FICTION | The Man Who Forgot To Die (An Extract) by Michael Mulvihill

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Again, and again, repeating the truth, Claudius insisted his spiritual war had not ended. His war for his soul had only gotten worse. He prostrated on the ground, holding his cross. He vowed verily, I will not be found wanting in my fight for salvation. I will not fear my attackers though they shall hurt me. I will not be found with an amputated and corrupted soul, nor signed over with my blood to the Devil in exchange for his false promissory of a truce. I will fight his demonic horde verily with my love for Christ. Vehemently I swear that I will love till my dying day, with the vows sworn as a baby to profess the Christian faith, to revile and rebuke the Devil and all his deeds.
Claudius kicked the snow off his boots, unfastened them and put them off. He took his wet socks off and threw his trousers off. He thoroughly dried himself off and put on a fresh, dry pair of clothes.
He walked up the wooden stairs of his house. Holding on to prayer beads, he said an invocation to Christ, as below his feet, he saw a vast lake of burning fire. The fire caused him to be drowned in perspiration.
Though he only heard voices and only saw burning flames. There was a sense of loneliness and separateness, detachment from love, which permeated through every part of this hell below, there could be no denying the eternal and horrific divorce which menaced the entire human family.
Claudius knew that his house was not burning to ash though a more nervous soul would have sworn that the entire place was being burnt to a crisp. Important, only to his own sanity, he knew this was not the visual hallucinations so common to psychotic mental illness, for belief encompasses, “the seen and the unseen.”
This journey up the stairs of his home was like the ladder of divine ascent where one trip, one fall, one false move would involve the traveler falling into the deep below, he was confident that he was in battle now. He could be dying now, in travelling up the stairs he was in clear and present danger of passing on to the other side, his mortality was falling apart and could be departing him.
He opened the white, wooden door to a special room of prayer, on the last floor of his house. He knelt on the ground, looked outside on the street, and saw streets empty of people as snow fell from the skies.
This was an ongoing, seemingly never ending assault. The evil being manifested and assaulting Claudius was real, demonic and it seethed with the irrational, supernatural, hissing rage of hell.
He got out a book with his handwriting of prayers and sayings of the Saints.
Remembering Martyr Anastasia the Roman whose tongue was cut out, tortured and beheaded, whose body was not touched by the wild animals he said, “My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior, CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.”
Claudius continued to pray and look onto the red bricked tall neighboring houses. From his window a revelation entered his mind, that his enemies secretly followed the Assyrian demons as often depicted with a combination of diverse animal and human parts. Such demons had the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, talons of an eagle, two pairs of wings, and a scorpion’s tail. They had a right hand up and left hand down.

These small, ugly, demons, he pictured high above him, with a grey looking body, demonic face, sitting on a mutilated Yazidi woman, as it dripped blood onto the ground below. Promising, as they did, starring Claudius straight in the eyes, that they would follow this blood lust to the ends of the world. They sat on the rooftops of this peaceful land warning that nowhere in Europe and the world, from Trinidad and Tobago, to the quiet outskirts of Brussels, nowhere was safe from this conquest. You will find their influence throughout.
Evil was always with us from the time of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the demons had been always assaulting the land of his birth. Claudius knew this menace from these demons that waged warfare that was not just personal, localized and regional. Claudius had read thoroughly the predictions of the Bulgarian Nostradamus, Baba Vanga, when he was just a teenager. He found her predictions unbearably realistic. By going to Europe he knew that he would never fully find peace, still, if push came to shove, he dreamt ardently of staying here, never to return home.
For Claudius had left a wasteland devoid of any life. He could see hordes walking the streets, prowling in the middle of the road, like lupine savages, gathering timber for mass crucifixions, blades for mass beheadings, and stones for mass stonings, issuing decrees and laws, the substance of which meant life would never be the same again.
Claudius prayed fervently. He knew what cruelty was. Perhaps cruelty reins even more supreme in Hell. What a cursed place therefore this must be for souls who do not ascend the ladder. A place where any remaining spec of love is frozen out, where hearts are crushed by the burden of hatred and venomous anger, where old vices stir, and all-pervading jealousy remains, matched with a thirsting desire to gather more souls, in a foolhardy plot to gain more territory for hell, where even more souls can freeze themselves over. Walking backwards and forwards he kept repeating, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of Man have mercy on me a sinner.”
He could hear whispers issuing guidelines of when to attack him. He felt a sudden knife like pain in his right chest. He lost his breath and began choking. The weight of this attack tripped him to the ground, where upon landing he felt the full weight of the back of his head banging on the wooden timber floor. A cold hand grabbed his hair and hurled it backwards and forwards ten times, when the attack stopped his head had a piercing headache.
Phlegm buried within his chest made an upsurge through his neck, causing a violent load of vomit to rush up through him and out through his mouth. He did not know that he was now violently sick as he began crawling towards the door with glue falling out of his mouth; he paused from leaving and remained statuesque, because on this occasion his body would take him nowhere.
The wretched soul cried whilst lying on the ground. Cursed, by whatever this affliction was. His breathing became more and more challenged. Convinced, in this time and place that he was to suffocate and die from a loss of breath.
He held up his hands in a vain attempt to lift up his body. But his body denied him all strength. For his watchers he was lifeless as the corpses in the tombs and the graves of the cemeteries. Surely he could see the powerless state that was besieging him and the impotency of his faith and what else to do but surrender as they asked for this. All night long, in the cold, dark of night, he lay on the ground, looking straight up at the ceiling over him. Without the ability to move so much as a toe. His lips would not move, and his brain would not release a thought. Friendless, he would die here alone, months later, perhaps he would be lucky enough to be discovered and buried under the ground.
Attached to a rope from the ceiling, he could see the scimitar used for beheadings swinging from side to side, getting closer and closer to his body, and soon waiting for the cutting of his organs.
He struggled desperately. As light shun into the room, from a car travelling slowly down the road. One scimitar, followed another scimitar, followed yet again by another, until it was fully impossible to stand upright.
Gaining the power of his hands, the heat became unbearable from the inferno beneath, and the loud cries of lost and condemned souls. Tormented by a chastisement they simply had no control over. His hair felt like it was burning as yet again a hand grabbed and tore some of his hair straight from the scalp. Would he stand and show that he had no fear for the merciless blades of the scimitar and the heartless power behind it? As he crawled to the open door of his room a pair of the coldest hands started to drag him back. He tried to resist by holding on to the edge of the bed but the scimitar crashed down onto the ground almost cutting off his fingers.
“Lord,” he said, but before he could say another word a giant of what he presumed to be a man grabbed him by the throat and with just one hand squeezed his voice box as he lifted him up from the ground. His eyes watered as his breathing constricted. The seemingly helpless Claudius bent his fist and swiftly back knuckled the back of his head, grabbed his eye socket, pulled back his head and smashed his knees against his head, causing his opponent to collapse onto the ground.
Before he could even think the rear of his throat was grabbed as his head was about to be smashed like a bottle to the back of the wall, just as he was about to be pulled backwards, Claudius swiftly back elbowed his opponent in the chest, hammer fisted him in the groin, stepped back with his right leg and dragged him over his legs as he elbowed them in the jaw. He swiftly ran down the stairs to see who else was attacking his house. He went from one room to the other, alert and aware of what danger may come his way.
He was never this prepared and this ready for attack. He looked around the neighboring windows to see if the Assyrian demons had perched like gargoyles of The Cologne Cathedral on the window sills of this South Dublin Suburb. 3 times he blessed himself with his right hand. He looked firmly at the room from where he was unexpectedly assaulted. The window opened and what he presumed were the two people who attacked him jumped out the window flying onto the ground below. They swiftly ran past Claudius as if he was not even there. He had not time to ask himself what was this all about. He was under grave attack, what else could be said of this matter, it was relentless, it was tireless. Again he returned to the room on the top floor of his house, yes indeed for now his assailants had left, but they would return with thrice the vengeance in their depraved hearts.
This was not the only victory Claudius would receive on this day. When Claudius went the next morning to the immigration department he learnt two things of which he was not aware of before.
One, to his shock and his relief, the letter sent to him was in fact a fraudulent letter, there was absolutely no way and under no circumstances he was going to be deported back to his country of origin.
Two, he had a letter with a date and time for his naturalization ceremony; he was asked did he get this letter? No. So they reissued him a copy of this letter.

Biography:

Michael Mulvihill, mulvihillp@ymail.com, of Dublin, Az, Extract from Syracide, Indian Periodical (Sep 3, 2017), “Bombing Basra” Indian Periodical (Feb 8 2017), Ireland, wrote BP #77’s “Drop” and “Lupine Savagery” (+ BP #76’s “The Watchers”; BP #68’s”The Toasters’ Tragedy” and “Ziggy’s Afterlife Analysis”; “Homeless” & “Why the Hell Siberia?” for BP #67; was featured author for BP #65’s “Ethagorian Evidence, Parts 1 & 2” & “Uninsured Assurance”; VAMPIRE HORDE, Ch.1… for BP #63; BP #61’s poems, A Love Story Beautiful, Capitalism’s Modern Architecture of Love, Red Brick, The Securocrats, and Toxic Addiction; the poems, “Fatigued,” “O Mother,” & “Spike-Inverted Hearts” for BP #58; “The Cleaner and the Collector” & all 6 BP #56 poems; BP #50’s “The Soul Scrubber” and was featured vampire poet with A Vampire’s Dilemma: Love, Becoming a Vampire, Vampire Insomnia, and Vampiric War in The Kodori Valley; wrote BP #49’s poems—I, the Vampire, The Reluctant Vampire of Tbilisi, Vampire Observations, and Vampire Psychoanalysis). The author published a short story, “Ethagoria Nebsonia,” in BP in ’98 and had a poem, “The Bombing,” in The Kingdom News about a domestic tragedy in Ireland. He has written the horror novels, DIABOLIS OF DUBLIN & SIBERIAN HELLHOLE.