[Reigian Studies.] [On behalf of the baroness.]

6.6.07

The visitors

The visitors






The visitors. A story written by Carles Reig i Morell and
translated by O’Donovan
McCracken
.

















Quina casualitat que a tots ens vingui avui la mateixa
dèria










Van trucar a la seua porta, però no calia. La vella ja els havia ajustada la
porta, perquè entressin empenyent-la una mica. Els havia vist vindre
per la finestra. Dues dones i un home, entre els cinquanta i els seixanta
anys... La Rosa, la Violeta, l’Indaleci. La Rosa amb el seu vestidet
violeta, la Violeta amb el seu vestidet rosa, l’Indaleci de blau, amb el seu
vestit de marineret.



Com quaranta-vuit anys enrere.



Els tres visitants de primer s’havien pensats que havien perduda
l’adreça... Havien dubtat una mica.



–Vols dir que anem bé? –havia demanat l’Indaleci. Es va ficar la mà a la
butxaca; n’havia trobat un paperet tot rebregat–. Sí, em sembla que sí.




–Sí, ara ho reconec –va dir la Rosa.



–Jo també –afegí la Violeta.



–La caseta no era gaire lluny d’aquest mateix indret.



–Això ja pertany a l’universitat, i la caseta era rere aquest mateix revolt.




–Sí; una sort viure tan a prop d’un edifici tan vast, amb uns terrenys tan
amples i llisos, d’horitzons nets i perspectives tan exactes; s’hi jugava
meravellosament: aquells giravolts, aquelles rampes i raconades; t’hi
podies penjar i despenjar; hi podies patinar; t’hi podies amagar...




–Horitzons nets de jardí sec. Quina delícia córrer-hi. I fer-hi volar
estels. Passejar-hi amb globus de colors...



–I presumir-hi amb vestidets...



–I ara fixeu-vos-hi: tot torna a ésser tan ben reparat...



–Com aquell dia...



–Copiat, calcat, estergit... Les mateixes perspectives, la mateixa
geometria, el mateix ciment...



–Tan llis i ample...



–I solitari...



–Com si no hi hagués mai hagut cap explosió...



–Igualet com era abans...



–Tres o quatre altres vailets hi jugaven...



–Naltres guaitàvem de dalt els vidres bruts de l’aula buida estant...




–Tot aquell fum, tota aquella runa, tota aquella sorollada de vehicles.




–Ens vam tornar a posar els vestits.



–Tu el teu rosa, jo el meu violeta. Ell el blau de marineret.



–Com ara! Quina casualitat!



–I quina casualitat que ahir, o abans d’ahir, o l’altre dia, em
truquessis...



–No et vaig trucar; tu em trucares...



–I a mi... O, calla, potser fores tu, Rosa... Ara no me’n recordo.




–Jo tampoc.



–Aneu confosos.



–Tant se val.



–Tenia tantes ganes aquests dies de tornar-hi!



–Jo també, una mena de neguit.



–Com si quelcom t’hi cridés; t’hi comonís el geni del lloc; o com si fos
que calia commemorar qualque mena d’aniversari, però què fa...




–Què fa...? Uns..., deixa’m comptar...



–Uns quaranta-vuit anys, aproximadament...



–No és cap aniversari assenyalat, no.



–Tot aquest esdeveniment... Hi he pensat tan sovint!



–I jo.



–Home, era traumàtic.



–Déu-n’hi-do.



–Allò que esclatà...



–Pentà.



–Metà.



–Un gas acumulat sota el ciment armat de les obres de renovació, en un
sot, una cavitat subterrània, hermèticament segellada pels ciments, la
pressió, la lenta escalfor, la terra prement, al capdavall el va fer esclatar
de sobte...



–De sobte tot aquell ciment atapeït es torna pols, o cendra...



–I els cossos un buf d’essència...



–Naltres guaitàvem de dalt els vidres bruts de l’aula buida estant...




–Tot aquell fum, tota aquella runa, tota aquella sorollada de vehicles.




–Hi van morir uns quants d’estudiants.



–També tres 0 quatre vailets qui hi jugaven.



–I ara fixeu-vos-hi: tot torna a ésser tan ben reparat...



–Com aquell dia...



–Copiat, calcat, estergit... Les mateixes perspectives, la mateixa
geometria, el mateix ciment...



–Tan llis i ample...



–I solitari...



–Com si no hi hagués mai hagut cap explosió...



–Igualet com era abans...



–Naltres guaitàvem de dalt els vidres bruts de l’aula buida estant...




–Tot aquell fum, tota aquella runa, tota aquella sorollada de vehicles.




–Ens vam tornar a posar els vestits.



–Tu el teu rosa, jo el meu violeta. Ell el blau de marineret.



–Com ara! Quina casualitat!



–Hi jugàvem a metges, per això ens havíem de tornar a posar els
vestits...



–Sí que érem poca-vergonyetes, de petitets...



–Tu el teu rosa, jo el meu violeta. Ell el blau de marineret.



–Com ara! Quina casualitat!



–I quina casualitat que ahir, o abans d’ahir, o l’altre dia, em
truquessis...



–No et vaig trucar; tu em trucares...



–I a mi... O, calla, potser fores tu, Rosa... Ara no me’n recordo.




–Jo tampoc.



–Quina sorollada de vehicles...



–Vam sortir per una altra porta a l’altre cantó de l’edifici...



–Vam tornar d’amagatotis a casa de la dida...



–Sí, en reconec els topants perfectament... –va dir l’Indaleci, i es va
tornar ficar el paperet a la butxaca.



–Que érem entremaliats!



–Sols a casa tot aquell dia: quines festasses!



–Tornàrem a jugar a metges.



–Aquest cop damunt el llit.



–I ens menjàrem totes les llepolies amagades als calaixos de la cuina...




–Quin goig. Quines festasses.



–Les hores passaren. Arribà la nit.



–Mai no havíem passada cap nit a la caseta de la dida.



–Els pares sempre ens prenien abans que es fes tard.



–Li’n deien d’àvia ja.



–Era vídua.



–Deu ésser vella.



–Si ja li’n deien d’àvia fa gairebé cinquanta anys...



–I ja era vídua...



–La dida què deu tenir? Noranta anys o més.



–Recordes com vam sortir...?



–Recordo que ens mancava l’aire, que xipollejàvem...



–Ens va deure deixar anar durant la nit...



–Quan vam sentir que la dida tornava, ens vam tancar al recambró...




–Com ens en rèiem!



–Jo no em podia aguantar el riure.



–Jo tampoc.



–L’Indaleci deia “xst, xst!” com un desesperat, però també reia,
també...



–I tant. Era tan còmica la cosa.



–La dida ens hi va tancar.



–Vam sentir la clau.



–Quina broma, també.



–Ara qui se’n devia riure era ella!



–És veritat que a les fosques començava de tenir-hi una mica de por.




–I llavors semblava que hi mancava l’aire...



–Que ens hi asfixiàvem...



–Esgarrapàvem la porta...



–Ens va deure deixar anar durant la nit...



–Potser ens desmaiàvem...



Havien passats uns quants d’anys. Què devia fer...? Una pila d’anys, sí.
Gairebé cinquanta i tot. Deu tindre noranta anys o més. Ara, això
també, se’n recordava com si fos ahir. Se n’ha recordat cada dia després
d’aquell dia de l’explosió. Cada dia. Aquell trasbals! Qui podria
oblidar-lo.



La vídua guardava mainatges. Els pares ja la tractaven d’àvia, i això fa
gairebé cinquanta anys i tot.



No els pegava mai – només els tancava al recambró fosc una estoneta si
feien cap dolenteria gaire grossa, que hi ploressin el pecat. Una mica de
penitència...



Aquell migdia els va tornar a portar al pati de l’universitat. L’havien
renovat recentment. L’havien encimentat tot. S’hi trobaven, ben
mirades, perspectives geomètriques molt delineades, molt netes. Els
horitzons eren ben dibuixats, i vasts. La quitxalla hi jugava enfal·lerida;
tots aquells embalums tan exactes que calia escalar...



La dida era asseguda a un banc de pedra. Al pedrís, hi havia
companyia. Hi havia qualque altra mare jove, o qualque altra dida com
ella, d’edat.



La greu explosió s’esdevingué llavors. Quin esglai. Semblava la fi del
món. S’endugué alguns estudiants – i tres o quatre vailets qui també hi
jugaven. Els féu bocins: pitjor.



Van vindre de seguida els bombers, les ambulàncies, la policia,
l’enrenou, l’aldarull, les càmeres, els periodistes... I llavors els pares.




Hi havia... ningú no sabia quants d’estudiants morts, i hi mancaven
mainatges. Els seus, també hi mancaven els seus: la Violeta, la Rosa,
l’Indaleci. Un dipòsit subterrani esclatava; gasos embassats, i ara on
són els cossos...? Obliterats – esfumats – esborrats – no en troben ni els
àtoms.



Passaven ara mateix els tres visitants pel pati renovat de l’universitat,
prop d’on la dida vivia.



–Que curiós: portem el mateix vestidet d’aquell dia.



–És curiós. I l’Indaleci igual.



–I quina casualitat que, ahir, o abans d’ahir, o l’altre dia, em
truquessis...



–No et vaig trucar; tu em trucares...



–I a mi... O, calla, potser fores tu, Rosa... Ara no me’n recordo.




–Jo tampoc.



I ara ací tornen. Els tres, plegadets, còmplices, com aquell dia de l’esclat
que semblava que s’ho enduia tot. Els ha albirats per la finestra. La
Violeta amb vestidet rosa, la Rosa amb vestidet violeta, l’Indaleci amb
vestit blau de marineret. Dues dones i un home qui visiten la vella dida.
Ha ajustada la porta perquè entrin només empenyent-la una miqueta.




Aquell dia podrit, quan l’àvia va tornar a casa, retuda, tota desfeta,
pensant-se que havia perduts els infants, i després d’haver patida la
histèria de les mares i les ires caòtiques dels pares, després d’haver
d’anar amunt i avall, pels hospitals, per les estacions de bombers i
policies... Ara que tornava feta físicament un parrac i emocionalment
buida, i psíquicament esmicolada...



Va sentir sorolls al recambró fosc. Es va espantar... Algun animalot
amagat...?



Se n’anava cap a la cuina a agafar-hi l’escombra. Pensava pel camí en
els tres mortets... Tan bona canalleta! No els havia atupats mai – només
els tancava en aquest mateix recambró fosc una estoneta si havien feta,
pobrissonets, cap dolenteria gaire grossa, una estoneta curta, que la
pena els esmenés.



Com es podia imaginar..., a quin cap cabia..., ara, en canvi, que els
vailets n’haguessin sortits incòlumes – una explosió tan apocalíptica! –
i que d'amagatotis haguessin tornats a casa...



–Ens hi havíem divertits qui-sap-lo...



–Ens havíem menjades totes les llepolies amagades...



–Havíem jugat a metges al llit...



–Ara que vam sentir que la dida tornava, ens amagàrem al recambró...




–Com ens en rèiem!



–Jo no em podia aguantar el riure.



–Jo tampoc.



–L’Indaleci deia “xst, xst!” com un desesperat, però també reia,
també...



–I tant. Era tan còmica la cosa.



Aquelles rialletes nervioses, aquells mormols i xiuxiueigs... La dida se
n’adonava. O al·lucinava i veia visions; o en sentia; sentia no pas
visions, l’equivalent que percep no pas l’ull, l’orella; o se li afluixava el
seny, perdia el senderi i... O eren àngels, animetes, dimoniets...




O espera’t! Quina de més grossa que li n’han feta aquesta vegada. Això
ja passa de mida, allò sí que no té perdó. Troba que sí, de debò, que són
vius – tantes hores de patir! – i que se li han amagats al recambró. Si
això no és mereix un càstig, maleïts! Els tanca amb clau.



–I llavors semblava que a poc a poc ens mancava l’aire...



–Que ens hi asfixiàvem...



–Esgarrapàvem la porta...



–Ens va deure deixar anar durant la nit...



–Potser ens desmaiàvem...



Els ha tancats amb clau al recambró hermètic, ha ficat màstic i tot al
forat del pany. Ja us hi podrireu (va dir), maleïts!



Impel·lida, els tanca. No pot obrir-los. Hi ha vegades que, en sentir-los
vagament cridar, gairebé es veu temptada a aixecar-se i a obrir-los,
però l’odi, el ressentiment, la crueltat, són massa forts; la revenja,
l’avolesa – la malèfica fal·lera per veure la feina enllestida; la feina
enllestida d’una vegada
; que ja n’hi ha prou; que ja no pot més;
que cal aguantar; això l'impel·leix a no obrir – de primer colpien la
porta, cridaven, esgarrapaven la porta, després s’afebleixen, en acabat
no res – deuen haver perdut el coneixement – o, maleïts com són,
encara tornen a enganyar-me (es deia); no em tornareu a ensarronar
pas!



No els havia tustats mai – només els tancava en aquest mateix
recambró fosc una estoneta si mai en feien una de gaire grossa, que la
por els adrecés... Ara els hi tancava per sempre.



S’hi asfixiaren. Mai més no n’obrí la porta, mai més. S’havia demanat
alguna vegada: Qui sap quina cara fan ara...?



I ara ho sap, dues dones i un home, ja mig vells i tot,
cinquanta-seixanta anys, i tanmateix amb el mateix aspecte de la nit on
moriren, la Rosa vestideta de violeta, la Violeta de rosa, l’Indaleci de
blau, amb vestit de marineret. I ara venien a cercar-la per a endur-se-la
a llur món dels morts – a llur món dels morts on l’únic record que
tenien era el d’aquell dia de la mort. Com ella recordarà, morta, aquest
dia de la visita dels tres vailets qui assassinà sense cap recança – sense
cap recança, ni llavors ni mai. Ells recordant doncs l’avinentesa de
l’explosió i de l’ofec a l’hermètic recambró. Ella la visita dels...




–Que vella us heu feta, padrina!



–Com aneu?



–Quants d’anys que feia que no ens vèiem...!



–D’ençà d’aquell dia de l’accident...



–Ara en parlàvem...



–Un dia memorable, ca?



–Ens hi havíem divertits qui-sap-lo...



–Ens divertíem recordant..., ves que inconscients...!



–Recordant la malifeta: que ens amagàvem...



–Després d’haver jugat tots sols...



–I que ens haguéssim menjades totes les llepolies amagades...




–Oh, i poques-vergonyetes rai. Havíem jugat a metges al llit...




–Ara que vam sentir que tornàveu, ens vàrem amagar al recambró...




–Com ens en rèiem!



–Jo no em podia aguantar el riure.



–Jo tampoc.



–L’Indaleci deia “xst, xst!” com un desesperat, però també reia,
també...



–I tant. Era tan còmica la cosa.



–I llavors ens hi vau tancar amb clau.



–Ui quina por al cap d’estoneta.



–Al començament ens pensàvem que era de broma.



–Que ens seguíeu la facècia...



–Però a poc a poc ens mancava l’aire...



–Ens asfixiàvem...



–Esgarrapàvem la porta...



–Volíem sortir. Allò...



–T’hi mories...



La vella dida se’ls guaitava amb fàstic, un fàstic que augmentava com
més xerraven i es repetien. Vol deseixir-se’n i no pot. Com si se li
adherissin a la pell, com si se li enganxifessin, llefiscosos,
escaguitxosos, esllenegats. Voltada per tres carronyes a mig momificar
qui li parlen per sempre més dels anys de l’avior incandescent.




–Ara que vam sentir que tornàveu, ens vàrem amagar al recambró...




–Com ens en rèiem!



–Jo no em podia aguantar el riure.



–Jo tampoc.



–L’Indaleci deia “xst, xst!” com un desesperat, però també reia,
també...



–I tant. Era tan còmica la cosa.



–I llavors ens hi vau tancar amb clau.



La vella es trau la clau de la butxaca de la bata. La fica al forat del pany.
En fa saltar el màstic ressec, florit de rovell. La clau s’engalaverna al
forat. Ara la fa girar. Obre la porta del recambró.



–I encara hi sou –diu la vella.



A mig momificar, llefiscosos, escaguitxosos, esllenegats. Tres carronyes
qui li parlen per sempre més dels anys de l’avior incandescent. Mal
embolicades amb quatre cassigalls tots llords – llurs vestits tots eslleïts,
llurs vestits de l’avior incandescent, quatre cassigalls tots llords,
esblanqueïts, esgrogueïts, tots eslleïts, violeta, rosa, blau, els mateixos
vestits, sí, en acabat de gairebé cinquanta anys amagats en recambró
fosc, hermèticament clos.


















That story belongs to a sheaf of them that originally were included in
the volume that later had to be halved (as per the publisher’s diktat) in
order that at least the more continuous half could be printed
[apparently the publisher had a limited amount of paper!] The volume
I’m talking about is Meuques! [Meuques! translates
both as Whores! and, emphatically, What’s mine?]
published in 1979 in Barcelona, though written in the early nineteen
seventies. The hero of this novel writes a zany diary and in the process
loses a day. During this supposedly lost day [supposedly because the
day he misses, namely the first of July, actually gets secreted into the
entry of the “day” before, a mythical thirty-first of June,] the clueless
hero dreams a few dreams that become stories (that later got cut from
the novel.)





Page 11o of the first edition parenthetically notes it: “(In the diary, a
chasm. Opisthographically written, a few leaves of lucid dreams that I
can’t now unravel.)






Anyway, I’ve even decided to translate this one, because I think it’s so
exquisite.














How fateful that today we all felt the urge to
visit












They knocked at her door, though there was no need to. The crone had
seen them approaching through the window; she had gone to the door
and let it ajar, so that they had only to push it to enter. They: two
women and a man, in their fifties or early sixties... Rose, Violet,
Indalecian. Rose wearing her violet dress, Violet her pink one,
Indalecian his blue one, dressed as a little demure mariner.



Exactly as it all had happened forty-eight years earlier.



The three visitors had thought for a moment that they had lost the
address... They had been in doubt for a spell.



“Are you sure we are heading the right way?” Indalecian had asked. He
put his hand inside his pocket; he had found a little piece of paper all
torn. “Yes, I think we are getting close.”



“Oh, now I recognize it,” said Rose.



“Same here,” added Violet.



–Her little house was very near that same spot.



–This section belongs already to the university; the small house was
just around this same corner.



–Such good luck to live next to so vast an edifice, with grounds so wide
and flat, and clean horizons and precise lookouts – one could so nicely
play in there, with all those smooth bends, and gradients and nooks –
you could climb and slide down – you could skate, you could hide...




–Clean horizons of dry garden. How delightful to be able to run along it.
To fly kites around it, to otherwise stroll up and down while holding a
few colored balloons...



–And showing off one’s pretty dresses...



–And now look: everything is again as it was before: everything fixed so
that you’d see no difference...



–Just like it all was that very same day...



–Copied, traced, stenciled... The same outlook, same lookout, same
geometry, same cement...



–So flat and wide...



–And lonely...



–As if there had never been any explosion...



–Just a duplicate of that same day...



–Three or four other children were playing there also...



–We were looking down at everything from the empty class atop one of
the last stories...



–All that smoke, all that sudden rubble: weird; and such an awful noise
of frantic vehicles...



–We hurried to get back into our dresses...



–Yours the pink one, mine the pretty violet, his the blue: a cute little
sailor, that’s him.



–You are so right, and just like today! Dressed exactly! Isn’t that
chancy, almost fateful?



–And talk about chancy: when yesterday, or the day before, or when was
it, when you phoned me...



–I didn’t phone you. You phoned me...



–And me... Or, wait, perhaps it was you, Rose... Didn’t...? Now I don’t
remember.



–Me neither.



–How puzzled you appear...



–It doesn’t really matter.



–All those days I was craving so much to come back and see those
localities, and nanny!



–Same here; sort of an urge, an urgency.



–As if summoned to the premises, by the spirit of the place, as it were.
As if in order to celebrate some ephemeredes, an anniversary...




–Couldn’t rightly be... Let me reckon now...



–It was forty-eight years ago, yeah, more or less, depends on the
month...



–It isn’t quite a round cipher, no; no rationale for solemn
commemoration... Unless...



–The big occurrence, of course. I’ve been thinking so often about it!




–Same here.



–Brother, it was such a traumatic affair.



–You bet.



–What erupted, what blew up so suddenly...



–Pentane.



–Methane.



–Some sort of underground gas that gathered under the thick layers of
cement after they had refurbished the university grounds, some sort of
subterranean hole that got hermetically trapped by the works; the
pressure building up with the heat, the telluric squeeze, and suddenly
the huge burst...



–And so much packed cement becoming just dust and ashes...




–And the bodies just wisps of essential powder...



–We were looking down at everything from the empty class atop one of
the last stories...



–All that smoke, all that sudden rubble: weird; and such an awful noise
of frantic vehicles...



–A few students died then...



–Also three or four children that were playing there.



–And now look: everything is again as it was before: everything fixed so
that you’d see no difference...



–Just like it all was that very same day...



–Copied, traced, stenciled... The same outlook, same lookout, same
geometry, same cement...



–So flat and wide...



–And lonely...



–As if there had never been any explosion...



–Just a duplicate of that same day...



–We were looking down at everything from the empty class atop one of
the last stories...



–All that smoke, all that sudden rubble: weird; and such an awful noise
of frantic vehicles...



–We hurried to get back into our dresses...



–Yours the pink one, mine the pretty violet, his the blue: a cute little
sailor, that’s him.



–You are so right, and just like today! Dressed exactly! Isn’t that
chancy, almost fateful?



–We were playing at doctors and nurses, that’s why we had to put our
dresses back...



–Weren’t we naughty, then, sassy monkeys...



–Yours the pink one, mine the pretty violet, his the blue: a cute little
sailor, that’s him.



–You are so right, and just like today! Dressed exactly! Isn’t that
chancy, almost fateful?



–And talk about chancy: when yesterday, or the day before, or when was
it, when you phoned me...



–I didn’t phone you. You phoned me...



–And me... Or, wait, perhaps it was you, Rose... Didn’t...? Now I don’t
remember.



–Me neither.



–What a furious racket, all those vehicles...



–We secretly ran away through one of the side doors, at the other
extreme from where all the commotion was going on...



–Headed furtively straight into nanny’s place...



–Yeah, now I do perfectly recognize the layout... –said Indalecian, and
put the little paper back into his pocket.



–Weren’t we the naughty rascals then!



–Alone for the rest of the long day, the orgies!



–We played again at nurses and doctors.



–That time atop the bed.



–And we ate all the sweets and goodies nanny had hidden in her
kitchen’s drawers.



–Brother, such orgies.



–The hours were passing. Came the night.



–We had never stayed so long. Never had seen of us, the night, in
nanny’s little house.



–Our parents had always come to fetch us; never so dark as that day.




–The crone, they called her a crone already.



–She was a widow.



–She must be so old now...



–Almost fifty years ago, she was already the crone, or the granny,
imagine...



–And she was already a widow...



–She must be... What...? Ninety if a day, probably more...



–Do you remember how we got out...?



–Not quite. One thing I remember: how we floundered, the air so
scarce...



–She must have let us loose during the night...



–We heard nanny coming back, and we rushed toward the little closet...




–How funny we found the occasion, didn’t we?



–Me, I couldn’t hold my laughter.



–Same here.



–Indalecian urging “sh..., sh...”, but also laughing like crazy...




–Of course. It was too comical.



–Then the nanny locked the door.



–We heard the key revolving.



–Becoming too much of a joke, then.



–Now it was her turn to laugh, at us.



–I confess that in the absolute dark I was beginning to be scared.




–And then the air seemed to grow scarce...



–We were fighting to breathe...



–We were scratching at the door...



–She must have let us loose during the night...



–Perhaps we fell in a faint...



Now a few years had elapsed. How many...? A lot of years, yes. Maybe as
many as fifty all told. She must be ninety if a day, probably older. But
she remembered it all, as if it had happened yesterday. The day of the
explosion, she’s remembered it every single day. Such a wreckage! Who
could forget it.



The widow babysat the children. The parents already calling her the
granny. And that happening almost fifty years ago already.



She never beat the children, she wouldn’t, ever – at most she would
punish them by pushing them into the dark closet, for a corrective spell
– the contrite crying cleaning the sin – and only if the sin warranted the
insulation.



That doomed afternoon she again had brought the children to play to
the grounds of the university. The fine grounds, just recently renewed.
Cemented all over. With new very neat perspectives. Precise geometry:
such a vast expanse, such a stimulating design. The little brats how
eagerly they enjoyed themselves there – all those well-planned lumps of
concrete so enticing to climb...



The nanny sat on a bench of stone. There were other people on the
bench or thereabouts: some young mums, some other nannies
approximately of her age...



The deafening eruption happened then. Such a panic. It was as if the
end of the world had come. A few students were blown up by the
explosion – and three or four children that were playing at the site.




Firemen were present in an instant, pullulating, also the ambulances,
the police, such a hullabaloo, the uproar, the fuss, cameras,
journalists... And then the parents.



There had been a number... nobody knew how many students dead,
demolished – and there were children unaccounted for. Hers, hers were
also missing: Violet, Rose, Indalecian. An underground repository had
burst – gases trapped – and now where were the bodies...? Obliterated,
vanished, erased... Not an atom left to rescue.



Those were the same renovated grounds of the university the three
visitors were walking on now, on their ineluctable way toward the
nanny’s little house.



–It’s mighty remarkable: we wearing exactly the same clothing as that
day.



–Remarkable indeed. And what chance that Indalecian’s choice also...?




–And talk about chance: when yesterday, or the day before, or when was
it, when you phoned me...



–I didn’t phone you. You phoned me...



–And me... Or, wait, perhaps it was you, Rose... Didn’t...? Now I don’t
remember.



–Me neither.



And now here they come, again. The three of them, in a pack, in a pact,
as if in cahoots, just as it happened in the day of the great conflagration
that seemed to want to take everything with it. The crone’s seen them
through the window. Violet in her pink dress, Rose in her pink one,
Indalecian dressed as a decorous little mariner, in blue. Two women, a
man, come to visit their old nanny. She’s left the door ajar, so that a
simple little shove would open it and they could enter.



That rotten day, when the crone had returned home, undone, beat, sure
that she had lost her young wards, and after she had had to endure the
hysterics of the mothers, the chaotic ire of the fathers, after having had
to go up and own, through the hospitals, though the police and firemen
stations... Now that she was coming back literally in tatters, physically a
wreck, emptied emotionally, psychically shattered...



She heard little gratings in the dark closet. She got scared... Maybe
some a critter had gotten in...?



She was heading into the kitchen, to fetch the broom. Along the corridor
she was thinking about the three poor little dear departed... Such good
children! She had never smacked them – at most she had shut them in
that very same dark closet, just for a little spell, if the ugly action so
warranted, poor little dears, let the little pain redress them.



How could anybody imagine, what head could even ever fathom, that,
instead, the rascals had escaped unscathed – and from such an
apocalyptic upheaval! – and then slithered stealthily back home...




–We had had then lots and lots of fun...



–We ate all the hidden goodies and sweets...



–We had played nurses and doctors atop the bed...



–We heard nanny coming back, and we rushed toward the little closet...




–How funny we found the occasion, didn’t we?



–Me, I couldn’t hold my laughter.



–Same here.



–Indalecian urging “sh..., sh...”, but also laughing like crazy...




–Of course. It was too comical.



All those tinny laughs, those gratings and whispers and mumbles... Now
the crone realized... She was either hallucinating and seeing visions, or
hearing them (the equivalent, through the deluded ear, that the deluded
eye sees,) or she was losing her mind, or declining fast... Or the matter
to deal now with was with angels, and souls, and little devils...




Or just wait! That was the biggest mischief they had ever perpetrated,
wasn’t it. After so much pain, that wasn’t even forgivable...! And they all
the time hidden inside the dark closet. If that was not worth a harsh
sentence, damned evil brats! She locked them there.



–And then we felt as if the air became scarce, little by little we were
stifling...



–Couldn’t draw a breath...



–We would scratch at the door...



–She must have let us loose during the night...



–We must have lost conscience...



She’s locked them in the airtight little closet – she’s even put some
putty in the lock’s hole. She said: “Damned scoundrels, you’ll rot there
yet!”



Driven, she locks them in. She’s unable to open the door and let them
out. She has a few moments of weakness, when she hears them faintly
whimper still, when maybe she’s about to be tempted into relenting,
almost stirred to get up and open the closet, but then the hatred irrupts;
the resentment, the cruelty are too strongly wound around her will; the
malice, the thirst for revenge; the spiteful need too imperative to see the
work through. To see the work through, once and for all.
Enough, she must see it through, she must be firm, ruthless; she’s
driven by her tightly-coiled demon to not open; not open despite the
fierce knocks on the door, and then the screams, and then the
scratchings, more and more feeble, until there’s silence – they must
have fainted – or maybe, as they are so tricky, maybe they are just
faking it, they are liable to..., I see them, too keen to pay themselves my
goat again. She said: “You won’t get my goat again!”



She had never raised her hand at them – she had just at most pushed
them into the little dark closet, and then shut them in, and then drop
the key into her gown’s pocket. And only if the naughtiness had
warranted the act – let a little fear correct them. And now she was
locking them in forever.



They died when the air had been spent. Never she opened again that
door, never. Sometimes she wondered: “Who knows their aspect
now...?”



Now she herself knows: two women, one man, almost geezers
themselves already, in their fifties or sixties, and yet looking for all the
world as they used to look the night they died: Rose in violet, Violet in
pink, Indalecian in blue, as a demure little mariner. Here they were,
come to fetch her, to escort her to their world of the dead – their dead
world where the only memory they had was the one of the day they died.
Same as she will now remember, dead, the day the visitors came, the
three little old scoundrels that she murdered without regret – without a
wisp of sorrow, never again: never then, never now, no remorse. They
remembering the occurrence around the explosion and the stifling in
the dark closet, she their visit...



–Granny, how old you’ve grown!



–How are you doing?



–All those years that we never saw each other...!



–From the day of the accident...



–We were just talking about it...



–Of course, such a memorable day!



–We had had so much fun...



–We were enjoying the memories, aren’t we unconscionable...!




–Recalling the impudence we had when we hid in the dark closet...




–After the jolly time we had had playing alone...



–And eating all the hidden sweets and goodies...



–Naughty, weren’t we? We had been playing at doctors and nurses atop
the bed...



–As we heard that your were coming back we hid inside the closet...




–How funny we found the occasion, didn’t we?



–Me, I couldn’t hold my laughter.



–Same here.



–Indalecian urging “sh..., sh...”, but also laughing like crazy...




–Of course. It was too comical.



–Then we heard the key – you had locked us in.



–Soon we were really scared.



–At the beginning we thought it might all be in good fun.



–That you were also in in the merriment...



–Slowly, though, the air grew scarce...



–We were stifling...



–We started scratching at the door...



–We wanted out. It was too...



–One would have died...



The crone was watching them with growing disgust – the more they
talked and repeated themselves the more hideous they became. She
wanted also out. But she couldn’t free herself – they were tacky,
loathful, and gluing into her, like clammy skins of rot. She was assieged
by three garrulous carrions, three half-mummified gooey bastards that
couldn’t quit babbling – they kept on chatting, tirelessly chattering
about old times, when the incandescence blinded them.



–As we heard that your were coming back we hid inside the closet...




–How funny we found the occasion, didn’t we?



–Me, I couldn’t hold my laughter.



–Same here.



–Indalecian urging “sh..., sh...”, but also laughing like crazy...




–Of course. It was too comical.



–And then you locked us in.



The crone lifts the key from the pocket in her gown. She sticks it into
the lock’s hole. With it she removes the dried putty, now varnished with
rust. The key grates inside the hole. Now she manages to turn it. She
opens the door of the closet.



The crone says: “And there you are still.”



Half-mummified, tacky, viscous, melting – three chatty carrions that
for ever more will talk to her about old times, when the incandescence
blinded them. The carrions wrapped in a few dirty tatters – their
dresses now discolored, their dresses from the old times when the
incandescence burned them, a few dirty tatters turned whitish,
yellowish, discolored, violet, pink, blue, the same old dresses indeed,
after almost fifty years hidden in a dark little closet, hermetically
shut.









we are the continuators... emptying the boxes, and more

visits since July 2008