"The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up it is flaking but my smile
by Richard Karsmakers
A death like Freddie Mercury's leaves noone untouched. This
story was written on the day of his passing away, November 25th
1991, after hours of special radio broadcasts and reruns of half
a dozen Queen video clips. Whether you liked him or not, Freddie
Mercury left a deep impact on the world of music. The world has
been bereft of a charismatic, enthusiastic, radiant man.
I would humbly like to dedicate this little story to his memory.
May he rest in peace, and may his musical legacy never die.
When he closed his eyes he saw a moonlit stair. It just stood
there, amidst of triviality. It seemed to be the only object of
importance, the only object his eyes seemed willing to register.
It stood in a mysterious way, not supported by anything except
nothingness. It led up, up. Far up to beyond his sight. Yet atop
the stairs he thought he saw light.
The sound of wind gathered in his ears - a storm was building up
somewhere beyond his vision, beyond the stairs.
Then, from the light, a man descended the stairs. When he had
come sufficiently closer, it could be seen that he was old,
battered, worn, clad in a tattered robe. He came down slowly, as
if he had all the time in the world - indeed, as if the very
world and all time and space on it were his in the first place.
The young man felt an urge to flee, but a power held him in
place - as if in a dream where you want to run but you can't.
Your feet move but your surroundings don't. Nowhere to go to.
The old man seemed to see him now. From somewhere, as if
summoned by him, clouds had come. The clouds lingered like fog,
but instead of revealing everything, peculiarly enough, they
seemed to bundle the young man's vision on the stairs and the old
man. It all seemed very unreal.
The old man's gaze did not leave the other's, did not waver from
its tired concentration as he went down to the very bottom. His
eyes were intent on something noone could fathom, strangely
He spread his hands on the multitude, as if trying to cast a
spell of which the words were forgotten, the chants no longer
The young man felt as if he was falling downward, a giddy
feeling that was completely out of place. Something in the old
man's face and expression brought him back. He regained his
Then the old man was suddenly close to him. The young man had
not heard the whispered shuffle of the old man's feet on the
floor, nor the soft sounds of the flowing of his robes.
"Beware the storm that gathers here," the old man said. His
voice was scarred by age but the underlying power was enormous.
He seemed like a man void of purpose, whose love of life and the
world had gone stale. A desolate man. The ice cold hearts of
bare charity seemed to tear mutely from the tips of his fingers.
He slowly lowered his hands.
"I see no day," he said, much of the power in his voice suddenly
lacking, "so grey is the face of every mortal."
The word 'mortal' seemed to echoe through the young man's mind
as the old man heaved his eyes skyward, sighing profoundly. Then
the lash of the old man's cold, penetrating glance caught him
once more - merciless, compelling.
"Listen to the warning," the old man said, his voice heavy with
doom and some ancient sense of regained purpose, "for soon the
cold of night will fall."
Only then the young man seemed to become aware of the coldness
around them. Only then did the see his own breath form small
clouds in front of his face - the old man had none. The mists had
intensified, and so had the cold. He looked around him for
something to concentrate on. Once more he felt like falling,
flailing down towards the earth, helpless, inescapable. The mists
turned black, the impenetrable black of death, doom, lack of
purpose, desaster, cold night. He shivered.
The moon had vanished.
The scenery changed. It seemed to melt but it was a process
unlike melting altogether. He wavered, he had difficulty
remaining on his feet, had to use his arms to keep balance.
Then he stood eye in eye with the bone white haze called death.
A scythe glimmered unearthly in the darkness. Death's eyes were
hollow, like screaming mouths to deaf gods. His teeth seemed to
smile, but it could also have been but a grin of anticipation.
Under his bony feet lay a crushed white dove and green boughs -
freshly cut but dying. He stretched one bony hand, and at its end
the young man now saw the vision. The gaze of death had not been
on him, but on a dream-like vision of people fleeing, kings of
beasts hurling agony upon mankind, estranged sons wandering
'round. Wretches running, beyond help or hope. A baby, the
reaper's hands just releasing the tight, choking grip on the
little creature's neck that had snapped. The earth under their
very feet broke in two. The dead fell in a chasm unlike any one
can imagine, beasts, kings, mothers, sons. The abyss was
bottomless, eager to receive. It showed a dow'ry of death,
sadness, mystery, and more death. There was rain. Not just any
rain, but a torrent that seemed alive, intelligent - a torrent
that seemed to be evil incarnated. Or maybe good incarnated in a
fight against evil - it was impossible to tell from the vision.
It was impossibly real, almost as if he was standing there. Life
was nothing but some abstract thought, death a palpable reality.
A strange laughter filled his ears, echoeing, vast, filling his
being. Many colours seemed to fly by. Blue, pink, yellow. Then
white. Black. The colours turned around, flipped, transformed to
beings that seemed human, then melted into a bleak lack of
Death. Running. Genocide. The utter purging. He felt it was a
vision of thruth, a glimpse into the future. A vision of death to
be, the fires of hell taking mankind. Mankind who heeded him not
would be made by all their treasure. The bone white haze would
get to those who would not mark his words, the people who would
call him mad, deranged, taken by lunacy. Those who dared laugh at
the Madman, those who feared him.
For one last moment, the old man reappeared in the vision.
"Listen to the Madman!" the ragged figure cried, once again
spreading out his hands as if summoning the heavens. Then
everything faded away, the mists seemed to conquer the entire
image until everything was all but a blur.
When Noah opened his eyes, it had started to rain. The sound was
strangely comforting to him. His heart felt heavy but he knew
what to do. At last.
He hoped his wife would like the idea.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.