Saturday, December 22, 2018

The rings of Saturn are disappearing!

The rings of Saturn are disappearing

Like the mountains, oceans and continents on Earth, the rings of Saturn would be ephemeral and should disappear within 300 million years. The icy particles that compose them fall indeed on the giant under the effect of its gravity and its magnetic field.

Galileo was the first to observe Saturn with a telescope. He discovered that it had a strange form whose nature was only understood in 1655 by the mathematician, astronomer and physicist, Huygens: the giant was surrounded by a ring, and several even, as Giovanni Domenico Cassini shows a few years later. In 1859, the physicist James Clerk Maxwell, to whom we owe the theory of the
electromagnetic field, shatters the theory proposed by Laplace in 1787, according to which the rings of Saturn are solid. Based ingeniously on the laws of mechanics, Maxwell deduces that they are probably made of a set of small bodies in orbit. It will then be necessary to wait for the work of the Russian mathematician, Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891) to have the proof that the rings of Saturn can not be liquid. It was finally in 1895 that the observations of the American astronomer, James Edward Keeler, definitively confirm the version of Maxwell.

Astrophysicists and mathematicians interested in cosmogony will then try to explain the formation of these rings. Some explained that they would come from the destruction of a small celestial body that would have come too close to Saturn. In doing so, it would have fallen below the limit defined by the mathematician and astronomer Edouard Roche, that is to say the minimum distance below which a small body, approaching a big one, is destroyed by the forces tide. But if so, when did this event occur? Billions of years? At the very beginning of the birth of the solar system or more recently?

The development of space exploration with the Voyager and Cassini probes, and of course the ground instruments, provided us with information that Galileo and Laplace could not have dreamed of. This research allows us to feed theoretical models and numerical computer simulations that can answer all these questions. A group of Anglo-Saxon planetologists has just published in the famous newspaper Icarus an article leading to an astonishing conclusion: the rings of Saturn are ephemeral, they would have formed 100 million years ago, at most, and in 300 million years, they will disappear.

Everything is evolving in the Universe and nothing, except perhaps some basic laws of physics, remains from all eternity. It suffices to refer to the discovery of plate tectonics or the Big Bang theory. It is in the framework of this other representation of the World, this new paradigm of which the Terrians became aware for more than 50 years, that is inscribed the stupendous conclusion of the researchers. They relied on several works and, in particular, observations made in the infrared with the Keck instruments in Hawaii.

A shower of icy and charged particles on Saturn

These observations, dating from the early 2010s, specified the characteristics of the presence of many trihydrogen cations in the ionosphere of Saturn. That it can be found is not surprising since it is H3 +, the most abundant ion in the interstellar medium, where it remains stable, given the very low temperature and the extreme tenuity of this environment. The simplest triatomic molecule, in which three protons share two electrons, had already been detected in giant atmospheres for some time (1989, with Jupiter).

But what proved to be instructive, this time around, is that H3 + ions are particularly present in bands in the northern and southern hemispheres where we know that dip and emerge lines of fields from the magnetosphere of Saturn. These bands are particularly bright but, on the contrary, they appeared dark on images taken by the Voyager 1 and 2 probes when they visited Saturn in the early 1980s.
Already in 1986, the planetologist John EP Connerney, better known as Jack Connerney, had interpreted these bands as the result of the influx of charged ice particles leading to "disperse" a fog present in these regions. the ionosphere; these bands becoming less brilliant, less contrasting and therefore darker.

Jack Connerney is back on the subject today, in the article by Icarus, written under the direction of his colleague NASA James O'Donoghue, which allows to fit the pieces of a puzzle.
It now appears that trihydrogen ions, in the bands under consideration, are the final product of chemical reactions from charged ice particles that have vaporized in the ionosphere. These particles come from the rings of Saturn where they acquired their charges, either under the effect of the ultraviolet ionizing radiation coming from the Sun, or in contact with the plasma produced by the collisions between the micrometeorites and the ice particles of these rings. By becoming charged, these particles then become sensitive to the magnetic fields of Saturn which guide them under the influence of the gravity of the planet along the lines of fields which will lead them in the dark bands of Voyager.

The amount of icy particles that can be removed from the rings can be evaluated over time. This is how we end up with the figure of 300 million years for the time that should remain to live to these rings. The phenomenon also constrains estimates of the age of the rings which should not exceed 100 million years, a figure whose order of magnitude is consistent with another estimate already advanced but, on another basis, there are some years.
James O'Donoghue explains: "We are fortunate enough to be there to see the ring system of Saturn, which seems to be in the middle of his life. But if the rings are temporary then we may have missed those of Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune when they were giants.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

There is a weird smell


The downpour had finally turned into a small fine rain, scattered. Through the gap in the doorway, she could see in the distance the faint light of a ray of sunshine. An incentive to get out of his hole. She was still indecisive about venturing outside.
Yet she had to go out. She could not remain cloistered in this room. It had been too long since she had taken refuge between these damp, inhospitable wooden walls. Two days, three days, maybe a week she had fled the disaster? She did not know anymore. She kept only the memory of cries, explosions, her chaotic race through rubbish, bodies burnt or slaughtered, homes destroyed.

And then, the fury of the carnage had given way to a deluge of dirty rain, as if soot fell from the sky. Thick, dark gray clouds had darkened the horizon and she had run straight ahead, without turning around, taking the time to orient herself despite pain, shortness of breath, panic. She struggled against the torrents of water that gave her the impression of drowning each time she breathed.
It was a pungent, thick rain that made him nauseous. Around her rose a fetid, indefinable odor, at once sweet, disgusting, and rancid, violent. She did not understand where the smell came from, which made her cough, hugged her, suffocated her. The more she sucked in the air, the more she choked on that nauseating smell.

Out of breath and strength, she had collapsed by stumbling on a log of wood. Her race had thrown her against the wall of a rather dilapidated hut, which would certainly offer her a momentary hiding place. In any case, she no longer had the courage to go further. Once barricaded in this summary shelter, she had curled up in a corner and had not moved, as if her immobility could erase the existence of the threat outside.

But the smell was still there, even stronger than outside. A weird smell that enveloped her, cut her off from any other sensation. Her nostrils dilated as if they were looking for their origin. She sniffed, swallowing her tears and snot at the same time. She breathed in fits and starts, between two sobs, two hiccups, trying to forget the violence, the broken bodies, the black blood, the flies; to silence the groans of the dying, the pounding of the footsteps of those who fled like her, the furious cries of the aggressors. But each memory was accompanied by this pestilential stench and the images she could not repress seemed to increase the intensity.

Overwhelmed by the putrid odor that squeezed her throat more surely than a hand strangling her, she screamed and collapsed, her nose on the dirt floor. Rain dripped under the door and soaked the ground. The damp, sticky earth was smearing his face. She wiped herself with the bottom of her shirt, spitting out the dirt that crept into her nostrils and mouth. The earth exhaled a sweet aroma of humus, wood, leaves ...

The downpour had finally turned into a small fine rain, scattered. Through the gap in the doorway, she could see in the distance the faint light of a ray of sunshine. An incentive to get out of his hole. She was still indecisive about venturing outside, but a little courage had returned to her. Outside, the light began to chase the shadows. She smelled the perfume of the earth, filled her lungs with fresh air, sketched a smile and realized that the smell that had assaulted her so far was only ... the smell of her fear. With an assured step, she crossed the threshold of the door ... And the smell lifted her heart, just as she saw the man lift the ax over his head.
It was no longer raining, and moist soil exhaled the hot and spicy fragrances of the earth after the storm. A small channel of blood mixed with a slight, indefinable odor. But, lying on the ground, her nose against the ground, she felt nothing.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ryan Murphy, the creator of American Horror Story, gets his star on Hollywood Boulevard


Ryan Murphy, creator of cult series like Nip / Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story and more recently Pose, can add a new trophy to his impressive list of achievements. This Tuesday, December 4, the American showrunner was honored with a star on the prestigious Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. He becomes the 2,653st Hollywood star immortalized on this sidewalk, which recently welcomed rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda.

"Ryan Murphy is one of the most creative and brilliant minds on television," said Ana Martinez, a member of the City of Angels Chamber of Commerce to nominate the stars. before and invite viewers into his intoxicating universe. " His muse actresses, including Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson, were there to pay tribute to him at the ceremony. "It's about time," said the latter, who played a dozen characters in the horror anthology, "it's amazing, people should have been walking around this star for at least ten years."

Ryan Murphy, the creator of American Horror Story, gets his star on Hollywood Boulevard

The scriptwriter, producer and director was also accompanied by his faithful acolyte Brad Falchuk and her husband David Miller. Several personalities have also made the trip to greet him or make a small speech: Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Roberts, John Landgraf, the boss of the FX channel, Alexis Martin Woodall, its producer of always ... In addition to this star literally engraved in the And let's not forget that Ryan Murphy holds six Emmy Awards (out of 28 nominations) and a Golden Globe received for Nip / Tuck in 2005.

Along with his competitors Shonda Rhimes and Greg Berlanti, Ryan Murphy is certainly the most influential and famous showrunner of the small screen. And his rise will not stop there: he signed a $ 300 million contract with Netflix to produce original content for the streaming platform. The first project announced is a satirical comedy called The Politician and carried by ... Jessica Lange, of course.

Improving batteries for electric vehicles and planes: the mission of Loïc Boulon

Improving batteries for electric vehicles and planes: the mission of Loïc Boulon
UQTR professor Loïc Boulon spent a year at the University of Bordeaux to acquire skills that will help Trois-Rivières. Photo: CBC / Josée Duchame

Loïc Boulon's work focuses on a topic that is of great interest in the research and industry community: how to make batteries more reliable and more efficient. For a year, the professor from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières works in a laboratory in Bordeaux highly recognized in the field, with the aim of deepening his knowledge and benefiting UQTR.

A text by Marilyn Marceau

In what looks like big freezers, researchers at the National Polytechnic Institute (INP) in Bordeaux have stored batteries. Some will stay there for 10,000 hours.

Batteries are subject to different conditions in this laboratory, especially cold. The evolution of their condition is monitored and analyzed very closely.

The laboratory is also closely watched. It is forbidden to cut electricity, which would jeopardize months of research.

And do not go in there who wants. The expertise developed here is valuable and is of interest to many giants in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Improving batteries for electric vehicles and planes: the mission of Loïc Boulon
The Canada Research Chair in Energy Sources for Vehicles of the Future Loïc Boulon is studying the performance and reliability of batteries at the Institut national polytechnique de Bordeaux. Photo: CBC / Josée Duchame

Get to know the batteries better to use them

The Laboratory of Material Integration System (IMS) is recognized for its research on battery reliability, as researcher Jean-Michel Vinassa explains.

"Modeling the aging of batteries, [the] prediction of their lifetime, [the] determination of the state of health of the batteries: that's what we finally look for. It is to know in which state of health is a battery to know if one can count on it or not, in the transport, in particular. It's one of the things that's very difficult to know precisely", he says.

"We are working so that batteries are cheaper and their environmental cost is lower", says Jean-Michel Vinassa, responsible for welcoming Loïc Boulon during his year at the National Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux.

Loïc Boulon, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Energy Sources for Vehicles of the Future at UQTR, is already immersed in the world of energy storage and battery aging, but integrates Bordeaux a team with knowledge and protocols that will benefit UQTR.

  • "Typically, my work aims to improve the energy performance of clean vehicles, thus including the battery electric vehicle. This means that, for a given autonomy, there will be, thanks to my works, less batteries needed and therefore the environmental impact will be reduced." Loïc Boulon, Canada Research Chair in Energy Sources for Future Vehicles at UQTR

Loïc Boulon will also take the opportunity to develop its expertise in aeronautics.

"One of our big industrial players in Quebec is Bombardier, and come looking for information on the constraints and objectives of energy storage in the aerospace application, for me, that makes a lot of sense, because it's an extension of my current work."

It is not uncommon for companies to use academics to solve some of their problems. For educational institutions, it's a way to get subsidies.

IMS, a recognized laboratory

  • The Laboratory of Material Integration System (IMS) is affiliated to the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the University of Bordeaux. It is recognized on a European scale.
  • IMS collaborates with major players in the industry, such as Renaud, Peugot, Valeo and Airbus.

"Extra strike force"

Whether it is to save money, reduce dependence on gas or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many companies are interested in this issue. The laboratory does not lack work.

"There is no lack of funding, indeed, says Jean-Michel Vinassa. What we miss most are arms, so having someone come to help is good. When we say arms in search, we also say brains, he says."

Improving batteries for electric vehicles and planes: the mission of Loïc Boulon
Jean-Michel Vinassa, researcher at the IMS laboratory and professor at the Institut national polytechnique de Bordeaux (left), is responsible for welcoming Loïc Boulon (right). Photo: CBC / Josée Duchame

Although he is French by origin, Loïc Boulon lugges with him, in Bordeaux, his Quebec baggage.

Jean-Michel Vinassa appreciates his knowledge of the Quebec winter.

"Much work is being done on transport programs, particularly [in] aeronautics where we "address" very important temperature ranges; therefore, cold is one of the concerns we can have in energy storage. So we had common scientific interests at the research level", he said.

For him, the Trifluvian is an "additional strike force".

What Loïc Boulon is happy to find in France?

"What I like here in Bordeaux and what I'm happy to finally find when I come back to live in France is all this gastronomy. With bread and bakery neighborhood close to home, and for example have cheese more affordable than Quebec. "

What is missing from Quebec?

"Something that pleases me particularly in Quebec and I'm starting to miss it today is a quality of life that is not necessarily in France. In the sense that there is a lot of space, people live much less on each other and tight, and there is a quality of life in the daily schedule and family life that loses a little in France where finally everything goes faster all the time, even in Bordeaux. "

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The chapel


I had never noticed this chapel. You had to dare to take that narrow path that climbed to the cliff. It was necessary to cross the hawthorn barriers and aggressive mulberry trees. Force yourself to face the sea wind stronger and stronger. Fight.
The sea was not far, one could feel his salt breath, his breath iodine, one could hear his throaty roar, his hoarse call.
Frightened seagulls circled the short gray arrow. A fine drizzle began to invade the sad moor. The little church was not very far, I hastened to take shelter under his porch. Ugly gargoyles spit me their venom. I leaned against the heavy door to escape their acid jets. It was then that I felt the door swing hard on the rust of its hinges. A grim grinding sounded and a smell of old wax caught me in the dark, icy nave. I stood petrified for a moment. The chapel was empty and seemed abandoned. Some of the messy priests seemed to receive only heavy, sticky dust. A single dark-colored stained glass window represented, it seemed to me, a frightful scene of medieval torture.
I was cautiously advancing towards the altar, which I could hardly see in the darkness. As I approached, I saw that he was covered with a thick black cloth. I could not repress a thrill.
Outside, the rain had turned into a roaring shower. The water was beating the walls and the roof of the building with so much force that one might have said it had been plunged like a wreck into the bottom of an unleashed ocean.
The night had arrived in advance. I bumped into an upturned chair that I struggled to put back. The clatter of feet squeaking on the slabs echoed in a thousand broken echoes on the vault. I felt guilty of making so much noise in a place that normally called for serenity. I held my breath to listen to the noise that had been multiplied gradually. At last, the silence returned, but it brought me more anguish than the noise.
Nothing. A complete and disturbing absence of life. Only the warrior song of the water of the sky that ravaged the neighborhood was screaming with truth. Everything else seemed a nightmare.
Yet from the bottom of a dark corner, I received a kind of complaint ...
The suffering of wood?
What was behind the enormous pillar?
I remained a forbidden moment, listening more attentively. A groan ? An exhortation?
In the thick shadow I could see the squat mass of a sculpted confessional. I approached cautiously, trying to pierce the disturbing darkness. It seemed to me that the groan was coming out of there. A bitter priest was to murmur his litanies ... The access to the confessional was closed by a wooden door. The voice had to come from the grid. A roar of thunder tapped in my heart, jostling him with the strength of a bull. This storm made me feel uncomfortable. I felt like I heard a chuckle from the bowels of the booth. Had I been startled? Was I observed?
I was attracted to the black lair, mysterious and scary, as one is drawn to the emptiness that scares us. The temptation to enter it was the same as that which impels us to sin. Resist only amplifies the desire to succumb.
I did not even have time to reason my fear, I was already bent on the used kneeling. An infamous odor was emerging from the central lodge. A monstrous plague of musty and dead animal rose to my nostrils. Something or someone scratched the wire mesh that separated me from the priest's cabin. What did I have to confess? I realized that my throat was nailed, my larynx paralyzed. It was then that a pale gleam emerged on the other side of the gate. Too weak to see but clear enough to emphasize, shriveled on itself, a human form ...
Or almost...
I did not have time to question what I foresaw. The shape had jumped on the grate, and long claws grabbed me by the hair. A strident howl escaped from an atrocious mouth and I felt myself die.
At that moment when I thought I was going to disappear, caught up in the black mystery of the chapel, devoured by a savage curse, an excessive chime echoed, piercing my eardrums with cruelty. At the same time, the being had sprung from his hiding place, standing before me in a blood-red halo! The deafening bells amplified their din, the walls of the chapel began to tremble. I was down. The monster dominated me with all its fury. I saw him with terror tear down his mouth wide open on me ...

My clock radio was right for my sleep at 7:15. I woke up swimming, breathless, ravaged. I watched with horror all around me: I was in my cozy little room. My programmed coffee maker was whistling, sending out jets of boiling steam. A delicious smell of coffee filled the room. A good breakfast and this horrible nightmare would be forgotten.
I rejected the blanket at the foot of the bed. I got up and sat down to find my slippers. My foot scoured the carpet.
As usual, I could not find my slippers. Sighing, I leaned over. Where my foot had touched the floor, the carpet was torn, slashed. Four long scars.
I looked with dismay.
What I saw tore my heart: going beyond the leg of my pajamas, this hairy horror was NOT MY foot!

Monday, December 3, 2018



Black gnarled thorns grow visibly around the bed. The face hidden under the covers, motionless, I observe, with fright, the brambles wrap around the white metal bars of the headboard and rise above me, until forming a kind of cathedral monstrous, with thick stalks inextricably interwoven into each other. At the back of the room, moving shadows. Only the illumination of my bedside lamp allows me to escape the darkness and to watch the advance of the shadows. In my arms, the rag doll offered by mom for my six years reassures me. Fingertips, I feel the padded body and hair wool. My fingers are wriggling on the soft body of the doll and I feel, in the palm of my hand, a tenuous pulsation. The shadows are getting closer, that's for sure. Above me, from the cathedral of brambles flows a black and tarry substance that falls, in fine nets, on my sheets. Under my fingers, the palpitation is racing. I lift the sheet. Eyes sewn in wool, now flows a thick dark matter. I scream and wake up sweaty. The room is empty. I do not dare to get up, put a foot on the ground. Mom comes running, she heard me scream. She sits on the edge of the bed, comforts me, surrounds me while I lie down in my cozy bed. She promises to stay with me until I go back to sleep. She knows me customary nightmares.

I feel my eyelids heavy and, even if I struggle, while my mother caresses my blond curls, I end up sinking into a deep sleep. Mom is still there, on the edge of my bed, eyes of intense black. Behind her, I can see shadows with fuzzy outlines, barely visible, so light that they look like smoke. They stand just behind mom who remains impassive, her big black eyes turned to me. Other shadows arrive, rank behind the first and give them more thickness, material. Mom is now surrounded by a black and moving mass that melts on her without her moving or showing any emotion. The mass becomes opaque and I do not see the face of mom anymore. I scream with all my might, open my eyes. Mom jumps. She had stayed close to me and had finally fallen asleep. She sees my terror and reassures me, again. I observe it, scrutinize it from every angle. His eyes are of their usual hazel color. Her features are drawn, she is tired, but smiles tenderly. She caresses my cheek and invites me to lie down. I must sleep soon because sleep taraude. I beg her to let me sleep with her, in her bed.

She refuses because she knows full well that my father will oppose it. I explain that there are shadows under my bed that scare me and patiently wait for the right moment to catch us. She smiles and assures me that these are children's terrors of the most common and that there is nothing real in all this. Growing is also for each of us, overcome his own terrors night. She offers me to look under the bed if it can reassure me. I tell him I do not care. She sees that I am worried and want to persuade me of the baseness of my fear. She leans. I beg him to stop. She lies down on the floor, puts her head under the bed and does not move for a few seconds that seem very long. I call him. She does not answer. His body is frozen. Slowly, his body disappears under the bed. Unable to move, I can only see the horror of the situation. Mom's whole body is under the bed. Petrified, I sit, eyes wide open, all night. In the early morning, dad finds me like that. He takes me in his arms. I am mute and will remain so ever since. For a long time, Dad will look for mom in every corner of the house, in the garden, in the neighborhood, without success. The police officers, the psychologists that I met afterwards all agree that I attended a traumatic event, that I had to see my mother being kidnapped, perhaps killed, and that I am in a bad state. shock. Of course, they found no track, no footprint. I refuse to speak, to draw the scene as they ask me. Papa is infinitely sad, his big blue eyes are surrounded by black. He stays with me late into the night and often falls asleep beside me. After the intense dread lived the night of the disappearance of mom and the immense pain of his absence, my emotions dried up. I only feel the need to be in my room, where it all began, and the almost organic need to join Mom, as if I felt it still close, in a way.

In my bed, curled up under the sheets, I read tales by the light of the bedside lamp. My eyes are blinking. I rest the book and rub my eyelids. On the floor, in the luminous halo formed by the lamp, a shadow emerges from the space under the bed. She moves with great gentleness, stops for a moment, then resumes her graceful movement. I look at her without apprehension and ask her if it's her, if it's her. The shadow advances even more. I push back sheets and blanket, put my feet on the floor, kneel next to the shadow that grazes me. The shadow is nestling in the hollow of my small arms, caress my cheek. Miffed, I recognize mom. I lie on the floor, eyes closed with happiness, entwined by the shadow that covers me now and both we disappear, as if sucked by the floor, leaving behind us a faint glow in the dark room.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The witch and the angels


Wild Cevennes. 1400. A middle-aged woman living alone. You can only go home after a long walk through the forest. We respect it, but we fear it. "Witch" is heard muttering. When we mention it, the villagers sign themselves. Maria. Nothing but his name seems to them a sacrilege. His very physique is inspired by the Devil. Busty, with long hair of fire. But the men pay her to sleep with her. Women pay for it to extract strange ointments for the skin. The children are fascinated by its beauty and its landmark filled with heterogeneous and odd objects. She welcomes all this little world with a flawless sweetness. Some people walk several days to meet her.
Indeed, she is also recognized for her "talents" and her discretion as an angel maker. Even the richest and most middle-class women use her services. Everyone knows it, everyone is silent. The older ones whisper the place of his hut to the younger ones. She had appeared one day, a few years ago, nobody knew where she came from, no one wanted to know.

Autumn, hide and seek the sun through the branches. Silence, except the steady sound of footsteps crunching on the thick carpet of dead leaves. An old lady holding hands, or rather trailing, a very young girl, even a little girl. The latter has a prominent belly. She cries noiselessly, she seems terrified. Maria is waiting outside, indecipherable look.
She guessed that a child would arrive today. She waited and was not mistaken. She knows the Old Woman. She has already brought her patients. Girls of joy most often. But here it's different, she knows it. Clotilde releases an aura of unbearable suffering. She became pregnant after a rape. That of his father. It is he who ordered the "thing" to be thrown away, or it would be the little one who would disappear. A father who is a rapist, but does not wish to have a job on his name. While the girl is only a few meters away, Maria frowns. The pregnancy is advanced; the operation is going to be tricky. Especially as the youth, and the narrowness of the child's pelvis are all factors of danger for his life. When the woman is newly pregnant, it is enough that it makes him absorb a light poison and that it inserts a thin pointed stick into the hole to trigger the bleeding. Except that the fetus must be at least six months, maybe seven. Maria will have to start delivery with a very strong infusion, and probably kill the viable infant right out of her mother's hot, bloody belly. She is furious that the Old Woman has not come before with the girl. She hates doing that.
She brings the two women back into her cottage and stretches out Clotilde. She takes her pulse, breathes her breath, observes the color of her eyes. She deftly feels the tense belly in order to take a mental note of the size and position of the fetus. He is not quite well placed yet and moves in an incredible way. Maria grunts outright, the operation seems more and more difficult. None of the other two women dare to talk to him, let alone question him about the reason for his grunts. To tell the truth, they are even afraid of her. But the touching hand is soft, and when the witch speaks to explain to the girl what she is going to do, it is in a calm and gentle voice. Clotilde relaxes and stops sniffing. All she understood was that this red-haired woman was going to get rid of the thing that stirred in her belly. And that is rather good news.

Maria gets up abruptly and spins into a tiny, dark, remote room, where her entire pharmacopoeia stands. In a few minutes, she selected what she wanted. She puts water to boil over the fire in a strange skin hide as she reduces the dried plants into a fine powder. She throws it into the bottle as soon as big bubbles blister the surface. The mixture gives off a strong and unpleasant odor. As soon as she has cooled down, she orders the child to drink it in one gulp. Clotilde succeeds not without repressing a gag. While waiting for the potion to take effect and start not only to cause contractions, but also to dilate the cervix, Maria makes the girl talk to relax her to the maximum. And probably to hide his own anguish. It is very rare that she is so anxious before operating. She trusts her gifts and most of the time makes fun of her patients. But this child touches her, she can not explain why, and it seems to her essential that she live. The little girl finally begins to shake, and grimaces of pain to twist her thin face. Maria examines her at regular intervals, measuring with her fingers the progress of the work. After several hours, it's time. The witch pierces the water pocket and asks La Vieille to press her entire weight on the girl's abdomen during the outbreaks. Time passes, the contractions are eroding, they are all glistening with sweat and Clotilde grows with excruciating cries of pain. We finally see the baby. But it's his shoulder that shows up, not his head. Maria spits her fingers into the gaping mouth of the vagina to try to turn the baby a little. In vain. She catches a wrought dagger, burns the blade quickly and incises. Blood flows. Clotilde screams. The old woman slaps her. Clotilde fainted, her belly twitching. The old woman shakes her like a plum tree to wake her up. Maria shouts to leave her alone, while she takes advantage of the looseness of the flesh to catch the fetus and pull it to her. A little blue being
finally appears in its entirety. She quickly breaks the umbilical cord with her teeth, smearing her face with blood, and pulls it to expel the placenta, which she drops to the ground before placing the baby motionless on it. The old woman takes it and undertakes to empty his mouth to make him breathe. The fire-haired woman loses patience and rebuffs her saying that it is useless to revive him because she will have to kill him, and that she should rather help him to bring back Clotilde. She washes it summarily before stitching it with a tendon filament that has been broken up beforehand. The girl moans without getting out of her fainting. She is white, emptied of too much blood. The old woman cradles a tiny and silent boy who has never shouted. Maria is almost as livid as the little one. She takes the pulse of the latter, which is extremely weak. The night has long since fallen. She did everything she could to save the child. Must wait.

In the morning Maria falls asleep on the ground holding the hand of a cadaver of a ten-year-old girl, as for the Old Woman and the baby, they are gone. A hunter will discover them both at the edge of a path a few days later, tight against each other. The infant's eyes were wide open. It seems that it means that his soul rode without having found peace.


Horror stories