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Zanto been gone for about 10 minutes, and he was wondering when he would be back. He saw him go in the big thing which he went into often that Zanto has only been in once or twice in his life.
The bird could sense that the boy was still in the house, yet he wondered why he hadn't come out yet.
Zanto heard a sound towards the front of the big thing, and recognized that the sound was made by one of the portals that brought you in and out of the big thing. Zanto just knew it was his boy, and didn't know what to do. His boy was leaving him! Zanto knew he wasn't allowed to ever come out of the back yard, although he thought about it now.
He could hear the boy walking on the hard ground outside the front of the house. Chirp! Chirp chirp chirp! Zanto chirped and chirped, but his boy didn't come back.
Pablo walked down the steps and onto the cold, hard dirt that was considered a road in his poor section of his poor village. He was softly weeping now, knowing that he would probably never see his parents again. He just couldn't comprehend the fact yet.
As he turned to walk down the road, he didn't think once about his pet bird. At any other time and wouldn't have even opened the front door without forgetting the bird, but this was not any other time.
He started thinking about how long of a journey it may be. It may take him years to find a land where he could have freedom. He knew the land where he wanted to go, but that didn't mean it was the land he was going to be able to go. He had learned about it in school. This wonderful land of freedom and wealth was called Amerika, if he remembered correctly.
He started walking down the road that ran through his small "neighborhood," if you could it that. He walked for about 5 minutes, not noticing of paying attention to anything around him. All of a sudden he stopped. "Zanto!" he though. He had completely forgotten his bird. He couldn't believe it. In all the years he had had Zanto, he had never just completely forgotten his best friend and pet.
Pablo turned around and started running back towards his house. This little 'problem' was going to make him sad, as he had his courage built up so high and he though he was gone from his home forever, and now he had to go back.
Zanto suddenly had a feeling that nothing was wrong and everything was going to be okay. He felt that his boy was coming back. Chirp chirp! He ejaculated excitedly.
When he heard the footsteps, he knew his boy was coming back, and coming back fast. The footsteps got closer and closer until they were in font of his house, which is where they stopped. He heard whistling and recognized it as the boy's call for Zanto to come to him.
As fast as he could, the small bird jumped from the porch and flew as fast as he could in the direction of the whistling. He could see the boy now, standing on the ground down below. Although Zanto had no idea what was happening or where he was going, all he worried about was getting to his boy.
As Pablo stood in front of his house whistling, starting to feel even sadder about leaving home, he saw Zanto flying toward him. His face lit up with a smile, which right now he didn't think he would ever do again.
Zanto flew up and landed on Pablo's shoulder so gently that the boy barely felt it. Chirp chirp. "Zanto," Pablo said, "I'm sorry I left you. I guess I was so wrapped up in this whole mess that I forgot about you..." Chirp, Zanto "said" as if he was accepting the apology.
"Well, I guess we better get out of here before I change my mind about leaving," Pablo said, but he knew he would never change his mind about leaving. He turned around with the bird still resting on his shoulder, and started walking down the street again.
Nerina Rodriguez woke up feeling pretty good, no headache or backache like she usually woke up to (which probably had something to do with the "bed" she slept on every night.)
After laying in bed awake for a few minutes, Nerina got up out of the bed, without noticing the note that lay there. She stepped around the coffee table which she usually stubbed her toe on in the morning when she had just awoken. Her husband was at work as he always was these days, so (as she though) it would be just her and Pablo in the house again today.
She walked into the kitchen of their small home and shouted, "Pablo! Where are you, honey?" No answer.
Maybe he's outside with his little bird or he's still asleep, she thought. She opened the raggedy back door and stepped out onto the screened in porch.
Nerina saw that her son's bed was made and knew that he had already been up. "Pablo?" she called. No answer...
Where is he? she wondered. Little did she know that she would never see her precious son again, or at least not for many, many years.
She walked back into the house a little worried. Maybe he's gone to the library to get a book... She thought, but she didn't really believe herself. She knew he wouldn't go out without her being awake or knowing that he was going, because it would have worried her.
She went back into the living/bed-room and that was when she saw the piece of paper on the floor by her bed.
Nerina walked over and picked up the paper and started reading it.
"No! N...n....noooo!!" she cried out. With tears streaming down her face, she sat down and sobbed, hugging the paper. She couldn't believe this was happening.
Nerina sat and cried for at least an hour before she even thought about telling Richard. When she finally did, she jumped up with the horrible note in her hands and ran out the door. She leaped down the steps and took a right onto the little wooden sidewalk.
She ran most of the two and a half miles to Lanson Oil, where Richard Rodriguez worked.
Once she got to the large warehouse where oil was processed and bottled, she burst into the small front office build where Richard worked as a secretary, which here meant he wrote down documents and ran errands and such.
Nerina had only been here four or five times in her life, so she wasn't exactly sure where he was stationed.
She walked up to the front desk and asked a short, chubby girl where Richard worked. The lady said, in a nice but and high and squeaky voice, that Richard worked down the hall to right, last door on the left.
Nerina started towards her husband's office, wondering how he was going to take to what was happening.
Richard Rodriguez had just gotten finished with his first cup of coffee and was about to go take a sort of inventory of the amount of oil the company was refining a day. He grabbed a clipboard, a pen, and a piece of special paper that was used for this part of the job.
As he was walking out of the door that led to his office, he heard a voice which he didn't usually hear at Lanson Oil. Now, this wasn't unusual, but the voice sounded very familiar to him. "Nerina," he mouthed silently.
Richard walked out of his small cubicle and into the main room, or lobby, of the office building.
"Honey," he asked, "what are you doing here?" Her eyes looked red like she had been crying and she had a very sad expression on her face.
"Look at this," Nerina said reluctantly. She handed him the sheet of paper. He held it up to his face and started reading.
When he was done he had tears in the corners of his eyes. "Why...?" was all he had to say. He walked through the main entrance and exit door, and walked to the pay-phone up the street.
Nerina was right behind him when Richard dropped a coin into the phone and dialed the number for the constable.
Pablo didn't have a clue have to get to the city of Frahn, but he knew that was where he needed to go. It was, as far as he knew, the biggest city in his country, and it was only fifteen to twenty miles from his hometown.
Now, this meant about three days of walking in his old battered shoes that were already falling apart, and he didn't have another pair. He knew he was going to have to, probably sooner than later, use some of the small funds he has to buy some new footwear.
Pablo took a right onto the Big Road, which he though was going to take him to Frahn. Zanto flew above him, flying away every now and then to check out the scenery, but always coming back within 10 minutes.
Pablo looked at the sad looking wooden sign with directions and distances written on it, trying to find out which way he needed to go to get to Frahn. He though it was to the west of his town, but he surely did not want to walk for days in the wrong direction, just to found out he had gone the wrong way.
The sign said Frahn was west, like he thought, and that it was twenty two miles from where he was. "Okay, Zanto. That means we have about a day or a little more of traveling ahead of us. That isn't too bad," Pablo told his bird.
Pablo started walking and Zanto started flying toward what we hopefully a new beginning for the young boy.
The constable answered the phone to a frantically talking man who sounded like he was around forty years old. "Hello, constable?" the man asked. "Yes, it's me," constable answered. "Good. I need your help. Today my son left a note at home that said he was leaving to go pursue a new land to live in. He does not like the way our country is run. Anyway, I don't want him to leave. He will probably die if he does. Now, he didn't say where he was going, but I think he may be headed to Frahn. It's the biggest city around and he'll probably want to go to a big city. From there I don't know what he plans to do, but I hope he wan't be able to do anything. Do you think you can go or get someone to go and find him?"
"Well... I suppose. I'll get someone to head to Frahn now and tell the authorities over there to be looking out also," constable answered.
"Thank you so much!" Richard told him. "You're welcome. Bye." "Bye," Richard said, looking a little less sad.
"They're going to try to get him back. He said he's going to get someone to let Frahn's authority know because I think that's where he's headed," Richard told his wife. She also started looking a little less sad.
"Okay. That's good. Now all we can do is hope," Nerina said.
"Yes, yes indeed," her husband said with hope in his voice.
This is the first chapter of my novel. For a summary go here. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.
It was close to sun rise on a warm, slightly cloudy morning in Asaea. Pablo - a twelve year old boy with medium height, he's skinny, he has light brown skin, black hair, and brown eyes - is sleeping is his corn-shuck cot on his back porch on this warm, summer morning, dreaming about the land he wants so bad to live in. He dreams of rich, green hills and deep blue skies. He forgets the small, poor village in which he has lived his whole life. As the sun comes up over the horizon, a bird chirps in Pablo's small back yard. It lifts off of the tree branch that it is standing on and flies to Pablo's back porch. It lands on a rail about 3 feet from his cot. It begins chirping madly, wondering why its owner won't get up. The small bird leaps up onto Pablo's cot. He walks over to Pablo's ear and chirps as loud a he can. The boy jerks quickly awake, wondering what had awoken him. He looked down and saw his small pet bird sitting on his cot. "Zanto!" Pablo exclaims. "Why'd you wake me up!? I was having an awesome dream!" Chirp chirp.
"Oh, Zanto. I hate living here. It's boring, I'm poor, and most of all, I can't worship my Lord Jesus freely," Pablo says sadly. Chirp... Pablo could have sworn he heard a bit of sadness in that chirp. "I'm hungry... I hope we have something to eat..." Pablo said. "You stay out hear, Zanto." Pablo opened the door that led from his house to his back porch. He walked into the little cottage and smelled bacon cooking. "Mom?" Pablo asked. "Hey, honey! How you feeling?" his mother asked him. "Pretty good mom. How about you?" "I feel pretty good, too." "Where'd you get the bacon from?" asked Pablo. "The Delgados across the street had some left over and gave it to us," his mom explained in a little bit of a disappointed voice. She knew Pablo wouldn't like this. "You took food from someone else?" Pablo asked. "Yes, baby. I'm sorry and I know you don't like it, but it's the only way we can eat. You're father doesn't get paid until next week and almost out of money," his mother told him sadly. "Ok..." Pablo groaned. He couldn't believe his mother had gotten food from someone else. Were they that poor?
Pablo didn't eat much that morning. He wasn't very hungry and he had trouble making himself eat someone else's food. After he was finished, he went to the living room (which was also his parents' bedroom) looking for his father. He expected him to be in his chair reading or listening to the radio. When he didn't find him, he confronted his mother.
"He's at work, sweetie," she explained. "It's Sunday! Why is he working?" Pablo asked. "He has to put in some extra hours this week," she told him. "Oh... ok," Pablo said. He didn't know why his father had to work on Sunday... They had always gotten by with him working only six days a week. He had a feeling that something bad was happening.
He walked to the back room of his house where the radio was kept. He still had that feeling that something bad was happening or was going to happen. He opened the door, and saw the radio lying on a desk in the corner of the room. The room smelled wet and musky, do to years of leaky roofs and dust. When he picked the small radio up, a piece of paper fell from beneath it. He picked up the paper and noticed it was a bill. It was their electric bill (Asaea had electricity, but not very much technology) for this month. They usually didn't pay much at all on their electric bill, for they didn't have the money to buy many electric things.
This month's electric bill said they owed over 700 jraons (about $20 American dollars.) He couldn't believe how much of a price they owed for electricity, of all things! No wonder his father had to work on Sundays. He would have to work about 40 hours a day for the next 3 months to pay off this bill. They were in horribly deep debt.
This was enough for Pablo. He didn't have the freedom he wanted, he was already poor, and now his family was in very deep debt. He was going to leave. Her would never have to see this horrible place again, and he couldn't wait.
The next day, Pablo woke up about thirty minutes before sunrise. He whistled for Zanto, who came to him immediately. Pablo slowly opened his back door as quietly as he could. Once he was inside, he went to the back room where he had found the bill.
He knew there was a backpack in there somewhere. He had seen it just a few days ago. He rummaged around in one of the big boxes in the corner that was used for keeping random, usually unneeded things.
All he found in the first box was some paper, a few pens and pencils, and a broken radio.
After he had gone through four boxes and found nothing but old clothes, old shoes, and more paper and pencils, he found the pack. He walked into his kitchen with the pack. There was a small wood-burning stove, a table, and three chairs. Above the stove was a cabinet where they kept spices and other cooking ingredients.
He looked around, trying to find some left-overs of the meal they had last night (he doubted he would find any considering the fact that they barely had enough food to feed three people.) After he had looked everywhere, he opened the stove and found three pieces of cornbread and a biscuit.
"Yes!" he whispered under his breath. He got the last of their aluminum foil from the pantry and put the cornbread and biscuit in the foil. He put the foil in the pack. Now he reached up into the cabinet where the glasses and plates and such were held and got out two Mason jars. He filled the jars up with water and tightly screwed on the top. These were also put into the pack. Then walked back to the back room.
He had a piggybank in there with his whole life's savings in it. He thought there were about 10 jraons (about 5 American cents) in the piggybank. He shook the piggybank slightly just to make sure the money was still there. He heard the soft cling cling from inside the piggybank.
After he had come back to then front of the house, he put the piggybank in his pack. He went to the room that was supposed to be his bedroom but he only slept in it when it was too cold to sleep on the back porch. He packed all the clothes he had in the pack, which was about 4 days worth. He went down to the bottom drawer of his chest of drawers and pulled out his hidden Holy Bible. He put the old, tattered book into his bag.
He came back into the kitchen and looked around. He was going to miss this house, but he couldn't stand living here any longer.
Pablo went back into the back room for the last time. He got a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote:
"Mom and Dad, I'm sorry that I am leaving, but I must. I can live here no longer. It's not worth it. There are much better opportunities out there for me. I'm hoping I can find those opportunities. I may never see you again. I pray to God that I will, but it's not likely. I love you both and will remember you always. Your son, Pablo.
PS: I will send you money if I can."
Next to it he drew a heart. Now he walked into the living room which was also his parents' bedroom. He put the note down on his mother's bed. He quietly opened the front door, and walked out.