Liverpool Street station glowed within the early morning darkness that engulfed the City, providing short lived respite for commuters from rain that fell sluggishly from the sky. A Neon portcullis opening the way to the houses of finance and banking that allowed safe passage from country homesteads to the heart of power. Christian arrived at the station every day as part of his commute, admiring his position within the well-oiled machine of finance. His hair immaculate, suit well pressed and tailor made and underneath it a body ripped and chiseled to perfection. Christian had fought hard to become so successful, harder than most he suspected, and so wanted to make sure that his presence would not go unnoticed. Or worse, noticed for all the wrong reasons. Yet today there was a misstep evident in his outlook, errata in his game plan that sought to hinder his positive aura. As he stepped from the station’s safety into the rain he ruminated on the cause of his anxiety, knowing all too well the root of his worry.
The escalator was at least two hundred miles high. High enough that it pierced the fluffy white clouds like a needle pricks a balloon. High enough that icicles hung underneath at around sixty thousand feet and hail as big as tumbleweed would drop randomly from the sky onto the pristine metal steps. High enough that despite its firm structure the thing swayed in the turbulent winds of the stratosphere. An effect that had caused Dave to grip the golden handrail until his knuckles where white. He had been travelling now for seven days and did not want any mishaps to occur such as him falling off the side. The thought alone made him shake his head. He had come too far to have to start this journey all over again.
When I close my eyes I see the killing tree.
It rises from the ground the colour of ash; its sap a crimson wash. My eyes are transfixed upon its leafless branches, sharpened to hooks. A dying breeze soothes the hate within its heart momentarily, cooling the flames of hell that dwell within. Yet its malevolence is ever constant; totems of white flesh skewered upon its being. Some lie crumpled and still while others writhe as worms do before being cast into the sea. The pain of this image is profound and it wakes me from my wet slumber on the leafy forest floor. I am close now to finding my prey, having been on foot for three days. My quarry is a murderer, unleashed from the comforts of sanity. A man whose motives are as distant as the stars above me. A man whose friendship I once knew.