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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 45 | volume VIII | November-December, 2005



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 45November-December, 2005
Prose

Mapping God

(excerpt from the novel)


/7
p. 1
Fred Johnston

ONE

    Guido found her.
    Seaweed for hair, she lay like a broken shop-window mannequin on the black wet rocks. Guido looked at her, the sun off the water making his eyes squint. It was a beautiful morning, cold and full of sun in a blue, wide sky.
    They took Guido away. For hours they asked him questions. They took her body away too and the tracks of the ambulance stayed in the soft brown sand until the tide came in and washed their stain away. They let Guido go. Yes, he knew her, but that, discouragingly, was all. Everybody knew her.
    Guido sold chips and fried sausages and burgers from a white rusty van. How long are you in this country? They asked him. They were not friendly. Many years, Guido answered. My children go to school here. Well, just you be careful, they said. They moved around her broken unclothed body, touching, feeling, looking, taking photographs, and then the ambulance came and she was put in a black bag and taken away. Telling all of this to his Irish wife, Guido said: How she loved the beach! When his children came home, they said that everyone was talking about it. All their friends.

TWO

    Some of the village children thought Manny was a witch.
    She wasn't, but she wore her grey hair long behind her, her face was wrinkled like an old apple and she made her own clothes. And she didn't eat meat. She wrote poetry. Someone said that she was well-known, somewhere. Her German accent had dwindled over the years. She spoke some Irish as well as English. Once a week she held a Poetry Group in the back room of Maher's Pub on the quay.
    Some people said she was mad. All the foreigners around the village were mad or at least very odd. With their odd – mad – ways. Their poetry and middle-aged little girlishness about them, the women. The men handy at everything from putting in light-bulbs to mending thatch.
    Which went to show that they had been well educated and that meant they had money, so what were they doing pretending to have nothing. Living in caravans, while their cottages were being built. They had money. And they took drugs and their children, running around in knitted clothes of every colour in the rainbow, were to be pitied, with their oddly posh accents.
    The shop was full of talk about the girl's






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