Sean J Mahoney



Cancer Girl’s Hair Set on Fire



“Police are investigating an 11-year-old girl who had battled back from cancer and had her newly grown hair set on fire at a school near Swansea.”


She suffered after four years with her friends. People who, in their misunderstandings of sums and parts, were not seeking Bianca. Bianca actually smothered friends with essays full of holes – she believed people needed paths. What was the point? For cancer waits. Cancer is Patience as equally as it is Pestilence. Cancer is petulant in line and in traffic, petulant while you remove your trousers or seek communion with various devils. The letter P is cancer. It’s just dreadful. Awards were given for schemes to tackle the facially paralysed cancer girl and not just tackle her but clothesline her, make her afraid of the restroom, fear her homeroom and the Quad. I’m a cancer. Cancer is a menace. Cancer is corporate. Cancer is conceived. Babies are conceived. Ideas are born in moments of duress. Why “Cancer Girl”? Why not young girl? I want Bianca to be safe. I want Bianca happy. She suffers but apparently not enough. The family has been to Hell. Only Bianca came back for more. She has cancer. Things I want are not important.


“Bianca Powell was in a corridor at Pontarddulais Comprehensive when her hair, which had grown back after four years of chemotherapy, was set alight. A 14-year-old boy has been bailed pending further inquiries.”  


Such as: Who are you working for? Do you have any idea? Any at all? Do you realize that when the Americans come home all they really want are snapshots of the fallen empire? They want to see disarray and the compaction of propriety. They could give a fuck about Parliament and the Tube. They think the vanquished. They think tube steak. They think that they think like Locke and know what should be held under key and yet cancer crawled out anyway in front of their straight-for-a-price teeth. Cancer is knowledge about what could have been. And cancer dictates: Are you really an Englishman? There is nothing English about lighting someone afire. Fawkes maybe. Was this to be the second Great Fire? Your every action resembles that of a bullet fired from the cannon of stupid. You fop. Bianca’s father wired from Hell that Bianca would be best served cold but most thought him daft at best. Keep Bianca away from incendiary academics he declared. Keep Manchester united while the family seeks consulate assistance. The family pleads in unison, in choral mass, for a return to the surface where they can aggressively combat cancer and the corridors where the hair crime occurred. There is nothing normal about school anymore; not when the Diet of Worms is no longer a reliable weight loss program for believers in sola fide. Not after years of chemo. Not after years of hair growth. Not after arriving at age 12 only to learn that you are your own candle and no, there is no wind.




Sean J Mahoney © 2013