Whispering walls grow corners, opening, pulsing, the beat of live tissue. The flat edges of reality pull loose by their own weight. They are made soft and flexible in a jumble of dancing textures. The walls magnify, contorting, pulling deeper, ever deeper, away from solid, recognizable understanding.
Everything breathes, everything fluid and constant in tumbling harmony.
The door opens, here I stand.
“Is it secure?”
“I want no foul-ups. Perfection. Nothing but perfection.”
Give and take, fluid, resonant in the deep. Pure sound calling. Calling me. Echoing my name on a thousand breezes. Calling kaddish, calling home. I magnify, pulled thin across the cosmos, searching. Everything is. Thin, full, known to all, everything is—just is.
I am this.
I am all.
I am sound and feeling, always condensing. I pull away from myself, this thing I have been, down, down, down, into a solid, becoming real. Warm with expectation.
Call kaddish, call.
Call me home, away from here. Blessed name, glorious forever, deepening, growing, waiting.
They hover. Bodiless faces, hovering, studying me with interest. I am
prickling with existence, a fish in a sea of myself.
Coagulated, crystallized, words fall out, silent, creeping low, haunted. Worlds swim from the darkened abyss of my mouth:
They make bricks, here. Spread from place to place, the rigid buildings grow neat, true from the soil, twisting up in hunched lines. In neat cubes, they clutter, crowded, standing proud and angry. Stand free, growing, growing, growing from my mouth, bigger and bigger until they are full in the shimmering air, puffing themselves larger, always larger, up into the cold, Christmas air.
Twisted forms pull themselves through the haunted snow. They are drawn into thin lines, dragging, growing slower until they fall and lie still, shrinking into themselves. Their horrid forms deflate, sinking to the ground, smaller and smaller, turned to dust in the shadow. Lost in eternal dark.
He isn’t dead, here.
Head not smashed, smiling his twisted, fooled-them, smile. Not dead, grinning. Lined, here, thrown against doors, over and over and over in my eye, his scream repeating for all eternity. He screams from my mouth, grinning, chattering names, voicing terrors that gather to cloud the sky with horrid smoke.
The spread out, spawning more and more buildings, clouding my vision in brick and smoke. Hungry, always hungry, reaching for more and more, gathering, consuming until…
“How long before we see results?”
“I have nothing to base it on—could be years.”
“You had best pray for sooner. There is much to do and years do not come cheap.”
“Yes, yes. I understand.”
He grows through the room, clutching the air with molten fingers, growing into it, shouting, screaming across a churning mill of writhing faces.
“Creative men,” he heaves, faces dancing to his rhythm, pulsing up and up to his demonic beat. “War with Germany will be the end. Annihilation. The final death of Abraham pulling, pulling down into this modern world of machines. The machine must grow, must go on and on and on and on and on and on
this roiling landscape pulls me forward, twitching through a hole of light in the darkening room, a window of nothing, set in nothing. The brickyard moves alone, now, content to manage itself in warmer air. It churns brick, churns wretched smoke over everything, his head smashing the heavy frame again and again and again.
The stores are all boarded, the glass never replaced in the square. A brisk summer sun lazes across the sky, looping color through itself. I feel for the underdeveloped arms, the scared, shaking limbs gripping my neck but they are gone, vanished under a dancing flame long ago.
The buildings are empty husks, skeletons of the shops where I gathered food for Seder. Matza for five, wine for eight glasses. Maror. Chazeret. Charoset, sweet brown, building pyramids in the restless desert sun. A karpas of tears, slaved over, backs broken for the feast. A sacrifice of egg and a shankbone of goat, watering every mouth in the empty shop. All closed, all redistributed under a smear of wild sun.
“The other is keeping attached, correct?”
“As far as I can tell. It is too early to make any concrete assessments but, I believe they are both holding firm to the other. No evidence of a break.”
“Good. Make note of any irregularities.”
Infinitesimal in the dark, hammering, growing larger and larger, gaping a demonic maw into a millennia of seconds. Eons, a flash of light, spreading open, roaring into the clear sky of all the world. The smallest, now largest on the horizon, burnt deep into the chasm of my mind. Making piles on piles in dirty, weighted water, they gather for war, saying ‘science,’ claiming ‘greater good.’
Teeth shine in an explosion of smiles.
Words reacting, not thinking of what to come, claiming new, forever, good, a world of power, going on and on, blanketing the world in the brilliance of a million suns.
“I had not thought of that,” he says. A sea-side town turns to dust. A boat of the dead, churning weighted water, on and on, into radiance. “They will have stopped sale from the newly acquired mines,” the harried voice whispers in twisted speech, snarling impatience. Skeletons turn to ash in my eye, marrow evaporating into singed air. “We too have the element.”
Infinitesimal in the dark, growing.
“Of such import, I will gather in Manhattan,” an old voice calls, heavy, droning old words in my ear. “I have chosen representatives.” They gather, working, waiting, praying for a breakthrough into oblivion.
They sky is smoke.
The sky is burning.
The sky is death.
I can see them, staring.
Scribbling away in notebooks under their chins.
Furrowing their brows at me from somewhere.
Dressed as Poles, they cry out against their own. Against native sons. Against home from the soapbox of the seized station. They leave a dead man behind, dead from infection, then shot, again and again in my mind. They turn and cry: “It is now! It is now!”
They tear the Danzig morning without pause, a cannonade rattling on and on over dark waters, wailing war, crying want, spilling greed over the year’s deep quiet. Wall crumble, thundering down in smoked vengeance.
They come from north, south and west, screaming death and need. Screaming from the sky. Screaming across fields and rivers. Screaming into homes, spitting a venom of lead. Lungs burn to char, bubbling last breaths under heaving waves of sky. The sky pulses up and up, choked with the tar of the dead. Up and up, greased with the heat of a million burning souls. Up and up droning death. Up and up and up and up and up and
the room is quiet. They stare and scribble in the notebooks under their chins. I try and push up but cannot move.
“Let me go!” I scream up into the room. The shadowed men jump, then push forward to crowd over me.
“Arms! Her arms, are they secure?!”
The closest form reaches down. I try and pull away but my arm is held fast, fused to something hard and cold under my back.
“She is still secure, sir. Impossible to pull loose from those straps. Especially someone so small.”
“Good.” The closest man’s face materializes. It is narrow. A pair of spectacles grows from his nose inches from my eyes. He studies me with cold interest.
“Pupils are still dilated but beginning to return to normal, now.”
“Good. Good. When she’s fully regained herself, cut her loose. If she resists, sedate her. I’m not having her ruin herself before she can come of some use.”