An L.H. Grey/Richard Charles Stevens Dark Fusion
Nine Inch Nails While I’m Here/Black Noise
Hands up if you’re done with negativity. That’s a fair spread of palms I discern. I mean really, where does it get us in life? And why is it considered such a commodity to so many? A cynic’s best friend and an optimist’s beast fiend; it’s one long downward spiral into negative emotional equity and robs us of the blindest of human attributes. Faith. It’s hard enough keeping track of faith at the best of times; such is the intensity of the manner in which it’s tested. Let’s just say the mental bailiffs have had their two bits out of me in recent times and those bastards are thorough, believe you me. But you see, for as much as these trespassers have ravaged the livestock, there’s one handy artifact they couldn’t ever hope to lay their grubby little hooves on – the soul.
This handsome piece of kit is the key to the entire puzzle. I figure the heart has led a reasonably charmed existence for long enough now, and besides, we’ll always have those power ballads. Wouldn’t it not profit to afford the soul a brief run-out? After all, it is effectively running shit. Alas, many a soul has gone guerrilla in the mist and many believe that has something to do with either the Djinn or Russian Mafia. Anything to sell those rags, aye lads! Much as I delight in a dash of whimsy for the sake of itself and faithful following, I must confess it’s not vaguely as sinister. Granted, there are a number of gristle-boned greebs and muculent meat-bags loitering in those blind spots, but the soul search is actually one big rootin’ tootin’ science project. I know right? Motherfucking science and shit. Do you know what? I just had an idea just crazy enough that I may twerk. I won’t. Focus Keeper focus, think serene thoughts.
Right then, where were we? Of course. Science. Didn’t that blind Thomas Dolby while we’re already steaming off topic? Last I heard he was hyperactive, next thing it’s all gone Pro-Digital. I flunked science like a punk and recall totally nada about lesson plans and homework assignments. My only implanted recollection entails the thorough electrocution of myself. Indeed, had it not been for the school’s non-bluff circuit breakers, then I’d be down at Cryogenics as we speak being welded to a big-boned gibbon. What I’m saying here Ernest is that science and I don’t quite spoon thigh to thigh. Not sure I’m the guy for the job here, but then, isn’t that the kind of bilge vapor the negative guy would spout? Fuck it, I’m rocking the goggles, have my Bunsen burner set to cobalt, and reckon I can rustle up some voltage. Science is weird. I believe we can all agree that I’m weird (thank Christ). Shall we just … you know … fuse shit?
Actually, I hear the word is merge. Think mingle with shingles and you’re in the right splurge. Let’s bring it in for the huddle – it turns out there’s no great science to science. Tuck that under those helmet plumes fellow Spartans, the last thing any of us needs right now other than the old forehead bullseye is an unlicensed wire party. Trust me when I say it’s a logistical nightmare and we could all do without the paperwork I’m sure. No this is our little secret, at least, until it all goes tits northward in the time it takes me to insert an unraveled paper clip into a live plug socket and fry the circuitry. By my very loosest of estimations, that gives us approximately no time to get to the whole “IT’S ALIVE!!!” end of the spectral realm and only a busted up rickshaw to bank on for nothing. Heavens please, shine me a light. Give me a sign. Preferably something divine.
Veering absolutely not off-topic, can anyone discern a little White Rabbit in our midst? Over by the lilies, leaving a teasing trellis of what appears to be silvery ivy in its slipstream. What a magnificent creature it is. What exquisite composure it bounds the grounds with. I must set my spirit to level at this point – I’ve been stolen in an instant. We’re talking mind, body, heart, soul – all A.W.O.L., but then, right there in this White Rabbit’s very reflection. Suddenly there’s a merge on the cards and I’m all-in pre-flop and with a pair of ropy threes when all four tenors are clearing their throats for an encore. This Elusive White Rabbit can provide falsetto and I reckon I can pull of a half-decent baritone. And if I’ve skim read the instructions right, we have ourselves a science fiction opera. Think Frankenstein by way of Metropolis and don’t forget to yank the crank up to lucky thirteen, will you Igor.
Turns out there’s all kinds of techno-toned terraforming equipment down this here rabbit hole. The drop was swift and as blunt as the most forceful of traumas. This entailed leaping phizog first into four years of pent-up penance and smashing right through the glass conservatory mid-flail. I knew instantaneously that these diamonds were forever and gratefully received each laceration these fractured jewels imparted. Needless to say, I was shot to ribbons on impact and burst wide open like a spring-loaded piñata. But to my beautiful astonishment, this Elusive White Rabbit shattered in precisely the same moment. Damage limitation springs mindward here as both bleeds were pre-set to gusher. However, our fall was broken by a bed of pale lilies, and never once in my life have I felt so utterly adored.
To give the heart its dues, it has never once been tardy with its thumping. Those good old reliable valves kept on shifting the liquids right through this privileged plummet. But down here in the rabbit hole, it’s all about soul and I’d had mine questioned too many times to not be knocked skyways by what transpired next. This Elusive White Rabbit and I saw every last thing in crystalline in that moment; through way of the very purest of symmetry. I saw her. She saw me. From one soul to another and straight back to sender. It was as though a grey velvet scarf had been threaded through both of our beings; then woven through one other. One instant. All it took. Merge.
To be seen, truly seen, it’s critical you lay your
self bare to the soul. We’re all just racing rats, some with more elaborate mazes than others, and this leaves precious little time to survey the one source of oxygen capable of healing simply through feeling. I missed feeling. Let’s not break out the bone saw just yet; every last twinge of numbness I’ve unfelt has come bundled with its very own dull ache. But never had I felt so categorically seen as I was in that moment. By the close of our first merge, I had invited this Lion-Hearted Queen to our citadel, the Rivers of Red that run freely, and in the time it takes a lily petal to catch the light as it falls, her White-Knighted King had his answer. And there we have it – merge. Now give us back Thomas Dolby you droogs.
Okay so here’s where things get truly scientific and this is likely to drain the nodes some as I reckon the time has come to test this newfound merge ability of ours right here in the moment. We shall speak in twinned tongue for one stanza only and reflect light back out to all those who have continually seen us. Better yet, we’ll glare the very same beams out to anyone who has chosen to doubt us. Pure light is the deal, negativity can go suck a fucksicle, we’re in this for the dimples. Thus the time has come to unleash this contorted fancy to the masses, for the advancement of science you understand. So you ready then? “IT’S ALIVE!!!”
We wish all of the glorious souls we glance paths with to know just how much your support, gratitude and love means to us. We are immortally thankful for every solitary last one of you. Indeed, not a day mists away when we don’t come and play in a garden of light that we’re paving our way. It is you who provide us the inspiration, light, love and support we need to breathe as artists. And it’s the very same reason we bleed as artists. Thank you from the very heart of our soul for believing, for seeing, and just for damn well being. Through kindness we can cure every blindness, through light we can paint our darkness onto sheer white canvas, together we are quite simply better. And we are better for every last glimmering one of you. We. Are. Love. All of us. In our own unique way. And the Rivers of Grue would very much like you to stay. Play. Slay. ⚔
Imagery and audio arrangement by L.H. Grey
Prose by Richard Charles Stevens