Dear Mr. Aquinas, Part II

Continued from Part I.

Brother Lessing tapped along to a rhythm he had learnt while travelling as a missionary in his younger days, a beat designed to entice and intoxicate. Even Brother Pott found his feet and fingers beginning to move in time to the beat. The visitor, too, clearly felt affected, wings beating in time. Then it tired and looked for a landing place. All it could see were burning candles, and so its gaze rested upon the needle. It floated delicately down, placed a sandalled foot upon the point, and continued to jig to the beat, balancing itself with occasional wingbeats.

“It’s beautiful,” whispered Brother Lessing.

“It’s just one,” said Pott. “Continue the beat.” And he returned to his chanting. Within minutes another crack had formed in the air and another being stepped through. It too was caught by the fancy of the beat, and settled upon the point, dancing around its brother.

This continued for five visitors, each finding a new place in the now swirling pattern of creatures balancing on the point. When the eighth arrived however, the expressions changed. Still overtaken by the beat, it wiggled and jiggled but had to push and jostle the others for a place. A fight broke out.

Exasperated, Pott called a halt to the proceedings and the beings returned whence they had come.

“The question is not settled,” hissed Brother Pott. “I shall write to Aquinas. I shall tell him his question needs revising: ‘How many angels can dance well?’”


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