But here is the first chapter of my story and I hope you like it.
I introduced the story here. Please tell me what you think and see the bottom of this post for a description of some of the words I used. :)
How in the world did I get here?
I felt like banging my head against a wall. I felt like tearing some ones eyes out!
However, I could not seeing I was hanging upside down in the smelly lower cabin of "The Aisling" the most rotten and horrid vessel ever.
Did I mention that I was swinging upside down? My hands and feet were bound tightly. My head was almost skimming the wood boards if the fowl bottom of the cabin. There was no light. Well, if you call tiny streams of grayish sunlight peeking here and there through the side of the ship "light".
I hadn't eaten for a whole day. And before I had been stuffed into this blasted hole I had only had a hotdog that had almost smelled worse than the cabin I was now in. My stomach growled loudly at the thought of my Nonna's spaghetti.
It was the most delicious thing in the world!
I always wasn't in this sorry state. I used to have spaghetti every day if I wanted it.
My troubles started on the fateful day in mid-January.
School had been a drag! I was home-schooled. Cousin Sofia taught me and I guess I learned something.
We - my sister, Rosa, and Cousin Sofia, and Nonna Attanasio (my papa's mama)- had moved all the way from Italy when I was six.
And of course me. I, Briella Attanasio. I was the youngest child of my parent's family of two girls - I and Rosa - and our six older brothers. They had gotten murdered (married that is) and still lived in Italy with their children and wives. My oldest brother, Dante Attanasio, however, came with us as well. He never got married.
But I was not the stupidest bit surprised. He was so completely ... completely ... ennuyeux. I didn't care a snip for Dante. Who could? He was all scowls. Why in the world did I have to look so much like him? I had dark black hair and black eyes - just like my drip of a brother Dante. Only my hair was completely flyaway all the time.
My mama and papa had died from an epidemic outbreak in our little village in Italy. Our whole family had ran a little restaurant. The food was "eccellente”! The spaghetti was a "singno". And the only one who knew how to make the spaghetti was Nonna Attanasio.
The youngest brother in our family, Roberto, had taken over the restaurant when we left. He was the best brother in the wide world! So different from Dante that it was like they were not related. And I really did not think that they were. Roberto and I mailed letters all the time to each other. I liked sending letters better than emailing any day. Besides the internet connection in my home village I had left behind eight years ago was horrible.
Rosa had gotten a job as a costume designer for a small theater. I guess she liked it because she seemed to say there a long while each day. Nonna Attanasio had opened "Casa di Attanasio" (a traditional Italian restaurant just like the one we had left behind in Italy) and she and Cousin Sofia and I ran it together. Dante had gotten a job doing something I really did not know what he did. But he would come home (to the two story building in which Casa di Attanasio was on the first floor, with the kitchen and our bedrooms where in the second story) and drool over papers, and pens, and notebooks, and make phone calls. It tearns out I finally figured out that he was lawyer. Absolutely ridicules.
"Briella!" called a voice from the doorway of my room.
I glared over my shoulder at my Cousin Sofia. She had her glossy black hair pulled back in a net and she was covered in flower.
"You are done with your work, no?" she asked.
"No!" I snapped, annoyed.
"You are now," she said, suddenly, "Come. Dante will soon be here and the restaurant is almost closed. You help us," she commanded, stalking over to my desk.
"Who cares for Dante?!" I half shouted at her.
I hated to work in the kitchen after meal hours. I much rather preferred to work when the restaurant was full of strangers who knew nothing of me and I nothing of them. It was a wonderful! So exciting not to know one thing about all of them sitting about, their lives a mystery to me. I hated my lessons, too. And I hated Dante!
(I did not exactly but I was mad and when I am mad I just cannot help it, and I say things I never would.)
"I care for Dante , as you should!" Cousin Sofia, half yelled back at me, and raking up all the school papers and books, and hugging them to her flower-covered clothes she dumped them on my bed, shouting behind her, as she stomped toward the door, "Come!"
"I will when I want to!" I wanted to yell, but I only hissed it at her as I pushed and shoved my way past her.
I stomped down the stairs Sofia right after me. At the bottom Nonna Attanasio was waiting for me.
"You done with your school, no?" she asked me, pounding the dough for some sort off recipe she was creating, her black-as-night eyes eyeing me intently.
The whole kitchen was full of smells. Ravioli, pasta, bread dough, pastries in the oven, and dozens if others. I cooled my temper a little but I was still mad. I took a deep breath and slumped down onto the bottom step in frustration.
"She never is done," Sofia snorted crossly pushing past me and walking toward the table where Nonna was.
I was about to stick my tung out at her but at that moment Chad Haddock (the teenager Nonna had hired to help with the waiting on tables and such) stalked into our establishment of angry people.
"Done, Mrs. Attanasio," he declared in his incredible Jersey accent, tearing off his apron and flinging it on one if the hooks of the coat rack, "I was done no time when that last person was out."
"Grazie, Chad," Nonna replied, pounding her lump of dough even harder.
Chad nodded, his dark blonde hair bouncing. He looked over at me and grinned and winked.
I stuck my tung out at him.
He was crazy. And funny. He was about my age. Alright, two years older than me and I was fourteen. He was just the clean-up boy around the restaurant. He lived with his aunt not far away from our two story building. And I guess he was alright I guess. He was a nice guy and all, and he always knew when I was in bad mood.
Which was most of the time.
But most of all he reminded me of Roberto. Except his hair of course, and he always knew when to joke and when to not. Just like Roberto.
"Addio, Briella!" Chad laughed over his shoulder. And I smiled at him.
"He is probably goin' to ride off on his bike, again!" gripped Sofia, who had a really rotten opinion of bikes.
Personally I loved them. The only reason I did not own one was because Sofia had positively started to scream, and yell, and holler Italian when I declared I wanted one to Nonna. But I did have a scouter. An electric one. And boy did I have fun on it!
I would go tearing through the crowded back streets of Jersey City, NJ. And how I would scare some people. But I liked it. I loved it! I felt free and like there would be no more school ever. I got goosebumps just thinking about it.
But I had not been on my scouter that dreadful day.
And I was hungry to boot! Correction - I was wasting away altogether. I was skinny and straight as the coatrack that stood in the corner of the kitchen. And I had not eaten my ravioli at lunch. How I wanted Nonna's spaghetti.
As I thought about ravioli and spaghetti I reached across the table for one of the pastries that Sofia had just pulled from the oven.
"Do not touch that!" she cried, turning around and hitting my hand with a spoon.
"Impossibile!" I half muttered, sliding from a stool I had gotten up on to reach the pastry.
"Sofia," Nonna broke in, "Let the child have something. She no eat all day almost."
"They are for tomorrow," Sofia roared, motioning dramatically toward the tray of wonderful - sweet - irresistible pastries.
There was a loud knock on the back door.
"Is that Joey already," Sofia gasped, almost dropping my lovely second tray of pastries. I began to see nothing but pastries!
I rubbed my eyes with my knuckles. The pastries vanished.
Sofia started to yank off her apron and she strew flower everywhere.
Joey was the guy she was dating. I wish I could say she was courting him. It sounded so much better than dating. And I hated him, too. I really mean it when I say I hated Joey. He was smooth as a snake and ugly as a blowfish! Only she thought he was the most wonderful person in the whole of Jersey City.
“Ugh...,” I thought turning around toward my former seat on the stairs.
Sofia had managed to get all the flower off of her and she was opening the door in one momento. Joey came in with his horrible face. I wanted to slap the goatee-looking thing of his smug chin, but of course didn't.
"You ready to go," he asked, not even looking at me or Nonna.
"Si!" Sofia answered, "Addio!" she called over her shoulder as she rushed out the door pulling on her coat as she stepped out.
I jumped up from my stairs and ran over to the window. Joey was just closing the door of his hotrod as I peeped out. I wanted to throw up all together. Only I didn't have anything in my stomach to puke out.
Nonna was done beating her dough to bits and she slowly got down from her stool.
"Nonna, " I started, "What are we goin' to eat?"
"I am no hungry," she said simply, whipping her hand across he forehead as she spoke, and talking up her cain-looking thing she had prompt up against the counter, she waddled off toward the living room.
"But ...!" I began.
There was only one thing to do. So as Nonna slumped into a chair and closed her eyes, I half tiptoed back to the kitchen. Sofia had luckily left her phone on the counter by the pastries. Need I tell you how hard it was to resist snatching one? But I was a good girl and only snatched up the phone.
I dialed the number for the closest pizza place. It was run by a Italian that was our cousin. I didn't not even know his name and did not care. I just wanted food of some kind!
Finally I got off the phone after repeating our address and what I wanted several times to a blasted teenager who sounded like he had not had one day of schooling. Most teenagers did, but that one was the stupidest yet.
I stalked back into the living room and fell onto a couch. Nonna was snoring loudly in her chair and I was about to loose it. I glanced at the clock. It was about five. That meant Dante would be home in an hour and a half. I wold be able to eat all the pizza myself and he would have to scavenge around for something. I half laughed at this idea for I loved torturing my dreadful brother.
I half jumped out of my skin when the doorbell rang. Nonna only snorted. I ran to the door and paid the pizza guy, and sat back down in the living room and ate that whole pizza. Too fast because I felt lime I was busting when I was done. But at least I was not hungry anymore.
I glanced at the clock. It now read about six-thirty. And sure enough I heard the front door in the dark restaurant space open and someone turn on a light. I leaned over to grab the empty pizza box in a panic and I ended up stuffing it behind one of the couch pillows and laying on it. I grinned at Dante as he stuck his head in at the open door.
Now let me tell you. I secretly did not hate Dante. Yeah, sure I fought about everything with him. But me and him where the most like in our whole famiglia. He was so stubborn about everything. And he usually got his way. And I usually got mine. But when we went up against each other it was impossibile. I had never won a battle against him. But I was going to. And I secretly admired him. He was really handsome I guess you could say. Even though he was almost thirty.
"Where is Sofia?" was his charming question, as he trapped in with a briefcase.
"How are you, too!" I snorted angrily, laying farther back on the pillows and the blasted corner of the pizza box pierced right into my back. My eyes got big in pain but I did not make a sound.
Dante stared at me for a moment his dark eyebrows high arches above his black eyes. Then he turned toward Nonna and shook her slightly. She jolted awake and muttered something in Italian.
"I better get back to bed, no?" she said, sleepily getting up, "Good night, Briella," she smiled at me over her shoulder as she hobbled away.
"Good night, Nonna," I smiled at her, then I caught Dante's eye and scowled.
He only shrugged and placed his briefcase down on the coffee table and stalked out the door to the kitchen. I smiled inwardly though my eyes were watering because the pizza box was still sticking into my back. When he found nothing he came back to the door and asked, grimly, "Where is the phone?"
"Use your own," I laughed, snatching up a book on the table, and I started to read.
I secretly betted with myself that he was going to call the pizza place. And, yes, he was on the phone right now. Soon after he slammed the phone down on the kitchen counter and stomped back into the living room.
Soon after the door bell rang. He jumped up to answer it. I jumped up right after him and peered behind him. The same person as before had delivered Dante's pizza. And boy it was rich!
The guy was staring at Dante all the time and I bet he was wondering why he had to deliver two pizza’s to the same building one after another. Dante turned after closing the door and looked, well, rather mystified.
"Well?" he asked, glaring at me.
I shrugged and stomped back to my couch.
The clock was just striking seven when Dante went up to his room. And I was left to wait for Rosa. I really had no idea when she going to actually come, but I always stayed up waiting for her and we would have a cup of coffee before bed. Once I had stayed up until two-forty in the morning when she came home. I hardly ever saw her, too. But when I did it was worth it. She was so funny. And she would stand up to Dante which impresses me very much. In fact she was the one how thought it would be better homeschool me rather than send me off to public school. And even thought Sofia was a drill sergeant, I was very grateful I did not have to go to a public school.
Mostly because Chad Haddock told me of all the horrors if it all. "The kids at school,"he said, "Most of them are bullies. And I'm just another kid who they joke around with." Boy was I surprised. Chad was fearsome when he was mad - I had seen it.
I loved Rosa. As much or even more as I loved Roberto. Her job took up a lot of her time and I would hear her pacing up in her room late at night - she was coming up with ideas for costumes, I thought. She would sometimes even leave for her work before anyone was awake.
I looked at the clock. I almost sighed. It was eight.
Another whole hour past!
Sofia came home and went tiptoeing up the stairs to her room. But Dante was staying up for her I knew and I wanted to see if he was talking to her. Sure enough they hissing at each other in the hallway and then they both muttered something in Italian and slammed their doors in each others faces.
I slumped back on my couch.
Three more hours past.
And let me tell you, I was worried.
Words I used:
Aisling ......... Irish for "dream"
ennuyeux .... "boring" in Italian
eccellente ... "excellent" in Italian
singno ......... "dream" in Italian
Casa di --- ... "home" of --- in Italian
grazie: .......... "thank you" in Italian
addio ............ "good-bye" in Italian
impossibile ... "impossible" in Italian
famiglia........... "family" in Italian
si ..................... "yes" in Italian
Thanks for reading!