Chapter I (Portogruaro), "The dream"





    Everyday my mom takes me to school. I wake up really late and she’s there. But today was different, I woke up early for the first time in my life and decided to walk to school. I knew I had to walk towards the steeple and then just take left when I cross Via Martiri but right beside the steeple, crossing the Lemene river, are a pair of beautiful mills. The mills look like they were built by the Romans, they catch your eye every time you cross the Lemene and its crystal-clear waters. I remember when I was little I used to beg my mom to take me to the mills just to watch them spin around and listen to the water churn.

    In my first years at high school I used to sit on the banks of the river, gazing at the mills, and study for hours on end.


          I cross the bridge opposite the mills and pass through a tight street that’s      between the bell tower and the church. The bell tower is so tall that it impresses  you every time you stroll by it and it’s so crooked that even a puff of wind will  make it tip over. Everyday residents worry whether or not it will finally tip over  and it’s as if magic and mystery won’t let it fall. I’ve always thought that time  stopped right before it collapsed.




    I stroll through Piazza della Repubblica and admire the scene of the Piazza’s white horse statue. This is the usual meet-up point for boys and girls. The surrounding porticos are filled with people window shopping, drinking coffee and taking pictures.

    Oh, I wish I could stay here all the day!

    After school I decide to stop at Parco Marzotto as I do every afternoon since I was little. Every time I need to concentrate or think I go to the park. It’s a very special place for me because every time I go there I have flashbacks from my childhood. I always sit on a swing and think about what happened during my childhood.

    The Oak trees seem to be embracing me with their height and green leaves. I lie on my back under the leaves of the great oaks that      seem to float above me. They’ve already started to blossom, I can see their acorns everywhere throughout  the branches.I’m so captivated by their beauty that I fall asleep.

          And there, in my dreams, I see the same arch that I’d been seeing for some time. It seems to be ancient  but  there are some aspects of it that seem modern like the bright red bricks.  The top of the arch presents  decorations of beautiful flowers. 

     But one thing bothers me: I don’t know where it leads because every time I got close to entering I would  wake up.

     But this time everything seems different… I go through the arch without waking up and see signs written  in a strange language that I don’t understand. The building is empty and I go towards the stairs.

    I walk through empty corridors, nobody is there, I can’t hear no voice nor noise … I feel like I’m floating, and all this silence seems so unreal.

    Suddenly I find myself in front of another building, an ancient one with its stone walls still visible. I can see a statue that resembles Hercules during his twelve labors. How did I get there? 


    Suddenly my body starts to shiver and I hear a faint whisper brought to me by the wind:

    “The girl with bronze hair and emerald eyes will save the forgotten forest with the help of the girl with gold hair. Search for it and bring it back here or all will be lost by the hands of the almighty trident.”

    I think to myself: “ Am I going crazy? It must be that I’m only tired”.

    While I am immersed in my thought a lump of fur jumped onto my chest and started to lick my face. “Jupy, what are you doing here?” I look into his eyes and understand that I’m in danger…

    Jupy is my dog, he’s a White shepherd and has always been by my side. He has fluffy fur and bright blue eyes. Even though he’s old he looks as young as me.

    We’ve had a special bond and we’ve been understanding each other since our childhood.

    I stare down and my watch: “Holy cow, what time is it?” I hear my brother’s voice: “It’s six o’clock”.

    My brother Luca is 16 years old, has brown hair and green eyes like mine. We got both our eye color from our dad. He was a tall man but he’s not with us anymore. Since he’s gone,  Luca has become a sort of vandal, but his work is limited, only doing graffiti on the walls of old houses. I’ve had the opposite reaction to daddy’s death, I’ve become isolated and lonely.

    He yells: “ Mum’s waiting for you and she’s angry”

    “I’m coming” I answer even though I know what’s waiting for me at home.

    I stand up and realize that my hairpin is missing. “Luca, do you know where my hairpin is?”

    “No, but hurry up! Leave that useless hairpin here.” That hairpin wasn’t useless as it was the last memory I had of my father.

    After grabbing my backpack, and picking up all the school books I’d dropped, I found it. I could see it shining in the grass, its silver crescent moon sends a warm feeling down my spine. Every night when I look at the moon I feel cozy and warm. I always keep it on me, it gives me a sense of invincibility. I only take it off when I take a shower, and even in that short amount of time I feel vulnerable and weak. I only lost it once, it was the most horrific experience of my life. I got lucky and found it a couple days afterwards.

    When I get home the first thing I can see is the worry in my mum’s face: “Where have  you been Silvia?”

    “Nowhere mum, I was just strolling around town.”

    “You had me worried sick, I was about to call the police” And then she starts to cry. I can’t bear to see my mum crying so I try to talk to her. As soon as I get close she stands up, high above me, and says:” Silvia, go to your room, you’re grounded!”

    Once I get to my room my phone starts ringing, I look at the caller and see it’s a private number. Thinking it’s a joke I don’t answer. When they call me for the fifth time I answer and tell them to stop as it’s bothering me. And when I fall silent, I hear a faint, warm voice.