Friday, 26 June 2009

The halo is for radar. Bridget-radar.

The door is like any door you would see in a place like this.

Wooden with iron supports and a throw bolt the size of my arm, underneath which rests a pull ring I can fit both hands around, which is good because I need all my strength to pull this door open. It swings out, into the hall where water drips like the slow burn of rage and the bare light bulb illuminates exactly nothing.

He sits inside, in the center of a windowless room. The walls, floor and ceiling are concrete, of the kind built by hand. Layers that appear straight but probably aren't, and more standing water in puddles all around him. His beautiful white wings are folded close to his back, almost glowing in the oppressive dim. His head is down, hands clasped around his knees, naked and dirty save for the wings which serve to provide dignity as well as glory.

I speak and he doesn't answer. He only briefly raises his head in acknowledgement before returning to his private hell within this hell. Save for the fact that his knuckles have gone white I would believe that he doesn't really know I'm there.

That's as far as I ever get into the room because always and without fail the music cues up, the screaming distorted guitars, beautiful folk melodies barely audible, tangled with power chords that throw my progress off. The other one descends so quickly I only have time to raise my hands up in front of my face and I feel the darkness complete as his wings brush my hair and knock me back.

One black feather hovers in the air in front of me before dipping back towards the floor.

He screams in my face, an inch from me and I feel the heat of a thousand suns on his breath but I don't recognize his voice because it comes out in seven octaves of sound that washes over me in a drone. It doesn't appear to have come from his mouth but instead from his mind perhaps. I scream back and he stops and turns, because the angel with the white wings stands up now, casting light into all corners of the room, burning the flesh off the black angel who reacts by unleashing another thundering, unholy bellow before returning to the safety of his high perch.

Go back, the white angel says and he smiles gently. This is an order, not a suggestion.

I don't want to, I tell him. Jacob, I'll take you back with me!

I reach forward to take his hand, maybe I can pull him out of here, maybe I can somehow sneak him away from this place. And then in the light I see that all around his face is blood and there is just empty blackness where the back of his head used to be. His arms are bent at funny angles and his back isn't really doing anything at all. He's a bag of bones held up with his magnificent love for God and locked in this hideous purgatory with Cole because I won't let them go anywhere else.

He shakes his head and doesn't say anything but I hear him so clearly inside my head.

Go back, Bridget. I'll see you tomorrow.

I'm blown back to the other side of the door, falling over the threshold and landing on my ass. The door creaks with a huge heavy sigh and slams shut. I run back down the hall in the sketchy light, splashing through the puddles until I reach the sunlight at the end of the tunnel and...

I'm awake.