Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Storm


Source: Wikimedia Commons
Lightning sparkles across the sky, and the  storm gazes  across its destruction with a malevolent glee, surveying the damage that its  armies have  wreaked in its name. Wind howls  across the valley, an army of banshees moving across the fields, shrieking and cackling and causing the grass and trees to buck and toss in terror;  the wind, being an ill-disciplined army of wretched creatures, refuses to show fidelity to any particular compass point, and blows  in multiple directions simultaneously, throwing the environment into chaos. So terrified  are the trees  that  it would have been no great surprise to see them  lift their great roots up from deep within the soil and bolt across the landscape, their roots acting like octopus tentacles to propel them at great speed, spraying earth like ink from their roots to confuse the storm.

The surrounding environment is jet black: nothing is visible in the absolute blackness that the storm casts over this country area. The moon is invisible behind the black clouds that look like demonic marshmallows; the only thing that even indicates a storm is the howling winds and sheeting rain pummelling the earth. Occasional sparks of lightning ignite the scenery with a bluish-white light, providing snapshot images of the area; these photos are entirely still, a single instant caught in a moment of time by the camera-bulb lightning.  A sheet of lightning crackles across the sky, briefly illuminating the surrounding environment with a blinding  light that prints the surroundings in a  shade of  bluish-white before flickering out. The lightning leaves an impression on the mind that thumps and throbs, the watermark of the scenery seemingly imprinted on the neural highways of the brain so that the mind can see the scenery in blues and reds long after the lightning has finished. Thunder rumbles shortly after. 

The scenery illuminated is sparse; undulating green fields painted in a bluish-white light are all around, cut through the middle by a tarmac road with freshly painted road markings in white, for the middle, and yellow, for the sides.  The white markings in the middle form a solid white line, indicating that motorists should not consider overtaking here: the roads twist and turn and follow the verdant bumpiness of the hills up and down too much for any driver to be certain that it would be safe to overtake. In a field, an enormous oak tree dominates the surroundings, its massive  presence acting like a forbidding guardian in the middle of the field, daring any brave soul to march into the field and  challenge its authority.  Its knotted, bumpy bark indicates great age, and the number of such battles that it has witnessed must be enormous; brave would be the soul to challenge it! The oak tosses and turns in the raging banshee army, its great arms complaining mightily of the stress, its green leaves shivering and trembling.  Rain falls so heavily that the drops seem to meld into ropes of rain that lash the ground in their fury, as though the rain had had, in time long forgotten, an argument  with the fields and the oak tree and was now whipping them with a cat o’ nine tails in a display of wrathful vengeance, disciplining everything around itself for past transgressions. As the lightning flickers out, this image of tree and rain and road and fields melts into the brain, pounding and punching against the retina; almost as though the image had a life  of its own and insisted on being seen by the viewer even when there was no light to make it visible.


The bank of clouds that dominate the sky form the throne of the storm, from which issue bolts of lightning and armies of shrieking demons and the loud cacophony of enormous bass drums that formed a battle march for the tempestuous armies. In that bank of clouds, something greater than the sum of its parts has been created,  perhaps  random bits of energy fused together by a bolt of lightning. Whatever the cause, the storm is now a sentient, living, heaving being that, with  every breath in its body, seems  bent on the destruction of all around it. The storm  is, without a doubt, a hateful creature with a vendetta of unknown origin against the universe that had created it; each lash of energy that emanated from it was created with the express intent of destroying the living environment.  The great storms of old tremble and shift  with unease as this new creature  becomes something  to make the great storms of old seem  like nothing but the mewlings of a litter of newborn kittens, scratching feebly and impotently at their mother’s teat for sustenance. This storm, this living cacophony of hate and destruction and fury, dethrones the tempests of old with seeming ease, barely even stopping to delight in its victory over them as it continues to harangue the landscape.
 

***************** 

Taking careful aim, the storm releases a bolt of swift lightning into the air, watching its course gleefully  as it streaked towards the earth  at incredible pace. The lightning flared across the landscape, illuminating it with the light of a million candles, lighting up a scene of bucking trees, the grass subdued and bending down to the ground in obeisance to this new and terrifying god. Only the  great oak tree in the middle of the field takes no notice; as the lightning strikes, a gust of wind pummels the branches of the oak, causing it to shake and buck its branches as though it were waving a giant fist of leaves and twigs in impotent anger at the storm causing such harm to the field it was meant to protect. 

The surface of the road glistens  with  the rain:  an anaconda with white and yellow markings that has just ascended from the  river bed, its scales still glistening with water. On the road, a terrible scene  is  illuminated, and the storm halts  in its impetuous rage to gaze in fascination at what it sees lit up before it. The bank of clouds seems to take a deep breath in and move  closer to the ground, as though to get a better look at what  is presented before  it; the clouds looking for all the world like a mountain of boiling, roiling steam edging closer and closer to what it wants to see.


A red sports car had approached a bend of the road with too much speed, slipping on the treacherous road to careen headlong into the field bordering the road. The engine of the car has done a nose-dive into the wet, soft earth of the field and its back wheels are spinning from the momentum of the driving; the grotesque image is one of a red mole with a soft leather back trying to burrow deeper into the ground, to run from the storm, to dig to the other side of the earth.


The storm is fascinated by the scene it sees before it. A little bit trepidatious of its own power, the storm is only now becoming aware of the depth of what it is capable of. A delicious shiver of thrill and excitement courses through the clouds, manifesting itself in a minor bolt of lightning in the distance, followed by a  tiny  rumble of thunder—only a goblin breaking wind in the distance; slightly overwhelmed, and intoxicated on its own strength, the storm begins to bulge at the seams and discharge random flashes of lightning, rain and wind, a small child so overcome by excitement that it begins to run about, flailing its arms in an infantile display of passion.  The bank of clouds seems  to suck in another deep breath and move ever closer, trying to peer inside this strange red device that it has never seen before, to see if any   ewwy gooey human  blood or oh-so-tender muscle are there for the tendrils of its rain to lick and prod and taste for death.


*****************

A second flicker of lightning illuminates the scene for the storm to better see with gleeful joy what havoc it has wreaked. The front windscreen of the car is shattered, the glass frosted with the impact of the crash, and a million cracks zigzag their way across the windscreen like a giant spider’s web.  Two people, a  young  man  and  woman,  form the occupancy of the car, barely past their mid-twenties.  The  man  looks younger than the woman by a year or so, has a tanned complexion and wavy black hair, originally gelled back but now strewn across his forehead. He wears blue jeans with a brown leather belt and a  black  Ralph Lauren shirt neatly tucked into his jeans. There are sprays of blood on his clothes and face, both of which radiate out from his throat and descend up and down his body, the spray of blood becoming increasingly dispersed the further away from the  throat  one looked. A  large, jagged chunk of glass  from the shattered windscreen has struck the young man in the jugular, severing it, and sending the arterial spray out in an arc to destroy his clothes  and face. The man  is crumpled over the steering wheel;  his femora  have been  fractured  by  the engine  which, forced backwards from the impact of the collision with the earth, rammed the steering column backwards into his legs. His legs have been pushed back into the  lap of the  driver’s seat at inhuman angles, and the broken bones protrude out of the back of his jeans like ivory-white twigs. An expression of pain is still on his face:  he must have died screaming in agony, the seat around him and the carpet under his feet incarnadined with the blood, the  essence,  which  was ejaculated  forcefully from the  veins  of  his throat and thighs.  Rigor mortis  will soon set in, fixing his features in a permanently twisted bellow of pain until the worms and the germs lick and suck and rot the flesh from his bones.

The young woman  lies unconscious in her seat, quivers of pain mo ve across her delicate, patrician features but she seems relatively unharmed: one of those strange miracles which has left her unscarred beside her partner.  Her only injury, apart from bumps and bruises, seems to be a fractured right humerus, broken as she  put her hand out to change the radio channel just as the car veered off the road: a superficial accident (comparatively speaking). Her mouth, slightly open, is soft and pink with lipstick; her teeth are straight and very white .  Her blonde hair, kept under control by a sensible black hair-band, is now astray and the hair-band lies forgotten on the floor at her feet; she wears a white cardigan with a  black  skirt trimmed with  white  fabric, and wears a black silk blouse under the cardigan. The blouse shimmers  in the wind, reflecting the lightning for the instant that it flashes.  Around her neck, an expensive pearl necklace dangles, the pearl at the bottom sitting in the hollow of her throat like an egg in a cup.  At her left calf, the prim young woman has a small, faded tattoo, the bottom of which is the only visible part: it looks like the tail of a snake. Had she been wearing a school skirt, the tattoo would have been  safe from parents’ prying eyes. 

A wedding ring encircles both their fingers. The ring of gold gleams in the lightning, perfectly forged and undented; the wedding ring on the man’s finger has slipped forward slightly and the skin under the ring is as tanned as the rest of his body.

*****************

A frisson shivers along the storm’s backbone; a chain of lightning flashes run through the clouds, nervous signals sent from the  centre of the  storm’s brain out to the body of clouds, causing the storm’s entire persona to shiver and shake deliciously with the tremendous harm that it had caused. Gone is the momentary  trepidation of before, replaced by exaltation in the pandemoniac atmosphere that it had created all around it; the storm is still fascinated by the red device that it sees in the field, with the wheel still spinning, slower now, on their axis in a gruesome parody of driving. The bank of clouds, breathing in again, leans in closer to the car; a scar of lightning sizzles across the sky, followed closely by a roll of thunder like a set of tin cans thrown down a flight of stairs.  The jagged scar lights up the deathly scene below the storm. The details of the car and its occupants remain the same, down to the shriek of pain etched across the young man’s face, almost set in stone by rigor mortis: nothing has changed here.

There is, however, now a black man in a sky-blue shirt and ink-blue trousers attending the car; a police officer, judging by his own uniform. His squad car sits some metres away, a red and blue siren sitting on top of the roof, the lights flashing  alternately and casting a blue and red pallor on the victims within.  As the lightning flashes, he can be seen leaning within the passenger-side window, a look of grim determination on his face as he forces himself to face up to the brutal reality lying in the car. In his right hand, he grips a  notepad which has become  so wet with rain as to be nothing more than a single square sheet of pulp crushed in the man’s hand.

The spinning lights of the car give the faintest of clarity to the red sports car, casting the black man in a harsh glow of blue and red light, the whites of his eyes glowing in the lights. The bodies in the car, cast now in the blue light of the squad car, look like corpses that have thawed; the faint bluish glow gives them an icy glow, Viking gods buried in the ice hundreds of years ago only to resurface now, far from Nordic lands. But for the twisted mask of the young man’s face, the two bodies could have been said to be sleeping, awaiting the right moment to waken from their slumber. The young woman no longer twists or squirms in  her seat, but is entirely still, her patrician features deadly still in the blue, now red, now blue light of the squad car; perhaps she is more injured than the storm had previously thought, suffering from some sort of internal injury. Another frisson wends down the storm’s spine at the possibility at having claimed two lives, and small bolts of lightning arc from cloud to cloud, communicating the overwhelming possibility of having killed twice.


In the blue and red light, the police officer is taking out a phone, calling in to comrades in the emergency services to come aid him in the midst of this storm. He holds the phone closer to his ear, trying to block out the banshees that shriek and scream in his ear, feeling the rain slide down his temples and into the earpiece of the phone. The officer seems to be having an argument, his facial features etched in a display of frustration; the emergency services, it seems, are already overstretched with responses to the havoc created by the storm and are ill-disposed  to send out precious medical personnel to two corpses. The young woman shifts slightly in her seat, a small moan of pain escaping her pink lips as she moves up from the murky depths of her subconscious and into the here-and-now; seeing this, the officer becomes animated, waving his hand, with its startlingly pink palms in the air and shouting into the phone: “Yes, there is a live victim here, she had appeared dead but was now moving and oh-so-evidently was not  goddamn  dead and please for god’s sake come here before she dies, this carnage is too much, it’s fucking awful there’s blood everywhere it’s like a shitting slasher film and this storm is alive I can feel it watching me and you’d better get your goddamned fucking ass out here or I’ll fucking tell everyone that you let a fucking girl die out here without even a second
thought…”


The officer clicks shut his phone and bends down to the window to calm the young girl, who is twisting and moaning in her seat, slowly reaching consciousness and becoming aware of a scene that, in years to come, she would not have wished to see. As her eyes shudder open, she gazes to her right and sees her partner in the seat beside with his mouth open in a wide ‘O’ and a marionette show of awful pain scratched into the surface of  his face, the jagged  piece of glass sticking out of his jugular like an ice-pick that has struck a fountain of red. Horror crosses the woman’s face, and she opens mouth, it gaping like a red cavern ready to swallow the storm whole, and screams a scream that slams the banshee in their tracks, forcing them to halt. A bolt of lightning flickering in the distance stops at this primal scream, and the thunder that had rolled with it petered out before finishing; the rain, still furiously lashing the ground and trees for their past disputes, pauses in the midst of lashing down its cat o’ nine tails and listens as the woman’s pain splits the earth in two, struggling to swallow up the already half-submerged car. The woman’s panic overwhelms her and she begins to thrash about in the car, oblivious to the police officer’s frantic attempts to calm her; her broken humerus renders her right hand entirely useless, it flops around with the woman’s body. The shooting pain from her arm further enrages and freaks the young woman, who proceeds to pull frantically at the safety-belt surrounding her, succeeding only in scoring a shallow cut across her neck where the belt saws against h er bare skin as she struggles at the belt with the energy of a Berserker warrior.


The young police officer tries to calm her, shouting at her through the wind and rain that have recommenced their howling and lashing, desperately trying to restrain the young woman from doing harming herself further or collapsing into some sort of nervous coma. 


“Please ma’am I know you’re hurt but you have to calm down I’m so sorry for your loss but you’re going to hurt yourself if you do any more of this your arm’s broken, please calm down, ma’am I asked you to calm down I am an officer of the law please listen to me.  For Christ Jesus fucking sake calm down ma’am before I am forced to calm you down myself did you hear what I said you goddamn fucking whore-bitch I said calm down I’m already freaking out enough as it is here and I don’t need a hysterical goddamn woman on  my case too now calm the fuck down before I make you calm down…”

The police officer, already spooked by the malevolent force of the storm that he can feel all around him, gets angrier and angrier as the woman continues to panic and flail her broken arm around like an awful rag doll flopping. Getting more and more frightened, the police officer can feel the evil joy of the storm as it watches the scene unfold before it in the blue and red lights of the squad car; the storm had never dreamed of causing this  sort of trauma, never in its wildest dreams had it thought that this delightful ecstasy of pain would be something that it could witness.


With his hairs standing on end, the police officer almost  feels  the storm leaning in closer to absorb all the action like a sponge; the officer reaches into the car and deals the woman an open -handed slap that claps like thunder around the valley. The rain and wind pause momentarily, shocked at this unexpected action, absorbing the sumptuous energy that emanates from this human-on-human violence. The woman’s screams cut out in a strangled cry of surprise, shock and pain and she looks up at the police officer’s features as though seeing him for the first time; she opens her mouth, but doesn’t scream, a slight ‘oh’ escapes from her mouth. Silently, she looks again at the dead figure of her partner and a small tear escapes her eye, glazing  them over in a film of salty wetness; the tear slides down her face, glowing like a crystal in the blue and red flashing lights, before slipping down her neck and into her blouse. She doesn’t seem to realise that the police officer is still there, and slips slowly into a hysteria -induced trance as her traumatised brain scrambles desperately to isolate her from the desperate scene that she was woken up to.

The police officer continues to shout over the howling wind and sheeting rain, trying to keep the woman from slipping away from this world completely; even without being present in her mind, it was obvious that the woman was severely injured  on an emotional level: her skin no longer glowed with any life, her eyes were dull and lifeless like a corpse, all the parts of her skin that showed were drained of blood as though her heart had given up trying to pump fluids around.


“Hey ma’am, can you hear me I’m sorry I hit you like that I didn’t mean to hit you I don’t
know why I did it but this goddamn fucking storm is scaring the shit out of me and your screams
were attracting its attention and I had to stop you somehow. Hey ma’am are you okay…”


*****************

The storm sits back, the emotional anguish that was pouring from the wreckage below was too much for it, it felt like it had climaxed and ejaculated and orgasmed over and over, spraying the surroundings with its psychic ejaculate as the woman’s traumatised screams caused it to sustain erection after erection in a pounding rhythm that caused  one erotic, mind-numbing, mind-bleaching orgasm  after  another. The storm let out a loud sigh of pleasure as it climaxed one final time, reaching a peak and tumbling down; the rain and wind slack momentarily, and the last of the storm’s excited lightning bursts flicker somewhere  in the distance. The storm is spent for the moment, and bursts of pleasure squirrel along the storm’s mind, causing the utmost of joy in the storm’s malevolent, twisted mind. It could never have expected anything this strong, this powerful, this truly  excellent  from such a scene; the storm, hungry for more, quests around for more humans, finding nothing but a few sheep in the nearby fields. Everything is deathly still for a moment: the trees and grass frozen in the hopes that the storm’s quest does not target them, the rain and wind and lightning momentarily frozen as the storm directs all its energy into finding new sources of pleasure.

In the distance, lights illuminate the horizon: the storm shivers excitedly in the hope that this might be an entire hive of humans just waiting to be destroyed wrecked killed smashed by the storm’s trampling energy. With the energy of a galloping stampede of horses, the storm shifts direction and moves with slow, deliberate movements towards the city of humans in the distance. Lightning crackles ominously, lighting up the wreckage of the car below, the woman slipping slowly into a trance and the police officer frantically trying to call her back to reality, hoping that his blow hadn’t caused some sort of mental damage to the already damaged woman. 


Thunder rumbles after the lightning, and the storm continues to move to the city.

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