No Title

A breath i know you take
right now in these few seconds
in the cool of the night
as the black dogs bite
your hand clutches and digs
the sad nights of fears
the ease to settle down
to take the idle chatters crown
to love a life a bitter deal
but still the warmth to sleep and heal
these breaths as i see your skin
blue as in the moonlight
and orange Sodium glare
i gently kiss your throat
softly as not to wake
my fears grown long
my kiss in haste
your eyelashes barred gates
for Heavens Home
no time to waste
you take me there
you there idle hands
you writhe atop me in passion
a threat and love to lust
my hands press your back
as i enter you fully
a list to pray for and chains
to whip our sin away
to chastise and batter the Golden Halls
i bite your bottom lip and hold it
my fingers in your ass
the light beast and able victim
to breathe a last and suffer
the arc of the spiral covenant

The Lost Angel

twisted thing
of dark bark stained less with blood
than subtle ochre fear
of pressed flowers and grass
a feeble tear for lost days
a subtle vow whispered into the air
of spirals that dance into the sky
the fungal stink of rot gone
here listens the first step
and one will see the light and true
for this sickened thing here
pick the fabric of your heart
and listen for the smallest part
for those that weep and shelter here
belong to God and never fear
the stoney henge that was well wrought
a traitors soul was sold and bought
and still the idle fingers walk
amongst the tears the chills the thought
and as my hands flutter light
your breasts are hard blood filled
your ass is tight….pick at the weave
and let the Daemons blow a song
for them piped gentle and slow
lulled to sleep a stricken fear
i cut their throats from ear to ear
what terrors still sleep beneath i know
a dimensionless void a foul bent throw
i make sense of the boundaries
the hidden depths and the red box
a happening and a display
a sense of virtue discussed
what addles you best?
as you sit within your nest?
your playful nights aware
with head on pillow
a quiet despair
has he not addressed concerns?
of stricken hearts
you bite your knuckle soft
to stifle hidden sobs
and the rain lashed windows
wash your tears
a hidden hand and lost deed
i sit here lost and bleed
as i needed you here safe
a blasted heath and deserted street
my fingers curled within your hair
your lips so able and complete
and paleness sublime and sweet
however we hurt and last
our pain to suffer and weep
an Angel lost and so we sleep

Athamet

I am Longinus, also called Aranot. I have lived beyond the count of years, they become fogged with events. My life stretches from desert wastes and my birth, childhood. The want of water, and of food. Banditry that took away my family into slavery and me into the Legions of Rome. I fight well, I have a strong spear arm, I could hunt as a beast and yet discourse with the educated men of Greece and Absynnia. I have seen Elephants in battle and the delicate flowers of the mountains of Ethiopia. These flowers trouble me constantly, delicate, crushed things, the boot of Rome needed no beauty. I watched Rome fall and took my trade elsewhere as ever alive, undead and cursed. The years drew heavy after only one hundred and fifty years of this existence and I cried aloud at the inhumanity of it, this curse of a God, this thing that gnaws away at us for our lifetime. They put me into a Syriac monastery and I learned the secrets of the Magik and the Occult, I summoned deamons and Gods and they laughed. No mere trifle was this soldier of Rome…more a thing marked with the hand of God, as a sheep not a lamb, a beast servile, for a while.

The Monks of Syria were a blessing, and yet as they grew old and I did not they understood my curse. They were of a certain mind to cast me into the fire and did so, I let them. It was no hardship the cleansing of the fire but alas…..

Satan came to them and I met him, this creation of men. This Satan cast me out of the fire and proclaimed himself with mighty words ‘SON OF ADAM! ‘ The Monks did cower and flee and as is his wont Satan giggled and sat with me describing the abyss and the ways of Magik. Not a shallow thing this ordered world of sigils and diagrams, spells and desires. It kept better men than I attached to studies and practice yet, I thought it ill that already cursed by God I should dally with the minutiae of spell and book. Yet here at the Monastery a veritable library of books and parchment much fingered and studied. I read with Satan at my side as guide the tomes of the deeper levels, the shelf of filth where such things were hidden from childish hands.

I ate sour bread and grapes as Satan passed me pile after heap of dusty rotten calfskin, the stains from digits long dead and gone from the seas of Galilee to the diagrams of the Chinese masters to the damp cold carved stick of the Druids of the North. All collected here and all at the whim of a fallen God and one cursed by God. The books were read and I learned….

‘Here I stand’

This blasted place, this earth, this abomination. Cut and burned it revolves and dances through its motions, its intense dance through the vomit of the universe. Now as I look upon it as it dies I feel no anger and no sympathy for it….does a man (for I am a man) weep for a snapped padlock or a swaddling cloth? I stand here for I am Longinus, without offer of redemption or safe home. The Abyss awaits me, saved for me. A puppet I am jostled between the bars of a Prison only concerned with its inmates, this maggot brethren that live upon this lonely waste of Earth….. this thing as it is gets awfully dramatic.

I had walked nearly 600 miles, a lack of a sufficient transport system at the end of days…a fucking transport system…the Atlantic ocean has just poured into space I imagine from the gravitational shit that has gone on. I haven’t read a news report in years….this Earth has ‘The Golden Tit’, an information system. Do I get overly dramatic at mass deaths? No not really…’Oh my wounded countenance!!’

Here I stand, a breath snatched by the cursed howled wind, the end of times, a bare whimper from humanity and yet I still wait for the hand of God to snatch me up. Here within my left hand my spear, stolen from a Mongol tomb, carried by me across the Empire. Thrust into the ribs of the Christ this spear, this weapon, this taker of life…and here I stand, I can do nothing else. It was a fantastic spear, an absolute balance that lay in the hand without undue comfort and effort. I suspect I had killed maybe a hundred and twenty people with it, but I am not a killer. I do remember crawling into the shaft of that tomb the dust and debris stunk from the profuse sweat from the slaves bidden to open it. Working under the whip they dug in a fast time time. The others looted it of all gold and precious things, tossing pieces here and there around the abomination of the inner tomb dressed with the countless bodies of young girls suffocated in swathes of silk their dried vomit staining the materials around their faces as whatever poisons administered did their work. My spear at the hand of this heathen Mongol looked non too special….

..Azdura…Saphra..Indamus

I took it anyway…and killed many with it, it never failed not once. I remember….i had to thrust the spear through her heart and with the spear, tip her over a battlement of sorts. She screamed aloft, as you would, and split her life over me as a piece of her garment got tangled in a wooden defence…they laughed and I marvelled at the strength of the stolen weapon.

This place is Arthnat is the Sanskrit tongue it means ‘burned’. In the beginning it was thought by me, that perhaps the end of times would be me gently stooping to look at a simple flower, the last living thing. I would heartily shed a tear and perhaps wail and rail at the God that allowed this, and then sorrowful depart into the abyss. What strange thing is this ego of man that would slather such falsehoods and fantasies upon himself. Why do I always end up standing in these filthy places? God would be along at any moment I hoped. Enough of this trammelled shit, this buffoonery. Honestly? Please? I accused myself of over dramatical behaviour plenty of times in the past…and how I enjoyed it.

The time I stood aloft from that splintered coffin for the amusement of myself and a few gathered specimens of London Society like a King of the Vampires and me spouting half tongue Greek and Sanskrit tongues for the illuminated guests, laughing as an idiot and noticing it was the laughs that sent a grip of the fear.

In Arthnat stood the last of the Homo sapiens. I watched him die, this last vessel of Gods subtle joke. He crept from the ruins of the great temple and I saw his crusted visage, his awful countenance, his pain fresh and yet so familiar to me…have I not seen this so many times beyond count? A soldier he was, whatever weapon they had used in the last days was horrific in its effects. I never speared mine enemies in the eye, it was disgusting to me, made me shudder. This thing had no eyes. I laughed aloud, could not help it how easy it is to slip into some sympathetic soul, a giver of alms and love, empathy, a need for connection through horror. As I chuckled it shuffled, through the plastic detritus, the dust and the filth

He vomited his blood nearly upon my boots, I stepped back. Around me the strange architecture of this time, it offended me with it’s harsh sympathetic sweeping curves and balustrades

“Esha” he said. In his tongue this word meant ‘release’. Would I thrust the spear within him, let his life run out, be the last of them to spill blood upon the earth? It was no concern of mine. I simply pushed him with a gentle kick so that he sprawled in the dust. This effort of God clawed the filth at his face in anger perhaps. I raised my own vision and watched the twin planets in the panorama of the dawn sky. ‘Angordrim’ and ‘Estolath’ the planets that had entered the solar system some 223 years before. Whirling like wolves around the lamb of Earth, pulling it’s air from its atmosphere every time it grew close. An earlier orbit blocked the sun for six days, very cold then. No fires allowed as these Drones scanned the land for man fire, their weapons were not pleasurable.

“You faceless thing, you shudder at the end, a laugh for your God?” I asked.

“Your God did this to you….your number was never 333 as your Priests said, it was 45 as always” I told him, “I am not part of this drama, this funny interlude…”. The same words I had spoken for some four thousand years since I despatched the Christ into the cold bosom of his Father. I become a parody of myself, the eternal juggler, the clown, the puppet and the Prince.

“You are the last man thing, no more time for riddles man, you are to be dead, the last one on Earth, and you are to be dead” A spasm…Arthnat again, this stained sheet of a place place of whores and fly blown turds, why here again? What great Finale has this Omnipotent God propose at Arthnat?

The electricity of atmospheric madness made glowing plasma flicker from the edges of my spearhead. A beautiful electric blue. The man at my feet was drowning in his blood, it spilled from his mouth a little, what foetid air still remained in his lungs were forming bubbles of blood that popped and foamed. Arthnat…..maybe, perhaps it’s just a final laugh at Longinus, me. A subtle tease after the pranks of the last few thousand years that cosmic bastard had me jumping around the filth of this earth.

“When you see your God,” I asked him, “..when you see him tell him that I await nothing, tell him I await NOTHING!”. I raged a little, those years upon my back weighed heavy, I could stumble with the bulk of them.

Am I still a man? Can I still rage and wonder at Justice, at my sentence, at God? It didn’t matter any more. The man was dead. The last of mankind. Their God had destroyed its plaything, it’s pantomime.

(Nothing? Why nothing? I saw a bird flying there…in the sky, survived, this man not the last)

I leaned upon my spear and wrapped my cloak around me tightly and waited. As I shivered slightly in the coldest of winds I thought back along those hard years. I knew a man once. Long gone into the mysterious and the arcane. There was a way out and he showed me this in some vestige of perhaps sympathy towards my plight. This man John Dillinger, a bank robber, I thought of him now as I have every day…..

(Dillinger? I remember him…Black parliament and Hopkins)

Hopkins, Matthew Hopkins, Wytch fynder. Brought back from the abyss for what purpose?

A gravelled voice behind me, I shiver “Longinus the Last”, The Satan.

He was dressed in his armour, the touch of a dandy perhaps in the overly dramatic sword he clasped casually point down idly spinning the sword so that the sky flashed into my eyes. In battle with his angelic countenance slashed with the skill of a mortal…..i would destroy him in battle of course. But he was always so interesting, and this is what made The Satan dangerous, he was borne of men and humankind were a little crazy at times….perhaps.

“Lord Maggot. Filth Hound. Hollow man…i saw your entertainment show on some New York local cable channel….i could not move for laughter” I insulted him, I noticed he was spinning his sword in the eye socket of the last man.

“Eodim. Brightstar. Ugyadum…” He whispered. “… the cable show was just a personal thing, nothing to do with Gods or tramping, vamping humankind, just for me, it was fucking fantastic, I love aerobics”. The Abyss awaits.

Here Longinus stood, and has stood for 14 hours as a sentry, this hill is called Golgotha the natives and his fellow soldiers call it the Skull hill. Hollows had been delved upon it, workings and filth where people buried the dead without ceremony or left the poor to expire upon it. There were bones underfoot. There has been trouble all day amongst these people. Stones thrown, whispered curses as they patrolled the narrow streets at some point a pot containing excrement thrown from a doorway onto their feet. Alas they were not allowed to remonstrate with club and sword, mores the pity. This City was filth, there is an unwholesomeness within it. Some secret.

There is to be a public stoning. The criminals under Hebrew law are buried up to their necks and the colourful people of that horrible place would queue and thrust stones upon the head of the criminal until his or her head was like a bloodied rag. Distaste he had for this, he was a soldier of Rome, he had fought well for Rome some twenty years of his life across desert and forest. Here he was as a guard to an execution, a parody of beautiful death if you will.

From the path at the bottom of the steep hill a procession of people, at their front Carpenters from the barracks. A stoning they told Longinus a few hours before and here was Eliphas and Irontius (a drunkard) carrying their tools, behind them carrying rough hewn Yew wood that leaked their blood coloured sap, fresh cut. A crucifixion. ‘Bastards’ Longinus thought, they took hours to die on a crucifix. Blabbering hunks of flesh that would moan, entreat, offer bribes as their lives wore away. For hours! Food this poor soldier of Rome needed, and some rest. Now he gathered he would play nursemaid to three criminals. Did they not despatch criminals with a sword to the neck and minutes later enjoy food and laughter with comrades. The wind on this Golgotha is cold. Longinus was not happy.

“Longinus my friend, you have drawn a shorter straw today” Eliphas joked. His comrade Irontius grumbled and set about construction of the cross. One length of Yew that stood the height of three men was placed in a small pit and upon it another shorter length perhaps the height of one man fastened with an iron spike. The infernal torture machine would form a T shape and the condemned were lashed upon it and left to die.

Behind them a rabble of Hebrews, some criminal elements, a general cacophony of wailing and hair pulling that seemed to follow these people around like a cloud of flies. More wood was carried to the top of this Golgotha.

“How many of these to die today Eliphas?” Longinus asked. Eliphas paused and replied “Three criminals, robbers I suspect, crucifixion as you can see” Eliphas grunted as he hammered a cross piece onto an upright with sure swings of an iron hammer. Three men were thrown down under guard into the dust and Longinus walked to them. There was a commissioned officer present, a rare thing, normally they sit and whore, drink wine and gamble. Brutus of Gaul he was named, he was marshalling a rough line to separate the crowd from the condemned. One of the robbers, a man lay motionless in the filth, upon his back a scored mess of flesh. He had been scourged, the other two were untouched.

“How so has this man has suffered scourging?” Longinus shouted above the wind which was blasting now from the North, cold heartless throwing the dust into pillars of filth. “No worry of mine Longinus, I cut wood, build tables” Eliphas said. The man scourged lifted himself to his knees in fatigue, it dripped from him, here was a weight that could not be lifted. Longinus had seen this many times in my comrades tired of Empire and war. His hands were roughened obviously a man of trade now stripped. The fools at the garrison had fashioned him a crown of sorts from Hawthorn. The barbs dug deep within his scalp amongst the crusted blood. Upon his shoulders roughly tied about his neck an old crimson cloak patched and worn. He was naked underneath. Longinus was disgusted.

“Is it policy of Rome to mock the condemned now?” He grabbed Brutus who was using the flat of his sword to beat back some of the crowd who were either trying to reach the scourged man to beat him or console him, either way the sword they got across the head or shoulders.

“This is not my doing Longinus…” Brutus smashed a woman to the ground, she fell upon the feet of Longinus feet imploring. “ …i do as ordered, this man has a witchery and sorcery about him and my men are want to cast their swords down and flee, I must let this be done” Brutus said. The woman was mouthing platitudes to him in her language which Longinus did not understand.

Longinus turned back to the condemned. The ‘Sorcerer’ had been lashed to the beam of the Yew with rough hemp rope. The crowd howled with the wind. The sun had begun to set behind the black clouds that rolled from the North. A torrid night this would be, and Longinus was too much of an old soldier to complain. He had walked the world for 30 years with the empire of Rome. Fought so many battles, killed many men, spent a near lifetime on watch. There was argument, a Hebrew priest spat upon the prone figure of the sorcerer upon the crucifix.

They hoisted the crucifix into the hole dug previously and lined with the shattered sandstone of the place. The Bandit so despised was shook as the beam slotted into place with a shallow thud and the man grimaced. He interested me apart from the rowdy crowd and the odd flung rock that bounced at my feet. This man thing tied to a cross of wood to die, he looked aloft at the skies then averted his eyes from it, serious, concentration on his face. He watched the crowd dismissed them, looked up high again then settled on me, standing, cold upon the hill of bones. He mouthed words unknown to me then and now but how I wished I had learned these peoples tongue so I may have listened and not brought that curse upon my head so soon. His tongue cracked and bleeding, lips riven with the lack of moisture….at my feet an urn of soured wine and water for the workers, and the crowd heaved and moved with the wind. ‘A drink for the condemned?’ I asked Brutus who had pushed the mad crowd back 20 or more paces. He nodded to me and I dipped a piece of sponge into the urn until it had soaked then with a piece of leather lashed it to my spear tip, a tool of death bringing a little life back to a man who was to die. This act would keep me here a few more hours, the soldier within me thought as the man eagerly sucked the liquid into his mouth as I held it. The Man that was inside me could do no other, have I not always been merciful to the dead and dying upon the fields of battle? Have I not given a swift end to those strangling in their own insides as flies settled upon them. How can I not give this man, a warrior in all but countenance a final sup from a ragged sponge?

The sky was afire with bolts of lightening and some of the conscripted locals were hand on sword aware of a great storm ready to burst, I let the man drink his fill, a rope had come untied upon his forearm and he lay crooked on the beams. Brutus at the moment with the crowd under some control fetched the Carpenter and bid him fetch a ladder and nails to impale this man upon the Yew. The Carpenter grumbled and did as he was asked as the clouds of blackness wailed across the sky. The man now thirst slaked and fear gone mouthed prayers to the sky, words tumbled from his lips, words I did not understand. It was not the local tongue but beautiful words as music I thought with my uneducated mind.

The Carpenter returned and set the ladder upon the mans chest and climbed with three boat nails in his mouth as is their habit, and he drove the nails deep into the flesh of the man at points through his wrists and one through the ankle joints. He then bent the nails over with harsh blows to pin the man to the wood. The man upon this crucifix did not wince or offer pain as he was deep within his conversation with the skies above. ‘When will this end?’ I thought. Torture and a sad event that I Longinus should be thoughtful so much of a man nailed and yet his two friends upon either side never entered my mind at this time.
Rain now started to fall and washed the blood from the man, it fell down the crucifix and a woman darted from the crowd between the soldiery and officials. A white linen cloth she held and dipped it within the pool of blood at the base of the Yew before being cuffed back into the anonymity of the crowd. This heaving mass of humanity swayed before the man and myself alone on the high point. The armed and official escort lay in a straight line before them and Brutus lashed his armour tighter around him. This will not end well….i knew Brutus well named, he would sooner advance into the crowd as a battle, there would be death here and blood. I knew there would be trouble afterwards, a hidden knife in the back while we walked the narrow alleyways, a thrown rock, a subtle hint of danger…

From the crowd an official, noted by his high headpiece which swept from side to side as a ship in a storm as the wind battered it and the crowd pitched him in their grief or anger. Eventually he made it through the dust battered humanity and up to Brutus, words were exchanged. I looked up at the man crucified, still he spoke with the sky Gods. There was Magik here I was sure, these desert dwellers know the lack of space in a soul, they fill it with their own madness.

“It is decided Longinus…a swift end to him, your spear to his side if you please, and end to this” Brutus wailed through the wind. Was I to despatch this man to his Gods? I sensed that was the command of Brutus….but. Why was there a lethargy of dread upon me, I was bent to make a drink for him again, why I have no sense. But…i held my spear tighter and ripped the sponge from the shaft. I was a soldier, trained.

“A spear to him? Where?” I asked as an idiot might, unsure a feeling of not dread but of wrongness, as the universe turned on this moment, high drama and madness, tearing of clothes. There was nakedness and sexual tension within the crowd as always death brought thrill and subtle hands to play.

Brutus whipped around his eyes as a mad dog, slather and bile swept from his lips, and in that moment I knew him not although we had fought many battles together…
“To the side, the long muscle, he will choke on his blood in seconds” He cried and lept back into the line of men keeping that mass of filth away form the top of the hill. Amazed I was to see him so shook but knew the oddness of this time.

The sky ached its blackness, the storm quiet above but roiling as a heavy sea and the wind, that wind so hard and brittle it shifted the dirt and filth from the hill top uncovering skulls and bones of the unconsecrated dead. Every dirt filled eye of a skull was directed at me and this nailed man above. Every digit of bone pointed at this man.

I lifted the spear tip to his side, I Longinus gave a small incision with its razor edge, the smallest I take an oath, it was not a killing blow but one to soften the body, to sag, and to choke, and to die quickly. Spare him his pain? Yes, he had enough of this stupidity this foolishness. The spear tip entered this man and from it a gout of blood not expected. Taken by the wind its trail whipped around the crucifix by the wind three times in a crimson coil. Then finally the wind guided by a hand I know not took the drops of blood and threw them into mine eyes.

An end.

Chapter 2 Welsh Mountain Pope

England.

This shambling wreck of a man in robes, steel toe capped boots, patched clothes, hair long and in matted chunks like the Rastafarians of an age ago. He makes signs at the Hedgerows that he follows, the delicate tracks of rabbits and foxes and wild things. He skips three times and the necklace made from the skulls of Voles and small mammals rattle. He travels the old border between Wales and England avoiding the patrols and the madness of that age…

It must be said that this place is a different place to what you would expect. The wars of the century had changed this land and an area that stretched from the coast of Wales across England to the shingle of Norfolk beaches East to West and from the borders with Scotland to the wreck of Coventry Cathedral North to South was Mercia. England was no more. A war that cost millions of lives, a civil war, sons of England riven and divided North from South. Indeed a war so subtle at its start that nobody knew it existed but. Indeed the war swept from Birmingham to London and back, old hatreds inflamed by centuries of politics and regional hate decimated its inhabitants.

Here now at this time the border held a quiet peace some twenty years after the last shot arced across a hill in the Mendips and entered the heart of Prince Andy stalwart Monarch of the south at the head of his armies, and the Mercians swept across the hills and did stamp his body under boot and hoof for an end to him. Here now the only traffic is in a demilitarised zone inhabited by bored Russian and Chinese soldiers who take Birmingham as their administrative capital. Their jets sweep across the skies above the Welsh borderlands as do their electronic devices seeking bandits and guerillas from both sides.

Our man this day hopping between clumps of scrub and undergrowth knows little of the world around him and lives within a small cave on the Western side of a hill on the border between Mercia and Wales. They call him the Welsh Mountain Pope, for he effects the styles of Pontiffs gone before him. He knows some prophecy, biblical and occult which flutter around his mind like crows in a wind. He knows to hide from the seeking devices of the enemy for this is an abandoned place swept clean of humanity by the idle boot of the invasion forces. Why the lanes were filled with the sound of strange tongues he knew or cared not but there was a reason for his place here, a magical reason or spiritual he knew not, but he knew enough to stay hidden.

Panel 1

This is a blasted place this Earth. There is not a plant or a blade of grass. A hooded and cloaked figure is in silhouette in an environment much like a tsunami had ripped through it but old already worn down by wind and rain. There are no signs of recent damage just erosion. It has been many years since the first cataclysm.

Caption: Here I stand. I am Longinus. I am the last witness.

Caption: This is the year 3223 in the reckoning of some men

Panel 2

In the sky is our sun and our moon, but there is another moon larger, fat with mass. It is much larger than our moon. The wind is terrific and whips the cloak of Longinus around him. He is holding a rose which has blown away but is still in shot. There are arcs of plasma in the sky blue tendrils of electricity.

Caption: This new moon means death for Earth. The Sun will eat her young.

Panel 3

Longinus is silhouetted against the two moons. The wind is tearing at his ragged cloak. We see he holds a spear in the Roman style. The spear must point to 11 o’clock as if Longinus was an hour hand.

Caption: I am the last. The cursed. Eater of maggots.

Panel 4

The moons are wreathed in plasma. Longinus himself is electrified and a tendril of this plasma
energy sparks from the tip of his spear into the sky and out of panel.

Caption(a) : HEPANDEXAMOS they name this moon. This straggler. This end of all things.

Caption(b) : In the language of this time it means….The Last Chord

Panel 5

We see the face of Longinus, a scar underneath his chin from battle, his eyes are deep and knowing, he has seen enough of war and battle, he seeks peace and quiet.

Caption: I am the last alive. I have angered God.

Panel 6

The spear of Longinus is stained with blood that glows faintly, there is something ‘other wordly’ about it.

Caption: This magic, this sorcery of the world may have saved them…
Panel 7

The left hand of Longinus…again scarred from battle, he holds the spear clenched tightly the veins on his wrist standing out like cord.

Caption: …their magic allowed me to do great and terrible things…

Panel 8

The crucifixion of the Christ…there is a rabble at the foot of the cross, we see the feet of the Christ cruelly nailed several times, some of the nails are bent out of shape with the bad workmanship of a misplaced hammer blow.

Caption: Golgotha…the very name of that place fills me with grief.

Panel 9

We see Longinus, same face, worn and scarred leaning on his spear shaft, he is tired.

Panel 10

A centurion with shoulder crests obviously a superior of Longinus with drawn sword holds back several followers of the Christ, in the background the greedy faces of some jeer and laugh.

Caption: This rabble this humanity…

Centurion: Longinus you ass!

Panel 11

Longinus snaps to attention but with a slightly disobedient stance…he has been in the service of Rome for 20 years he has had enough of being ordered, enough of shouting and anger.

Longinus: Centurion!

Caption: …it stinks

Panel 12

The Centurion whacks a robed old man to the ground with the flat of his sword…The crowd is in parts forlorn, grief stricken, hopeful of a reprieve, the others a carnival atmosphere a riot, a chance for mayhem. A rock flies past the Centurions head. Above dark clouds gather, a wind almost snatches the command away…

Centurion: Put that spear in the Jew hasten the end!

Caption: And yet…am I not of their kind?

Panel 13

The face of the Christ from above and Longinus below him spear raised to Christs ribcage. The wind is harsh and cold. The eyes of Christ in pain.

Panel 14

Close up…the spear enters Christ and with it a flow of blood and water trickles down the spear shaft.

Caption: Thrust, twist and withdraw they told us in training…

Panel 15

Blood trickles down the shaft onto the hand of Longinus, his face shows disgust and fear.

Caption: How many have I killed with this weapon? 46 warriors who shivered their last upon it…

Panel 16

The face of Longinus is horrified and the spear lies at his feet around him the crowd swirls indifferent to him, he holds his hands out in a plea perhaps…or in readiness for shackles

Caption: …this one, this Christ…

Panel 17

The head of Christ is bowed, the crowd deathly silent all eyes upon him, they are dark shapes and the wind howls and screams, there is a bolt of lightening

Caption: …this Christ…his power bridged the abyss.

Panel 18

Longinus is in the desolation of the worlds end he is watching the moons getting closer to the Earth, time is not long.

Caption: 3263 years I have walked the earth. Cursed I am. Beyond redemption.

Caption: Today I walk into the abyss prepared for me.

Panel 19

Longinus swings the spear around, the mystic turned warrior, killing machine, we see his armour patched future battle armour with Roman leather tunic, sandals, short sword. The spear points at us..

Caption: YOU! Faceless creature. As I descend you will be my witness…

Panel 20

The spear point glows, the plasma getting stronger, sparks of light, the detritus around him starts to lift as the gravity of the earth starts to disintegrate into patches as the mantle is thrown off balance. Longinus stands erect, strong and feared.

Longinus: I Longinus knew a man!

Panel 21

The clenched fist of Longinus opens..inside on his open palm amongst the scars and dirt and blood is a scarred but still viable 45 calibre bullet.

Caption: This man a hero amongst men when there were no more heroes.. only pretenders.

Panel 22

Standing next to Longinus laughing a ghostly image of John H Dillinger in a long coat holding a Thompson sub machine gun a cigarette dangling from his smiling mouth…

Caption: John Dillinger, my friend…

Panel 23

Longinus holds out his hand to the ghost as the plasma crackles and the image starts to fade.

Caption…what we lost and what we gained.

Chapter 1.

Panel 24

Depression era USA in 1932, small town architecture, a dusty alley at the side of the Biograph theatre, a movie house. A crowd moves towards the alley shouting.

Man: Hey!
Man 2: A shootin’!
Woman: Get a Doctor!

Panel 25

An old style Coca Cola bottle spins in the dust kicked by someone in the crowd, in the same panel a hand with splatters of blood, fresh, wet. Right by it a lit cigarette also blood splattered.

Cop: Get the hell back God dammit!

Panel 26

Dillinger dead, seen from right above as if we are floating above the scene. Around the body several cops holding sawn off shotguns, Thompsons, revolvers, all pointing towards the body twisted in the rictus of death as the bullets slammed into him. Underneath Dillinger a pool of blood begins to spread. The guns all point towards Dillinger in a circle…

Caption: It is said that if a man looks into the abyss for too long…the abyss will start looking into him

Cop: Stand back God dammit!
Bystander: Awful mess of blood…

Panel 27

Dillingers hand is twisted in the agonies of having four bullets put into him, its spattered with blood. Around the hand are the feet of some of the cops, highly polished others (the crowd) wing tip shoes, a stiletto heel, discarded cigarette still burning, smoke curls from it inches from his hand.

Caption: This is our hero, bullet ridden, dead…

Caption: …the sound of the shots rocket through history.

Panel 28

Dillingers foot, his shoe has come off, we see he has a hole in his sock, one dirty toenail pokes through. It is a pathetic scene. Blood pools underneath it. A stray dog is curious

Panel 29

A camera flash, old school camera bulb our view is low to the ground just behind Dillingers head. His right hand holds a red rose held loosely. The crowd looks demonic, there is bloodlust here, craven bloodlust and a slightly charged atmosphere sexual in nature perhaps.

Cop: “He ran, we shot him down…”

Cop II: “…never had a chance poor bastard”

Panel 30

Pan out, the rear of the crowd and in silhouette we see Longinus tall and another man slightly smaller hat pulled down over his face.

Smaller man (Dillinger): “God damn”

Panel 31

The two figures walk down the street as people rush past them, a police car screams past an ambulance close behind. Neon signs, drug store, Ladies Lingerie. It is Dillinger and Longinus.

Panel 32

Letter from Dillinger to his Father…

Dear Father.

I guess by the time you read this you will have been told of my death. I know the last few years have been pretty darn hard to take and you looked after me and brung me up the best way you could and I will always respect you for that. Sometimes a man has to take responsibility for the things he does as it seems the right thing to do and thats another thing you taught me to do whats right and whats wrong. I met a guy in prison, good fellow smart and with some good learning. He showed me some things that kind of put things right in my own head. You remember looking for me when I was a child and I would go away for days or that time mom found me on top of Mr Thorsens barn and no way I could have got up there. Well yes, i found out pretty much why those things and a lot of others happened. You know I wasnt like any other kid and sort of magical stuff happened when I drew those pretty lines. Those lines got me out of San Clement prison I just plain walked out through the walls like they didnt exist. Well as I got older it got a hell of a lot easier ill declare that. Maybe this magic line stuff was devils work but let me tell you I seen the devil and he aint no horned beast like they say, hes just a man like me and you, met him in Golgotha Missouri which is strange but I aint sayin more than that. I have to go now for some workin but let me say this my dear Father, I always respected you, feared you sometimes but loved you always. Be sure that we will meet again as this world aint the one you think it is, its a mighty strange place. Anyways dont show this letter to anybody else. Things happen in this world that aint right in the scheme of things and these things will change the world. You think things are bad at home no they aint not yet but they will be. I found out the whole world is just like San Clement but we are so used to living and eating and stuff we dont see the prison bars no more. But those bars are there im telling you the truth as I know it. The police and the government are just the prison bulls thats right, just stuck in here the same as me and you. There is hope dear Father always hope. Always follow the lines Dad they show the way out of the maze.
Your loving son
John

Panel 33

A man, John Dillinger sits on a prison bunk made of concrete. A single bulb shines through the bars casting odd shadows on the floor of the cell. Dillinger is in the Lotus position and on the wall of the cell with a small pebble he smuggled in from the exercise yard he scratches a complicated sigil on the wall at the head of his bunk. Triangle, circle square, lines intersecting.

Panel 33

We see the same panel again but the lines are a beautiful glowing blue, electric, full of power, the panel represents the magic and Dillinger a Shaman unaware of his powers but in full control of how to use them. We see that the lines intersect and follow the contours of the floor, the whole cell is covered in them and on the opposite wall a symbolic door with an ornate handle. The power flows through the right hand of Dillinger much like the power that flowed from the plasma from the spear of Longinus in the first few panels.

Panel 34

The lines are gone and its just Dillinger again, same shot as Panel 33

Prisoner (off panel): “Always scratching…”
Prisoner (off panel): “…always lines…”
Prisoner (off panel): “…draw some nice titties huh?”

Panel 35

Dillinger looks around over his shoulder at us a soft smile on his lips.

Dillinger: “If your missin’ titties Floyd you got a good pair yerself…”

Panel 36

We see the back of Dillingers head slightly balding

Dillinger: “…grab them why dont ya”
Panel 37

Ugly prisoner in the cell opposite, quite grotesque, fat bursting through a tight prison shirt, he’s drooling a little. There’s a fat fly crawling on his shirt.

Floyd: “They gonna fry you John D…fry you good and…”

Dillinger: “Shut up Floyd”

Panel 38

Key inserts into lock, the lock is old school scarred, heavy, scratched with use.

Panel 39

Pair of heavy boots highly polished to a mirror finish, behind them a pair of wingtips black and white a little like golfing shoes.

Panel 40

Leather holster, big Smith and Wesson revolver, chrome slick and polished with a speed loader clip, bunch of keys heavy, makes the belt sag a little.

Panel 41

Dillinger again now sitting facing the cell bars, he sits normally a little relaxed perhaps. He is throwing the pebble at the place where we saw the door, a little like Steve Mcqueen in ‘the great escape’

Panel 42

Prison officer, peaked cap pulled down over his eyes, bright leather lanyard, slick pressed blue uniform, big shiny badge, this dude is serious about his job. He’s looking through the bars at Dillinger his eyes shaded.

Prison Officer: “ Face the wall Dillinger…”
Prison Officer: “ …on your knees…”
Prison Officer: “…hands on your head”

Panel 44

Key into lock again, scratched surface peeling paint, bright brass where the paint has peeled off

Prison Officer: ”Move and you get gutshot”

Panel 45

Door swings open, we see a silhouette, tall man wearing an overcoat and a hat, a trilby. The Prison officer stands to one side to allow him to walk in. The officer is motioning the visitor to walk inside all the time he has one hand on the revolver.

Panel 46

The man walks in and the door smashes shut, the keys jangle, the man is still in silhouette the bare bulb behind him gives him the appearance of having a halo.

Longinus: “Hello Mr Dillinger…”
Longinus: “…I am Longinus”

Panel 47

Dillinger looks around still kneeling his hands in the process of dropping, he has one foot ready to stand. We hear the door slam shut

Panel 48

We see that Longinus and Dillinger are face to face, Longinus is much taller than Dillinger. Longinus is wearing a sober suit black with a white shirt and a black tie, he looks like a funeral director.

Dillinger: “You look like a funeral directer”
Dillinger: “You come to measure me up?”

Panel 49

Longinus smiles and beckons Dillinger to sit down.

Longinus: “We have much to speak about Mr Dillinger”
Longinus: “…and time is short”

Panel 50

Dillinger is sitting but Longinus remains standing looking intently at the walls of the small cell tracing the delicate sigils that Dillinger has drawn on them. The parts Longinus touched glowed with power.

Caption: These lines reflected a skill I had not seen for centuries…
Caption: …since the Great pyramid.

Panel 51

Dillinger shows a sudden interest, Longinus knows about the lines and scribbles as he saw them. What knowledge does this man have, who is he, why is he here? We see Dillinger lit by the glow and an aura of light around the hand of Longinus.

Dillinger: “You know about the lines huh?”
Dillinger: “I dont understand them at all”

Panel 52

We see Dillinger as a child in the dirt of an old farmhouse using a stick to score the lines in the dirt, a small rat floats in the air in front of him and he laughs as the rat gambols to and fro in the air.

Panel 53

We see Dillingers child like face beaming with joy as he lets the rat go and behind him the setting sun bursts with violet and pink beams.

Dillinger: “As I child I drew lines, found out I could affect things”

Panel 54

Dillinger in school a boring lesson, there is a clock on the wall 11’0’clock. He is writing at a desk, other children are intent on their work, they are all pretty poor but Dillinger more so. His shoes are holed shapeless things.

Panel 55

Closer now his head is nearly touching the paper he is drawing upon, his pencil a mere stub of a thing moves furiously back and forth. The paper is some boring math work. Subtraction adding etc. In the margins sneaking around the questions are delicate tracery of line and arc.

Panel 56

Dillingers face concentrated and intent on his work. A small bead of sweat trickles down his face, it is hot. Mid western hot. He pokes his tongue out in concentration.

Panel 57

The Teacher a male, angry stuffed shirt, tie still shoved into the base of his throat rips the paper away from the young Dillinger.

Teacher: “John Dillinger!”
Teacher: “Scribbling on your work again!”

Panel 58

The class laugh, the teacher is empowered by his pupils laughter. We see the sigils float around the young Dillinger in a great glowing ring. Dillinger is focussed centre frame the rest of the class in a kind of a fog.

Teacher: “Bad manners Dillinger, will not be tolerated.

Panel 59

The teachers cruelty is cut short as he clutches at his neck his tie acting as a noose around his throat. The laughter dies.

Panel 60

The teacher is on the floor, we see him from above he is writhing and fighting for breath his feet drumming on the highly polished wooden floor.

Panel 61

The sigils fly apart, fragments of lines dissipate in the sunlight streaming through the windows. The children crowd around the teacher now recovered. Dillinger sits alone.
Panel 62

Dillinger in the cell again, we see Longinus has sat down next to Dillinger who is holding his head in his hands, the memory of his childhood seems to affect him negatively.

Dillinger: “I went to see a crazy Gypsy fortune teller at a fair in Idaho a few years back”
Dillinger: “I was a little drunk maybe…”

Panel 63

We see a typical Gypsy fortune teller almost a caricature, head scarf big earrings etc. She is smiling almost a carbon copy of the Dillinger mugshot smile. Dillinger opposite looks slick, gangster suit, jacket slightly open revealing a holster with a big chrome, pearl handled Browning 9mm. He leans back in his chair a bottle of whisky in his hand.

Dillinger: “…and that’s it these lines I draw with my finger…”

Fortune teller: “Show me these things”

Panel 64

We see Dillingers finger which he has dipped in the whisky trace a sigil in the stained decorative table cloth.

Panel 65

The crystal ball between them floats into the air, the fortune tellers face is impressed.

Panel 66

The fortune teller leans forwards onto the table as the ball lowers back to its wound ring a material that keeps it from rolling off.

Fortune teller: “This I know since the days of my Father…”
Fortune teller: “…the ancient magic of Hermes Trimejestus…”
Fortune teller: “…from Egypt, ancient beyond the birth of the pyramids.”

Panel 67

She grabs Dillingers hand and looks deep into his eyes over the crystal ball which we see has a ghost of the sigils power within it.

Fortune teller: “This is a magic of men…”
Fortune teller: “…born from the heavens…”
Fortune teller: “…such power in the hands of the weak”

Panel 68

Dillinger laughs, we see him pour a drink for the Gypsy.

Dillinger: “I love fairy tales, as a kid well…”

Panel 69

The Gypsy grabs his hand again her eyes are closed and she traces her finger on Dillingers palm as she reads it. Dillinger drinks his whisky with the other hand, tosses it down in one.

Fortune teller: “Longinus will tell you…
Fortune teller: “…he will explain…”
Fortune teller: “ REDEMPTION! John Dillinger, and an end you will NOT expect!”

Panel 70

Dillinger back in the cell with Longinus, he is looking at Longinus who remains silent.

Dillinger: “I never told her my name…”
Dillinger: “…i wasn’t that famous then…”
Dillinger: “…so I was half expecting you, kind of”

Panel 71

Longinus stands, the ring of sigils upon the wall again frame his head as he looks at them glowing and Dillinger sits on the bunk looking at him.

Longinus: “We go to a time where there are no more heroes.”
Longinus: “A place of Hollow men…of things that may…”
Longinus: “…amaze you, and disgust you”
Longinus: “We will do battle there John Dillinger”

Panel 72

Dillinger is also standing now holding his hand out to Longinus and smiling.

Dillinger: “Ok fella…i was getting a little bored of robbing banks”
Longinus: “You must escape from here…meet me at a certain place…”
Longinus: “It has meaning for me…a place of power”

Panel 72

Longinus hands Dillinger a card, on it is a deaths head and an address and a date, we see his hand and the card which is printed upon it…

Route 23
Golgotha
Missouri
11pm 5th July

Longinus: “This is where you must meet me John Dillinger”
Longinus: “This is where we will give the world a Hero”

Chapter 2 The Black Parliament

Panel 73

Westminster abbey London, interior and around the Cosmati pavement 25 hooded and robed people sit and listen to an aged man who stands before them. We don’t see his face, in fact we never see the faces of the Parliament.

Old man: “How many years have we been burdened with this earth?”
Old man: “How many?”
Old man: “Have we become so predictable?”

Panel 74

His gnarled finger points at the pavement

Old man: “12,456 years we have held the keys to this prison earth”

Panel 75

We see the assembled Parliament some obviously old, some younger

Old man: “These years allow us wisdom perhaps, the cold years pass easily”
Old man: “For what are years but bars upon a door…”

Panel 76

The old man is helped to a seat brought by two beautiful women, unrobed but dressed fashionably, quite normal.

Old man: “There is another plot”
Old man: “Time does not hide it”
Old man: “They seek to let a woman escape”
Old man: “A Witch…”

Panel 77

The gathered parliament whisper to themselves hurriedly afraid, seeking answers, we see them from above in a circle around the Cosmati pavement.

Old man: “The Gods are indifferent…they play and do what Gods do…”
Old man: “In a sense we are Protectors…as we knew”
Old man: “There must be no escape from earth…we will not fail”

Panel 78

One of the robed stands and declares at the Parliament

Robed man: “It is known to us that…”
Robed man: “…Longinus, the Christ Slayer has mastered time.”
Robed woman: “He uses it to find a Champion”

Panel 79

We see the altar of the abbey and the cross behind the seated old man…

Old man: “He does yes, Longinus ever strives for redemption”
Old man: “His magic is old and was old even when the Egyptian empire was young”
Robed woman: “What God protects Longinus?..he should be killed”

Panel 80

The old man laughs quietly, chuckles in fact and becomes a little bent over at the humour of the statement from the woman.

Old man: “Killed?…”
Old man: “…No, No, his fate is beyond the powers of the Black Parliament”
Robed man: “Is this Parliament then powerless and yet we hold humanity in our hand…”

Panel 81

The old man stands, we see some of his youth return, there is a sense of battle here…

Old man: “Killing? You see so little.”
Old man: “Perhaps the World has its fingernails in this Parliament today”
Old man: “Death…such a fleeting thing, and yet…”

Panel 82

The door opens, we have a very low viewpoint of a tall man who enters the abbey, he is in silhouette…

Old man: “Come forward my friend, enter our circle and be judged….a little”

Panel 83

A man slowly walks to the center of the circle and stands before the Parliament. His suit is black as his shirt and tie, shoes highly polished, he looks like a banker or a businessman. This man is Matthew Hopkins.

Hopkins: “This circle stinks of Witchery…”
Hopkins: “…have you no decency, this is the house of God!”
Old man: “All hail the Wytchfynder”

Panel 84

Hopkins laughs, there is a power about him and he points a finger at the old man…

Hopkins: “Sorcerers!, the Black parliament and whispered rumours come true to me…”
Hopkins: “Ever I searched for you, always failed, and now…”
Hopkins: “…and now I have you all here”

Panel 85

The old man adopts a crucified pose, back straight, we see the tip of his nose and the discreet half lit features of his face…

Old man: “Hopkins Everlast I should call you…”
Old man: “…but we have a simple duty for you…”
Hopkins: “For this Devilish rabble?”

Panel 86

Suddenly Hopkins is elevated two metres off the floor his body arced over in a back breaking curve he cries out…The old man is obviously controlling Hopkins movement with a single finger…we see Hopkins in the center of the Cosmati pavement aloft with the circle of the Black Parliament on the outside…

Hopkins: “AAAAAAH!”
Old man: “Devilish?”
Old man: “You do us a disservice Hopkins…”
Old man: “especially accusing us of consorting with your Satan”

Panel 87

Hopkins is still aloft, the old man is walking around him, finger still pointed at him…

Old man: “The Black Parliament has one purpose…INCARCERATION”
Old man: “Enclosed you are, this humanity, this filth…”
Old man: “We are your Protection…from that which you do not understand”

Panel 88

Hopkins is dropped to the Old mans feet, Hopkins is unafraid, a fire burns in him, the fire of his God and his saviour…

Old man: “That is why you were brought here Matthew Hopkins…”
Hopkins: “From the grave you have brought me…”
Old man: “Aye! And back to it with all the curses this Parliament can muster…”
Old man: “…and there are some wicked ones my dear dear Wytchfynder if thou should fail”

Panel 89

Hopkins is standing again, unbowed, his belief is insurmountable his Abrahamic God all powerful, it drives him to seek wickedness and destroy it..we see him point at the old man…

Hopkins: “My sleep was long I think…”
Hopkins: “…but still the stink of Satan pervades the modern”
Hopkins: “Am I supposed to abase myself at such an assembled order”

Panel 90

We see the tendrils of power from the fingertips of Hopkins, much the same as Longinus in the first panels but the power seems to flow up from the ornate pavement at his feet…
Hopkins: “If this were not a Holy place I would spit…”
Hopkins: “send me back to the grave and my peace…”
Hopkins: “i will not bandy words with the slaves of Azalbar!”

Panel 91

The old man is smiling…

Old man: “Longinus seeks redemption…”
Old man: “…let me refresh your cobwebbed mind”
Old man: “…1643 the village of Martley…”

Panel 92

We see a stake and bound to it three burned corpses, skeletised and scorched mouths open in hot screams of pain, the fire still smoulders, tendrils of smoke curl through their open rib cages.

Caption: Alas…and woe to you foul brethren of the earth. I am Matthew Hopkins. Wytchfynder
Caption: Indeed I watched them burn and watched them slaughtered.
Caption: What these eyes have seen bring me no glory as I do Gods work upon earth.

Panel 93

A figure on horseback surveys the scene, it is early morning, around him men at arms stand half asleep on guard leaning on pikes and lances.

Caption: This scene? A crime worthy of a good birch fyre on a cold December morn? Aye

Caption: But hear this my brothers do not turn your eyes away

Panel 94

We see a close up of one of the burned witches, half of her face is untouched by the flames, it is beautiful. The other side a pitiful burned and charred wreck with one intact eyeball within its socket untouched.

Caption: This crime of Witchcraft requires a steady hand of justice
Caption: This hand does not waiver…
Caption: Have I not put 124 maidens and widows to death?
Caption: Have I not watched them shudder while they burned?

Panel 95

On a rooftop a black cat stares at Hopkins and the pyre…

Caption: What are these villages if not a canvas where we may draw and paint our dramas?
Caption: What are these houses if not the domain of filth and maggot?

Panel 96

A man rides through a thickly wooded area, it is Hopkins…he rides a white horse

Panel 97

Below him a small village, smoke rises from chimneys…it is a cold day

Caption: The Village of Martley England 1654

Panel 98

A young woman walks up the path towards Hopkins who slumps in his horse saddle, she has a basket of herbs and plants picked from the forest…

Panel 99

She sees Hopkins and is not afraid…

Young woman: “Good morning Sir,,,”

Panel 100

We see the eyes of Hopkins, eyes of a man simply just a man hidden under his wide brimmed hat…

Panel 101

Now we see his eyes, slits like a snake…

Panel 102

Hopkins horse towers above the slight figure of the woman…we see Hopkins and horse in silhouette

Hopkins: Morning? Aye by Gods grace we travel this dark night.

Hopkins: This place this village? It’s name?

Panel 103

The girl smiles, innocence, a lock of hair…

Young woman: Martley Sir, by Gods grace and favour…

Young woman: There is an Inn and….

Panel 104

The smile of Hopkins…

Hopkins:…an Inn? Daresay I some chickens…

Hopkins:..some pigs

Hopkins…a simple village with it’s inhabitants content in the reek of their animals.

Panel 105

Behind Hopkins the assembly of his company…men with no soul, damned possibly but dark and worn by a harsh winter on English lanes.

Panel 106

The woman is frightened now as they surround her, her basket falls

Panel 107

The basket hits the ground and spills the herbs

Panel 108

A hand…Hopkins has dismounted and picks up the basket…

Hopkins: and you pick herbs for healing…

Young woman: I do, for the widow….

Hopkins:…yes there is always a widow..

Panel 109

Hopkins holds a sprig of mint and he looks upon it closely lost in thought…

Hopkins:..and healing and muttered spells

Hopkins:…and you meet in the widows house.

Panel 110

The girl is feisty now accused..

Young woman: Healing is a craft not some…

Panel 111

The face of Hopkins

Hopkins: Hush…

Panel 112

Three riders of Hopkins company ride towards him..

Soldier: Lord Wytchfynder…devilry.

Panel 113

Hopkins smiles…

Hopkins:…always Devilry Mr Smith, always

Hopkins: Bring me the Squire and the Parson

Hopkins: …and bring me the Widow.

Panel 114

A soldier grabs the young woman, the flowers and herbs fly…

Young woman: This abomination! Hopkins!

Panel 115

Hopkins laughs and holds the womans face in his hand…

Hopkins: I am Wytchfynder…but today I search for a man…

Panel 116

The Journal of one Matthew Hopkins, written on parchment burned and slashed somewhat

“Longinus Aestrum centurion of Rome, I have known him. What Satanic rituals brought him into this world I have no mind to think, I know however that the path he treads is beset with ritual and such brotherhood as the worship of Satan grants. For he walks with one other…..a robber and ritualiser….a walker of the systems that bind the planets….a man however and trust me, they all burn the same. This Dillinger, this thief walks the path of the unrighteous this is the truth. For man is bound to the earth as a rooted oak although in this world he may fly above it in mechanical wonders and even may walk upon the barren moon. Man is bound. It is the will of God and his command. In days gone past I rode the wastes and parishes of England castigating the filth of Satan with the justice of the Lord. Warrants and commissions I have been given by the governments of the Americas and of England to bring this Dillinger to justice. They are scraps of parchment, permissions from dead men, hollow men whose very acts are as puppets played by the Lord as he has commanded me through them to dispense my anger and pain into solid acts of retribution and fyre. Secret men they are, involved in intrigue and drama that stretches across the globe that would make the courts of the Medici seem as childrens squabbles and argument. Secret men whose designs upon the earth will bear no joy for the delicious fruits they crave will turn to ash in the end. I have no truck to debate their intricate dramas. A tool they see me as, but often the tool will turn away from its edge and spike the craftsmen, aye it will be done.”

Panel 117

“So let it be known and written that these dramas are played in this wicked world and they are seen by one who knows not their part in it…what man or woman finds it in their heart to read these stories and be entertained?

I sit here now upon the steps of Westminster and wonder at the crowds of disparate humanity. Are they worth my labours? Will they receive this justice in good faith? As ever nay.

I fly now in a contrivance across the Atlantic to the new world they say…it resembles the old one to me full of maggot filth and a travesty of the commands of God. The whore of Babylon walks the earth again it seems, nakedness, preening and gratuitous moral decay, this greed this boundless filth fills me with dread for am I not just a man?

These Hollow men command the death of Dillinger, this bringer of evils, this necromancer, this liar, this minion of Satan….they have said that he resides within a gaol in the Americas. I travel there now amongst the filth, they often brush against me, and I am soiled by there touch. The South of this land they say…find him, seek him as a terrier with a rat, pull him from his hole and cast him onto the stake for is he not unloved by God? Is his presence an affront to the Lord in this never ending battle?

Panel 118

We see Hopkins cramped into a seat on an aeroplane, a black dude with his ipod one side and an old woman on the other…in Hopkins hands a bible…

Caption: Soldier of Rome…i come for you

New Chapter
Bring it on home

Panel 119

An old black woman sits under a tree on a hill under a scorching deep south sun, its a brassy hot day. On his knees in front of her is young black man in shirtsleeves..

Ma: Little Bobby all growed up…
Ma: Still a little wet maybe.

Panel 120

We see her stretch out a hand to him to gently caress his shoulder

Ma: Strange things happen on crossroads Bobby, strange things…
Bobby: I’m not afraid of this…its my time

Panel 121

Battered guitar case…

Bobby: I guess you make a string tighter make it sing higher
Bobby: …wind it loose and that thing growls..

Panel 122

Old woman takes a sip of illicit moonshine…

Old woman: Well I aint never known how to tune a guitar…
Panel 123

The old woman hugs the young man, they are both standing…

Old woman: You watch that thing that aint a man Bobby Johnson…
Old woman: That thing is older than time…
Old woman: He knows all the tricks…all the licks…

Panel 124

We see that the scene has changed to a crossroads and in the middle of the crossroads stand the young black man Bobby Johnson…wind howls here, moist hot air whipped up the dust around him.

Panel 125

In the distance a man on a horse rides up to Bobby and dismounts in front of him and they both look at each other…The man is also black wearing a tight black suit and high boots mud splattered. He wears a small trilby..

Man in black: So…Mr Robert Johnson I would presume
Man in black: who else would be standing around in the dust waiting for a ghost…

Panel 126

Johnson points his finger at the black man…

Johnson: Lies and fear are what you preach
Johnson: I have been warned…
Johnson: but accept my payment.

Panel 127

The black man laughs and several birds fall from the sky…

Man in black: (sings) when I see an elephant flllllyyyyyyyyyy!

Panel 128

Johnson looks puzzled…

Panel 129

The man in black spreads his arms out…

Man in black; Basuran! Shaitan! Alophomek! The Debble himself!
Man in black: What words you come up with, what names

Panel 130

Johnson is resigned and looks slumped, dejected…

Johnson: I wish the keys to the prison…the notes on my guitar…
Panel 131

The man in black produces a teapot and a cup on a delicate china saucer…

Man in black: Tea, I think…these things are uncivilised…
Man in black:..without an element of ritual

Panel 132

He hands Johnson the cup now filled with aromatic tea…

Man in black: Its from Jalong…the finest tea.

Panel 133

Johnson notices that the man in black is now seated on a comfy dining chair, the environment is quiet..

Panel 134

Under the brim of the hat we see the eyes of the man in black are dark

Man in black: You seek the keys to the prison Robert?
Man in black: The escape isnt important to you but the aspect of controlling the prison does?

Panel 135

Johnson opens his guitar case, inside a battered guitar and a bottle of whisky

Johnson: Escape? From this?
Johnson: God curses me always has…always trickery.

Panel 136

The man in black sweeps his arms wide and underneath them, stars

Man in black: You haven’t much of a clue really..
Man in black: God? Honestly?
Man in black: A soul for the ability to play an instrument?

Panel 137

Man in black: You want this so bad?
Johnson: You ask too many questions…for a liar

Panel 138

Man in black: A liar perhaps…
Man in black: …a saviour never, I wonder sometimes about man, but alas he is not my major concern