A Friday Night in Malostranska

Sometimes we go looking for strangeness. Sometimes it is thrust upon us.

There were seven of us in all, cowering under the bridge and waiting for some reprieve. Occasionally one of us would step forward, as if primally drawn by the force of the deluge that had emptied the streets, only to leap back again as a passing car shoved a sheet of dirty floodwater in our direction. 
“There’s a church just a few roads away if you think we can make a dash for it”, he said, pulling up a map on his steamed-up smartphone. I took stock of my sodden velvet coat clinging to clammy skin, thin rivulets flowing into fabric from the tips of my hair. “Do you think they’ll even let us in?” I asked. He shrugged, and just like that the two of us were breaking from the crowd, racing up the cobbled hill, soaked to the bone and shrieking. 
Pushing through the church door we were met with dozens of other unlikely pilgrims, forced onto  holy ground by the very heavens opening. We drifted through the dimly-lit cavern between marble pillars and gold picture frames, trying to atone for our bedraggled appearance with a dignified gait, and found our way through a side door. 

Where the church itself was a grandiose yet silent place of Catholic devotion, the cloisters surrounding the ancient well were bustling with visitors, caught in a similar predicament to us and making the most of the situation. At the centre of the hubbub stood a man clad in the simple brown robes of the Augustinian order. He grinned and sang in raucous Czech as he poured endless pints from a keg of monastic homebrew. We looked at each other and smirked. It looked like we were in for the long haul.

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