First the singers, with their diseased hymns...still echoing inside, still twisting me, threatening to turn me inside out.
Now, these trespassers, these heretics; these idiot dreamers. Smelling them from the first instant they set their burning feet here, in my dream, my place apart from the world.
How dare they? How dare they?
Fury, incandescent, embers kindling in thought, searing it away, in my belly, burning my entrails. Lashing out at the living rock in agony, raking it open, making it bleed.
Oh, they moan, they sing...attempting to soothe me; the choristers, with their ancient songs, their forgotten lullabies.
Not today, sweet ones, not today. Raking at them, too; cleaving meat and bone with every gesture, opening flayed throats and bleeding faces, exposing the machinery of song and mind.
Still, they sing, still they stroke and caress me. As though it's enough...to quell the fire, to keep me from violence.
Nothing is. Nothing ever will be.
Scenting them, amongst my children; the parasites that swell on my hide, that squirm in my guts, that shake free with every motion, squirming into sunlight I can no longer bear.
My shapelss, hungering ones; my stinking effluent eaters, my boneless, thoughtless beauties.
Hurting them, when they draw too close; stabbing and splitting them open, driving them back with hideous raptures, alien fires.
Strange creatures; lost and in love with the condition, not even knowing why they're here, what they might find.
I will give them an answer, in the instant before I peel their faces away, slit them open and unspool their entrails, lick the hearts from their chests:
No secrets here, beyond me; no mystery that I have not authoured, sweated or shit into being. I am god, in this place, and they?; Less than fleas; irritants to be raked away, ground into the sludge.
Not even worthy of a place amongst my shit; the effluent of those devoured, still singing, singing...that plead with me, that beg me to let them re-write themselves, to burn to ash, leave this place as motes in the breeze.
Never. They dared, seeking me out, perhaps even hearing rumours of me: the Beast Beneath the Stone, The Sanguine, The Heart Eater. The Mother of Worms.
So many titles, so many stories...I can't recall now which are true, if any. Who or what I was, before crawling into this darkness, before bleeding this mire, seeping my disease into the stone and bedrock...slowly poisoning the city above. The twisted young, born in my wake; as much mine s their Mother's or Father's...sloping from the womb mad, rabid, deformed...turning on their parents, their deliverers into the world. Many still here, those whole enough to survive the Hell I made from their home...monsters themselves, now; siring their own broods and myths; stories that stretch beyond the bounds of this accursed place.
Sick, I think, before I even came here, before the dream coalesced around me; so little memory of that time...only pain, only weeping.
Little wonder, then, that all I've made and sweated since is the same; an expression of sickness. Little wonder that all who have come seeking have found the same answers:
Pain, suffering, disgrace.
My hymns. My gospels.
Sought and found, by those that have found me:
Heaped in hideous, pulsing piles in the darkness, but clearly visible to me: the devoured, digested, shat out; the torn open, mulched and molten; the blackened and sloughed from the bone with the poison of my spit and piss; my every kiss, caress or hissed word.
My parasite children playing amongst them, making such happy music as they weave into the hollows where entrails once sat, as they coil and knot in sludge-filled brain-pans. The trespassing dreamers they once were crying out, though many lack mouths with which to shape words, telling me stories of what they've lost, what they hoped, what they despaired of, before coming here, before finding me, in my wakeless pit.
None I haven't heard a thousand times before, that move me to any kind of sentiment.
These two...unfamiliar souls, unfamiliar songs. Shuddering with delight at the thought of adding their voices to the choir, in hearing their shrieked stories, their whimpered confessions, over and over and over, until even they don't understand or remember them...
Calling to them without words; a more eloquent song, a sweeter invitation than any language might shape.
Knowing before they take their first steps that they will answer, and remind me, for a time, of what it was to be more than despair.
George Lea is an entity that seems to simultaneously exist and not exist at various points and states in time and reality, mostly where there are vast quantities of cake to be had. He has a lot of books. And a cat named Rufus. What she makes of all this is anyone's guess.