Donald gazed up the gothic escarpment of the palm reader’s nose, into two shining eyes like pits of tar threatening to absorb his small, petty soul. They were sitting inside a purple tent, walls covered with astrological symbols and cryptic glyphs, in a corner of the Coney Island carnival where his dad had taken him on a hot and sticky summer night. The palm reader grabbed Donald’s tiny hand and pulled it towards her, to do the job.
She hummed and she coughed as she followed with owlish gaze the inchoate lines in Donald’s hand, watching them stretch into the horizon and curl around the fuzzy shape of things to come. And then she gasped, and she pulled herself away from Donald, and she stared at him with utter horror. Donald stared back uncomprehending, what was wrong with the funny lady?
Slowly, the palm reader regained her composure and the fearful expression in her face morphed into a mask of grim determination. She remembered the lessons from a long time ago, in a cold deep wood in a country far away. She remembered what the crone had said she should do if she ever had to face the shapeless horror. She remembered the secret name.
There was some time. With a fluid movement, she took her necklace off and wrapped it around her hand, and started swinging it in front of Donald’s petulant face, and she whispered the timeless words in a sibilant drone, and Donald’s eyes glazed over beyond their usual glazed-ness, and when he was ready, she delivered her message.
Not long after, Donald’s dad came to pick him up from the palm-reader’s tent, and they went back to their big shiny house.
Donald got on with his strange, eventful life, forgetting all about the funny lady until the early hours of one night last week, when he found himself spinning restless in his big bed, huffing and puffing and sweating, disturbed by a strange whisper inside his head. He hugged Melania but she grunted and pushed him away.
He got off the bed, pawed at the jumble of things in his sleeping table and picked up his phone, he shambled outside of the bedroom and into his office. He really needed some sleep, tomorrow was going to be a big day, he was going to show the world, he needed to be on the ball.
He decided to tweet some. That always calmed him down. He would tweet something, unwind, be lulled to sleep by the pings of his admiring followers, and the losers.
He started typing.
“Despite the constant...”
But he kept flashing-back to the regular motion of an amulet in front of his eyes, a whisper in his ears, fragments of meaning arriving from a very distant place, slowly coming together to form a vivid message.
Listen to me child, something ugly and slimy crawls inside your soul, waiting to get out. It is a powerful thing, this dumb evil inside you, and I fear that if it comes out, it will cause untold damage.
This is why I am planting this word into your head, a word to be uttered the moment before your great ignominy, a word I hope you will never have to say, for it will represent your doom and perhaps also ours. Remember this word, and when to use it. The word is…
His fingers weren’t his own any more. When the word came, they moved of their own accord, and in the screen it read:
He pressed tweet.
And then there was a moment of stillness, and Donald felt a darkness circling him, and inside that darkness something scaly coiled, and a vast yellow eye opened and focused on him. An unnamable thing had awoken after a long sleep, it sniffed the air and smelt him, his soul, the tiny simple soul of a pudgy child who just wanted to show them.
He whimpered, no please, he wasn’t bad, but the merciless thing didn’t care, it was ravenous and it was coming to get him. He heard leathery wings unfurling, and he glimpsed the snake thing breaking out of the darkness, beginning its long journey from the vast emptiness where it had slept for aeons, coming for him, to feast on his soul and his flesh and sate its unending hunger.
He shrieked and he fainted over his desk, toppling a pile of papers, and down on the floor.
Two bodyguards ran into the room and stared at the scene. A big pile of Donald lying there, drooling, dishevelled, messy. Not that different from most nights, although the pallor of his face, his distorted grimace, the pool of urine spreading from under his body gave them pause. A bit worse than most nights, oh well.
They picked Donald up and carried him to the toilet, to clean him up and back to bed.
And all this time, the beast came. It is still on the way.
Adamennon’s new (imaginary?) soundtrack for Le Nove Ombre Del Caos is almost unbearably banging, a celebration of all that’s baroque, grotesque heavy and powerful. It soars with dark Italian flair above a William Blake-esque carnival of whirling shadows, sulphuric smells and raging satanic shapes. This is a very different kind of malignity from the drab, mediocre, dumb evil in which some of our political leaders specialise of late, and we will take it every time. If Goblin had replaced Led Zeppelin and P Diddy to create the soundtrack for Godzilla, it would have sounded like Dalle fauci al ventre della belva nera.