Few’s Attic Conversion. Chapter 9.

“Your soul?”

“Come on, the sun is up. We’ll be safe enough, he’ll have chilled out by now.”

“Your soul?”

“Never bloody mind for the moment. Jesus you can’t tell some people anything. Just leave it there, let’s just say we’re to take delivery of something. She has it, she will return it to me by midnight or there will be hell to pay.”

We took down the barricades and crept gingerly out of the room. There’s nobody to be found. I don’t know if it’s the drink, the lack of sleep or Few’s tales of London but everything seems different, colours are brighter, solid objects lack substance, translucence is everywhere. Few’s blue eyes are too piercing, his skin looks paper thin, his bones shine through. His voice echoes and his movements leave a trail. A moth turns into a firefly, a dripping kitchen tap into a Buddy Rich solo. He seems incredibly close and so far out of reach. I’m trying to hold onto it, did he really mention his soul? Who is she? Where is Denis?
It fades, the feelings, the hyper-reality. It fades. Not quite disappears, it’s still a low-level hum, a half-life in the background. Everything is a little north of normal, a little south of weird.

He sits down heavily at the table.

“She’s here, she’s nearby, I can sense it. She gives amazing aura, whatever else you say about her you can’t take that away. Didn’t Denis say something about her being in the attic?”

“You think she’s in the attic? Ok…let’s go have a look.” Part of me is freaking out. Another part of me is watching the freaking out part of me and well…it doesn’t seem to care.

I peer up into the gloom and jump back, there’s a rat standing at the top of the stairs rubbing it’s filthy, stinking paws together. It’s looking down on us, it’s dark, sick eyes full of loathing and intelligence. It’s just missing the hat and sunglasses. Few roars at it, swipes the air and, though it hesitates, it bolts, eventually leaving us a clear path through the landing and to the attic door overhead. The hatch is half-open, there’s a faint preternatural glow emanating from somewhere.

“Righto, leg up old bean.”

Gott im Himmel he is heavy, he’s crushing my head, he’s crushing my head. I push him up, he clambers over the side and then he’s gone. I grab a chair and hoist myself up after him. I turn on the light on my phone, flash it around. It’s a dingy, unconverted attic; cobwebs, junk and rats piss. Nothing else. No skylight though, so I can’t put my finger on the where the glow was emanating from. I suddenly feel extremely stupid, here I am following this fat fool, looking for some femme fatal in the bleedin’ attic of a shithole terraced house in Belfast. I turn to him, I’ve had enough this time, I can feel the rage bubbling up, I’m going to strangle his big corpulent ….

“Over there!” He’s hissing like a scalded mog.

Few points to the far gable wall. There’s an old picture frame propped against wall, or what on first examination looks like a frame. That’s where the glow is coming from, we edge over carefully on the beams. It looks like the entrance to a tunnel, it’s dark as bejasus, there’s a whistling breeze blowing out, a cold wind that smells of perfume and something else..something..Few steps through, “Into the breach!”

“There is no fucking way I am..”

He grabs me by the shirt and yanks me in, we both stumble over something, tumble and land on cold, wet stones. Where are we now? I get up, lifting Few with me – we are none the worse for wear, physically anyway. I don’t know how, but we are in a long, low passageway, like I imagine a Victorian sewer would look, but without the sewage, hopefully. The part of me that was watching me freak out in now freaking out as well. I look behind but there’s no entrance, just the tunnel stretching for what seems eternity.Our breath send plumes of mist billowing up towards the roof, the only other sound is the distant flow of water. We both sweep the tunnel with our phones, afraid to look, stricken miners hoping there’s no canaries on the floor. Few is holding my hand, leading me into the dark. He singing, the same lines over and over

“You’re a better person than me
Where I see timber you see a tree
Where I feel hate you feel love
You need the hand, I crave the glove”

“What’s the fuck are you singing Few?

“It’s the last thing I wrote for her, she rejected it. She rejected me. Me!”

I’m not surprised, on either count. I don’t say it out loud. At first I think I’m imagining it, just the faintest feeling of something brushing against my legs but I look down and there’s nothing there. Both our phones dies at exactly the same moment just as I catch a glimpse of a door up ahead. Now it’s pitch black and there is definitely something pushing against my legs, my ankles. Then several somethings. Few kicks out , there’s a yelp and then several high-pitched yowls.

“Fucking Cats ! Always with the fucking cats. This is so old”

There’s dozens of them now walking along with us, their eyes shining in the dark, a glowing river of tapetum lucidum leading us to..to where? To what?
Few strides forward, merrily booting cats hither and yon, dragging me after him to a large, wooden, ancient and frankly terrifying door. Few pushes it , it creaks, it opens a fraction and bright sunlight pours through the crack.
“Come on man, push this fucker, there’s no way back from here!”

I stumble over the cats, we force the door open between us and we’re through, out of the darkness and into the light, the light of a thousand stained glass windows. We are standing in the aisle of a huge cathedral, the cats scarper to left and right to join the myriad others that are running up and down, sitting in the pews, asleep on the lecterns. They’re all jet black . As they notice us they stop moving and perch on every available surface, watching us. Inscrutable bastards. Some of them, the ones closer to us are hissing, their fur puffed out, tails in the air, A few are growling, making dogs jealous.
“All in all rather unsettling what?” Few starts heading for the alter, I have no choice but to follow. I think I’m in shock. I hope I’m in shock.

The chantry appears empty at first but as we get closer I notice a figure seated in the sedilia. It’s wearing a long black cape with a vast hood that obscures it’s face completely. The head is bowed, as if in supplication. We approach, Few stands there, still holding my hand, an awkward groom awaiting the marriage rites. An awkward corpse awaiting the last rites. The figure looks up eventually, rises slowly from the seat and pulls back her hood.

“Few, it took you so long to get here, we have been expecting you.”

“Kate..it’s er…good….to see you.”

“This woman’s work, it’s hard on a man….or two men to be precise. Who do we have here?”

She turns to me, She’s smiling but not in a good way, her teeth are sharp, much too sharp. I’d always wanted to meet Kate Bush but now I was having second thoughts. Was it the right time to ask for an exclusive interview?

*Check out all Too Few’s adventures to date-





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