This story in a much smaller form was published in the magazine ‘Burning Issue’
Look it’s an extremely passionate and generous act for him to do this. Passionate in that he draws a direct link between them and you. It’s a ‘baptism of fire’ so to speak, or maybe it isn’t. But he will dip his finger into the ashes and recount the Prayer of Prayers, he has to. I was bumping my forehead gently against the window of Poundland staring at the cardboard cop. Thinking about Jura. Big Toblerones, the confectionery of the Illuminati, quid each. Walking the line.
‘But isn’t it a bastardisation of the exaltation of the Messiah in Black, Johnny Cash?’ Sally James said. I was hugging her tight so she didn’t get cold. She was only dressed in slick tight leather trousers and a little leather waistcoat, she had a bullet belt on. (I can’t remember). It was cold this far North, this desolate place. Underneath the turf I could hear the dead of that place at their slumber. Gently turning over and sighing in their graves. Getting their hair tangled in the roots of the Juniper and Heather. I haven’t the care to understand the ‘moral’ implications of anything or that I affected deeply the happiness of others. That’s why the dead always turn over when I pass. They understand and the whispers of that pain they remember, just for a glancing moment. Then their skeletal hands will curl a little and they will tuck their knees a little further in.
“Sally” I said, “I’m not interested, all this conversation will be is me saying something about your lips, or your hair or doing some perverted sex act on you and to be fair I’m tired and confused. And bored”. She turned away into the wind and her hair….But I could tell she wanted to say….’Hi how’s things?’ but I wasn’t listening and my hands typed replies in front of her on a keyboard that didn’t exist. Below us someone was laughing.
As Johnny Cash stepped from the burning fuselage of flight N3794N (3+7+9+4=23) (in which the bodies of the Big Bopper and Elvis burned to death)local farmworkers who rushed to help saw Cash walk from the plane partially aflame. One man described the fire around Cash as ‘A Halo of sorts surrounding him and his face was smiling and joyful’. Then Johnny Cash spoke the words ‘Blasphemy In James’ and the words which Cash proclaimed were responsible for the destruction of the Hebraic desert religions. Johnny Cash would proclaim himself the King of Jerusalem in 1976 and he would have his bride brought to him from England. He sat upon a throne made with the bones of his enemies and before him were the Kings of other lands far away. They did abase themselves at the behest of King Cash.
I can’t explain the effects of this transitional moment in the lives of thousands, millions of people around the world and verily Fulsom Prison was the Bethlehem of his people, and Lemmy was his John the Baptist. Wait. Sally is redolent. She has wings that are maybe thirty meters across, they are afire and here and there on the mountain little areas of grass are aflame. She is bare breasted and her eyes are ablaze with power and glory. At her feet petals from tropical flowers drift down slowly onto the hillside. She holds a sword on fire with a blue flame. Three times she cuts the sword through the air and every time she does this I am cut on the arm, the neck and the abdomen. Thick blood spurts from the wounds and pools at my knees. My God save me, this Sally James speaks and the words are from the True God and I have no intellect to explain them and I feel the blood warm on me.
We sat in the cold winds of Jura and watched the shenanigans below. Cameramen, lights, cars, vans, a huge pile of money on the ground crushing the stalks of Red Fescue that grew there. A few of the people present were dancing in a dance called ‘Happiness’. More of a cavort. Somebody was filming it. They were setting fire to it. But over the distant fire overlaid with it were the views of Ladbroke Grove again. 1970. Hawkwind playing a gig and Lemmy playing thick bass chords that sound like an old British motorbike.
I noticed that we had a small brown paper bag of rolls and rolls of banknotes from somewhere along the route. He didn’t have any idea of how they had got them, how they had bought them, he didn’t remember working through any magical doorway. He instead remembered the man that came to him at that time, running away from something he had forgotten about, screaming at the banknotes as I tried to burn them. He was in an incoherent rage his words tumbling and spilling making no sense, indeed at the end he just made animal sounds as the words stopped at the root of his tongue. The notes blew down the street like chaotic fiery pigeons. Little fire demons.
“The fire of you in the fire of me” she mouthed the words as the light from the fire reflected off her skin. My Sally. She had a spot forming on her chin I noticed. The last song I had listened to was ‘Over the Top’ by Motorhead. She looked like a glam rock angel. The leather vest with her tits falling out, that feather cut, those lips. Her and Lemmy had chemistry. After he appeared on the show she got more leather. More dangerous. I looked at her closely. She was pouting, hands on hips. That’s the way I like it baby. I don’t want to live forever. I bit her breast and she screamed aloud, her hands at my hair pulling me tighter within and closer without. It’s my Orgone accumulator. It makes me feel greater. I have drawn blood I can taste it. It makes me feel sick but she grabs me hard and I forget, I see the shadow of a Rabbit against the fire they had made below. It’s eyes have no depth.
“They’re burning lots of money” she said. Her lips were cold again. I should be hugging her tight keeping her warm as we watched the people below prepare their fire. There was a scent of Summer about that heather, it smelled like funeral homes to me. To him it smelled like Butterflies. To her it was pure overkill. Even here amongst the magical and the esoteric I felt unattached. Who were these people? There were far too many, far too loud.
I couldn’t help but think of Lemmy and Johnny Cash and Sally. It’s all that held my attention at that moment. It was getting colder on that hillside. Wind had turned up. It was blowing the banknotes into a swirl, a dance of partially burned pictures of the Queen. Each one had a number saying how much it was ‘worth’. You could have five of them, or ten, or twenty, or fifty of them. I tucked my knees under my cloak and kissed my Sally, tried not to crease her, as she pouted at the camera, somewhere. I carefully tucked her back into the plastic envelope. On the back of the photo somebody had written…
‘This is the last photograph we are sending you. If you try to contact Ms James again we will be forced to take legal action’. A block stamped signature ‘Ace of Spades Productions.
Love messages. Above the pile of money a familiar figure revolved in the air, the flames intertwined in his spiritual form. Our Lord Johnny Cash. He smiled at me and said..’I fell into a burning ring of fiyaaah’ and verily I pulled the hood of my course woollen black habit and kissed my skull ring. It was time. Johnny sent me a cheeky wink.