However Long the Night

Author:  Mia [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  However Long the Night

However long the night, the dawn will break - African proverb

“Wake up – wake up, Maria.” Mario Balbini shook his sister awake. “Look.”

“What is it, Mario?” Maria rubbed her eyes. Her brother was looking out of the tiny porthole of their cramped cabin. Shaking her long, black hair out of her eyes as she got up, Maria took the hand he held out for her and joined him and with a laugh, he moved back to let her see the Statue of Liberty.

Maria smiled, Mario’s arms around her shoulders. At last - they had arrived.

Author:  LizB [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:47 pm ]
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Yay! The Maria/Mario bunny returned!

Thanks, Mia - looking forward to more :D

Author:  KathrynW [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:27 pm ]
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Oooh...thank you Mia! This looks fab :D

Author:  Eilidh [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:33 pm ]
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Thanks Mia!

Author:  Mia [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:47 pm ]
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Thank you - here's some more.

She hadn’t expected this, Maria thought, as she clung to her twin in the crush of the crowd. People were shouting in dozens of different languages and the uniformed officials were struggling to cope with the vast tide of refugees that washed on to Ellis Island.

“If we get separated…” she gasped, but Mario couldn’t hear her amid the noise of the crowd. She concentrated on keeping close to him, her small case safe; if she lost it she would have nothing more than the clothes she stood up in. They had lost almost all of their possessions and a lot more since the outbreak of war.

Maria felt the crowd start to murmur, and become agitated, she was already feeling faint but she knew by experience that crowds could be dangerous, and she was small and slight for her seventeen years.

“What is the matter?” Mario asked a man, a Pole with his wife and baby.

“If you have disease, you go back on that ship,” the man couldn’t even raise his arm to point, packed in the now-jostling crowd. He nodded towards it instead. “They say even if you have lice, you go back.”

Eventually one of the uniformed officials managed to calm the crowd. Mario glanced at his sister, worried by her pallor. She wasn’t strong, and he still bore the marks from that last unpleasant encounter with the brigate nere. He looked over at the immigration guards - wary by now of anyone in a unform - and frowned. Would they send them back? They had an aunt in a place called Hell’s Kitchen – they had all their papers and a letter of invitation. They had spent every penny they had on this voyage and they couldn’t go back.

Author:  KathrynW [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:51 pm ]
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Thank you for more of this Mia, I hope they manage to start a new life in America

Author:  francesn [ Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:40 pm ]
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Is this the prequel to your bedtime drabble?

Thanks Mia

Author:  Lesley [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:21 am ]
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Poor Maria - horrible situation to be in.

Hmmmm - wonder why this is in St Hilds......

Thanks Mia.

Author:  LizB [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:13 am ]
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*hoping they get through without any problems*

Thanks, Mia

Author:  Mia [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:29 pm ]
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Lesley wrote:
Hmmmm - wonder why this is in St Hilds......

Bad language!

It's just occurred to me people might think there's some dodgy incest involved - there won't be.

Author:  Ally [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:10 pm ]
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Ooh this looks really interesting Mia! Thanks.

*hopes for more soon*

Author:  Cath V-P [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:57 pm ]
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This looks very interesting Mia.

Author:  aitchemelle [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:21 pm ]
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Thank you Mia! How fabbity!!

Author:  Vikki [ Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:08 pm ]
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This looks great Mia! Thanks hunny!

Author:  Nic [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:30 am ]
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Looking forward to more of this, its very intriguing! :)

Author:  Mia [ Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:51 pm ]
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Thanks for the comments :)

Mario’s English was faultless, he could still imitate his former classmates from his prep school in England, and it helped. The immigration officials stamped their passports, issued the requisite precious forms and waved them through to catch the ferry that would take them to Manhattan.

He found Maria a seat, worried by how pale she was. She was so thin, but he had heard that food in America was plentiful and of course he was prepared to work hard to provide for them both. His aunt’s husband would help him find employment, surely? And he was prepared to start right at the bottom… He frowned, thinking about it. There must be jobs there, in that silver city across the water.

“Look how tall the buildings are,” Maria whispered, with a smile. Mario nodded, leaning against the rail, looking firmly ahead at their destination.

Author:  Fatima [ Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:54 pm ]
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What a daunting task, starting afresh in a strange land. Thanks Mia.

Author:  Alison H [ Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:57 pm ]
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Hope they're not expecting too much.

Thanks Mia :D .

Author:  KathrynW [ Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:02 pm ]
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Thank you Mia, this is wonderfully evocative

Author:  Cath V-P [ Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:08 am ]
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It's hard enough going to a new country when you know something about it, speak the language and have a job waiting for you. To have to go alone and unaided.....

Thank you Mia

Author:  LizB [ Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:46 pm ]
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Loving this!

Thanks, Mia

Author:  Mia [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:19 pm ]
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Manhattan, New York, 1953

She couldn’t bear it when he laughed like that, humourlessly and with so much derision and hardness.

“I’m sorry,” she desperately tried to back track, knowing it was probably too late. “I didn’t mean it, you must know that.”

“Sure you didn’t, Baby,” he said, and there it was again, amusement covering something else. Anger, she supposed, expecting him to kill her. Bobby had said he was dangerous. She got out of his bed and dressed hurriedly, anticipating he would come after her. He didn’t, but she wasn’t going to hang around.

“Don’t ever come near me again,” he said, coldly, as she wrestled with the locks on the door and eventually fled.

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:34 pm ]
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What on earth's going on :roll: ?!

Author:  Fatima [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:41 pm ]
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:shock: Is that Maria?

Author:  LizB [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:56 pm ]
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Or is 'he' Mario?

Thanks, Mia

Author:  Liss [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:36 pm ]
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Oi, Mia! Come back here and write!

Author:  Mia [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:58 pm ]
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Hey I'd forgotten about this... I might have some more on my memory stick.

ETA: There was a little bit:

“Zia Giulia?” Mario stared at the almost unrecognisable woman in front of him. His father’s youngest sister had been a round young woman with a pretty face and a cheerful smile. She had changed and was now rail-thin with lines on her face.

“Mario, and Maria!” she seemed genuinely pleased to see them, but the line between her eyebrows deepened as she surveyed them. They exchanged embraces and she stood back to let them enter her apartment.

The squalor was something else, ever after their third-class journey. Giulia sat back down listlessly at her kitchen table and gazed out of the grimy window. From the apartment next door came shouting, then a crash, then more shouting. Giulia turned up the radio to drown out the sound.

Maria looked at her, then at Mario, before sitting down next to her aunt and taking hold of her hand.

Author:  Lesley [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:03 pm ]
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How terrible.

Thanks Mia - pleased to see more of this. :lol:

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:03 am ]
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Hope Maria and Mario will be alright. Hell's kitchen was a pretty horrible place to be in those days

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