Thursday, June 2, 2016

When a Courageous Young Boy Meets a Mafioso-type Enemy...Carlo Mignano Shares A Sicilian Drama



While the rest of the children waited for the door of the school building t5o be opened, Antonio spotted Sebastiano trying to slip into the building from the backyard. He knew he was up to causing some trouble and tried to stop him. He got closer to him, made eye contact, and warningly whispered, "Bastia!" calling him by his nickname.
Sebastiano abandoned his plan and joined the other pupils still waiting outside. But as soon as he saw Antonio distracted by other things, he quickly disappeared. He climbed up the window in the back of his classroom, slid through it, took the bottle of ink from one of the desks, and poured the entire content on the teacher's chair. Then he left the same way he went in, he nonchalantly joined the other pupils who now were beginning to walk into the building, and went to his classroom as if nothing had happened.
When Signorina Lafina, a small-framed young lady from Palermo, walked into her fifty-grade classroom, she pulled out her chair from under her desk and without looking, sat down.
Immediately she felt a cool wetness. She stood up and was shocked to see dark fluid spreading over her white skirt and running down her legs. Tears began to run down her cheeks. The pupils snickered at her embarrassing predicament.
It took her a few moments to attain a minimum of composure. Then, with the realization of the extent of her himiliation, she demanded to know who did this dreadful thing to her. "Someone better talk!" she warned.
According to Sicilian tradition, all those children had been admonished by their parents to never admit to knowing anything. So, even if any of them had seen or suspected the perpetrator, they kept their lips sealed...
Signorina Lafina threatened to beat each and every one of them with a wooden stick, unless the culprit came clean. Still no one spoke. She asked everyone to hold out their hands and, with ink still dripping from her skirt, she went around the room striking each pupil.
When she got to Sebastiano, he pulled back his hand and screamed, "No, no, Siognorina!" and pointing at Antonio, he said, "It was him...I saw him...It was him...
~~~


A Sicilian Story

By Carlo Mignano


It had been as far back as 1922, when Antonio was in school that a rivalry of some sort had developed between he and Sebastiano... Antonio was one of those boys who always tried to do what was right and what was expected of him...Perhaps that bothered Bastia, or maybe he was just a Sicilian bully...

Nevertheless even during their school years, Sebastiano seemed to delight in getting Antonio into trouble. Fortunately, his family knew their son...When accused of placing ink on his teacher's chair one day, his father, Cesare Salviano went to talk to the principal. He simply pulled Antonio close to him and place the palms of his hands on his face..."Is this the face of a scoundrel?

While his mother was a devout woman, Antonio had his first problems with the church when the priest started asking him questions about girls and touching himself...When the priest accused him of lying when he denied such thought, Antonio left and struggled with his beliefs for the rest of his life, especially given what was happening to him...

For Antonio had grown to be a strong, moral and handsome boy that caught the eye of the girl considered to be the most beautiful woman in their town. They had fallen in love and were just in the midst of beginning the preparations for a formal engagement and marriage...

When Sebastiano and his friends kidnapped Rosalia...

In Sicily this was a major problem since the woman could not be touched or alone with any man before marriage, especially someone who was a complete stranger. There was nothing that could be done. Rosalia was now considered damaged. And even though Antonio was willing to go forward with the marriage, they didn't know where she was...and he thought never to see Rosalia again...

Antonio's life fell apart, because violence followed the kidnapping and Antonio first fled into the forest and lived and then spent time in jail... When he was out, his entire family knew that he would need to leave home if he was ever going to escape all that had happened...

So, his family paid for him to secretly get out of the country and to America...

While Antonio was able to find those to help him and he was soon hard at work using his trade skills, he quickly found that the mafioso that had tortured life in Sicily was also there in America... When it started there, Antonio wondered if he could escape the dark clouds that seemed to hang over his life...




This is a short novelette that you can easily read in one day, but, by centering on the life of just one Sicilian boy, who had no desire to follow the life of crime, readers are on the edge of their seat wondering if he even has a chance against those who extort others to become rich. I thoroughly enjoyed the story which was fresh and original, even though many of us think of The Godfather when we hear of mafioso involvement...

And, even though my thoughts had led me to expect the ending, it was still superbly done and surprising...a climax that makes it highly recommended to those who enjoy a solid family drama, with a bit of the Sicilian life as the backdrop...

GABixlerReviews