Madia Mangalena

By Michael Haulica

Translated from Romanian by Mihai Samoila

Madia Mangalena's face fills the whole screen. The bluish filter emphasizes her discretely retouched eyes. On sub-wave the prophecy of Brodar's coming is broadcast. It sticks on passers-by's brains, penetrates them, takes root, and takes the appearance of Madia of Mangala. Not anymore need for a screen, the image hangs upon cortexes, waving like wolf-flags, with the only difference that it's not howling. Madia is smiling. The marks of the stones are clear, telling the story of her life.

"Let the immaculate one throw first."

And everyone crowded forward to throw the stone, to be seen throwing, to get known as being clean.

The scars smoothed her body, made it shiny, magnetic. The clothes stick on her, the sights, the hands, all those. She walks on the street and the watches fall around her, break, stand stone-still. Madia without Time. Magnetic Dia.

Only her face remained bitten by stones. For a better recollection. And each caress burns the hand that had held the stone, each kiss has the taste of the stones.

"What... What the hell's that?"

everyone jumps aside, at first touch. Burned, shocked, disgusted, scared, vomitive. They swear not to touch her ever, but the next day they start again. They keep themselves busy in her way, to be seen by her, to be chosen, to make her mind them at least. Ferocious males, men who are ruling the destinies of the world. They are her rags for wiping. Her shoe cream, her boots...

"Linda, Linda, where's your boots?" (lovesong from XX-th century)

her toothbrush, her purse, her tampax.

Madia Mangalena, the psalliote1 of Mangala. Beautiful, dreadfully beautiful. When she makes love, her movements are avoiding and receiving, feinting, watching, begging, urging, howling. She's transforming herself into syrup or brandy, worming into you and playing the full in there. She's burning you, tearing you.

But "it is better to burn than to rust." That is the first lesson.

With her body she is burning you, burning at her turn, consuming herself in you. Madia of Mangala lives her death every day.

"A whore! Every jerk split her, every cock-sucker, those who are walking her around like the relics of saints. A whore!"

And, yet, people gather around screens like in the mad years of Psycho programmes. 23, 24... 26: Andie MacDowell sold en detail on the sandwich boards of the handicapped (IQ under 160). What times! Movies - they called them. Now, on the screen, we are seeing the reality. The tricksters, the handlers of lives, are bombarding us with the lives of the saints. I don't know from where are they pulling so many saints; that stinks to me. As long as we don't understand that, we better stay home on our butts and give up the diems2. Anyhow, the dreammaker shouldn't fall into everyone's hand.

Patina is another name for rust, and the naming ennobles it. This is the second lesson.

For the moment, let's wait for Brodar; let's see what's with him. Maybe he's another Big Brother, like so many others who have passed by there. They are all gone, as they came. Some wretches. Some cads.

And we, the cattle, we are leaving our lives in their palms, palms not good enough for a masturbation. But it belongs to them. And they could forgive Madia, the one that we could never forgive. But how could we forgive her, isn't she our whore, isn't she? Aren't we locking ourselves with her in two-on-two foutoirs, aren't we throwing our clothes and socks and wrist-watches to gain another five square inches of skin for caresses? How could we forgive her, when she made us throw stones? No executioner forgives his victims.

"Let the immaculate one throw first."

The marks of the stones on her face make her more beautiful. Any man who sees her feels in his nostrils, at once, the smell of her blood. Her calling.

On the huge screen, Madia is moving away and behind her remains the smell that drives me crazy. I feel my blood rising in me to the top of the tops and the sensong blow up in the air around. The filters are changing, they are red now. Masna Pyia passes his dextra3 over the chords, the grave accords are clearing and, from somewhere, from depths, I know from where the waves appear. The master's image grows blurred, there are only the sensong4 and the waves which remain. Trembling at the beginning, more and more agitated afterward, finally the agressives, the waves.

The passers-by are looking at me astonished.

Beyond hate is love. Like a door, like a wound, like a spike.

I'm the only one who has forgiven her. I love her.

I don't feel my hands anymore. They are numb. I didn't think that it could be so bad. Nay, they are not numbed. It hurts me. Especially the spikes hurt me. The lust with which they had beaten those spikes in my palms. Like at that other time. And their faces, disfigured by hate.

From here, from up here, everything looks different. But it doesn't matter anymore.

In front of me a woman stops. I look into her eyes and it seems to me that she looks like my mother. Probably, all dying men feel that. From my wounds, my blood is dripping and she starts aside to save her basket. Too late.

She looks at me and says: "Is it you, or should we wait another one?"

"It's me. Me."

The End

1 The psalliote comes from psaliota campestris... which is the latin name of a sort of mushroom

2 Diems comes from D.M., Dream-maker.

3 Dextra is an artificial hand made to improve the ability to play a chorded instrument.

4 Sensong comes from SENSATION+SONG and it is a sort of song which grows up depending on the sensations of the listener. If I'm sad, the sensong goes sad. If I'm happy, the sensong goes happy too.

Copyright © 2000 by Michael Haulica

I was born in 1955, I wrote many SF short stories which were published in the Romanian SF magazines and literary magazines, in 2 anthologies (NEMIRA SF ANTHOLOGY '95 and NEMIRA SF ANTHOLOGY '96 in both Romanian and English languages) and in another anthology, MOTOCENTAURI PE ACOPERISUL LUMII (MOTOCENTAURS ON THE WORLD'S ROOF), in 1995, a cocktail of fantasy and cyberpunk. In march 1999 was published my first book, MADIA MANGALENA, collected stories I wrote between 1987 and 1998. I edited 2 magazines of SF, SUPERNOVA in 1993-1995 and ALTERNATIV SF in 1995-1997. I'm also a winner of many awards in Romanian SF, contests and conventions.


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