Muse Chamber

by The Acolyte/Blaise Bienvenue

Wounded Church 09

I was in the parlor of the mansion with Mother and the congregation. There were newspapers going back thirty years stacked up in piles on the floor. There were upholstered sofas and antique chairs and hand-carved tables all over the house, but you could not see them because they were draped with white sheets. There was a varnished wood cabinet with see-through doors on the shelves of which were china teacups.

Arranged in a circle in the parlor of the mansion, without sheets, were the fold-up chairs. We sat in them, Mother and I and the congregation. Everyone had a steaming mug. Mother was in charge; she was hosting a gathering. A man with a guitar began to play “worship songs” of a style popularized several decades earlier, nothing as poetic or escapist as would have been hymns. I don’t know the songs. There were two or three and each lasted a moment. Everyone sang, but I heard nothing. I was sitting there with them. Everyone was talking before I could realize they’d all been singing moments before.

And there were two guitars and one was just sitting there.

And I hadn’t played, not really, in years and music was the wood from which I hewed, with edges made sharp by the quaking of strings, many shapes. Figures, demons, forests, nymphs and imps and things without form. It was all without form. Music is a place that transcends form.

I picked the guitar up and carved me a place.

Mother said, “What are you doing?” Her face betrayed outrage.

I looked at her face but I did not stop. I kept on twitching out slivers and chips. I was exploring; I was re-acquainting. I forgot that the congregation was there but I knew they were there. It was not an issue.

“That’s not the plan,” she said.

I could not understand.

She said, “No one wants to hear that.”

But it was not for them.

“It’s just for myself,” I said.

“You’re not good enough to do that here.”

I put down the guitar and walked to the stairs. They were wide marble steps with a varnished wood bannister curvaceous and thick. I climbed those steps to the second floor hall. Axes in a bedroom. The hall had a wall lined with doors made of wood with square panels in relief painted white with chunks missing. Opposite the doors was a railing designed like the bannister. You could lean on that railing and look down at the steps. There was no one down there. I followed the chopping and entered a bedroom where people in their twenties sat on a mattress with no bed in a room with old fancy stand-up mirrors half-draped with sheets and sheets instead of walls and a standing boy with long blond hair in a white shirt with buttons, tails out, playing an electric guitar. Maybe it was a Les Paul or maybe it was an SG or maybe it was an Ibanez ST-55. It was a glossy black Cort plugged into a Gorilla, but the gorilla was hidden under sheets.

He said hi but he didn’t.

He looked at me but he didn’t.

Sitting on the mattress were two girls playing bongos, maracas, and sheet-metal drums. Playing red hotrod bass and Mysterians organ. Old toy piano. All amps behind sheets. Cords not an issue. I was sitting on the mattress and the brunette girl was compassionate friendly welcoming kind and the blond girl was leering and impish and cruel. She was built like a silver-gold saurian skeleton robot by goddess of lust. If you know what I mean. Metallic and sleek. Platinum, platinum. She had thunderous hips and she moved on her knees, her knees on the hardwood, her legs spread to flat but still holding her high as she strutted on over; her knees were her feet. She came within hairs’ breadths. She breathed, she breathed.

I said, “You’re sexy.”

She said, “I know.”

A flash of the other girl, fleshy, organic; she smiled and her eyes did, too.

The blond girl lifted up my shirt. In her hand was the blade of a scalpel–it gleamed in her white-hot–at the end of an electrical cord. She plugged it in. She plugged it in my back.

I screamed.

The girl with brown hair had a braid with some flowers and a baggy black shirt without sleeves. She had a Les Paul copy laid flat-ways on her lap and she was gouging at the strings with a paint scraper.

She did not intervene.

The silver-gold girl was still on her knees and her back was arched and her face was behind her; she was shrieking and moaning and howling and caterwauling like a porno flick orgasm sampled and played back as single infinity, one moment captured, as I, captured by it, electrocute loudly. Only she wasn’t faking. Don’t ask how I know; there is no frame of reference. Not for this. And the blond boy oblivious, strumming, can’t hear it. And the song is her get-off and my torment her get-off and my torment is part of the song.

– The Acolyte