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LITERARY STYLE INSPIRATION: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

Dancing under frescoes

dancing under frescoes Darren Bonello photography

We had sat on opposite wooden benches, resting on opposing marble walls. The cathedral was bare — the wobbly wooden chairs had been removed, exposing Latin prayers and the names of those buried underneath the marble floor.

The song had started fast and strong, reverberating the three tiers of the cupola. We listened to the heavy strings of the guitar and the voice of Lana del Rey. We waited for her voice to descend into a trudge, and when it did, we moved towards one another.

dancing under frescoes VallettaCoCathedralFloorOverview

I could feel the cold tinge of the marble coming up my bare feet as the tulle of my floral dress brushed with the tomb-bearing floor. We stopped one breath away from touching. His burly hands took mine, while my lips brushed his chest, as we swayed to the coarse melancholia of that voice.

We danced for an immeasurable time to that song, under a high ceiling covered in frescoes, where saints rode black horses and white angelic figures gazed upwards in awe.

 

Story credits: Mdina Cathedral by Darren Bonello; St John’s CoCathedral. 

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