Discovering The Order Of Nine Angles
A printed copy of the above compilation is available:
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Discovering The Order Of Nine Angles
A printed copy of the above compilation is available:
click on image below
This was not what he expected. He had spent months, following his reading of The Satanic Bible, posting replies on self-described ‘satanic’ internet forums to such an extent that he – or rather his self-assumed pseudonym – had garnered a certain positive reputation among other self-described ‘satanists’ all of whom seemed to revere and regularly quote that book written as it was by a certain Howard Stanton Levey, who of course used a pseudonym in order to hide his real identity, given the plagiaristic nature of most of the contents of that mass-produced and now rather popular book.
Plying him with praise – massaging his ego – they, using the ‘private message’ facilities on such internet forums, had enticed him here on a warm albeit cloudy day in late August. Enticed, because the messages were supposedly from a young woman who had expressed an interest in him given – or so she said – his knowledge of satanism. And which messages had sometimes included a web-link to suggestive images of a certain young women.
So there he was, a mere nineteen years of age and self-assured as he was, waiting in the fading twilight for the promised tryst with that voluptuous young woman. Waiting, hoping, his head-piece filled with both sexual and egoistic dreams. There: where ancient, twisted, often moss-covered, trees of Oak had settled and grown near a long-abandoned stone quarry in the county borderland that marked the edge of the English Peak District national park.
Waited, until he could but dimly see a figure approach him. Then she and him were both smiling, if for different reasons; and he was so intent on leering at her that he neither saw nor heard the approach of those behind him: those three women who crept upon him to bind his wrists behind his back.
Of course he struggled; or tried to. Kicking out and shouting obscenities as he lay, bound, on his back. For was he not a proud satanist who believed in indulgence, in treating those who annoyed you cruelly and without mercy, in what lex talionis meant and implied? Who was he – with his youthful masculine body honed by regular training in a gym – to be subdued by mere women?
But they were mocking him before, in the twilight dark, placing a hood over his head, gagging him, and carrying him down toward a nearby narrow stream where heavy stones were placed on his legs, arms, abdomen, and chest; almost – but not quite – crushing them.
So it was that he, supine, heard a feminine voice declaim:
Here is he who believed he knew our secret:
But just look at him now and laugh
For we have so easily overcome his much-believed-in outer strength.
Now, wash your throats with sparkling wine
For Sirius returns
And we women are warm and wanton!
Before me, you were sightless:
You looked, but could not see;
Before me, you had no hearing:
You heard sounds, but could not listen.
Before me, you swarmed with men,
But did not enjoy.
But I arrived, opened my body and
Brought you lust, softness, understanding, and love.
My breasts pleased you
And brought forth darkness and much joy.
I, who crushes your enemies and who washes in a basin full of
For you are my daughters and a nexion to our Dark Gods:
Before you my sisters I offer you this body so that his blood
Will feed your virgin flesh.
He heard laughter, the sound of bottles of Champagne being opened, and then – not that long thereafter – felt the dreadful pain as a sharp long-bladed knife slit his throat. So he gasped, gurgled, as his life-blood drained away, some of it collected in a basin to be smeared on breasts and faces.
Dark Daughters of Baphomet
127 Year Of Fayen
Her opfer was dead and she took advantage of her night seclusion to mutilate his body, stabbing at his eyes with her hand-crafted Puma knife before castrating him in a symbolic act and stuffing his mouth with her severed trophies. She had enticed him there, having hunted him down in a far more unemotional way than he had hunted, and raped, his female victims over a period of some years, and – there – in that clearing in a copse in the hills of South Shropshire she left his body for wild animals, and Ravens, to do with it what instinctively they were wont to – and fittingly would – do.
Melusine was waiting for her when, some hours later, she returned to the cottage they shared near where the River Teme wound its slow and ancient rural way toward the town of Ludlow. No words between them were needed and they left the files strewn upon the kitchen tables to wend their way toward a bath to cleanse her of the blood and then to the bedroom that they for several years had shared. Tomorrow, tomorrow, there would be time enough to peruse those files again to choose another victim; files supplied by a male law enforcement friend who – beguiled by, in love with, and a lover of – Melusine so willingly kept them informed.
Dawn with its Summer warmth and early light found her languidly naked and she kissed her sleeping lover before – as a ballet dancer might – she gracefully descended the stairs. There was Champagne to open, a full flute to raise in honour and memory of her deed, and she settled down to read those files, remembering. Yes, always remembering her own young so innocent sister who so many years ago had been brutally raped and murdered.
He had laughed when she had found him, certain as he was of his strength. For she was only a slip of a young woman knocking angrily on the door of his council flat in that London borough. But he did not see the seven round two-and-half inch barrel stainless steel revolver she hid behind her back, and he, intent again on rape, was about to grab her by the throat when she shot him in the face and then – as he lay twitching and bloodied on the ground – twice in the head. She smiled, then, for he had fancied himself a modern urban predator, his flat home to posters of lurid horror films and a small bookshelf containing works by Nietzsche, de Sade, and a well-thumbed paperback copy of The Satanic Bible. He even had the phrase “Satan represents indulgence” tattooed on his chest.
But there he lay, dead; conquered by a mere slip of a young woman. For her inner darkness was more dark and deadly than he or his Homo Hubris kind could ever conceive, except perhaps in such a sleeping nightmare as would wake them, sweating, having had them kicking their night-time coverings away as they sought to but were unable to flee from some loathsome if unseen terror.
So she that bright Summer morning once again washed her throat with champagne, believing as she did in her right to hunt down and cull any such male mundane.
A Story of Paganism and Political Intrigue
To So Acausally Be Alive
They were there even if no human – no human technology – could detect them. There, deep below the surface of that ocean.
But she had dreamed of them, every day for months, and just had to go. Down, deep down, where no human could survive. Would they welcome or ignore her so leaving her to die?
Nevertheless, she dived; she had to dive there from a chartered boat and miles beyond where the ocean left the island of Puerto Rico far far behind. Dived in her wet-suit, in her life-giving mask with her deep-sea tanks of breathable Earth atmosphere strapped upon her human back.
But no one – no human, no alien being or beings – came to save her. And so she descended, unconscious, down deeper down, until her human life left her and her body touched, deathly fell upon, the dark abyssal ocean floor.
But something – something strange and not quite human within her – somehow remained alive; unseeing, unthinking in human words; and needing no breathable atmosphere to live. For some-thing within her was somehow aware in a non-phenomenal, unhuman, way of some type of non-body dwelling living beings surrounding and welcoming her, there.
She, the human, was dead. A mere corpse to be fed upon by such sightless sea – ocean-dwelling – denizens as had evolved to exist in such a watery unlit deep.
But the un-human part of her was home, at last. Home and now living in those acausal, those timeless, dimensions where some of her Earth-seeding ancestors still lived. For as she then so wordlessly understood every descended semi-human being had to mortally, to causally, die in order to so acausally live.
Winter came early to the Shropshire town: a cold wind with brief hail that changed suddenly to rain to leave a damp covering of mist.
An old man in an old cart drawn by a sagging pony crossed himself as he saw Yapp shuffle by him along the cobbled lane toward the entrance to the Raven Inn. It was warm, inside the ancient Inn, but dark from fire and pipe smoke, and Yapp took his customary horn of free ale to sit alone on his corner bench by the log fire. The silence that had followed his entrance soon filled, and only one man still stared at him.
The man was Abigail’s husband, and he pushed his cap back from his forehead before moving toward Yapp. His companions, dressed like him in their work clothes, tried to restrain him, but he pushed them aside. He reached Yapp’s table and kicked it aside with his boot.
Slowly Yapp stood up. He was a wiry man and seemed insubstantial beside the bulk of Abigail’s husband.
“Wha you been doin? To her!” Abigail’s husband clenched his fists and moved closer.
Yapp stared at him, his unshaven face twitching slightly, and then he smiled.
“I canna move! I canna move!” shouted Abigail’s husband.
Yapp smiled again, drank the rest of his ale and walked slowly toward the door.
“I be beshrewed!” the big man cried among the silence.
Yapp turned to him, made a gesture with his hand and left the Inn as Abigail’s husband found himself able to move.
No one followed Yapp outside.
A carriage and pair raced past him as he walked down the lane. The young lady inside, heading for the warmth and comfort of Priory Hall was alarmed at seeing him and turned away. This pleased him, as the prospect of the walk to his cottage, miles distant, pleased him – for it was the night of Autumnal Equinox.
The journey was not tiresome, and he enjoyed the walk, the mist and darkening sky that came with the twilight hour. The moon would be late to rise, and he walked briskly. Soon, he was above the town and at the place where the three lanes met. His own way took him down, past the small collection of cottages, almhouses and a church, toward the wooded precints of Yarchester Hall. He stopped, once, but could not see the distant summit of Brown Clee Hill where he had possessed Abigail.
It had been a long ride back in the wind and the rain, but the horses had been strong, almost wild, and he smiled in remembrance, for that night Abigail has warmed his bed.
Tomorrow, perhaps, they might go to Raven’s Seat. It would be all over by then, for another seventeen years. No one would stop or trouble them.
His way lead into the trees, along a narrow path, down the Devil’s Dingle to Hangster’s Gate and the clearing. There was nothing in the clearing – except the mist-swathed gibbet with its recent victim swinging gently in the breeze. He would need the hand, and with practiced care, he unsheathed his knife to stretch and cut the dead man’s left hand away.
Less than a day old, the body had already lost its eyes to ravens.
It was not far from the clearing to his cottage, and he walked slowly, every few moments stopping to stand and listen. There was nothing, no sound – except a faint sighing as the breeze stirred the trees around. A lighted candle shone from the one small window of his cottage. It was a sign, and he stopped to creep down and glimpse inside. There were voices inside and as he looked he saw Abigail standing near a young man. He saw her draw the youth toward her and place his hand on her breast. Heard her laughing; saw her kiss the youth and press her body into his. Then she was dancing around him, laughing and singing as she stripped her clothes away to lay naked and inviting on the sphagnum moss that formed the mattress of Yapp’s bed. Then the youth was upon her, struggling to wrest himself from his own clothes.
Yapp heard people approaching along the track and he stood up to hear Abigail’s cries of ecstasy. He waited, until they reached him and they all heard Abigail climax with a scream. The he was inside the cottage, with the others around him. The youth was surprised and tried to stand and Yapp stood aside to let them pin him down on the hard earth floor of the cottage.
An old woman in a dirty bonnet gave a toothless laugh – Abigail laughed, even Yapp laughed as the tall blacksmith tore out the youth’s heart. The was a pail for some of the blood.
Abigail was soon dressed, the body taken away and she led Yapp and the old woman through the trees to another clearing. The moon was rising, the blood was fresh and she took the severed hand from Yapp to dip it in the blood and sprinkle their sacred ground to propitiate their Dark Goddess Baphomet.
Order of Nine Angles
To the uninitiated, the gathering in a seminar room in one of the smaller Oxford colleges during the long vacation seemed to be a small group of academics meeting to discuss abstruse matters relating to their professional fields of interest, or – perhaps – a meeting of business people gathered to discuss some corporate strategy or other. Or, perhaps more realistically, a combination of both the foregoing, as possibly befitted the recent move in academia toward finding suitable necessary funds; certainly, the majority of the thirteen participants seemed to have dressed accordingly.
The four men in greyish well-fitting suits with ties announcing some alma-mater or some other form of inclusion: the black and red of an Old Malburian, the rather garish wide brown-yellow-blue stripes of another school, and the more subdued small green and white stripes (on a blue background) of a certain military unit. The older, bearded, professorial-looking man wearing well-worn tweed whose straight-grain briar pipe peeped out from his jacket pocket. The seven women who, while rather disparate in terms of age, all sported the corporate look: figure-fitting woollen skirted suits or shift dresses, all in neutral colours, together with sheer-tights. And, for some reason, all seven wore almost matching necklaces of small, fine, white, freshwater pearls.
Obviously, or so the uninitiated would have guessed, the two other women were post-graduates, or perhaps recently appointed to senior management positions. Not that it was their comparative youth or their most elegant colourful manner of dress that gave them away. Instead, it was a somewhat initial awkward self-consciousness, as if this was their first time attending such a triennial gathering. For they only vaguely knew one person there, having only met him once so very many years ago when he, after that concert of Renaissance music, had sought them out to present them with a leather-bound book and then silently take his leave.
As for this gathering, those two young women had received their unheralded invitation only weeks before, in early Summer following their successful Autumnal culling. An invitation anonymously hand-delivered to the town house they shared; intriguingly consisting as that invitation did of an encrypted message on high quality paper embossed with a certain sigil. The next day, a key to the cipher was left; an image of the three-dimensional esoteric ‘simple star game’; and while it did not take them long to understand its significance as the required ‘straddling board’ for a Vic cipher, it took them three nights of sleepless toil to break the code, for the English alphabet and the numerals zero to nine were mapped to certain squares of the seven boards of that game, ascertained by the star name of a board and by how the pieces in the image – each piece marked by symbols – were placed on them.
To the pleasurable surprise of the newcomers, the Oxonia gathering on that warm summer morning formally began not with words – not with declamations or invokations or even some speechifying speech – but rather with four of the women, who, having extracted their instruments from their cases and tuned them, very professionally played the Andante of Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen. Which music set the cultured – the non-mundane – tone of the gathering, as it had at all the others.
No formal introductions, only the professorial-looking man – softly-spoken with a well-educated accent – giving a short informal talk, as if reminiscing to family and close friends. Then, a brief discussion concerning certain strategic things, ended by that gathering’s always cultured end: bottles of Krug Clos du Mesnil opened, their contents shared. And there were invitations, of course, to dinner parties for those elegantly attired young ladies, who now most certainly belonged.
“The third phase is also where we can expand slowly, nefariously, in the traditional manner by the clandestine personal recruitment of suitable people, which in practice means those useful to us individually in our own lives, and potentially or actually useful to our Aeonic aims, and who also possess culture: that is, the four distinguishing marks which are (1) the instinct for disliking rottenness (an instinct toward personal honour), (2) reason, (3) a certain empathy, and (4) a familiarity with the accumulated pathei-mathos of the past few thousand years manifest as this pathei-mathos is in literature, Art, music, memoirs, myths/legends, and a certain knowledge of science and history…
We aid those associated with us or inspired by us to carry out particular esoteric and exoteric tasks and functions such as their individual discovery of Lapis Philosophicus. For we seek to not only preserve, and add to, the knowledge and the understanding that both esoteric and exoteric individual pathei-mathos have bequeathed to us, but to manifest a new type of culture and imbue it with such acausal energies that its archetypes/mythoi will enable, over an Aeonic timescale, a significant evolutionary change in our species, regardless of what occurs in the ‘mundane world’ in respect of such causal things as wars, revolutions, changes of government, and the decline and fall of nations and States. Which is why we are, in everything but name, a secret society within modern mundane societies; and a society slowly but surely, over decades, growing individual by recruited/assimilated individual.”
Image credit: Banais (Lady of The Wedding). A painting by Richard Moult.
There was nothing outwardly suspicious about the house. It was, apparently, just a normal, old, three-story English town house, built of red brick with a tiled pitched roof whose front sash windows overlooked that narrow – now thankfully traffic-free – short cobbled street and whose wooden front door – raised one step above street level – opened directly onto the widthless pavement.
Positioned as it was in the centre of the town between two churches, St Mary The Virgin and St Alkmund’s, only a few yards from a timbered framed early 17th Century building, and providing as the street did easy pedestrian access to Butcher Row, Grope Lane, and Fish Street, scores of people walked past the house every day, oblivious to the fact that there was another story, hidden below street level: a lower, windowless, ground floor of brick-vaulted ceilings and quarry-tiled floors accessible only from the Sitting Room by an enclosed, door-secured, stone staircase. And it was there, where the only light came from candles and from a warming fire in the brick-built fireplace, that the two young women had, and late last Autumn, undertaken their rite of human culling.
Like the outer appearance of their house, there was nothing outwardly suspicious about those women. No occult jewellery; no trendy hairstyles; no tattoos or body piercings. Their clothes and accessories were discreet, an understated elegance replicated in the interior of their home. Replicated even in the first floor bathroom – one of two in the house – which gave no indication of the events that late Autumn evening when they two, friends and lovers since the Sixth Form, had efficiently with surgical precision dismembered the body; clinically cleaning the bath and its surround until not a trace of death remained, a fact ascertained by the judicious use of a forensic light source.
Their male opfer had been easy, so very easy, to find and entrap. A first killing planned years in advance when they – following a most wyrdful meeting with a strange itinerant bearded man – had studiously researched the occult, choosing university courses and then appropriate occupations to provide them with some of the necessary skills. For one, it was forensic science and a detailed knowledge of anatomy; for the other, investigative experience and useful, professional, contacts with local law enforcement and social services.
As befitted both their personal agenda and their sinister tradition, he – their opfer – had chosen himself. He had a history of violence toward his wife; toward other women; and was once tried in a court of law for rape with the trial halted when his victim – the only prosecution witness – failed to appear in court. He, smiling, was found not guilty and released. She, the prosecution witness, was found the following day near her school, having hung herself from the branch of a tree until she was dead. A week later, and he himself was ensnared: a young woman at night in a Bar, a few words exchanged, and he was there in their house where a drugged drink sufficed, no need for the shadowing armed chaperone until, as planned, they took the mundane down below to smilingly throttle him by the neck until he, for his sins, was satisfyingly dead.
Thus, as they had correctly surmised, no one would miss or even bother to try to find that violent misogynist man; his body parts neatly wrapped, weighed down, and scattered at sea one sunny weekend when, as was often their routine, those lovers travelled to where their small inshore boat was berthed in a Marina. With disposal – and then their passionate lustful intimate Champagne celebrations – over, they began to plan to do a killing deed again and perhaps again, after all of which they, as they had that Autumn evening, would together on the Stiperstones to chant their valedictory chant:
Wash your throats with wine
For we have returned to bring forth Darkness and Joy:
We accept there is no law, no authority, no justice
Except our own
And that culling is a necessary act of Life.
We believe in one guide, Satan,
And in our right to cull mundanes.
There was nothing more she could do, for her life’s blood was seeping away there where she lay upon that cold uncarpeted floor and he, her killer, stood over her smiling, proudful of and arrogant in his strength.
He had taken her by surprise, intent on rape, while she entered alone, recently returned from work, to her warmful Riverdale house that Winter’s day when snow cast its happy – for some – Yuletide spell amid another New York moment that found the busy nearby Henry Hudson Parkway full of impatient, hopeful, and weary, home-bound drivers.
But he had not reckoned on the gun. That gun that she always carried with her and which she, though surprised at his intrusion, had somehow in some way managed to retrieve from her designer handbag to shoot him, despite her intention, only in the thigh. Crazed, some injured animal, he had then rushed toward her to pummel with flailing fists at her body and then her face. For how dare she, how dare she, how dare some mere woman, injure, hurt, and draw blood from him.
So she lay, dimly seeing and increasingly unfeeling, her blood slowly seeping away there where her elegant center hall of wide plank oak floor gave way to her custom island kitchen and thence to that sitting room of the ornate stone fireplace, a fireplace prepared – ready – for her to light that fire that would that night have both warmed and comforted her. But he did not care for her pain, her blood, her dreams, her hope, her slowly-dying, and had begun to loosen the belt on his trousers, ready and eager still to force himself upon her. The more brutal, the more blood, the better it would be for him. And he would have her, yes he would have her – insert himself into her – in every place of hers he could, as he had done with several women before.
What could she, in her dying weakness, do? Perhaps only slowly, so slowly, struggle to remember those ancestral sibulations that, as a child, her mother had taught her there where those Ozark hills had nurtured a young girl fond of bare-foot running and swimming naked in a lake. Ancestral memories, perhaps, of those ancient almost forgotten ones who once in the homeland Albion isles had lingered in communal-memory. A memory of Dragons some said, with a smile. And he was almost upon her – smirking, eager, erect, bare – when she began to intone her sibilatory chant.
He – maddened, by lust – did not see nor sense the reality-rend behind him. The darkness that opened slowly, worm-slowly, there where her Riverdale hallway suddenly darkened and where a city reality gave way to some-thing more powerful, more real, that – aeonically atavistic – still lingered for some when sweating from night-terrors they awoke glad, a god-given glad, to find themselves back amid a bustling, noiseful, modern metropolis. “Got Bed Bugs?” the subway ad read, and they were reassured, so welcomingly reassured, by that reality, at least.
He did not see nor sense what was moving, silently, toward him. And even had he seen – or heard – he would never have understood. She would – must – have his blood and drain him dry. And when she – they – were finished, she rose uninjured there where all that remained was some dustful stain on a warmful floor.
So it was that – beauty, youth, vitality, renewed – she happily thankfully realized, remembered, what the city had that she now most assuredly and lustfully required.
She was dead, and all he could do was hold her still warm hand while the cold wind outside rattled the sash-framed window and the bedside light spread its circle of dim light upon the bed. Outside, in the dark of that cloudy night, the Cockerel began to crow. There was an Owl, then and not far away, screeking for a while, and Oswald sat by old Oak bed – beside her now Earthly-lifeless body – hardly breathing, and he was still there as the dull Dawn broke beyond the window and his sister showed the Doctor into the room who, holding to his modern profession, pretended not to notice the folk-charms entwined around the headboard and the small glass bottles of home-made unctions on the dark, old, table where a faded sepia photograph in a tarnished silver frame showed a comely women in a bonnet holding what appeared to be Venetian full-face mask of unsmiling bearded man.
Oswald left them, then, to descend the steep stairs of the old, cold, stone-built Shropshire farmhouse, gather his tweed cap from the peg by the back door, and to wander into the old Dairy that abutted the back of the farmhouse. His three farm dogs were pleased to see him, and he let them out from their sleeping quarters where they fastly ran – as they always did each morning – into the yard and then into the meadow field behind the barn. Oswald himself – slowly now, like the old man he might be in twenty years – walked the short distance to the old Orchard of decaying Apple trees that held the wooden chicken coup, and he was unfastening that door, having removed the long bolt that held it in place – a defence against the Fox – when he remembered he had forgotten the Chicken’s feed.
This had been her job – except for the past weeks of her illness – and an early task she liked, and he returned to the old Dairy to gather a pail full of feed. Then, the chickens freed and fed, he leant on the wooden gate – one end tied to the sagging almost broken wooden post by bailing twine – to watch them as they spread out among the tufted field of grass, pecking, searching. For twenty-five years – for twenty-five years – she had brought love, companionship, and a mostly wordless esoteric understanding to his rural and rather taciturn life.
Slowly the low alto-cumulus cloud, westerly-wind-driven, broke to reveal patches of blue, and once, twice, one of the farm cats came to attract his attention, meowing – from a safe distance – in search of easy food. Then, disappointed, it sauntered off back toward the barn where during the day and sometimes at night it slept among the hay.
Oswald must have stood for a long time at the gate, for his sister came to stand beside him and place her hand gently upon his shoulder. “The Doctor’s gone, and I’ve made some breakfast. He’ll give us the Death Certificate in a few days.”
He turned, and briefly smiled a sad half-smile as the wind caught the blonde hair that has somehow escaped from his sister’s single rather old-fashioned plait. Years younger than him, she had been – was – married, but those recent and few childless years were not kind to her as he, her husband, squandered their meagre earnings every evening at the Inn in the village where they lived and his fists of paranoid jealous fury bruised her body, bleak week after bleak bruising week, while her plain soft beauty was beginning to become gradually broken down.
But here, there was a peaceful calm, and for a minute – more – they, brother, sister, stood together. No words could capture their sorrow, no gesture relieve the sadness and the pain, and so they walked slowly across the muddy yard to sit at the table in that large kitchen. Jane had made and lit a fire in the glass-fronted woodburning stove and they sat, at the Oak table, upon their worn Oak chairs, to eat – to be – in silence.
Their peace, the silence, did not last, and the loud persistent rapping on the front door roused Oswald from his remembering of times past so lovingly, so esoterically, shared.
“Where’s she?” Jane’s husband demanded, before pushing a surprised Oswald aside and rushing along the hall into the kitchen.
Jane sat there, at the table, unmoving.
“You slut!” He shouted, and went to grab her arm. He was a tall man of stocky build, his complexion ruddied by his outdoor working life, and he had hoisted her to his feet when Oswald intervened, grasping the man’s left arm.
“Keep out of this!” Jane’s husband shouted, easily freeing himself from Oswald’s grip.
Oswald took several steps back before saying, “Get out of my house, now.”
“Or what?” Jane’s husband said, turning toward Oswald and smiling, arrogantly sure of himself, of his physical prowess. “Come on then! You stupid little twat! You and your kind don’t frighten me!”
“You didna heed our warning,” Oswald hatefully said to him.
The scars on the man’s face were still visible, but the beating had done nothing to change his temper and he lurched toward Oswald. Jane tried to restrain her husband, but he shoved her violently away and she fell to the floor.
Suddenly, Oswald himself became enraged. This intrusion into his house, the assault on his sister, the man’s arrogance – but perhaps most of all the darkness, curving, growing, within him – combined to transform him in that instant and he became an instinctive animal rushing toward a menacing intruder.
Then they were on the ground, grappling with each other, overturning furniture and chairs, until Oswald with a dark growing strength pinned his adversary down, his fists pummelling pummelling the man’s head and face until his fury, his animal fury, subsided. He got up, then, as Jane embraced him, and they stood together – brother and sister – for what seemed a long time while, outside, the Sun of early October rose into a clear sky and a few cars passed along the narrow hedged-lined country lane that joined the hamlet of his farmhouse to the village that bore her loveless marriage-home.
It was the barking of the three returning dogs that roused them, and she went to kneel down to her husband as her brother stood, with bloodied knuckles, holding onto the back of a chair.
“He is dead…” her quiet voice said.
They sat there at their breakfast table, in silence, for nearly half an hour. He did not explain what he was going to do, and she did not ask, but she helped him lift the dead body of her husband into the hand cart that her brother brought to the back door of the Dairy and watched him haul it away, followed by his dogs, before she attended to the mess in the kitchen.
There was furniture to right; broken crockery to collect, dispose of; blood-stains on the tiled floor to clean and wash away. And she had restored the place to its former neat, clean, appearance – the table set again – when he returned, sweaty, muddy, bloody. She made a pot of tea, and they drank with no words between them until she said, “His car…”
He changed his clothes to leave to drive that car far enough away, and it was a long walk back, over hilly fields, a stream, from the place of its abandonment, so that by the time he returned there was an Undertaker’s van parked where the wooden lane-hedged gate led to the farmyard behind his house. But Jane had dealt with everything in his absence and he was left to stand, cap in hand, by his front garden fence, as the two sombre men discreetly completed the last part of their business, respectfully bowing their heads toward him before Jane handed each of them a gift, wrapped in hessian sacking.
“You must be hungry,” Jane said as she came to her brother to hold his hand while he watched the black van trundle away along the lane.
“No,” he sighed as a wistful desire to have his wife back, alive, assailed him.
“You really should eat something.”
And she went down to cellar darkness to fetch a special-something, glass-jar kept, that she with her old-knowing knew would aid him.
That day set the pattern for their lives together, for he would rise early – as he had done for decades – to begin the toiling tasks of his day while she busied herself with domestic duties. They seldom spoke – for there seemed no need – and he dourly went about his business on the farm, tending to his scores of free-range Tamworth pigs, until the funeral day arrived. It was a quiet affair, as he desired, at the village Church six miles distant, and of the seven mourners present he, in his one suit, of brown Tweed, spoke to only three: village ladies of elderly years who came, respectfully, dressed in black.
“Such a grieving you must have for your Rounwytha,” one of them whisperingly said after a sand-filled coffin had been laid in earth where the ancient Yew stretched forth its branches over old graves in a hedge-lined corner.
“Yes,” he mumbled.
“Come you now,” another said, and touched his hand. “There’ll be another, I know.”
He sighed then as she – outwardly elderly, frail, with a face of former youthful beauty – looked at him with esoteric smile. He felt the old strength there, within her, as it had been within his wife, and as she the elderly passed part forth to be again with him, he was again the land around. For there was a still warm Sun to breathe his – their – world with Life; a Buzzard circling in skies above; a breeze to break by sound of leaves such churchyard silence as then entwined them.
“Jane awaits,” the lady said, “she’s free, now,” and he – as if bidden – loped away to stand beside his fair young sister. The four coffin-bearers, mourners – tough, sinewed – bowed their heads toward him, and Jane acknowledged them with smile. For there would be gifts again for them, as when after one early night not long passed they had met to warn to beat her bully-husband.
It was weeks later on one dry Sunny cold morning day when, after such premonition as awoke her, they had their only reason to return, placing fresh flowers on that empty grave as two un-local men approached them.
“I’m sorry to trouble you,” the taller and older of the men said to Oswald’s sister. “I’m Detective Constable Judd.” He fumbled in the inner pocket of his suit for his Warrant Card. “Shrewsbury CID. Would it be alright if I asked you a few questions? About your husband.”
Jane politely smiled at him.
“When did you last see your husband?” he asked.
“A few weeks ago – on the morning that my brother’s wife died. Why?”
“His employer reported him missing. We found his car, abandoned. You’ve not heard from him since then?”
“You’re staying with your brother, I understand?”
“She has been,” Oswald interjected, “since before when my wife was ill.”
“Did he arrive by car?” the Policeman asked Jane.
“What time did he leave?”
“Some hours before the undertakers arrived at noon.”
“Would you mind telling me why you left to stay with your brother?”
Oswald interjected again. ” ‘Cos he was bad news, that’s why. The drink. The gambling. Not to mention the beatings. Cowardly bastard.”
“I see,” Judd said, revealing no emotion.
“Best thing she ever did,” Oswald continued, “leaving him. Didn’t want go back, neither.”
“You didn’t like him?” Judd asked Oswald.
“Made no secret of it. Anyone from round here tell you that. Many people round here didn’t like that one – always fighting, riling people he was. Came see her that morning – told him to go.”
“And he did?”
“He did. I said to him: my wife’s just died – he knew she was ill, dying, that Jane was looking after her – and he must have had some heart in him somewhere I suppose, for he just up and left, went away, not saying a word.”
“You have not heard from him, since?”
“No, I haven’t,” Jane answered.
“You’re not concerned?” Judd asked her.
She shook her head, but it was Oswald who said, “Why would she? Better off where she is. Should ‘ave left him long time ago.” Then, turning to his sister, “Never knew why’s you married him.”
“I loved him. Least ways, I did, once,” she replied.
“Thank you, thank you,” Judd said to both of them, meaning it. “If you hear from him, I’d appreciate it if you would let us know.”
“Yes, yes of course,” Jane said.
Then they were gone, walking back to their car parked by the low stone wall that bounded the South side of that Churchyard.
“Routine,” Jane said to him, and they did not speak of the matter again either as they walked the miles on footpath and over hill back to the farm, or as they resumed their daily routine, nor at night, their day of tasks complete, when he – tired – went to his room, and she to hers.
So October gave way to cold, damp, sunless November where their trees became barren of leaves, apples were stored away, hedge berries picked for jam, early darkness descended, and there was need of an evening fire in the stone fireplace of the sitting room where they would sit, each in their own worn familiar chair, in silence: she, more often than not reading by dim light of nearby lamp, and he staring into flames. Each Friday would find him alone in daylight hours, for she left to leave him alone with his work, driving his rust-stained car to town, ten miles distant, to buy whatever supplies they needed, while Sunday Dawn would find them together in their silence – in whatever weather – in large-pond field by old Albert-Oak whose fulsome branches thickly sheltered grave of Oswald’s wife. Jane would scatter flowers then upon the leaf-littered grass to say her ancient intonations, grand-mother given, for they and she were of that ancient way which grieved them with that scent of Earth and bade them welcome warm Spring as time to grow and darkening Autumn as time to store, when perchance a certain sacrifice was due as turned that Earth of theirs past seventeen seasons of each life-bearing Summer.
Thus did their routine continue until that late evening three days past the fullness of the moon when such a storm as brought some tree branches down in old Orchard swept across the hilly border land with beating rain. He had been out, securing, checking, fences, pens, pigs, and returned soaked, his left hand gashed by wire. She came to him then, as he – boots, torn waterproofs, divested in the Dairy – stood by wood stove in that kitchen. There was bandage, for his hand, warmth of female fingers gentle on his wrist, and he turned to look at her, holding softly her by arms.
She was smiling as a young girl, nervous, and he so close he could smell her lavender scented freshly bathed body wrapped in flannelette nightdress patterned by small pink flowers. So he yearning moved closer until their bodies touched to feel her breasts slightly lightly pressing against him. He kissed her then, very gently, on her lips, and she did not flinch nor move away and so they walked, bodies touching, yearning, those steep stairs to her room where she helped him, and slowly, remove still wet clothes, as he helped her free her body from warming long nightdress.
No words spoken when he kissed her breasts and when they lay, side by side and naked, for a while, tenderly touching, kissing, before he moved to lie above her to ease her legs apart with his to place himself inside her warmth while rain made sounds upon the panes of bedroom window and wind creaked trees and she eagerly held him, wrapping her legs around his back, and his thrusts sweated them until after long-lasting rhythm she then he groaned to spasm in pure lascivious joyful-delight.
He did not leave her then, but slept – as he knew she wished as storm outside gave way to peace – in her arms under a warming duvet until the light of day awoke them.
There were no words between them, then that Dawn, only kisses, with she kissing him until he aroused again let her lie upon him and guide him into her. He held her breasts to feel their warmth and softness, to kiss each nipple. And when he stopped, she with silent gestures urged him on until his teeth massaged each now protruding one in turn harder and harder as her rising and then descending quickened in pace until her own shuddering desired ecstasy came when he madly-desiring turned her now relaxing body to be below him to be ecstatically within her until that moment of arching back and straining body when all the seed left within him was joyfully drained away to be with her.
They needed no words and none were said on that morning or on those that followed each of their then every shared night together, and in the days after they began again to be at peace, joyful, slowly at first, and then when – three weeks later – she quietly suggested they be joined on-ground in hill-top field, trees-around, he, somberly, remembering, agreed. And so they did, on coldish full-moon night when body of naked sister warmed naked brother while they entwined brought forth such a wrydful knowing as filled them both to overflowing to bring a warmth to rouse trees from beginning Winter sleep and even soil itself, promising fruitful growth when Sun-warmth came forth next Earthly-solar-cycle, while – nearby as Buzzard fly – a lady with a face of former youthful beauty before wood-fire sat, wrydful, knowing, smiling, knitting baby-clothes.
Winter saw them together, happy, keeping that their silence, until that morning when she awoke, late, long after he had departed to his work. She was uneasy, then, for a while, feeling as she had for days how her body had changed even before the nausea made her, briefly, stand to steady herself. She went to him, then, dressed, as he toiled away, cleaning out one of the many breeze-block pens which at night and during hardy stormy weather held his porcine stock.
“I’m with child,” she directly said.
He was pleased, elated, and went to embrace her – but desisted, given his smelly dirty working clothes.
He came in then to kitchen, following her, and – dirty clothes changed for ones of sister-cleaned – sat with her by lit and warmful stove.
She did not have to ask that obvious question, for he rose to stand beside her to place his hand gently over her womb and kiss her on her lips.
“We’ll be alright,” he said.
“I know, for she – them three – are watching over us.”
He, understanding, smiled, bowed, to return to his toiling pleasing work.
The day was unusually warm, even for that blossoming time of year, and they were in old Orchard sitting Sun-shaded eating Jane’s prepared luncheon spread when he leant over to kiss her fully, longly, on her lips and briefly fondle her body and her breasts, and it was only the barking of the dogs that warned them.
“I’m sorry,” the youngish stranger man said, “to disturb you.” And he smiled a wryful smile as dogs growled and barked and he walked up muddy path from still-open gate.
“Yes?” Oswald gruffly said rising to his feet while his sister – not quite at pregnancy full-term – rested her back against that friendly tree.
“Hi, I’m Jonathon. Jonathon Wistman?” He waited for recognition, and when none came, he added, “The writer. I wrote you a letter some weeks ago.”
“Don’t read letters.” His three dogs came to sit down beside him, baring their teeth at the intruder.
“Perhaps,” Wistman said, turning to Jane and smiling in a knowing city-kind of way, “you may have?”
“Folk-lore of Shropshire?”
“Yes, indeed! Research for my book.”
“Not interested,” Oswald said.
“Perhaps, your sister – ” Wistman began to say.
“Neither is she.”
“But you must know the legends surrounding this place – that wood,” and he pointed to where hill-top field hid, by trees, that sacred clearing.
“I’ll bid you good-day, then,” Oswald said, turning his back on the man and holding out his hand for Jane, who he helped to her feet. She whispered to him then and he – momentarily startled – stole a scything-look at the man, steadied, calmed, himself enough to say, to Wistman, “Join us for some tea, inside, would you?”
Pleased, Wistman said, “Yes, of course. Thank you! That would be jolly nice! It’s been a long walk.”
Jane – as befitted her stage of bearing – slowly led him toward the farmhouse while Oswald followed behind, and the youngish man from the city did not notice him palm a rock from stony path as he did not see Oswald raise his arm to smash the rock down upon his head. The body fell, limply, to the ground where puddles met a few tufts of feet-worn grass, and Oswald struck again as dogs howled and the hot Sun bore hotly down amid the song-bird broken-silence where a Cockerel crowed as a Cockerel crows, and a woman, with a face of former youthful beauty – not far as Buzzard fly – smiled her smile of relief. For there would be no telling now of brother-sister story, rending such darkness as cloaked them.
Oswald did not explain what he was going to do, and Jane did not ask, but she helped him lift the dead body into the hand cart that her brother brought, and watched him wheel it away before she got water to wash away the few stains of blood and bury the rock in the front flower-full pleasing garden. And when he returned – sweaty, muddy, bloody – she made a pot of tea and they sat, in silence, together in their coolful kitchen.
There would be no telling, now, she knew, and they would be free, with others of their kind, to celebrate special rouning when her water-brake and she squatting brought forth from womb that daughter-heiress, there where hill-top field hid, by trees, their sacred ancient clearing.
Order of Nine Angles
119 Year of Fayen
Image credit: The Secret Joy, A Painting by Richard Moult