Monday, 7 January 2013

Magic Falls - Part Two

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I called in sick to work this week, leading to raised eyebrows with regards to my commitment to my role. This is fair, considering that I'm perfectly healthy and I now have no commitment to my job at all.

I used to. I work in local government and I used to find it an important, worthwhile thing to do. That has now all changed, as my priorities have changed.

I look at my bank account. I do not remember it having quite as much money in, but it isn’t enough to see me through the next year. A few months at best.

It’s a start. I’ll sort out something after that if I need to.

Nina is concerned, and I do not blame her. I've pretended to be ill (indefinable exhaustion and nausea) to work, but she knows that I'm essentially fine. She thinks that I am depressed. That I am avoiding work and that I am avoiding the issue. She’s tried to raise it with me, but I can’t bring myself to talk about it. She knows me well enough to accurately say why I would be acting in this kind of way under most circumstances. Although these are not most circumstances.

Partially, I want to spend more time with her. Partially, there are things I have to do, but every minute I spend with her is a bonus. She is a freelance writer, which means quite a lot of time spent at home, so I’m taking every extra minute with her that I can. When we try to talk about it, though, it feels like I’m already grieving for her.

How can I tell her? I want to. I want to tell her that I know the world is going to end, and that the war is coming. I want to tell her that I know she is going to die in order to attempt to try and stop it happening.

But I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to start telling her. The only way I can console myself for now is the knowledge that there is time. And also the knowledge that things are not happening as they should. The ravens proved that. There may be the possibility that –

No. I can’t hope. I can’t allow myself to hope. I have to figure things out first, and then I can decide if there is anything I can do.

“You’re going out?” She asks, looking up from her computer. She looks upset, and I hate myself for causing that.

“I won’t be long, I promise.” I say. “A few hours or so. I’ll be back before we eat.”

“Darren?” She asks.


“When you get back, can we have a bit of a chat?”

“Sure. What about?”

“Nothing,” she says and polishes her glasses. “I just… I don’t know what’s going on.”

“There’s…” I try to complete the sentence and tell her that there’s nothing going on, but it catches in my throat. I can’t bring myself to lie to her. “Of course we can have a chat. I’m sorry for worrying you.”


It’s the first time out of the house in days. I haven’t wanted to start this. If I start it, it means accepting that it’s real, and I still don’t feel ready to do that.

But I have to. And I have to see Jack Whittaker. He’s a writer and lecturer. He writes conspiracy theories of the kind that I used to write off as crap and self-help books that I hate. He fills town halls and small venues with people who will come to hear him speak. He is also the person I trust more than anyone else right now.

He is currently inside a bookshop, railing against the Church and religious belief, in a talk he calls “On the Sixth Day, Man Created God”. I have heard it too many times already. I’ve sat up drinking with Jack while he expounded on the theories behind it, and the anger it causes in him. I’ve given him the title for the book he’s working on that. I came up with it at three o’clock in the morning eating halloumi wraps in a late night kebab shop.

The audience leaves, and I wait in the car park, near his car. I know he’ll be out soon. He finishes signing copies of his latest book, and talks to people for a while. I stand back, out of the way. I don’t want to disturb him, I tell myself. Although truthfully, I’m just hesitant and scared of starting this.

Finally, after forty cold and damp minutes, he starts saying ‘goodbye’ to the last of the people that came to see him. I reflect that I may well have actually made myself ill by standing out this long. I should have come prepared with a scarf, gloves, flask of hot drink and perhaps a hotel room.

He walks to the car, and I freeze. He puts the key into the lock and is about to get in when I finally overcome my hesitation and say his name.


He looks over at me.


I walk out of the shadows and stand directly in front of him.

"It’s started. The ravens have left the Tower, Jack. That wasn't meant to happen."

The man who I have spent so much time working with, the man who has become closer to me than my own brother, the man who knows me better than anyone other than Nina looks at me, confused.

“Who are you?” he asks.

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