ANGELINA – current excerpt

Dec 15th, 2014 by Pj in Family, Writing

To read ANGELINA from beginning to today’s excerpt go here.

Sitting on Mama’s lap, Angelina’s eyes are locked on the dock. She hugged and kissed everyone good-bye, even Zia Lita. Nonni’s constant wailing rings in her ears or maybe it is those annoying white and gray birds fluttering overhead. She sees Poppy slowly put his hat back on his head as he customarily does when he greets those he meets in passing. She sees him gently lead Nonni back to the wagon. He helps her up and looks one last time toward the parting ship. He climbs up and flicks the horses. The wagons head back toward the farm. They become smaller and smaller, until they look like the little rocks she throws to Nero.

Mama points to them as if she can’t see them. She watches them become a line of rusty dust. The ship moves north and the coast juts in and the coastal community, her home, is gone. She tries to peak beyond the jutted mountain, but she can’t. The ship sails on passing little towns cuddled in the coast. Angelina does not know them and they do not know her. Slowly her eyes close as the ship rocks her to sleep in Mama’s arms.

The noise does not wake her. The smell does. Rotten fish. Her cheeks prick as saliva floods her mouth. Her stomach lurches and her head pounds. Her forehead beads up in sweat and her ears ring in a muffled hollow tone. She looks up at Mama too scared to open her mouth, her little hand covers it to stop whatever is trying to come out. Mama quickly moves her to the edge of the ship. Angelina, terrified, fights her. She does not want to be thrown into the ocean. She opens her mouth to scream, but she does not scream. Mama’s left arm holds her tight while her right arm holds her hair back. Between heaves she looks up and sees the dock the ship bumps into with every rising wave. She hears the ships sailors shout to one another as they move together, like a dance, in and out and around. Everyone is so loud. The sun is too bright. The water is too blue. The smell forces Mama to keep dangling her over the edge. Ropes fly and words fly and those pesky birds fly. Soon wooden planks bridge the ship to the dock. No one even notices her or the fish that eat what now floats in foam on the waters surface. She has nothing left inside but her stomach doesn’t seem to know that. It keeps heaving in heavy spasms. Mama finally pulls her back and stands her up on the deck wiping her mouth with the hem of her dress. Tears spring to her eyes and she clings to Mama.

“It is all right now, Angelina. It is all right.

“Where is Papa? Where is Papa? I want to go home!”

“I know. I know you do.”

Mama makes her sit on the rough wooden deck. Confused, she looks at Mama who now bends over the ships bow. Angelina does not look, but she can hear Mama and she knows. She curls up in a ball. She hides her face in her knees and silently cries.

” I am Angelina Di’Agostino. I am Angelina Di”Agostino” She whispers  to herself.

to be continued…

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