aj_crawley: (the weather and the waves)
aj_crawley ([personal profile] aj_crawley) wrote2008-06-10 12:48 am

(no subject)

323 BC, an hour before sunrise
       When David heard that Absalom was slain
His skin is hot like mine.
       he went up into his chamber over the gate
The king's room reeks of sweat, and shit, and vomit. When the sun rises on Babylon, the world will be like fire to the touch. For now, it's just him, burning from the inside out.

2008 AD, 6:43am
       When David heard that Absalom was slain
Crowley wakes early, for him. The sun is already up, and so is Aziraphael; neither of them seem surprised to see him downstairs. There's tea waiting for him, and a kiss. The newspaper hasn't come yet, and Crowley makes toast, tall and straight-backed.

2521 AD, 0815h
       he went up into his chamber over the gate
The CEO of Bentley Aeronautics is already in his office, Cortex screen angled away from the wall-to-wall windows where the morning paints a shining road across the surface of the water. He'll make time for the horizon later. Today, the business of flying will not afford Andronicus Ji Crowley much chance to look up. The night's stock logs are pulled up, drawn and quartered with ruthless efficiency; the task of reaching out for the small red intercom button, asking for a cup of coffee, seems incomprehensibly, insurmountably vast.

Crowley's schedule is packed. The day ahead is full of battles.


       When David heard that Absalom was slain, he went up into his chamber over the gate, and wept

323 BC, midmorning
       my son
Six days ago, they could no longer move the king to the privy. Three days ago, they could no longer move him to a pot. Now, they simply do their best to clean away what little water he can pass, and the cloth comes away red-black and bloody.
       my son
The tall man with black hair and hollow eyes hands out an empty bowl, the wadded, filthy strips at the bottom, and waits for another to arrive. The gulls circle above the Euphrates, just screams dressed in feathers.
       my son

2008 AD, 12:08pm
       my son
The bell over the door jingles behind a departing customer, and the summer breeze wafts in the hot smell of spices (a slightly suspect curry joint, just opening up for lunch).
       my son
"Let's go for a walk," Crowley says abruptly. He'd stolen the stool from behind the counter and spent the morning perched in a corner of the bookshop, a translation of the Iliad in his lap, tapping his foot and gazing out the window.
       my son
"Alright," Aziraphael says, and touches Crowley's shoulder as he goes to fetch his keys.
       my son
The angel locks the door, and the demon picks a direction away from the Thames, and away from the ducks in St. James' Park, and away from the British Museum. They walk briskly: a march, under the sun.
       my son

2521 AD, 1430h
       my son
They eventually locate the boss for his two o'clock meeting down in the archives, knee-deep in pre-Unification surveys of the outer settlements.
       my son
Afterwards, Crowley's fingers hover over the beginnings of an awkward, transparent wave.
       my son
       my son
He opens a window, and lets the breeze in.

       When David heard that Absalom was slain, he went up into his chamber over the gate, and wept, my son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee!

323 BC, late afternoon
       O Absalom my son
There's a moment of lucidity, when one brown eye and one blue eye focus steadily on the figure by the bed, and Crowley feels all his hope claw up into his throat. Then the mismatched eyes roll roll roll up to show only jaundiced whites, and someone darts for the tooth-marked roll of soft leather they've been using. They hold the king down through the convulsion, and around the clear bell of hurting inside his chest, Crowley keeps one ear out for the sound of white wings.
       my son

2008 AD, 6:41pm
       my son
It starts to rain.
       my son

2521 AD, 2012h
       my son
Crowley closes the door of his apartment behind him, and turns around. "Hello," he says, to the Prior sitting in his living room.
       my son

323 BC, shortly before sundown
       O Alexander paidion
"Hush," Crowley murmurs. "Hush now."
       my son

2008 AD, 11:03pm

They're still a little damp when they arrive back at the bookshop - weary, but not quite ready to sleep.

"We could play Monopoly," Aziraphael suggests, and Crowley laughs and laughs.

323 BC, night

"I don't want any water," the king's old tutor screams, still clutching stinking blankets. "Get out, get out. GET OUT."

2521 AD, 0545h

"Morning," Crowley says.

"Yes," Aziraphael replies.

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