Salt In The Wounds, track 2 from Pendulum’s Immersion.
Album time, 6:39.
Through smoke, crashing and tripping over our hastening feet, we flee. Our filthy hands, fingers quaking, desperately clutch our gushing hurts, flesh ripped to bloody strings and raw. There is no time to bind them – even now, the booming monstrosity at our backs – far behind us; please, far behind – rattles our eardrums a third time, rallying our pursuers and startling cries of terror from our lips. We must stumble on – quickly, quickly – even as we feel our limbs weaken, step for step, drop for oozing crimson drop.
We cry out again; agony and fear are identical. In a strangled hiss, we try to hush ourselves as a shriek of hunter’s pleasure ricochets through the darkness, honing in on our position. The words die on our parched tongue. Even if we cut it out, so damaged and in such terror, we could make no less noise in this chase – bare feet slapping concrete, crashing into brick and cowering for bare moments in alleys before taking off again – than a herd of ravaged cattle eager to escape their tormentors.
We are cattle. Only, we share a further demon.
We know about the abattoir.
Gritting our teeth and forcing all that near consumes the remains of our common sense deep down our throat, we try to rally some logic as our hunters do the same with numbers on our tail. But we smother coughs, breathing hard from our race, inhaling fumes that leak from factories and sewers. We flounder, disoriented. We cannot let the poison stop us, scatter us! There is no shelter in this concrete maze! So we turn east, pulled by some magnetic force toward fresher air, for the sea.
We belt along bitumen roads, now, the claustrophobic towers and walls left behind, but the booming – it is like terror itself! Like the very darkest sins of nature and not so hideously twisted into sound – assails us again. With moans, we begin to drop to our knees, spent and helpless. We won’t all make it. Even as we begin to leave ourselves behind, we drive our feet harder, faster, into the ground. Sweat streams down our limbs, getting in our wounds. The salt is unbearable, before-throbbing damage now stinging three-fold. We dash our feet to the stones in the road just to draw away the intensity, another hurt to occupy our mind.
We see the sand dunes ahead, lit silver in the searchlights.
Fuelled more by fight-or-flight and the lingering, nauseating effect of adrenaline on our nerves and brain than our depleted lifeblood that only minutes before had carried the hormone through our system, we hurl ourselves over the dunes, tumbling through bristly scrub and falling – falling further, metres and metres – into loose sand. The impact jars us, but within moments we are up and tearing away, racing – toward what? The sand stretches left and right, before us inky ocean. We know what lies behind, closing in fast beyond the dunes.
This is not sense! Where are we to go!
We feel our hunters’ presence as a sack dropping over our head. Any moment, we are sure they will show themselves over the dunes and the sound will swell again and paralyse us as we dither, trapped, confusion reigning on the beach these short moments of pseudo-freedom.
But they cannot see us yet.
With a last push of effort, we cover the distance to sand hard-packed where foam laps. Our feet are the first victims, howling as the salt in the sand bites deep. We will ourselves silent and, trying in vain to protect our broken skin, splash into the ocean, pulling ourselves under, digging in our fingertips and clinging to the roots of weeds that hold the seabed together.
Submerged, our body screams, afire.
We barely hear our pursuers take the beach.
But the searchlights permeate the salt.
This was Salt In The Wounds (Immersion #2). If you missed it, here’s Genesis (Immersion #1).