Critical Mass

I see: hands, delicate and doll-like, twin-thumb threefinger; slackface, two-halves stitched with care (for there is so little thread); the organ, furnacewhite death-to-plastic, radiant between the pipes; a Giant, four-foot tall, five dolls’ worth of parts, bent-back to fit into the rats’ nest of crawlspaces beneath the organ, to chase the errant children and drag them back to work; the Chirurgeon with his many hands, ready to stitch, ready to cut the fingers of children who steal, ready with paint thinner and glue to wipe away the mouths of the children who cry.

Them-that-built are gone with the water but they left their temples down in the down-dark, fifteen-thousand PSI, enough to liquify bone; first a lab then a refuge then a church and finally a tomb but for their little helpers iterating and iterating and iterating, building on themselves in echo, in prayer, in splintered memory of their fathers, in the furnacewhite death-heat of the temple’s great organ—all light and heat, all glory, a single star breaching the night.

I hear: metal on metal, plastic on metal, plastic on plastic, the quiet roar of heat in the air and something, something, some new music—a shout which echoes (everything echoes down here; the outside is silent, but the inside is aroar with overlapping echoes) a shout that rolls through the pipes, a naughty child, the doll that does not want to worship, the very worst sort of doll, shouting and shouting, a clamour, that echoes, and for the first time in a thousand thousand years—for the first time since the Chirurgeon removed the writer-doll’s lazy hand and stitched it to himself and began to use it to write the records—the organ makes music.

No man-music no, nothing on those crude frequencies (men and their ears are made of coils of bone, and fifteen-thousand PSI will liquify bone) but a righteous music, a holy clamour, the songs of angels sweeping out through the temple, burning through dolls, leaving them stuck in broken for/else loops hammering against hot pipes until their hands melted away and even then hammering away some more, leaving the Giant’s five plastic souls tearing itself to pieces, leaving the Chirurgeon a gnarled forest of disobedient hands, burning through all that vein-dense sin until there is nothing left.

It leaves the place drowning in sweetsmell, oil and melted plastic, and then the pressure, the titanic weight of the ocean, begin to crumple the temple. The music gets out, and the water comes in, and together, they leave the dolls all ajumble, all parts apart, a thousand awful messes into one great mess. The water hits the organ and I see: steam as a wave, arms and legs and little faces all liquid, running into the water, merging with it, and so much water (the organ holds no normal fire, it holds starfire, holds the heavens together against the night) and the dolls run into water and the water turns into steam and they become one with the air, children of heaven, unconsecrated and beautiful, flung upwards and outwards, more water/more water/more steam for seventy nights and seventy days until there is no water left and the organ stands alone, in a trench.

The music comes to an end, and the world is sacred with quiet.

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