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Autumn - A Story

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AUTUMN As summer trailed past and left a fraction of its sun and warmth behind to light the pale autumn sky, the leaves began their annual ritual and slowly started to change. Their healthy green hue gave way to a more vibrant yellow which in turn faded gently to the deep oranges and rusty reds which littered the streets as Marcovaldo took his first steps towards work after his holiday break. He walked slowly, listening to the gentle crunch of the dry leaves beneath his boots and whistling a tuneless melody to himself. He looked up at the pale sky that had just come out to light the early morning sky and watched it, twinkling idly at him from above. The thought of returning to the shipping department of Sbav and Co. to all those innumerable boxes to ship off to all those innumerable destinations invaded Marcovaldo's mind and he walked even slower. As he finally reached his workplace, he was greeted by one of his colleagues, Felice Pietrasanta with a polite and slightly hasty "hello there, good holiday?" Marcovaldo smiled and nodded in reply, he had no time for small talk. He set to work at his small desk, loading more and more items into the monotonous brown cardboard containers as he had done for so many years. ...read more.


He looked out from his bedroom window to the misty greyness of the beginning of an autumn day. He got up; a sudden wave of excitement overwhelmed him, as abrupt as the flooding memories from the day before. The ring! Marcovaldo got dressed in a flash, tripping over his own feet and loosely tied shoelaces in a hurry to get out the front door. Heading towards town and the jewellers, he spotted Michelino and Filippetto playing with a shining new slingshot in the middle of the wet street. "You have fun with that my boys, careful not to hit any cars!" he called out in their direction, before turning and heading towards the village. The boys stared in utter amazement, their eyes wide with distinguished disbelief. Their father, encouraging them to have fun with the slingshot of all things! Usually all that came out of his mouth were reprimands for the use of the thing as it was regarded as dangerous a nuisance. Something was up. They followed their striding father halfway into the village, bombarding him with questions. Finally Marcovaldo grew impatient and sent them home to their mother. He reached the village jewellers. He stopped outside, allowing himself a look at the display full of perfectly arranged lustrous pieces of ornate metal. He was about to become rich. He pushed open the heavy glass door of the jewellers with the sign "Magalli e Co." ...read more.


"That will come to five thousand lire then." Marcovaldo gaped. His ring, his pathway to power and wealth, had turned out to be fake and this man, this jeweller expected him to pay for the disappointment! He reluctantly got out his ever-thinning wallet and paid the amount due. The walk home was a long one. The sky had only gotten greyer since the day had begun and Marcovaldo's sodden footsteps echoed in the deserted street like evanescent bells. As he turned into his own road, the figures of Michelino and Filippetto, still playing with the slingshot could be seen like misty shadows in the walls of Marcovaldo's mind. He approached them and said with all the bitterness and acidity the day had presented him "stop playing and go home to mamma, the street is no place for children!" The children, relieved to see their papa back to normal replied: "yes father, but before we go, look at our new slingshot, it's real metal! We swapped it for a gold ring we found beside the river. Luca Tognazzi's dad says the ring is worth millions 'cause it's real gold. He's an expert you know!". And with those words the two excited children left with their brand new toy in hand. Marcovaldo, mouth open, eyes twitching, looked up at the sky. It had stopped raining and a big, bright, perfectly round, glistening sky was winking at him from the heavens. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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