Such a Kicking

Constantine gets an invitation from the Witch. Drama, I-3

He was used to days like these. Days when London said “keep your head down, boy, or I’ll give you such a kicking.” Days when the sky spit rain, the lorries never fucking stopped, and some feathered rat decided to shit on your favorite (only) trenchcoat. Days like these a man’s only option was to get thoroughly pissed and stay that way until London’s mood changed for something less homicidal.

At least that was John Constantine’s plan until Mad Hettie grabbed him by the arm and dragged him into her alley. On better days he knew to avoid Old Compton Street for just these reasons, but today was not one of his days.

“She’s been trying to reach you Herself, she has,” Mad Hettie said in lieu
of a greeting. John had a bad feeling that he knew the ‘Herself” Hettie
was refering to. “She’s been tryn’ but you’ve been shuttin’ her out the
way you shut out everything so I’m here to tell you and you’re here to listen,
Johnny-lad.”

When Mad Hettie said ‘listen,’ particularly in that tone, Constantine felt a chill go straight through him. Things never went well for him when Mad Hettie came around to chat. It was never the friendly chats, only the ‘some supernatural ‘s come around callin for you’ sorts of chats.

“Hettie…” he tried. Sometimes the Constantine charm worked on the old bat. She gave him a beady-eyed glare. This was not one of those times.

“No. You listen here, you scallwag, you scamp, I’m 267 years old and I know these things. She got a need for you, so I’m to tell you and you’re to listen.” Hettie had a vise grip on his arm, so shaking her off and dashing off down the lane was out.

The thing was, Mad Hettie really was 267 years old. She was also a prophet, a witch of little talent, and completely buggering nuts.

“Who is trying to talk to me, Hettie?” He tried with what little patience God saw fit to grace him with.

Hettie fixed him with a look that was surprisingly reminiscent of his nan’s. “You know who. John Constantine. Witch. She’s been trying to reach you, but you’ve got yourself locked up tight, haven’t you?”

Ah sweet buggered Jesus, that was the answer right there that he didn’t want to hear. “I know a lot of witches, Hettie. Yourself for an example.”

“Not any old witch, old sorceress,” Hettie said, shaking his arm for good measure. “The Witch.”

Shit.

“Well, she could bloody well pick up the phone and call, like anyone else, couldn’t she?” He said. When in doubt, sheer bastardness tended to see the day through.

Wind found it’s way into the alley, knocking over rubbish bins and rattling
about empty bottles. John hunched his shoulders instinctively. At the mouth
of the alley stood a girl with wild hair and inhuman eyes. John hunched
his shoulders more, if it was possible, and started a stream of profanity
that only threatened to get louder and more blasphemous as it went on. The
girl locked eyes with him and the words went to ash in his mouth. She held
out one slender hand—her dainty wrist encircled by a heavy gold band that
he was pretty sure was no ordinary trinket—and beckoned him.

Then she was gone as if she had never been. Didn’t even have the decency to vanish with a sound or a bit of theatric dust. Straight unnerving, that was.

“Well,” Hettie said with immense satisfaction. “She’s come Herself to give you an invitation.”

“Great,” said John “now if she’d only said where to.”

Well I am going down to nowhere
Its not too far from here
The Rain’ll be running rings
Around this tinpot cavalier
and there are skeletons and wastrels
As far as the eye can see
So if you want me baby
The Nowhere’s where I’ll be

Yeah I am going down to nowhere
Oh its childsplay
We are turning up our collars
We are hijacking the day
And you can tell me about your journeys
You can tell me all your dreams
But nothing comes close
To the nowhere that I’ve seen

And all you people heading somewhere
Well you don’t know what you’re missing
Cos there’s nothing like the freedom
Of a place where no one listens

So I am going down to nowhere
It is steeped in history
This is high-rise living for a
Joke Like me
We are such pretty little failures
On streets paved with fools gold
And no-one will think twice about
The nothing that they’ve sold

And all you people heading somewhere
Well you don’t know what you’re missing
Cos there’s nothing like the freedom
Of a place where no one listens

So I am going down to nowhere
With the drop-outs and the bums
I’m a soldier of the vacuum
When the darkness comes
I’m a vaudeville comedian
In a theatre of bones
And Its a laugh a minute
When nowhere is your home