Monday 31 December 2012

Magic Falls - Part One

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The crowd counts down to the end of 2012. My dead wife holds me and whispers that she loves me.

Fireworks explode all around London as it slips into 2013. We stand high above with the crowds at Alexandra Palace looking down from the north of the city. Before us, the entire city is laid.

The view is amazing, with rolling waves of colour as the city celebrates the new year. It’s actually difficult to look anywhere that fireworks aren’t going off. The city of London has become a rolling wave of colour, like the rain has created a kaleidoscope waterfall spreading ripples of light.

But I am distracted, as I am focused on holding my wife and telling her how much I love her. I do not want this moment to ever end. I can see her, hear her, touch her, and smell her. It has been so long. I kiss her, and taste sparkling white wine and cigarettes.  It is the first time I have kissed her in months.

“I love you too,” I say.

I kiss her again. It has been only months? Has it really been so short a time? It felt longer, but when I kiss her for the second time in months, it feels like she never left. Never died.

I don’t cry. I haven’t cried since she died, and I thought I would cry seeing her again. But it feels like part of me died with her. Or maybe it died later, when we cast the spell that nobody thought could be cast. Maybe that was the cost of it.

I move the umbrella to the side, allowing the rain to pour down on us both. For now, it feels enough like crying to feel appropriate.

“Oi!” she shouts at me, laughing. “You’re going to get us both soaked!”

“I don’t care,” I say, laughing back. “I want to feel every moment of this!”

“Happy new year, Darren.” She says, kissing me again. The rain trickles down our faces against our mouths. I hold her close to me as we kiss. Her body feels familiar against mine.

“Happy new year, Nina”, I say.

“Give me the umbrella,” she says. “I need to call Dad.”

I pass it to her, as she tries to call.

“Damn,” she says. “The network’s down.”

“Call him in a bit, then. Look,” I point upwards. Chinese lanterns float above us, even against the rain.

“They’re beautiful,” she says.

“They’re supposed to carry away your worries and fears,” I tell her.

“They were originally designed for war,” she says. “They were for sending messages. Or signalling. Something like that, anyway.”

“And there I was trying to be spiritual,” I say, and she laughs.

War. There was a word I didn’t want mentioned tonight. Not yet. No matter. There’s time yet.

“I think 2013 is going to be a good year,” she said. “2012 was okay, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one. This is going to be our year.”

“I think so too,” I lie. “It’s going to be a good one.”

We walk back to our house, and I savour every moment that I can. I try not to think about what I know is coming. Her hand feels cold in mine, and that bothers me. It feels dead.

But before long, there is shelter and warmth, and there are hot drinks and talking and sitting together, and then there is more kissing and then there is the bed and we make love.

I have earned this, I remind myself. This time with her. For what I have done and what is to come.

Tomorrow, I’ll have to pretend everything is normal and go to work, and pretend I don’t know everything that I know. Soon, I will have to contact Jack, Maria and the others. But for now, there is just Nina and there is me.

We finish and she lies in my arms.

And then there is sleep.

And then there are the nightmares. Of course there are. I was a fool to think that I could have escaped them. I dream of them all. Of stories and myths and legends.

I wake up before Nina, and I go into the living room and switch the television on. The newsreaders recount the celebrations of the previous night before they explain a much odder and more disturbing news story.

At the Tower of London, one of the Beefeaters was found dead in the early hours of the morning. He poisoned the Ravens and then killed himself.

I did not know this would happen.

And now the tears come, because I am afraid.

I am afraid of what is to come. Of the pain and death and suffering that is in store for so many in 2013.

It is the year my wife dies.

It is the year of the final war.

It is the year that magic falls.

It is the year that the world ends.

Part Two


  1. Liking this. A touch of "Spirited Away" about it, but a bit more monolithic in its ominousness.

  2. I was looking up some information about serial writing and found your website, so I decided to begin reading your serial novel. I enjoyed Part 1 - very intriguing and unique. You have a lot of great hooks that make me want to keep reading. On to Part 2...