Author Archive

Nodo, the chairs’ mover.

Hey, that’s Nodo!

Vuoi leggere la storia di Nodo ai tuoi bambini in lingua italiana? Ora puoi, vai alla pagina di Genitori alla Frutta!

What a chairs’ mover is?

Once upon a time…


This is how a story start, right? Well, not this time.

This time is present, as it is this small, funny little creature whose feet stick out under the light blue curtains. No one seems to pay attention to him, maybe because he learned how to be invisible and hide even his big nose similar to a big toe. He’s there, scared, while few feet away, a small human, a so-called child, is seated drawing a blue kite.

A child!


The child is drawing with force with a blue pencil, so that after a while, one of his cheek is turning blue as well. The funny little man, whose name is Nodo, is looking at him behind the curtains. He’s scared, a small movement could give him up. The child would then call his parents, full grown-up humans, and the chairs’ movers world will cease forever. It’s better to wait a bit more, when the child will go downstairs to eat one of those steaming plates that attract the humans. At that point, Nodo will be free to go back to his friends, that are waiting for him.


All right, first things first. It’s better to explain what a chairs’ mover is.

Nodo is a chairs’ mover, a small funny creature which likes to scare you moving chairs in the middle of the night!
Nodo, a character realised by Gabriele Manca (DMQproductions)

Somewhere, really far from us, in Japan or China, no one used chairs for a long time, but today they do. You can even choose to have a plastic armchair and a wood or iron stool. For this reason, the chairs’ movers decided to travel, to do what they love the most: move chairs. How can a chairs- mover travel? Someone like Nodo, our friend with a big-toe-nose. Let’s take him as an example, so we’ll know how he finished trapped behind this light- blue curtains, close to a baby- human.


See, Nodo has always been a curious guy. After more than a hundred years, bored of moving the chairs in a castle, he decided to explore the world. His exploration stopped a few doors away in a poor farmer’s house. Here there weren’t many chairs as in the castle, where they made sumptuous dinners. Nonetheless, he had more fun moving only three chairs.

That was because noble people don’t really listen, but poor people always do. Small movements of a chair in the middle of the night, and they all awaken, scared to the bone. He didn’t really get what they shouted in those moments. The chairs’ movers don’t know many words, and most of the time, they confuse the few ones they know.

For instance, Nodo thought a lamp was a massive, golden fruit, and an orange was an animal similar to an elephant (besides having eyes big as tennis balls and a yellow tail).

A simple life


A hundred years passed, an ordinary chairs’ mover life. From house to house, Nodo moved chairs after chairs, the first phones appear, the first radios and even new kinds of chairs. When even the farmers started to annoy him, he backpacked again, searching for new adventures. Someone told him about a land called The Land of Chairs- Movers. Once in a market (chairs- movers love markets because they eat the smells in the air), a colleague told him for the first time about it.


Dear Nodo


Began that chatty chairs- mover.


There is a land for chairs-movers, a land where everyone is welcome, a place so full of good smell because everyone brings some from someplace in the world.


He didn’t believe it, at first. Day after day, and year after year, the idea of discovering that scented- land grew inside him. In general, we cannot say chairs- movers are fast decision-makers. Nodo took around twenty years to convince himself. So, one day put everything he owned in a backpack (a chair- shaped piece of wood and a cork) and left passing through the window, determined to discover this land of chairs’ movers.


After a few days of roaming around in the forest, Nodo started to feel bad. See, a chairs’ mover is not accustomed to walking so much and couldn’t eat the smell around him, all strange and mysterious. For instance, he was scared to smell some flowers and be poisoned.

He started to feel sadder at every step, and decided to sit on a grey rock. If you’d see him at that moment, you’d probably think he was part of the rock, a small smooth stone. Behind him, he felt a sudden noise.


Tac

He turned, but apart from the peaceful forest and the soft wind moving the trees’ leaves, there was no one. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be a human. Humans have such a strong smell, Nodo could feel them from far away, even kilometers.


Who’s there?


Asked Nodo, hesitant.


And, behind him, another snapped twig.


Tac.

Did you like it? The story will continue next week, stay tuned!

You don’t now what this project is about? Read it here!

The character in the picture is created by Gabriele Manca (DMQproductions), who reserves all rights.

All rights of the story “Nodo the chairs’ mover” and its translation in Italian are reserved by Daniele Frau.

Daniele Frau
Daniele Frau posing with Gabriele Manca's original handmade mask. Character

Come si legge un personaggio?

Eroi e anti eroi

Read this article in English

…Continua da “Ogni storia è un lago”

Dai un’occhiata alla catalogazione dei personaggi classici. Per semplificare, se teniamo presente un personaggio principale o eroe, potremo immaginare un antagonista o anti- eroe. Gli altri personaggi che incontreremo saranno in un modo o nell’altro aiutanti dell’uno o dell’altro (a volte senza neanche esserne coscienti).

È tempo di esempi

Daniele Frau posing with Gabriele Manca's original handmade mask. Character
Come leggere un personaggio?

Prendiamo un classico come Robin Hood (di cui si trovano numerose versioni differenti) e noteremo subito i due personaggi principali. Da una parte avremo Robin Hood (o Sir Robin di Loxley nella versione più conosciuta al grande pubblico), che perde tutto per voler restare fedele al suo re Riccardo Cuor di Leone e dall’altro l’usurpatore, fratello di Riccardo, Giovanni Senzaterra.

Da una parte abbiamo dunque l’ideale dell’eroe che rimane fedele ai suoi giuramenti e dall’altro un uomo senza scrupoli, che va contro i suoi doveri di sovrano e perfino di fratello. Ma cosa sarebbero questi personaggi, senza John Naylor (Little John), Frate Tuck, lo Sceriffo di Nottingham e Lady Marian? Ciascuno ha in sé un proprio codice, porta soluzioni ad alcuni problemi e da modo ad altri di esistere.

Sulla riva del lago

Rimanendo sulla riva del lago, vediamo come la stessa storia cambia, prende valenze diverse. Se volessimo descrivere la storia di Robin Hood a dei bambini immagineremo Robin come una volpe, contrapposta ad un Re leone spelacchiato, ma con tanti anelli alle dita e aiutato da un serpente. Fra Tuck a quel punto sarà un orso benevolo, Lady Marian una volpina bella e intelligente e lo Sceriffo di Nottingham un cagnaccio dal ventre prominente e dai denti aguzzi.

Istintivamente, saremo portati a “tifare” per la banda dei poveri, che battaglia contro i ricchi. Istintivamente faremo il tifo per Robin e il suo senso di lealtà, la sua intelligenza e il suo amore per Lady Marian.

Insomma, cosa è giusto e cosa è sbagliato?

Ma, ma, ma… Non insegniamo ai nostri bambini che rubare è sempre sbagliato? Non gli diciamo che i ladri sono dei personaggi negativi? Certo, ma proprio qui entra in gioco il personaggio. I bambini sono in grado di guardare negli occhi quel volpino e capire che si tratta di un personaggio positivo e sentono quello che ritengono sia giusto.

In un mondo che vuole dividere tutti in buoni e cattivi, i bambini riescono ancora ad andare oltre e capire che si tratta di personaggi, con le loro storie più o meno complicate. Non giudicano Robin per quello che è, ma per quello che fa e per come lo fa. L’amore, l’audacia, il coraggio, questo è ciò che rende Robin Hood un eroe agli occhi dei bambini, non il suo essere un ladro.

Per riassumere

Ricapitolando, le storie e perfino i personaggi possono essere semplificati per poter essere compresi completamente anche dai più piccoli. Non si tratta di un lago più piccolo, ma di onde più piccole che possano spostare le barchette su cui stanno ancora insicuri i nostri bambini e le nostre bambine.

Fermiamoci qui, dunque e riprendiamo la settimana prossima, quando entreremo più nello specifico e incontreremo i personaggi tipici delle storie. Chissà, qualcuno lo conosciamo già e qualche altro ci è ancora ignoto. In ogni caso, li troveremo più vicini di quanto pensiamo.

Vuoi leggere di più a proposito di scrittura e lettura per bambini? Vedi qui.

Vuoi leggere le storie originali Anime vive e Ritorna al futuro?

Daniele Frau
Daniele Frau posing with Gabriele Manca's original handmade mask. Character

How to read a character

Heroes and anti-heroes

Leggi qui in italiano.

It continues from the previous article “A story is like a lake”

There is a bunch of classic characters. In brief, we can see a hero, an anti-hero, and other roles that will stay on one side or the other (and in some cases making just a mess).

It’s time to present you with some examples

Daniele Frau with Gabriele Manca's original mask, character.

Let’s take a classic as Robin Hood (for which we have many different versions). We will note almost immediately two principal characters. On one side, we welcome Robin Hood (or Sir Robin of Loxley as in the most famous Hollywood version), ready to lose everything for his loyalty to King Richard Lion Heart.

On the other side, there’s John Lackland, king’s brother and usurper. With Robin, we have the typical hero, loyal to his king and his oath and his evil counterpart, ready to betray his brother. But what would be the story without John Naylor (Little John), Friar Tuck, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Lady Marian? Each of them has a different code, brings solutions to problems, and causes others to happen.

On the shore of the lake

If we decide to stay on the shore of the lake, we notice how the story develops and take different paths. If we would like to describe this story for children, we would imagine Robin as a fox, the usurper as a mangy old lion full of rings in his fingers, and helped by a snake. Friar Tuck will be a friendly bear, Lady Marian, a beautiful and clever lady- fox and the Sheriff, an ugly dog with a huge belly and sharp teeth.

Instinctively, we will be lead to stand for the band of the poor against the rich. Without even noticing, we will stand for Robin and his sense of loyalty, his intelligence, and his love for Lady Marian.

So what’s right and wrong, then?

But, but, but… We don’t keep telling our children that stealing is something wrong? Aren’t thieves evil, negative characters? Sure, but that’s the reason why it is so essential to create a good character. Children are more than capable of watching that small fox in the eyes and see him as a positive character.

In a world that needs to divide us in good and bad apples, children can go beyond and see the character for what really is, without judgment. They assess Robin for what he does, not for what he is. His bravery, audacity, and true love for Marian are how a thief can become a hero to children’s eyes.

To sum it up

Stories and characters need to be simpler, to be completely understandable by children. We’re not speaking about shrinking the lake, but making the waves smaller, so that our children can float safely on their small boats.

 Let’s stop here for today. Next week we’re going to meet our characters, or at least the more specific ones. There will be some new characters and others we fully know. In any case, we will recognize most of them in the people around us.

You want to read more about writing for children?

Here we are our original stories, Souls Alive and Go back to the future. Enjoy!

To next week!

Daniele Frau
A lake in Finland by Daniele Frau

Ogni storia è un lago, no?

Read in English

Partiamo dalle basi

Cosa c’è di più umano che amare le storie, racconti di vicende vicine o lontane, reali o fantastiche. La storia, disegnata da due grosse mani pelose dentro una caverna, si è evoluta fino a riempire le immense caverne dei generi letterari, senza perdere la sua forza. Qualunque sia la fabula o l’intreccio  che definisce una storia, questa è in partenza semplicemente un foglio bianco.

Benvenuti al lago!

A lake in Finland by Daniele Frau
A lake is like a story

Immaginate ora che quel foglio bianco sia un immenso lago, sul quale l’autore inizia a soffiare. Le onde prodotte saranno gli avvenimenti della storia e si propagheranno increspando la superficie dell’acqua, ma sarà sul letto del lago che troverete il vero significato. Ad esempio leggendo i generi definiti leggeri, sentiamo l’autore muovere la nostra barchetta e in un modo o nell’altro ci ritroveremo sulla riva del lago, felici di aver passato qualche ora spensierata.

Tuffiamoci dentro!

Non sapremo cosa si nasconde nella pancia del lago, ma probabilmente non è quello che stavamo cercando quando abbiamo aperto il libro.  Eppure, perfino in queste storie, si scopre qualcosa in più. Si tratta pur sempre di un lago e anche qui può capitare un colpo di vento che ci faccia perdere il controllo dei remi, una distrazione fatale che ci faccia scoprire il mondo sotto la superficie.

Che voi siate dei bravi nuotatori o perfino degli uomini rana, è facile trovare degli elementi simili tra una storia e un’altra nel fondo e nella superficie. Come gli elementi di un lago sono l’acqua, il vento, le onde, talvolta le montagne e gli alberi, così la storia ha il suo inizio, seguito da un insieme di azioni che si sviluppano fino ad arrivare ad una risoluzione (positiva o negativa che sia).

Uno schema semplice?

Sembra uno schema semplice, ma ad aiutare lo sviluppo del racconto (e dunque ad attrarre la nostra attenzione di pagina in pagina) entra in scena qualcuno che conoscete molto bene: il Personaggio. Come scrive John Gardner nel suo manuale di scrittura The art of fiction:

Non può esserci una storia in grado di attrarre interesse se il personaggio principale è una mera vittima, soggetta al volere degli altri e non invece un personaggio in grado di lottare per raggiungere i propri obiettivi

Il ruolo dello scrittore dunque diventa non solo quello di disegnare un bel lago, degli alberi graziosi che si riflettono sulla sua superficie (tutto molto romantico), ma anche e soprattutto mettere dentro quel lago, sulla superficie o in profondità, dei personaggi che seguiremo ciecamente. Quei personaggi potranno chiederci di lanciarci al centro del lago e noi lo faremo, potranno tirare con l’arco e noi terremo la freccia ben ferma per far sì che non falliscano.

Perché la riuscita della storia dipende da loro e da noi.

Continua con… Robin Hood!

Vuoi leggere di più a proposito di scrittura e lettura per bambini? Vedi qui.

Vuoi leggere le storie originali Anime vive e Ritorna al futuro?

Daniele Frau
A lake in Finland by Daniele Frau

Every story is a lake, right?

Leggi in italiano

Let’s start with basics

It is human to love stories and tales about events happening next to us or far away, real or fantastic. Firstly, a story drawn by two big hairy hands in a cave evolved as the immense caves of literary genres, without losing its force. No matter what is the fabula or the plot behind a story, at the beginning, it’s just a blank sheet.

Welcome to the lake

A lake in Finland, picture by Daniele Frau

Imagine now this blank sheet as a lake, on which the author blows. The waves, the events of the story, will ripple the surface of the water, but on the lake bed, you’ll be able to find the real meaning of the story. For instance, in some cases on those “easy” genres, all you need to do is lay down on your small boat and let the author move it for you. In one way or another, we will finish on the shore of the lake, happy to have spent a few relaxed hours.

Let’s dive inside!

We won’t know what is hidden in the lake’s depths, but maybe that was exactly what we were searching for. Even in those “easy” stories, we can discover something more than we initially thought. We’re still on a lake, and it’s always possible to lose control of the oars and finish inside the water, ready to discover the world under the surface.

A simple scheme?

You can be just a good swimmer or a diver, but you’ll find some characteristics in common between stories in either case. As the element of a lake are water, wind, waves, and sometimes trees and mountains, as well the story has a starting point, followed by a series of actions that develop until they reach a resolution (positive or negative).

It seems a dull scheme the one I presented to you, but we have something ready to help develop the story (and therefore attract our attention). I introduce you to someone you must already know: the Character. As John Gardner wrote on his writing manual, The art of fiction:

No fiction can have a real interest if the central character is not an agent struggling for his or her own goals but a victim, subject to the will of others.

The writer has to draw the lake, the beautiful trees reflected on its surface (yes, yes, really poetic), but then he needs to put into that lake, on the surface or in the depths, some character that we will follow blindly.

It continues with… Robin Hood!

Read more about writing and reading here , and about our stories Souls Alive and Go back to the future.

Daniele Frau
Piccoli passi nella letteratura

Leggere

You don’t speak Italian? Don’t worry, we translated it for you in English!

Piccoli passi verso la lettura

I libri erano le mie proprietà più preziose. Li tenevo su uno scaffale di cui andavo molto orgoglioso. Amavo i miei libri e li conservavo con cura. Li leggevo e li rileggevo senza fare le orecchie alle pagine o piegare le coste. Ognuno era un piccolo tesoro.

Iniziamo dunque con un brano tratto dal libro “Nato fuori legge” autobiografia di Trevor Noah.

Ecco, cominciamo da qui a muovere i primi passi verso l’avventura della lettura.

Forse per qualcuno di noi sono parole ancora vere, ma lo sono altrettanto per i nostri bambini?

Entriamo in questa avventura a piccoli passi. Per poterlo fare dovremo rispondere a molte domande sui perché della lettura. Un po’ come quando da piccoli cominciamo a scoprire il mondo e il nostro linguaggio diventa un insieme di perché.

Qualche domanda

Piccoli passi nella letteratura
Piccoli passi nella letteratura.

Così cominciamo a porci delle domande sul meraviglioso mondo dell’arte della lettura. Ebbene si, leggere è un’arte. L’arte di entrare in mondi che non sono nostri, in punta di piedi, perché non è scontato leggere, amare la lettura, amare i libri.

Ma perché leggere?

Cosa leggere?

Come accompagnare la lettura?

Con chi leggere?

Pochi giorni fa un bambino di soli quattro anni mi ha detto:

<<Le maestre mi puniscono quando faccio da monello>>

Tralascio il discorso sul “fare da monello” che ci porterebbe troppo lontano e vi regalo una piccola chicca in merito alla domanda:

<<Come ti puniscono? >>

Risposta:

<<Mi dicono di andare a leggere un libro>>

Ecco le risposte più sbagliate alle quattro domande precedenti.

Un’ultima provocazione:

A che età si comincia a leggere?

Riflettiamo un po’. Cominciamo forse a parlare quando emettiamo le prime parole, le prime frasi???

Il grande tema della comunicazione si affaccia alla nostra finestrella…

A presto,

Maestra Nuccia.

Daniele Frau
Reading a step at the time

Reading

Non parli inglese? Non c’è problema, abbiamo tradotto l’articolo per te in italiano proprio qui.

Small steps into a different world

A children’s approach to literature

Reading Trevor Noah’s book “Born a crime” we can read how he put books into the higher consideration. Books are something to be proud of, to read and re-read treating them always with the utmost care. As they were actual treasures.

So, let’s start from here our journey into literature and reading.

We can probably share Trevor’s experience, but are we sure our children would do the same?

Let’s start our journey on the importance of reading stories with baby steps then, shall we? We’ll break the problem into small questions, discovering this whole world like we did when we were just babies.

In this way, we can start asking ourselves questions about the amazing world of the art of reading. Oh yes, reading is an art, the art of discovering worlds that aren’t ours, walking on our tiptoes. Loving books and love to read cannot be taken for granted.

Few questions

Reading a step at the time
Reading a step at the time.

Why do we need to read?

What to read?

What can assist our reading?

Who’s the best partner for our reading?

Few days ago a four years old child told me:

<<Teachers punish me when I’m bad.>>

Let’s leave the “you’re a bad child” subject for another time. I got curious and I asked him:

<<So how the teachers punish you?>>

The answer he gave me may surprise you:

<<They tell me I have to go to read a book.>>

That’s how to answer back on the worst day possible to all the previous questions.

My last questions (a bit rhetorical this time) to you are the following:

When we really start to speak? We do so when we make our first phrases by ourselves?

The main theme then is communication and it’s knocking on our door right now.

Let’s open it, shall we?

To the next time,

Maestra Nuccia.

Daniele Frau
Finale_The end

The end

Election time

Beautiful girls in underwear walk covered with billboards. On the pictures hung under their necks, the round faces of aspiring statesmen.

In the end

In fact, everything continues as always. The Independence day gives all the time the families need for chatting in front of their rectangles full of lights. These rectangles, knowing how important they are in forming a public opinion without any opinion, decide to send news like these:

The Alien Rain continues. The Government decided new special laws in order to prevent the situation to escalate.

Husband kills his wife in the suburbs, then cuts her in pieces and throws them around the city.”I thought she was an alien”, he stated.

 The Member of the Parliament, Svanzoni,  forced to resign after his minority motion has been rejected.

<<I just asked them to let this people fall down without dying. I thought it was right to give them one chance to save themselves.>>, these the first statement of the new enemy of the Nation.

The Champion of the People decided to answer back, immediately:

<<I can understand how frustrated the Member and ex Minister of Infrastructures and Quiet Living could feel right now. We have to remember that we had to take into account the fun aspect. The people of this Country is suffering enough for the curfew, it’s a right thing they can have some fun. Following the rules, as always. We’re always on the Law’s side. This is one of the reason why I asked the full power, because me and only me know what people really wants.>>

Starting from today, thanks to the new Babu’s law, it will be legal to kill aliens around the streets during holidays. For whom would kill out of the time and days recommended, it would be charged with fines, accordingly. Later, a short guide on how to recognise an alien.

The people

Before having fun outside, shooting aliens, people are happy discussing the new laws in the pubs and at home. As in the old fashioned game of the telephone, the news bounce from one to the other, changing slightly.

The People’s Champ

The Champion of the People, sure about winning in the next elections, seats relaxed on his black armchair. In front of him, on top of his desk, the half length statue of a tyrant, died decades ago.

There’s a reason why he let his own cat take a decision about the aliens. Interestingly, it’s the same reason why he’s not outside having fun shooting aliens as all the others. On his lap lays everything he ever cared about, the meaning of his life. A small music note, the beginning of a life which is able only to scream, sleep and eat.

The small V

She’s the only creature he knows he can speak to, the only one able to truly understand who he really is. Mainly just making happy bubbles with her tiny mouth. Sometimes she snores, but in that funny cute way that only babies seem to have. And she smiles. A toothless smile, able to move smiles as it was a happy wind. For sure a positive, natural wind.

Not evil

How could ever explain all this good feelings to the stupid voters and the Parliament members? If it was up to him, he would help elderly women crossing the street, this is the kind of person he is. An idiot, but deeply inside not an evil idiot. Simply, he has found in his hands too much power and too fast.

Obviously, when you have such a great power, you have to decide. You need to give answers and that answers have to be clear and certain. He doesn’t mind, he knows the rules and he plays well. Where are his friends, right now? They’re probably too busy laughing under few meters of soil and concrete, that’s what they’re doing!

<<Pling, plong?>>

Suddenly, the door calls for attention. Today is the Independence day, what they want? Anyways, he has servants for that, they will go and see who’s at the door.

<<Pling- plong!>>

This time the doorbell seems to be in a hurry, demanding to be answered. Oh, how silly! Today he conceded the servants three hours of free time, so they could celebrate with their families. On the streets there’s the aliens hunt.

He keeps forgetting how generous he is.

<<Pling- Plong?! Pling- Plong!?>>

<<Who dares!>>

The People’s Champion snaps. If they keep ring the bell like this they’ll wake up the small Victoria. How uncivilized! He stands up from the black armchair and lays the sleeping baby down in the cradle. The cradle, rose and white, start its swinging movement. The “V” drawn on top seems to be the legs of a broken watch.

<<Pling- plong!>>

All of a sudden the Champ forgets his romantic side.

<<Pling- Plong!>>

“My word, I will kill them!”

He thinks while descending the stairs.

<<Pling- Plong!>>

“Oh, I will dismember them!”

Think again, while finally reach with a foaming mouth the door. Here, he turns the handle with fury.

<<For Adolf’s sake, who’s there?>>

And in fron of him:

<<Who… who are you?>>

The figure of an old woman, dirty and dressed in rags stays speechless in front of him. She seems to be a hundred years old, covered with dirt and clotted blood. She doesn’t seem to be hurt, not physically anyways. She’s got big eyes, which seem even bigger because of the skinny appearance. She’s looking at him as he was a vision, a dream.

<<You…You are an alien!>>

Such a big boy scared by this terrified human skeleton.

The skeleton

The old woman wants to speak, but all the words she prepared before seem to be stuck, blocked as her breath due to a broken rib. They’ve chosen her to be there in that moment, to be in front of that man, the so- called People’s Champ. She passed any kind of pain to be there, right in front of this man. To tell him that…

<<Blam!>>

One shot and the Champ closes the eyes, the ears ringing. A single shot and the woman’s head has become a cloud of red corianders. The eyes full of fear disappear, along with the whole face covered in dirt. Abruptly, she’s transformed in a lifeless skeleton, with a spot of blood where before there was a head. A stain, a spot as any other, that the servants will clean in few hours.

<<Champ, are you all right?>>

A girl

A sixteen years old girl stands in front of him, her smoking gun still in her hands. She looks at him with a curious face.

<<Y-yes, thank you. I don’t know what she wanted from me.>>

<<Can I have an autograph, please?>>

<<S-sure, young lady. How did you recognise she was an alien?>>

<<I watched the program “how recognise an alien” on You Tumble. I’m sort of an expert.>>

<<Oh, wow. Really good shot. What’s your name?>>

<<Ananke.>>

<<Ananke, what an anusual name. You want an authograph?>>

<<Yes! Could I please have it on top of the corpse? I will load it on my wheelbarrow, my friends will die of envy.>>

<<Sure, sure, here we are. You’ve earned it. Enjoy the Independence day!>>

Just a flabby man

The girl watches the Champ, it’s the first time she can stay so close to him. She watched at him only from distance, looking out some balconies or on the coloured rectangles. For the first time, too she realised how flabby and sweaty he is. He’s still trembling, while wiping the blood out of his face. She wouldn’t say it loud, but she feels pity for him. All that power and he’s afraid of a small old woman.

<<Wait a minute. She was trying to take something from the pocket. What was it? A weapon?>>

The girl searches through the skeletal corpse, with a disgusted face. The rectangles said aliens bring mortal illnesses.

It’s a letter.

<<It’s a letter, Mr. Champ.>>

<<Well, well. A letter. Hand it to me and go play with your corpse. Again, have a good Independence day!>>

The door remains open on a grotesque scene: a tiny girl is trying to load an headless corpse on the wheelbarrow.

The Champ starts closing the door, his facial expression changing into horror as he keeps reading, the hands shaking. Which kind of joke is that?

Then, he realised something.

There’s nothing else but terror.

He leaves the door open and run.

Run!

He runs as he’ve never run before.

Run fast, with his belly up and down.

He bumps into the half length statue of the tyrant which crashes on the floor. In the room the window is open and there are few muddy footsteps on the white pavement.

In front of him stands the cradle. Empty.

And then the world is a nightmare.

And the world is distant.

And the world is the future.

And the world doesn’t smell good.

He thought he was master of time. But the time makes whatever it pleases.

While he falls on his knee he starts shouting and crying. Despair, rage, confusion. As he was falling from the clouds. As he was one alien.

Falling over a mountain of pain and mud.

“Too late”, he thinks while his thoughts seem to dissolve.

<<Ci avete rubato il futuro!>>

A voice, a shout behind him, full of rage.

He turns and sees an alien, a man covered in blood and mud. The Champ instinctively takes his favourite gun, Valkyrie, from the closet. He has never had a chance to use it before, he doesn’t even know how to shoot. Victoria is on the hands of that alien, mute.

Finale_The end
Finale_The end

Why she doesn’t cry?

The alien must die.

The alien must suffer.

The alien will be torn apart.

Instead, the alien speaks.

<<You stole our future, now I’m stealing yours.>>

The alien must die.

The alien must suffer.

<<Shoot me, shoot me as many times as you want, but you won’t change what happened. We gave you a chance, and you missed it.>>

The alien must die.

The alien must suffer.

And suddenly the Champ feels like he is the alien. Point the trembling gun to his head.

<<Blam!>>

In a second and in a single bullet, a fountain of red paint. The room starts being brighter, with this spray gun effect. On the floor, the corpse of what remains of the People’s Champ, his brain and blood mixed with the pieces of the statue. The alien didn’t expect that.

<<Click.>>

Behind him the sound of a gun loaded.

He turns and sees a small twelve years old girl, with a shotgun bigger than her.

<<Quella vecchia è sparita, nessuno mi crederà. Tu sei un alieno, vero?>>

She doesn’t have to wait for an answer, she knows how to recognise an alien.

<<Blam.>>

On the floor now lay two corpses, while a small one lays inside the cradle. It’s impossible to recognise Victoria, her smile now is just a red spot. Future and past linked by the same destiny.

On the Champ’s left hand there’s a letter:

“Don’t kill me, please.

Save me.

I’m your V.”

And the letter vanishes as the old woman did before. The twelve years old grabs her alien trophy and starts dragging him through the stairs.

<<Go back to the future.>>

She keeps mumbling to herself.

The End

You didn’t read the first three parts and now you’re watching at it thoughtful?  Click here.

You want to read just the last part? Click here.

The story is written by Daniele Frau and he has all the rights over its reproductions. The illustrations are original and made by Gabriele Manca (DMQ productions) which keeps all the rights over them.

Vuoi leggerla in italiano? Clicca qui.

Daniele Frau
Finale_The end

Fine

Tempo di elezioni

Ragazze avvenenti sfilano in intimo, coperte per il resto solo da cartelloni pubblicitari. Nei quadrati appesi al collo, facce tonde di futuri aspiranti statisti.

Alla fine

Alla fine tutto continua come da copione. La festa dell’Indipendenza concede il tempo alle famiglie di perdere un po’ tempo in chiacchiere vuote davanti a rettangoli luminosi. Questi ultimi, consci del loro ruolo centrale nel formare un’opinione pubblica senza opinioni, lanciano notizie di questo tenore:

La pioggia di alieni continua. Il Governo adotta misure straordinarie per fronteggiare la crisi.

Marito ammazza moglie nella periferia, poi la taglia a pezzi e li seppellisce in giro per la città. “Pensavo fosse un’aliena”, sembra abbia detto agli inquirenti.

L’Onorevole Svanzoni si dimette, in seguito alla bocciatura della sua mozione di minoranza:

<<Ho chiesto solamente di lasciarli cadere a terra interi. Ho pensato di dare loro almeno una possibilità di salvarsi>>, sembra abbia dichiarato questo nuovo nemico della Patria.

Non si è fatta attendere la risposta del nostro Capo Popolo:

<<Capisco la frustrazione dell’Onorevole ex Ministro per le Infrastrutture e il Quieto Vivere. Bisogna però ricordare che l’aspetto ludico è importante. Le persone, il popolo, soffre già per il coprifuoco. È giusto che ci sia un momento di svago. Secondo le regole, certo. Noi siamo sempre per le regole. Per questo motivo ho chiesto i pieni poteri, per poter dare alla gente ciò di cui ha bisogno.>>

A partire da oggi, grazie alla mozione Babu, sarà legale giustiziare un alieno per le strade durante le festività. Chi dovesse sparare fuori dagli orari e dai giorni consentiti, sarà soggetto ad un’ammenda pecuniaria. A seguire una breve guida su come riconoscere gli alieni.

Il Popolo

Il popolo, però, prima di armarsi e andare a caccia dell’alieno, si svaga ripetendo le notizie sentite a casa, nei bar. Le informazioni cambiano un po’, come nel famoso gioco del telefono, così da generare discussioni accese, divisioni che possono solo agevolare il Governo.

Il Capo Popolo

Il Capo Popolo, sicuro della vittoria alle imminenti elezioni, siede rilassato sulla sua poltrona nera. Davanti a sé, sulla scrivania, il mezzo busto di un tiranno morto da decenni.

C’è un motivo per il quale ha lasciato il suo gatto decidere le sorti di quegli alieni. Lo stesso motivo per il quale non è là fuori a festeggiare e sparare come tutti gli altri. Tra le braccia tiene stretto tutto ciò che ha un senso per lui. Una piccola nota musicale, un principio di vita che è in grado solo di urlare, dormire e mangiare.

La piccola V

L’unica creatura con cui sa di poter parlare, l’unica in grado di capirlo davvero, facendo bollicine allegre con la bocca. Russa un po’, ma in quel modo buffo che sembra essere appannaggio solamente dei bambini. E sorride. Un sorriso senza denti che sposta come fosse vento i sorrisi sulle altre facce attorno. Un vento positivo, naturale.

Un uomo buono

Come far comprendere agli elettori buoi e al Partito che il suo animo è buono? Se potesse, accompagnerebbe le vecchiette da una parte all’altra della strada. Questo è il tipo di persona che è. Un imbecille, ma in fondo per nulla cattivo.

Si è semplicemente ritrovato tanto potere nelle mani, troppo in fretta. Quando si ha tanto potere, si devono prendere decisioni. Servono risposte chiare, sicure. Lui non si fa pregare, sa di essere un capo e gioca sempre fino in fondo. Ah, dove sono i suoi nemici ora? Ridono sotto qualche metro di terra e di cemento, ecco cosa fanno!

<<Pling- plong?>>

La porta, improvvisamente, chiede attenzione. Oggi è il giorno dell’Indipendenza, che cosa vorranno mai? Che vada a rispondere la servitù, alla fin fine è là per quello.

<<Pling- plong!>>

Stavolta la porta sembra chiamare in modo più deciso, senza esitazione. Non è una domanda, sembra sia più una risposta. Oh, ma che sciocco! Oggi la servitù ha avuto tre ore di riposo per andare a festeggiare con le famiglie. C’è la caccia all’alieno per le strade.

Si dimentica sempre di essere così magnanimo.

<<Pling- Plong?! Pling- Plong!?>>

<<Ma insomma!!>>

Sbotta il Capo Popolo, indispettito. Di questo passo potrebbero svegliare la piccola Vittoria, questi incivili. Si alza, deponendo lentamente il corpicino addormentato della bambina. La culla, rosa e bianca, inizia a cullarla lentamente. La “V” disegnata sulla testa della culla sembra essere un orologio rotto.

<<Pling- plong!>>

E il Capo dimentica il suo lato romantico.

<<Pling- Plong!>>

“Li ammazzo!” Pensa mentre scende le scale.

<<Pling- Plong!>>

“Oh, li squarto vivi, li squarto!” Pensa ancora, mentre finalmente, con la bava alla bocca, gira la maniglia.

<<Per Diana e Benito, ma chi è?>>

E davanti a lui,

<<Ehi, e tu chi sei?>>

Finale_The end
Finale_The end

La figura di una signora anziana, vestita di stracci e fango lo guarda atterrita. Sembra avere cento anni, sporca sulle braccia di quello che sembra essere sangue rappreso. Non suo, comunque, non sembra ferita. Occhi grandi, resi ancora più grandi dalla faccia ossuta, lo guardano come una visione.

<<Tu, tu, tu sei… sei, sei, sei un’aliena!>>

Un uomo così grande e grosso, spaventato da uno scheletro umano, impaurito.

Uno scheletro umano

La donna vorrebbe parlare, ma tutte le parole che vorrebbe pronunciare le sono state portate via. Ha perso la parola qualche tempo prima, insieme ad una costola incrinata che non le permette di respirare per bene. È stata scelta per essere là in quel momento, per essere davanti a quell’uomo, al Capo Popolo. Ne ha passate tante per ritrovarsi finalmente là, finalmente di fronte a quell’uomo per dirgli che…

<<Blam!>>

Un colpo solo, che fa fischiare le orecchie e chiude gli occhi del Capo. Uno sparo solo basta per fare della testa della vecchia una nuvola di coriandoli rossi. Spariscono gli occhi, sparisce la paura, sparisce la faccia intera sporca di terra. Diventa un corpo ossuto, la testa una macchia per terra. Una macchia come un’altra, che verrà pulita dalla servitù tra qualche ora.

<<Capo, state bene?>>

Una ragazzina di dodici anni, con il suo fucile ancora fumante in mano, lo guarda curiosa.

<<S- si, grazie. Non so cosa volesse da me.>>

<<Posso avere un autografo?>>

<<C- certo. Come hai fatto a riconoscere che era un’aliena?>>

<<Ho visto il programma “come riconoscere un alieno” su Tu Tubi, sono un’esperta.>>

<<Oh, certo, bravissima. Come ti chiami?>>

<<Ananke.>>

<<Ananke, che nome curioso. Sei stata proprio bravissima. Dove desideri l’autografo?>>

<<Posso averlo sul corpo? Lo carico qui sulla carriola, i miei amici moriranno d’invidia.>>

<<Certo, certo, ci mancherebbe. Te lo sei più che meritato. E buona festa dell’Indipendenza!>>

Da vicino è diverso

La ragazzina guarda il Capo. Non l’aveva mai visto così da vicino, sempre e solo su qualche balcone o nei rettangoli colorati. Le sembra di guardarlo per la prima volta e si rende conto di quanto sia molliccio e sudato. Trema ancora di paura mentre si pulisce il volto dal sangue. Non lo ammetterà mai, ma prova un po’ pena per lui. Tutto quel potere e ha paura della prima vecchia che gli si para davanti.

<<Aspetta. Stava provando a prendere qualcosa dalla tasca. Cos’è? Non vorrei che fosse un’arma.>>

La ragazzina fruga nel corpo ossuto della vecchia, con aria disgustata. I rettangoli hanno detto che gli alieni portano malattie mortali.

Una lettera

<<È una lettera, signor Capo.>>

<<Bene, dammela pure e vai a giocare con il tuo cadavere. Buona Indipendenza!>>

La porta inizia a chiudersi lentamente sulla scena grottesca della ragazzina, intenta a caricare sulla carriola il corpicino senza testa dell’anziana.

Lo sguardo del Capo sembra perdere lucidità, mentre legge la lettera che gli trema tra le mani. Che scherzo è mai questo?

Poi intuisce qualcosa e allora non c’è tempo per le domande, solo per il terrore.

Lascia la porta aperta e corre.
Corre con la pancia che gli trema.

Corre come mai prima in vita sua.

I piedi sono già sulle scale, superano gli ultimi gradini, si lanciano nella stanza, urtano il busto del tiranno che cade in mille pezzi a terra. Nella stanza una finestra aperta e orme di fango sul pavimento.

Davanti a lui, una culla vuota

E il mondo è un incubo.

E il mondo è distante.

E il mondo è il futuro.

Forse pensava di essere padrone del tempo. Ma quello fa ciò che più desidera, senza interpellare gli uomini.

Mentre cade a terra, urla. Disperazione, rabbia, confusione. Come se cadesse dalle nuvole. Come un alieno, alla fine.

Su una montagna di dolore e fango.

Troppo tardi, pensa mentre i suoi pensieri si dissolvono.

<<Ci avete rubato il futuro!>>

Un grido, una voce dietro di lui.

Si gira per vedere un alieno, sporco di sangue e terra. D’istinto impugna la sua pistola preferita da dentro il cassetto, Walkiria. Non l’ha mai usata e non sa come si spara, ma sa che Walkiria lo aiuterà. Victoria è tra le mani di quell’alieno. Non piange.

Perché non piange?

L’alieno deve morire.

L’alieno deve soffrire.

L’alieno verrà squartato.

Invece, l’alieno parla la sua lingua.

<<Sparami, sparami quanto vuoi, ma non potrai cambiare la tua sorte. Tu hai rubato il nostro futuro, noi abbiamo rubato il tuo. Ti abbiamo anche dato un’occasione, ma l’hai sprecata.>>

L’alieno deve morire.

L’alieno deve soffrire.

Improvvisamente, il Capo si sente un alieno. Punta la mano tremante e la pistola alla tempia e preme il grilletto.

<<Blam!>>

In un secondo, in un solo proiettile, una fontana in tinta di rosso. La stanza diventa più vivace, con questo effetto aerografo. A terra resta il corpo del Capo Popolo, il cervello misto ai cocci della statua e al sangue. L’alieno non sa che fare, non si aspettava una reazione del genere.

<<Click.>>

Dalla porta, un rumore di qualcuno che toglie la sicura ad un’arma.

L’alieno si gira, per trovarsi davanti una ragazzina di dodici anni, che lo osserva.

<<Quella vecchia è sparita, nessuno mi crederà. Tu sei un alieno, vero?>>

Non attende la risposta, sa come riconoscere un alieno.

<<Blam!>>

Ora per terra stanno due corpi, mentre uno molto piccolo giace nella culla. Irriconoscibile, una macchia rossa al posto di quel sorriso senza colpa. Presente e futuro legati dal medesimo destino.

Nella mano sinistra del Capo Popolo sta una lettera, scritta in una grafia tremolante.

“Non uccidermi, ti prego.

Salvami.

La tua V.”

E la lettera sparisce, mentre la ragazzina trascina per le scale il suo trofeo.

<<Ritorna al futuro.>>

Borbotta tra sé e sé.

Fine

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Questa storia è un racconto originale scritto da Daniele Frau, cui sono riservati i diritti di riproduzione. I disegni sono ad opera di Gabriele Manca (DMQ productions) e tutti i diritti correlati sono di sua proprietà.

Read in English, click here!

Daniele Frau
La carta del gatto

The Parliament

One cat

Two votes

The 30 Members of the Parliament of the People create a buzzing sound in the small hall. It seems a bunch of bees working on building a wall of honey. No more honey, though, but only a huge wall, a solid wall built long ago all around the small nation. As a new trend, all nations started getting smaller and smaller, before realising that the problem it would be one day or another the “vital space”. They are like a crazy cat which jumped inside a small box and now doesn’t know how to get out.

<<Dling-dling-dling!>>

A small silver bell call to order everyone.

<<Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the Parlament, colleagues women and men, please silence. I will give the floor to the Minister of Infrastructures and Quiet Living, Mr. Arnoldo Svanzoni. Please.>>

Arnoldo Svanzoni

The imposing figure of the ex boxer Arnoldo Svanzoni stands in the centre of the room. All newspapers places their microphones, it’s all live. It’s an important moment, the first time after the Champion got “Full Authority” over the Parliament that someone dare to speak. As a result, the Parliament is getting less and less useful, as it was a public library for teenagers only.

<<Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m here standing in front of you today to solve a problem. We already have to fight against terroristic attacks and a poor state of the world economy. As I said, I’m here with a solution. I was one of the first advocating the construction of the Mighty Walls raised around our beloved Motherland. The same walls we celebrate today, with the Day of Independency. Again, I was the first promoter of racial laws and new regulations against refugees and terrorists. I did what I did with sole purpose of serving our beloved Motherland. That said, today in front of you is not a member of the Parliament, but a simple family man. We have to take into consideration the possibility that, as People’s Police attested, these aliens are coming from the future. A future attested around 100 years from now at the most. We must reconsider our position, because statistically there is a high possibility that the so- called aliens would be nothing less than our sons, daughters, nephews and nieces.>>

<<Dling-dling-dling!>>

The bell rings trying to calm down the drooling members of the Parliament and the press. How dare you! All these months of propaganda speaking about aliens and this guy comes with this idea. Unconceivable!

<<Dling- dling -dliiiiiiiing!>>

<<Ladies and gentlemen, please try to calm down. We’re in a Parliament’s room, for Champ’s sake!>>

The Cat

La carta del gatto
Go back to the future_The Parliament_The cat

On the empty chair of the Champ seats a fatty cat. When the Champ is occupied, being photographed as a puppet or out for personal reasons like today, the only allowed to seat there is his cat.

<<The solution, and here comes the end of my speech ladies and gentlemen, would be easy. We should put a net under the aliens landing points, in order to save up to 90% of them. Thank you for your attention.>>

<<Dling- dling- dliiiiiiiiing!>>

<<Ladies, gentlemen! You will scare the cat!>>

Hearing this, the whole room turned to the Champ’s chair, terrorised. If the cat would leave the chair, scared by them, something terrible would happen. The cat moves his eyes from one to another, like he knows exactly what kind of power he holds.

Princess Babu

<<Mrs. Babu, it’s your turn to speak.>>

<<Thank you Woman- Chief of the Parliament of the People. I have few questions for Mr. Svanzoni, and whole rhetorical. Why we should help those people? We have to do it because they’re human being? But they’re not, they’re aliens. We should probably help them ’cause they’re escaping from hunger? Sure, my family escaped from hunger long time ago, and they came to this beautiful Country. However, those were different times.>>

The dark figure of Princess Babu seems to be a whole with the mahogany wood used to cover the Parliament of the People.

<<There were times in which it wasn’t necessary to build a wall in the sea and we could speak about human beings and not alien scum falling from the sky. I heard some of you saying they are like us, they share our DNA, so I will ask you another rhetorical question: whom amongst you did fall in this beautiful country from the sky?>>

<<Driiiiin- driiiiin-driiiinnn!>>

<<Please, please silence! Let Mrs. Babu end her speech.>>

<<Thanks, Mrs. Chief of the Parliament. I have something to say to whoever thinks on treating them as sisters or brothers: go back to your country! Some people escape from hunger, from poverty or even from the heat. And we have to give something tolet those beasts eat and drink? No, let’s just shoot them! Thank you, I’m done.>>

The cat licks a paw, while the Master of Ceremonies of the Parliament pets him with a velvet glove.

First vote

<<Well, thanks Mrs. Babu. Let’s vote. We have the first motion to be voted, tabled by Mr. Svanzoni, about the construction of a safe net under the landing point. The second motion to be voted, tabled by Mrs. Babu, is about the shooting of survived aliens in the streets, starting today.>>

<<Driiiiin- driiiiiin- driiiinnn.>>

<<Please, start voting for motion number one.>>

On the black display on the back of the room appears a number of lights, almost all with the same colour.

<<Well, the results for Mr. Svanzoni is 30 votes against 1. Motion rejected. Mr. Svanzoni, I kindly ask you to pledge for forgiveness to the room and then leave the Parliament accordingly.>>

Arnold Svanzoni, the ex boxer, keeps his eyes down, while asking for forgiveness to the Parliament.

<<Dear members of the Parliament, I ask for your forgiveness. I ask you to forgive me for my irreverence and I hope you’ll let me come back here in this holy place. Goodbye.>>

<<Driiiiin- driiiiiiin- driiiiinnnn.>>

<<All right, then. Now please let’s vote the second motion.>>

The second vote

The black display this time doesn’t look like it did before. There are lights of two different colours.

<<The vote shows a draw, 15 against 15. Let’s proceed with a second vote.>>

<<Driiiiin- driiiiin- driiiiin.>>

And this time again it seems a draw. Probably the fact that the Champ isn’t here today gave them some courage.

<<Ladies and gentlemen, deputy of the People, the vote seems to be in a deadlock, with a second draw. Following the New Regulation, the final decision is up to the People’s Champion or his substitute. Mr. Master of the Ceremonies, please bring the cat on stage for the vote.>>

The Master of Ceremonies takes the cat in his velvet gloves, descends the stairs and place the black feline in the centre of the room.

<<Well, Master. Proceed now blindfolding the cat.>>

The cat, chosen for his absolute docility, seems even liking the red hook the Master places over the ears and face. Then, the Master takes two small bells from the pocket, a red and a green one. He seats few meters from the cat, knees down and…

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

Tries the first bell.

<<Driiiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

Tries the second bell.

To be fair, the sounds have to be exactly the same. So to avoid an impartial decision from the cat.

The cat is seated, blindfolded, and it seems ignoring the two bells. Nothing is written about the possibility that the cat would choose to ignore the bells.

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

Finally, the cat raises the small blindfolded head and starts walking towards the bells.

A step, then two

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

Then three, then four

The destiny of men and women is all in this bored cat walking. This feline will decide if it will be legal to shoot to the surviving aliens in the streets. Therefore, this cat- choice will give a chance to other men and women to practice the use of their guns, slaughtering aliens in the streets.

Then five, six. He’s almost there.

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

There is still hope?

Then seven, eight

And the dance is over.

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

<<Driiiiinnn—Driiinnn.>>

… It continues…

You didn’t read the first three parts and now you’re watching at it thoughtful?  Click here.

You want to read just the last part? Click here.

The story is written by Daniele Frau and he has all the rights over its reproductions. The illustrations are original and made by Gabriele Manca (DMQ productions) which has all the rights over them.

Vuoi leggerla in italiano? Clicca qui.

Daniele Frau