More of 'The Harming Tree'


A convincing meditation
On the splendour of the night
Giving out, giving out, radiating
More heat than light
Shriekback – More Heat than Light

Like the whispering promise of infection, Cadmus arrived in Los Angeles. Slicing through the insistent fog, the airplane finally came to rest in a cradle of the garish light upon which humanity seemed so dependent in their fruitless effort to stave away the dark. They denied the stars. They denied the velvet night. They feared that which could not be seen, because the artificial light blinded them to any possibility beyond that which was illuminated. Let them take comfort in their obliviousness. It often served Cadmus Pariah well.

He brought with him one small bag, just large enough to hold a change of clothes and his computer. Cadmus did not plan on being in America for very long. He still had connections to the entertainment empire, mainly on Wilshire Blvd. It should not take much effort to locate the offending filmmaker and dispatch him with haste.

Like quicksilver, Cadmus moved through swelling throng of travellers, his disdain for them growing with every nimble step he took. The stench of their skin was only made worse by their pathetic attempts to mask their natural odours. The only thing remotely pleasant about humanity was the dizzying effect of their blood. Despite their general unpleasantness, human blood was still a sublime intoxicant.

Cadmus was hungry.

No one saw anything, and his dinner never knew what hit her. Cadmus stepped out of time and whisked her with him, draining her of most of her blood as people marched by, burdened with concerns or basking in the illusion of hope. She had a child, who was left standing beside her mother, crying in the belief that the woman had instantly abandoned her little girl. She could not see the female crumple to her knees, still locked in Cadmus’ trans-dimensional embrace. Only when he let the body completely drop to the floor of LAX, did she once again become visible to mortal eyes.

The child’s cries turned to a great keen, and Cadmus peered at the little human, feeling nothing but, perhaps, a vague scorn. Let the airport authorities sort it out, he thought. Let the child become emotionally locked to this moment in time, wracked with a trauma that will only serve to grow as she grows. The sooner anyone has the epiphany that life is but a treasury of agonies, the better off they shall be. What horrors will this little one collect over the course of time?

It was still early evening on the Pacific coast. Cadmus knew, though, that the business that controlled all forms of entertainment never truly slept. He had no doubt people would still be diligently working to perfect their propaganda for public consumption. As he turned away from the inconsolable child and the growing herd of curious and distressed humans, Cadmus attended to his cell, and found the phone number of Neil Beiser, one of the executives who oversaw the dissemination of movie score recordings under the Sony umbrella.

Neil picked up in the middle of the second ring.

“Sony Pictures, this is Neil.”

“Hello, Neil.”

“Christian? Is that really you? Where the hell have you been, man? What’s up with Magnificat? You still doing that gig?”

“Ahhhh, no. After Mary passed, it just seemed a bit pointless,” Cadmus said, perfectly imitating a person who was dealing with grief.

“Yeah, man, I’m sorry to hear about that. So, what are you doing these days?”

“Writing primarily. Lying low, you know. Keeping to myself. Right now, though, I am in town and was hoping you could help me with something.”

“Name it, Christian.”

Neil still knew Cadmus as Christian, because that was the name he had originally gone by with the forming Magnificat. Even though he knew Cadmus’ real name, he preferred that particular cognomen. It didn’t faze Cadmus. Names were nothing but transitory identities to be used and dismissed in accordance to one’s needs in that moment.

“Word has it that a young director is engaged in a project about various Vampire sects. I’d heard he might be interested in using some of Magnificat’s music for his film. Do you know anything about this, perhaps?”

“Oh, you’re probably talking about Baptiste Chenier. He really gets into his work. I’ve heard he’s only filming at night, to maintain that particular undead vibe.” Neil barked out a cynical laugh, setting Cadmus’ teeth on edge. “He started out directing music videos, mostly for alternative bands, nothing like what you guys did. But yeah, I can see where he might be keen on getting the rights to use some of your songs.”

“Do you know how I might connect with him about this?” Cadmus asked politely.

  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
  • Current Music: Signs - Shriekback