Arthur sits at his desk. Snakes coil around his torso as he stares at a book. There’s nothing for him to do but push through, but he can’t bear that.
He seeks something. There are floes of the past drifting through his brains, and he is alone. There is someone in the room with him. He knows this. Someone is somewhere in the room. The walls are peeling. The paint is bloated, and there are bubbles in the air. Pushing around his hair, he lets out a silent yell. Glass beads tighten around his neck.
The party on Morgan Avenue went well. It was stuffed with bodies. No one intervened, because no one knew about it. A parcel had arrived, addressed to no one. No one picked it up. Instead, rhythm shook steadily. There were lines on the ground, which seemed to give a command. No one stepped on the lines. There was a law hovering over the party. Everyone could feel it, hovering there. Elbows nudged around. T-shirts were ripped up.
And then the flies came. No one saw them or heard them. Horrifying. I looked around, wondering if they were there. Apparently they were not. Arthur said they were there. Sometimes he sees things that no one else does. I believe what he says, always. Arthur speaks with authority. Someone speaks through him - it isn’t Arthur. When it’s not Arthur, I believe what’s being said. It has the tone of truth. The truth that proves itself immediately. Truth that renders any objection ridiculous. A cold blade, flashing with beams of reality.
I’m with Arthur now. He needs me; he is sick. Arthur has always been sick. I love him, and I’m afraid he’s going to die. I don’t want that. If Arthur dies, I don’t know what I’ll do. That’s why I have to protect him. No one understands him. I myself - I certainly don’t understand Arthur. But I respect him. I know that he is a greater man than I am. I don’t mean that he is virile. He certainly isn’t. He’s more like a pulsating, dying mouse than a man. I’m far more virile than Arthur is. It isn’t what we usually think of as manhood. Almost the opposite. He’s a fluid. Viscous. I’m much stronger than Arthur, so I need to protect him, because I need him. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it’s the way it is.
Heaven opened up the other night, at the party. Arthur was there, and he could see the flies, but no one else could. He said that when he saw the flies, things would change. He’d said that several times during the month leading up to the party. He said he hoped to God that he would not see any flies the night of the party, but that his intuition was that he would see them. So we were prepared, because we were warned. Arthur’s intuitions are always accurate, or they usually are, anyway.
Now the flies are here, and I don’t know what to do. I am wracking my brain trying to remember what the plan was. The plan for the flies. What were we supposed to do? I can feel my ribs throbbing. Something is emerging from my body. A charcoal hand filled with bees. Bees? They look like bees. They are yellow and black, and they sound angry. Maybe they are wasps. I wish Arthur would help me at times like this, but he never does. He can’t help anyone, and doesn’t want to, anyway. He says that nothing can be helped. He’s probably right.