Haud The Champagne – Baptism of Fire and Light

25th May  2027

Time : 07.30 am

Location :  The underground catacombs  of St Patrick’s Coatbridge

 

The strains of that once unsurpassable diva Lesley Garret and the solemnity and joy of Piu Jesu filled the secret chambers of the subterranean vaults beneath the ruins of what was once the magnificent monument to the Irish Catholic Diaspora. For those huddled together for the clandestine ceremony it inspired a feeling of who they really were. This was not mood music that reflected how they felt. This was that rare and magical event where the combination of voice, words and tone achieved what music was surely intended for….it defined the listeners.

Margarita held little ‘Tam’ in her arms, rocking back and forward as the priest recited the centuries old welcome for a new born into the Catholic Church.  The infants name wasn’t really Tam but despite the best efforts of both her husband and herself, the strange tradition of given a wean with a foreign sounding name, a more ‘Scottish’ appellation had been continued by both Grandfathers; men themselves whose names were anything but Scottish or Celtic, but were still echoes of great days in the early years of the twenty first century.

“Tam’s” real given name would be formalised in a few minutes or so, but for now the proud father and grandparents looked on as the priest, rolling back the sleeves of his surplice, beckoned Margarita forward.

She felt the child’s heartbeat in rhythm with the soprano’s voice and whispered softly in his ear pointing out as she turned slowly on her heels where and who everyone was in the Baptismal party.

Before passing the infant to the Godparents for the final part of the ceremony she stopped in front of the two Grandfathers, beaming, proud and content in the legacy that they and their own children had left for the world.

As Margarita looked at them and smiled, she remembered those years so long ago when they had been saviours to so many who had adopted them; when they had been held in awe and reverence and placed upon that pedestal that soars so far into the heavens remote almost from mere mortals, but on which they had spent an uncomfortable time.

They did not see the heroes in themselves and Margarita wanted that genuine modesty and self awareness to be the essence of wee Tam’s future.

She said gently

“Tam, these two old reprobates are your Grandas ……for your sins that you have you yet to commit.” She smiled again “ these are your bloodline, your heritage and though you may see them as old and wise you must realise that they are just silly old buggers – sorry father – and you must be careful what truths you pick up from them and what ridiculous flights of fancy you discard. One thing I can guarantee you – life will not be dull.

“If you are half as much trouble as your Grandas – and note I absolve both your father and Mother here as we are products of those two who built the mould, then the  world better get ready for a ride on a jumping jack flash.”

Little ‘Tam’ picked up on the vibes and the swaddling of love and affection that drifted on the notes of the  smiled that way that weans do when they are content and have passed wind!

Some things don’t change – even in the year 2027.

Society had changed since so much since Tam’s Grandfathers had been icons to the world.

All of this went through Margarita’s head as she cuddled wee Tam. It was almost telepathic mind you that that he seemed to realise what she was thinking.

As her thoughts rode on the end of her loving look and caressed his flickering blue eyes  she realised that in two days time it would be 13 years ago to the day when the music died, the sun setting on the final evening of 25th May 2014.

She looked down at Tam one more time and the thought that perhaps that thirteen years may very well prove to be the unluckiest thirteen ever in the universe; in fact it wasn’t just a thought – her eyes burnt even more brightly as her already beautiful features were fired by the hope; immediately she asked for forgiveness, well sort of any way as she passed the child to the godparents for the naming.

If the world was listening in then many of them would have had the same hope. For those who didn’t share that dream well perhaps as the priest poured the water over the baby’s head and named him after his two Grandas, a shiver of fear and foreboding may very well have run up their spine.

“I baptise you Henrik Lubo Moravcik Larsson, in Nomine Patris et Filio et Spiritu Sancti.”

Another smile crossed the now formally monickered wean’s lips. This time it was not wind but contentment. A contentment that seen little H.L.M Larsson gurgle for the first time and this time in expectation of the adventures that lay ahead; adventures that would depend on the success of his Grandfathers’ efforts in the coming days.

Lubo and Henrik looked at each other realising that time was getting short if they were to take their key roles in the events that were about to commence across the billionaires idyllic playground that Glasgow’s east end was now world famous for. As they said their goodbyes to all and sundry and especially to ‘Tam’, the solemn reverence of the music changed from the classical evocation of a community standing as one to a promise for the newest member of the clan. It called everyone to witness just who this child would become, what he would become and set the Celtic world on a new path of destiny.

“Something inside so strong”  resounded as a promise by the present to the past and the future!

The priest looked in the font for a moment, his stare transfixed on the ever increasing ripples. He felt the rumble beneath his feet and dust started falling from the ceiling above. The rumble got louder and louder and a hundred footfalls pounded the tunnel to the baptismal scene.

Those assembled dived for cover as implant disabling laser beams ricocheted from cloister to cloister, rendering all who were caught in their path ‘hors de combat’. Those who sacrificed themselves did so however with a purpose.

The assault troops surrounded the concelebrants, sneering in the faces of all their prisoners, especially at Margarita and Tam. She smiled back; and then it hit them…..”Where were  Henrik, Lubo and Noah?” The high heedyin, tried to grab the infant, but Margarita stared him down. He thought the better of it and just shouted “You’ll be back. We’ve the baby. You’ll be back”

In the secret tunnel behind the altar, Noah, Henrik and Lubo were already on their way to meet to meet with their waiting comrades. For a moment they stopped and stared at each other. The meaning was clear.”If anyone touched one hair on the head of their baldy grandwean…….”. Aye,  the meaning was clear!

“And Aye we will be back….!”

But now they had to head for the nerve centre of the operation at St Francis in the Gorbals.

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