An Bonn Cuid II (The Coin Part II)
Roma, Italia (Rome, Italy)
When the coin touched the surface of the pool at the bottom of the Fontana di Trevi, a huge ripple of energy blasted out from the fountain, knocking all the people crowded around it backwards. Turlough Corley was sent sprawling up the stairs, hitting his head on the top-most step. He blacked out for several minutes, before waking to hear a scream.
He opened his eyes and saw a naked mad-woman running past him, into the pool at the foot of the fountain. He saw a policeman trying to take her out, and subsequently get scalded.
And then he saw the mad-woman burst into flame, letting out a cry in Italian as she turned to ash.
Turlough sat, shocked, for what felt like an eternity, before he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Let’s go home, Turlough.” It was his mother. She looked as frightened as he felt. Beside her, his father stood, his eyes glazed over as if he was trying to forget what had just happened.
The Corleys made their way through Rome, Turlough feeling like he was floating, like he wasn't really there. He was like a ghost, passing through the people all around him. His only sense of reality was when he bumped into some guy in a white suit. Even then, the Corleys kept walking, never turning back, not stopping until they reached their hotel. When they got to their apartment, Turlough was the first in. He jumped into the shower, and tried to make sense of what he had just seen. Not even his teenage logic could come up with a reason, besides spontaneous human combustion, but the likelihood of that was ...
Turlough shook his head, and got out of the shower.
After drying, he walked into room, and got dressed. As he put on his shorts he paused. There was an unusual weight in his right pocket. Already knowing what it was, but clinging to the distant hope that he was wrong, he reached his hand into his pocket.
The pound coin was the exact same one as before, the same mint date on it. Still without blemish, gleaming as though freshly minted. Turlough collapsed onto his bed, staring at the coin.
Where did it come from, he wondered. Lying there, he remembered the wish he had made at the fountain
An interesting day, Turlough thought, and snorted. Well, he had certainly gotten that hadn’t he? He wondered, briefly, whether he was responsible for the day’s events, before brushing that thought aside, telling himself not to be ridiculous.
Coincidence, he thought. He got up, put the coin on his bedside table, the stag facing upright. Turlough walked out of his room, to go for dinner with his parents.
The coin glimmered in the afternoon sunlight that was streaming through the window.
To the north, a German teenager lay crying on his school’s pool deck, sodden with water, a fishtail having replaced his legs.
In the east, an American journalist lay in the dry dusty earth, a tree root growing through her right foot.
In the west, a Spanish fisherman lay on the ocean floor, running out of air, thinking of his recently-deceased fiancée.
Just to the south, fires were extinguished and the ashes of a blind Italian blew over one of the world’s largest fountains.
In the middle of it all, an old Irish pound coin gleamed on a bedside table, and vanished.
An interesting day indeed ...