Domenico Corna

Night Clouds - The Childwood

Part Three - Chapter Nine


It was late in the afternoon; Martina was sitting outside the door of an old country house. A farmer was coming out of a stable with a pitchfork resting on his shoulders, and she heard the cows′ calls. He walked slowly, balancing the weight, some manure dropping from the end of the pitchfork. After a few steps, he stopped throwing everything into a pit already swollen with manure.

Martina, sitting on an old wooden chair, was watching the farmer′s movements. The air was overfull with that pungency; the warm wind in the afternoon drove it to her with the cries of the hungry cows.

It was one of those summer afternoons when Martina spent a walk in the small town or on long walks in the countryside. But today was a sad day; she had no desire to go around. She was curled up in a chair by the door of the house.

Sometimes she could relax and her gaze, running along the courtyard, could give a reason to smile. Then, when she realized the reason for waiting, her face turned dark again, and she bent her head sadly. Except for the farmer, no one could cross the yard; the sun seemed a sentry with a flaming sword in his hand, ready to strike anyone who ventured.

Three women on the opposite side of the porch were sitting facing each other, talking wildly, sometimes laughing. Their laughter seemed to dissolve in the heat of the afternoon. A little girl, out of a room after dodging the towel hanging on the door frame, offered a bit of water from a kettle. The three women smiled, took the ladle and drank in turn.

Martina kept looking around, but stayed seated, as if she were tied to the chair by an invisible thread. Her attention was soon stolen, by a hollow sound, startling her; she recognized the sound of an engine coming from outside the yard. She narrowed her eyes.

A red tractor, half rusty, was taken into the courtyard. The three women stopped talking, and each gave a nod. The farmer walked slowly across the yard and stood on the porch, next to the stables.

A man got out of the tractor, checked the engine, shook his head, then took off his hat and wiped his forehead. “I feel that soon it will forsake me, he said slowly, turning to the farmer, who was depositing more manure in the pit.

Martina watched with apprehension as her father coming forward after following behind the tractor. She bowed her head when he was near.

“We need to talk!” said her father.

Martina did not say a word. She looked down as if to avoid the impulse of the words.

“Wait here; now I′m coming!

He entered the house without another word.

Martina put back her head back in her hands; her face had become dark again. She knew what to expect; she disobeyed again nonetheless. She didn′t realize exactly how it had happened; it was just stronger than her.

She raised her eyes again.

An old dog, into the courtyard, moved up the steps slowly, as if trying to avoid the sun's rays. It was an old dog with his tongue hanging out, heavy at least as the years he carried below. Martina was near; a few steps in front of him, in the middle of the courtyard, under the sun, the dog sat as if waiting for an answer.

Martina looked around, worried, first to the colorful tent from which her father soon would come, then to the old dog, shaking her index finger at him. “I can′t come with you today,” whispered Martina, looking around. “I can′t come anymore to play with you.”

The dog let out a loud yawn, than lay on the ground with his nose in the middle of the front legs.

Don′t do that! You know, it′s not my fault, I'll be pleased to come, but I can′t. Soon will come Dad, and if he sees me here talking to you, it will be even worse. So go—come on, go away, please!”

The dog let out a snort, hesitated a moment, then stood up and walked over to the door. He turned back again, stopping and waiting.

Martina outstretched arm pointing to the door again. The dog turned onto the exit and walked away.

Martina put back her head in her hands. Soon would come her father.


Shiny Lake
Night Clouds
Wood of Plane
       Good Hope Hotel

Voice in the Night
Touch of Happiness

Little Soul
Our Madness

You Can Hear Me
Fairy Tales
 Wood of Tales
Night Clouds
Part Three - The Childwood
  manda un messaggio    American                       


               214 Pages



Night Clouds





Part One


Up There on the





Part Two

Down Here into the





Part Three

The Childwood



Part Four

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