Heart Of Hollywood Magazine is proud to present something very unique, a new and truly moving novel that will be published in sequential installments. Find the second part of this extraordinary story in our next issue.
A novel by Delia Noble
Editor Richard Alton Stermer
I will let my heart speak and tell my story. I was born to be a survivor, strong and fearless. I did not have a chance to show vulnerability; in my mind I was this ferocious creature.
We were a pack of wild dogs, six of us, and I was the oldest. My mom worked all day and it was hard to see her go to work. I did everything that she commanded. She was my General, a strong woman with a very serious look on her face. I do not remember ever seeing her smile. I would sometimes hear her cry at night, but I was not able to go and hold her, I wish I could have done that. I just knew that she was going through so much pain and I did not want her to know that I saw her crying. I thought she might feel vulnerable or, worse, that I might be discovered by this fearsome giant and it would turn its gaze upon me.
Some memories are too dark to tell, but some moments are very happy and unforgettable.
Things were just beginning to unfold and decisions were being made that could have greatly impacted my life to this day.
People tell me that I was my father’s mirror, the same eyes, the same skin color. Even my personality was quite similar to his. I hated to be compared with him and that my mom saw him on my face.
I do remember some good things about my father. I believe he was twenty when I was born. He had a very charming personality. I remember his laugh and the dances he would do all by himself. He would carry me on his shoulders and take me swimming. One day, he bought two pairs of boxing gloves, one for me and one for my brother Joaquin. I have to confess, I was ready to punch.
I never thought those boxing gloves would symbolize so much…
When my dad went on his journey for good, I felt that I took his place. I was hopeful that he would return, but I knew that would not be good either, for several reasons.
I remember my aunt teaching me how to make flowers out of ribbon. It was fun to make those petals and see so many vibrant colors in my hands. I made many flowers that day and my aunt took the flowers to make wreaths for the dead.
My first official job was making flowers. I learned the magic of my hands and that every petal had to be made a certain way to give life to a beautiful rose. For a while, my brothers and sisters and I could not afford to go to school, and we all became flower makers. Some time passed and we were no longer able to stay with my aunt.
We said goodbye to my aunts and moved to another city. The city of the unknown. My mother was carrying her last child, my brother David, who would complete the pack. My mother, The General, would then have six mouths to feed. Things were getting harder.
As we walked to take the taxi back home, I saw people's faces and their eyes. I noticed the movement of their legs and arms, if they were carrying a bag, or simply the sweat on their brows.This was a whole new world. Suddenly, the smells and sounds made more sense. Inside the taxi, I noticed big marks of grease on the seat, tears in the fabric, and the dirty carpet.
After arriving home I looked for a mirror, because at the doctor’s office I had not really had the chance to see my face. Everything was clear. I saw myself, but not really, because I had two round circles in front of my face. I disliked my new glasses and did not feel like I wanted to wear them. But, all of this would not happen until two years later.
Before the deserted lands, it was el sur or “the south” (but, I’ll tell you about that later). One thing that my brothers and sisters and I will always remember about the deserted lands was the cave.
The General was trying to run away from her unfortunate life and her oppressor and made a drastic decision. I don’t know when or how she found this place, but suddenly, everything was dark and solitary. The floor was filled with dirt, growing spiky plants, and some big rocks, the size of my body, to make a perfect bed. All surrounded by something that looked like what might have been walls at some point.
There were no windows or doors, and from the look in my mother's eyes, I knew we were going to spend the night there. My mother told me to stay and to watch my brothers and sisters. She said that she would come back later.
My brother Joaquin started to explore the place, looking at every corner, and he was so happy when he found a jar of marbles. We all got happy, and excited. It was amazing to think that in the middle of nowhere there would be such a treasure. We started playing on the dirt floor, winning and losing marbles. I took some time to explore the cave and look around outside. The way that I saw the cave then and the way I see my world now has not changed. The colors merge into one another. People look like they are wearing powder makeup until I strain my eyes and take a closer look. I think perhaps that I learned to compensate for my poor vision by developing my sense of smell and my ability to hear and to listen.
One of the things I noticed was the lack of sound. Previously we had always lived in the city with it’s constant abundance of life. Its sights, smells and sounds.
But now all I could hear was the laughter of the children playing inside and the creaking of the dilapidated structure in the wind.
Suddenly the shining sun was going away and the night was coming. It started to get cold and dark. The hours passed and we were hungry. I began to wonder if my mother was going to come back at all.
But I said nothing about this to my brothers and sisters. When darkness finally came, our shadows blended with the night. We took some of the pieces of wood that we found in the cave, and used them to cover the entrance and the spaces that at some point were probably intended to be windows. Joaquin quietly chose a rock to fall asleep on, and I went to one of the corners to huddle with my younger brothers and sisters. They asked me when our mother was going to come back and I answered that she was going to be back soon. This went on for a couple of hours until everyone became silent and there were no more questions.
I felt their little hands holding me, I remember their little fingers strongly grabbing my arms. Suddenly, I heard noises at the entrance and I saw the shape of a big body moving the pieces of wood aside and entering the cave...
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