Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Prince of Exiles, 26

The cargo ship has gone, and the sky dock is all but uninhabited; the slaves who would have loaded have gone to work; both guards, also slaves, abandon their posts as soon as we appear over the edge of the still-slippery platform and Makara levels her cannon at them.


And inside the maw, its arch lined with brutal rough hewn stones like teeth, we see a light like fire, the sound of the city's heartbeat louder than ever, the gaining of gears and bones, the breathing moan of a thousand cries of anguish, the overwhelming stink of grease and sweat and sulphur taking over from the stench of dead fish outside.

The passage, ridged across its arched ceiling, a red brick throat leading to the stomach, the bowel. A masked guard appears from a fiery noplace, charges us, an undulating battlecry, two long knives swishing through the air, silhouetted. One moved my hand: I have a knife and his arm is broken. Two moves of my hand: the blade impales his throat. And now I have a knife. A second guard supplies me with a club. A flick of the wrist spins the blade through the length of a hundred paces, a thunk as it pierces a forehead, still stands quivering between surprised eyes as I take the man's gun. They are coming now, an army.

Armies hold no fear for me. I am violence, I am the joy of hate.

A feral joy takes me. I no longer rule my actions. I crack bones.  I reduce heads to ash on smouldering headless torsos that slump to the ground. I castrate and eviscerate and impale. Each weapon discarded or lost replaces itself with a new way of killing, killing, killing, and above the stink of Caiphul, the stink of toil, I fill my nostrils with the stink of blood and death, the stink of men soiling themselves as they die.

I am mindless, urges and muscles, a screaming fox killing the chickens without thought for moderation.  I kill for the joy of killing.

[Collected Writings Index]

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