Malachi sat back in his worn recliner and closed his eyes. He held his breath and felt the irregular beat of his heart pounding through his head. Perspiration beaded on every corner of his angular face as he rubbed his eyes and then his temples. He could still hear the words of the young Bishop: “Don’t come to me with your nonsense, Father. No one believes in the devil anymore.”

He let his hands slip slowly down his face to his neck where they found a knotted chain and fingered it for a short time, tracing its linked ridges to the large crucifix lying across his sternum. He cupped his hands over it and despite his exhaustion found a bit of solace and mechanically formed a prayer.

His lungs whistled as he drew in a sharp breath and reached for the water on the table beside him. The back of his shaking hand racked the glass and sent it toppling to the floor, splashing several pages of the manuscript he’d been working on.

He clicked his tongue and brushed the water from the papers. The ink smeared over the working title at the top of the page, Primacy: How the Institutional Roman Catholic Church became a Creature of the New World Order.

“Oh, dear.”

With some effort, he got to his feet and started for the kitchen to find a towel. Without warning, he toppled forward and his head splintered against the coffee table. The lamp crashed next to him and the room went black.

He woke only once from his coma to whisper to a bedside confidant, “I felt something push me but no one was there...” Father Malachi Martin, one of the most controversial figures of the modern Catholic Church, died several days later on July 27, 1999.


A Neverending Story

On the morning of April 18th, 1985, Clarence opened his eyes and found himself again in familiar surroundings: the county jail. He was fifty-two years old, not a young man anymore; it was getting more and more difficult to recover from his binges. His head was splitting and... how many drinks had he had last night? “Ten?” he asked himself, “Twelve?”

He pushed himself up and found a soft coil on the edge of the mattress to sit on. As he stared at the peeling grey floor and rubbed his stinging neck, bits and pieces slowly returned until his heart suddenly jumped and he stumbled forward against the metal bars.

“Officer! Hey, officer!”

The deputy looked up from a newspaper and raised his eyebrows.

“My car... “

“Your car? Your car?”

Insult flashed across Clarence’s face. “... I was in a little Chevy, is it still, uh, drivable?”

The deputy shook his head and threw the paper down. “Your concern is touching, but yeah, it’s a miracle that the girl in the Mustang you T-boned is okay.”

“Oh... right... the girl.”

“Besides,” the deputy added, “I don’t think your temporary license is going to survive this one. This is your fifth D.U.I. and the laws have tightened up a bit since your last one. Better make your phone call now that you’re sober.”

Sometimes, one life can be the beginning of change. And sometimes, one death. Clarence wasn’t that one life, but Cari Lightner, the thirteen year old girl walking to a church carnival that he mowed down while driving drunk five years previously was that one death. Outraged at the light sentence that Clarence Busch received for her daughter’s slaughter, Candice Lightner began a relentless push for tougher laws combating drunk driving that culminated in the formation of M.A.D.D.


Welcome x 2

to Ungern and Roger! Thanks for adding me to your "follows."



Scattered outbreaks had been occurring for some time. In England. America. Mexico. The contagions always remained relatively contained but now, something was in the air and the winds were carrying it across the continent. On February 16, 1848, two railroad workers sneezed and fell dead at the feet of a squad of Royal Guards in the streets of Paris. A week later, King Louis Philippe abdicated his throne and in the next, the Second Republic was declared in France.

In March, signs began to appear elsewhere, especially among the urban poor and unemployed, among the waves of immigrants as they wandered searchingly for cures across the invisible borders of the German States, Denmark, Schleswig, Hungary, and the Habsburg Empire. Natural disasters heightened the anxiety of the increasingly unsettled world as hurricanes struck North America and earthquakes shook New Zealand.

As 1848 progressed, cases appeared in more and more nations. Switzerland, Poland, Wallachia, Ireland, and Belgium all diagnosed incidents of the spreading fever. Death by the thousands followed in its wake. Even across the oceans and far away from the hosts in Europe, Brazil and India were forced to put quarantines in place.

But it seemed that as quickly and as violently as it had come, it suddenly disappeared. By the end of the year, although some places continued to experience outbreaks until as late as 1852, the dead were all wrapped and buried; the epidemic that swept across the globe had ended and the faces of the affected states remained relatively unchanged.

No one has yet to give a precise definition to what happened to the world in 1848. Some called it democracy, others liberalism, some nationalism or socialism. Idealism. Freedom. Whatever one names it though, the revolutions stemmed from frustration: and wherever that grows in abundance, it becomes infectious.


Another Maniac Aboard

Welcome and thanks to the newest "follower" AriaManiac. Off to Mardi Gras this week but will be back writing again next weekend!