How She Should Make Love - The Witches Of Demeter

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Exorcism Of The Sugar Plum Fairy

Music track at the end of this chapter is: Boom Jinx and Fatum feat. Katrine Stenbekk - Coming Home.

The shoot was finished. ‘*’ went to Cannes, then she came back from Cannes. And then, ‘*’ went into hiding without telling anyone why -, or so her American agents were given to thinking.

In fact though, she was managed by a separate European division of the huge firm that controlled her current career, and seeing that she had only new scripts and proposed new screenplays to look at for the immediate few months, and no actual shoots scheduled any time soon, her active European agents were not particularly concerned at all.

However, the US parent had always been keeping tabs on her at all times already, and the reports back to them were concerning: they said that she was effectively ‘in hiding,’ not seeing anyone, not doing interviews, not speaking even to her girlfriend back in California except only for irregular and short, terse messages.

And then too, apparently, she was hanging out in a darkened booth at the rear of a local Belgian beer café; dressed in black ‘Goth’ attire - and even with a hood!

She wouldn’t take calls from Ari’s private secretary.

The US Consulate General’s wife visited her regularly however. They had brunch together in the large suite, and ‘*’ went over for dinner every weekend with the Consulate General and his wife at their place.

That was how Ari secured some more direct lines of contact.

He inquired if ‘everything was good.’

And he was told that yes it was very fine.

But he didn’t believe them.

Because during their conversations someone slipped in that ‘oh she is a very religious girl, I didn’t know.’

And that was a very strange thing to hear.

And then ’*’s′ girlfriend complained to Ari that she was hearing some very strange words coming from ‘*’ in their short, and rather terse and irregular exchanges.

What order of magnitude of asset was ‘*’ to the agent company? There was no way to rate that accurately in terms of the percentage of power leverage value component. The agent company could make or break Presidents, so what was one more - or one less – actor or actress to them?

As far as money value though, it was certainly in the multiple billions overall.

People went crazy all the time.

But what was all this spiritual talk? Her girlfriend even speculated that ‘*’ was being ‘enchanted’ by some mysterious local indigenous spirit-communicating group...

...And that there was a kind of a witchcraft going on with ‘*,’ it seemed to her – as she complained about the situation with ‘*’ to Ari - but not one they were familiar with in LA even given the Native American traditional culture exposure there these days.

It didn’t take Ari very long to formulate a strategic plan.

So – Ari said to himself: ‘*’ refused to see anyone, and was refusing to take calls from the US parent agent-in-Principal himself or the company H.O. Or from anywhere, really. Or from anyone. With one exception. She was taking calls from the European side but then, it would simply not do to be ‘frozen out’ like this and worse, to have to ask the Europeans what the damn hell was going on!

John Malkovich was on the books now. ‘*’ would see him. Or else, indeed, she must have gone crazy afterall!

He would send John Malkovich down there to see her. And find out what the fuck was going on.


‘Mrs Mudd’ – Malkovich owned that fashion label. He had his own complete style concept too: Technobohemian. And ‘*’ liked fashion. She had worked a lot with the hugest mainstream designers.

It seemed Malkovich had a thing for the future, and for science fiction; was ‘Mrs Mudd’ a nod to that classic old Star Trek episode: ‘Mudd’s Women.’ Maybe. Who knew.

Trice, the CG’s wife came over breathlessly one morning, to say that John Malkovich was headed here, and had ‘*’ heard?

‘*’ was almost as gushing in response. “Noooo! Really? Will he be meeting with you?”

...Trice had already been briefed that ‘*’ had not been told that Malkovich was coming, and to just sound ‘*’ out to diplomatically see where things sat with her – on account that actors always hated it if it seemed to them like they were being ‘set up’ even by their own agents to do some role or something, by stealth...

So once again, Trice felt relief about ‘doing the ask’ when it all in fact transpired.

It was all starting to get a little bit addictive to the Consul General’s wife, this beginning tension, this tense feeling of fear and guilt and then, when things worked out, the flood of endorphins.

“We are going to be having dinner with John at his private suite at the Pan Pacific. And I was so hoping that you would love to join us.”

“Oh, I would love to join you!”

Malkovich’s ‘private suite’ at the Pan Pacific Hotel was the CIA’s stand-by suite there. One of them. Not that necessarily, Mr Malkovich would have known that.


Malkovich was here in cognito. No lunches, meetings, or dinners with anyone ‘official.’ Maybe with the state Governor, including ‘*’ if everything was all right with her. That which would have been pretty normal in most circumstances. But all too formal right for the immediate moment. If there was some issue of vulnerability going on, it simply would not do to expose the actress to that. There is stress even for the most hardy and experienced of public people. You have to watch the protocol certainly. But that was just the start of it.

Take eating. If you ate alone, or with very close friends you know well and who you like much, then you focus on the food, not on ‘behaving for their sensitivities.’

And if you were a dictator, for instance, someone like Erdogan, who had taken on the mighty Goddess herself – then all your food is tasted by food-tasters because it could be poisoned.

Well but in fact of course it was all already poisoned by the man himself! He could not really enjoy it the way some private person with no concerns about who is poisoning his food, enjoys their food. In the end, eventually, such a person dies. From spiritual exhaustion.

There is no need for the thunderbolts from the clouds!

And which is why too, by the way, one should not expect that anyone with real power is going to flex their muscles with a display of ‘fire from the skies’ or anything so crass as that kind of thing in modern times.

The truly powerful take what they want.

Now watch...

...As they do so here for your entertainment and also for your extra special edification:

So, Malkovich arrives and sets about arranging things with the wife of the US Consul General, Trice. He is a clever and an intelligent man. He selects the items on the menu carefully.

And he is a good amateur, nay he is a professional, really, if you think about that wisely – psychologist.

Of course he has many friends too, in various specialist walks of life. From Rabbi Alon he gets advice to light a small ner tamid and locate it on a side-board. And from the Croatian Roman Catholic exorcist Otac Bran., he gets a small hermetically sealed phial of sanctified water, and a fairly hefty-looking foot-long metal pleter crucifix too. ...Easy to take onto a plane. None of these things he necessarily believes in per se, but that is not the point of having them with him right now.

He has some written text of exorcism liturgy with him too, but he also has a discrete stage earpiece, Wi-Fi enabled and directly linking up to someone else half-way around the other side of the world.

8 pm, everyone arrives in the CG’s chauffeured car.

Trice has on a neat evening gown, simple black Sass and Bide. Pearls. Opera clutch. Her husband has a basic dark blue double-breasted peak lapel cocktail suit with a broad red neck-tie and cream and silver silk pocket square.

‘*’ is wearing Chanel. Midnight blue tux with an open necked, cream woven Nile cotton shirt with long point spread collar and glistening Arctic white silk cravat. Black soft leather Chelsea boots.

...Black and cream Obi kimono silk upcycled clutch purse. Her hair was all fluffed up. It had been growing rather longer than she usually kept it.

The Concierge takes them straight up to the private suites.

He knocks on the door for them. Malkovich opens it quickly.

And there he is standing there, not quite in the frame of the door, stepping off to one side -, tall, grinning broadly and warmly at his guests.

He too, like ‘*,’ is wearing a cravat.

“Welcome! Please do come in and make yourselves at home.”

He greeted the CG’s wife Trice with both hands and then the CG with one. “Mr ‘*,’ how are you this evening?”

“I’m very fine, John, and you?”

“Madame.” He murmured to Trice. “I trust you are well?”

“Oh, yes!”

“And the lovely ‘*.’ How are you, my colleague?”

“I am simply enchanted to see you here, John Malkovich, I must say.” She stabbed at his chest with a finger.

The Consul General handed him a wrapped package. “Here. A small something for you.”

“Oh! May I open it at once?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you. Thank you.” His strong hands and fingers worked past the simple cello-tape and wrapping, to reveal 13.5 year old Blue Run bourbon.


He turned to the Concierge who was still there, and nodded for him to tell the staff that all was in readiness for them. There was already a barman in there of course. It was the others, the main wait staff, who were soon to appear.

He turned back to ‘*.’ “I must say, you are looking -.”

“Well-fed? I know. I know.”

“Well, I was thinking ‘fit.’ Healthy.”

“So you do mean well-fed. You can say it. I already know it. It’s this water that I’ve fallen in love with here. It’s this natural spring water infused with wildflower essence dilutions. Bush Iris, Bottlebrush, She Oak...”

“Nobody can just live on water, ‘*.’” He scorned her explanation.

“Well of course not. But it so gives one an appetite for food you see.” She raised her eyebrows and opened a palm philosophically.

“Oh good! Since I have something I planned for us especially this evening.” He motioned with a hand, describing the ‘you-and-me’ sign.

“My friends.” He stood back and tall and upright in addressing them all together. And he extended both of his arms wide. “I am so happy that you can all be here with me this evening. I confess that I am on a mission from God tonight. God being our boss back home, you understand, the CEO of our agent company. He has sent me to pitch a new film production to our young compatriot, the very beautiful miss ‘*.’ He instructed me to do it surreptitiously, which I find, now that I am standing here in front of the young lady, that I am unable to do. And so, I wish to be quite candid. If she will allow me during the course of this evening...” He addressed her pleadingly with his eyes. “To touch on this mean and commercial subject as briefly as I possibly can? Over a delightful dinner...”

“By all means, I have no problems with that.” ‘*’ replied. “As long as your dinner is as delightful as you say.” And she laughed.

Well that certainly didn’t seem to be any kind of a problem then, he said to himself.

“My friends. I know that all of us are quite gun-shy when it comes to this usual social business of ice-breaking with alcohol, at least if we can avoid it at all when we can, since we must partake of it when we must.

“And so our barman will be an expert in the most strange elixirs - non of which contain alcohol - alongside any other beverage that you can imagine. May I offer something to drink from our unusual little bar? Perhaps we can open this rather special bottle...”

“Is there something that you would recommend, John?” The CG inquired, cunningly – as they do, these diplomat types.

“Well. As a matter of fact there is to begin with. And it will go well with what I have arranged for our dinner tonight. God I sound like a waiter now, don’t I? But come, come with me if you please.”

‘*’ had dropped to one side of the small group and was drifting over to where the dining area was, casting her eye over the preparations.

Earlier on, she had fully discussed the invitation that was being presented to her by Trice, with Liz McNeil. Initially ‘*’ had thought that maybe it would be necessary to ask for Liz to be able come along but Liz had simply said, no no you go by yourself, after all the Xans will be right there with you.

“See?” He said, when they had - all but ‘*’ - drawn close to the bar area. “Mortar and pestle. Sarsparilla root, crushed. Allspice. And this is Ilicium Vera – or star anise. Some nutmeg. A little cinnamon...”

The neat waist-coated barman hand ground away at the ingredients in the granite stone bowl. And he added a little water and stirred the mixture about in the heavy receptacle. And then poured it all out into a stainless steel shaker and added large chunks of ice.

Malkovich continued narrating the process as it unfolded before them. “Next... Fresh lemon, on rind, squeezed in. And some grated fresh ginger.”

Only then at last, did the barman place the cover firmly on, and begin to shake everything inside very solidly.

After a very good long shake, he dispensed the cold liquid contents into a flask with a bleed valve screw-on top attachment – and plugged in a nylon line to a small industrial carbon dioxide cylinder.

“The only question is, Mr ‘*,’” he was addressing the Consul-General solely and directly this time. “Shall we squander the Bourbon you brought over into this now? Or shall we go two-guns?”

“Let’s try this as is, John. For now.”

“Excellent choice. The Bourbon I think, must be neat. Shortly. Shortly we’ll do that.”

‘*’ was still over by the dining table. She was looking at the seating arrangements. John here, and I am here, next to him on his right hand side. She eyed the place card for herself: ‘Ms *.’

She deliberately moved the salt and pepper cruet set which was nearest to her place, to over across to in front of his left side, away from where she would be sitting.

Trice watched her do it and then she caught ‘*’ give her a wink as if signalling to say nothing. And so Trice said nothing.

‘*’ went over to Trice. “What are they doing?” She nodded towards the men at the bar.

“Oh well they’re drinking and talking. It’s what men do.”


The tall actor turned around with a glass in each hand. “Do you like root beer?”

“You mean Sarsparilla?” ‘*’ rejoined. “I especially like that. Thanks. How did you know?”

“You know -” he leaned forward ever so slightly. “You are so cute really. How did I know??! Your boss told me!” And then he laughed. “Do you forgive me?”

“Did I ever dream that one day, John Malkovich would ask me if I would forgive him for a social trespass? Well I give you a lot more ground to do more wrong than just that, John Malkovich!”

“Oh that is wonderful. I am pleased.”

There was a knocking at the door.

“Come!” He raised his voice and the door was opened, with waiters and a trolley there ready to make entrance.

He turned to his guests. “Let us sit, shall we?”


Waiters poured ice cold water from jugs. There seemed to be no flatware, and no cutlery.

But soon it was evident why not. They were each served French fries on faux newsprint. With boaters of tomato sauce and some olive oil lemon cream sauce as well. And then, brioche buns with Angus beef burgers and real ‘adult’ pickles, and... ...melted cheese slices.

“Cheeseburgers. Miss ‘*.’ You like?”

“Er yes I like! How did you know?” She turned towards him and winked. And swiftly picked hers up from off the plain coloured, thick waxy-wrap serving paper.

“Do you forgive me?”

“Twice for one evening. What should I do to even the score I wonder...”

“Eat, my little šećeru.”

“What is that?”

“My little sugary thing.”


“Which brings me to what I must speak with you about...”

She halted on biting into her cheeseburger.

Oh but no no. It is but a trifling thing, I swear to you.” He protested. “My whole cunning scheme all along has been to rely on having you at your total ease. I wish you to, simply, enjoy our actors’ homely and un-pressured world of - French fries and American cheeseburgers. And be put at ease, completely.” At which word he swathed a knife hand in the air above his burger, as if buttering an imaginary piece of bread there.

So she went along with his protestations and bit into her cheeseburger with total focus, lovingly and attentively. And wiped a corner of her mouth with the back of a hand.

“Mn mm mm mn.”

“Madame.” John Malkovich addressed Trice next then. “I hope you will forgive my small eccentricities – well, our small actors’ eccentricities regarding the meal?”

“Mmn. No complaints from here, Mr Malkovich, I assure you.”

“That is good. That is good. I am so glad.” He smiled. And nodded towards the Consul General who was more than happy that the Blue Run bourbon was now smiling back up at him from the large and heavy cut crystal ‘rocks glass.’

And with that they were all of them at table eating the cheeseburgers.

“Excuse me.” ‘*’ broke the pause in talking suddenly, turning to the man on her left again. “Would you care for some... ...salt?”

“Oh? Oh no no, I find it... ...oh, I’m so sorry. I would not right now, but – may I pass some to you?”

“Thank you. I don’t mind if I do.”

“There you are.” He said, passing the salt and pepper cruet set back over to where it had first been.

How unusual, he thought.

After a few moments of mulling it over in his head silently, he spoke up to her: “Have you, perhaps, found yourself your own Lee Strasbourg? ...If I may ask?”

‘*’ ignored his question and simply nudged his elbow, nodding as she did so towards the single lit flame in its oil dish, glimmering away over on the sideboard.

“I did not know you were of the Hebrew faith, Mr. Malkovich.”

He peered at her. Curiouser and curiouser...

“I am of no particular dedicated faith at all. At least I do not think so. It is a prop, for later, for my discussion with you about our agent’s idea.”

“Ah-ha! Then out with it. Out with it now. Why not.”

“Please, but I do not wish to disturb your meal.”

“Trust me, you’re not. I’m having too a good of a time here. But if you don’t tell me this ‘secret’ thing soon, I’m sure I’ll, I’ll, I dunno – throw a tantrum.”

“Okay. Okay. Now first I have to swear everyone at the table here to complete secrecy...”

He re-placed his half-eaten cheeseburger back down and looked across at Trice, giving a look as if to appeal with all due and also the most earnest seriousness.

She almost took a fright!

But then he laughed it off, saying: “I’m sorry. Did I have such an effect upon you?”

And he picked up his cheeseburger again to make things less tense.

“Now the matter is like this. A few months ago, in fact quite recently, a certain academic researcher in France, uncovered some letters of an old trove in a book publisher’s private library. These were between the writer Alexandre Dumas and his publisher, in which it seemed that there existed a previously unknown set of extra chapters to his adaptation of the famous Christmas story of the Nutcracker, which, as you must know, was originally created by the German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, and not Dumas himself.

“Now I must confess that I myself till only recently was perfectly unaware, that the beautiful and enchanting and absolutely iconic Sugar Plum Fairy element of the story, of that great classic ballet – was not at all in the original work, having been created only later by Alexandre Dumas in his adaptation.”

“I didn’t know that, John. That’s fascinating.” The Consul General remarked, indeed being very genuinely fascinated, and interested – as he always was about all things cultural.

The barman stepped over briskly and offered some more of the Blue Run bourbon, which he accepted.

“As you all must know too, this famous and much-loved Christmas ballet is in a sense quite mysterious, if not altogether rather dark, filled as it is with very evil creatures who practise wicked havoc at midnight, going to war with the Nutcracker Prince, and visiting all kinds of mischief, breaking toys and so on -, though eventually to be vanquished by the Prince’s valorous deeds.

“Now, with this new literary discovery, it appears the story should take an even darker turn than what we had all been used to previously, in that the Sugar Plum Fairy herself in these additional chapters, is possessed by some evil spirit, it seems perhaps, of a witch. Quite Gothic.

He continued. “As I understand it, Dumas as a reaction to the well-attested Illuminati sub-text of Mozart’s great Opera ‘The Magic Flute’ – has decided, so he recounts to his publishers, to create a counter-tale, both of them still being very much fairy tales of course though; Magic Flute and Nutcracker...” He made the gesture with his index finger, making as if to go from one fairy tale to the other.

“And in this new fairy tale, Dumas has planned several terrible trials for the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy -, such as losing her wings, losing her magic wand -”

“Losing her clothes.” ‘*’ interjected.

He turned to her.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She protested. “It’s what my mother used to warn about.”

The one nagging thought that had been creeping through his mind during the evening, was that this was not quite the same person he had met back sometime ago at least not to his recollection, and certainly not the same person that he had been briefed about. Her general reputation as to her normal demeanour was that of someone insouciantly innocent, the very definition of ingénue.

And this woman here was none of that.

Certainly it was the same physical person, though even then, there was a certain – well, sheen, a glow to the skin, an athletic strength and a vigour that was quite apparent.

And massive confidence.

“Please, John. I am very interested to know what happens next now.” She bid him.

“And then – thank you, ‘*’ - and then after much to-ing and fro-ing, the character of Drosselmeyer recites the famous traditional exorcism tract from Psalm 91, and everyone is saved and they all live quite happily ever after.”

By now everyone at the dining table had very much polished off every single morsel of their cheeseburgers and almost virtually every other crumb of the French fries, and noticing it, the host motioned to the service staff to clear away and bring along in the unorthodox order, of ‘the next dish’ -, which was a Russian-style borscht soup.

“So what do you think, ‘*?’ There will be a quality treatment for the screenplay, full length feature movie naturally. And you will be the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

“I see Chanel and Technobohemia fighting over the costume rights.” ‘*’ said. “I mean, Karl would win of course. Hard not to think of him, you know.” She spoke softly at that. At the remembrance of his passing.

“Will you do it?” He posed the question.

“Only if you agree to do a quick reading for us tonight.” She replied, tapping two index fingers onto the table in front of her.

“I am prepared to do that.” He smiled. “Ah, but the soup. My friends. The soup! ...And I promise you all the alcohol in the spiced sherry in it has all been cooked off.”

Malkovich was fairly beaming through the soup course. Out of its normal order à la Française moderne no doubt, which is really à la russe anyway -, but Slavic and hearty, and exploding off the plates with hot volatile fragrance’d haze of spiced sherry and fennel strands – real haute cuisine Franco-Russian borscht. Plus fresh warm miniature croissants on small side dishes.

They all ate appreciatively in comparative silence, testimony to the exquisite flavours of the borscht.

“My good friends,” he announced at last, clasping his hands together. “I must pray your indulgence of the new protocols of our modern technological lifestyle. Since to assist me, this evening, I have a real live exorcist standing by, who will be whispering instructions into my right ear... …if I can fit this thing in there now.” He fiddled, but only a little bit. “Now, if I can call him up on my iPhone.”

He reached into a jacket pocket to extract the slim device and turned it on and called numbers and thumb-texted away on it like just any old ’nuther millennial.

The service staff took away all the dishes and cleaned the table cloth of crumbs.

‘*’ played imaginary elven arrows with the solitary ‘eternal flame’ oil lamp at the other side of the dining room area.

“What are you doing?” John Malkovich asked her.

“I’m shooting elven arrows with my miniature elven bow. When I grow up and if I get special permission, they will let me play with the really big bows and arrows. You know, that big girls get to play with.”

’I see.”

She made the actions as if shooting a tiny little bow: “Eternal light go out. Shoot! Eternal light come back on. Shoot! See?”

He wasn’t sure there was anything to see.

The phone vibrated in his hand.

“Ah. Otac Bran. How are you this evening? Or this morning, as it is now where you are -.”

John Malkovich stood up from his place. “Excuse me, won’t you...”

...And went across to a high sideboard where some papers were neatly arranged there.

He took up into his hands one small sheaf, clipped together at the top left corner.

“So, ‘*’ - do you wish to participate with me here?”

He was so charming and elegant, really, she thought.

‘*’ got up too then, and smoothed her midnight blue tuxedo-style jacket.

“Certainly, John Malkovich. I can do improv with John Malkovich anytime -, even if there are only two hours left till the TEOTW I can still do it.”

“Why than you. Thank you indeed.” That charming beaming smile again...

“So, you are the Sugar Plum Fairy. ...In difficult times.”

“No wings.”

“No wings.”

“And no magic wand.”

“No. No magic wand.”

“But still she has some Boho chic.” ‘*’ removed her silk cravat and uptied her hair, which now these days had been growing so much longer than it had been allowed to for a while. And she folded back the shooting cuffs of her tux jacket, ever so briefly revealing a bright Turkish plum and Safavieh imperial crimson silk lining, but then covering that with the cream white shirt long-point sleeve cuffs which she quickly unbuttoned and folded back too.

She smeared her mascara down below her eyelids to effect a sad, Gothic look.

“Very good.” John Malkovich affirmed. “That will do nicely.”

He turned away again and picked up the foot-long wooden crucifix, and held it up in his right hand, his left hand holding the sheaf of papers.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen – I shall read some lines from Psalm 91.”

The Consul General made to clap and Trice motioned for him not; ‘later,’ she mouthed to him. ‘Later.’

“You should be reciting this over Britney, not me.” ‘*’ remarked, with some louche venom. “But go on. Don’t let me interrupt.”

Silently, smoothly, stealthily, the service staff were presenting dishes of real sugar plums as the evening’s dessert, with drizzles of Melba sauce and dustings of snow ice sugar.

They re-filled fresh glasses of cold clear water.

And Malkovich’s thin, reedy voice began in its theatrical stage delivery pitch, and at a slightly raised volume.

“Graciously hear us, Lord.” He raised his eyes from the page to the small audience. “You may each respond – with something appropriate - if you like.” His eyes twinkled.

They all quietly laughed politely back at him.

“Amen.” Said ‘*’ back, loudly.

“So.” He continued, eyes back down to the top of the page he was evidently reading from.

“Graciously hear us, Lord.

“For he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

“I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

He held out the wooden crucifix more decisively, at full arm’s length in front of himself.

Assuredly he shall certainly deliver you from the snare, and from all pestilence.

“His mighty angel shall cover you with his feathers, and under its wings shall you trust: his truth shall be your shield.

“You shall not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day;”

He turned and scowled at ‘*.’ And then let his eyes drift back to the page he was reading.

“...Nor for the pestilence that walks in the darkness; nor for the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

“A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near to you.”

Surely there was a sound entering the room now, at least Trice thought she noticed it. A bell piano. And a light. A strange golden, glowing light. There had been something to that... ...that Russian highly-flavoured soup. She was sure of it now. Because she was seeing things. So she thought.

“Only with your own eyes alone shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.

“Because you have made the Lord, who is your refuge, even the Most High, your habitation;

“Therefore shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.”

And there was music now, loud music. A loud, high tech, very modern style of music. With the sound of angelic voices.

“For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

“For they shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

“You shall tread upon the lion and the adder: the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under your feet.

He has set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him, says the Lord. He has known my name.

“He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, and I will deliver him. And I will show him my salvation.”

‘*’ had commenced taking off her jacket, and was turning it inside out now, to reveal the bright red silk reversible inner side. And now she put it back on, and removed with a mouth-wet finger, the Gothic mascara smears under her eyes. ...Untied her hair, slipping the white length of silk off with a flourish, which sent sparkly bits of glitter scattering into the air.

The other people in there were staring, enthralled, eyes wide open.

“Eat.” Said John Malkovich, with that twinkle in his eyes. “Sugar Plums. Let the sugar plums dance in your heads.”


That evening, once they had dropped ‘*’ off at her penthouse suites, Trice turned to her husband:

“That was a Hollywood set-up, wasn’t it? Did they drug us? D’you think? I’m sure I saw and heard angels and fairies.” And she softly pressed at his shoulder. ’Oh you wouldn’t know. You were into the bourbon.”

“It’s not just bourbon dear. It’s Blue Run bourbon.”

But then, as he mused on things himself for a second, he added. “Yes I saw something too. Would not be able to tell you what it was though. I’m glad you said you saw something too. I thought for a while I was losing my mind there.”

And they both laughed together.

“Perhaps we are just both losing our minds together.” Trice suggested. “Synchronised mind losing.”

“Strange country this.” The US Consul General opined. “You know, I honestly -, I honestly saw...”

“Well? What did you see?”

“I saw an Aboriginal Santa Claus, white kangaroos, sleigh, everything.”

He leaned forward and tapped the driver on his shoulder. “Darnell you’re never going to sell that to the New York Times. The National Inquirer. Try them. The National Inquirer will print it. They will run with it.”

“Did she, did ‘*’ fly off the ground? Did you see that?”

“That is called the Balducci levitation illusion. It’s just a trick.”

“Didn’t look like a trick to me,” Trice said.

“I couldn’t really see. The bourbon was making me see double!” He chuckled.

“I could see. Didn’t look like a trick to me.”

Extract from The Black Book From The Future:

Boom Jinx and Fatum feat. Katrine Stenbekk – Coming Home.

’I withdrew and saw the stars collide.

It was in your eyes. Floating with the tide.

The Universe cracked open on us.

Are you coming home?

Are you coming home?

You let me in but I would hide...

The fire in your eyes was tearing down the sky.

The Universe cracked open on us.

Are you coming home?

Are you coming home?′

Lyrics by Bill Hamel/Oistein Johan Eide/Chad Newbold.

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