By Phil Rickman

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Overpowering. Dizzying. And warped, like through a fisheye lens. Like it was swaying before it toppled on to him. Or somebody. He heard a roaring, shot through with vivid screams, like thunderclouds speared by lightning forks. And more. Through the glass side of his booth, he'd seen the dead candles flickering, triumphant. Heard the voices hissing, deathoak Still hearing, from somewhere, Moira's voice against the elements, but the words were inaudible, the only words he could make out were death oak suspended in the tight studio acoustic, and he was sure that if he looked hard enough, he would see the words light up, blinking in the smoky space Like neon, like the cold fingernails of fire at the tips of the candles.

I'll ... I'll go and see him myself. ' Simon's face, half-lit, is entirely without expression. Moira knows how much he hates Goff. She also knows that Goff does not hate genteel, willowy Simon. 'We'll all go,' she says carefully. ' Simon's smile is sad, rueful. 'That wouldn't be appropriate. ' Moira watches the Land Rover's red tail-lights fading into the night mist. She looks up at the Abbey. As usual, it seems to be gazing down on her with an ancient knowledge and a frightening edge of derision.

Aelwyn had been very tired, tramping through the snow towards the Abbey. Had known they were coming for him, but simply hadn't the strength to run any more. But he also knew that when he reached the Abbey he'd be OK. Even these bastards were not going to smash their way into the house of God, especially not this house of God, founded upon the site of a famous Holy Vision. This was where the cans went funny. Where other voices came in, as though, as sometimes happened, a radio signal had got into the system.

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December by Phil Rickman
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