Updated: Mar 13, 2022
We met in the circle about three weeks after the worst was over. As we all know, the fight continued for another two months. The last jihadis, buried deep in Tower Hamlets, blew themselves up rather than be taken alive. I knew a man who was there, and he showed me pictures—a great old 1960s tower block, the type that has been completely pulled down now, with a huge black slit on the side. You could see right into the kitchen—a stove hung out into space, almost about to topple.
Then there were the pictures everyone saw: the mayor, a Pakistani Labour man, suspended upside down by his ankles outside Boots. They found a lamp post to do it, some lads from Unit S4. By that time, people had become frank—certain restrictions had been removed—and so we said he was Pakistani, not British. He always looked a little shifty when he said he was British for the cameras, for the show—it’s all a show, really. He looked less shifty now, as you know from that video (2.2M hits).
The bit where the crows peck his eyes out has a special significance for those who know; the crow is the oldest god in these isles, Bran. I met a crow on a little log-bridge across a field once. He stood there bold as brass, never ruffled a feather. He let me come close; and it was then he told me—it was then he put the fire in my mind. It was then I saw what would come to pass; although, in those days, you did not talk about visions and the like; if you did then it was phwoop straight off to the looney bin, with lashings and lashings of pink pink pills and a nice Filipino nurse to make sure you glugg-glugged them all down without complaint.
So we met in the circle, the circle. We were all there in our black uniforms, oh so black except the little Union Jack patch—the little Union Jack patch in grey. The Watcher said it had to be so. He said black is wisdom’s colour in our tradition, and he said the old Druid flag did not deserve all its royal blues and Georgie reds—not when the country was in such straits. It had to be grey, it had to be grey until the day when the fields were clean.
The ceremony was a thanksgiving; and the Watcher stood in the circle’s centre on a raised dais formed from the very whitened bones that belonged to various mercenaries in the regime’s employ: Pakistanis, blacks from darkest Africa with the most ebony skin, and a few oh-so clever Chinese—long-term mercenaries for the regime, some had been here fifty years or more; and yet in the end they were bought and sold. In the end they were white in their bones, “fully integrated” as we used to say in the days of the regime.
What the Watcher said that night I cannot tell simple folk. When I was young nothing was concealed, not a cunt or a tear or a death; it all fell under a scientific eye, and when my grandfather died my parents said: “No need for a gravestone. He wouldn’t want a gravestone. What’s the point in all that nonsense now?” Back then, people spoke about the environment a lot; they almost worshipped it, yet not quite—it was an anaemic cult where people felt virtuous if they dropped an orange juice carton in the right bin. They had the environment but they did not have Nature—and the Watcher gave us Nature back, and Nature has her secrets. There is only one I can tell you, the one inscribed over the great marble monument they call Palingenesis in the Square. It says: “All is war and ever was and will be.”
As the Watcher spoke, I saw Orion rise over an ancient stone lintel; and as the torches flickered I saw the hunter clearly. He has always been my favourite, perhaps because he is the easiest to see and perhaps because I am lazy; or perhaps because I was fated to be a hunter, though the Watcher says there is more to Orion than the hunt—“A softer secret, the deepest secret,” he whispered in my ear. As Orion crossed over the lintel I saw faces, many with slack jaws—the curious immediate slackness that death gifts us. I killed many and I was not sorry, and in my way I paid them honour. This was not their land and they knew it—and their masters knew it; and in the end the land of the Druids is tied through a pulse-pathway from monument to monument, and the pressure in the pulse is the mystery of blood.
I saw other faces in Orion, I saw many loves now obliterated by other men or bent with grandchildren or with faded grey locks. I saw my mother’s hand, dappled with brown spots, as I held it in a hospital whirled around with hijabs and the black face of the Anglican priest all fuzzed with half-shaved beard as he leaned across to utter malformed English over her head—her eyes widened with terror in her last moments, the regime’s alien fingers forced into every crevice so that no dignity would remain anywhere to anyone. Yes, we had what was a called “a Church” but it had many beliefs, about playpens where altars should be and about the holiness of the black man. You have seen the videos where we drove those false priests, quite naked, into Kinshasa high street. There they met their black children and came, finally, to understand them.
It was the night the peace began, but peace is the preparation for war. It was the night we tore off our grey patches and restored the red and blue to our standard—it was the most ancient birth the world ever knew.