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Iole B. Sabbadini
Tales of the Sea
A TRUE STORY

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“... It was a battle day like so many others. Only the soldiers coming in were different. Any contingent passing by would pitch camp in their garden: the Moroccans who “fortunately had been no particular trouble” as Julia had later heard her father say with that peculiar accent on the word “particular”. Then the Germans who would “give their bulldogs whole meat tins while the people were starving to death”. This too she had heard at home. Now it was the turn of the Americans who were nice because they had thrown so many packets of coloured candies and Life Savers to the children while they were driving through in their tanks and then, those who had stopped at their place had swapped chocolate bars for the scallions growing in the kitchen garden again and again. ...”


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“…“Elvira!” - Her husband had literally thrust her out the front door. He well knew his wife’s polemic nature, which made her forget everything else – Very well, you are right. Anyway it must be a coincidence, not everybody is like that! That one must have friends in high places. You know, that’s the way of the world”. “Indeed, Albert! – Maria Elvira had shouted again from the staircase. – Yet the way of the world must change sooner or later”. Then, running across the courtyard, she had shouted:”Remember, give the children something to eat before taking them to school and don’t forget there is the meat from last night broth ready for lunch”. …”


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“… Carla had bought one kilo of apples and one of pears, fruit in season at a reasonable price. Then she had gone to the vegetables stall to buy the spinachs. After she had paid she remembered the following day was a holiday and asked the greengrocer for a kilo of potatoes. “One thousand and two, Missus!” “One thousand and two? But I’ve already paid for the spinachs!” “No, one thousand and two is for the potatoes, - the man answered. – And I gave you a full kilo, you know!” Incredulously, Carla stared at the price tag. The handwriting was rough but it did say 1200 liras a kilo. Puzzled, she didn’t add a word, paid and set off for home. …”


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“… That night she fell asleep at the dull noise of the waves breaking on the reef, which Julia liked so much, it reminded her of the long, hot summer months of her happy youth spent in a small town so much like this village down South, where she had arrived two days before, late in the afternoon. The sea was beginning to surge, it looked like a sheet of crumpled silver paper. White clouds were wandering in the sky…
They were still stifling sirocco days. How many years had gone by since that ‘day-dream’, written on those yellow sheets of paper, just found: to Julia they meant her whole life. The stormy sea, deafening as usual with its roar, and the balcony jutting onto the sea, were far away by now. But solitude still rested on her soul and her longing for love choked her now as then. That kind of love you long to give but are so jealous of, at the same time. That true feeling, so deep, which often ends up at the bottom of your soul, leaving you empty-handed. …”


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“... The scent of flowers, intense, swelled in the air. The fields were green and well-kept. The sunny road wound, silent and empty, across the wide countryside among bends and short straight stretches, uphill and downhill. Far away buzzards and hawks were wheeling in the sky; nearer, flocks of pigeons crossed one another endlessly changing direction. Along the edges of the road, over the low wild bushes, white or yellow butterflies. A light wind soothed the heath of that late mid-June morning. Julia was pedalling fast, running after her thoughts that more and more often went back to her past. Looking at a bird flying very low she thought: 'Old people are said to speak of their past only because they have nearly no future. ...' ... she felt as if her fifty years were like an impracticable journey...”


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“The sea gently lapped against her feet that were leaving soft prints on the wet sand. Chiara gazed once more at the white stick shaped like a dog's snout, let it slip from her fingers almost caressing it. Then slowly beginning to run again she threw it into the water. 'Shall I ever forget? Almost thirty years have gone by but...' .
An empty space was still there at the bottom of her heart, a place for a love she hadn't been able to live. She hadn't been able to give.”

Iole B. Sabbadini
Tales of the Sea
A TRUE STORY
96 pages
Format: 17x24 cm
Genre: finction
Illustrations: 28 watercolours by Delio Meinardi

Language: Italian


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