England’s Green and Unpleasant Land

It’s almost summer 2018, just before the solstice, a beautiful clear bright blue day, one of those days that seem to last forever. If you could paint a picture this would be one of those JMW Turner landscapes; watercolours splashed with blues, greens, and golds, heralding all that is majestic and romantic with the British countryside. 

Those that dream rest their imagination here, living behind the veil in secret for their worship of their dying god, for the Satanists, the sacrifice, the rituals, and the magic. 

The air is filled with trance like perfume, fragrances of floral nostalgia, evoking sweet memories and underlying arousal. The warm air and endless skies building a fake confidence that will only be revealed in the heat of the moment. In its height there is this wanderlust, a live forever, do what I want attitude, all reflected on their monotone expressions.

At midday I see her. She has me captivated, an original. As the festival season precedes, she leads, we all follow. 

The village green is littered with leafy period cottages, a 16th Century church, a pub, an old post office and some exotic looking new builds. But these buildings are made of avarice, with a history of dark connotations, in umbrage and behind closed doors. 

The striped Maypole has stood on the middle of the Green since the 50’s but its traditions have been a long resident, much longer than any of the man-made structures it commands. We are drawn to it, on occasion, for when the springtime turns to summer, we all dance and celebrate the coming harvest: For fertility, for life, for death, for sacrifice?

It’s not so much a pleasant walk on England’s green pastures, as a trade-off for all those indiscretions. Where money talks the loudest, with gaudy trappings of success, all lining the pockets of the holy and political. Where speaking in the right tongue, gets you into the VIP lounge, the ivory towers chocked full of people jostling for the best position, selling their souls for a meagre superficial fix. No substance, no morals, no equality just a rat race on superhighways of greed and vanity.

And the villagers come out in force; the young, the old, the tired, the diseased and sick, the crusaders, the king makers and the entitled. For one day and one night this small English village swells with pride, its benign beginning giving way to a regalia of food, drink and debauchery, consuming pleasures of the flesh, taking macabre secrets to their graves, and all lost in a dizzying mix of intoxication and confusion. 

We are all watching her, seduced by our beautiful Queen of May, as she stands as our token to the gods. Her head is lined with a crown of flowers, balanced elegantly upon her long blond hair. She is dressed all in white and bare foot, she is serene and radiant. We don’t speak about why we do what we do, it’s just a tone of understanding, a silent agreement, an unspeakable truth. 

She looks at me and smiles, recognising my face for a moment and then it’s gone. This is the beginning of the end, our ascent into hell.

In the revelry and the madness, it’s easy to forget the fulfilment of the vows, the power, and the purpose. Those that entertain the trivial pursuits should not be given the benefits that come with the excess, but as in life and in death all things end equal. 

Underneath the smoke and the stars, naked bodies intertwine in the corners and in the dark, only lit by dancing shadows cast by the fire. The flashing of eyes and moments of ecstasy all culminate in a singular cry to the heavens, a deep loathing of oneself, a rite of passage and another deed complete.

We lead her to the gate and into the moonlit field as the moment of truth is close. 

In one hand she holds a torch, a single flame, evoking the spirit of the gods to accept her as our offering. 

She has no expressions, her eyes now black like the sky, her body language is cold and rigid, one more glance to me but this time there is no smile.

The great and the good stand around her, chanting the chorus and medieval verses. Long gone are the innocent memories, the festival feeling and the bright blue eyes. 

One more sacred incantation, a fist of earth raised to the midnight sky and a knife plunged into her belly. 

In the silence a dreadful grimace runs across her face, eyes screwed tight, she does not scream. The knife is crudely dragged up into her sternum. Beginning to shake violently, she is supported by her arms as two hooded figures hold her up. Her head falls forwards, quietly and with no resistance. 

She’s laid delicately onto the ground on her back, no more crown, no more light. 

They place flowers on her chest and cover her eyes with petals, her blood-soaked dress now a visceral mark of her transition. All is complete. All is beautiful.

As the last prayers are spoken, I can hear the whispers from the crowd. 

I’m wanting to walk away but I know what I have seen and what I must now do.

They bind me in ropes and play their games, teasing and pointing. They find it in their hearts to abstain from raping me but torture me with their threats. 

I’m the one they see fit to be the servant, the ugly truth, the sinister. 

I am a witch, the mute, the sister, and the non-believer. For I am the conduit to Satan himself, and with me I shall keep their secrets, their lies and deceit. 

I will be their sin bearer, for life, sacrifice and death. 

I am the path for their survival.

The burden for their confessions.

I am the Scapegoat.

“Lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of the people, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness by means of someone designated for the task. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a barren region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:21–22

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