An Espresso Tale
Accipiter G. Goshawk
Here is the conclusion to the Order of the Screaming Monks.
He squirmed, trying to free himself from Ionus’ grasp, but the old monk’s hands were like iron around his cheeks. A knife glinted wickedly in his other hand, and Ouon started to struggle with all his might, desperate to escape his bindings.
The older man shook his head, but grinned as he reached into the young man’s mouth to hold down his tongue.
Thoughts passed in a flurry through the novice’s head. His hands were too tightly bound and the chair was too solid. Would someone go for help? No, he was alone, alone with this perverse butcher. As the knife drew closer he tried to think, to figure something out, to escape!
Then it came to him.
In a desperate surge of energy he twisted his bound-up hands towards the pocket of his robes. The knife descended, but there it was: the second bottle he’d been meaning to savour that night. They hadn’t searched him!
He grasped the delicate neck of the glass container and pulled, letting it crash to the cold granite floor.
Sound invaded the room, as both he and Ionus were transported to a lively fair. The old man reeled backwards, covering his ears and eyes from the sudden onslaught of colour and sound. Ouon struggled and rocked, finally managing to tilt the chair to the side. He braced, but the impact still knocked the breath out of him. He didn’t have time to dawdle though, the illusion would be over soon.
He squirmed and wriggled, freeing himself from the chair, even as the vision of the carnival began to dissipate. He got to his feet, and he was once more back in the Hall of Silence with his hands bound behind his back. Before him stood father Ionus, glaring angrily at him from behind the outstretched blade.
The old monk moved closer, putting one finger to his lips. Ouon thought he felt a slight tremor in the ground, and he looked up to see that the statue of the Mute was now glowing.
Experimentally he stepped on the broken glass, causing it to crackle noisily beneath his boot.
The tremor increased slightly, and then Ouon knew.
Ionus’ eyes widened and he lunged forward, intent on killing the novice; intent on preventing a catastrophe.
He poured his desire for life, his hatred, his fear and his defiance into the inarticulate howl. It rocked the monastery and the ground shook, even as the statue of the Mute grew incandescent and melted.
Father Ionus fell to his knees and wailed, pulling out clumps of his wispy grey hair.
“What have you done?! You have doomed us all, you sacrilegious fiend! You have doomed the Order!”
“Good,” murmured Ouon as he dashed past the prostrate monk, leaving the ruin of the Hall behind him.
In minutes he reached the Crypt, and there he began smashing every single bottle and jar he could find. Multi-coloured wisps filled the space and endless visions crowded the underground vault, growing louder and louder.
As the pressure reached its breaking point, Ouon fled. He’d barely made it out of the monastery before the scream of a thousand monks blasted into the sky, leaving nothing but a luminous ruin behind.
He was silent for a while.
Sometime later, dawn broke over the waves of the Northern Sea, rousing him from his sleep at the bottom of a fisherman’s boat. He peered back to look at the island and the smoking remains of the Order of the Screaming Monks.
Then he smiled.
“I think I’d like some breakfast now,” he murmured happily to himself.
Around him the world answered, accepting his desire in the cacophony of existence.-