Room 65: Anna Malech – Part One: Half Moon

‘You’re only a small bird,’ he used to joke, ‘Do not quail so before me.’
Even then, in her early days as a handmaiden to a solar god, before she ascended to her rightful place as his lunar opposite, she had known that he was a cheap and cheesy motherfucker. It was little wonder that they had not endured as objects of worship – but she had always been the more tenacious of the two.
Outside the moon was growing fuller – and she knew that she too would soon feel fully herself again. All of these people here in this place waxed and waned as she did, though perhaps not to the same degree. She still held fast to her old nature – a bitter tasting relic of her former glory that offered some small comfort. You took from life what you could.
She felt as if she might prefer the aspect of the vulture these days – it seemed somehow more apt. She was forced to pick over the carcass of life after everyone else had eaten their fill and she was supposed to be happy about it.
Her smile had no warmth in it – it rarely did; whatever warmth entered that expression was a twisted mirth akin to the pleasure a cat feels whilst it is playing with a mouse. She was not a nice person; her thoughts were cruel and uncharitable … they squirmed like maggots upon the flesh of a decaying universe.
She looked at the single solitary apple in the fruitbowl and thought to herself – if only this were a fairytale and not the miserable fucking soap opera it seems to be.


Room 64: Bel – Part One: whoever

Mister Nondescript, that was how he liked to think of himself. He’d been shifting around behind the scenes, moving important pieces around with no one having a clue about who he was or what he represented for a long time, and that was how he liked it. Invisibility was no mysticaal bullshit concept – it was something you cultivated with care.
Want the Greeks extinct? Want Rome to fall? Be the hidden third party – work your angle from outside the view of the public and you will always get away with what you need to get away with. He had a conscience – he knew right from wrong; but he also had a design which pushed him in certain directions which may have seemed counter to that notion. Who could claim to understand him? He had no contemporaries really – had no one that he considered equal; it wasn’t arrogance that led him to that conclusion, just deductions based upon observable fact. He was ever the empiricist.
He would work on the small circuits – keeping the local criminals and businessmen busy, and he would work on an international scale also. If you could get the hang of doing it at any size – what it was that he did, then there really was no ecuse to not be totally in charge. And to a degree that is what he had been working on and that was where he felt he was – through controlling shares in several transnationals he had major influence on the direction of global economics and lifestyle choices.
And where did he live? Here – Depth Heights; middle of nowhere and centre of everything. This building was like him – nondescript yet somehow vital; a lynchpin; a Rosetta Stone.

Room 63: Levi – Part One: Swimming Around

Huge hulking beast that he was, you’d be hard-pressed to hear Levi approaching. He had had many years to perfect the silent approach and it had proved useful. When he could ease his way in and stow away his bulk before someone noticed it he often fared better. He intimidated people and, while that was useful sometimes, it was not the perfect state in which to dwell permanently. He was fortunate that he often didn’t need to use his powers because his reputation preceded him and often did the work before he even had to set foot in an area. Reputation was like the flies pre-digeestion mechanism – it got to work on the repast before the fly even had to be really involved.
Levi sensed, as he was sure many hereabouts sensed, that something was coming – something moving under the surface to upset all the things which rested on the skin. He had kinship with those things; understood how the future moved into place. Levi was an excellent chess player – he had the patience and the foresight required of a Grandmaster. He had no need of his preternatural gifts when it came to playing, and he prided himself on this.
Would he be called upon to squash someone? Would necessity issue orders that leisure and luxury allowed him to avoid? The world grew tighter by the moment; pressed in upon his sentience; made demands of him.
Depth Heights had been the place he called home for too long – he wished to move on, but, as with others, something placed a lock upon his forward progress until he had satisfied the requirements of either his own or some other creatures destiny.
In spite of his largeness he saw himself for what he truly was – a pawn at the mercy of Gods. He did not mind so much, but he wished that they would move on. Sure, he had patience for chess aplenty, but after all this time spent here his tolerance was thinning for the crushing stasis. Make a move. Check. Mate.

Room 62: B L Zebub – Part One: Buzz Off

Lord of the flies – ha de fucking ha – that was what he thought some days. No one liked flies, no one liked him. He wished it meant that he got great air miles but it didn’t. He wished it meant that he had a huge pecker to poke through his flies at those women in the park who he liked to get over-friendly with, but it didn’t. No, being lord of the flies meant, as everyone knew, being lord over those stupid turd munching insects who buzzed around irritatingly.
People who knew his job title expected him to be some kind of advocate for the bloody things, but really, who could big up the little bastards? He’d tried – he surely had, but flies just got such bad press. Sometimes the constraints manifestation placed on him made him appear as a huge fucking fly, and some mad-for-it Christians had forced him to appear only to try and zap him with a custom made giant bug-zapper. He was not impressed and had left a room full of charred bodies in his wake – well, after several hours of suffering rather painful electric shocks as they tried to alter the voltage – thinking that this was the reason they were unable to kill him.
Being lord of the flies was like being in charge of a department where you were the only member of staff – it sucked ass in a major way. He would get small amounts of amusement from sending flies to pester people, but on a day to day basis he would say that his major sentiment was one of being seriously cheesed off.
He was, at that moment, directing what he was thinking of as an aerobatic team in a display that spelt out the words fuck you. He thought it was kind of nifty but it was like myspace and facebook – after days of endless repetition one wanted to bang there head repeatedly against something until they dislodged the boredom.
He was bored, and he knew he wasn’t the only one.

Room 61: Stan – Part One: Has Been

He liked to believe that the song by Eminem was inspired by him, but he knew it wasn’t true. He liked to believe many things but he was too old and too knowledgeable to ever really be able to fool himself.
He knew that some of these scions of hell thought of themselves as more than finite archetypes marking the current age’s vision of what the devil might be, but he knew better. He had gone into exile so long ago that he was sure no one remembered him – except some minor file clerk in the halls of Heaven who had been banished to a similar exile in one of the dusty sub-basements of Heaven’s Central filing office.
He was considered to be toothless now – no kind of threat to anyone at all except maybe himself. It got him angry sometimes – who likes to be thought of as a has-been? No one that he knew, that was for sure. But seriously what constituted flexing his muscles these days? Killing a pigeon as it landed on his windowsill? Giving a cockroach heart palpitations? Whatever he was doing it was not the stuff of which legends are made.
Stan has become, he hated even giving voice to the thought: ‘Boring.’ Did it happen with the dropping of the A? The moving from the cutting edge to this beige suburbia? Maybe. He had gone to seed, that was all he knew.
He took out a cigarette from the pack, did the old trick with the flame leaping out of the tip of his thumb, and smiled. Small things amuse those with small minds, and perhaps, after an eternity of living within the means of a small character he had learned to play on threat of annihilation, he had downsized. Ambition was not a word he bandied about anymore – he was not the arrogant Morningstar who had been cast down from heaven – that was for the newer iterations.
Boring life: boring eternal life – he needed to do something to spice it up.

Room 60: Sam Odious – Part One: Dancing Around

He had pictures of her – some obtained over the counter and some obtained by less savoury means. He had a lot of funds and he was willing to spend them in pursuit of her. Still, she didn’t seem to be weakening her resolve after all this time. Was it time to give up? He didn’t believe so. They kept telling him that there were some people that you just couldn’t buy and he had believed them in weaker moments but denied their pernicious ideas a hold when he regained his strength.

He would keep on keeping on – believing in the dream; the dream being that one day she would be lying beside him in his bed and it would be done willingly.

She had to smile for him and she had to dance for him – that was where the money was, and the fact that he threw so much at her meant the management were not particularly interested in any problems she might have with it. The fact that she needed the money from this gig kept there and she supposed it was some kind of consolation to be getting paid a lot better than any of the other girls. Sam knew that some of these things must be playing into what they had but he could put them aside – there were many relationships that started off on a shaky footing and went on to be absolutely wonderful; he knew that this would be such a relationship.

Room 59: Mam Mon – Part One: An Appetite

She swooshed the handkerchief over her greasy lips and wiped away the ketchup that was smeared there like a clown mouth. She knew she would get heartburn ten seconds after this burger plopped into the sea of acid swimming in her cavernous stomach so she chucked a few indigestion pills in after it. Precaution was better than trying to fix something after the fact.

She had been watching the rise and fall of her stocks and shares and it always made her anxious; being anxious made her hungry. Being hungry made her bad tempered. So she fed herself regularly and that dealt with the temper, dealt with the anxiety. It was all a question of check and balances – good accounting.

When this project of hers hit paydirt she would not have to worry about any of this mundane watching of the peaks and troughs of the economy; she would be cut free of all that. She was confident it would work – she was spending a lot of money to make sure that it did.