While we all creep around like this, Angel’s eyes zero in upon me properly at last without warning, his gaze shoots through the air as if around the giant curve of a particle-accelerator, locks itself into my gaze and distorts this scene forcibly into a private memory of my own—so that he and I are suddenly prowling a heathery moorland plateau from somewhere a long time ago in my life, half-evading and half-pursuing each other across it now. (So this is what it used to feel like to other people, when I dragged them into some primal memory of their own.) A dim blustery sky hovers low above us, up here on the moor, but around us are grand valleys and light pouring down onto far horizons. As we stare sullenly at each other, his voice comes flat across the heather, but it does so a fraction of a second in advance of when his lips pronounce the words I’m hearing: I think you’d like a Ghost Town, wouldn’t you, Jaymi—yes! with his eyes accusatory, blazing and psychic in the moonlight. I shudder, while at my feet a twitch of yellow street-light glances in among the heather. Thinking on these disconcerting words of his, I register that their softened sibilants were echoing almost imperceptibly, after they were first pronounced but before his lips appeared to form them—a faint ghosting pre-echo that reveals a dimension I have missed until now, which immediately makes even this grand exterior space feel like the inside of an echoing stone chamber. The ghosted, lisped s in his phrase Ghost Town, in particular, constituted a sinister and malicious feast all by itself, for seconds after the end of the original s in Ghost, hissing and flaring on and on after the word, like an insect burning alive in a flame. I feel a dead smile play inside my lips, but I wrestle it back in, so it never quite emerges. That’s your dead smile, I can see it! he slants his words out across the moorland space, which now feels as enclosed as the space across a table with a mouse-trap upon it. Good that I just named it, don’t you think? he grins, to help it come again to you more easily and stick inside your jaws less?—and this final double ss is like a pair of agonised, mutilated mosquitoes, separated from each other and trapped, one in each of my ear canals.
I’m unsure whether he is speaking with his mouth or his eyes, as he carries on: This is weird, isn’t it, Jaymi? These spaces and colours feel like they’re on a screen, not around you. These vistas may be backdrops! I may turn around inside your little stone chamber and bite your neck, any moment, don’t you think? Something’s deeply wrong, you know. It’s creepy, too. Look around… Yes, it’s creepy, Jaymi, isn’t it … but you must allow it’s alluring, so why not come and lick me and I’ll switch off your head?
As he swings himself around a column only three metres away, the moonlight flares off his big silver earring and the moisture on his canines. I’m struck once again by the unbelievable allure of Angel’s eyes, finding it hard to look away from his bewitching beauty. Jaymi, he confides through his eyes or his mouth, I’m careful that you don’t see my real stare of thirst through the dusk at you—my green flesh and sunken cheeks would scare you away. When you stare at the silver-mirrored windows of my black limousine, as it slithers and it oozes through the night-streets, you can’t see my face right in front of you, behind your own reflection, frozen in a grimace that has gripped me for hours into wet-burning shame and exhaustion in the darkness…
Deep longing flickers in his mesmerising eyes, and with that last unbearable sibilant in darkness comes a hiss among the carcass-columns, as of gas in air vents—its shiver like the quiver of the shadow-dagger stuck in Angel’s chest, with his whisper in my ear, Stroke the blade soft on Jaymi’s neck, while he sleeps…
We turn to look at Angel, who is squatting at the end of the concrete space nearer the ocean, like a weasel, coiled to spring towards us. He makes one last bold attempt to stare me down hypnotically, but it is quite unlike a few minutes ago: rather than feeling powerless against the force of his eyes, I can now see straight through his human glare into the desperate human intention behind it, and he and I both know this. He starts to reach for his left pocket but I point at his face, shouting “I noticed your EYES today, Angel…” and his hand abandons its quest and falls to the concrete.
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