As lips part, unleashed dogs rip and wrought.
Choking on the tiniest thought.
That burn away nirvanic benediction.
And grabs the wood for your own crucifixion.
For a pox you are in eyes of scarlet tension.
A strangled lie of incomprehension.
That simmers to a sinner’s plea.
The fragile-ness of complexity.
Listen to this episode:
“Where’s Levon?” Jess asked, the euphoric whoops of her family still reverberated around the orb. She hastily darted her eyes back and forth, uselessly scanning the transparent space hoping to find him hiding in a corner.
“Wait, what happened to Levon?” Ethy asked, noticing his absence and Jess’s concern.
“Look!” Walter said, picking up Levon’s companion and handing it to Jess.
“Oh no! I knew something would happen.” Came from her mother’s wife, she was pulling at her cardigan sleaves agitatedly. Everyone slowly became silent, looking to Jess for some word or explanation. She, after all, knew about this stuff. After a moment, her mother looked at her and asked
“Jess dear, is everything okay? What’s happened?”
She had concern yet warmth in her eyes, the warmth Jess had known and loved for her lifetime. She looked around once more, taking in the world they were floating in. She went across to the hole in the side of the orb, strange green scorch marks bruised the edges of the gap.
“Obviously something has gone wrong, he wouldn’t have left us.” Ethy said, pulling her grandson in closer to her protectively. Jess caught herself there for a moment, remembering what Levon had said to them.
“He must have tried to stabilise it or correct something that was happening. Remember, he said he can go into the Altered if need be. That’s it, I’m sure.” Jess said, convincing herself as much as the others.
“But where is he now then?” Her mother’s wife asked, nervously.
“Well, maybe something happened which prevented him coming back right away. The magic is like energy, it drains as well as bolsters. Maybe he just needs some time.” Jess said. They all looked at her unsure. Jess continued.
“Either way, we are all alive, and the test worked. No one has any missing or additional body parts, right? So, it was a successful trial, we now have to get back to let them know as the order can move forward with the plan. The timeframe hasn’t changed.”
“But what about Levon?” Walter asked, his face saddened as if missing his dog.
“The order will know what to do. We have to head back right away.” She said, determinedly. As if action can put away the little doubts that had begun to creep into her mind.
“And you know how to do that, right?” Her mother asked her. Jess thought for a moment.
“Yes, I can do it.” She said, opening her own companion.
“Would Levon’s be able to help?” Her aunt asked, pointing towards his that Jess held also.
“The companions are personal; they only benefit the …. wait.” Jess said and started to frantically flick through Levon’s little book.
“Perfect, I can get us right back and where we need to be quick as a flash.” She said, and with that she placed her finger on a large symbol on the back of Levon’s companion and uttered a quick incantation. It echoed around the orb as if they were in a huge cathedral. Little particles of light drifted off the small book and peppered everyone in the orb, and with one bright flash they disappeared; leaving the orb to float for a moment before popping into nothing.
Levon had known pain before, the intense kind that forced you to cry inside. The mental anguish that can latch onto you in your darkest moments. Pain can be like a boiling hot bath that you are unable to get out of, or one that just burns your toe.
The pain that had engulfed him as he was ripped from the Limbo was nothing like he’d ever experienced or would ever want to again. It felt like his bones had been broken individually, grinded up and sprinkled back into some human form. He’s skin had felt as if it had been hacked off by a dull blade. His mind throbbed now in the afterglow of agony, housed in the cylindrical tube that was his new prison.
But he was not alone in this new confinement.
The room was dark yet spacious, the ceiling vaulted upwards with an array of tubes and conducts snaking their way to different homes. Levon stood in a glass tube, held into position by metal jacks which poked into all areas of his body. He was naked, and he felt it; the cold, almost frigid air panted over him as a scanning device rotated up and down the glass, checking his status.
To his left there were two other tubes and he’d noticed another one to his right. This one was not empty like those on the other side, this one housed another soul, and one whom Levon recognised instantly.
His father was propped up inside the glass much like himself, yet he was not conscious; Levon could see that. His head hung forward and to the side, and for a moment Levon thought of the crucifixion images that had so captured, and fetishized Christ’s last moments on the cross.
Levon had only just come to, and his mind was trying to map together the events that had transpired. Aside from the physical pain that still ran through him, he felt something else, a tingling in his arms. He looked down and saw little particles dancing on his symbols and markings. The green and blue flecks peppered his skin, and he felt a slight numbing sensation over the marked areas. The red scanning device burst back and forth, sparking the particles into little jolts of lightning. His body tingled and ached, and his brain still felt sluggish.
The lights in the room bloomed to brightness, and two persons entered and came close to the glass. Levon closed his eyes, pretending his state of continued unconsciousness. Though muffled, he could just about hear what they said through the glass.
“So vital signs are all good?” Stefan asked to the woman who stood next to him. She was tall and wore a pale blue lab coat which seemed to fit her oddly, extending her neck and head upwards almost comically.
“Surprisingly so for what they’ve been through. The older is struggling a bit more, but the fact they survived was a miracle.” The woman said, sliding through a report which she projected up in front of them both. She slid along some screens that floated there, seeming to find what she was looking for. “For some reason the system can’t generate an age for Wexton senior, the gene maps are all over the place with him.”
“Not to worry, we have enough information as it is on these two. Mr Tsutsumi has requested certain, urm, procedures for these two.” Stefan said, his eyes darted back and forth.
“I’m sure he has, the extraction machine that’s been fitted to the facility is a big indicator of what he has planned.” The woman said, resting a hand on her hip.
“Dr Camogue, I’m sure you will be the epitome of professionalism.” Stefan said, sarcastically.
“As I break the law, of course I will be.” She said, smiling a knowing smile.
“It’s for a greater good, remember that.” Stefan added, almost marking the authority that he thought he had.
“Oh, I do indeed. There will be certain benefits to my own studies with this anyway. So win win I would say.” She replied.
“Good, then I will keep quiet about what you do with your little project, if you remain equally taciturn with mine.” Stefan said, turning to face her now. She seemed unfazed, as if expecting this circumstance.
“Certainly. Would you like to see them also?” Dr Camogue asked. Her eyes flared red momentarily as the scanners descended and ascended up the cylinders. Stefan nodded to her. She flicked some screens and reset the reports as the screen disappeared. Levon could hear some whirling sounds and felt the throb of the scanner going past him. Dr Camogue walked across the room towards another door, this vanished in an instant as the detector read her authority pass, shimmering the door away.
“I’ve kept the Tanakas isolated, as there is a different agenda for them. Best not to muddy the waters, but they are all in stasis, until you tell me what to do with them next.” She said, walking Stefan through the door and out of earshot of Levon.
The door returned and once more Levon was alone in the room with just his father. Levon watched as the lights darkened once more and then turned to look at him as he was stirring in his tube. His father rolled his head back and forth before opening his eyes. He seemed alert instantly, grasping his confines and predicament much quicker than Levon had.
“Ah, Levon. Fancy meeting you here.” He said, giving his son a friendly smile.
Maybe it was all too much.
This veil pulls me down.
This earth pushes me up.
Bones as thin as china.
Will as strong as Russia.
What religion should I wear?
Which god was I trying to please?
Watch me as this orthodox trips into sunlight.
Unbuckled and strewn about like papers on a desk.
Write my name on everything you see.
For I shall own it.
My signature, worth a thousand jewels.
But then maybe, I shall fade away.
Fall into the shadow of time like a sphinx in the sand.
Riddling into my demise and my own lunacy.
Special to only but myself.
A fading queen of the ancients.
A housewife dead beneath a carpet.
Speak well of me while you eat my bread.
Drink the milk I give and choke on the thoughts I offer.
And forget me not.
For I was there at your beginning.
And will silently watch you dissolve.
A woman. A soul.
Veiled and precious.
Swirling poison in my mouth.
Out of the dark, like a Pisces rising.
The ship of salvation on this sanctified horizon.
Oh mother, why do those tears of glass never shatter?
Who wipes away those beads when the world turns over?
We hum the hymns in a frantic manner.
Coughing up rosaries like pearls from the sea.
Yet a pain in your heart vibrates underfoot.
Quaking the earth and displacing my faith.
Not in you, oh mother, the salvation in my sadness.
But in a world I find as sticky as tar, and dark as oil.
Resistant to your holy water.
Tis such vanity I make your image so beautiful.
Mirroring the love I have for my mother of body.
The one I share cells with.
So I roll my eyes back, and taste the pain away.
Losing your son.
As impotent as God to intervene in fate.
And I pray, and kiss your blessed feet.
Giving up the holy image in my mind.
Loving you for the first time,
as someone who I always knew.