Sunday, 25 October 2009


She stands up from the Go board, scattering white and black stones carelessly across the carpet. Her head drops to her chest and she clasps her hands in front of her, demure as a china doll. She is wearing a white dress that falls to her ankles and wraps almost chokingly around her throat, with sleeves long enough to almost cover her fingers. In some ways she reminds me of a nun, but then I went to a religious school.
"Harmony," I say, and then I stop. I don't know what to say to her.
"Yes," she replies, not looking up. I open my mouth, hoping that the act will inspire me with words, but then I hear the familiar rattle and slither, and looking down I see the Go stones skittering across the carpet like water boatmen across the surface of a lake.
"Oh Harmony!"
I turn at the high-pitched cry of disappointment behind me, and there stands an elderly woman, tall and proud as the now-fallen Statue of Liberty. She gazes at both of us, her disapproval radiating like heat from a pizza oven.
"Sweet Mother Mary," I say, crossing myself. My knees shake a little, though I quickly control them, and a cold sweat breaks out on my brow. Mother Mary, sweet or otherwise, was my teacher at the Immolian School. She died thirty-one years ago.
"Harmony, control yourself. You were named for a purpose."
Mother Mary fades away.
Harmony still stands there before me, her head down-bowed, but the Go stones have stopped moving.
"Harmony?" I ask, not certain of what has happened.
"I have a purpose," she replies, and pushes past me.

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