Feature of the Week – 3

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By Jerry Vilhotti

 

Their third born, Christina would carry for three days dead. Dead. Dead; afraid they would be turned away before reaching their destination of Sao Paulo where two miles outside the large city work awaited them on a coffee plantation …

“And what are you carrying in your arms, young lady?””My child,” she said in halting Portuguese.

“So you are the Italians who will make our Brazil a great country like Rome?” the second official said disdainfully; afraid for all their women.

“Sim, if your wealthy do not kill off all the dreamers,” Micalino said trying to control his tongue but even he did not know the baby was dead.

“Why is it bundled up so?” the first official said compassionately.

“He has the chills and his mother is keeping him warm,” Micalino said in a tone of voice that suggested it was none of their business.

The mother had known Ghiberto was dying while on the ship crossing the Atlantic for he had vomited three whole days but she was afraid to tell anyone; thinking they might be quarantined and then be refused port entry. She had tried to wash his fever away but it persisted and when they boarded the train, she looked inside the blanket and attempted to shake him gently to wakefulness or at least to make his eyes close into a soft sleep. She closed his eyelids with one finger and then draped the blanket over his face and began to rock him – not stopping until they nearly reached their cabin on the two-mile walk and then told her husband: “The baby is dead.” Only then did she allow herself to cry and continued as Micalino dug up the earth as he cursed the sky, the stars, Columbus for discovering the “new” world and all the future dictators who would fling their banners of Reich in the faces of the masses leading them to an abyss to a grubby greedy One World Order drinking the blood of innocence and all those with stains on their souls perpetuating misery and dug up the ground that would become his son’s bed of rest under the many blossoms of the beautiful quince trees.