Saturday, July 25, 2015


This is a tale different from the usual.

It does not begin with "Once upon a time ..." and does not end with the wedding between a prince and a princess haunted.
It 'a different story because it's a true story, although I already know that none of you, after reading it, believe it can. 
But now I have nothing left to lose, so why not tell the whole truth?
Everything began a fateful day that I'd love to be able to erase, shame that this is not possible!
That night I did not sleep well. 
The night before I had eaten too much and perhaps difficult digestion had been the cause of insomnia and nightmares before then. 
I was woken up several times in the night, sweating and shaking, screaming.
I remembered a black shadow chasing me.
I was running in a forest of ancient oaks that had something left. While running away, I was suddenly immersed in a pool of mud and leaves. But the mud was red and sticky, like blood. I seemed to feel even the smell of decaying leaves mixed with dried blood. The smell of death.
In the mud floating heads of dead animals.
Insects and huge cockroaches around me and then climbed over my body until I woke up screaming.
Cockroaches giants and monstrous, dirty blood ... I could not take them away from the mind.
It had been a hard night.
The next morning I got up at the usual time, I slipped in the shower to try to wake up. The warm water on the skin was nice and I remember thinking it would be a good day, despite the nightmares.
I left the house to go to the office, as every morning. Along the way I stopped in for breakfast at the usual place. At the bar I ordered a hot coffee at the counter.
As I sipped coffee two boys sat next to me. They ordered two coffees and began to speak in Romanian. They spoke freely, they do not think that anyone could understand. But I understood everything, legacy of my mother!
They spoke quickly and quietly. They were talking about something urgent to do. They could not miss the appointment. They had to take a package and deliver it at a certain time. The youngest was rough, seemed in high spirits.
- ... And then boomboom! Were his last words.
I got up and paid the indifferent coffee walked away. The two had bad intentions.
Maybe I should go to the police, I thought. I looked at the clock, it was late. In whatever they referred were not my problems. I had enough on my behalf. Let them do what they want and go to hell. I have no time for them.
I arrived at the bank in a few minutes. My boss had just arrived at the entrance and called me aside.
- Today we have a special customer Jonny, I wish you will occupassi you. He said smiling. - It is a famous actor who has decided to open an account with us. I recommend, it is a major customer and must be perfect.
- Of course, thanks to the trust sir. The day was put right! I thought. A new customer to my portfolio. It was not every day.
At 14.00 it was my special customer. It was served and revered as is done in these cases and all was well with her. The boss was pleased and I even more. The day was very well placed despite the beginning.
One more hour and the bank would close. I could not wait to get home.
I shook hands with my wealthy client and invited him to visit us often. His hand was cold, cold. I do not know why I thought of death. his death. His hand ...
Suddenly he remembered the nightmare, more vivid than ever! It was as if I was asleep, leaves, insects, sticky blood ... I tried to shake me, it was not true, it was just a nightmare!
At that moment two boys entered the bank. It seemed to know. They were dressed differently but I had no doubt, it was the two young Romanians met at the bar in the morning.
One of them, the youngest, who had put his bag on his back on the ground, pulled out a gun from under his jacket and started screaming incoherently.
Customers of the bank were thrown to the ground and I was there, stuck, the smell of the leaves and blood like the nightmare that seemed to cover everything and everybody.
There was an explosion ... buum! He had said in the morning. But they were not my problems, how could I know ... how could I imagine ...
A black shadow seemed to fall on me. I saw blood everywhere and then I fainted.
Since then there have been two months, I am now permanently bed number 6 of the clinic. Steadily ... and you!
The explosion had lost arms, legs, ears and an eye, but I'd gotten.
I had to thank God, the doctors told me. My special customer had not gone so well. He was killed instantly and pieces of his body were scattered throughout the bank. Looked like the set of a horror movie, they were told.
The two young men were dead too. They had left a video message in which they announced to the world the birth of a new terrorist organization, their symbol was an animal, a cockroach bloodied. A cockroach ...
Perhaps, that morning I had to go to the police, but it was too late to complain I could just keep thinking and dreaming. Every night a new nightmare came back to see me, but that is, it was not my problem ... now!

Alessandro Giovanni Paolo RUGOLO

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The ghost on the Olona’s river house

I can no longer do the things I did before, I can not go out on the street without thinking about how much has happened to me...
Many years have passed to now, but still can not forget.
My life has changed... and I will never go back... Every time I pass in front of the house, a chill runs through me back and my senses stimulated by the memory transmit alarm signals to my brain.
I can not forget... I do not WANT to forget!
What happened, I wonder... I do not know if I'll ever be able to tell all had happened. Even writing, as I am doing now, I reopened a wound still bleeding...
Yet I have to try, my psychologist says I have to overcome what has happened to me... he says I have to metabolize and according to him, write and talk about what has happened to me can only make me well!
I'm not so sure, but what else can I do?

It was 1989, when I moved to Legnano, I had found a job in a company as an engineer in the area of production. A well paid job but it took a lot of time. I had to travel often and I had no way to spend much time with my wife. Anyway, from time to time, I took her with me. She liked to travel a lot so took advantage of my business trips to visit the capitals of Europe, to buy books and novels sometimes, but more often ancient texts that she said to worship. She knew several languages other than Italian. French, English, Spanish, but also dead languages such as Latin and ancient Greek not scared at all, and every time I went to work in a country where they spoke an unknown language, for she was a party. Preparing his case quickly, accurately she selected carefully grammars and books that could have been useful and, a few weeks before departure, began to study the new language then promptly practiced and deepened on the spot. I never could understand how he did... but for her it was simple, it seemed that languages do not have secrets, and it also began to be useful for my work. Having a personal interpreter and total trust in him is not for everyone indeed! After a year of hard work the company decided to hire me as a manager so I had to take care of large contracts with foreign countries. The activity was booming and I would take a percentage for each new contract. I accepted without thinking so much and also my wife, Anna, was happy.
It was time to afford buying a home of our own, would be our palace. Then we lived near the train station, in a building of the 50s, in an attic room simply furnished, one bedroom, a kitchenette, which opened onto a terrace that overlooked the station, a really tiny bathroom and a second bedroom that I used as a studio and Anna as a library, with a single large black leather chair in the middle and we shared a table always covered with books and projects. All around a dark wood bookcase overloaded with books and a lamp on the wall made the environment intriguing and welcoming.
The books came from all over the world and probably all languages were represented, such as the UN palace and, maybe, more! When we decided to buy the house we had no idea about what to buy, the only requirement was space for books of Anna and my studio, which at the time was too small. For the rest everything was fine.
We started to go out at night looking for an area that we liked. We walked on foot several times throughout the city of Legnano, we pushed up to Castellanza, in Busto Arsizio and also visited the neighboring countries but could not find anything that met our needs and was well within our reach. Every evening, weather permitting, we did miles, carefully watching the houses, the gardens, the people... looking for what would become our home.
One night brighter than usual, accompanied by a full moon and the sky strangely free from clouds, we noticed, a few meters from the river Olona, a dilapidated old house, almost completely covered with ivy, dry, sagging gabled roofs. The windows were closed the dark wood hanging by a hinge iron corroded by time and rain, creaking in the wind. We looked at each other, smiling. It looked like the Haunted Mansion, I thought, and already I continued my journey...
"Behold, this is the house I want!"

His words came as an unexpected slap to my ears, I stood dumbfounded for a moment, then turned toward her, thinking he was joking. From his eyes I knew immediately that he was not joking, he was serious, very serious indeed. I realized immediately that anything I could say or do would have been useless, that dilapidated old house would become our home. Anna knew as she was a girl of fifteen, and we were together for so many years, I knew that if he wanted something she would have obtained, by hook or by crook. We had to make it a habit, that would be our home.
The day after we got back together in front of the house, of course, it would take a bit of time before you make a living what was left of that detached house, abandoned for at least twenty years.
But there was no hurry.
As I watched the roof trying to figure out how many of those tiles were still intact, an old woman we spoke to with the typical “legnanese” accent we had begun to understand and appreciate. She asked us who we were and what we wanted and without waiting for our answers began to tell us of his life, when she arrived with her husband in Legnano, their happy life, children, the fact that it was old and no longer felt good to ear (but his tongue was still working very well, I thought) and the ghosts who lived in the house we were watching...
"Ghosts?" I interrupted unintentionally...
"Ghosts?" Anna repeated aloud...
And so the old woman, who lived right next door, began to tell of noises coming from inside the house, the lights that appeared from time to time, the dark shadows, who had been seen so many times hidden behind the curtains of the window of the kitchen. Of her cats disappeared in the past and of broken toys that occasionally was in his garden...
Every word she pronounced but push Anna to that house.
How well placed temptation on the hook of an experienced fisherman, his words attracted prey to the deadly trap, a trap that would have meant for Anna... I did not understand how it could please her, but I did not feel even discussing his choice, this time I would have been content, and then, just in case, I would have regretted in silence, for love.
We managed to find out who was the owner of the house and within a few months was ours, only ours (and the bank that had granted the loan) and a few more months and it would be habitable.
Works took longer than expected due to a hidden crack that came from the roof to the foundation but in the end the project was completed and the house was delivered. It only remained to buy some furniture and make the move of all our things.
We bought a beautiful bedroom.
The kitchen had to be ordered to measure and the same for the library of the study, which was large and bright. In mid-May, we moved.
The house had changed in appearance, the ivy grew lush and everything that was once rusty and creaky now seemed to have been reanimated. Anna was happy and her face radiant made me forget the strange feeling that I proved hearing about ghosts...
The old neighbor, since she knew that we had purchased the house had not spoken a word, we passed by her bittersweet face without saying goodbye.
One evening we surprised her while throwing salt in front of our door with a strange smile in her face. But I did not pay it much thought at the time.
It had been several months since we moved into our new home, It seemed that everything was well and the nearby has begun to say goodbye even if you could see from a distance that did not approve our presence. Then, one evening, an unusual fact struck me.
Anna was sitting in his chair, we had purchased another one, in the middle of the library-study and I arrived from the kitchen. At his side, next to my seat, I saw the silhouette of a man bending over her was reading. A chill came over me, a strangled cry came from my throat...
"What is it, dear?!?"
The shadow disappeared...
I could not speak, I saw it or was just suggestion?
I plopped down in the chair, without forces, such as drained from life.
I had seen a ghost?
The words of the old woman I remembered... Who was that being there, next to my dear loved Anna?
She was in danger? These and other questions looked out of my mind but I could not speak, I could not open my mouth, it was as sealed.
I could not move, I was paralyzed by fear. The feeling that I had felt at the sight of that shadow had not disappeared, indeed, was stronger than ever... as if that being watching me behind, as if by invisible arms hold me back and I shut his mouth with lips ice.
I could not move a single muscle, I was paralyzed in my chair and watched, eyes wide with terror... the eyelids open unnaturally dilated pupils.
Anna was there, in front of me and the shadow grew closer, terrible, bloodthirsty.
Then it hit her, once, twice, ten times... the blade of the knife penetrated his flesh and blood splashed on the covers of books, on upholstery, on the cards of my last contract, slowly, sticky... blood red ruby. I tried to move, to scream, to warn her, to save her... but I could not do anything, I could only look at the horrible sight that now I wish I could forget.
The shadow disappeared silently...
Time passed, the night passed without noise, the smell of blood filled the room but I could not move, I was like glued to the chair... Then the next morning, I began to recover, I was able to move my arms and then my legs took life and drag me out of the house crawling on the floor. I opened the door and yelled loudly... The old neighbor was there, in front of me, not at all surprised, as if she understood what had happened... as if she knew!
I asked her to call the police, I stammered something about Anna, ghost, blood... then I fainted.

I woke up in hospital, tied to the bed with a straitjacket.
They told me that I had given in outburst, I screamed for three days, that raving of shadows and ghosts and murder of a woman, Anna.
They told me that the house was checked. No signs of blood or of a struggle, no woman at all dead or alive. There were only a lot of books dust-covered and signs of an abandoned house from some time. Everything made sense the lack of a female hand...
The old neighbor had told the Police that a few weeks before the woman who lived with me, Anna, had left for not coming and I had not taken it well.
Maybe I was crazy, but it was not true.
I knew what was the truth, I was there... in that room. I had seen the old woman, looking at me sideways... I saw the shadow... and the blood, I!


Was I completely crazy?!?

Alessandro Giovanni Paolo Rugolo

Original language: Italian
Translated by my novel: La casa sull'Olona

The departure

Eventually August the 17th arrived, our last day of vacation.
Tomorrow we will leave our country of origin, Gesico, to go back home to Rome.
We'll be back in Sardinia next summer to visit our parents.

This time I could not do more that one-tenth of the things that I promised myself, but this is also a constant.
Let's see: I still have in my pocket the compiled list of things to do before you start the holidays.

Visit the Nuraghe Cobumbus - done.

Visit friend Celeste - done.

Dinner with old schoolmates - skipped.

Visit to the museum of Cagliari - done.

Visit Aunt Nina... damn.

Once again, also this year!
Same story every time! I made a list of important things and then always check it only the last day of vacation!

There are only a few hours to dinner time, I still have time to say goodbye to Aunt Nina and Uncle Lucius.

But yeah, let's try!

I ask my son to accompany me to Aunt Nina, he is always happy to greet the family.
Aunt Nina is the oldest representative of the family Schirru in Gesico, my grandmother's sister Cenza, and if I can I always like to see her.

Step to take my mother and all the three arrive at the aunt's house, at the entrance of the village.

The house was made for a big family, as in the past. The door hided the large and massive interior courtyard with a beautiful well in the center. The courtyard was paved with irregular stones and grass grows between them. On the left side you can still see the loggias for the cattle, a time they would feel the bleating of sheep and the noise of the people who worked there. Nowadays, everything is changed, abandoned, and sad and off. To the right of the house, there was a row of ornamental orange trees. Once I was a child I had tasted one of those bitterly fruits, I never forget it!

When we get are just six. My aunt is in the yard, sitting on a low chair, surrounded by relatives came to visit, and we welcome all guests to sit. Aunt Nina gives us an orange and a sweet, as is his habit.
Then greetings were followed by endless chats on relatives, on births and deaths and family tree.

Only later Aunt Nina starts telling those things that I love so much, small nursery rhymes, prayers and muttettus in the Sardinian language campidanese.

What a memory!
The evening is beautiful, but her aunt look steadfastly towards the south and at some point begins to speak loudly, to attract the attention of everyone.

"Tomorrow will be a bad day. I beg you, stay home. Avoid travel and bring the cattle in the barn. "

"But Auntie, you say, the weather did not say anything."

I'm complaining, but she looks at me with a wry smile of one who knows a lot and continues as if I did not exist.

"There is no doubt, a big storm is approaching. I will pray to St. Barbara because it takes away from home and because Santu Jaccu protects you along the journey. "

It was useless to argue. If her aunt had made up her mind one thing, it had to be that.

The popular beliefs of Sardinia attributed to the saints with the task of protecting people from natural events that could be dangerous or evil eye.

A few years before had told me how he cared and taught me the evil eye "is brebus," the words to be spoken to protect or to treat those who were struck by the evil eye.

Inside the nursery rhyme there were often the names of some saints who were supposed to act as pimps or intermediaries.

Well, also to protect themselves from time the Saints had their importance, Santa Barbara and San Giacomo in particular.
The visit was over, it was seven and they were waiting at home for dinner.

I was happy to be able to greet her aunt and we could go back with the certainty that, if there had been a storm, someone would protect us.
We had dinner together in the yard at my parents' house. The evening was beautiful, the air warm and good wine helped in the conversation.

Then, at some point, my mother asked her to help pick up everything before you leave. We cleared the table quickly and I was about to say hello when my mother asked to me to help bring into the room even the tables, chairs and vases that were in the verandah.

"What need is there to bring in all, it's a beautiful night...” said I quite astonished.

His answer left me stunned. "Alexander, you have not yet figured out that if an old man tells you something you have to listen? If aunt said that tomorrow there will be a bad storm, it is necessary to believe and prepare. "

I did not want to discuss, I helped to bring in the pots and then we said goodbye. We would meet again next summer.

That night I reminded an old nursery rhyme that I had heard so many times when I was a child. My grandmother always recited it when a storm was approaching. He said he needed to protect his loved ones from dangerous thunderstorms and lightning. The nursery rhyme was only part of a complex ritual that she had explained to me.

"These rituals are part of our family from centuries. Not everyone knows them and even if they know them because they cannot recite only those belonging to the family of sorcerers have the power to do that. "

I always listened to my grandmother, even when she talked of such unusual things.

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

It was a few minutes past midnight when a thud began to get louder and louder. A distant thunder approaching ... the wind had got up suddenly and wood blinds began to creak, as if to warn of an approaching danger. I got up and looked out the window in disbelief.

The sky to the south was brightly lit by lightning. The dark clouds loomed on the moonlit sky. One time, as he had told his aunt, approached...
Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

The words I remembered suddenly, clearly, felt the rumble in my head. Without realizing it I walked to the fireplace in the kitchen. I stretched out his right hand and grabbed a handful of ashes.

I went back to the window, I put my hand up to my mouth and began blowing toward the storm without stopping to mentally repeat the chorus.

Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

Then his lips began to move involuntarily. I had finished the ashes like a dream and saw my arms stand up to the sky.

I recited the spell, first slowly, then faster and louder and louder...

Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

Seemed to me that time does not pass anymore. Then suddenly I realized that the wind changed direction. The storm moved away to the west, accompanied by thunder and lightning.
I went to bed in silence, it seemed that no one had realized nothing.

My wife was asleep turned on its left side and the silence had returned to reign in the room.

The next morning I got up late, I was tired. Barely remembered having dreamed.
A strange dream. I had heard the roar of the approaching storm, but the sun in the window said that the day would be nice. Aunt Nina had the wrong weather, just as well. We had a long trip and do not drive in the rain I never liked!
I went down to the kitchen. My wife had just put the coffee on the stove and the smell had just begun to spread in the air.
"Did you sleep well?" He asked casually.
I answered yes, even though I was really tired, as if I had not gone to bed at all.
"You know, last night I thought I saw you standing in front of the window. It must have been a dream ... "
Only at that moment I realized that all sweaty, as if I had made some kind of effort. Suddenly I remembered everything clearly. Impossible, I thought! I reached to stroke the window of the bedroom, I laid hands on the sill and looked long at the sky, searching for answers.
It can not be, I dreamed ... I thought, and went back into the kitchen.

I sat down at my usual place and began to sip the coffee.
"Love, you've got his hands dirty with ashes? Go wash ... "

Said my wife, with a firm tone ...

The translation is about this: Santa Barbara and St. James /
you have the keys of lightning / you have the keys of heaven /
not affected other people's children / they do at home in the countryside / St. Barbara and St. James.

Alessandro Giovanni Paolo Rugolo

Original language: Italian
Translated by my novel: La partenza.