Archive for the ‘The Devil & Georges Servan Aballaird’ Category

Herakles & Theseus look on

In a quiet lane, between Dowell’s and Haworth’s I reckoned, not far from home, my old friend Martin Foy stood before me with his head in his hands.
“Martin? Why are ye weepin’?”
He gave no reply. A little bird standing out on top of a naked bush caught my eye. A little orange, black and white stonechat. It gave a little whistle followed by three tapping noises and flew off in a little burr of blurring wings. It wasn’t the slightest bit concerned with our affairs, offered no hint that it even noticed our presence. Why was Martin ignoring me?
“Look at me, will ye. I’ve not seen ye this past… and you standin’ aloof there.”
He dropped his hands to his sides and looked at me with tears dripping from his eyes. I had never seen him like this before.
“Ah, Harley! Yer like me own brother, ye know that. And yer mine still, for all yer misery.”
“What? What misery? What are ye talkin’ about? Why are ye crying, Martin?”
I tried to stretch out my arm to grip his shoulder but found that my hands were tied with a cord through an iron ring in the wall near where I stood. What was this then? (more…)

Red & orange radiance

A red and orange radiance danced about with silhouettes and shadow, trembling and blinking against walls and lighting the frost-bleached skeletons of the naked trees towering over the nearby buildings. Filled with such a rapturous joy and surrounded by the sounds of uproar and emergency, I was down on my hands and knees and had begun to cry. Tears and snot were soon raining down through the clouds of steam I huffed out, wheezing and weeping with silent sobs and laughter at the cold mossy stones and frozen mud under my blackened mitts. (more…)

Bladder & Trident

I shall never forget that feeling. His slimy, rigid skin moving under the grip of my shivering hands. Royalist or revolutionary it was impossible to tell, but I could feel his waterlogged flesh move, far too much of it, over his mortified bones and tendons. His body was coming apart and the tissue of his hands and forearms felt like it could come away in a solid sheet at any moment. I thank the Almighty it did not and will curse the Devil forevermore for contriving to place me into such a heinous undertaking. (more…)

Grey beach detail

Were my memory a book, the first page of the chapter that was the night I first met Georges Servan Aballaird would begin, “Here begins a new life.”
I felt no panic or fear. I embraced him tenderly, cradled his brow as he stared into the vast darkness below, gently took his hand, and as we floated away from that hellfire and toward the shore I heard a voice softly singing, “They do not know you anymore.”
The sea had become a shining blanket of reflected stars and Georges and I were flying, falling through them, arms outstretched, into eternal darkness, into fire and ice. (more…)


When I next came to my senses the first thought I had was that I had let my flint get wet. Why I’d ever be worried what those bastard officers thought important I’ll never know, but here I was; the words running through my head that I was “as good as fucking dead!”
Then I noticed the strange green flashes playing out in the strange gelatinous velum I was in, that I was unable to breathe, the multitude of black things trailing down around me and that never-fucking-ending headache that dogged me wherever I went these last… How long had it been? Weeks? Months? It was impossible to say.
January seemed years ago and yet only yesterday. Yet here I was, and this ever increasing high-pitched buzz in my ears that made the green flashes slowly fade to red and black, until it properly hit me. I was under water! This nauseating taste in my mouth was sea water and I had to move up, up, up or else I would be drowned.
To hell with the rummin’ flint! I didn’t even know where the musket was anymore. (more…)


The Press Gang. Those great servants to the Admiralty.
They were always going to get a hold of me someday. You don’t spend as much time as I had done, all those… How long had it been? It was impossible to say. Weeks? Months? Sodden and unconscious from too much drink. Rum, ale, grog, sky blue, it didn’t matter a hell of a lot what really. Lucky you go a week in some parts without those sadistic bastards getting their paws on you.
But the timing is a blur. I do not remember anything clearly. Nothing since that cold night in January anyways. In the middle of the journey of my life and I found myself within an impenetrable darkness where the straight way was lost, where I turned to grog houses and inns and in the gutter and worse I found my repose. (more…)