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Double Awesome Chinese Food by Margaret Li

Double Awesome Chinese Food by Margaret Li

Author:Margaret Li
Language: eng
Format: mobi
ISBN: 9780914671312
Publisher: Archipelago
Published: 2018-08-08T21:38:12+00:00


Apparitions, and a Nearly Fatal Fall

November passed, cloudless. December too. February arrived and the air was cracked with thirst. Ludo saw the lagoon drying out. First it darkened, then the grass turned gold, almost white, and the nighttimes lost the uproarious noise of the frogs. The woman counted the bottles of water. Not many left. The chickens, to which she gave the muddy water from the swimming pool to drink, fell sick. They all died. There was still corn left, and beans, but to cook them used up a lot of water, and she needed to save it.

She went hungry again. One morning, she got up early, shaking off her nightmares, staggered into the kitchen, and saw a bread roll on the table:

“Bread!”

She picked it up, in disbelief, with both hands.

She smelled it.

The scent of the bread carried her back to her childhood. Her and her sister, on the beach, splitting some bread with butter. She bit into the dough. It was only when she had finished eating that she realized she was crying. She sat down, trembling.

Who could have brought her that bread?

Maybe someone had thrown it through the window. She imagined a broad-shouldered young man hurling a loaf of bread into the air. The bread tracing a slow arc before landing on her table. The person in question might have thrown the bread up into the sky, from the lagoon, which was now almost dry, as part of some mysterious ritual aimed at summoning the rain. A Quimbanda witchdoctor, a real champion bread-thrower, since it was a quite considerable distance. That night she fell asleep early. She dreamed an angel had visited her.

In the morning she found, on the kitchen table, six bread rolls, a tin of guava jelly, and a large bottle of Coca-Cola. Ludo sat down, her heart racing. Someone was coming in and out of her house. She got up. In recent months her eyesight had been getting worse and worse. After a certain time of the day, no sooner had the light begun to fade, than she began to move about just by instinct. She went up onto the terrace. She ran across to the building’s right-hand façade, which faced another block just a few meters away, and which was the only one not to have any windows. She leaned over and saw the scaffolding, which surrounded the neighboring building, right up against her own. That was how the invader had come in. She went down the stairs. It might have been because of her nerves, or because of the lack of light, but whatever the reason, her instinct failed her, she missed a step, and tumbled, flailing. She fainted. No sooner had she recovered her senses than she knew she had fractured her left femur. “So that’s how it’s going to be,” she thought. “I’m going to die not the victim of some mysterious African affliction, not through lack of appetite or exhaustion, not murdered by a thief, not because the sky has



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