Circa 1850 AD
White faced, like an angel, with a dash of colour on her cheeks, Adelaide was walking home from school one evening when she began to hear footsteps and turned around on the road, seeing however no one. A few minutes on she came across a figure all hunched over by the wayside and she approached it and could hear that it was crying and could see that it was a boy.
‘What’s your name?’ she asked.
‘Titus Andronicus,’ the boy said.
‘That’s a strange name, why do you cry so?’
’Because my parents are dead, a devil killed them with a pack of wolves, he told me to blame God’s infinite evil, and then he began to eat their corpses, each bite punctuated by a rictus that he flashed me, then I saw angels with golden hair and crucifixes come down from Heaven to pray for our souls, but the assassin slaughtered the butterflies like some kind of demonic lepidopterist, but I intuited that it was part of a larger statement of subversion against Heaven itself. He told me he was on a quest to find fate’s most revered weapon of doom and glory: hark, the wind whispers its name, forged in the ether’s crucible by Doom himself; as the myth evolved, it was legend’s song and fable that Doom took human form, became machinist and lost three stone in order to craft this perfection of death, for enemy fates get pulverised by the black magic Maréchal; Doom’s blaze – MACE of DAYS – is said to be engraved upon it with the panache of ransom. Dark stars shine there where the Death-X Dark Fighter resides like an ender-groove yarn spun on the spool of afterlife angst.’
‘Where do you come from? And I’m so sorry about you parents, so sad for your loss,’ Adelaide says, not apparently impressed with Doom’s weapon, probably because it doesn’t sound like you can skip with it, but trying to appear empathetic, injecting about fifty hits of sympathy into her voice, like I’d do if I met the ghost of James Joyce, to tell him how sorry I was to hear about his awful books that got published.
‘I come from another epoch,’ the boy responds, then hawks up a massive slimeball of green snot and spits it in her face. She wipes it off, thinking it must be her fault that he spat at her, plus she wants to be friendly, and asks: ‘What’s epoch?’
’It designates a period of time, basically, and your belle epoch has just...begun,’ he says, but the phrase is ironic, ‘you and I only mannequins in a theatre for the stars.’
’Jesus, it means puppet,’ Titus says, thinking how dumb can the bitch fucking be. ‘How old are you?’ he asks.
‘I’m nearly sixteen.’
‘Me too! I’m nearly sixteen as well, but it’s probably just a stupid coincidence and nothing to get worked up about.’
‘Where do you go to school? I’ve never seen you before.’ she fails to entertain the fact that she may well of seen him before but that her memory may of failed her.
‘Ok, and so what’s it like?’
’Sometimes it can get a little...crazy, sometimes things can get a little...out of hand. Sometimes angels become demons in the shadows of the glade, sometimes angels burn like heretics in the city of Adelaide.’
‘That’s my name! That’s me, Adelaide,’ she says, thinking nothing of the bizarre coincidence that the boy said her name before she told him what it was, ‘do you like it there?’ and she smiles at the boy, an impossible smile, now add it to her collection of fatal mistakes.
’No, alas I do not, inside its walls of stone I lost the plot. I find it makes me want to die every second that I am there, every second I am alive, but your...smile becomes the reason why I live, why I breathe, why I lie, why I die; it’s like it is the edge of the precipice and the abyss, but you do not need to push me over since I’ve...already fallen,’ and he regards her with shards of ice in his diamond cut eyes, and cheekbones that would’ve made those of Bret Easton Ellis’s No. 1 psycho: Bobby Hughes, look like they belonged to a fat yank who sank the paddleboat.
The lineaments of the boy’s face is akin to the chalk plastered on the paws of the wolf, a ruse employed to fool the stupid goats who’d barred the door on his jaws, yeah but can they bar the door on his gang of fucking chainsaws? Fucking goats, they’re only good if you can teach them how to slaughter cows.
The boy’s gaze never leaves the face of Adelaide, but she doesn’t even register his manic attachment, his rabid stare, his heart of gold that isn’t there. It looks like the boy wants to massacre her face, then release an air-born virus called Death-Strain: 616 so the masses have something to write home about, before turning the whole circus into a transnational then globalised genocide, without so much as chain smoking a pack of Lucky Strikes, downing a bottle of JD, and fuck oblivion because what’s it ever done for me?
Titus spits black grim glue from his wrecked lungs that regenerate periodically back to perfect health, and this, thanks to black magic, whose relationship with Satan dates back to when he was its demonic prototype and he laughs, (but it sounds like Death spitting sixteen bars of Doom) whilst pirouetting to obsession’s best bomb song on the ghettoblaster of oblivion, on a capricious but deadly agenda, where the swan song of Adelaide is about to be sung, as the boy, Titus, (or Hell in sheep’s clothing, and irrevocably sick; a monster beyond the dip of dreams on IV drips) fishes two spray cans out of his sack and proceeds to tag the blaze: – ‘BOmBER CrEW of SIcK ENDEaVOuR’ on a wall, as if he’s part of a late 80s hip hop movement, where its members have all got blades, spray paint, ski masks, splinter cells with firearms stashed all over the estate, and a reason to inject their agenda of decadence into the state, unleashing Rambo-hotboxed battle tanks into Doom’s dedal.
‘What are those?’ Adelaide demands, her regard drawn to the tools of Titus, curious as the cat that got butchered by a serial killer cause he was catching too much heat off the fuzz for killing teens, as Vivaldi’s virtuosi get drowned out to the sound of the slaughterhouse.
’It’s called spray paint Adelaide, and my masterclass rendered Banksy’s Graffiti 101, an elementary player who got infected by the Black Death spread by fleas, which were spread by rats, which were spread with a butter knife. I am the Piper, and you are the pauper, you are Clementine and I am the water. Jack raped Jill then smashed in her crown with a claw hammer.’
‘I don’t understand, who’s Banksy?’ the girl says, a bit nonplussed.
‘Forget it…a butcher’s boy…ask the oracle,’ Titus sighs then yawns, apparently bored, and he starts to complain about the climate of the times, the fucking pay rate in the county, the gloom in the mass mood, parasites in paradise, the paradox in Paralympic paraplegic track and field events, how his hair’s infested with fleas and lice, laying eggs in lime and lye, then a spark seemingly illuminates his monotone diatribe, and he turns on Adelaide, saying ‘Adelaide, if you have a Casanova, what if he’s one leaf short of a four leaf clover?’
‘What do you mean?’ she asks, still nonplussed, still way off the low down.
‘Nevermind, let me shed more light upon the Death-X Dark Fighter, which is the most devastating sickhead-stick Death-Head ever to have graced the hands of Doom; (if it had fallen into the hands of the SS, the swarms of Hitler’s wasps wouldn’t of been able to access its massacre, and this due to the selectivity of fates who can use it, but don’t ask me who Hitler is, all I know is a wicked oracle keeps me up to date with pronounced ulterior evil) it is his masterwork, his terrible magnum opus, his greatest accomplishment, the star in the aeons of his light year heart, the product and result of a ferocious agenda enacted, when genius met genesis obsession got impacted, came up with this….this wrecking ball of judgement, mountains of snow-capped magic atoms which can turn the world you know into a one-man landslide; they say its legend has already high-jinxed Satan, like the first and worst rat to bite the dust at the hands of a Hamlin rhapsody, aligned his finer points with the glue in its jive,’ the boy continues, not seeming to care that the girl can’t know who the SS are in 1850, almost like he’s a bit...mad, ‘it commands the attention of the solar system, the moons, the tides, the bi-polar victims, the forces of creation, by virtue of its immaculate conception, fate’s blackest elation. One command is all it would take to make the Almighty maybe quake, but maybe I’m a wrong-head snake…although it is said only seven have the fated blueprint necessary to wield it, to possess the phoenix, otherwise it is the blue bird you can only see through the window, which has flown away by the time you get outside. Few the chosen, many the mass, seven selected by the backspin off the curve in the toss of the die, there at the fulcrum of the stars, as the world goes to hell in a handcart and we all just pass on by.’
‘Are you one of the seven?’ Adelaide asks, irresistibly drawn to the boy and to his insider knowledge, indeed if the girl is a rookie, can she ever be up to speed with the lead-off batter? And no bones about it, Titus is mad as a hatter.
‘Alas, I do not know,’ the boy responds, ‘I have yet to possess the Death-X, it’s all checkers and mess, chess and death, strategy and game plans, who will finish maestro of the masterplan macadam?’ and then he coughs whilst at the same time saying ‘Dynasty of Death.’
‘What was that?’ Adelaide asks. Then Titus coughs again whilst saying ‘Dynasty of Death top secret, massive secret.’
‘Secret? What secret?’ she asks, getting curious.
’Dynasty of Death massive secret, enormous secret, can’t tell anyone, especially not little girls,’ and now she’s really curious and says:
‘Oh you can tell me tell me please please please, but I won’t submit to sexual favours if you don’t...actually I might, I am only a stupid little girl after all.’
‘Well...ok then, it is said that five of those who are able to wield the Fighter are the Dynasty of Death, a vampire clan of five brothers who would surely use it to conquer Heaven and Hell respectively, after they’ve decimated the planet you know; every spark in their heart of spikes, is like a shard of glass in the eye of Doom, making his twenty twenty, twenty ten; it is said that the Dynasty’s intentions regarding the acquisition of the sceptre and the fall of the Black Dynasty (a vampire kingdom of Hell, twinned with the fallen) and the world you know, have lain dormant for aeons, patience a virtue they were forged to tolerate.’ Adelaide gasps.
‘From what you tell me, they are worse than the Devil himself.’
‘I imagine the Devil has often posed himself the question, but you would do well not to speak his name child, for the wind has ears, your eyes have tears, and the Devil may hear the lilt of your virtue when you utter his accursed name. Dark is his heart, my child, dark are the days to come, for us and for kingdom come; indeed I pray he never finds you.’
‘The Devil might find me?’
’He may have already found you, now...cry for me like the angels,’ the boy whispers, ‘the demon may have designs upon our sunshine, upon who we are and who we will become.’
‘Well then I will seek Heaven’s council, I will find a way to stay the demon.’
‘I bid you good luck, for his trajectory may be fated to thwart you.’ Adelaide shivers, the boy’s words rendering her disquiet, unlike his regard, which has flipped the script on her credulity, all the while drawing her into the dark.
‘The Dynasty of Death will stop at nothing to acquire the sceptre,’ the boy continues, ’they are one of Doom’s most sick and dismal creations, heavily inclined towards massacring pandemics and clash of cause polemics, an eye of the tiger force to rival the monopoly of Hell’s caïd: the Devil himself, the prince of evil, the maggot in the weevil, who is bewitched by the clan, captured if you will, otherwise he’s still caught up in attempting to force feed regret to destiny, since the fabric of the Devil’s make-up feels like failure by design, crawling around like Gregor Samsa beneath black avalanches in tyranny since the angel fell and became leader of the fallen, but then...who is this Adelaide that he spies in the meadows with her true love?...And epiphany was the blood brother of hope until they body-bagged it...at least, that’s what I’ve heard, I mean, I’m not satanic or anything, nothing like that…angel the brave heart. Would you even believe me if I promised you the world?’
‘Ok, but what’s this got to do with me?’ Adelaide demands, maybe scared, somewhat nervous, but like a fool she trusts the terrible cheekbones of the boy, beguiled by the beautiful serenade of sweet disaster, hope to live beyond fifteen fading faster, beguiled by Hell’s Death-Bomb crash site Casanova, hell-sent to scar the truth in cursed clover.
Adelaide or Satan’s maid, as we follow the fairy tale into the shade; if cursed are the true, then what tragic fate lies ahead for the girl who’s never blue, only ever smiles, catching sunbeams in the fields and the meadows, but enchanted to meet you Titus, is this rape, and is that a blade? His shadow mutilates the glade of Adelaide; sinister like a chamber the cartridge masterwork. Every day Titus dreams of car crash scenarios, the burning wreckage a metaphor for imprecations enacted.
’I’m only Adelaide, just silly old me, although sometimes I feel I try to be...what lies inside, what can’t escape from underneath, and furthermore, the face I wear, is a mask of what I wish I was...I’m not even the cleverest in my class, Jane Fairfax is, but she reads all the books under the sun, and she hangs out with the phantom of Blaise Pascal (if you ask me she can go baise Pascal) who hangs out with a gang of abstract equations and they all speak Maths instead of English,’ then she says, surprisingly and out of character for her (but maybe the attitude of Titus is contagious) ‘What happens when existence robs us of the will to survive, Titus? What happens if we get drowned under the raindrops of a permanent storm, and what if we lose faith in our future and become conformist like the norm?’ Titus ignores Adelaide’s stupid meanderings and says: ’The Dynasty have no doubt gotten wind of your...savage damage-wrecker smile, like a dream, in a true blood summer that regret will scar like sweet sixteen, and they will have caught the fibre of the seam at the edge of the fabric of the fable of your golden heart, and I, I am a yardstick for bastards, a barometer for the blues. A perfect storm for the outcasts, who pray to decay and rats feast on damage control, sicking up fish-bones as faith fades away. Haha, yeah angel face, I rigged the gig, you can’t even see how the show was fixed, the masquerade is the melody behind the scene and you’re the marionette with make-up and I’ll wreck your dreams; now from the gutter, from the sidelines, from the fucking ashes of hope, and there’s only one strike out to the overdose. Listen, it’s all for you, some kind of angel without wings, with your A grades, your summer and your curls that cut my strings; you are the melody that raped the face of Damnation with your creation, a scar and a snake among the white roses in the garden of Eden; your symmetry is a sick omen of Doom’s Doberman: black magic, for how else did you come to be? Forget asking eternity, it’s a star-fucked carcass, dead to melody. You are parallel to Alice in a black bedlam, now Wonderland is wherever you are, nevermind the scars I cast, but on your heart, one will last; my reason to be: to leave a mark, bleeding sickness into the spring of epiphany: the dying breed, the machinist of creed. Adelaide, heaven knows I have the answers to the harvest, in the darkness I was cast to star, the mastercraft, the masterbars. Adelaide the damsel angel who stole our souls and ate our dreams of living a life of pride and lies, and I am the (he whispers the next bit)...Devil with a death-bed poem for you, in fake disguise, plotting fate’s demise, begging to be let in through the pearl pinning up the gates of paradise, (here he stops the whispering) and damn and blast these fucking lice!’ he scratches at his head furiously, like he’s irate, for ten minutes until his scalp begins to bleed, and there’s patches where he’s torn out clumps of hair, and he’s cursing all the while that he’s scratching at the lice, then he resumes, ’Adelaide, Adelaide, what a savage serenade and so the legend goes, will your heart beat fainter in your dead end death throes? You are nothing but a rookie and the dark is your master, you are nothing but a girl with beauty and curls. Bref, you are akin to the Death-X Dark Fighter that the Dynasty of Death quest, I fear, and I...I fear the Fighter, its overhaul of dark matter; dope and sick. Adelaide I’m sick of the dope.’
‘I am like the Fighter, I am their...desire, their sick objective?’ she says. (NB Adelaide didn’t actually employ the word ‘sick,’ she used the word ‘terrible,’ as in I have a terrible sickness.)
‘This, I fear to be true. The Dynasty need a princess like Heaven needs a hatchet axe in the back of its mannequin hypocrisy, the Dynasty are intent on getting her, intent on conquering her heart of stars, intent on taking a sledgehammer to her heart of glass.’
‘My boyfriend Bram would surely protect me against the darkness that you preach, oh he is my special heart debonair and I am sure no harm can come to me when I am by his side.’
’Your...boyfriend, yes of course, your worst half, like giving a 3000 piece puzzle to a giraffe, does he…really understand you? I mean, a girl like you, next to whom truth doesn’t know what to do; ah yes, Bram, Bram...Bram; the sweetheart and soul mate, the answer to your heart, the spark in the dark, hark I believe I can hear his heart beating the words ’Adelaide, where are you, were you stolen from me by the dark? Adelaide, the Devil’s in our kiss chase park!’ Mr Bram, Mr Masterplan, haha, have you captured something golden or have you only harnessed your heart’s carnage? and this since the moment you first met the angel, since you seduced the sorrow, her demise will rip your guts back to hollow, will you plot the course divine after she’s mine, Bram?’ and the last part the boy whispers, between occasionally speaking aside to himself, then clenches both fists tightly, hatred pulsing through his veins as if Bram was a poison that Adelaide had forced him to take. Romeo and Juliet, yeah dismiss those faders since they’re fake as saviours. Adelaide’s a marionette that I made to break.
Then Titus finds a four leaf clover on the ground and he picks it and gives it to Adelaide, and she thanks him and tells him how lucky the find was, but Titus just erupts into a coughing fit, in the midst of which it sounds like he’s verbalising fragmented sentences such as ’With a four leaf clover heart, I’m the undertaker of the angel: the four leaf assassin in the cradle of the clover, spotlight on the blade, the show’s nearly over; clubs, guns, blood, bone, forever; stat Adelaide for a tombstone in the boneyard of the never never...I see flowers in the rain at the burial service...I see pain and desolation on the faces of her relations...attack the heroes of the afterlife with defamation...tears, redemption, penitence, all belated in the ABC to a devil in the gene pool; I am the sick and deadly melody of an awful culmination, now tell me I’m bad ass bitch, tell me I’m the macadam...and fuck these bastard lice! Dammit, fuckhead bastards,’ and Titus starts violently scratching at his head again, and this fit of irritation lasts for maybe half an hour, whilst Adelaide just stands there like a carbon copy of Mr Freeze, with an empathetic gaze, waiting for the lice in his hair to relent their disease.
‘Bram is my Romeo,’ she says, a bit on the defensive because it’s become obvious that Titus is somewhat jealous and a bit...sick in the head, or at least, the girl realises something, but maybe not, maybe she’s realised nothing at all, and then Titus mutters ’Adelaide, you are my ghost of the last summer blueprint, your fifteenth summer season made the hit list of evil; after dark we’ll scar our hearts and alas, I am too sick to be your perfect hero, just a terror-thief like time, who stole the best day of your life that night, I am the archetype of hellfire who prays adjacent to every raindrop, every clusterfuck, a dive-bomb on faith, an outcast who got cast to break bones in a plaster cast by the puppet master, I took a crash course in a change of pace, that foreshadowed the last laugh of my master-hell heart, the final nail in the bodybag of your stardust, a zip line leading to a calaboose of glass shards...and when you drop dead, I’ll eat your guts as if they were black caviar...and you say this Bram is your...Romeo, well then that must mean you’re...Juliet. Well Juliet, do you think your true one could slaughter the Devil in hand to hand combat in a cage? Like a Pitbull and a pack of rats?’
‘Well, I doubt the Devil would be a...pushover,’ Adelaide responds, despondently, the general persona of Titus maybe beginning to make her see that she judged his integrity too hastily, as Titus begins to spray 666 on a wall, then coughs up a ridiculous amount of black tar from his lungs and smears it over the triple figure tag, as if he’s caressing his graffiti with the tar from his lungs, or something sick and fucked up like that.
‘Adelaide, do you ever want to break under the weight of the imminent wreck of your fate?’ Titus asks in monotone; maybe he’s bored, maybe he’s a heinous gore lord, maybe he’s a six on the dice, maybe Adelaide as Juliet was never meant to marry Romeo in paradise, and Titus screams out ‘Fuck these lice!’ Adelaide looks like she wants to sympathise, (doesn’t she realise he’s the Devil in disguise?) whereas Titus is hoping that she catches them before he butchers her.
‘No, I like who I am and I have faith in my sweetheart,’ she says, now skipping gaily like some kind of idiot, oblivious to the extreme peril which she’s mistaken for an arbitrary promenade... ‘and Bram is my prince, the light in the dark, my god, my gift, my crucifix, my fix, and when we are ghosts Bram will be my phantom but a hero, holding my hand as we traverse the Styx; he is the catalyst for –’
’Sorry, cata what?’ Titus demands, interrupting Adelaide’s ridiculous melodrama and the idiot is still skipping.
‘Catalyst?’ she replies, suddenly unsure if it’s a real word.
‘I’m afraid that’s not a real word Adelaide,’ Titus says, sternly.
‘Oh, sorry,’ she says, ‘I feel silly now, stupid Adelaide, always erroneous and wrong.’
’Er, Adelaide, erroneous and wrong mean the same thing, idiot,’ Titus says, and Adelaide looks like she wants to cry, Titus looks like he wants to rape her then watch her die...then Titus becomes the catalyst for the conversation, and throws up a long sick stream of projectile vomit that splashes his trainers, then he exhales his fetid vomit stink breath in Adelaide’s face, who recoils and gags from the awful stench, but she’s too polite to say anything, and looks at the boy, perhaps wondering if he’s alright or if he’s a bit...sick.
Titus mutters ‘What happened to your house of bricks, bitch?’ but she doesn’t hear him, and she’s stopped skipping now, probably feeling glum like a dunce. Overhead thunder rolls. Angels and saviours are worlds away from the wayside.
‘Where did you meet Bram?’ Titus demands, and he’s now taken to spitting and hissing, and occasionally he’ll shed black tears and tell Adelaide that he’s a wreck and a mess because his parents are dead, and he loved them more than words can say, ‘...more than my foolish words can render.’
‘Oh, it was a mutual friend of ours birthday party, and there were girls and boys and laughter and balloons and sunshine and happiness.’
‘So, you met in...paradise?’
‘What? No it was my friend’s birthday party.’
‘Sounds like kittens and mittens, where are the freaks, the goons and the gangs? Where’s the murdering psychosis that comes into play after dark? At the hospital bed of Hope I pulled the plug, and the last All-Star’s been taken apart with his own slugger by the Devil as a thug. Do you believe in Nirvana, Adelaide?’ he asks.
‘It’s a form of cyclical reincarnation which transcends existence, although you might want to clarify that.’
‘Ok, so do you want to meet my parents?’ she asks, ‘we’re nearly at my house.’
‘Eternity is laced with tragedy and tears,’ the boy nearly whispers.
’I said ‘certainly I’d like to meet your parents,’ only what if I’m…Hell on earth in disguise, pretending to appeal to the innocence of your angel eyes,’ and he hawks up another slimeball and spits it at Adelaide and its black grim glue sticks onto her white school shirt then begins to slide down it like a snail, but she doesn’t even notice the slimeball and maybe she begins to look at Titus suspiciously, but it’s doubtful.
‘You know my boyfriend Bram looks at me like that sometimes, that’s funny,’ she says, as Titus whirls round and stares manically at her as if she’s the heroin that can fix everything that’s dead and broken inside him, as if she’s an angel and he’s a scar, as if without her, forever can only ever be under par.