Saroth the Mage, was going through yet another ‘Dark Night of the Soul’. Everything in his ravaged mental body was as cold and grey as the dull cigarette smoke sky in the dreech windblown road where his shabby studio flat sat brooding in it’s tenement building. He was still in bed because the high roof, bare floorboards and huge, singly glazed windows made it impossible to heat. He had a small plastic fan heater, perched on a chest of drawers at the end of the bed which warmed just a foot of air and sounded like a a jet engine. He wore an oversized woolen hat which he had to keep readjusting when it slipped over his eyes as he stooped over the keyboard, watching his hands prod out the occasional pedestrian sentence in fingerless gloves.
He could see the disheveled wooden blinds move as the wind battered the grubby glass… he wrote another paragraph, read it and deleted it.
He dimly remembered a time when he could barely keep up with the words that bubbled and frothed as music played and candles burned and wine and beer and weed danced in his mind while a beautiful half naked woman dozed in the clean bed linen and fresh paintings sat on the easel and drawings and notebooks full of wonders lay artfully scattered on the newly varnished floor and it could have been the sixties, Tangier perhaps, or New York. One of those magical nights… Summer, his skin still tingling from the afternoon sun on his skin. He was younger, no grey hair, he and his friends had been partying all night at Sally’s where the lines were as long and fat as a tall mans fingers and the MDMA was LOVE and everything was soft around the edges and his lover’s eyes were like whirlpools of lust and delight. He’d never picked up a wand yet he was a better magician then than he was now. Occult glyphs and nonsense had filled his head with cotton wool.
The past seemed so glamorous when his ‘now’ was so… empty.
Maybe he should write about his life? As miserable as it was today, and yesterday and well, all winter long, he had once lived a charmed, occasionally interesting life. Why struggle with these silly made up characters when he could write about his glorious past?
He began enthusiastically, tales of knife wielding yardies competed with a biography of his band, after- parties and ecstasy soaked nights at the Pelican Club… After another half an hour of typing and deleting and pulling his hat back over his brow he threw it onto the floor in frustration and decided to listen to something on YouTube instead. He perched his laptop on his chest and pulled the quilt to his chin. He felt exasperated and exhausted, strung out and sleep deprived. He’d only dozed for a couple of hours the previous night and had woken at his usual 3.30am. The sound of The Master Pipers of Joujouka skirled and wailed and he began to use a breathing exercise he’d learned. Breath in for four, hold for two, out for six, in for four, hold for two… grayness gathered at the edges of his vision… he began to drift…
He was just escaping into a dream when a sharp rap on the door ripped him awake. He wasn’t expecting anyone. It was too late for the postman. He did a quick inventory of the possibilities and decided it could only be a debt collector, or worse, and decided he’d ignore it. The Moroccan drummers were tumbling over the reedy pipes, the music would give him away. Again came three short knocks but something about them didn’t sound like a burly drug squad officer, the knocks sounded somehow feminine, seductive even. Before he’d thought things through he’d thrown back the covers and was turning the key in the lock, it would be her, and she would probably be holding.
For some reason he didn’t even peek through the spy hole. He could almost smell her perfume. Luckily he’d put on his last pair of clean pinstriped pajama bottoms after his reluctant bath last night and he was wearing his favorite black t-shirt with blacker skeletons in top hats. He straightened his back to appear as tall as he could and swung open the door with a flourish. There, at his second floor bedsit was the eight foot tall being he instantly recognized as Baphomet.
The ass headed entity stared down at him with casual disinterest, a leather greatcoat covered the creature’s ample bosom. “Is Sorath here mate?”. Baphomet’s voice was deep and sounded remarkably like Keith Richards.
“Sorath?” the confused occultist replied.
“Yeah, y’know So-rath… the Sun Demon” the horned one said ‘Sun Demon’ like the diminutive human should be as familiar with the name as he would any celebrity, like Simon Cowell or Rihanna.
“Erm… no, em, mate, I’m Saroth, Saroth the Mage…”
“Aw, shit!” it dawned on them both there had been a mix up owing to the similarity of the two monickers. “Mind if I come in then Saroth, it’s a bit chilly out ‘ere mate”