Scaramouche stood on the building’s edge, far above the dark caverns at street level. Raising his arms to the night sky he called out to his God. “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” He stood, arms wide in pleading, until he could stand no more. He collapsed into a crouch, there on the parapet over the chasms below. He had run as far as he could. There was no escaping now. His reality hit him and he called out again, “I’m Caught in a landslide, and there’s just No escape from reality.”
Suddenly, Scaramouche was bathed in light from above. He looked up. His drug hazed mind thought he heard angels calling, “Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see.” His warped, confused mind didn’t recognise that the light was from a spotlight on the building opposite. Under cover of the brightness, black garbed militia moved stealthily closer. Then, swiftly, silently and efficiently, Scarmouche was taken down. Hands reached from behind to hold him and grapple him away from the abyss. He was forced down, face pressed to the rough surface of the rooftop. Calmly, with no struggles on his part, he allowed his captors their way. He spoke again, “Do as you will. I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy. I did what I had to do and Because of that, I’m easy come, easy go. Nothing you can do will bring back what once was.”
The leader spoke, “We got him, he’s calm now. A little high on the strike and he’s hitting a little low now. Let’s get out of here.” Turning to Scaramouche, the leader spoke again, “You think you could get away with this?” Scaramouche looked at him, appearing to see him for the first time, “Whatever, man. There’s nothing left. Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me.”
Off the roof, the team forced Scaramouche into a panel van and shoved a cell phone at him. The speed dial was pressed. One ring, two, and a woman’s voice answered. Hearing this familiar sound wrenched Scaramouche back to reality. Words flooded from him, “Mama”, he sobbed. “I’m sorry. I had to do it for you, and for Dad. Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.”
Stunned, the boy’ s mother struggled to comprehend, “What did you do, son?”
Sobbing now, Scaramouche spoke to his mother, “Mama, life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away. I did it for you. They killed my Father, so I killed their father.”
His Mama choked and screamed out, “NO”. Scaramouche tried to console her, “Mama, oh, Didn’t mean to make you cry…”
“Where are you son? Tell me, I can help you”
“No Mama, If I’m not back again this time tomorrow, carry on. Carry on, as if nothing really matters. It’s all good now.”
Scaramouche had been moved to a basement room. He had no idea where. He had been beaten by the men. As they hit him, he heard Arabic cursing. They left him slumped in a corner, broken. He shivered and spoke softly to himself, “It’s Too late, my time has come. My god, what’s next? Sends shivers down my spine.” He tried to move, but the pains made him scream out, “Ahh, Body’s aching all the time.”A masked man entered the room and injected Scaramouche and he slept.
His subconscious began to process the experiences of the last 24 hours. In his dream, Scaramouche stood at the steps of a large house, about to step into the night. He called into the room of vague faces,
“Goodbye, everybody I’ve got to go, gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.” The sleeping Scaramouche spoke into the night, “Mama, oh, I don’t want to die, though I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.”His eyelids flittered as the dreams swept across his mind.
Scaramouche was drifting in and out of his drugged state as a result of the drugs forced into his bloodstream. His eyes drifted around the room. Suddenly he raised his arm, laughing wildly he pointed and called out, “I see a little silhouetto of a man. He wants me to dance.” The boy stood and lurched grotesquely around the room, holding his invisible partner at the waist and singing wildly, “Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the fandango”. Mid-spin he stopped, staring up at the ceiling. A storm had rolled in and was ripping the air apart. Scaramouche dropped into a crouch and covered his head. The drugs enhanced the ferocity of the storm in his mind. He cried out, “Thunderbolt and lightning , very very frightening me! Oh Gallileo, Gallileo my Father. Where are you Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo Figaro – you are my magnifico.” The storm affected the boy’s mind and Scaramouche was scared. Hallucinations flashed through his mind.
Scaramouche had been brought upstairs into another room, this one with some minimal furniture and a table with basic food and some water. Negotiations for his release had progressed, and a female negotiator had been able to gain access to the captors’ lair. Scaramouche was still heavily drugged, but more lucid now as a different cocktail coursed though his veins. The boy opened his eyes an looked around. He spoke, imploring his captors, “But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me.” Backwards and forwards, words flew from boy, to negotiator, to captor.
The negotiator pleaded with the men, “He’s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity.”
Scaramouche again pleaded, “Hey, bro’, Easy come easy go. Will you let me go?”
The captors shouted in unison, “Bismillah! No we will not let you go.”
Again, the negotiator, “Let him go.”
“Bismillah! We will not let you go”, words spat at Scaramouche.
“Let him go.”
“Bismillah! We will not let you go.”. The captors again directed their venom at Scaramouche. This time, it was he who was pleading with the men.
“Let me go.”
“Listen to us, we Will not let you go.”
“Let me go.”
“NEVER. We can Never let you go.”
“Let me go.”
“Let me go ohh,” Scaramouche broke into sobs, broken and wretched on the dirty floor.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no,” each word punctuated with a slap or kick. The negotiator tried to intervene and the captors desisted.
“Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia’”, Scaramouche screamed. “Let me go. Oh God why? Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me.”
Suddenly, Scaramouch sat up and turned to his captors. He looked at them, each in turn. He spat his words out, “So in your world, what happens now? Life for life? So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?” He turned to the negotiator, confused, seeing the female form as a mother figure, “So you think you can love me and leave me to die?”
The woman saw a chance to get through the drugs to the real boy beneath. Falling to her knees she reached for him, “Oh baby, you can’t do this to me baby, come back to me.”
But Scaramouche wasn’t listening. The drugs were fading and his rage was rising with the injustice and fear he felt. He threw himself against the walls, the door, screaming, “Just gotta get out. Just gotta get right outta here.”
Strong arms grabbed him and held him down. A needle slid into his arm. Drugged and calm once more, Scaramouche murmured, “Ooh yeah, ooh yeah. I know now, Nothing really matters – anyone can see. Nothing really matters. Nothing really matters to me.”
Scaramouche turned, briefly lucid, and spoke his final words to the woman. She saw that the injection had been too much, and she wept at the wasted life.
Scaramouche spoke once more, “Anyway the wind blows ….,”and then he stumbled, and almost in slow motion, he fell. As he went down he swept the table clear with a crash that echoed through the small room.
With humble apologies to Messrs Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon.