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Noumenon (pt 2)

By PJMichaels All Rights Reserved ©


The Wait

I have questions. There’s blood seeping in the cracks of the window and a grey dark seeping in behind it. They mix on the sill and make the blood look old, used, and diseased.

Screams heckled me from outside last night…and the shadows, so many shadows. I could not sleep for the shadows. Bars don’t keep them out, that’s my concern. Bars just don’t work. Too much space, not enough density. They only keep me in.

And to think, the screws laughed at me. They thought it was funny; thought I was seeing shit, some kind of psychotic episode before my trip down the hall to Old Sparky. “Won’t get you out of it,” they laughed.

But they’re not laughing now, the pricks. The phones are dead, the roads are empty, and no one is coming in to relieve them. They’re as trapped as I am.

I want to tell them the world is dying outside, that it’s only us here on death row, but they won’t listen. It’s just us – me, fifteen convicts, and three screws. And they’re all scared shitless.

Well, fuck them. I warned them it was coming. Told the warden. Told the fucking priest it was coming too. They didn't listen. They never listen.

It’s war. Not that army and guns shit. Bullets won’t save you. Nukes? Forget it. And piety? Don’t even get me started on that one. The angels were crying, brother. Crying. Do you have any idea what that takes? Probably not. You think they weep all the time; that they’re all teary-eyed at our suffering? Nonsense. It doesn't happen. They've seen too much, tears come hard for them. Or, at least they used to. Now…it’s a different story.

You see, most folks think there’s only one kind of evil like it’s some generic jambalaya mix and you just add water. Toss in a few other ingredients to spice up your life and voila, instant badness. Well, I hate to disabuse you of the idea, but its bullshit. That's not evil. Never was. There are things in the dark. Big things, small things. Dreaded things.

You worry about zombies and ghosts? I laugh at you. Some things don't have names. They don't have structure or edges. They have only a vile corruption - a pustular yellow malevolence.

The last priest I talked to...he finally understands. Now that it's too late.

But your ignorance isn’t your fault. We were always told there was just one evil, one archangel tossed from heaven and given a new title. It ain’t true. The truth was hidden, even from the rest of the Fallen. Seems Mephistopheles isn’t the biggest, baddest motherfucker on the block anymore. He never was.

Shame that. At least we knew how to deal with him.

Fuck, I need a smoke. This waiting is getting to me. I could ask one of these other convicts, but I know they’re out too. Jones is down there pouring through his bible, trying to figure this mess out. I’m guessing he’ll start shouting in a few hours – all that fire and brimstone bullshit. It’ll be a waste of breath, and annoying as fuck until he finally falls to whimpering in the corner of his cell. I expect Martin will commit suicide before then. He’s been whimpering for hours now. Johnson too.

Ever since the squad didn’t show up to escort me down to Sparky, they’ve been on edge. It’s a tense time to start with, but then when no one showed, and no one called to say it was off…that’s when they started really worrying. Warden Harbeck enjoys flipping the switch too much to let an execution pass by without coming down to rub it in first.

He usually hits D-block around three A. M. with a sermon of his own making, spittle flying from his chin as he condemns the man the courts have already condemned. Ain’t never figured out why he does it. Maybe he’s just an asshole. Maybe he thinks God put him here with the power of death and that pumps his ego up. I dunno. Don’t care either. He never got the chance to come and preach at me so fuck him.

Think he was too scared, if you want the truth. Thirteen priests dead, the last one I shredded slowly. I could see it in Harbeck's eyes. He wanted to know what kind of animal I was. His bible wouldn’t help. I knew it better than him - all the translations, all the forgotten meaning and languages, they’re at the tip of my tongue. They have to be, it’s my job. And didn't that piss him off.

I didn’t tell you about that? Well, now you know. I was sent back. I could meet you tomorrow or yesterday. Time is a wrinkle and I’m supposed to iron it out. That’s pretty screwy when you think about it, but there it is. Throw the baby into the mix and everything is completely FUBR now. Time isn’t just wrinkled, it’s indecipherable. You think we’ve only been talking a minute, but what if I told you it’s been days? Or milliseconds? Or years? See what happens? It’s fucked, just like us.

Upstairs was worried enough that they took an emotional vagrant like me, gave me all the weapons and knowledge at their disposal, and sent me back to track those priests.

They’re so worried that the Thrones have been dispatched. They’re talking about a merger. You get that? Upstairs, downstairs. They’re going to combine forces. That’s how nervous they are. Armageddon isn’t shit compared to what’s coming now. So you, and Jones down there in cell ten, can whimper and whine and pray all you want. Ain’t nobody listening, bro. They’re too busy trying to figure out how they’re going to survive.

Where did this new evil come from? Everybody wants an answer to that question. So here’s the simple answer: they don’t know. They don’t even have a word for it yet. Not in Latin or Enochian or Hattic or any other tongue. It won’t take to the mouth. How can you fight an enemy you can’t even name? I asked that very question to one of the warrior class angels, but he had no answer, just a look of despair.

You want my take? It’s the baby. Fucking priests should have killed it. But they hid it instead. Thought they were saving something divine. They weren’t, and they paid for it. But now, it’s out there, and it’s growing. But I’ll tell you what; it’s beautiful – beautiful in a radiant kind of way. But if you look too long, your legs start to quiver, your insides start to shrivel, your head becomes gaunt and your eyes blind, and you still can’t pull your gaze away.

So what'll we do? Carve our eyes out before we go into battle? If the angels are too vain to do it, how much less willing do you think humans will be?

So I’m gonna sit here, wait, and wish I had a last Lucky to smoke. They’ll be around eventually. They’ll smell me out long after the screws and other convicts are molding stains on the floor. The blood on the windowsill will be dust by the time they get here. I just hope they have a key to get me out this goddamned cell.

My questions…I forgot. But really, do that matter anymore?

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