Bryce stared out of his hospital single-bedroom’s window, feeling plenty of sorrow for himself. Sunday’s were boring to him. Up to this point, he’d not regularly attended church services, his parents were dead, he had no other family, no friends and in general, nothing interesting seemed to happen on the ward he’d been admitted to. Each day, the diligent sanitisation staff emptied bins and enthusiastically pushed and pulled on plastic brooms in practised patterns on their rounds, while remaining taciturn throughout. Over the last week, he’d developed a longing to get to know them. And yet, had he ever managed to catch their attention, the reveal would be that they held no desire to share any detail of their lives with him. Today, following yet another series of tests and measurements last Thursay, a final analysis was due. Upon waking up earlier, staring up at the ceiling, Bryce had fully expected to be discharged.
During the great pandemic of 2020 – 2024, the home accommodation of cats and rabbits fell, while for the same period of time, the figure for dogs rose. Writing as a dog, I find the statistics both believable and understandable. After all, you won’t get very far down the road for your daily exercise expecting a rabbit to lead the way. However, this hasn’t been all good for the dog world, at least not in my part of town. First-off, the additional influx has brought with it pressure onto the ownership of territories, with new claims appearing every month. These new dogs, often they don’t even have English as their first bark, growl and whine language, making civil communication over a dispute near-on impossible.
“I wonder what’s up there?” Phyllis said to Zelda over a background noise of the elevator counterweight system in motion. They studied the control panel showing floor levels marked with gallery names. The label for the top floor read PRIVATE NO PUBLIC ACCESS. A mutually-shared sense of curiosity dispensed with any need to exchange words, as her companion pressed the corresponding button.
Outside of the elevator, everything in view was a disorientating whiteness. A labyrinth of echoey corridors, soon found them lost and confused. “Wow,” said Zelda, “Are we in Heaven?” Aside from the floor, skirting boards, the walls, the ceiling and pendant lamps, there was nothing. Not a trace of decoration, no tropical plant displays, water-cooler or snack-bar vending machine, not even a fire-extinguisher canister, as one might expect.
“I don’t recall dying.” Said Phyllis sardonically, “This, is like some mad Minimalist’s fantasy! What is it about minimalism’s fascination with the colour white? Why not all this in mauve, for example?”
I lived alone Sunday morning, awoken, I watched, as a bright burst of shimmering light entered the bedroom, and a vision appeared Just like how we are told they do
I said “Who are you?” I answered myself, “You’re an apparition of a saint, aren’t you?” The figure emerging, acknowledged my statement-question, with a bow of the head “Patron Saint of, what?” I asked
“This,” the Saint spoke with a marginal echo, “is of no importance” “Maybe not for you,” I said, “but maybe for me it is, giving credence to my story, for when I tell others, about when a vision of Saint So-and-So appeared before me”