sabato 26 gennaio 2008

Second Literary Contest: Nick Stu

Twelve American Heroes


Part I
-The landing-

We got caught in the middle of a storm last night. The positioning system on board (a very expensive compass) went nuts and after twenty-thirty minutes of shaking we didn't even know where we were. The pilot was soon forced to try a crash landing. He begun to descend and screamed that he had seen a freeway to down the plane. Although, the landing hadn't been so smooth as he was hoping. In fact, he died beating his head on the cloche, and many others by bouncing and smashing on the floor. Not a nice end for them. We, the ones that were still alive, managed to get out of the plane. We reckoned no serious injuries between us. I mean, of course we were hurt and slashed all over, but no one got broken legs or things like that.
We were sent to Italy on a very important mission: to dethrone the local dictator. I don't think he actually stood on a throne, but we liked that thing of the dethroning. Just don't ruin the frescoes, said the President. Someone asked what the hell they were, so the president got angry and kicked us away rudely. General Kenneth explained that Italy was plenty of this paintings brushed right on the walls, and that the president was very fond of this crap. We broke out in laughs at this. However, we had got all our tasks written on a letter, that was somewhere on the plane. A detailed and programmatic document explaining where to go, who to meet... that letter got lost, or burned in the crash. Anyway, we weren't able to find it anymore. And the ones who had read it were dead, the general, the diplomats, everyone. The only officer left was commander Grant.
We gathered out of the plane. The commander was a bit drunken 'cause when we were being tossed around between wind and rain he found nothing better to do than drinking. He rose from his seat, swayed a little, focused his sight and grunted: «Where the hell are we? Italy?»
Private Stevenson answered: «We don't know sir, the pilot is dead»
«How comes that we don't know?» said the commander with exuberant voice. «How the hell in your fuckin' head...» he groped for a support, didn't find it and fell to the ground.
«Goddamn Stevenson!»
«Yes sir?»
«I've been shot»
«You just stumbled, sir»
«The hell...» he muttered while privates Brock and Russell helped him lifting.
«Stevenson! Weren't we supposed to have an Italian interpreter? Where is this chap?»
«Panucci? He's still comin' out from the plane»
«Bring me this Panucci, Brock»
Brock obeyed and headed for the plane-wreck. The last four men were being helped out of there. One of them was Panucci, our interpreter.
«I've got a thorn in my shoe Stevenson» grumbled the commander.
«I see sir. I think if you just take it off...» he was interrupted by Brock, that was back.
«This is him, sir»
«Who the hell you are?»
«Ehm... he is that Panucci sir» he was still dazzled «the interpreter»
«Oh, right. That one. Well, you tell us where we are»
Panucci looked puzzled. «I... sir? I don't think I can...»
«You're supposed to be a interpreter!» shouted back «You tell me you don't fuckin' know where we are and claim yourself an interpreter?»
«Ah-ah-actually sir... the only thing I can do is to translate...»
«That's what an interpreter does, sir» whispered Stevenson.
«That's what I wanted to say Stevenson!» replied the commander «I know what an interpreter does!» he seated «Of course you don't know where we are» he was trying to look sober. «Of course... let me think. The compass!» he raised his head. «Stevenson! What does the compass say?»
«It says... it points north, sir»
«Dammit! And that's all a compass can do?»
«Actually, yes sir. That's all it does»
«Crap...» He was pensive for a while «So you're Italian?» asked then to the interpreter.
«No sir. My father was. I studied the language at the military school. I practiced it at Little Italy, I learned to speak in the dialect of Naples there, sir, which is very different from Ital...»
«Ya, ya... spare me the story of your life, man. We need to locate ourselves now»
He got up and started to stroll in circle. That gave him some headache, so he went back to Stevenson. «I still got that thorn in my shoe, Stevenson» he said.
«Yes sir... as I said, you...»
«Look!» shouted Brock «Look there! There's someone!»
There was a figure walking slowly in the field, an old man proceeding with an uneven pace.
«He's probably a peasant. Let's go troop!»
The twelve of us approached the man and squatted threateningly before him. When he saw us, the old man stopped and remained staring.
«Ask him where are we» ordered the commander to Panucci.
He tried to focus. Then asked «Signore... dove siamo?»
«Ah?» said the old man. He was probably quite deaf.
«What?» asked the commander.
«He isn't understanding me» raised his voice «Dove siamo? Where are we? Do-ve sia-mo?»
The old men stared at the interpreter in a puzzled expression. The commander said to Panucci: «Ask him the name of the local dictator»
«What is it?»
«I don't remember, think it's something starting by F»
«It isn't F» said Russell from behind «It is starting by M»
«How d'you know that, Russell? You're that cultured?» He alone chuckled to what was to him a funny joke. Stevenson tried a forced smile, just to avoid unpleasing him.
«Don't remember. I heard that from the radio, I think, sir» answered Russell.
«Well, that's enough. Ask him»
Panucci turned to the old man and said very slowly: «Mister... come si chiama il vostro dittatore?»
«Ditta...» he seemed bewildered «dictador?»
«Yeah! That»
«What, Panucci? What's that?»
«Think it's kind of a dialect»
«So we're in Italy...»
«We are!» he turned again to the old man «Come si chiama? Dittador... Come si chiama?»
«Se llama Franco» said the old man, before flinging himself into a series of incomprehensible insults. I think he didn't like this Franco.
«See Russell? I was right. It's starting by F...» he took another shot of whiskey «Panucci... are you sure this is an Italian name?»
«It is sir. Twas my father's name»
«Well then... Crew!» he shouted «We landed in Italy!» There was a noisy scream of exultation, while the old man hobbled away muttering.
Our company of survivors was heading west. We found the way with the very expensive compass rescued from the wreck. How we managed to know we had to go that way? Initially we were simply guessing. Then we found another old man. This one was even worse than the other. Through a long and struggled series of questions we found out the Franco was settled in a place called Madrid. Someone asked if Madrid wasn't to be in Spain. He was told to shut up. «Madrid is that way? Let's go that way troop» said the commander with unhidden emphasis and a strange grin on his face that was probably due to his increasing booze.
We proceeded a long way with commander Grant on the head of the line. He went on drinking whiskey all the way. I was wondering how many bottles he was able to carry with him, and how could he be still alive and walking after the hell he had swallowed.
Through roads and beaten paths, across fields and swamps we walked on. We crawled in mud and filthy, we crossed rivers and mountains.
And the dawn was lighting the sky when we came in sight of it.
A magnificent city, all around protected by strong walls. An impenetrable fortress we had to enter.

Part II
-The finding-

«We owed it to our fellows lost in the crash!» started the commander «And we made it till here. We found the city that holds the tyrant. Our enemy...» he said pointing the finger «is in there! And we will dethrone him! for the sake of the stars that shine on our banner, and for the sake of the stripes that...» he sought the words in his feet «...that stripe on it! We will do it not for Italy, nor for freedom. We will now do it for revenge. We will vindicate our soldiers dead in the plane crash. We will enter there, and we will throw Franco out his own walls! Who's with me?» he raised his arm to the sky, but felt unbalanced and fell on his back. Brock and Stevenson went to help.
«What's the plan, sir?»
«What fuckin' plan you talkin' about?»
«Sir, we need a plan to enter the city...»
«Plan? Here's your plan, Stevenson! We face that way, and we start running like hell»
«Sir...»
«There's no ‘sir’, Stevenson» he paused «You go first»
Stevenson was thunderstruck for a moment, but soon he shut his mouth and nodded. He owed loyalty to his commander, even if he was a boozer. He felt inside he was born to do this, and he'd die if needed.
«Go, Stevenson. Go» said firmly the commander, and Stevenson looked at his fellows one by one, afraid of not seeing them anymore, then he turned around and with a violent war cry started running toward the gate.
«Sir... but... the door is closed» said cautiously Brock.
«Let's see what happens...» he took another swallow of whiskey and stood watching. Stevenson was running and shouting to the wind. He was screaming «America! America!» and soon he came in sight of the guards. And screaming for his country he was heard by one of that guards. «Es un delegato Americano!» shouted back one to the other that was to lift the gate.
And the door opened.
Stevenson stopped and stared at the opening gate, incredulous, and we were too. The commander was jumping in happiness, he had never thought that his plan would have worked. Now it had worked, he didn't understand how, but it had. So we started running too.
Stevenson was still gaping when we arrived, and a bunch of people were asking him to come in, and they asked us too when saw we wore the same uniform. I couldn't understand if they were crazy or what, to let the enemy in like a welcome friend.
Well, they let us in, and they gave us an interpreter. A better one, thought the commander. He welcomed us and said that soon the general would have received us in an official meeting. He apologized for the lack of ceremonies but, he said, no one ever told them we were coming.
«...a misunderstanding with our diplomats at the consulate, probably. Usually this thing are due to bureaucratic lags» he stopped in front of a door and said eagerly «Inside... there is the general...»
«Commander...» asked Stevenson «what are we gonna do now?»
«Wait, Stevenson... we wait»
They led us to a large chamber, filled with people; important people, it seemed. Some of them looked like politicians, others who wore uniforms had probably high military charges. They were gathered around a man who was probably the...
«...General Franco, our leader.» then turned to the general and saluted.
«It's him, commander, he's the dictator. You see his dictatorial eyes, don't you?» said Stevenson. The commander remained quiet.
Franco spoke and the interpreter echoed in English. «I am very pleased for your visit, but I fail to see the aim. I stated clearly that our country will not enter this conflict yet»
«But you already did enter the conflict, Bastard» muttered the commander with bated breath. He was heard only by his fellows. «You did and now you will pay for having joined the wrong side of it»
«What d'you wanna do, sir?» asked Stevenson in a whisper.
«Shoot him in the head...»
«Then they will kill us, sir»
«They will, indeed... but our names will be imprinted in history»
There was a flash in the eyes of private Stevenson. He once again was caught in a rush of patriotic emotions. He himself would have done it. For the stars, for the stripes, but above all he would have done it for revenge; for his fellows dead in the crash.
«Remember Stevenson,» said the commander «we were sent to do this» he paused «and now this we will do. Cost it our lives!»
Stevenson faced Franco with a sharp grin. The two met their eyes in a glance, then he flung his hands over the general.

And the rest is well known history...

6 commenti:

Nick Stu ha detto...

Postfazione

Siiiii! Ancora postfazioni!
Io vivo per scrivere postfazioni.

Dunque, il racconto è in inglese perché mi andava di scriverlo in inglese. Spero sia venuto bene visto che è una cosa che non ho mai fatto. Sono contento se mi fate notare errori se li trovate.

Se volete si può pubblicare anche una traduzione, ma non credo sia difficile da leggere anche così...

M.P. ha detto...

Freakin' funny

valefree ha detto...

fuck you, aspetto che lo pubblichi in italiano per leggerlo, altrimenti... te spacco la faccia

K.M. ha detto...

Mi associo all'offesa di valefree, noi poveri peones aspettiamo una traduzione in italiano. Anche se credo che il bilinguismo sia la strada per il futuro a capodanno bevo solo spumante, compro sempre macchine italiane, mi metto solo mocassini e sotto la doccia canto sempre l'opera.

Anonimo ha detto...

...."Lambrusco e Pop Corn",chioserei civettuolo a corollario di tutto questo!

D.

Anonimo ha detto...

good job nickstu...

i can't tell you nothing about mistakes or something like that, it's just a sort of miracle if I understood (?) the story...


by the way...i really enjoy it

bravò!!! =)