Father Michael was glaring, hellfire shooting at me out of his eyes. I stopped dancing and bowed my head, but it still felt like he was watching.
“We’re supposed to listen to the music. It makes us feel closer to God,” he said after. I knew he meant me.
I asked Ms Mwanna later. “How can God make Father Michael angry when He’s the one who made me dance?”
“Your God makes a lot of people angry,” she said. “Keep dancing, my girl. I reckon you’re closer to Him than they are anyway. One day, you’ll light up their darkness.”
Melanie is a recurring character in my blog, and one of my favourite characters to write. You can find more of her stories using the Melanie tag.
As for this story and photograph, snow in July throws me for a loop. A friend recently posted a skiing photo on Facebook. It took too many seconds for me to realise she hadn’t shared a memory… she lives in New Zealand!!
Time moves slower on a train. It’s the perfect chance to read or to write, even to sleep. If you don’t mind occasionally waking up in Wales. But the world moves faster around it, changes at a glance. Bleak warehouses become sheep, huddling from the rain that minutes ago was sun.
You can age a year just waiting for leaves to be cleared, but the world won’t hold on. The wedding can’t be delayed for a single guest, even one who might have put a stop to it and told her she was making a mistake. Especially not for him.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is a great example of why I didn’t study physics beyond 16. I just… no, it’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m not saying I know better than our great scientists, I’m just saying this is theoretical too far for me. If you are interested though, here’s the video Sebastian and I watched this morning to try to understand it for this story. Start about 3 minutes in for the portion this narrator is referring to.
Maggie barely knew her own name, but she always recognised Stan: never took her eyes off him. We admired their love and his daily visits – most husbands came a couple of times a week. Then I noticed Maggie flinched when he held her hand … realised she watched with fear, not adoration … heard the tone of his whispers.
After he left, I took her for a walk in the garden. Out of the blue, she grabbed a rose and snapped its stem and flicked a bug from within.
“Even the most beautiful things can be rotten inside,” she muttered.
Random Ramblings FromMe
Today’s photo actually made me think of the word pock-marked, and the etymology of that in ‘the pox’. When people talk about eliminating Covid-19, I often point out the humanity has eradicated precisely one disease ever and it took almost 200 years. I think our best case in the short-medium term has to be harm reduction not virus elimination.
Vaccines are incredible though. Smallpox killed 3 in 10 of those infected, its eradication has to be one of humanity’s greatest success stories and is a rare example of truly international cooperation. Wandering down the smallpox rabbit hole, I discovered Ali Maow Maalin, the last man to catch smallpox minor. Maalin had avoided the vaccination program when it came by, because he was scared of the needle. He isolated at home during his infection (sound familiar?!) and when he recovered, he went to work on the Polio vaccination program, persuading others to participate. As a result of the work of Maalin and thousands of others like him, polio is now endemic in only 2 countries. Two of the three strains have been eliminated completely. Another wonderful success story.
All my research turned up lots of stories, like Ali Maalin’s, which a historical fiction writer might have turned into their Friday Fiction. But none of them stuck. Instead, the muse decided to turn my attention to two other ‘pandemics’ that we have been living through for years.
There are around 10 million new cases of dementia worldwide every year. Although many dementia patients die of something else first, none recover and it is in itself deadly.
The UN has found more than 30,000 women die each year from domestic violence. That statistic was measured before Covid-19 and lockdowns, which appear to have increased the levels of domestic abuse. Many, many more, live with it for years and may or may not ever escape, let alone recover.
Neither dementia nor domestic violence has any hope of a vaccine.