The night that Sally was born, the comet, Hale-Bopp lit the skies above the hospital as she lay, crying. She was the most beautiful of children and her parents called her Halley after the light in the heavens.
She had a wonderful early life and then one day she cut her finger which started to bleed. That wasn’t unusual for a child or for any human, except that the blood wasn’t red. She bled a polka-dot liquid.
Her mother, worried, rushed her to the hospital and the doctors there all hummed and hawed, and then decided that the only answer was to wash Halley’s blood.
After the blood was washed, the polka-dots disappeared and the blood was red, once again. Halley was checked every few weeks to make sure that the polka dots didn’t returned. Then one day as she left the big school for the last time, she bent over in pain as if she had been hit in the stomach.
When they x-rayed the beautiful woman they found that her insides had all changed to polka-dots.
The polka-dots had spread while no one was looking. The doctor told Halley and her mother that it wasn’t too late, that if they removed some of the polka-dots then they shouldn’t travel any further around her body – and that is what they did.
Life went on and Halley studied at college, fell in love and decided she would be happy for ever. Then one afternoon when she was out buying food, the check-out girl stared at her.
“Sorry, is there something wrong?” Halley asked the girl.
“It’s your face, it’s covered in polka-dots,” said the girl.
Halley ran to the nearest mirror and was shocked at the state of her face.
The doctor said that he’d try to paint her face back to its original colour by using chemicals, and that is what happened. It’s just that the chemicals made her feel ill but it made the polka-dots disappear.
When she walked down the street, some people who didn’t understand why people got polka-dots would just cross the road away from her. Sometimes she could hear folks whispering – ‘she’s got polka-dots’ – and then shake their heads.
After several weeks of painting Halley’s face to make the polka-dots disappear, the doctor told her that he didn’t expect them to come back – at least not anytime soon.
That night Halley went home and decided that she wouldn’t wait any longer on things that she wanted to do – she would just do them. It was that simple. She still checked herself for polka-dots and so far, they haven’t returned.
Halley realised that polka-dots left scars and she could live with that. What she couldn’t do, was sit down and wait on the polka-dots coming back.
If you ever see Halley on the street, just say hi to the polka-dot comet kid, she likes that.
bobby stevenson 2016