107 Flicker of murder in Angel

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107   Flicker of murder in Angel

OK then, bold action. I steel myself, shoot my sight to Angel ... and I see you, Angel, running to the front door with danger in your eyes. You feel it too: the restlessness in town today, the violence in the sticky air, the gunfire waiting to ricochet, and phantom flames burning in the air around your head.

You wander to a grungy and rain-washed Main Street, to T.J.'s Pizza at Sewall Avenue. It's warm but it's drizzling, so you're hot and cold at once. Dressed in black and dark-red, you're shielded from the rain by your scarlet umbrella, yet sweat drips down your face and trickles under all your clothes. You're wrecked and wild, feverish and tussled as you kick along an empty cigarette packet, churning with self-hate and self-love, fear and love of Lucan; and your wet-burning shame will suffuse you forever, yet forever too your urge remains to hack from your body that eternally erect self-lie that you can always feel, without relent, down there in front of you...

You get your pizza slice and set off home, devouring it with mechanical insect fervour. You are kept on a chain by a hungry man who swings you every day through the sky above his attic, while his gaze rapes yours. His irrational destruction, your dangerous obsession ... and so, for the very first time, it occurs to you: perhaps you should murder him? That would restore the balance between you, earth the voltage, settle the damage he's done you. Why, you could then carve your Angel symbol into his stomach—think how gorgeous that would look, set in his muscular flesh!

As you climb the staircase to the bedroom, you bubble with red fantasies of stabbing him to death in an orgy of carnage and fluid on the bed, as revenge for his countless denials of your preferences and needs and ideas, and every night the bruises he's kissed you with ... but then you remember his wicked gleaming panther's eyes, and you realise you need him and you're trapped again and will never escape or dare to hurt him, and he knows it and he knows you know it too; and tears of being beaten yet again start to burn behind your long-lashed eyes, shot with frustration and anger and white-hot desire.

You do want to kill him, though, don't you? You want to feel him dying, while he's up deep inside you. Well, that can be your secret mission; I shan't tell. You enumerate your weapons: you've a pair of shadow-daggers; more practically, you have a real gun, fully functional, loaded and hidden under floorboards, which Lucan doesn't know about; and yes, you have the right stuff to kill, you know you do. You want to hold a knife to the face of every human here on earth, simultaneously—a knife for each face, poised just right. (This might become addictive.) Are you sure, however, that you want to cross this line, my lethal Angel? Lucan is your equal in glamour, so he's brought this to his killing, but consider: Kev and Damian have killed too, and where's the glamour there? Nowhere. So killing in itself is insufficient for transcendence. Still, it is a step towards that...

You flop down prone onto the bed, exhausted, close your eyes and straight away you're almost asleep. Lucan of course kept you up and wore you out gorgeously for half the night, and then for the rest of it you just writhed around buried under the surface of a half-sleep and scratched your long nails across the surface of your body while your mind churned, like most nights; so you're now functioning on a serious sleep deficit. Semi-conscious, your mind still sounds like a factory of machinery, as usual: whining engines, screeching blades, hissing sparks and a never-ending drum-boom of earth-shaking power, shot with clattering and echoes.

You twitch awake again, and Murder flickers closer to you; waits for you to notice it. You notice it. It lets you drink it in for a moment, then it draws you towards it, with glaring pools of eyes in the darkness of the bedroom ... and something subtle changes in you, something irreversible and silent.

You are now resolved to murder, for real.

You gently push this resolution aside: it can wait to be processed, please, just a few minutes. (Why, yes it can! It is patient and quite prepared to wait.)

At last your banks of mind-machines are quiet, as you fall asleep for real. You quiver, then are still: and the colour of a spasm in a boy-girl's dream has the radiant completion of a blade's squeak and rush through Lucan's soft-lit neck, while the cameras roll, projected on the big screen in extreme close-up...

This deep rest is short-lived, of course. As you start again to toss and turn and writhe and scratch your arms and wrestle with yourself in sleep as usual, radio feedback and strobing lights flicker through your pressured head: "Bad girl!" voices chant, "so like a woman..." in your tight red leather skirt and cherry lipstick and angel's wings, holding the big dangerous hand of your man with his crucifix pendant, strong and golden on his chest. He leads you to a garden, ties you to the trunk of an ancient bush profuse with crimson roses, and fires tiny scarlet arrows at you. Every few seconds an arrow lodges sharp in your torso, then falls out leaving a small gash until your body is a red mess, merging with the crimson of the petals; and you squirm, with the thrill of him strung upon the wires of the harp in the Garden as Satan's music thrums through his body. In a nearby nut-bush, a noose of light cusps off a twist of white nut-kernel-meat shaped just like a set of tiny fingers clasped in prayer; and you feel your tattooed Angel's wings morph to the soft white wings of a dove. You take off, soar up and land on a nail-head that spins upon its point below, spoked with jagged lightning underneath a blackness pinked with tiny galaxies. Ziggurats and onion-spires pierce through clouds of smoke the colour of a sweet red wine as rich as Sin. Within the smoke, snakes of scarlet chase and swallow one another, as on burning paper. Off the Mosquito Coast among the angel-demonfish, two skinless animals are making love in slime and blood, birthed from your imagination's most exquisite sump—a rapture of the deep! Dying fire seeps through the clouds of a sunset coloured treacle-black and blood-orange, sensuously chemical. Right where the sun should hang, your own face flashes up for one supernal instant, weeping scarlet blood ... and fades to black.

You wake and sit bolt upright. You bound off the bed to the wardrobe, snake your hand behind it, prise up a floorboard, reach into shadow there and wrap your fingers tight around the metal of your gun. Listening hard for sounds elsewhere in the house, you pull the weapon out, check it's loaded, pocket it and tiptoe from the bedroom. Downstairs you slip through the back door.



For some nice reviews and interviews about The Imagination Thief, in The Guardian and elsewhere, see http://www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media/

For a quick synopsis of it, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/synopsis-and-characters-list-the-imagination-thief/

For the 12 Films in The Imagination Thief, see http://www.rohanquine.com/video-books-films/12-films/

For the Audio-book version and the Video-book version of each of its 120 mini-chapters, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/audiobook-tumblr-wattpad/

For links to the retailers, see http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-ebook/ and http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-paperback/

And for its Amazon pages, see http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909 and http://www.amazon.com/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909

The Imagination Thief is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people's imaginations and memories. It's about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.

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