Holy Fire/Club Head

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Rhine Valley 857ad

Emelisse stood in the main square overlooking Drachenfals. The hill, caused by magma rising to the surface, blocked out a third of the bright blue sky. Around her, people were beginning to cut off their limbs. One man was on fire, having run into the smithy mere moments before. There was a general wail of discontent from the land, a gray wash of suffering that blocked out a lot of the individual sounds of madness and pain. A man rushed past her, holding a baby at arms length. Emelisse knew them both. The father was Clarembaut, a French traveler who had settled in the Rhine three years ago after his parents had died. The baby was named Clewin. Emelisse knew this because she had been present at the birth eight days prior. Clewin had taken three days to leave his mothers body and now his father, a gentle, quiet man who played the lute and baked wonderful bread, was carrying him, bleeding and screaming, to the well outside the grain store. Within seconds of losing sight of the pair, the babies screaming stopped and a new sound, the same but different, older somehow, replaced it. She turned to see Clarembaut with a knife held to his throat. It was the same blade he scored the loaves with, each with a separate insignia so that the owners would know what to pick up later that day. Clarembaut let loose one final cry and slit his throat, falling back down the well to join his first son at the bottom.

Fabric Nightclub 2003ad

I am stood outside in the fucking pouring rain waiting to see a famous drum and bass DJ called Roni Size play the entire of his album ‘new forms’ to a room full of utter degenerates in central London. 2007 was my peak, the utter nadir of my decency. I spent several months shoveling ecstasy down my throat at a rate that some may describe as heroic but looking back now I can only describe as foolish. My dealer wore a succession of new, better coats during this time. I am outside in a queue talking to the guy in front of me who sells me some drugs before I even get in. In those days you could be assured of a score just from the bouncers. Whatever they confiscated from people, they resold moments later to the people they knew.. This may still be true but I am a very good boy nowadays and I could not possibly tell you. The pills are good, a mix of Mitsubishi’s and another I cannot name. I take three and within thirty minutes the rain becomes tolerable. I become best friends with a group of guys behind me. They are from the same college as I go to, although in a different year and doing the imposingly titled ‘Camera Maintenance and Engineering’ course which holds the same degree of mysticism that alchemy would have done hundreds of years earlier. Either way, under the golden blanket of MDMA we are all the same, brother. So we talk and talk about complete shit and I direct the youngest one to the guy in front of me who sold me the drugs. He makes another sale and the boys get a bit hairy. The world keeps spinning. The rain keeps falling. Inside, Roni Size puts his record bag down behind the high, imposing decks. Things are happening. I can feel them.

Rhine Valley 857ad (three days earlier)

Emelisse stood in the main square overlooking Drachenfals. It is midnight and the silence hits her like a wave. There is a light breeze blowing through the village. The area has a cool, damp climate. In the grain store, the fungus Claviceps Purpurea runs rampant through the rye and spelt of the previous cropping season. Although several people have identified the large purple grains of Ergot laying among the normal grains, many months have passed and no one has spoken to anyone of any importance about it. People are busy trying to stay alive and the Ergot grains were simply dismissed as extra food from god. In a scullery, in a house just away from the main square, two people stand by candlelight. They are a man, Endris, and a woman, Durade. They are to be married in the village square in three days time. They sway gently in the candlelight. They are dancing, holding each other tight while they move to the rhythm of gentle music that exists only in their heads. Durades lays her head on Endris’s chest. She can feel his heart in there. To her, it is the drumbeat of god. Endris lifts his hands to Durades red hair and strokes it gently. The two move their lips together and softly breathe into each others mouths. Throughout time, love has always been love. Later that night Endris will push his thumbs into the soft, fleshy area that he most associates with his lovers ability to breathe. When they find him the next morning, he is sat at the wooden table covered in Durades insides, a soft, insidious smile on his lips.

Fabric Nightclub 2003ad

My mouth is bone dry. This happens with ecstasy. Whenever I take pills at home I always focus on the physical side of things a lot. When you take pills your mouth gets dry and you drink a lot. There is probably a lot of science behind the link between MDMA and dehydration but I am neither knowledgeable or interested. When you drink a lot of water, you need to piss a lot (this science is basic and something I have a grasp on). Unfortunately, something called Pilly Willy exists. Pilly Willy is the fucking scourge of the ecstasy addict. You drink the water. You feel better. You need to piss. You can’t piss. Its frustrating. You are frustrated. The drug puts pay to that and you feel good. So fucking good. Oh my god so good. Then your mouth is dry. You drink water. You feel better. You need to piss. You cant piss. This is frustrating. Anyway I digress. I am inside the nightclub which is strobing like a motherfucker. Roni Size is incredible. The bass is incredible. My new friends are doing something called speaker rolling. This is where you get as close as you can to the refrigerator sized sub woofers and let the sheer weight of the bass rumble through you. If you take enough drugs, the rumble will sync with your heartbeat. This is the purpose of dance music. To sync with your heartbeat. To allow you to leave your body and become the music. Get your ear against that speaker and fucking tear your body apart. This categorically CANNOT be good for you, but my god it feels good. So fucking good. Oh my god so good. I am at the bar now. Trying to order a bottle of water. Some people drink alcohol in these places. I have nothing but hatred for the people who come to see electronic music and drink alcohol. That’s not the point you fuckers. Jesus. The single greatest moment for me on any drug is when I feel it start to work. Because you know what to come. The high, the peak, is good. So good. But the promise of that high. That’s a real fucking burn. Drugs are like anything. You can get bad ones. When you have invested a lot of money and time into getting fucked up, and it does’nt happen, that feeling is not good. So when the butterflies start to flit behind your eyes, and the strange, beautiful fog wells up somewhere inside your chest. That’s the world telling you that you have won this round. Get ready. Shit is about to go down.

Rhine Valley 857ad (1 day later)

Emelisse stood in the middle of the square overlooking the Drachenfels. Its 3pm and the town council are holding a meeting. Things are going wrong. People are being murdered. People are leaving the town without saying a word and being found hours later covered in animal blood and dying. One man has not stopped dancing for hours. Its the devil one man says. Its god himself testing us another shouts. At the head of the table is the town chieftain. When his slave woke him that morning to attend to his business, he briefly thought he was a cat. He had hissed at his slave and when the man had turned to run away, the chieftain had torn him limb from limb. The slaves body was performing its beautiful rotting in a hole the chieftain had dug with his bare hands behind his house.

Fabric Nightclub 2003ad

It is 1am. I have lost my new friends but found a million more. The entire stage has been transformed into a pirate galleon. The bass is waves. I turn slowly to take in the hundreds of bodies crammed alongside me. They are lit by strobes and spotlights. My brain is no longer in a nightclub. It is being burnt and destroyed in the most wonderful ways. Synapses are pinging. I am thirsty. I might have pissed myself but its the time of night when I stop caring about things like that. My God. Everyone here is so beautiful. A room full of sweat and love, victims of capitalism, just numbers, just proles but fighting back, worshiping at the alter of music and ecstasy, a million heads bobbing up and down on a sea created by rapid heartbeats and bass that is no longer musical, no longer a song being played but something bigger, something on a purely electrical level. Like talking to god and having him tell you that everything glows if you let it. I will wake tomorrow evening and my jaw will ache. I will wake tomorrow and my entire body will cry out. But tomorrow is so far away that it may as well not exist at all. Its not even a concept. I need something to drink and so I make my way to the bar.

Rhine Valley 857ad

Emelisse is stood in the town square overlooking the Drachenfels. From the top of the hill, formed by magma and the slowness of god himself, Emelisse can see insects pouring forth. From the crater that had never been there before come Mantis, Beetle and Bee. Huge, chitinous creatures pull themselves from the now hollow, burning mound. Drachenfels; Dragons Blood. As the insects grow closer to Emelisse, she drops to her knees. They are growing smaller even as they near. Monsters that were the height of the highest building were now the size of rats, shrinking still as they sunk tooth and claw into Emelisses soft flesh. She screams. Through a crack in a hastily boarded window, a young girl watches Emelisse pull herself apart. Naked and alone in the town square, she is bellowing about insects and monsters as she slowly removes her skin.

Fabric Nightclub 2003ad

I’m outside the bar now and my clothes stick to my skin like ice. The sun is coming up and I can only hear short waves of white noise. In front of me is a man selling merchandise from tonight’s show. To equate my experiences with his would be impossible. I buy a t shirt and strip in the street. The shirt takes forever to put on and within seconds is coated with sweat. I walk to the underground station, a complete disgrace, a daze. I take my last ecstasy although it will not work. Nothing will work now except my bed. To sleep and dream of another world. I fall asleep on the tube and wake in High Barnet, an hour away from where I need to be. A kind woman pays for my ticket and puts me back on the train. I eventually get home at 10am and drag myself onto the mattress on the floor, poisoned in the best possible way.

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