SÁTÁNTANGÓ // Matthew Kinlin

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SÁTÁNTANGÓ [OR A CASTLE MADE OF COW SHIT, OR THE COLLUSION OF PLANETS IN THE TOTAL ANNIHILATION OF LIFE]

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The circle encloses around us like a golden thread. The spider takes his time to weave a web. His weapon is invisibility. Everything beautiful in nature is suffocation.

[MRS. SCHMIDT LOWERS HER HEAD BENEATH THE TABLE IN THE BAR. SHE BREATHES IN THE SMELL OF DEAD EARTH.]

Two clocks on the wall show the wrong time. A portrait on the wall of a faded bureaucrat. Irimiás will have returned to the village by morning. The endless sound of rain. 

[MRS. SCHMIDT DRINKS A GLASS OF CHERRY LIQUOR ALONE AT THE TABLE. SHE CONTINUES TO STARE FORWARD.]

White smoke moving through the trees. A diagram of an alleyway between a dilapidated house and stable. A map of the planets on the wall. Their orbits circle each other.

[FUTAKI AND SCHMIDT PLAN TO SPLIT THE MONEY BEFORE THE RETURN OF IRIMIÁS. MRS. SCHMIDT PUSHES THE MONEY INTO HER BRA AND LEAVES FOR THE BAR.]

It won’t stop raining until spring. Winters are shorter in the south. There will come a time when there is nothing left to say. A fly moves across a faded newspaper. 

[MUSIC BEGINS TO PLAY. HALICS KEEPS TRYING TO DANCE WITH MRS. SCHMIDT. THE VILLAGERS ARE DRUNK AND HAPPY.]

We are unable to replicate the innocence of animals. A child is born sick and cruel. Humanity has to learn to love and it learns this from the animal.

[ESTIKE, A SMALL CHILD HOLDING A DEAD CAT, BEGS THE DOCTOR FOR HELP OUTSIDE THE BAR. THE DOCTOR FALLS INTO THE MUD, CURSING. ESTIKE RUNS AWAY.]

A child eats a handful of rat poison and smooths the creases of her dress. She tidies her hair and awaits the angels. Everything that happens is good.

[HALICS ASKS THE INNKEEPER FOR A GLASS WINE AND THEN ANOTHER. HE ASSURES THE INNKEEPER THAT HIS SHARE OF THE MONEY IS COMING.]

The role of the poet is to tell lies. He must enchant and deceive. Irimiás is a wizard. We follow him through wind and rain. A castle is waiting. The mud is shining.

[THE DOCTOR WATCHES FUTAKI LEAVE THE SCHMIDT HOUSE. FUTAKI STANDS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ALLEYWAY, IN FRONT OF THE STABLE.]

Eternity takes a long time to arrive. A cat’s meow moves across the wet courtyard. The smallest of creatures knows the simple truth. All is lost.

[IRIMIÁS AND PETRINA ARE WALKING WITH THE WIND AT THEIR BACKS. THEY WILL HAVE REACHED THE VILLAGE BY MORNING.]

A child sits in a wooden chair and surveys the dead brown field. A kingdom of zilch. Satan waits at a crossroads at midnight. Beneath his cloak flows a fountain of gold.

[ESTIKE STANDS AT THE WINDOW OF THE BAR IN SOAKING RAIN. SHE WATCHES MRS. SCHMIDT AND THE MEN DANCING INSIDE.]

The circle is complete. There are no accidents. A doctor sees the light of the bar in the distance. A single mote of dust floats across the silent room. Who would dare to sing in here?

[MRS. SCHMIDT DRINKS A GLASS OF CHERRY LIQUOR ALONE AT THE TABLE. SHE CONTINUES TO STARE FORWARD.]

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Matthew Kinlin lives and writes in Glasgow. His two novels Teenage Hallucination (Orbis Tertius Press) and Curse Red, Curse Blue, Curse Green (Sweat Drenched Press) were released in 2021. His novella The Glass Abattoir (D.F.L. Lit) and first collection of poetry Songs of Xanthina (Broken Sleep Books) are both due to be released in 2023.

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