NOW YOU ARE LOOKING AT

A black and horny Devil scaling the church organ pipes like a cloven-hoofed spider, who now sits astride the big bass pipe, leering, knowing, and it’s in his eyes, black and blacker, looking into what you are, into what you have become, a yellow-toothed grin breaking its black scaly face like a rip in a rain-pregnant cloud, and you know, and The Devil knows, and the moon reaches white fingers bruise-purpled through stained glass, the church now Hell’s hub spinning the night earth faster, moon-eye through that window, now that window, now that window, the Saviour picking up his cross, carrying it up to the hilltop, nails now driven through feet and hands, The Devil laughing like shards of glass hitting a marble floor, and he will show you the everything and all, a kaleidoscope of jag-rope sins that cannot be unseen, and you are falling, grabbing at nothing as that stone-slab floor cracks open, and this is where you belong, down down to the sound of iron and chain, of teeth-grinding cogs in flicker-lit shadow, of...

GRACE (off screen): Billy. Billy. Wake up.

And now we are looking at Billy and Grace’s bedroom. A chair lies on its side. A broken pot dog lays headless under the curtained window. A can of Guinness toppled and black-spewed by the bed. Grace, dressed in black work clothes and frown, stands over the curled crumple of Billy, half-covered by the flowery duvet, still dressed in yesterday’s scuffed jeans and booze-spattered Celtic shirt. A low groan.

GRACE (soft-shaking Billy): Get up. It’s seven-thirty.

BILLY (groans): Can’t.

GRACE (shaking him a little harder): GET UP!

BILLY (pulling a pillow over his head): Can’t.

And now we see Grace kicking the bedpost, leaving the room by a swinging door that clatters its brass knob against the wall, Billy now turning over slow onto his belly, peeping out from under the pillow for a moment to glimpse the scene.

BILLY (disappearing back under the pillow): Fuck.

We watch for one whole minute as the clock ticks. From outside, we can hear the birds sing, the low dull rumble of traffic. Billy twitches, as though bitten by midges… Heavy footsteps on the stairs. Then Grace enters the room with a coffee cup in her hand.

GRACE (placing the cup on the bedside table): Drink this. Get up. Go to work.

BILLY (from under the pillow): Can’t.

GRACE (slapping the bed): GET UP! NOW! YOU’LL GET THE FUCKING SACK IF YOU DON’T GO IN AGAIN! GET UP!

BILLY (from under the pillow): I think last night, I...

GRACE (making for the door): WHATEVER! JUST GET UP! NOW!

BILLY (from under the pillow): But...

GRACE (exiting): GET UP!

We hear Grace heavy-footing down the stairs. The clock ticks. We hear a door slam.

BILLY (from under the pillow): Fuck.

We see the bedside clock tick: seven-forty, eight o’clock, a quarter past ten, the clock stops… And now you are trying to leave the dark woods by a bramble-strewn path that scratches your naked body. Ahead you see the thinning of the trees, a clearing in the half-light, and beyond this, a hillside blessed in a golden blush of sunlight, this perfect treeless hill that rises up and up into the light. You run, stumbling, kicking against the thorny undergrowth, your skin ripped by a thousand tiny claws, the blood now wet-warm down your legs, the sound of your own breathing a thin desperate echo, and then, you stop… In the clearing stands the lion, the wolf, and the leopard. They begin their slow lope towards you… and you try to scream.

BILLY (waking with start): Christ.

And now we are looking at Billy sat up in bed, slow-lifting the duvet, a dark flower of piss blossoming across his jeans.