and he never failed to sense the signs. But now everything around him was just as cold and monotone as the beeping heart monitor.

“We have to make a surgery,” Dr. Evansson said gravely. “The trauma she’s suffered is severe. If she survives, we won’t know in what condition she will be in. I take it you’re her husband?”

“Yes,” Jonathan moistened his lips and glanced to the doorway, seeing the curtain swirl lightly when a nurse passed Mary’s bed.  Maybe it was a trick of light in the curtain, but he thought he had seen Mary sit up and wave at him, that little gentle twitch of her wrist, making her bracelets tingle.

“I’m afraid, I cannot give you any good statistics for anyone having been through what she has,” Dr. Evansson continued. Jonathan did not look back at him, merely stared towards the source of the beeping; his heart almost fluttered at the sound, each time it broke the slight mumbling around him from other nurses passing by, patients and visitors. “What’s important now is to be strong and have faith that she wants to live just as much as I presume you want her to.”

“And if she survives?” Jonathan looked back at Dr. Evansson.

“She will be severely impaired, the question is only to what degree,” Dr. Evansson’s answered darkly. There was no need to hide the facts. “But no matter what she will need nursing twenty-four hours a day. She won’t be able to walk, and…” he paused, “if the surgery helps, she may be able to speak and express emotions. Nothing more.” Jonathan nodded. “We’re giving her a good dose of morphine now to keep her relaxed. Do you need anything?”

“Morphine sounds good,” Jonathan mumbled absently and looked at his folded hands.

“I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty to hand out medicaments to vis-“

“If you’d be so kind, doctor,” Jonathan directed his gaze back up at the doctor. “Please.” Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep… “This situation is more than I can handle.”

The doctor took a deep breath before he nodded slowly. “I’ll see what I can do,” he said finally, resigning to the fact that the man in front of him was in severe shock. He left Jonathan who walked back into the ward where he waited by Mary’s side. The doctor returned with two small pills and a glass of water.

“According to our schedule we’re performing the surgery in twenty minutes,” he said and with a last pat on Jonathan’s shoulder he left to attend to the other patients. Jonathan stared at the pills and the glass before he put the glass on the bedside table and drew the curtains around the bed to shut out any suspicious eyes. He bent over Mary and kissed her forehead gently as he cradled her gently, careful not to touch the tubes. But his embrace was enough to push the lips slightly apart and he slipped the two pills into her mouth. He dared not pour water into the mouth, lest it would choke her. But then again, what he was doing would doubtlessly have the same effect. He straightened up again and waited.

Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep.

He did not know for how long he stood there. He knew the enzymes in the mouth had to dilute the pills and carry the drugs off into her system. If he had calculated correctly, just a small doze off the charts would save her. Save her, he thought. Yes, it would be merciful; it would be painless and relieving. She had no way of making a new life, bound probably to a wheel chair for the rest of her life. He, on the other hand, could still make a new existence. In a harsh world like this, he did not have time to take care of an impaired wife.

They had no children, there would be no loss. Of course he would have to answer to the family, but this was the decision he made. He was strong, just like Mary would have wanted him to; he believed in her, believed that she had been a good, kind and loving woman, and believed she would not have wanted a life as a cripple. He knew her. He had read her after all, hadn’t he, back in college where you never grew old and life was a miracle every day? Her life would not be a miracle, not if things would evolve like Dr. Evansson expected them to.

Fifteen minutes waned slowly when the beeping gained a new sound, speeding up. At first it was undetectable, then at the second different beep, Jonathan turned and left the ward before the nurses could get to him in time. He walked out and strode down the hall of the hospital, exiting as he pondered who Mary Bell was and why he had ever entered. The front doors closed behind him and shut out the sound in the distance as he walked down the front steps.

Beep-beep-beeep-beeep-beeeep-beeeep-beeeeep-beeeeep-beeeeeeeeeeeeeep…

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.

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.