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A Madness of Daemons

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We be light,

Aine settles on a Thursday. Matthew walks the streets and stokes her black feathers with something like wonder.

"It suits us, I think." She says, fluffing her feathers.

(They had been worried that they would be a cow or deer or ewe. Something inherently country, something that said 'everything you felt about magic is wrong. You don't belong here, leave.' That they would have to leave London, go into the green and never hear the Angels, or feel rush hour go through them or, or...)

We be life,

Mr Bakker had a fox daemon. Ósk was bright eyed and bushy tailed, slinking around Mr Bakker's feet whenever he tried to walk. When Matthew had opened first meet them she had grinned at Aine's rapid fire shifting and called out suggestions.

In the hospital she looked dull. Her eyes were dim, her fur flat and white. She looked like she was dying, however cheerful Mr Bakker was about everything. She was fading. And all Matthew could do was watch.

('Magic is life.' Mr Bakker repeats and his hand tightens in Ósk's fur. 'Magic is life.' And his eyes stray.)

We be fire.

This is Matthew Swift before: Brown haired, brown eyed, urban sorcerer, apprentice to Bakker, crow daemon. He is powerful, he hears the Angels.

He is dead, because no one can lose that much blood and live.

The coffin they bury is empty.

(Matthew Swift had blue eyes and no daemon. They talk directly to strangers daemons; he stops them from touching them.

Matthew Swift has no daemon, but he had a place to fill when the call was made.)

We rumble underground wind,

Sometimes you can see them on the streets of London before they find their way underground. The Tribe are scared and pierced. They are the ones you look away from as you pass, they are dangerous and broken and patched and every part of you knows it.

Their daemons are missing eyes, ears, tails, patches of fur replaces with shiny scar tissue.

(it is pride, we r lvin wen u think we should b dead. we r ugly & make u uncomfortable. we r da strays & da mutts, wiv fleas & ticks & mange. we r da tribe.)

We sing electric flame,

Oda's Doberman growls at them from the first moment he sees them. He is sleek and polished and always on alert. He and Oda make everyone at meeting nervous.

(He settled because Oda wanted to protect her sister. Doberman in a safe environment are gentle animals, prone to flopping on sofas. They do not forget watching his teeth sink into daemon flesh. Matthew knows what that feels like from the other end.)

We dance heaven!

Vera's daemon is bright blue and in her hair. His wings flap lazily when Vera tells him to stop showing off. He is the largest butterfly Matthew has ever seen.

They have questions, about his colour, about his size, about everything. They want to touch him because he is so pretty.

(Vera dissolves into paint, and so does he. Matthew knows that's not how it's supposed to work.)

Come be we and

Blackjack has a brightly coloured vulture perched on one massive shoulder. All the Bikers have birds, and they rarely travel together. Birds like freedom, it's no wonder they are drawn to the open road, to that slippery power of asphalt and tar.

(She never flies, her wings have been clipped. That is the greatest tragedy of Dave. He wanted freedom and the power it came with, he got neither.)

Be free!

Mr Bakker is a cheerful old man in a wheelchair. There is something off about him now, something wrong. They can't understand, but Matthew…

Matthew knows where Ósk is now, what Ósk is now. The who and the how are both answered.

("Where is Ósk Mr Bakker? Where is she? Do you know where you soul is?" Matthew asks as he leaves.

Desire can so quickly turn to Hunger after all.)

We blue electric angles!

It happens like this:

Matthew Swift refuses to summon the Blue Eclectic Angels, the song in the wire, for Mr Bakker. When he leaves a bridge burns behind him.

He walks the streets because this is how an urban sorcerer thinks, clears his head. Breathing in the city under sodium lights. Aine is worried, feathers shifting as she hops from foot to foot.

"There's something in the shadows." She says.

A shadow with Ósk's eyes tears open his chest. Aine cries, launching at the shadow with desperation.

The shadow swallows her whole.

It aches; it is being torn apart and shredded. It is separation and no one should survive it.

(Matthew Swift was already dying.)

There is a phone in his hand but he cannot reach the dialler.

"Come be we-" And Matthew breaths his last into the phone line.

Three years later he has blue eyes and Blue Electric Angels burning where Aine used to be.

"We are me and me are we."