The unfamiliar warmth soaking gently through the nakedness of her feet found its way through her body, up until, her young blue gaze reached the ancient blue clouds. And then it was gone, yet again.

She stood there quietly, trying to feel present. But presence was not enough, the violent rhythm of her diaphragm, the crude contractions of her heart, and the pounding pressure of her blood racing under her skin were all dancing, asking for more. The rain-dance of her body.

Tripping into a run, almost falling, she could feel the gravity pulling her forward, downward and forward. She would break away, the wind would catch her, getting rid of the unforgiving reigns of the planet, but then, another step.

And there, during these mere seconds, in between two steps, she would feel suspended and brimming with life.

Inspired by Elizabeth’s beautiful self-portrait. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/elizabethgadd/8635892536/)

She was precariously perched on her swivelling chair, reaching hard for the old incandescent light bulb dangling from the ceiling to change it, God, that bitch didn’t even care for the environment!

She greeted me as sweetly as her acting permitted, and as soon as she looked up towards the ceiling, I took the little glass bottle, hastily unscrewed the cap, and in one violently revengeful – yet tolerant – and wide slashing movement emptied the holy cleansing water on the Satanist.

The exorcism happened extremely fast; all I could see was a huge spark of white light, probably in the shape of a bird, touching the woman’s upheld hands, and then she was thrown unconscious on the floor, the evil leaving her body in the shape of thin fumes. I noticed that her hair was different, it looked darker and fuzzier; she was cured.

I made the sign of the cross, approached her, made the sign of the cross again, and then tried to wake her up. She stirred lightly, but her eyes remained closed. I called for an ambulance and a few minutes later, she was getting pulled on a gurney. Now that her soul was as pure as a woman’s can be, she was ready for the less important physical health recovery.

The paramedics praised my fast acting, saying that it had saved her life. I knowingly smiled; only if they had known that I had saved her afterlife as well.

The night that followed was genuinely one of the worst I ever had; I could hardly close my eyes, and on the few and short occasions I managed to, all I could see was that fiery satanic hair. By morning though, hope was back, I had made my mind: action was to be taken.

Not wanting to be the bad news bearer in the early morning, I waited as late as I could endure before calling my Reverend and telling him everything about the old hag; my first impressions, my later opinions, my most objective presumptions and some of my observations – only which I judged helpful for him to comprehend the delicate case. And as always, he knew what I was to do, you’d think solutions were sacredly let down upon him. After all, he was a deeply experienced clergy man, every day listening to and solving the problems of his many boys, his protégés, who get initiated to life under his wings at the orphanage in which I grew up.

And so, following my Reverend’s directions, I went to the neighbourhood church carrying in my coat’s pocket one of these miniature whiskey bottles that I had washed down for the occasion, submerged the bottle in the holy water spout until it was full to the brim, secured the cap and went back my way to the witch’s shop.

How foolish of me to fall for the cover-up for three whole years.

For three years, I’d greet the old witch on my way in or out of the building, I’d help her roll up or down the dusty rusted shutter door and I’d buy my beers and all other inevitabilities – but mainly beers – from the little shop she runs, thinking I was doing good in sustaining her small business. I did it all. I was kind to her for God’s sake! I even kept all the saints little portraits she gave me, well actually I was afraid of throwing them away, I mean you don’t mess with saints, but that’s not the point; the point is I believed she was a real believer, a pious woman, a devout religious, someone with a REAL soul!

That was before the red hair though.

I can perfectly recall the day I saw her suddenly-red hair. At first I couldn’t believe it, but it finally hit me; the mystique ways, the whispering voice, the distribution of saints pictures to customers and the wise praying advices: a very well-played ruse, indeed it was. She was evil. You can’t dye your hair red and not be evil, especially that deeply intense, straight-from-hell shade of red.

The Prime Minister’s secret wish-list includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • One of these popular video game consoles, where you control the bloody thing by jumping, spinning, and shaking and yanking your hands wildly all over the living room, accidently hitting your unsuspecting wife in the eye.

Why?

He would love to experience that feeling of being ten years old again, of course. And maybe, hit his wife in the eye, a few times, inadvertently, maybe.

  • A dog, any dog, provided that the beast would learn fast to recognize his wife’s car sound and bark or something upon hearing it getting into the parking garage.

Why?

So that he would have the time to buckle up and clear his browser’s history before she walks into the room.

Why can’t he just get a dog?

His wife is allergic to all furred and feathered animals; a couple of years ago, she made the news as she went through a horribly loud pulmonary attack and fainted during the opening of a dog-shelter… Oh, wait a second…

  • A trip to Las Vegas with his wife. This is where they had met, and it would be nice to stay a couple of nights at the same hotel where they had thoroughly spent their first night together, ah, that night!

Why?

Perhaps he would fall in love with her again. But probably because that’s the only hotel where there is a dancing pole next to the bed.

She: is twenty-two years old, determinedly pursuing her MLIS degree, and a stereotypically irreproachable bookworm.

Not one week passes without a couple of books being delivered to her mailbox; serious second-hand books, investigating serious issues by serious authors, thoroughly fished over EBay, thoroughly finished from one dusk to its consecutive dawn.

Her interests? Besides books and libraries, tea. And tea-ware. Last Saturday, she purchased an old, exhaustively used teapot from the nearby flea market, a sensibly under-priced jewel that joined its chipped comrades in the little cabinet above the kitchen sink labelled: Tea Paraphernalia.

Thursday the 13th of September – The books on her bedside table:

  • What Kind of Nation
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
  • Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World
  • Finance and the Good Society

 ……….

We: had virtually met on a books-related web forum (where Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button had led me), discussed electronic books, and have been texting each other for a month now.

 ……….

I: am intimidated.

The books on my bedside table – Since last winter:

  • The Little Prince
  • What’s My Pee Telling Me?

While we compliantly waited for our luggage to be towed into the cargo hold, our groins got visually checked by the unconvincingly cheerful stewardess for rebellious unfastened seatbelts. Then a different – remarkably more attractive – attendant, duplicated throughout the aircraft’s two hundred small TV screens, demonstrated ever so serenely how to orally blow up a lifejacket in the unfortunate case of a failure in the automatic inflation system, a couldn’t-be-worse scenario, really; it seemed that not only passengers were expected to survive a crash into the sea and to wait for rescue in potentially glacial and/or shark-infested waters, but they were supposed to inflate their lifejackets as well.

When the morbid pre-recorded video ended, the plane had already taken off, and a dozen minutes later, it had reached its usual 10 kilometres cruising altitude, way above the scattered little cottony clouds, and its optimal speed of 900 kilometres per hour, heading steadily towards the huge vertical cumulus cloud formations ahead. The pilot was evidently taking a slight detour to avoid going through the beautiful plumes of water vapour, but I wondered if the little boy in him hadn’t wished differently.

An hour later, the plane touched the ground quite brutishly.

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