Tine Cuid I (Fire Part I)
Roma, Italia (Rome, Italy)
The shower was turned off and Alessia Rossi put on her bathrobe. She reached around for the bathroom door handle. She stepped into her bedroom, and felt the heat of the sun streamed in through her window. She opened it, letting some fresh air in, and stuck her head through it. Her milky-white eyes looked out upon the world. She turned her head around, trying to gauge how high the sun was by the dim amount of light she could detect. After a second or two, she realised it was right above her, and rightly deduced it to be midday.
Alessia had lost her sight at the age of five. Her eyes had never developed properly, and she could never see as well as other people. She had only a few memories of what the world looked like, and she cherished them all. For as long as she could remember, she had wanted to explore the world around her, but thanks to her blindness, that dream had been swiftly crushed. But even after all this time, she still yearned to travel, even though she would never be able to see where she was.
She used to curse being blind, but after living with it for sixteen years, she realised it wasn’t so bad. She could still read. Her brother made sure to come by every week with a new selection of books written in Braille. Every time he came back, she had read them all. It didn’t matter what it was: fantasy, history, sci-fi, romance. She read it all, while her vast imagination conjured worlds just at the touch of her fingertips. It was her way of escaping her life, to forget what had confined her in mundane routine for the most part of her life. Though blindness did have some benefits.
When Alessia’s eyes had been rendered almost totally useless, her other senses had rallied to her aid. Right now she probably had better hearing and sense of smell than any human. She could hear the complete conversations between the couple upstairs, though she tried to ignore them. Two doors down the hallway, she knew there was an entire drug ring operating. She did her best to ignore them as well.
Alessia could smell the delicious cooking from Signora Bianchi’s apartment across the hall, and decided she’d pay a ‘surprise’ visit later. She reached for a jug of water she knew was waiting on her bedside table. Normally, she took her time reaching for it, but today she over-shot, and knocked the jug over.
Then several things happened at once.
The bells in the Vatican rang out the Angelus.
The water from Alessia’s jug spilled all over the heated window-sill.
Alessia heard a voice, that both boomed and whispered, the word “Bene.”
And just 70 metres away to the north, an old Irish pound coin hit the surface of theFontana di Trevi, and caused a huge ripple. This ripple shook across the world, faster than the speed of light. A ripple unlike anything ever seen before on this planet.
It was a ripple, but not of water.