A brilliant research student discovers a plot fulminated by demons from another dimension and kills himself in the process. The fate of the world is left in the hands of an elderly academic and a mysterious orphan.
Using the facts surrounding Ireland’s economic collapse in 2008 as its starting point, Terminal Transit is an apocalyptic adventure dealing with death and destruction in a Dublin slowly devastated by demonic intervention.
Can the end of the world be avoided?
Or is this planet simply scheduled for Terminal Transit?
Chapter II ‘A New Signal’
The audience never came home from the homecoming concert. Not one single member. For a country well versed in statues bleeding, springs springing forth at the roadside, and many other modern-day miracles and mysteries, the disappearance of the audience left everyone totally baffled. A thorough forensic sweep of the stadium didn’t reveal a single, solitary clue. The newspaper headlines took up the story.
‘VANISHED, PRESUMED DEAD’
‘WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?’
‘AND THEN THERE WERE NONE’
‘WHO HAS SEEN OUR CHILDREN?’
‘LOST IN MUSIC?’
‘A NATION MOURNS’
‘‘MY BUS WAS DELAYED’ SAYS LUCKY ‘SURVIVOR’’
‘IT SHOULD’VE BEEN ME!!!’
‘THE NEW DISAPPEARED’
‘(WITH OR) WITHOUT YOU?’
ROCK BAND IN CONCERT MYSTERY’
‘THE CONCERT OF DOOM’
‘WHO ARE THE5?’
And has always happened at the site of any disaster, friends, families, relatives and complete strangers marked the tragedy with candlelit vigils and public masses. And then the posters started; handwritten, typed, taped, photocopied, cheaply printed – the faces of the missing were stuck to fences and lampposts and anywhere else that a poster could be placed. Handbills as well, flyers, holy cards, medals, banners, balloons, photographs, portraits, paintings and bouquet. Like countless doom-weighed blossoms falling from the most hopeless of trees, the streets around Croke Park very quickly filled with these petals of despair. Though he knew it was helpless, Mac carefully pinned his card with the rest of them.
Loss always hits hard and holds firm and deep and long and even after a lifetime of solitude Mac now found he was unable to deal with a brand-new loneliness. There simply is no substitute for presence. Not ever. Mac had first met desolation the morning he lost Sibeal. The choking crushing numbness of her death broke him into a million desperate pieces and forced him so deep into his grief-shaped heart that he thought he was sure to drown in the throbbing, choking pain. It took him years to fish himself at least partially free, one lonely saddened sodden piece at a time. And each piece he rescued became a new word in a new sentence and then a new sentence in a new paragraph and then a new paragraph on a new page and then slowly these new pages grew to be new chapters. And so the Miscellanea became eventually Mac’s carapace, his shell, and like an elderly tortoise discovered on some far-flung archipelago, Mac carried the weight of his barely-repaired life heavy on his bent back. It was a price to pay and an obviously obvious weight to bear but it was something. In fact, it was everything. Now, Inteachán gone and his integument ruptured, Mac feared for the pieces of his frangible heart once more.
‘I’m a selfish cowardly fool,’ he told himself. ‘That a man should send a child to right the breaking world.’ The urge to punch his face with a bony fist was almost impossible to resist. Or pull the last of his straggled hair free from his temples.
‘I had no right, no right at all.’
Mac’s eyes filled with tears.
‘And now she is gone like all the rest.’
As he walked across Front Square the morning after the concert Mac felt that the world was now only different in every imaginable way. He knew the First of the TheFive was here. The disturbance was unignorable and as if his original burdens were not enough, Mac now carried the fact of Butler’s fears coming true like a sodden overcoat clinging stupidly to his sorry shoulders. This fact was a distant bell that tolled everywhere he listened. It was a newly damaged nerve that caused his eye to always gently twitch. It was a trouser cuff that kept getting caught on the heel of his shoe.
The tread of each step on the stairs as he returned to his flat weighed heavier now, only slightly but enough to feel the difference each day. In the same way, lifting a cup to his lips, a fork to his mouth, or the sheet at night to cover his shoulder, each and every ordinary movement that accounted for the passing seconds of every day, seemed to have acquired a new and denser gravity than before.
That night Mac dreamed he was alone in an empty black desert. Five bright black moons hung low in the endless sky and glimmered like the deadliest of precious metals as they sped through the darkness like the bearings of some infernal gear. Ahead of him loomed seven vast dunes. The temperature was way below zero but even though he was only wearing his pyjamas Mac didn’t feel the cold. The sand gathered between his toes and started to swirl around him as a sudden wind appeared from nowhere and picked up speed.
‘wE R heer,’ said the wind as it licked Mac’s face. ‘wE AV wated 4 This MOMENt for orl tiMe.’
Mac turned his head to one side to stop the sand blowing straight into his eyes.
‘fliNcH nOt,’ said the wind. ‘BeHOLd ouR MAjeSTi!’
The wind gripped the sand and drew it up into the air like a swarm of angry bees. The sand around Mac’s feet eddied and whirled as it formed a column around him and then Mac found himself being lifted off the ground. The wind forced the column higher and higher until Mac found himself floating in the black mouth of space.
‘AlL tHIngs b4FOR uS FaLL,’ screamed the wind. ‘VaST GALAXiES AnD SINGEL trEES. ALL R aS NUFFiN 2 OuR SPLENda. Wee thrUGH a tINy PEBBel acrOSS thE VASt and broKE thE DINOsorS.’
A comet issued from the column and streaked out into the black. Mac followed it with his eyes until he couldn’t see it any more. The wind laughed softly, delighted by its own artistry.
‘ThaTz tHe COMet THAt 3 FOOlish pEEPING Men wiTh teESCOPes WIll FOLLOw TO a FIND a BASTArd BAbY.’
Mac’s mind whirled. He found himself saying things that were not his thoughts.
‘But surely the principles of the galaxy are such that you should be keen to seek balance and not redress? For who has caused you such grievous harm as to render all discourse irrelevant.’
‘NoT wont NO DIScouRse. Not Us. Not ALL. ONLy WONT iLL AnD deSTRUCtion.’
‘That may be so,’ ‘said’ Mac, ‘but ultimately such intent merely signals only malice. Can such energy ever result in maintaining the equilibrium?’
‘Is SUcH. TRUe SEd! MALicE onLEE ORLL. NoT ELLSe heeR. We NO ONlee wUN THINg wICh is HArM.’