Be Still My Night


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Scene Title Be Still My Night
Synopsis Cat and mouse has never been played like this before.
Date February 3, 2011

The Mind of John Logan

In the desert of my dreams I saw you there

And I'm walking towards the water steaming body cold and bare

Endless rows of scrolling text act like a beaded curtain falling, falling, never ending. A swerve to downward leads a dizzying view of height unfathomable as the numbers fade to tiny beads, then specs of nothing but dust to finally disappear into void. They taper, those numbers, or seem to. The various shades and hues of green go from the blackest of pine to the brightest of neon white that bursts in a flash, like a dying star. Those explosions add spark to a world that seems so dreary, so lifeless; despite the constant race and running of the matrix inside of Logan’s mind.

Once upon a time things were beautiful. The fields of gold and platinum moon still exist in some form but the gentle roll of wheat has been reduced to a grassy green field that is indistinguishable from the twilight sky, the road cobbled with gems of all sorts polished to a beautiful shine, the forest that edged an entire kingdom. Gone. Now the universe is cold and without form, nothing beautiful grows, only the ribbons of zeros and ones that tumble in parallel and perpendicular streams that run in six directions. Of course it’s three dimensional could anyone have ever doubted it?

In a far away land there was a mountain made of diamond that once stood so proud in the center of everything. A palace set atop, lonely as it might be, still home to what is deemed the most beautiful and precious thing in existence. The mountain itself glowed with the brilliance of the souls trapped inside. She wouldn’t like it there, he said… once upon a dream. And yet, he invited her to stay, if she wished.

What starts as a single spark is joined by another and another until a pixelated face pushes from the curtain. Its color the same, though more illuminated than the constant stream. The matter she consists of is what everything else is here, only her digits glow much brighter, highlighting her against the cascading scenery. A long well formed leg triangles out from the curtain, enticing in its own right, were it not simply a tight collection of text. Its pointed toe touches down on a pattern of logic unfathomable in its presentation here and as her body melts in from nothing, she pirouettes completely into view.

She interrupts the streams, waving a hand through and scattering the digits into oblivion, losing them for the time being. They can be recaptured, but not right here, not right now. With a few steps, the lithe figure disappears again behind a wall of falling numbers, their columns pristine though too narrow to see through.

But your words cut loose the fire and you left my soul to bleed

And the pain that's in your truth's deceiving me, has got me scared

The scream of information is near deafening. How Logan lives with the constant barrage of data without going mad is something that the figure can’t begin to fathom. A strafe to the side makes her visible again as she pushes her way through a curtain, whisking it away with a wave of her hand. She angles her head to look up, the text falling down like rain over her face and body, sparking as the dull streams hit the bright light that she’s comprised of.

What follows her isn’t the squeal of fax or dialup but a soothing white noise that drowns out the other sounds around her. It’s not gone, simply masked for the time being to allow the figure a measure of concentration. Her fingers drift across another one of the curtains, its columns bending and quickly righting, reverberating their own notes, like the strum of a harp or an acoustic guitar. Repeating the process, she trails her fingers along the wires of text as she glides the span of about ten paces.

The echo of strings causes a small smile to form against lips made of tightly woven digits, mapped against the soft curve of feminine features. She can’t play an instrument, not out there, but here she can do anything she chooses. Even sing. She doesn’t. The inky hollow of eyeless sockets point toward the strings and they begin to pluck a pleasant melody all on their own. God said, let there be light. Here there is music.

With the background noise muffled in favor of music, the figure turns her attention upward. The droplets of text that hit her vacant eyes gets absorbed into their inky void. The few that are blinked away brighten to white sparks as they ricochet off the neon white of her eyelids only to arc away and finally die to nothing.

Oh why?

Perhaps it’s the music that compels her to act as she does. Though much more calming than the cacophony of emails, text messages, file transfers, and bytes drifting through cyberspace, it has an uplifting rhythm. Another step out has her lifting bodily on a pointed toe, her other leg raised behind her for a moment before it kicks out in front of her and she leaps. She lands on that toe again, en pointe, and spins in a slow circle. Arms are held out and hooked loosely, delicate hands fluttering gently, as though she’s about to take off in flight. They hit the beaded streams, sending them scattered away, the little bytes falling in a downward curve before disappearing along with their fellows.

Another scissored kick has her landing this time with her pointed foot flat against a solid train of thought, the other held behind it, resting against the curved top of her foot. She stands there for a moment, her arms coming down slowly, hands ebbing in their pattern of flight. Pausing there for only the time it takes to send a quick ’ilu’ to a significant other, she draws out one hand in a controlled motion and spreads it through a veil of code, dispersing it entirely.

It's gone, completely, and with a curious tilt to her pixelated head, the figure tests it again. One more swipe and the spots that touch her fingertips glow brightly before splitting and disintegrating as though being burned. The slow crawl of the ember is regarded with a curious fascination as what could be thought of as wanton destruction is repeated again and again until there is a small space free of digital noise. Just enough to allow her to stretch unfettered and sway to the music.

Through your eyes the strains of battle like a brooding storm

Your up and down these pristine velvet walls like focus never forms

The black hollows where her eyes should be are covered for a moment by a blink and then another. Gazing up to where a sky should be, she opens her mouth, as if to call out to someone but no sounds emerge. The raw data feed drowned out by the dulcet strumming of the chords along one wall of the space is joined by whatever it is the form said. She closes her eyes and cants her head to one side, wavering slightly in her stance to the melody. When she opens her eyes again, the inky color of nothing is replaced by bright cornflower blue irises.

A small smile, close lipped, spreads until there’s a flash of white teeth, laughing at her own unheard joke. Whomever it is she’s speaking to, they’re not answering, though she seems to be talking to the data stream itself. Like an old friend. A laugh and a shake of the head results in a sprinkling of neon green falling from her hair like glitter. There’s a slow reveal of crimson tresses as each nod or jerk of the head sends more glowing pixels into the area immediately surrounding her.

One of the sprinkles lands on her skin, corrupting the tightly packed data, corroding and turning it to a black substance that peels away to soft pale skin. A stretch of long limbs, the split legged leap, the tightening of muscles, each action has the equal and opposite reaction of more of the moon colored flesh being exposed. A final pirouette around the vacant space shrugs off the last of the greenish hue from her figure and she is bare, save the filmy white sundress that alternately floats around and clings to her body.

My walls are getting wider and my eyes are drawn astray

I see you now a vague deception of a dying day

Text that bleeds green coils through the unformed space, snakeish and developing a centre, a spiral that becomes tighter before spreading, fanning wide into a circle. Glimmers of light show off the radius in spoke-like lines, before the very middle blooms black, widening, constricting again — a pupil adjusting to some unknown source of light, developing focus.

As streams of data come down — or up, across, whatever relative direction signifies the input of raw information from all over the world — the ones nearest to this vortex are pulled towards it, making up the pattern of the glowing green iris with its black centre. It sees in data, text, ideas conveyed into electrical impulses and wireless waves streaming through the air, bouncing between satellites.

But it sees her, too.

Oh why?

Of all of this, she is unaware. The eye, the attention, none of it is favored of the simple pleasure of dancing among the vertical lines of text and sliding across the razor thin horizontal waves of digital sound bytes. With her arms angled out to the side, she stands on her tiptoes and closes her blue eyes. Her lashes fan low against her alabaster cheeks, looking darker than they should, black instead of copper. A gentle freckling across her nose and cheeks mars her otherwise flawless complexion, lending an air of childlike innocence to features more mature than they should be.

Rising into the air a few inches, she spins a slow circle. Her body is taught against the wires of text, tangling with them and breaking them. They burst like little explosions of confetti, casting an eerie hue against the filmy cloth that covers her. She spins faster, as though a circus acrobat, suspended by a wire in the deepest reaches of the big top. Her dress flutters out at the bottom, like the petals of a flower, a white lily with bare feet.

All of that loose information, broken strands of code and lost signals, all of it is drawn toward the gravitational pull of the eye. Her dance feeds it.

I fall into the water and once more I turn to you

and the crowds were standing staring faceless cutting off my view to you

Her body tilts toward it and with a quick throw of heels over head, she spins free and tumbles downward. It’s a game she plays with him. Catch me if you can.

Landing pointed toe first, she falters and lands in a split position, bringing her arms up over her head as though she actually meant to perform it as a trick of some sort. Breaking into a roll across a tight net, she gathers herself into a little ball and holds until the strum of the chords along the wall of her personal space picks up into a quicker tempo. She moves with the rhythm of an imagined percussion, that sets the tone for the game with her voyeur.

There’s another flash of white teeth as she graces her audience with a serene smile. Her arms wave over her head and then away, like a willow in the wind. She jumps in repetitive series, like a small stone bouncing across the surface of a lake, leaving little ripple behind her. A trail for the eye to follow.

They start to limply flail their bodies in a twisted mime

And I'm lost inside this tangled web in which I'm lain entwined

Into the waves of satellite signals and transmissions, the young woman falls backward, her back arcing, her body rigid as though performing a dive off a high board. With her arms pointed above her head, she shoots downward at a rate faster than the tumble of the binary units. Deeper and deeper she plunges into the void, it’s endless, something unfathomable to her even here. A true bottomless pit, acting as a wealth of knowledge, for those who can read it.

Instead of following the waterfall of lines, she swings her legs and swirls a somersault until she’s lying horizontal. Her arms spread out to the side as she catches herself in a flow of data that spins around her like the jet stream of a jaccuzzi. Her eyes close as the sea of text envelopes her, cradling her like a warm blanket.

Angling her head, the young woman gaze down at her palm as a bit of green embeds itself into her pale skin. It brightens to neon, then a hot white glow that spreads, like an infection. Her long fingers curl around it, attempting to capture the light rather than allowing it to retake her. Thin rays pour through the cracks between her fingers, spreading the contagion by touch. It burns outward, like a sheet of paper caught on fire. When the entirety of her flesh is covered in the greenish white glow, it streaks out through her hair, painting it.

She folds her arms close to her chest and holds her palm close to her heart. The music begins to die, its beat following hers, tapering off until she can no longer sustain it. Then the woman’s blue eyes close, sealing away the last of all color not tainted by a greenish hue. Her breath slows and one would almost believe she is dying, except for the slight uplift at the corners of her lips.

You're gone and I'm lost inside this tangled web in which I'm lain entwined

The light of the morning sun filters through the sheer curtains, illuminating Delia’s hair to a rich coppery red. Underneath her cheek, the familiar texture of a pillow isn’t what’s felt. A long breath of scented skin is taken in and almost instinctively she angles her head toward it, pressing her lips against his bare flesh. A light hum escapes her throat as her eyelids flutter open to gaze at his chest and then lift her eyes to the chin of the man she’s using as a pillow.

If he’s already awake, she doesn’t know it.

A sigh escapes from between her lips and she turns over to look at the clock. The red LED glows dimly from beneath a thin layer of discarded clothing. Being careful not to disturb him, the young woman shifts and reaches over to pull it away. It’s early, just after sunrise and much too soon to wake up. A languid stretch of sore muscles has her rolling back over and nestling against the lean frame sharing her bed. Her blue eyes sweep the expanse of skin not covered by blanket or her own hair before her eyelids slide closed again.

It’s possible that he feels the small smile that graces her lips… If he’s awake.

Oh why?

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