The Crypt of St Leviathan

The length of the crypt, from double iron doors to marble sepulcher, is filled with light and darkness, and music. The sepulcher itself is suitable for a giant, sunken half into the floor to form a head-high platform and flanked by two statues: on the left, the marble angel of Art has her way with the coiling iron serpent of Technology; on the right, granite Past, titanium Present, and crystal Future are intimately entwined. The long walls bear murals, one depicting the Creation from First Word to Adam, with emphasis on astronomy and biology, while the other follows the history of man from the Fall to the present day, focusing on massacres and goats; optimistically, it covers only half the wall.
The gothic arch of the ceiling is criss-crossed by catwalks, all draped with white bunting and supporting a banner that reads "Cloud 9"; beneath the blank wall at the end of the historical mural, a chunk of floor has been dug into a waist-deep pit and labelled "Abaddon" in red neon. The obsidian bar underlines the creation of Earth and matching tables dot half the floor. The sepulcher apparently serves as a stage, and the floor in front of it is clear.

The Revellers

Her wide eyes, short hair, and smooth skin are the color of coffee with one, two, and three creams; her wings are black. Her clothes are determinedly casual: black jeans, white Tshirt with an abstract scrawl of a coffeecup, purple sneakers. Despite this, the tiny porcelain cup she carries is filled with tea; she takes occasional sips when distracted by the thick paperback book she carries, which is often. Where the Angel of Java walks, insects fall dead with tiny violet flashes.
He peers through a monocle that isn't rose-colored in the slightest, scrutizing the world for error and finding it far too often. He himself is immaculate in evening dress of unmingled white and black, narrow eyes black in a white face, precisely combed hair curling over white horns. Where he sees error, he corrects it with a touch of his silver-headed cane, and the guilty rarely slip again. When in doubt, the Devil of Propriety consults the works of Judith Martin.
During the day she lives in the eyes of the blind, and every night she wakes up to put out the sun. At the extinguishing of every candle she is there, at the flick of every light switch, and at the final dimming of every eye, but she doesn't hate them. She never misses a party if it's held underground.
Catriona Torklep's Guardian Angel is, appropriately, laden down with bottles, blankets, spare diapers, and an astonishing assortment of medicines. She's dressed in soft stain-resistant clothes, and her long dark hair is tied up safely in a bun. Like most guardian angels, she looks tired, but her eyes glow with joy.
The flaming mass of her hair is bound about with iron chains, and drips smoking blood down the back of her lycra shorts; despite the restraints, tendrils curl out toward passers-by. A coal-black windbreaker with the Bontraeger logo in crimson flames covers her from neck to waist, but the skin-tight shorts display legs as lean and strong as brazen cables, and iron-cleated hooves. Her goggles are pushed up on her forehead to where they dissolve in her hair, leaving bare a pale racoon-mask on a face tanned but otherwise so ordinary that it comes as quite a surprise when she takes a bite out of the titanium frame she carries in one hand.
There is nothing exceptional about her appearance, but the words flock around her in a razor cloud that leaves bystanders bleeding, roosting in the curls of her long fair hair and the folds of her floral-print dress. The drops they bear gleam like cabochon rubies on the graceful curves of collarbones and throat; occasionally one succumbs to gravity and scrawls a cryptic crimson word down into the ivory depths of her bosom. If you watch carefully, you might see a word hatch from the sting of her tongue, squirm between alabaster fangs and carnelian lips, and strike for your jugular.
The Devil's Advocate wears a five thousand dollar suit of a grey perfectly intermediate between white and black, a tie red as tape, and shoes you never want to see your reflection in. His glasses are gunman's amber, his briefcase is pale leather and rusted iron, and every quill on his head is perfectly in place. And he smiles.
Fire dances to the music of the spheres, gold and orange and fueled only by her own divinity. More often than not the flames stream along the line of thigh or back, or billow as the swell of hip or breast bedizened with brilliant sparks, and a plume of smoke scented with frankincense and myrrh swirls behind; from the right angle they curl into the quirk of smiling lips, and the flare of cheekbones beneath blowtorch-blue eyes.
Her hair is the snow-plume from a wintery peak; her eyes, blue glacier ice and unearthly luminescence; her robe, auroral green scintillating with blue and violet. Beneath the northern lights, the Angel of the North wears worldly clothes: a pine-green Tshirt with \"See the Mountains of Alaska\" stretched across the chest, jeans faded pale and skintight, and boots suited for mountaineering. Her smile is all sunny warmth, but her lips are rouged with frozen blood.
It's not often you see a lizard like this: eight feet long if it's an inch, brown scales patterned like astrologer's notes in gilt ink, dragon thorns at every joint, and eyes old as a serpent's. The woman it's draped over is no common sight either: a fair-skinned chocolate-haired temptress filling out a gold leotard, with gold-glyphed brown wings trailing from her slender shoulders. The lizard's tail curls languidly around her hips and down to one bare foot, but its eyes and hers are identical, alert.
If an angel wears human form too long, she might slip, and display a thousand crimsonviridescentgold wings. Of course she'd immediately fold those azuresilverberyl vanes back into the shape of a small girl with rainbow-dyed hair and a silver lycra minidress, but those turquoisevioletsunrise pinions are waiting, just beneath the surface. They say an angel with a thousand wings must have a thousand eyes, but really she only needs one, if that one eye is the sun.
In the beginning was THE WORD, and after that came a whole bunch of Words, and those were the angels who lit the Sun and hung the stars in the heavens and hold the Moon in its course, who tucked RNA between grains of clay and taught plants to seek the sunlight and winnowed them with a corrosive flood. There are higher orders, though, those who marshal the Words in vital array, who make the Story, and nothing in creation is beyond them. Not even this.
Chocolate is not only her Word but her embodiment: milk chocolate for the flowing curves of face and body, bittersweet for the glossy mass of hair pouring down her back, mint for eyes and raspberry for lips and slithering tongue. Bright crinkly foil wraps her from shoulders to knees, revealing almost everything. People have died for a taste.

This file was last modified at 1635 on 22Jun99 by