The four horseman were prepared, Pale Rider at the helm.
He felt it, susserating underneath his skin. This morning he had woken to a strange thunderclap, but looking outside the sky was blue. The storm was internal then. Electricity coursed roughly and unpredictably through his brain. He could feel it. Sizzling in his head, arcing wildly down his frame, before it was gone as strangely and completely as it had arrived.
Shuddering internally, reaching for the sustenance of cigarettes and black coffee, he let his fretful mind wander. Into this hopeful, but somehow also dread, certainty.
Thirteen. He’d seen the number thirteen exactly thirteen times in the past thirteen days. Thirteen twice squared. That couldn’t be a coincidence – it would have to be 13x13x13 coincidences and that just couldn’t be. Couldn’t be.
The No 13 bus almost ran him over in an early morning fugue. The document he almost delivered late – which would have cost him what he suddenly realised was his 13th job in less than a year – had an address on the 13th floor. His latest blog post had 13 comments. It went on and on.
And then stopped, just after 13x13x13.
Must mean something – it happened to him, and he was important – he was sure of it. He was the most important thing in his life, in any case, and that had to count for something. Count…numbers again….see how our very language is so concerned, so obsessed, so dependant on numbers…..
Numbers. Revelation 13 says: ‘And I stood upon the sand of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea….Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666’.
That couldn’t be a coincidence – this book of prophecy, this oft-quoted biblical tract – had a 13th verse that referenced the number, the number. It was about a frigging number!!! The one everyone obsessed about and none understood. Well, at least since that Omen film in any case.
It’s all about the numbers, he thought. Not just one number, not just 666 – that’s just one number. It’s all of them, with their myriad meanings, creating a tricky tapestry near impossible to define, to understand, to crack the bleeding code….
Conspiracy sites talking about a one world government, songs talking about two becoming one, the resurrection happening on the third day, the aforementioned four horsemen. The numbers rose and fell for him. Right now they ran rampant in the darker recesses of his overly tired mind.
Some might call him mad, but he knew – well he was fairly certain anyway – that he was a genius instead. His dishevelled home, like his currently dishevelled mind, spoke of the disarray of brilliance – the emerging pure thought out of matter, surely, not just an aversion to housework? Yes, an undiscovered genius. And like all of his kind, way ahead of his time. One day they would see, one day.
If there was a one day to come, if there was any real time left at all…..
Surely life could not be so cruel to give him the beginning of the answer just at the end of everything else? To light his way so briefly, like a taunting, just before the deluge? To be on the point of the precipice, hovering over the abyss, and when the cataclysm fell not to say something profound, but something more like: ’Oh, I see! I get it! It’s all about…oh….shit…’
He’d wasted so much time, he realized, looking for historical references, perusing politics, considering philosophies. Pythagoras was right, the universe was mathematics. Music, the closest thing to a spiritual touchstone for him, was basically just numbers. Just numbers.
And time – whatever was left of it – was just numbers too……
Perhaps if you divided 666 by 13? What did that give you? 51.23? Did that mean anything? Or divide that by 4 for the horsemen…or….
He needed to work fast. Revelations are ephemeral – they don’t last. They soak up your mind and time with the efficiency of an industrial vacuum cleaner. If he didn’t figure this out in time, he’d miss the entire apocalypse because he was too busy doing sub-division.
Thirteen. That was the clue, he was sure of it. Why else would he be given such a sign, so precisely? He was a prophet for the new age, the one to whom much is given. He was certain he could hear the wings, the wings of angels. Archangel Gabriel swanning down from on high to him to deliver the word. Only it wasn’t a word….it was a number…
(c) Helen Valentina 2013, All Rights Reserved