Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Inferno


Ireland is often called the land of Saints and Scholars, which is true but only represents a recent view of this island. Long before Christianity, with its thirst for scribes, lived a conglomerate of Vikings and Celtic's. Even the Vikings were comparative newbies. The Celtic people occupied most of Europe long before the tramp of Roman garrisons trembled the battle fields of the ancient world.

Who preceded the Celts? Surely there must have been someone?

Far back in the mists of time, when Ireland was a blanket of glade sprinkled woodlands, lived a great race of demigods. They ruled over humanity as 'Tuatha De Danann' which translates into the 'Tribe of the Goddess Danu.' The Tuatha De Danann were half men half Gods, each with powers that set them apart from the throng of humanity. These were wild, ruthless times where hardly a day went by without some form of bloodshed. The Tuatha De Danann would even fight among themselves. Like all powerful beings they were not all nice guys.

Take Balor for example. He was reputed to have a magic eye in the middle of his forehead with another at the back of his head, this was so no enemy could catch him unaware. From the magic eye issued a beam of fire which smote all it touched.  I know a few of you are thinking Lord of the Rings but Balor existed long before these books. Why not check him out.

Anyway, Balor was fairly unbeatable but legend has it a witch foresaw Balor being slain by his own grandson. To prevent this from ever happening Balor locked his daughter away in a crystal tower to stop her getting pregnant. Any of you with older kids will know that keeping teenage boys away from girls is near impossible. Take into account the countryside was running wild with Irish Demigod's and you can guess what happened. Cian a young member of Tuatha De Danann managed to magic himself into the tower. Imagine Balor's surprise when nine months later he was the proud grandfather to three bouncing baby boys.

Balor did what comes naturally to a near immortal megalomaniac, he took the boys to the highest cliff in the land and flung the new born children into the crashing waves below. 'That's that' thought Balor but the story is far from over. One grandson, Lugh, was saved from his watery grave by Birog who raised the child to adult hood. Decades later, in what is now County Sligo, Balor faced Birog in battle. At Birog's left hand stood the youthful figure of Lugh who launched a spear with a mighty heave, skewering Balor's heart.  Balor fell with the magic eye wide open burning a bottomless hole into the earth into which his body tumbled. Eventually the hole was filled with water and 'Lough Na Sul' or 'Lake of the Eye' was created forever entombing Balor.


Or so they thought.
The truth of the matter is that while Balor's body was indeed locked forever at the bottom of Lough Na Sul his spirit was free to walk the land on one special day of the year, all hallows eve. For thousands of years he would rise with the sun, on 31st October, from the depths of the lake. During the  daylight hours he was free to roam where he would on the Island of Ireland before being forced deep under the waters again with the setting of the sun. Balor enjoyed his days of freedom, even sometimes taking over the body of a human so he could, touch, feel, taste and savour the world around him.
In the year 2013 Balor's spirit soared above the city of Dublin. He spied a young man in his twenties waiting at a bus stop. Sean McCarthy was a very tired, bored, call centre worker. He was wiping the sleep from his eyes when Balor's spirit lay upon him, pervading his very soul. Balor inhaled deeply flexing the strong young body he was now wearing as he would a new suit. Balor glanced at the laptop bag the boy carried before casting it into the gutter.
The others at the bus stop were shocked into silence by the wild look in the boys eye's. Despite the cold the young man removed his coat and shoes throwing them to the ground along side his bag. Balor came from a time where men were made of hardier stuff than these soft city boys. In the morning drizzle Balor roared like a lion and turned his face to the heavens giving thanks for his hours of freedom. Among the people huddling in the bus shelter was a beautiful, flame haired, woman in the prime of her life. Balor felt the blood in his acquired body surge with the lust of youth. Slowly he strode toward her, his new body glowing with power. She was wide eyed but unmoving, their eyes locked together. Balor let his hands fill with her soft flowing locks as he inhaled her perfume, like a wolf inspecting a new kill. It was all too much for the shocked young woman who slipped into a faint and slithered to the ground. Balor laughed through the young man and strode into the morning mist. There was time enough for women, he had more to see this short short day.
So began an orgy of the senses. With Balor spirit inside of him, Sean was beyond human. What he wanted he took. He ate and drank like twenty men. He wandered the city trying to understand all that was new. Balor was sure a plague of madness gripped the city, countless people wandered about talking loudly to no one at all, some nodded and shook with strings hanging from their ears, it was all truly strange. That was when he saw the huge sign with a man smiling happily but it was the words that drove Balor into a rage, "The Eye of Google will Rule the World"
Shoeless and coatless Balor burst into Car-phone Warehouse on O'Connell St.
"Bring Google before me so we can do battle," Balor said to the man behind the counter in a commanding tone over the people in the queue. The sales assistant glanced quickly at him before continuing to explain to a blue haired granny how to make calls on her new phone.
"I command you to bring me Google of the Magic Eye!" Balor bellowed.
The sales assistant was taken aback with the fury of the strange guy and called into the back room "Simon can you deal with a customer?"
From the back room came a balding, bored looking manager. The sales assistant nodded at Balor and said "Nut job" just loud enough for the people at the front of the queue to hear. Simon looked to heaven with a bored sigh.
"Are you Google?" demanded Balor.
"No I am Simon, can I help you sir?" the manager replied snootily shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Bring me Google of the eye," Balor commanded not wishing to entertain any lackeys when battle was all that he dreamed of. It was then that Simon understood what he was talking about.
"You're on about Google Glasses mate, these are them," he said pointing to the things sitting astride his nose.
Balor was confused and pointed at the glasses "This is the magic eye?"
"You could call them that, they have the full power of the internet," Simon said.
"Internet?" repeated Balor.
"Yea buddy, Internet you know the thing that controls the whole frecking world," snapped Simon having enough of this weird young fella. Simon was getting a feeling this must be a prank by the guys  across the road in Harvey Norman so went to guide the weirdo out the door.
"LIAR, I am the one true keeper of the eye," Balor roared shrugging free from the managers grip. He felt the magic eye begin to open inside his mind. On the body he hijacked steam began to rise and heat rolled across the boys skin as Balor's rage increased.
"Listen buddy, just get out of the shop right now before I call the cops," the manager said backing towards the counter. Every vein was standing out like taunt rope beneath the skin of the weirdo's face. He was going an alarming shade of red, Simon would later swear he was glowing.
"CALL YOUR ARMY GOOGLE AND ALL SHALL DIE THIS DAY!" Balor roared.
Flames erupted through the boys skin where Balor's warrior marks had once been. In side the hijacked body Balor's magic eye opened and a fountain of flame shot forth. Customers and staff ran for their lives as Balor as it became clear this glowing lunatic was going nuclear. It took only seconds but what happened next would be burned into every witnesses mind for ever. Car-phone Warehouse exploded outward in a cloud of glass and concrete as a colossal fireball fireball formed around the half naked man and then exploded in all directions..
Left lying in the middle of the ruined shop was a young man in smoldering jeans, completely shirtless and sound asleep. His entire torso was a web of complicated tattoos, which were glowing hot. It took the ambulance team several hours to wake the lad and when they did he insisted insisted the last thing he remembered was waiting for the 46A.   
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