Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Synopsis

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?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter II ‘A New Signal’

Verse 2

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’

‘PROMOTERS BAFFLED’

‘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.’

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Synopsis

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?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak,’

Verse 12

With the terrible truth now trickling from beyond, it is fair to say that the world has reached a dreadful juncture for this is the exact point in the very small history of this very small planet that every single ever prediction of doom, of death, of absolute destruction, every crackpot scheme and half-heard death knoll, every religious rune, sign, portent and symbol ever associated with the apocalypse has now come to pass and anyone in the history of the world who has ever laughed, or scoffed, or doubted and discredited, or mocked and ridiculed, terrorized and tortured or in any other way not seen that the end of the world was indeed coming after all must now be fully prepared to eat their entire words letter by miserable mouth-filling letter as the NotBeSpeak begin their cataclysmic entry.

Bart felt a gentle whispering wind wrap around his foolish pride-bulged heart.

‘The5 have come,’ Bart said inside himself. ‘I am complete and ready to be washed in the warmth of Their love.’

The whispering wind filled him with a comforting darkness.

Inteachán imagined that she was lying safely in her bed. Everything was quite and still and as it had always been. Her parents were asleep in the room beside her and no one was trying to kill anyone. But then her bedroom door opened and in stepped her father.

Mac woke from the tangle of his elderly dreams. He sat up straight in his narrow bed.

‘And so it starts,’ he whispered in the darkness. ‘Butler was right. They are on their way. Inteachán has failed.’

Mac reached over and picked up his spectacles. He swung his tired legs out of bed.

‘And so this is what the end of the world feels like, inevitability and disappointment together.’

Mac looked out into the darkness.

‘We tried. We really did.’

Mac paused and a small tear began to form in his tired eye.

‘I suppose it was always the case that an old man and a young child would be no match for all the cosmic terror that the world has never seen.’

Mac smiled in resignation.

‘When the inevitable darkness comes for you, please be assured that it wasn’t the whole world who simply surrendered.’

***

‘Listen to me,’ said the enraptured Rock Star and the crowd fell silent. Bart spread his holy arms out wide, inviting his flock to worship.

‘The5 are here,’ he cried. ‘The5 are really here.’

Even though they didn’t fully know why, the crowd began to clap and cheer. Banners were unfurled and began moving, furling slowly in the darkness like the limbs of poisoned trees. Bart punched the air and whooped.

‘Yeah!’ he yelled. ‘Alright! They’re here. They’re really here.’

Bart played the crowd now. He climbed down off the stage and crossed the security divide to where the crowds were pressed up against the fences. He walked along the line, scattering blessings as he passed. A worried roadie followed behind him to make sure that the microphone cable didn’t get snagged. Burly security guards stopped the crowds from getting over the fences.

‘Listen,’ whispered the Rock Star. ‘Who wants to join The5?’

‘We do,’ someone yelled.

‘Who wants a new anointing?’ Bart continued.

‘Yes please,’ shouted someone else.

‘Some new gods to please?’

‘Me.’

‘And me.’

‘A brand-new cross to bear?’

‘Me too!’

Bart smiled and headed back up onto the stage.

‘Are you listening, children?’ asked Bart as he took his position in front of the band. Bart pulled out the Flute of Thelema.

‘My beautiful chosen children,’ he purred. ‘This next song is for all the world to sing.’ Bart put the Flute to his lips and signaled to the band.

Now we are at the heart of the matter.

What would you do to save the world?

How far would you go?

Would you go all the way?

Inteachán estimated the gap between her and the Rock Star. It looked an awful long way down. Bart turned around to look up at her. He winked. He knew that she had been up there all along. Their eyes met and held for a very brief second before Inteachán

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jumped.

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Synopsis

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?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak,’

Verse 8

The city at night is a dark and dangerous place. Revellers and ruffians vie for space. People die in dirty alleys while others walk past and laugh. Sadness turns to anger turns to murder. And for many people the streets where they walk are also where they live and so go about their business unhindered by public eyes as they share needles and doorways and grimy bottles.

Small enough to pass unnoticed and alert enough to walk unhindered, Inteachán enjoyed the freedom that the darkness of the city usually offered. Tonight, however, the streets were full of hordes of people all heading towards Croke Park. This was nothing unusual and the various finals played out at the stadium meant that the streets were regularly full of crowds of singing fans. As Croke Park loomed in the distance Inteachán found herself swept along by the horde of fans thrilled by the prospect of the country’s biggest band making their triumphant return.

It was a relatively simple process for Inteachán to use the crowd to enter the stadium and once inside she made her way towards the area behind the stage. Security was very tight but no match for such a determined child and it wasn’t long before Inteachán found herself in the main dressing room backstage. Clothes and bags were scattered everywhere. A giant poster of Bart was carelessly taped crookedly to one of the walls. Directly beneath the poster a low table groaned beneath the weight of plates and plates of cheap fried chicken with thin salty fries in greasy paper bags. Large bottles of corner shop cola completed the pre-gig tableau.

‘Well what do you know?’ said a voice behind her. ‘What have we got here?’

Inteachán turned to find Bart standing in the doorway. He was smaller than he looked on the television and Inteachán wrinkled her nose as the smell of his aftershave began to fill the room. Bart stepped forward and closed the door behind him. He smiled and pointed at the groaning table.

‘What do you think of our spread?’ he asked. ‘I’m sure the band won’t mind if you help yourself to a chicken wing and a couple of fries.’

Bart laughed at his own generosity before falling serious.

‘I know who you are and I know why you are here, Inteachán,’ he said. ‘They told me you were coming.’

Inteachán didn’t reply. Bart took another step closer.

‘They also told me that you are being manipulated by that old doddering fool of a professor.’ Bart stopped right in front of Inteachán and tried his hardest to loom right over her. It didn’t work. Inteachán stepped back. Bart put his hands on his hips.

‘Mac may think he knows what is going on but let me tell you he hasn’t got a bloody clue.’

Bart sat down on a plastic chair and put his cowboy boots up on another. He motioned for Inteachán to sit down. She stayed standing.

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Synopsis

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?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak,’

Verse 7

The next evening and Mac sat thinking in his chair. Inteachán sat beside him waiting. The coals in the grate cracked and whispered. Menace clung to the room like a funeral drape. Mac thought some more and then, just when she thought he had fallen asleep, Mac leaned over and placed his hand gently on her arm. He smiled.

‘I have to ask something of you, Inteachán,’ said Mac tenderly. ‘I have to ask you to do something that I don’t want to ask you to do. Your father made me swear that if the worst came to the worst that I was to look out for you and treat you as the grand-daughter I never knew.’ Mac shifted uncomfortably.

‘I hate myself for asking but I am too old to go and I really don’t think that we can trust anyone else with something as vast and secret as this so it will have to be you.’

In Mac’s troubled mind Inteachán was capable of anything. He just knew she was. Inteachán looked up from her tears. Her small face was red and smeared. Everything was far too much for her to bear.

‘How can I possibly help?’ she asked the old man. ‘What do you want me to do?’ Inteachán began to sob but Mac did not react. His mind was made up and nothing was going to deter him.

‘It has come to my attention,’ said Mac, ‘that the Flute of Thelema has recently been rediscovered and is now residing in this country.’

‘The Flute of Flelema?’ asked Inteachán. ‘Whatever is that?’

Mac nodded. He loved nothing more than having an audience, even if it was only a grieving child. Sibeal used to be his sounding post and though she teased him when his ‘sermons’ got too much he knew she really loved to hear him speak, or at least he thought she did.

‘It was in 1923 that a certain Raoul Loveday commissioned a local silversmith from the port of Cefalu to craft an ornamental flute which he intended to offer as a tribute to the noted occultist Aleister Crowley who had recently established his infamous Abbey of Thelema in the vicinity.’

Mac smiled wryly.

‘Sadly, however, Raoul drank from a local spring and succumbed to enteric fever before the flute was completed. Another version of the same story suggests that he died after drinking the blood of a cat. Either way Crowley was forced to leave his Abbey that same year and so the Flute became another tale surrounding the legendary occultist and his life.’

Mac’s smile ended and the agitation in his voice began to rise. The menace descended lower now.

‘It has long been the predilection for billionaire rock stars and other hapless creatures to collect occult and esoteric memorabilia – cloaks, spell books, wands, papers, powders, vials, grimoires, goblets and other such gruesome gimlets. Most of these misguided creatures simply place their collections in vaults or leave them laying around their mansions to be worn on special occasions or passed around at dinner parties for the pleasure of their guests.’ Mac snorted his displeasure at such behaviour.

‘However, and according to your late father’s intelligence, it appears that Bartholomew Hamson, the biggest rock star this country has ever produced, and known to the world as Bart, has recently acquired the long-lost Flute of Thelema. At midnight tomorrow Bart and his band will be performing their latest homecoming concert in front of 80, 000 adoring people at Croke Park and apparently, at the climax, so your father understood, Bart intends to play the Flute.’ Mac looked worried again.

‘At this stage I have no way of knowing why Bart would want to do this but it clearly cannot simply be in the interests of popular composition.’ He looked at Inteachán. ‘I need you to go backstage, locate the Flute and prevent it from being played.’

Inteachán had seen the posters around town; four men wearing skullcaps and too-large sunglasses, cowboy boots and leather waistcoats. Even though she couldn’t name any of their songs, Inteachán knew just how much this band meant to so many people. Mac continued talking.

‘Given the nature of the Flute’s origins, the site chosen for its debut and your father’s findings, I firmly believe that the sound of this infernal instrument is somehow intended to engage directly with the NotBeSpeak.’

‘But’s what’s so special about Croke Park?’ asked Inteachán. She placed another piece of bread on her fork and began to toast it on the fire as Mac spoke.

‘There is an ancient ley line called St. Michael which extends out from Ireland into Europe and then the Middle East. This line intersects with various sacred sites dedicated to the saint himself. There are various amplification points along this line, including Skellig Michael, the so-called holy rock that stands in the Atlantic Ocean. Unbeknown to everyone but a few, Croke Park is also another amplification point.’ Inteachán felt a slight shadow descend.

‘If the Flute is played at such a point of amplification then who knows what will happen next.’ Mac put down his plate. ‘As if that wasn’t enough, Croke Park also stands in Ballybough and Ballybough is one of the darkest parts of Dublin.’ Mac looked at Inteachán.

‘There is an old cemetery in Ballybough where the City’s undesirables used to be buried. Thieves, robbers, highwaymen and suicide victims, hence the name, the Suicide Plot.’

‘The worst thing of all,’ continued Mac, ‘was that each corpse had a stake driven through its heart so that they couldn’t further bother the residents.’

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Synopsis

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?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak,’

Verse 6

Mac looked out into the darkness and smiled awkwardly.

‘I think that it is fair to say that what you have just read are the psychotic ramblings of a complete and utter energumen – all pointlessly puerile fiction and paranoid ramblings that lose their meaning as the pages unfold.’ Mac hated himself for saying this.

‘Sibeal always worried that Butler had something of the tragic about him – ‘licked by the black dog of death’ was how she described him the first time they met.’ Mac paused as the weight of all the loss he had ever known bore down on him momentarily. He shuddered, took a deep breath and then collected himself.

‘I could weep forever when I consider exactly how far Butler could have gone as a scholar; the Nobel Prize would only have been the beginning. And yet he only managed to get as far as murderer, madman and suicide. Instead of a stellar publishing career with award after award after award the only thing left to show for all his so-called brilliance is this loose collation of word-games and demonic doggerel.’ Mac threw the folder to the floor and looked out into the darkness. It was a minute before he spoke again.

‘It really doesn’t bear thinking about. But think about it, I must. After all, and knowing the man as well as I did, there has to be the possibility, however slight or slim, that Butler did actually manage to stumble upon some kind of cosmic truth amidst all of this apothegmatic chaos.’ Mac adjusted the blanket on his knee.

‘If we step back for a moment from our contemporary notions of nosology we might recall that earlier conceptions of madness tended to combine elements of the divine, the diabolical, the magical and the transcendental. We might also recall that madness then was also seen a moral issue, constituting, somehow, some form of punishment or a test.’ Mac grimaced and then relaxed, as he warmed to his analysis.

‘What if Butler is right? What if the prophecy is pointing to the fact that this planet is about to be destroyed? Butler’s madness does then become a very real moral issue, only for me now, and no longer for him. Can I really ignore the possibility, however far-fetched this talk of stones and stars and dark planets is, that the extinction-level event Butler has foreseen isn’t going to come to pass?’ The old scholar smiled, thankful for another chance to impart his boundless knowledge.

‘I am reminded here of the 10th Century English word dustsceawung,’ he said. ‘This was the contemplation of the fact that everyday ordinary dust used to be many other things, usually far less everyday and ordinary; walls, and trees and books, for example. With Butler’s discovery of this horrendous prophecy in mind, we might also add islands, nations, and planets to this list.’ Mac shuddered and then held up three bony fingers and pointed at the first.

‘From what I can remember of the last conversation that we had, on the morning of that terrible night, this is how the whole thing is supposed to work. This finger is the first Tier, Past-Change – what was. It can be understood most simply as History but it is simply the case that nothing is ever that simple.’ Mac pointed at the second finger.

‘We understand Present-Change in terms of what is. The here? The now? The immediate?’ He pointed to the third.

‘Future-Change is best understood in terms of what will be. What lies ahead? The shape of things to come? The second after the minute it takes to read this sentence.’ Mac paused.

‘As a race we humans either dwell in the past, refusing to let go of what was. Or we live for the moment, happy to acknowledge the ever-changing nature of what is. Failing either of these two, we look forward to things, projecting our thoughts and desires to a time that has yet to occur, what will be’ Mac pointed to each of the three fingers in turn.

‘The Three Tiers of Change are the normal state of affairs for the world and they ensure that the status quo is maintained, even allowing for occasional wobbles along the way. From the world’s perspective the separation of these three tiers has always been a good thing.’ Mac folded the three fingers back into his fist.

‘We humans are not temperamentally equipped to occupy all three Tiers of Change at the same time. If you don’t believe me then try dwelling in the past, living for the moment and also looking forward to something yet to happen. Fatally, however, our unableness to do these three things at once, will likely bring about our downfall as a planet.

This is because it appears that the NotBeSpeak can be present in all times at the same time. Apparently, this is how they have always existed. Here’s the thing. Though they have always existed it is only now that the conditions are right for them to act. And act they will.’

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

Terminal Transit Synopsis

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?

mainimg

Terminal Transit,

‘Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak’’

Verse 3

Following the inquest, the Coroner’s Report confirmed that ‘Dr Butler F. Temple killed himself and murdered his daughter by leaping from Wexford Bridge after first stabbing his wife to death while she was asleep at No. 23 Wolseley Street, Dublin 8 with a double-edged ‘sacrificial’ dagger that he had recently purchased by mail order. Dr. Temple’s 1972 Volkswagen Beetle was found abandoned close to the bridge. Dr. Temple’s body was discovered the same evening but his daughter’s body is still unaccounted-for.’

‘A terrible misadventure,’ reported the Coroner, ‘likely brought about by a combination of overwork and chronic depression. This tragedy is further compounded by the fact that the child’s body still remains unfound at the time of writing.’

Everyone agreed that it was a dreadful thing to have happened and for a few days it was the talk of this tiny town – especially considering it involved an academic from Trinity College, itself the very site of controversy. But, as is the nature of tragedies, however terrible, they happen so often that the next one leaves the last one in that special but dreadful place where the memories of every single tragedy ever to have befallen blur as they coalesce around the faded inches of discarded newspaper print and occasional visits to graveyards.

As far as everyone was concerned that was pretty much that and the sad affair of the gifted Trinity lecturer who lost his mind was consigned to the pages of local history but Mac, being Mac, had certainly never considered himself to be any part of ‘everyone else’ and in any case he knew for sure that something else lay at the heart of this tragedy.

Inteachán’s arrival at the flat that had been in her family since the 18th Century made Mac even more sure that there was something afoot, so sure in fact that it never occurred to him to report the fact of her being alive to the authorities. Mac was desperate to get to the heart of what happened and so it was that he soon found himself unable to wait any longer and growing more and more anxious Mac began to question the poor child.

‘Can you tell me what happened on that awful night? asked Mac getting straight to the point as gently as he could.

‘Did your father say anything? Think carefully.’

Inteachán thought carefully and began to sob.

‘He was upset, so upset, more upset than I had ever seen anyone ever before.’

Inteachán shuddered as the memory fell upon her once again from on high and afar.

‘He said that They had trapped him on a dark desert planet and that a black sandstorm tormented him for days by whispering in his ear that he needed to help Them in order to get back home and that the only way he would get back home was if he sacrificed me as an offering to them.’

‘They. Them.’ repeated Mac.

He hissed softly.

‘Fomhóire! Or should I say, the NotBeSpeak.’

As was his particular wont, Mac looked glum.

Inteachán felt a chill descend upon her from somewhere else and she duly shivered.

‘What are the What-Be-Speak?’ she whispered through her tears.

‘Not What,’ Mac replied carefully, ‘but Why.’

He continued to look glum and stared off into the dingy distance.

‘I have spent a very large part of my recent years searching for an answer to that question. Sadly, I am no closer to the answer than I was when I started.’

Mac fumbled for the handkerchief he kept in the breast pocket of his green tweed suit and blew his nose vigorously.

‘In fact, I’m probably further away today than I have ever been.’

Mac prodded the coals on the fire. The chill showed no sign of leaving the room.

‘Despite my grand claims to knowledge and understanding it was actually your father who first alerted me to the danger.’

Mac pulled the blanket off his lap and walked over to a dusty bookcase full of lever arch file folders. Every wall of his flat was lined with similar bookcases and Inteachán could never work out how Mac knew instinctively where anything he was looking for could ever be found. A glance on any shelf revealed the rich and brumous nature of his collection.

There were the thirteen volumes of Sheen’s Pamphlet, an obscure tract published cheaply, regularly and anonymously between 1911 and 1961, with only the twelve editions from June to November 1946 missing. Next to this stood Lois Pengelly’s Wolseley Trilogy; Once a Valley (1932), Through the Trees (1942) and Forever Once More (1952). These were Sibeal’s favourite novels and Mac loved to watch her read them over and over again.

This very rare trilogy told the story of St. Matthew’s House, a beautiful Edwardian villa sat on the seafront in Bray that was home to several generations of the Wolseley family. Once a Valley told the story of the family coming to the area and having the house built. Through the Trees saw the family undergoing hard times with the Second World War as a backdrop. Sibeal’s favourite volume, Forever Once More, showed the Wolseley family in final dissolution as the eldest daughter, Cecily, refused to marry and thereby ended the family bloodline.

The Third Edition of Ogilvy’s Observations was Mac’s favourite and he loved nothing more than reading out loud from it as he and Sibeal lay in bed. The bedridden Oswald Ogilvy devoted his sickly adult life to completing a volume of ruminations and asides on topics of little or no connection to the world and in 1958 the Third Edition appeared. No one could ever explain what had happened to the first or second edition or if they even existed. Mac liked to speculate that Ogilvy was punishing the world for his ill health by making a publishing mountain out of a vanity molehill. Only twenty copies were ever printed before the plates were destroyed in a fire. Ogilvy himself had actually passed away two days before the fire and so died knowing nothing about the destruction of his life’s work. Ever the obscurist himself, Mac liked to quote from this flimsy volume whenever he could.

‘Ogilvy’s reminds us,’ said Mac, ‘that hope and despair are natural bedfellows. Indeed, he goes so far as to speculate whether or not they were originally the same impulse altogether that has simply been erroneously divided over time.’

A large pile of Pendeltons’ Periodicals lay gathering dust on the floor by his side of the bed. Edited between 1954 and 1958 by the noted mid-century chroniclist August Borne, Pendeltons’ was the model for occasional observationism, as it became known. Sadly, the public had very little taste for such an esoteric offering and so Pendeltons’ went the same way as any other small-run journal without an audience.

Gerard Denyer’s Model Villages: Their Occurrence and Occult Significance, published by Turner Press in London in 1924 was another influence on Mac’s own scholarship. Denyer travelled the length and breadth of Britain noting the similarities and differences between the model villages he came across. Maps and charts were drawn and laid side by side for comparison. This was fairly standard for the field but Denyer’s original contribution to the body of knowledge came through his use of the Begleys, a fictional family of aristocratic refugees whose struggles for social survival were used a device by Denyer to account for the seemingly small shifts he detected in societal responses to folk beliefs around the country.

Mac reserved a special scorn for the Reverend John Webster’s Trestles, Treads and Other Joins: My Life Among the Sawdust. Published privately in 1965 at great personal expense to the author, Turtles, Threads and Other Jokes, as Mac liked to call it, told the story of the Reverend Webster’s three years of missionary service in Nigeria. Written as a series of clumsy homilies and asinine anecdotes loosely connected to Christ’s alleged career, Webster always managed to attribute every piece of good luck to God and misfortune to the Devil. Despite its appearance, this literary folly was actually one of the most acclaimed of the so-called casualist texts and was therefore extremely valuable to the right buyer. What made this even book even more valuable to Mac was the fact that he found it buried at the bottom of a cardboard box full of ripped road maps he spotted in a skip.

Mac ran his finger along the second shelf from the top until he found what he was looking for.

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

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Synopsis

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 it’s 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?

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Terminal Transit,

‘Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak’’

Verse 2.

It was Professor Mac an Bhaird who woke one rainy night from his lonely dreams to hear sobbing in the flat beside him. The professor had been drifting in his sleep, wandering in some half-remembered part of the city that he couldn’t quite place. Sibeal was with him and at first they walked hand in hand but Mac’s eyes were soon drawn to a wooden notice board outside an old newsagents. The board was full of handwritten postcards advertising various wares, offering all manner of services, as well as the usual births, deaths and marriages. He stopped, let go of Sibeal’s hand and began to read each card in turn, marvelling at the huge variety of historical styles, cases and forms -cursive, print, looped, Vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift, ascenders, Secretary Hand, descenders, Getty-Dubay, Block, Kurrent, and D’Nealian.

Mac ran his finger tenderly across each postcard in turn, checking for sense and general significance. He marvelled at such an extraordinary discovery on such an ordinary street. The noticeboard was unlocked and with a greedy wipe of his hand, Mac was able to sweep all the cards into his coat pocket. Duly delighted with his haul, Mac carried on walking but it wasn’t until he had found his way back to the Father Matthew Bridge that Mac realised that Sibeal was no longer beside him.

Mac woke with a start, half-expecting, as always, as ever, that Sibeal was asleep beside him. From the day she died until now this was the way it was for Mac. The sound of sobbing was loud and came from the rooms beside his. These rooms had been empty for so long that Mac imagined at first that it was simply a nocturnal illusion but the sobbing was insistent and eventually the old man carefully climbed out of bed, put on his dressing gown, picked up his umbrella and went out into the narrow hallway. The front door was slightly ajar and though he feared the perfectly reasonable fears of anyone who has been woken by unexpected sobbing in the middle of the night, the old man opened the door and stepped inside. In the dimness, a small figure lay crying on a dark and dusty sofa.

‘What is the matter, my child?’ asked Mac softly in the darkness.

‘What can have happened?’

But the small child did not reply.

Knowing that the child was familiar to him but wholly unprepared for such a nocturnal visit, he went to leave.

‘I am next door and will be there when you are ready to speak. My name is Professor Mac an Bhaird but you may call me Mac.’

Later that next morning there was a knock on the door. Mac looked up from his work.

‘Come in,’ he said and the girl stepped inside. Mac cleared a pile of papers from the footstool.

‘Come and sit by the fire, my child.’

He smiled.

‘Or should I say, Inteachán.’