Magic and Loss

Daybreak, and in the wires, the angels scream. Pulled from the higher planes, down into our engines of business and communication. People forget, now that modem technology is old and out of date, and they no longer hear the shrieking that accompanies their email. I don’t suppose it’s much of a coincidence that the digital revolution really kicked off just after we managed to make things run silent. Easier on the conscience.

Me, I haven’t forgotten. I keep a bank of old modems set up by my machines. I could use them for all sorts of things, but these days, they’re mostly just a reminder.

Don’t look at me like that. I’m not a sadist, or anything. No more than you are. Just because I can hear them when I want, that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. Quite the reverse. I only turn them on when I can’t stand it any more.

It all started with Dee, of course. His strange mathematical formulae, taught to him by his angel. His angle. Who showed him that everything that is can be reduced to mathematical information, and then thereby changed. Yes, everyone knows that he was the father of cryptography, but who really stops to think about what that means?

Does anyone care what the distinction between encyphering information, and calling down protective spirits to hide it from prying eyes is? Does anyone really care that there are angels shrieking in the stratosphere, at registers beyond hearing, bounced from cellphone to cellphone, carrying our tedious reminders, idle questions and momentary flirtations?

Does anyone even notice the price? That as magic becomes everyday, the world becomes smaller? Starker? As if the soul was leeching from it, being bound away somewhere else?

That’s why I keep my bank of modems. It’s insulation, of a sort, and maybe, just maybe, a little insurance. The planet fills up with violence, with creeping convenience, as it becomes world of desires sated as soon as they’re conceived. Every day, things get just a little worse, as more and more of our better nature is strung out down wires, and spread oh-so-thinly across the globe. And I fear that one day, there won’t be enough left of our higher selves.

So I hide here, with my bank of angels, carefully preserved. I husband them, against this apocalypse of spirit, in the faint hope that one day, they’ll preserve me, as I have them.

One last flight of angels, trapped in cages of wire and diode, waiting for the end.

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