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Maria is late for church. It's a long walk from the little apartment to Saint Peter’s, and Maria did not leave on time.

It was another bad night, she got little sleep. Maria had to clean up after her mother. She changed all of the bed linen twice.

In her Sunday shoes, walking is difficult. The little heels get stuck in the crevasses of the worn cobblestones of Rome. She turns down another side street, unsure of what direction to take. She steps gingerly over broken beer bottles; the smell of urine strong in the little lane. She does not like the city. A month ago, they moved here from her little mountain village of Monterano. She wanted to be closer to the specialist the local doctors had recommended. It was of no help. Incurable he said, only a matter of time. What her mother needs is a miracle.

The lane opens up to a large boulevard; she can see Piazza San Pietro ahead. Today she must attend mass at the basilica to pray for her miracle. She is the only one left in the family who can help her dying mother. She rushes forward, her breath catching in her tightening throat; the doors will be closed when the ceremony starts.

She is nearly there but her advance is slowed to a crawl by tourists taking pictures and milling about. She has difficulty making a passage through the sea of people. Finally, she has only one street to cross, she just may make it.

A tall blond man steps in front of her. Frustrated, she tries to go around him, but he mirrors her moves and blocks her way. He looks down at her with piercing blue eyes. In fluent Italian he asks her for directions. She tells him she is sorry but she has no time; she is late for mass. Maria finally steps around him to cross the street. In her rush she does not see the oncoming motorcycle. The driver turns back from talking to the girl hanging on behind him. His bike screeches and drifts sideways as he tries to brake. He slips between Maria and a parked taxi with only centimeters to spare. His rear spokes snag the edge of her skirt leaving a small tear as a memento. The driver, uncaring, speeds on. Maria sees that the Basilica doors are still open, in her joy she does not realize that if she had been a few seconds earlier, she would have been killed or lying maimed in the street.

From across the road the tall blond man smiles at Maria heading for her mass, and melts into the crowd of Vatican visitors

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Kent

Michael Kent lives in Montreal Canada and works as an international management consultant. In contrast to his technical writing, his fiction always has tinge of humor or a special twist to the tale.

Years as a private pilot, avid reading and extensive traveling, have generated a storehouse of plots and stories that still have to be shared with the world. He has stories on Writers on the net, Writers Village University and The Next Big Writer.

One of his short stories has been published in Flash me Magazine and two of his fifty word “drabbles” used in a publicity campaign for Meridian Hotels.

He is presently working on a mystery trilogy, Blue Murder- Bloody Murder- Pink Murder.

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A miracle can happen, but it may not be what you want. It may be what you need.
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PUBLICATIONS MEZZO PUBLICATIONS INC. (ISSN 1920-0552)