Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunday Scribbles XXXVIII

Rainy and grey Sunday mornings are perfect for reflection. The weather this morning, however, is very schizophrenic: periods of bright sunlights breaking up the heavy grey clouds and heavy rain squalls. This unsettled weather is making it difficult for me to successfully follow any continuous and coherent thought patterns.
That last glass of wine last night might also be a factor.
So, yes, it's been an odd morning. Shifty, moody, unpredictable. Unsettled. But a few thoughts have occurred.
You may recall that I told, a few weeks ago, of the woman who - as a teenager - had been stopped by German soldiers as she was ferrying weapons to a local Underground cell. She was saved, almost divinely, by a bomb that fell from a seemingly clear sky, and that killed the troops, while merely blowing her into an adjacent paddock.
I visited her last week. She was in agony. Her skin had werupted with a few dozen huge blisters. They hung from her arms and legs, saggiung drupes, filled with a clear, blood-red fluid. She even had a few on the soles of her feet, making walking a fearsome thought.
The dermatologist is intrigued, and had taken many phtographs, hoping for fame when he publishes his case-notes. One hopes that any acclaim will be more than skin deep, especially if he manages to affect a cure.
Mrs H says that if he does manage to successfully treat her condition, it "will be miraculous". It won't be, of course. God will have done nothing. In fact, if a kind and benevolent god were to exist, one who took a deep and personal interest in his flock, she'd never have contracted the disease that caused the blisters. So it won't be a miracle. It will merely be the work of a highly evolved monkey.
Mind you, when I consider the humble banana, I do consider the capriciousness of evolution. It  astonishes that vegetable matter has evolved so many astonishing ways of delivering its genes on to the next generation. One would think that after a few hundred million years plants would have settled down to a few hardy ways of starting the next generation off.
Food would then be boring, but at least it would grow and survive a little mnore successfully that it does.
I've just realised, of course, that I'm coming to some sort of aapproval for genetic engineering. Hmm. I will have to give this some more thought. Anyone have any food for that thought?
Reading: "Omega", by Jack McDevitt. Once again, I have discovered an excellent sci-fi writer. Incidentally - the "Directive 51" that I read a few weeks back was fun, but flawed: it was, it turned out, a right wing polemic. I don't know whether I approve or disapprove of fiction that has such a poltical agenda. Again - I'll have to think more about it.
Listening to: Jimi Hendrix, "Are You Experienced".
More "Paper Heroes":
Grey grinned, and held out his hand. “Shake, pardner. I don’t know whut’s going on here, but you and your two big friends look like you’re handy in a scrap, f’sure.”

Blunt shook the small man’s hand, and was surprised at the power in it. Not to small after all, thought Blunt. He remained uneasy. Nothing was as it should be, and everything it couldn’t be. He ran a finger across the wall’s surface: it was warm and glossy, and yielded to a thumbnail. It was made of no substance he had ever seen before. Whistler kept close to him, gazing about with child-like wonder.

Blunt knew that he was suffering from some form of shock. He could still hear the awful sound of the bayonet scraping his eye-socket and the back of his skull. A sudden wave of nausea hit him, making him sweat. He knuckled the perspiration away from his eyes, and wondered at the words Post-Traumatic Shock Syndrome. Words that made no sense, yet which he knew. Then, moments later, it was a concept he understood.  The nausea eased, and he bit at the roast chicken in his hand. He glanced again at Whistler, and the two other big men: Crayne and, what was it, Hanno? They all looked as though they had come from the same mould. Crayne and Whistler were equals in height and heft, while Hanno towered over them by a good half-head. All three were well muscled, although again Whistler appeared to be the softest of the three. Blunt knew, however, of the power that lay beneath Whistler’s protective layer of fat.

“It’s kept me warm on many a cold night in Portugal and Spain, so it has, and I’ll be adding to it as I enjoy my retirement as a gentleman horse trader and breeder. So I shall.”

Blunt smiled at the memory, and looked again at Charles. The man stood a little less than five and a half feet in height, was stooped, and very pale. His hair was unruly, black, and receding. His movements were quick and birdlike: he reminded Blunt of a hedge sparrow. No one spoke: the silence was broken only by the strange music that filtered through the walls.  Hanno and Whistler went to the table of food and, as any good soldier would, loaded platters with meats, bread, and baked vegetables. There were no tables to sit at, so they squatted, with their backs against the wall. Blunt suddenly felt thirsty. He seized a tankard of water, and drank deeply.

Three more people entered the room. It was Cienwyn and the two men who had stayed in the background. It was time to eat: time for the briefing.

1 comment:

  1. Evolution moves us ever nearer to extinction. The most highly evolved plant species, such as orchids, are also those that reproduce the least because reproduction has become so complex and specialized. Its a pity people aren't more highly evolved, the planet seems crowded.