Saturday, October 22, 2005

Post Number Fifty: Chapter 1, part 2

No need for much of an introduction: those who are reading this presumably read my two previous posts so they should know what this is all about.

Enjoy the second part of Chapter 1.


Elena knew that arguing with Manuela would be pointless, as she had no fault for the requests of Mr. Valeri, but thinking that the disgusting individual wanted to see her right away, for an "emergency", when they were right in the middle of the hottest hours of a suffocating summer Sunday, well, Elena really wished she hadn't picked up the phone.
She turned the handle of the door of the room, feeling even hotter for the annoyance, and she was almost leaving when she realised she was only wearing her underwear, and however modest that was, it certainly wasn't the most suitable clothes to exit the room with. Snorting again for the effort it would cost her to wear something, go out under that sun and drag herself to her job place, Elena picked up her jeans and a short top from the chair, and she wore them, after uselessly trying to wipe her sweat with a towel. With a last sigh, she opened the door and reached the corridor. The rented rooms of the other students were shut, probably because, Elena thought, they could afford the luxury to be left alone. She tried not to make any noise while she reached for the living room, where she found Mrs. Corte. The woman, closer to her sixties than she was to her fifties, sat on her old favourite couch, directly in front of the TV, which transmitted some banalities. It had to be something really boring, for Mrs Corte had fallen asleep, obviously helped both by the heat and by the quality of the entertainment. Elena sighed, thinking of how much she wished to be at that woman's place right then. Anyway, she recollected her energies and left the house.
Immediately she was greeted by a puff of intense heat, coming not as much from the sun as it came from the burning pavement under her feet. The impact with the external air was so traumatic that for a moment Elena felt she couldn't breathe and was caught by a sudden vertigo. She pondered over which physical torture she wanted to inflict on Mr Valeri for forcing her out with such heat. Unable to find any she liked, and being too hot to be willing to think, Elena decided to make it brief and reach the music shop taking the most shadowed path possible. Luckily, a small park – little more than a garden – decorated the square she was supposed to cross to reach her destination, and the leaves of the trees would provide the necessary protection from the merciless sunbeams. There wasn't anyone around. In fact, many citizens were on holidays, perhaps at the seaside, and those few that for the most various reasons were forced to stay in the city, certainly didn't choose to go out at three p.m..
"I am the only jerk around at this time…", Elena thought, while she reached the shadow of the trees in the small park. The sun stunned her and she felt she should hide from its blazing rays as soon as possible. Not a gust of wind moved the leaves. The plane trees and the elms stood motionless in the humid air. At each step on the burned and straw-yellow grass, Elena lifted small clouds of dust and dry earth which found their way through her open shoes, annoying her even more. After a few steps, however under the shadow of a tall plane tree, Elena realized she was feeling sick. She stopped, taking one hand to her chest. She couldn't breathe. She touched her face. Suddenly it wasn't sweating anymore. The girl felt her legs giving in and she let herself fall, hitting her knees, luckily not too hard, on the earth of the park, lifting a puff of dust. She brought her hands to her head which felt like on the verge of exploding. All around, she saw the plane trees float, the buildings facing the square moving towards her and away… for a few instants she felt the whole street was the deck of a ship in the middle of a stormy ocean. She tried to shake herself but the heat took her breath away. With an effort she tried to stand up, in vain. All the world tumbled around her, the sun kept hammering on her head. She saw the sky, greyish for smog and humidity, and the fronds of the trees ran through it like the hands of a crazy clock.Elena fall on her side losing her senses. The thud lifted a last cloud of dust which rested slowly around her.