Demons

The Dark Sea

stormy_sea_croppedI open my eyes and all around me is darkness. Darkness and silence. A shiver runs up my spine.

My sense of smell is assaulted by an acrid burnt sensation that stings my nose and the back of my throat. I gag slightly.

However, after a brief moment even that sense is deprived me as the smell becomes normalised and I no longer notice it. Have you ever experienced that sensation? You notice a foul smell but after a while the smell seems to go away, although deep down you know it hasn’t really gone away, it’s just that your brain no longer pays attention to it. The smell becomes ‘normal’ and as such seemingly disappears.

I think these thoughts as the acrid burnt smell likewise disappears leaving me with nothing. All is dark and silent and another thought occurs to me.

What if my inability to see or hear are also simply a result of my brain normalising my surroundings. My brain pays no more attention to the foul smelling air, is it similarly paying no more attention to visible light or to audible sound?

Perhaps the sights and the sounds of my surroundings are just as noxious to my brain as the foul smelling air, so my brain has decided to ignore them, to blank them out. So now I am left with nothing, assuming that one can call a black, silent void nothing.

It was then that I realised that the demon had returned. I took a deep haggard breath and screamed as loudly and as violently as I could trying with my voice to tear asunder the fabric of the darkness. But my screams fell upon deaf ears. Darkness, silence, void. That was now my reality.

I flayed my arms and legs about like a palsied marionette. The darkness grew seemingly heavier, as if it was trying to hold me tighter in its grip, refusing to relinquish its power over me. So tight was its grip that it felt like I was suspended in thick tar. My flaying body grew exhausted and my mind in an attempt to ‘normalise’ my environment, or perhaps to ‘anaesthetize’ my pain put me to sleep.

Minutes, hours, days, weeks went by as I lay trapped and asleep within the black tar. Any moments of wakefulness seemed as if a dream. But not a lucid dream which I could exhibit some form of control. No, the dreams were such where the exact opposite was true. Instinctively my brain convinced me within the dream that I had absolutely no control. So it was that the moments of wakefulness seemed as if I had simply floated to the surface of the deep dark sea. But always the surface of the dark waters pitched and rolled with menacing violence.

I soon learned to shun those wakeful moments. The pain, the violence, the fear were all too much for my sensory deprived body to bare. In those moments I begged my brain to return me to sleep, to the sweet oblivion of nothingness. Fortunately my brain was only too happy to oblige. The void became my universe.

Weeks turned into months, but time meant nothing within the darkness and silence. In earlier times this would have driven me to even deeper panic and despair. But having swam these waters before I could sense their familiarity. A kernel of truth stayed with me during this time. Once more I kicked towards the surface of the dark waters. Once more I was assailed by violence. But this time I let it be, I accepted the dark lashes of the wind and the rain as the waves of darkness tried once more to force me under. I surrendered to them and once I did I felt an immediate weakening of their powers.

That kernel of truth reminded me that the torrent that assailed me was also transporting me. The void was not a void at all. It was a vessel and I was its passenger and together we journeyed until my journey was complete. I began to relax even further. Even though the darkness still prevailed I knew that it would not do so forever, I just had to be patient.

I wonder now as I continue to float in the darkness what I will discover when this phase of my journey is concluded. Patience can be a difficult thing I remind myself. I only hope that the ones I love throughout the universe of my consciousness also find patience for me in their hearts.

The first rays of a new dawn are beginning to glow above the horizon. I sense, even though I can not yet see it, that a welcoming shoreline awaits for me. I sense that soon the radiance of a new day will shine forth as I reach this shore. I wonder who will be waiting for me. I hope you are, I do so miss your smiling face and your shining eyes.

With the deepest of love for anyone who struggles with depression, anxiety or bi-polar; you have my heart.

Brett

The Demon & the Man

satanic-cross-burning,-fire,-devil-133938 cropped

The supine man lay there, eyes wide in terror, mouth agape with an unuttered cry on his lips. He saw movement in his periphery and knew that the demon was approaching. It came into his field of view eyes watching him intently. The strangely swathed face added to the fearful aspect as the man tried to look away. The demon’s underling crouched in the corner pawing at his shoulder watching its master intently.

“In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti” the man whispered to himself hoping that the ancient language of Latin held more power than his native tongue.

The demon approached closer; arms raised. The underling held his shoulder more tightly waiting with a sense of urgency for its master to commence the torture.

 

The demon approachesThe man let a gasp erupt from his mouth, still agape. He closed his eyes hoping to avoid the nightmare that was about to be perpetrated on him. Too late he thought as the demon began. A single tear trickled down the man’s face as he sunk into oblivion.

He was deafened by the pounding of blood his head swimming. A fog masking his agony gradually lifted. An urgent voice sounded in his ear but he could not decipher the words. He tried to blink his eyes open but a bright light caused sharp pain to erupt in his head. The voice kept persisting as he slowly floated to the surface of conscious thought. Someone was tugging on his shoulder, forcing him to face whatever madness awaited him now. He finally succumbed and gave the voice his attention.

“Sir, sir, we’ve finished now, you can sit up.” The woman’s voice said.

The man slowly rose as his vision normalized.

 

I hate dentists he realised.

051912aDental.02_t618

Zachariah’s final letter…

Zachariah's-Final-Letter-a

 

Tobi looked up after reading Zachariah’s letter. Confusion still filling his mind as he tried to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Sympathy had been kidnapped by the evil forces of Mallium and her safety, her life, rested on his shoulders. But he was lost with where to start his search.

His head rocked back in frustration, mind racing chaotically. In the last 24 hours he’d found the girl of his dreams and then lost her. He’d been shot and barely escaped the clutches of the most evil terrorist group in the Milky Way. He stared out of the shuttle window into the blackness of space, alone, afraid and disconsolate.

A jolt to the ribs elicited a sharp grunt of surprise as Tobi whipped his head around. It was the young boy he’d pushed in front of when boarding.

“Tag, you’re it!” the boy said as he stood in the aisle of the shuttle grinning at Tobi.

“I’m sorry lad, I don’t feel like playing at the moment, maybe later.” Tobi told him as he looked back into the darkness of space.

“Oh come on mister, please?” the boy begged further.

“It’s such a long trip and my sister’s no fun to play with, won’t you play with me?” he gave Tobi a gap toothed smile clasping his hands in front of him whilst bouncing up and down.

“I’m sorry son, I’m not very good company at the moment. Why don’t you sit instead and I’ll tell you about the different stars we can see out the window.” Tobi asked hoping that the boy would agree. In truth he was glad for the distraction.

“Oh alright. How do you know about all the stars anyway mister?” the boy asked as he took the vacant seat next to him.

“Because I’m a space ranger, that’s why.” Tobi told him with a wink and a smile.

“A space ranger! That’s amazing. Tell me some stories, please mister!” the boy was begging again as Tobi laughed. The boys youthful enthusiasm was infectious and he was glad for it.

“Maybe later. You said we have a long trip. Where are we going?”

“I thought you were a space ranger? How come you don’t know where you’re going?”

“Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m on a secret mission. Not even I know. I was told that my new partner would meet me and give me my next task.” Tobi winked at the boy as he spoke.

“So where are we going partner?” Tobi asked with a cheeky grin. The boys mouth widened in wonderous awe as he stared long at Tobi’s face.

Momentarily the boys eyes narrowed suspiciously as he looked back up and down the aisle, making sure they were not being watched. In a conspiratorial whisper the boy leaned over and whispered into Tobi’s ear.

“We are on our way to Terra……….partner” he finished with an exaggerated wink and a smile that made Tobi roar with laughter, his hearts burden eased if only temporarily.

 

 

If you have missed the series “Sympathy for the Devil” see the links below:

Part I:

Part II:

Tobi’s Dream:

Part III:

Part IV:

Stay tuned for the new series of Tobi’s search for Sympathy……”Demons & Wizards” coming soon.

Sympathy for the Devil: IV

Sympathy-part-4a

Click here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3

That song is still going through my head as I watch the bullet do the same. A strange sensation really. The bullet moved towards me in slow motion as my body began to dematerialize. My hand rose up reflexively and I watch my blood explode.

Funny thing it is to watch blood erupt and then dematerialize instantaneously. The bullet emerged not long after the blood and it too atomized right before my eyes, literally. I think I closed them at that point but I can’t remember as…………..zing…………………….

everything went blank as my body did the jump through the superficies………………….zing……………….

But I suspected that it was the end for me. It was surprising that out of everything my very last living thought was of an awkward girl at a party that I felt guilty not speaking to. I gave a mental shrug at the strangeness of life as I prepared for mine to expire the instant I rematerialized, together with the bullet…………..zang.

Bells trumpeted a cacophony in my ears as I felt myself falling, falling, falling………..with a thud.

“What are you doing Carter? Are you still drunk! Get up. Will someone turn off that alarm, I can’t hear myself think.”

I lay there blood seeping from a wound in my hand looking up at the boss in bewilderment. Brice is bent over me with a joyous smile on his face.

“What’s up buddy? Wicked night last night hey? What’s wrong with your hand?”

“Mallium, it’s Mallium. They broke into my apartment. They shot me. How?”

“So that’s what set the alarm off. Never fear, we’ve got top of the range threat detection. The bullet was dust as soon as it appeared on our side. But I told you, you had to move it. If you’d had answered your holocom…….”

“Yeah, yeah, sorry boss.” I interrupted rising to my feet clutching my hand. Someone passed me a towel and a re-gen plate.

“So where is Sympathy?” I looked from the boss to Brice and back again.

“We’re hoping you can tell us.” Brice answered scratching his head.

“You said you had her location. You said she left a note.” My hand was throbbing and I was getting fed up with Brice’s cheery nature. It was just not right to be that cheery after a gallon of American Honey.

“Yeah, she left you a note. But I didn’t say it said her location. She’s just given you a clue that’s all.”

“A clue, what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well Tobes my friend, you better just read the note.”

“Unfold it on the desk, let me read it.” My voice was urgent, desperate even.

Sympathy's-letter

 

 

 

 

 

The letter is read and I scratch my head, bamboozled by what to do.

“We don’t understand what this poem means Carter, do you? Did she give you any clues when you spoke to her last night?”

I remove my hand, fully healed from the re-gen plate and look at Brice. His confusion mirrors my own. I look once more at the letter and slowly shake my head.

I’m about to speak remembering something she said when the alarm starts to blare. A computerized voice echoes ominously between the sharp siren sounds.

“Proximity warning, proximity warning” was the message it droned out.

“Quick run, it’s Mallium, they’ve breached building security. Run Tobi, run. Take the letter and find her.” the boss yells at me. He pushes the letter into my hand as he draws his gun.

“C’mon Brice we’ve got to save her. Quick buddy let’s run.”

“Right you are, we’re taking the Falcon and I’m driving. Let’s go” Brice runs to the transporter bay and urges me to follow.

I squeeze the letter in my hand, trying to ring answers out of it as I hear the sounds of explosions.

“Go now, quick Carter, now. We’ll hold off these scumbags.”

I nod my foggy head and run towards Brice. Bullets begin whizzing through the air as SPP headquarters turned into a warzone.

“Let’s go Tobi, the spaceport awaits, let’s get off this planet, it’s not safe here. Once we’re in space we can outrun the these agents of Mallium. Ain’t nowhere my Falcon can’t go, be way too fast for those scum. So where we going? Has the letter given you a sign?”

I shrug as I step into the transporter bay. Before me, once more is the same mean looking dude from my apartment, taking aim at my head again. What is it with this guy?

I see his dark eyes beneath his black cap his stare full of bloody murder. So I did what I had to do as we dissolved before him. I gave him the bird.

Brice and I spill out of the busy transporter room at the spaceport at Kalgan Central. We quickly blend into the crowd.

Upon reaching the dock where Brice left the Falcon my heart and hope of finding Sympathy plummet. Not only am I at a loss about her letter, but the Falcon is crawling with Mallium assassins. Luckily Brice had his wits about him, unlike last night, we barely avoid being seen.

Whilst I’m still lost in a daze of confusion about my sweet Sympathy I allow Brice to tug me along. Soon he runs and I stumble behind, like a ragdoll. Suddenly we stop.

“There, go Tobi, go.” I look up and Brice is apologizing to a woman as he pushes me rudely in front of her and her children.

“Sorry madam. Urgent SPP business, this officer needs to board.”

I look at Brice in surprise.

“It’s a sector passenger shuttle Brice, Mallium will catch us. What are you doing?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll lead the bastards here on a merry dance while you slip away. Here, there’s one more thing we found in her hotel room. It’s not addressed to her so it probably is nothing. It’s some letter from this guy Zachariah. It’s pretty old, fancy writing and all that. Just a soppy love letter. Sounds like the guy was ready to top himself. Anyway, good luck buddy, I’ll ping you when the coast is clear.”

The last thing I see as I board the shuttle bound for who knows where is Brice’s big head bouncing away through the crowd, he was actually waving to the Mallium dudes as they joined him in pursuit.

I look down at my hands, clutching two letters now and still no clue of where to find my Sympathy.

“Excuse me sir, do you mind” it’s one of the kids I pushed in front off already getting impatient before we’ve even taken off.

With a feeble smile of apology I stagger on board thinking of luscious red lips on fire and a hole torn in my heart.

I unfold Zachariah’s letter on my lap as I take my seat, trying to look inconspicuous. Outside the bustle of life in the major tourist port that is Kalgan Central goes on.

As I settle in for the journey, not knowing where I’m even headed a cold shiver runs up my neck. Fleetingly, through the crowd of people taking their seats on the shuttle. Those eyes. I shake my head dispelling my fears and hope that inspiration will guide me as I head off into the unkown……..

…………..somewhere in Brett’s Future

 

This is the final episode of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’.

But join Tobi is his race to save Sympathy from the evil clutches of Mallium in the new series……

‘Demons & Wizards’ coming soon………

…………….assuming Tobi can work out what that damn poem means. If you can help please post your thoughts in the comments, Tobi needs all the help he can get, I think he’s a bit too love struck to think straight. Oh, and don’t forget to shout out to Brice, it was a brave thing that he did.

 

End Credits:
Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and the unstoppable K. Richards
Brice: Inspired by the man behind this blog - Flashlight City Blues. 
Do yourself a favor, read some of his awesome poetry - especially this one so 
obviously called: American Honey
The Falcon: In homage to Star Wars and Han Solo, still the best space ranger in the galaxy.
Kalgan: In homage to the one and only, the maestro Isaac Asimov
Ol' Georgie: In homage to David Mitchell and his fabulous novel Cloud Atlas
Mallium: Who? Don't know what you mean, moving right along.....
Sympathy:  Can you solve the riddle? Where can Tobi find her (post comments)?

Sympathy for the Devil: III

Sympathy-part-3a

Click here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2

………..Oh hangover of hangovers, Oh dream of dreams!

I stagger out of bed, that song and her face in my head. Bleary eyed I feel my way to the bathroom. Rough night last night I notice as I squint at the haggard face in the mirror before me.

Oh Sympathy, why did you leave? We could have spent the night. But I bowed my head, remembering the past, I did not have the right.

This time would be different I vowed as I splashed my face awake. I will learn your secrets, yes I will, I will not be fooled again. I remembered her eyes when she left my side, they were filled with hurt and pain.

My holocom bracelet buzzed on the floor where I threw it off last night. Shit it’s the boss I realize as I pick it up. He’s tried to call before, 6 missed pings. He’s pissed off too, I can tell as his holo projects before me.

“Carter! What happened to looking after the celebrity! You were on duty god damn it!”

“Sorry boss. Brice…”

“Don’t give me that Brice crap. Brice is right here with me, where are you?”

“I’m at home boss. I’m not rostered ’till this arvo.”

“Why haven’t you had your holocom on! I’ve been trying to buzz you all morning. She’s missing. Sympathy is missing.”

“What? Huh?” my eyes are dark and heavy and I’m doing my best to only look half as hung over as I really am, but it’s not working. I scratch my head in confusion.

“You idiot! She’s been kidnapped. Mallium have kidnapped Sympathy. Do you hear me? Kalgan to Carter, are you reading?”

“What? I don’t understand. I was meeting her today. She can’t be. Are you sure?”

“What happened to guarding her last night you moron! We’ve received confirmation. Video footage from the lobby of her hotel. The three kidnappers have all been identified as members of Mallium. These guys are badass.”

I’ve completely sobered up now as the adrenalin courses through my veins at the mention of that group. Kidnappings, bombings, executions they were Mallium’s modus operandi.

“What do we do boss? We’ve got to save her.”

“Damn right we do Carter. Since you and your partner lost her, you and your partner better save her. Intergalactic security bureaucrats will be all over us like a rash before the day’s out. You guys have to get after her before they get here. You need to go now. Beam over here.”

“Where are we going boss, how are we going to find her?” I’m feeling torn apart inside. I finally meet a girl that shows even a little interest in me and blam, she gets kidnapped by the baddest bunch of planet hopping parasites this side of the Milky Way. I’m feeling distraught and guilty and I’m twisted up inside.

“Get over here now” the boss yells at me again as he notices me zoning out.

“Tobi, buddy.” It’s Brice, he moves into view besides the boss. How does he do that? Look so normal, he drank more than I did last night. He’s got an eager look on his face. Probably enjoying the excitement. He didn’t spend time with her like I did. I shake myself out of it as I pull on my boots. I notice Brice is holding something waving it at me.

“Tobes, she left you a note. We’ve got it here. She knew she was going to be kidnapped. She let it happen! Hurry come over and read it. She wrote you a letter, she given you clues how to find her!”

I’m stunned at the news, a heightened sense of purpose fills my body. Sympathy, stay strong, I’m coming to rescue you! Her last words ‘don’t let me down’ ring in my ears. I shake off my self doubt and punch in the teleport co-ordinates.

The last thing I see as I begin to dematerialise from my apartment is my door being kicked down by some mean dudes in black. The first one in the room eyeballs me and raises his gun to fire. I hear the shot ring out and………

……..to be continued………

<<<<<<<<back to part 2

<<<<<<<<back to part 1

<<<<<<<<Tobi’s Dream

 

 

Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and unstoppable K. Richards
All character references are fictitious, but may have been inspired by something. What you ask? 
All in good time.

Sympathy for the Devil: II

Sympathy Part 2

<<<<<<<click here if you missed Part 1

…………..I downed a 3rd of the smooth golden drop as the music threatened to knock me out. I found a quiet place inside my mind and thought about the old mans mysterious words.

He spoke of another Sympathy who was misunderstood.

Oh Sympathy, I feel sorry that I never really understood you before. I always just considered you like that awkward friend at the party. The one that your annoying cousin invited. The one that you sorta think is nice in that awkward embarrassed to be seen talking to kinda way.

Yeah I remember you Sympathy. I was the guy you overheard later saying I felt so sorry for you and wished my cousin had never invited you to the party. Damn I can be an asshole sometimes.

I’m back at the bar as I wrestle with these memories, relieved by libation. All dutiful thoughts long forgotten. Damn you Brice. I turn around, drinks in hand, and who should I see walking towards me. It was Sympathy, galactic superstar, no longer looking awkward.

Brice and I threw down our 4th when Sympathy walked on by. ‘Woah Woah’ my mind sang out. I watch her transfixed, Brice was way too drunk.

She leaned against the bar, looking all sleek and classy, so different from the Sympathy I remembered. I told Brice I was off for another round, but he was too busy trying to find George Thorogood on the jukebox in the back bar.

“Hi, remember me?” I said as I approached the bar and immediately knew it was the wrong question. Of course she wouldn’t, I had avoided her like the plague.

She shrugged casually and watched the dance floor, it was my turn to be ignored.

“Nah, I’m new to Kalgan” she said sipping sensually on her Pina Colada, casting me a sideways glance.

“So wadda’ya know?” I asked, my accent strong. She intrigued me this woman, I had a vibe about her, I wanted t’know more.

“Ah, you know, this and that” came her ambivalent reply.

I’d downed my drink and noticed that Brice was playing pool with two hippy looking guys. Well trying to it must be said that his focus was more on air guitar. He was indeed bad to the bone.

So I stayed around this mysterious thing. She excited me and drew me in. The tilt of her shoulder was a promise of things to come. But I needed to get her out of this din.

“Can we go somewhere quieter, where we can chat, I’d really like to know you.” the words were muffled over the noise of a wrecking ball.

“Sure” she said and tipped her head, as she lead me out the back.

“I’m not who you think I am” she added as she grabbed me by the hand.

I waved to Brice as I left the bar and gave him a thumbs up. Apparently he and the hippies wanted to drink alone. One drank bourbon, one scotch, the other beer.

We arrived outside in the cold night air and she shivered just a bit.

“Here take my jacket Sympathy you don’t want to catch a chill.” I felt so chivalrous.

“Why thank you sir, you’re most kind.” she nodded with a slight smile. She looked at me and there seemed to be a question on her lips. They had me entranced those ruby red luscious soft moist lips.

“Are you sure that you really want to get to know me better? Most people I meet don’t understand me. Most people I meet feel awkward around me.”

“I know the feeling, I once felt the same. But now I’m older, I dunno, I think I might have changed.”

She looks up at me, eyes so pure I have to turn away.

She grabbed my hand, a warming touch and had this final thing to say.

“I’m a secret you know. A secret that’s contained within my name. Most people, well they really don’t want to know me. Oh, they treat me nice and buy me flowers, white lilies are my favorite by the way. But in the end, they just use me, they don’t really want to know who I am.”

“But I’m different” I protest, feeling a little ashamed. I was one who previously treated her this way.

“If you want to know me then meet me tomorrow. I have something to give you.” She looked me up and down assessing my worth. I held my ground, heart waiting for the drop.

She whispered one more thing as she ran from me, my hand outstretched in longing. Then Brice burst out to break the trance.

“What’s up buddy? Come get another drink. There’s a band about to start called Flashlight City Blues” he grinned broadly at me and staggered just a little. I looked away to where she ran, my long lost Sympathy.

I shrugged my shoulders and gave in. Brice just has this way about him I guess, suckers me every time. So I go inside and stayed the night, too many drinks by far. But I could not stop thinking of her as I propped up that bar. Her final words echoed to me as I bathed in American Honey.

“My name you see” she whispered to me, soft lips brushing my ear “is treated like a fallacy. My name has been ill conceived ad nauseum. I’ve been waiting for you since ’92 so please don’t let me down.”

I blink my eyes as they externalize and I realize how I feel. I yearn for my Sympathy and know just what I’ll do. I’ll meet her tomorrow as she instructed me to do.

So I stagger home and hit the sack, one thought on my mind. Sympathy I want you back, one day I’ll make you mine……….

 

…………to be continued……..

 

<<<<<<<back to part 1

 


 

Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and unstoppable K. Richards
All character references are fictitious, but may have been inspired by something. What you ask? 
All in good time.

 

Sympathy for the Devil: I

Sympathy Part 1

That song’s the first thing I hear as I materialise in the transporter room back at my folks place in the ‘burbs of Kalgan City. It’s a beautiful night and Mum has the doors open letting the fresh breeze from the lake paint the room in smells of green. Well, that’s how I might have described it if i wasn’t so damn pissed off!

Damn fools, they’ve lost her again! My little sister Judi sees the look in my eye and pours me a beer. God I need it, it’s busy enough on SPP beat without having to babysit celebs. Now she’s taken off and guess who’s job it is to have to chase her? You got it, your lookin’ at him.

“OK Tobi what’s the problem” Judi askes as she hands me the beer her eyes are almost rolling before I even speak.

“I’ve been called in for nightwatch duty. Sorry J, can’t drink.” I hand her back the beer, I’d have cried if I held it any longer.

“Sorry Mum, just wanted to beam in and let you know I can’t make dinner.”

“Who you babysitting?” Mum asks, she knows the drill, it’s not the first time.

“That intergalactic music sensation – her names Sympathy” I was about to say more but my holocom buzzed an incall. Judi’s jumping up and down in excitement.

The boss has sent me her location. Damn, it’s down the seedy end of town. All the transporter bays down there are glitchy. With a sigh and a peck on the cheek I punch the location ID into the controls and I’m off. Judi’s plea for an autograph the last thing I hear.

A breeze is blowing as I materialise and try to get my bearings. It’s not cold but it smells acrid, it stings the nose. I’m in an alley behind the club I realize. Damn glitchy transporters. Music wafts from the upperfloor. The same song from home, but this is a remix, sung by none other than the disappearing Sympathy. Her remix, making the tune popular again across the galaxy, 200 years after it was released back on Terra.

I shake my head looking up at the pale lights of the club windows, like disturbed eyes their glow darts around the neighboring building. It’s going to be hard to get her out of there. I hope Brice has arrived it’s gonna need both of us. He better not be drunk. I frown as the song catches my attention as it wafts from on high.

“Pleased to meet you.
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah.”

I saunter up the dark alley, my head in a whirl. Don’t really want to work tonight. Maybe we can get this over with quick.  Lost in thought the song beats a rhythm into my brain.

An old homeless man propped up on a crate warms his hands around a fire. He looks at me as I walk along. Something about him made me stop. It was his smell, like freshly baked bread. It seemed strange, I don’t know why. The poor old guy must have thought it was an opportunity to have a rant. Or maybe he was just listening to the song drifting out from the club.

“Oh I knows it, I knows it bad. That ol’ Georgie, he been up ta no good. Makes me shake in ma boots it does. See I’s don’t wanna give the beast any a ma Sympathy.”

I stop and stare at what he said as that song makes its final “oh yeah”.

“If the beast is ’bout I curls up real tight ‘n’ shut my eyes ‘n’ try not ta feel like he does.”

I stare entranced at the old mans words as he continues his speech to the flames.

“See Sympathy’s a powerful word in parts ‘ere I come from. D’yer know Sympathy’s a word to use when you wanna be as one? So when ‘e asks ya for Sympathy that ol’ conniving son of the morning you makes sure you turn him down lest you wanna lose your soul.”

He rubs his hands, a toothless grin as he shakes his head in concern.

“I worry for ya I do. See I’s been told you’s don’t know Sympathy like ya really orta should. If ya think Sympathy ‘s just a game of pityin’ and sorryin’ then afraid ya sadly ‘staken. Where I come from we needs not given any airs an’ graces. But that no matter one lil’ bit when we consider Sympathy’s amazement.”

I’m bewildered at the man sitting there, fingerless gloves glowing in the firelight. He looks up at me as I make to leave and gives me his final words.

“So stays away from the Devil ya hear! Gives him none a yor Sympathy, save that for ya fella man.”

I nod just once and then shake my head as he looks me in the eye. He returns the nod as I walk away to disappear into the night.

Out of the alley and into the street the horns of the traffic blare. I think of a girl I once met, her name was Sympathy as well. But I pay her no mind as I rush to the club already running late. Seems I always pay her no mind I think to myself as the doorman makes me wait.

I’m dwelling on things when I finally get in and the noise within forces my memories to whisper. I frown just then as I down a shot of American Honey that Brice hands to me. Damn, I’m on duty. But that drink seduces me as its heat trickles down my throat washing away the acrid smell of the alley and the smell of fresh bread too.

After a 2nd shot I start to relax and consider what’s on my mind………

 

……….to be continued………..

>>>>>>>>Click here for Part 2>>>>>>>>>


Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and unstoppable K. Richards
Ol' Georgie in homage to David Mitchell and his brilliant novel Cloud Atlas
All character references are fictitious, but may have been inspired by something. What you ask? All in good time.