Danse Macabre


A few nights back I had a visit from the Grim Reaper.

Dreams like that are not accidental.  They aren’t simply one’s subconscious mind trying to organize the images of the day.  Sometimes they are in preparation for something.  Maybe I needed to make peace with something.  Who knows.

He walks among us, but he is not an evil spirit.  He is a force of nature.  Fear?  Of course we fear him – we all have survival instincts and no certainties or guarantees whatsoever that the end – our own death – isn’t indeed The End.  (See, this is why I don’t like using those 2 words to finish a novel.)  But we need not – or rather, there is no point in fearing the Reaper.





Trawling for these pictures, I found the last one (cowled skeleton with moon in background, playing the fiddle) that reminded me extremely of Falco Demonos.  There wasn’t going to be a book ad at the end of this post but I’ll link to “The Morrigan”, with this scene:

Federi stood in the doorway of the boardroom.  Ronan was playing a wistful mourn on the pipes, and both his sibs were accompanying, Paean on her violin and Shawn on the guitar.   It sounded like a herd of banshees.
Paean paused as she saw the Romany.
“Need your violin,” said Federi, moving into the boardroom.  Paean handed it to him.  Shawn stared at her, surprised; Ronan never missed a beat, immersed in his pipes.

Bagpipes or none, Federi lifted the violin and started playing.
It wasn’t loud.  Only moderately dissonant.  It got drowned in the bagpipe tune; but Shawn stopped his strumming and listened, astonished, and Paean took out her pennywhistle and started accompanying.  A second later, Shawn had his ocarina in his hands and was following Federi rather than Ronan, and the oldest Donegal paused in his loud droning.  The hum of conversation dropped away, and then there was only the quiet, weird music.

It was a nice instrument.  He watched how eyes glazed as the tune wove its way around the listeners.  The two younger Donegals, and then Ronan on his guitar followed him down those smoky alleys back into the dark sixties where a gypsy fiddler leaned against the wall of a burnt-out factory, playing his heart out in the red sunset.  Calling the night.
Perdita’s eyes widened.
“Of course!  The genius!”  She paged Wolf.  “Wolf, key the following into the console!”
“I’m not on the bridge, Perdita.”
“Then who is?”
She tried again, calling Jonathan Marsden.
“Jon!  Listen!  Put the following into the Solar Wind’s console.”
She dictated numbers and letters, a code that made no sense to Marsden at all.  But he did confirm that he was keying them in.  Perdita listened for the next few seconds and paged through the next combination.  It was all coming back, in its torrents.


Calling the night.  And the night descended.  The Ceilidh phased out around him; he pushed the Crystal’s illusion back with Falco’s disharmonies, keeping the boardroom and its musicians there, on the edge of his reality.  Hanging onto the Donegal Troubles’ accompaniments which were – frankly – brilliant.  They should become Falco’s sidekicks.   Everything around him was only halfway solid; dreamlike.  Overlaid with scenes from the burnt-out, ruined Sixties.  Still smouldering from the nuclear bombings.

What are you doing, Federi D?
Communicating straight into his head again!
If you had anything to do with the setting up of those locks, thought Federi, you know exactly what I’m doing!
You’ve hypnotized Perdita!
I doubt that.  I’ve hypnotized everyone else, except her!sw5-2Dsml
You’re riding the legend, said the Central Crystal disgustedly.
Not riding the legend.  Overriding the locks.
You’re exploiting what they think they know about you!
Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe they all just love music.


(I can’t post more than this without turning it into a serious spoiler.)

Here’s the link again:

“The Morrigan” (Solar Wind 5) on Smashwords




4 thoughts on “Danse Macabre

  1. The preamble to the Saint-Saëns video reminds me of one of the Anna Lund episodes in ‘From My Cold, Undead Hand’ – the one where Anna follows a very ancient vampire to a Finnish graveyard but is unable to intervene between the vampire and its victim…

  2. Pingback: 4th May, 2016. I saw it coming. – the red ant

  3. Pingback: Today’s Scoop – the red ant

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