This is one of my stories so far. It isn’t finished. Well obviously…
He wandered aimlessly on the river of his life, seeking succour in simplicity, ‘no good for me.’ And finding the employment line restless and ruthless his hands were tied and finally they forced him to attend the Job Club, a nice little venture bringing together the lost, the lazy and society’s secret weapons.
On opening the daily paper to assess the situation in the employment section his eyes were drawn towards the shining, glowing words, GOD SUITE PORTER.
He filled out the application, sent it special first class postage and awaited a reply. He sipped his instant coffee and lit the roll up and carefully opened the letter.
The God Suite Inter-personnel
Level 3 Klaxon Sounds
Left Of the Known Universe
Dear Matthew Keely,
In accordance with the holy laws governing the state of bliss and due to the fact that you are a pauper and therefore in need of direction, we hereby remain without emotion and with lack of pride do summon you post-haste to attend an interview for the position of God Suite Porter. Directions are included contained within the luminous pink envelope. The sooner you can get here the better quite frankly, but we leave that decision entirely under your own steam, needless to say that we may frown upon dilly-dallying.
The Management of Most Thing.
Inside the outer envelope he found the said luminous pink envelope which wafted a scent he couldn’t place but which rattled his distant memories in a vaguely sweet way. Contained within was a small plastic button of the kind that can be pressed. The note itself informed him that travel to The God Suite would be immediate once he pressed the button. He wasn’t totally sure of what he should do so he smoked his cigarette and drank his coffee and contemplated his navel. Later that evening he went out to his local bar to have a pint of his favourite porter and inadvertently pick the brains of bar buddy Brian.
Brian had once worked for the SAS so quite often knew the answers to tricky questions. “Listen Matt, I’ll be totally honest with you, I think it’s gotta be a joke. I mean this button you’ve got, you haven’t pressed it right?” Matt nodded affirmation.
“Well it’s just a stupid plastic button right? “
Matt pondered the actual substance of the button.
“I’m not totally sure Brian. That button makes me feel nervous. That’s why I’m here. “ “Maybe it’s all part of your imagination mate. I think what you need is another pint.” Brian motioned to the barman Cecil for more drinks.
“It’s a bit farfetched if you ask me, although I’m telling you mate, I’ve seen some pretty weird stuff in my time. You know when you shoot a man in the stomach you think it’s like the movies, bang! You’re dead! But it isn’t. Their guts explode in your face and it stinks, stinks bad. Makes a man think bout shit you know? About his place in the universe and all. Nothing happens how you imagine it. Look what I’m trying to say is… Well I’m not totally clear bout what I’m trying to say other than I think it’s a joke, but I’m intrigued. How bout you let me have a look at this button?”
“No don’t worry bout it Brian. “
He suddenly felt very protective of his button. They continued drinking and at Brian’s insistence and generosity moved onto whiskey, a bad choice at the best of times. Later they ended up at a nightclub called Satan’s Bunker which served overpriced drinks til the early hours. The pounding music compounded Matt’s unsettled emotions. He decided to call it a night and left on his own.
Outside trying to flag down a taxi, he had the time old feeling that he didn’t exist, that no-one could see him, that life was passing him by. He felt washed out and grey, almost see through like a ghost. A ghost walking its way back home to the loneliness of a muddy bedsit. He had no job, no prospects, no apparent talent. He felt lost and the faces that passed him in cars looked alien to him. It began to rain.
He awoke on the floor of his room curled up around his coat. His dreams had been vague. He lay in the world between sleep and consciousness, dreading the day ahead, til he remembered the button and the smell that had wafted from the luminous pink envelope. He pulled himself to his knees and shuffled across the floor towards the sofa where he had left it, but to his dismay it wasn’t there. Frantic he jumped up and began tearing the room apart.
No! It couldn’t be gone! What a fool he’d been. He should’ve just tried it then and there and not been a chicken caught in the same old trap. Where was it?! The depression hit him hard this time. He pickled himself in his misery for an entire week. He lay languishing, feeling very sorry for himself and completely pathetic until finally, one morning he awoke and during his usual session of self-deprecation discovered himself laughing at the ridiculousness of his situation. At that exact moment Matthew Keely’s life changed forever. The door issued a knock knock and Matt flung off the coat, scurrying around for his jeans, pulling a top over his head and laughing as he went.
“Just a minute, “he laughed, “I’m on my way!”
He skipped to the door, not caring if it was the landlord demanding the rent or an angry neighbour complaining about his nighttime movements. He brushed his hair down with his hands and cracked open the door.
“Good morning Mr. Matthew Keely. I am a representative of The Passion Palace.”
A tall, elegant ebony skinned gentleman stood before Matt. He wore a white suit with golden piping, a trilby of the same hues and a beatific smile. Matt stared in shock, and then broke into a wonderful shaking laugh.
“I thought I’d imagined it! I thought my life was over! “ He threw himself at the man, laughing and hugging him. “I’m so glad you called! I lost the button! Come in, come in!” “Ah Mr Keeley, I’m afraid to say that it is you who must come in.”
Matt’s face began to drop. “The time has come and time being of the essence as they say we must hurry you along. There really was only a short life span on the directional clicker and because you chose not to press it within the two hour period I have been dispatched to collect you. If you would step this way.”
He held out his hand towards the stairwell. Matt hesitated, confused and scared; his world seemed threatened.
“Please Mr. Keeley, the time is now.”
Matt walked out of his flat towards the darkened staircase and with each step his vision began to fail him. An acute feeling of nausea beset him as his legs began to quiver and his heart began to race. He felt himself falling into blackness. It seemed as though he’d been falling for over an hour and he was feeling a little like Alice. He sensed to be quite alone and was enjoying himself in a certain way, now that he’d overcome the dreadful sensations of nausea. He tried spinning his body around; not that he was sure he still had a body. The spinning brought back the nausea so he stopped as elegantly as he could. He found himself ruminating over his life.
In his bones he knew that he should really have applied himself so much more at school, but his mind always seemed to wander and he found it very hard to concentrate on anything much at all. He wouldn’t have said he was stupid, although sometimes he used that very thought to add fuel to the wet fires of his depression which had been with him since his early teens. Oh so pointless and oh so pathetic. Was there anything of substance within him? Here he was, falling through god knows what, towards surely something else and he could still find time to feel dreadfully dull. He wished he had a book to read and a torch, anything to pass the time.
Through the darkness he began to sense an ether of solidity: a soft glowing golden light which to all his amazement looked like a dais such as one would see in a church or a hall. His attention remained focused upon this new oddity. He moved effortlessly towards it, his feet scurrying through the motions.
There he was facing the dais and facing the largest black Labrador he had ever seen in his life. It wore a large gold collar which appeared to be inlaid with gigantic sparkling rubies. “Woof!” said the Labrador. Matthew stared in terror open mouthed and shaking.
“Woof!” went the Lab again.
Matthew shook his head slowly from side to side and seemed pale to the point of green. “Ooops sorry there! Took me a while to work out whether you were a dog! God you’d think I’d learn by now wouldn’t you! Anyway pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m Slumble or thereabouts. If you would like to give me your reference number I can hurry you along towards the correct file.”
Slumble, for that was the Lab’s name, stared gently at Matthew. Matthew stared back at the deepest, darkest, softest, most gentle knowing eyes he had ever seen in his life.
“I’m afraid that I don’t have a reference number. I don’t seem to have anything at all.” “Well how many fingers do you have?”
“Eight excluding the thumbs which I don’t believe to be fingers. If you were to ask me how many digits did I have then I would have replied ten although do toes count as digits?” “Eight will do just nicely. I like the way your mind works human. Okay if you would just like to step on the sliding bookcase to your left…”
Matthew noticed a yellow bookcase lying flat on its back. He stood on top of it and immediately began to move away from Slumble. “Will I see you again?” he shouted. “I wish you were my dog. We could go for loads of walks and I could throw some sticks for you.”
“Woof woof woof!!!!” said Slumble as his rubies glittered in the depths of his gentle knowing eyes.
Matthew’s progress was slick. There were no rumbles to cause him to lose his balance, but he sat down upon the upturned bookcase anyway. It carried him through a set of plastic curtains which made the hair on his head stand on end from static. It was all very intriguing indeed. So much so that he had no time to consider the dark thoughts that normally plagued him.
Once through the plastic curtains he traveled smoothly along a corridor whose angles confused him causing the return of his nausea so he resorted to reading one of the books from the bookcase. He chose a beautiful Gold book. Matthew suspected that it was in fact real gold. Its cover was finely worked with tiny twists and scrolls: he could see faces within the symmetry turning and dancing. Something about this book however made him feel uneasy. There was no title; no indication of what lay inside, yet Portugal came to his mind and the images and smells of an old house at night-time in the heat of the summer surrounded by flowers and trees. It all seemed reminiscent of a dream. He tried to open the book and found that he couldn’t but by this point he had passed through another curtained area. Without a sound the bookcase glided to a stop and Matthew’s eyes began to pick up shimmering shapes moving towards him. With pops and glistens the shapes coalesced into humanoid forms, each one regal in stance. Matthew noticed that the leading shape began to take on the distinctive colours of white and gold. The trilby formed in front of his astounded orbs and the deep chocolate toned hand that was proffered to him wore a ring on the index finger which had such an intensely bright shining crystal that Matthew found mesmerising and strangely disturbing.
“Mr. Keeley. You are most welcome.” The rep of The Passion Palace bowed with a graceful movement from the hips and a tipping of his fine trilby with his ringed hand. “Um…thanks,” mumbled Matthew. “So what’s the deal here? Am I having one of those strange hypnogogic episodes I sometimes have? Maybe I’m dead.”
He knew that he wasn’t dead or rather that he didn’t feel dead. Having not been dead before to his knowledge, he couldn’t of course be totally sure on this point but the sensible side of his mind dug its heels in and refused to consider the whole death scenario. It was a bit like the time when his last girlfriend told him she no longer loved him and Matthew could only hear the theme tune to The Archers in his head and wonder at the intense smell of turnips.
“Mr. Keeley we have been watching you for a very long time.” The crystal ring sparkled and the representative’s teeth flashed a smile but the deep oil slick eyes spoke with sadness. “Between one thing and another it has taken us some time to contact you. Sometimes it appears that life conspires to push one along a particular avenue. Your personal avenue led you to the Job Club where you applied for the job of God Suite Porter. This was for your eyes only and in actual fact did not exist as an advertisement in any publication at that time. You see we have ways of manipulating time, matter and perception. Your Job Club advisers believe you to have applied for a job in the civil service.”
Yes, thought Matthew, my mother would be so proud.
“You probably have little memory of the application form or the job description itself.” Matthew indeed had extremely hazy memories about the job. They scooted away from him like a shoal of little fish from a shadow.
“Let me refresh your elusive memory. You see your life has been mapped out for you through the intervention of The Passion Palace. The Passion Palace is The Great Namaqua’s way of keeping in contact with humankind through celestial intervention. We, that is myself and the other light beings, monitor the progress of humans just like you; the lost and the lonely, the tired and depressed, the vague and unrecognised, worn down by disappointment, made to believe that their own failures and lack of ambition is the sum total of all their parts.”
Matthew sighed and stared shyly into the profound pools of wisdom feeling the words resonate within him.
“We have always believed in you. The role of God Suite Porter is perfect for you. Like a sentinel in the night of the soul you will keep watch over others like you, the invisible people, the ones that others pass by in their fierce search for success. Success is transitory like all in life. It is also relative like all things. Perspective changes everything.”
Matthew had to stop the overwhelming smell of turnips.
“I am the representative. I have no name but if you wish you may call me Zurvan.”
“I know that name!”
How did he know that name? It seemed so familiar to him.
“You do.” Zurvan smiled at Matthew and began to change before his eyes. His skin started to grow fur, his eyes morphed into cat-like almond shaped eyes that glowed green. The shining white and gold suit became leathers bound by a circular metal clasp. The trilby became a mane that vibrated with Zurvan’s gentle laughter. Matthew remembered.
He had been lying on the floor completely aware that he was neither asleep nor awake. He was in between yet totally alert and absolutely terrified. Powerful oscillations seemed to shake his body violently from the top of his head down the length of him and yet it was as if he didn’t move at all. He was completely paralysed. His mind struck him as being split like a cell at the beginnings of creation. Baby steps. In desperation Matthew focused his intent upon the fingers in his left hand. He willed them to move to the packet of matches he knew were beside his body. If only he had light! No movement came and he screamed in abject terror in his mind and just as he thought he would go mad from the fear he saw clearly that a portal of some kind had opened up beside him within the room.
His view was of a narrow sandstone hallway or tunnel lit by burning torchlight and standing in front of him was a leonine man wearing the buckle of a kingly throne. Matthew was nothing under that stare. The eyes held neither love nor hate; total neutrality, yet such intensity that Matthew quaked under their power. He was watching and waiting.
“I am neither male or female, up or down, left or right. I am one form of two sides. As above, so below. I told you that we have been watching you Matthew.”
The other glistening shapes, consolidated now, were exact replicas of Zurvan. The force from their eyes was audible.
Prunes! For the taste buds of a child, prunes are a most repulsive breakfast; for the taste buds of an adult they are barely palatable. To the dancer in a nightclub called Satan’s Bunker they are a means to an end; that end mainly being to keep one’s lithe dancer body in the slimmest of shapes, the ingesting of any substance that maintains as skinny a physique as possible are to be investigated thoroughly and put to use.
Ari baulked at sticking her fingers down her throat, but sometimes it was all she could do; today she didn’t feel quite so inclined and was mainlining prunes. They came from a tin fermenting in their own evil black juices; their wrinkled flesh re-hydrated, their stench of health kept cool. Constipation was one of the drawbacks of the drugs which dried up her insides and stopped her chi from flowing. She pulled on her teeny tiny thong of wrapping paper silver over the hard muscles of her spare legs noticing a streak in her fake tan and with the fast fluid movements of a humming bird, had picked up the glove with the sticky orange gunk and reapplied, smoothing out the line, blending and shading with automatic finesse.
Another mouthful of the prunes; another day in the corps; another soul gone unnoticed, she chewed and tried not to breathe through her nose so that taste was not an option. She was rocking the prunes. They weren’t so bad, just too damn foul, but maybe they’d keep the old motor running.
Tying her matching silver sequined bikini top at the back with expert fingers, then hoisting the halter over her little neck to contain the small bumps that acted as breasts Ari stood tall, checked her back for streaks of bronze, grabbed the deep red bobbed wig, forced a smile on her granite face and ran for the dressing room door.
“Ari ,we’re going to Jed’s tonight. Don’t forget. You’re coming right?”
This was Shimmer, real name Andrea; another of Satan’s dancers. Satan was a butch lesbian called Michelle, or Chelle if she let you think that she liked you. How special you were to be given such an accolade; to be esteemed by the mighty Chelle was a tricky praise indeed; one that came barbed with the sinews of her last innocent attached. Shimmer and Ari were both well acquainted with Chelle’s tricksy ways. Everything came at a price and it was best to keep her on Chelle terms. Michelle was a hard-nosed bitch with money on her mind. Each day was her daily bread of DJ’s, promoters, suppliers; the under-hand, the over-satiated, the glitz and the grime of a happening nightclub owner. Her office was small and cramped, like a cave with a boom boom backdrop.
Blowing Shimmer a kiss of assignation Ari ran down the corridor through the side door, up to the stage and onto her spot beside the DJ booth. Chief Slick the resident was warming up the lacklustre crowd with some of his binaural trance beats. He manipulated his colour coded cubes with grim determination, his eyes directly connected to the wires in his brain – download of the latest tunes straight to his console. She dances like sexual chocolate. Kapa boom boom. The crowd gathers as one with the beat. She channels them, channels herself right back out. Thrust and gyrate from the hips, her hips her lips in acid wash, all a-bright. Day glo in the flow.
We are the only people happening right now, they say. This is the ultimate. Watch as we wow the world all awake and grown in a vat. Yes. This is the bass. Feel it climb up your legs or your tail, and into your mouth via your bowels. Annunciate your vowels. Say oh how do you do; I feel fine, just fine, pass me the wine. Here comes the mid and the high, so fly, the off beat, the in between so keen, the one that gets your ass shaking, your head bobbing, the trance out, the sweet spot. Keep on climbing the mountain. Watch the birds below disappear.
“Turn the lights on!” She dances; oblivious.
“Turn the fucking lights on!” This is the bouncer from the side of the stage. His eyes are wide. She hears his deep voice through the music.
“Someone’s head has just exploded!” Ari comes out of her ecstasy, sees the body at the front with people around; sees the blood pouring from the mouth, the nose. She looks to Chief Slick, Mo, Mohammed with his Indian headdress, his direct line to funky town, mouth agape, no recognition.
There, like a dark angel, a man is bent over the young male bleeder, fast movement, flurry of assistance, in control. The young hemorrhaging boy is lifted away, removed from the scene, without a break in the beat. Ari’s curiosity takes control.