NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 17th 2017

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Archives

SEARCHING – a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 2

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Angel stood on the corner of 17th and Lake, smoking. Alone. He wasn’t used to being alone. He lived with his mother and father, three brothers and three sisters in the upstairs and attic of a house built in 1907. On weekends, he hung out with his friends. He went to the Mall, he went to Block E, he kept moving. The few part-time jobs he’d had were around men with trucks, unloading wood, shingles, produce, moving from the sweltering heat of the summer to the walk-in cooler: men shouting, boxes of lettuce and avocadoes, hand trucks and ladders, men up on roofs, cash paid at the end of the day, the week, the job. Bowls of pozole and a cold Jarritos on payday, the men telling jokes, wiring money home. Angel didn’t like being alone.

But this evening was not like all the others. He had heard the owl, and swore he could hear it now, standing under the dark purple awning that advertised “Baraka Rugs”. Baraka—sounded like that guy running for President, he thought. He looked around at the building—how long since it had burned and sat empty here, its windows boarded up with plywood covered with posters: Get Tested for HIV. Una Solo Noche: Los Lobos del Norte. Student Walkout for the Minnesota Dream Act. Too many signs, Angel thought. Too much to worry about.

Then he looked up at the top of the building: Gustavus Adolphus Hall. What was that doing here? He knew Gustavus Adolphus was a college—Mr. Kasson, his counselor, had tried to interest him in applying there, but Angel wasn’t going to some school out in the cornfields. Plus, where was the money coming from? College was a dream act, for sure, he thought. That’s when he heard the owl, only this time it sounded like a voice, a voice saying something like: lotten.

Angels’ first response was to run. Someone was after him, someone meant to get him. But who? La Migra, who had stepped up its raids, even after the trouble they got in for taking over the church parking lot? The patrol cops, who stopped every kid they saw, especially if he was dark? The gang his cousin had been in? Someone sent by his family? But no, the voice was calm, quiet almost, and clearly said over and over: “Lotten”

Lotten? What the heck does that mean? It sounded like something he’d heard Miss Dolores sing when he went to visit the old ladies at the nursing home during last year’s service project. It wasn’t lotto—it clearly had an “n” on the end. But what it meant, and who it was meant for was not clear to Angel.

What was clear was that he was hungry. Hungry and alone. He couldn’t go home, and didn’t want to go anywhere else. He searched his pockets and found two quarters. Where could he go to get something to eat with that? Where would he find the sustenance he needed? He started walking west. There was no light left in the sky; the only guide was Angel’s stomach.


Share this with your friends:
  • email
  • Print
  • PDF
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks

Leave a Reply