by Andrew Lee-Hart
When it gets dark God comes down and covers me with Her love, whilst all around me I hear beautiful hymns, and I realise that angels are singing my name over and over again, Samuel, Samuel, which makes me cry because I am so happy. God caresses me as we lie together, and soon I fall asleep peacefully at her breast.
I am in a big field, free and alone, the sun is warm upon me and my legs can run without restraint, and I open my mouth and out of it comes shouts of happiness and of love. I know that there is somebody just out of sight, waiting for me, that once I get over this hill she will be there, with arms outstretched and with food for us to eat, and we will sit holding hands, and I will smell the sunlight and hear water from a stream close by in which we will bathe. And the woman is God.
And then daylight and the Devils coming crashing into my room with their strange smells and harsh sounds.
Oh shut up Sam, it is still early, I need my cup of coffee before we get you up. Go back to sleep. Jesus, he never stops, always moaning, well he will just have to wait. So how was the night shift?
The Devils go away muttering to themselves, and I try to go back to sleep but God has left me, and I lie there saturated and feel the sadness of Her receding love.
I call upon the Lord, She who is worthy to be praised,/ And I am saved from my enemies who encompass me.
Oh you are soaking, and you stink. Jesus, I am not paid enough for this. I am going to have to hose you down, you are covered in it. Come on we had better clean him up, sooner he is done the better.
Dont start Sam, just stop shouting, you should be grateful that we help you, instead of moaning, spoiled, that is what you are.
Jesus, the smell, I feel sick, what have you been eating Samuel? I need a new job, something without all of this crap.
Here, you can wear these today, I am not having my boy look like a tramp when you go outside later on. Come on, let me put them on you, I know they are tight, just breath in, you are putting on weight you fatty, too much pizza that's the problem, what are the other staff thinking? We will have to put you on a diet.
Just give them a hard pull, you will never get them on him otherwise.
His arse is bigger than mine. Come on Sammy, breath in and let me get these on you.
O Lord come to me / Rise mighty and beautiful / And take my hand and Lead me.
Come on eat your breakfast, Weetabix is good for you, and no you are not allowed to watch Lorraine, you are obsessed with it, although what you see in her I just dont know, now just eat up and stop your moaning. Let us put on CBBC on, more your level. Now I am going to have fag so just give us a few minutes, and eat nicely, dont get it all over you like you normally do.
The Devils dance naked around me, whooping and laughing, they have knives in their hands and their chests are large and horrible and I gag on the smell of their wickedness; I am scared and know that they want to kill me. I pray to God, but she cannot hear me, and they come closer to me, their bodies touching mine, so that I flinch and try to move away. The knives look sharp and they glint with a red glow and my skin is sore, but then God comes down; She has not forgotten me and the Devils look at her in fear, they twist in agony and then fade away and I feel happy because I know that however hard they try God will save me and look after me.
Why havent you eaten your breakfast, am I going to have to feed you like a baby? Come on then, open wide. Jesus, I hope you are not going to be like this all day, Christ I almost forgot your meds.
Pills; hard and white, stuffed down my throat; they taste sour and then I choke on them. Water, give me water.
Dont you dare spit out your bloody pills, stop being a child. Swallow them, no I dont care, just take them.
My mouth feels dry and I want to retch but I cant. Slowly they fall down my throat and into my chest and then I feel them open up inside of me, and I feel warm and there is a glow that spreads to my arms and legs.
And then television, more television, and the sound of cleaning; vacuuming, splashing, whilst the Devils shout and sing. I choke on the smell and the noise. I think of my mum, how she held me and called me her special one, her only one, but then she gave me up, left me. Her hair is blonde, with sunlight in it, and her eyes are blue and they look at me constantly, whenever she visits, no matter what everyone is saying to her, all the lies, her eyes are always looking at me, trying to understand.
The cords of death encompassed me,/ The torrents of perdition assailed me;/ The cords of Sheol entangled me,/ The snares of death confronted me.
I dont like his mum, she smells.
Why does she always have to ring us, especially when we are busy? She is always checking up on us, bloody cheek. We are doing a better job than she ever did the stupid cow. And she is coming tomorrow, I just ignore her, let her get on with it, after that last time she complained I wont have anything to do with her, silly cow.
Have you seen the clothes she wears, and at her age? Always going on about how poor she is, I dont think so, wish I could afford some of the stuff she wears, and always buying him stuff. Now come on Sam, stop sitting and staring, eat your toast, and dont drop pieces everywhere.
His dad is even worse. Have you seen the way he looks at me, stop staring at my boobs I want to say to him. Dirty old man.
Mind you doubt he gets much otherwise, poor bugger. Your poor old dad eh. At least you dont have to worry about that sort of thing, do you Phil, sorry I mean Sam?
Let God arise with an army of angels, let Her enemies be scattered / let those who hate Her flee before Her.
I am sitting in church with mum and I look up at the window high above me; yellow and purple, made bright by the sunshine outside, and I hear voices and music, and I rock in time to it; it as if God wants to say something to me, to tell me something important. This must have been a long time ago because I dont go to church anymore, although they tell my mum that they take me. I remember that she was next to me, holding my hand, she smelled strange, but I didnt mind, and her hand was warm in mine, and sometimes she squeezed, and I squeezed back.
The pictures in the window move, and there is God looking down at me holy and beautiful, with long black hair; I can tell it is God as She is all shiny and holy, and She is looking at me with love. And then voices sing, and it is the most heavenly sound that I have ever heard so that the music cannot be contained by the building, and I imagine that it is travelling out over the sky and to the sea, where we had a holiday once, and even my grandma up in Heaven can hear the music and she will believe in God. It becomes louder and I want to join in and be part of it.
Oh look he is trying to sing, oh what a racket Sam. Come on time for the toilet, and enough of that row.
You wont get on the X-Factor making noises like that.
Shut up now Sammy, we are trying to think.
We will put some Abba on for you later, when you have had a piss, you like Abba.
I hate Abba.
Come on Sam, put that bloody coat on, it is cold outside and your coat is lovely and warm, your mother bought it for you, now do stop being silly and dont stamp your feet or you wont be allowed to go out. Jesus why do we bother? Dont forget if you play up while we are out, your mother wont visit you tomorrow, now get a move on.
My shoes hurt and my coat is hot; I want to feel the wind on my face, to blow through me as if I am hollow inside. The Devils take an arm each and we totter down the road to the bus stop.
O give thanks to God, for She is good,/ For Her steadfast love endures forever/ And people bathe in the warmth of Her love.
You must be very patient to do your job.
Oh yes, tell us about it. He can often be very difficult, cant you?
How old is he?
Forty next year, but he is just a child really. He can be very naughty sometimes, but we love him, couldnt do this job if we didnt.
Do you have a girlfriend?
No, he doesnt talk, do you Sammy. Think he likes the boys if he got a chance, always staring at them. None of that on our watch. He is innocent, none of that nonsense for him. I think it would be better if we were all like that, far easier.
Mind you I have caught him playing with his thing a few times, had to slap his hand away. But we do love him, and he loves us, dont know what I would do without him.
At the front of the bus there are children talking; I look at them, trying to understand what they are doing. I wish that I could join them, be their friend, if I could talk and walk properly then maybe. They see me staring and one looks straight at me, a blonde girl wearing a red jacket, and I smile at her and she sticks out her tongue before looking away and soon we have to get off the bus. Someone pinches my bottom as we stagger to the front, but I dont mind, it is something at least, and I smile it as they help me off the bus.
We go to the park, where we always go, it is grey and dull with just a few people walking their dirty, fierce dogs which bark at me and try to bite. We shuffle around and the Devils tell me to hurry up every minute or two, and to get a shift on, so that I feel tired and worried. It would be lovely to be able to go round on my own, follow my own paths and at my own speed, but the Devils are always in a rush, wanting to be somewhere else and dragging me along with them.
We sit on a bench whilst they smoke and chatter, I feel tired and hungry and my trousers are too tight making my tummy hurt so that I feel sick. The Devils voices fade, and I gaze up into the sky, there are lots of clouds, and they move slowly across the sky; they are cold and flat and then they start to form into a face, a long white face with a horrible, grubby beard and drooping eyes that look straight at me, and I know that he is Lucifer, the enemy of God. For a moment there is silence and time seems to stop, I feel hot and there is an itch on my bottom where I was pinched. Then there is a smell of burning, burning from Hell and the face gets bigger and bigger, reaching down to me and I try to make a sound and I cannot move, and then I go wet and I fall.
The priests of the Temple know Her name / They worship Her day after day without ceasing/ Whilst Her people bring their sacrifices and their Love.
We had to bring him home, he wet himself; you could smell it on the bus, and he left a damp patch; we made him sit on his own at the back, pretended that he wasnt with us, and then when we got off he was sick, all over everywhere. Why do you have to spoil everything? Come on you can sit there for a bit while we sort the money out. We will change you in a minute you minger. I am really cross with you; we were having such a lovely day out and now we have had to come back and change you. We were going to have had dinner in a pub, always the same when we have got something lovely planned.
I should have brought a change of clothes when we went out.
Never mind, it doesnt matter. Serves him right, he could have waited until we got home.
I shouldnt say it, but I am sure that he does it deliberately.
Oh God, yes.
No you are not allowed to eat your dinner in the front room, you know that. We need a break too, especially after earlier. And make sure you eat it all up. We are having our tea in front of the television, so give us a bit of peace for just five minutes.
The Devils put music on, the radio I think, but it sounds strange, not quite right but I cannot stop it, it is too far away. I eat my dinner quickly just to escape, but they forget about me, and the sound carries on. There is whispering, and it gets louder and louder so that it drowns out the music and echoes inside my head. The voices sound like the Devils and they say horrid things about killing and death, telling me that my mother hates me and that she will die soon, and then I will never go back to her. I cry and cry. But then I remember the girl on the bus and my bottom being pinched; I wonder if it was her and I wonder if I will ever see her again. I hope so. Perhaps I could live with her and we could go to church and look at God and forget about the Devils.
I throw something at the radio and it falls to the floor and it is a quiet. One of the Devils comes in and pulls my hair and shouts at me. I hope it is broken but she turns it back on and goes back to the television.
I will hit you harder she mutters as she leaves.
The light is in my eyes, and I close them but I can still feel its heat as it bores into my head.
And now, God, for you I wait? My hope is in thee./ Deliver me from the Pit of Sheol./ I am dumb, I do not open my mouth / I am lame, I cannot move / Remove thy stroke from me.
No you cant watch that, you like the Soaps. Now be quiet so I can watch in peace, I just need some quiet. I will be going home soon thank God.
Good evening Sammy, have you been good?
He hasnt been good; pissed himself whilst we were out, and he didnt eat all his food. And he did a disgusting poo this morning; all over everywhere.
Goodbye Sam, I will see you tomorrow. Be good for Melanie, and do what she tells you. If you keep her awake I will tell your mum not to visit you tomorrow. You know I will.
See you tomorrow, unless I can find something better to do. Jesus I need a hot bath and a shag, hope Pete is in the mood. Night.
Sometimes whilst I wait for sleep in my cold bed, the sheets hard against my aching skin, listening to the talking and laughter below me, I dream of destruction; God is there with an axe and she hacks the Devils to death, chopping off arms and legs so that the floor is swamped in blood. I hear them scream and say Samuel we are sorry, we did not mean it, but soon they are lying on the floor in pieces, and then God looks at me and She kisses me hard, and I can taste blood on Her lips and it is good.
She comes down to me, and I tell Her of my dreams, and She says soon Samuel, very soon, and I fall asleep in Her arms, content and safe from the darkness.
Yet a little while, and She will come Triumphant / The priests of Wickedness will die as they stand / Holy, Holy is She, above all others.
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