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The Lost Son
He woke up from the dream, sweating, it was the same one; about the father he never knew. After he got more alert of his whereabouts he heard harsh whispering of his mother and aunt; he knew immediately that something was wrong. He slowly shuffled into the kitchen, his hair messy.
“Mama, cosa c'è di sbagliato?” He mumbled.
“Nothing, why would you think something was wrong?” He felt the weakness in her voice, knots forming in his stomach.
“Would you like something to eat?” His aunt asked, feeling the tension in room.
“Really, a boy of ten years like you should be eating more.” His aunt scoffed.
He vaguely gazed out the window, “I think I’ll go for a walk,”
They watched as he shuffled out of the dirty kitchen in his pajamas into the garden.
His aunt looked after him saying, “Are you sure Benito doesn’t know?”
Ida, his mother, replied sitting erect and stiff, “I’m positive, he’s too young to understand.”
“Ida, he’s in the doldrums. Everyone can see, the boy is emotionless!”
Ida just shook her head.
Through the gardens Benito’s feet got wet from the dew. He caught a glimpse of the local paper headlines on the steps of his neighbor, “Duce, the Most Powerful Man in Italy”. He started wondering why he never saw his mother with the newspaper in his aunt’s house, but then concluded that there are a lot of things that his mother never did.
He rounded the corner back to his aunt’s house; he opened the door, not bothering to wipe his feet. And climbed the stairs to his room. He fell face first into his lumpy bed.
Lost in the thoughts of his life. He never knew why his mom always had to know where he was when they were out in public, or why he couldn’t be in a public school, or why he lived with his aunt, and also why he never knew his father. He felt a strange feeling when he thought of his father, almost painful.
The next morning, Benito stirred from his dream of his unknown father. Sweating and unsure of his whereabouts for a couple seconds, but then quickly regains control. He plotted down the stairs, feeling the knot forming before even seeing his mother.
He saw them, as usual, hunched over espresso and talking hurriedly.
The boy rubbed his eyes and said wearily, “Mama, cosa c'è di sbagliato?”
His mother looked at him as if for the first time in a long time, “Nothing, of course.” She said in a strange tone.
He pretended he didn’t hear the tone. The knot was becoming unbearably tight.
He left the kitchen, assuming they knew he was going for a walk.
On the way, he passed by his neighbors’ old newspaper from the day before.
He didn’t see the use if they hadn’t read it already, so he picked it up and sat down on a bench, reading it.
“Duce, the Most Powerful Man in Italy”
By Alfonso Moretti
Benito Mussolini is now officially the 40th Prime Minister of Italy.
He is married to Donna Rachele; he has four kids and is living in Gargnano on Lake Garda in Lombardy…
Benito finished the article, profoundly curious about this Benito Mussolini, mostly because they shared the same first name.
He rolled up the article and tucked it under his arm and continued his walk back.
When he arrived he ran upstairs and sat on the lumpy bed, staring at this man’s photo.
“Benito! Come down for breakfast.” His mother called, he tucked the article under his bed; he felt a sense of belonging with it.
Later that night he reread the papers, memorizing the man’s face. A sense of calmness and tranquility slowly seeped over him; he fell asleep soundly.
The morning after, the pounding of the door broke the silence of the country. Benito awoke again, sweating and remembering his dream. Startled, he ran downstairs, to a disconcerting sight.
He stopped short, he whispered, “Mama, cosa c'è di sbagliato?” even though he knew the answer.
His mother craned her neck from the two officer’s yanking her out of the house.
“Niente! Niente!” She kept screaming, at this point he realized she wasn’t only comforting him anymore, but herself.
One of the officers smacked her across the face, his aunt cried out.
“What is going on?” She cried.
A taller officer came forward and sneered into her face, “I have a warrant for the search and seizure of Ida Dalser and your residence.”
His aunt collapsed into a chair, overcome with emotion.
Benito was stoic.
Ida Dalser was still saying, “Niente, Niente,” she was now in a straightjacket.
A couple of officers stomped down the stairs holding something, Benito recognized it immediately. He charged at the men, but they just laughed and held it too high for him to reach.
“Hey captain, looks like this little b*****d thinks he really is his son eh?” He tossed the article to the taller man with the warrant.
As the other officers walked through the house; ripping pillows, and shuffling papers Benito walked up to the taller officer with the warrant.
He tapped on his hand, “Excuse me,” he asked, with something in his soul he hasn’t felt for a long time, “what is all this for?”
He motioned to the mess the other officers were making and to his blubbering aunt in the chair.
The officer leaned down to his eye level and smiled a menacing smile, “Well, according to that w***e on the ground,” he nodded toward Benito’s mother, “she is the wife, and you are the firstborn son of Benito Mussolini.”