The Devil is on the roof.
I can hear him. His cloven hooves are tap-tap-tapping as he dances about, knowing his presence is sending equivalent tap-tap-taps through the hearts of those below.
I wonder if clove oil comes from the feet of the devil? It’s horrible enough stuff...
It’s dark in the recreation room. Even the glaring brilliance of the walls seems unable to infuse the air with anything more than a dull glimmer. It’s as if the light is as afraid of the Devil as the residents and hesitates to come forth. Surely the Light should shine bright and dazzle its cleansing rays, spear-like, into the Devil’s own heart?
It would seem not.
The residents, my friends, are becoming worried. As the Devil dances, they begin to whisper to each other, voices hushed lest he hear their fears and make them real. I see them shake where they cower in the gloom. Their hands are wrung and their brows are furrowed.
A few weep.
One, Edward, I think, cries out that ‘the end of the world is nigh!’
Of course others take up his cry and the weepers increase. In a place like this, such actions are like a virus – quick to spread and slow to heal.
No-one hears me as I try to tell them it’s the rain. Just the rain. Simply the rain. Connors had a new roof fitted. A metal one. Perhaps he knew this would happen. Perhaps he just wanted something hard wearing. I try to get the attention of those closest to insist the sound is nothing more than raindrops on steel. They shrink back and look at me as if I’m dancing with the Devil myself.
Sometimes I feel I am. Sometimes I feel I’m even taking the lead. And step, and slide and step and dip.
But then, I don’t know if the Devil is real. I don’t know if the demon in me is either. Maybe it’s Connors who sharpens his horns in the bathroom mirror of an evening.
But still... But yet...
The Devil is on the roof. He’s dancing.
Strictly Come Dante, perhaps?