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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday February 22nd 2024

SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 3: Bread

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Angel walked west. He had fifty cents and hunger in his pocket, and the latter was outgrowing the former. Where could he go with two quarters, with the strange word that rang in his ear: “lotten”? With the sound of the owl?

He smelled it before he saw the light, softly illuminating traces of snow on the sidewalk. The bakery, named for an angel. The conchos and cuernos and his Mom”'s favorite cookies pulled him in by the nose. Mr. Bussey had told him that the bakery had made the Guinness Book of World Records once, for making the World”'s Largest Dog Biscuit. He remembered that a young girl, shy and pretty, sometimes worked the counter.

When he walked in, she was there, taking an order for a birthday cake from a mother with two kids: tres leches, with Dora the Explorer painted on the frosting. She had on a lilac sweater, with one sleeve pulled up higher than the other. A tiny gold cross hung below her neck. Her dark blue apron was softly floured. After the family left he stood in front of the counter for a long time.

“Buenas tardes”, he finally managed to get out.… Read the rest “SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 3: Bread”

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.… Read the rest “SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 2”

SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 1

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Angel swore it was an owl. It was calling from a tree hidden deep behind the locked cemetery gates. He remembered that an owl calling meant death, but for whom? Himself? One in his family? A friend who had a death wish? He tried to see the owl through the fog that was beginning to creep in from Cedar Avenue, but he could not. It continued to call, lonely, vigilant, demanding.

Angel tried to laugh about it: of course there”'d be an owl in the cemetery. Nothing but dead people there! But he didn”'t know anyone in that cemetery. They didn”'t bury Latinos there. They didn”'t bury anyone there anymore. Mr. Bussey, in his 4th hour history class at Roosevelt, had talked about the Civil War veterans buried there, the heroes of the Underground Railroad, the first murderers and their victims. It was the old dead who laid there, the ones who had grown tired of being restless and wandering, the dead who had settled in for the long millennium”'s wait for the final trumpet.

No, this owl was calling for someone outside. Someone still living, who didn”'t know their number was up. That was a fact: death was on the prowl in the neighborhood.… Read the rest “SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 1”

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