ONE LITTLE THING APPEARING AND DISAPPEARING
Grandpa Freddy almost never dared to go beyond ( outside) the solar system during his daily observations of the celestial vault. He , every time, remained ( was) too enchanted by the sandstorms on Mars, by its dark orange. Not to mention the moon…oh what shock , after having always seen it bright of a soft light in the sky at night, when( looking it with the telescope), its hard, rocky surface hit you like a punch, indeed a stone on your face. The craters of the moon, which made him think of a skin pockmarked by smallpox, made also him feel the moon as having skin, even if a very hard skin.And there was Venus, bright with a very, flickering light to see itup there ( far away) in the evening sky, which, seen through the telescope, appeared surrounded by clouds, they too thin, which filtered its light .A wonder was the great red stain on Jupiter and, wonder of wonders, Saturn with its rings and colors. When Grandfather Freddy happened to see Saturn’s rings , and also the atmosphere around, colored, with incredible colors,. purple , emerald, turquoise, yellow, pink_____but they were colors he had never seen on the earth____it seemed to him to daydream, but even more, he had the feeling to be in a dream world. That great, powerful telescope was ( had been) the gift he had received for his eighty-year birthday from one of his admirers, we could say from one of his fans., to whom he also owed the name of Grandfather (Grandpa) Freddy, when in reality his name was Frediano. He, Frediano G., had become a character of which televisions and newspapers had talked about when he had been suspected, and investigated too, in relation of serial crimes of young girls, whose guilty, or guilty ones, had never been found. In a forum dedicated to this series of crimes, where the participants discussed and made hypotheses even on who could have committed them, Saul B. had been the only convinced supporter of the non-involvement of the old man , who he had remained Grandpa Freddy, in those horrible crimes. Not only that : Saul B. seemed fascinated by Grandfather Freddy, probably because of the adventurous ,uncommon ( unconventional) life that the old man had had ( lived). He, Grandpa Freddy had been in the Foreign Legion. He had fought in Indochina , when he had been taken ( captured) by the Viet Minh, who had buried him alive underground. Then he had opened a night club in Marseille, where , as the old man told, in all calm and tranquility, he had had to kill two north Africans during a riot. In short Grandfather Freddy’s life was a life that fascinated Saul B. precisely because it was distant, other than his own life. It had been one of those lives that when you see in films or read in novels , you cannot help but say to yourself: ah, but .. a life like this….Yes. even if you know you would never have been able to live a such life, yet you would want to have a life like that.
Saul B., he had wanted to meet Grandpa Freddy , and had given him that rather powerful telescope, so that now , although his advanced age, he could continue, anyway, to have an adventurous life, he had said him. On his part, not that Grandpa Freddy was ( had been) really enthusiastic of the gift, which, of course, he realized had to be also almost expansive.( had also to have cost quite a lot) Oh, but to start scrutinizing the sky, the stars, the planets, it had never crossed his mind. Yet , from the first time he had raised the telescope to the sky , he had been seized by the feeling of being suddenly, almost by magic, in a much larger world, and also much more open , than that of his everyday life, which, given his age , had become almost monotonous and limited. Every time he pointed the telescope to the sky it was as if a door opened in front of him on an endless space, which made him think of an endless time. Yes, an infinite time, while that of his life was a finite time ( a time over), and he felt that it was running away, that it was going to end. Over time Grandpa Freddy had become quite a connoisseur of the solar system, of which he was also able to recognize the smallest parts or components, those that were less noticeable. So that day he knew he couldn’t be wrong. That little indefinitely shaped thing, moving between the orbit of Mars and the orbit of Jupiter, he had never seen it before. It was a very small, bright thing that, moving in that strip of space between the orbits of the two planets, changed its shape. From rounded it passed to a rhombus shape, then to a triangle, to return again to being rounded. It moved fast in that strip of space, almost hopping, it flashed and then it suddenly disappeared. Looking for it, Grandpa Freddy pointed the telescope outside the solar system, without being able to find it. Then , when he, tired of looking for it in vain, returned to his observation of the solar system, when he least expected it, here, it reappeared that little , indecipherable thing, that flashed with a light between yellow and green. He, grandfather Freddy, could not even understand precisely what shape it had, since, that minimal flashing., skipping light, as moving, changed its shape. Could it be an object? Maybe an object ended, who knows how, up there from the earth, or maybe from a spaceship, or even from another planet. Ah, that tiny, blinking thing ....he couldn’t understand WHAT it was, but for him it was still a signal or a sign pointing to something other, or also announcing something…perhaps someone.
But what or who that sign announced, he was not really able to know. At the same time Grandpa Freddy felt it was a signal sent right to him.
Who was sending it to him? He didn’t even know this. He still didn’t know, yet he had the feeling (presentment)that he would soon know it, that he was about to find out both who was sending him that signal, and what it was announcing. In the meantime he would have liked so much to be able to understand what that very little, minimal thing , which moved jumping and flashing, was, that is, to be able to see it more closely. During his astronomical observations it ( the mysterious little thing) appeared always suddenly, without he was able to understand ( to realize) where it came from. And then just as suddenly it disappeared, without he being able to realize where it was going. Every time that little flashing thing disappeared he, Grandpa Freddy, started looking for it frantically, venturing out of the solar system., but he was never able to find it. Ah, if he could see that minimal thing more closely, or…he could see it enlarged.
Grandfatther Freddy even happened to dream of that tiny thing, which was for sure extraneous to the solar system . In his dreams the very little mysterious thing advanced towards him, it became closer and closer to him, it ended to slam on his face. Grandpa Freddy was dazzled by its light, he couldn’t see it clearly, he couldn’t understand what it was. At times in his dreams to that minimal flashing thing, which was little more than a bright dot, the tail popped out, at times even the legs. Then , when he returned to see ( to watch) that very little thing in the telescope, Grandpa Freddy was influenced , in his way to see it, by how it had appeared to him in his dreams. In his observations with telescope that very little, bright thing almost always appeared and moved on the strip of space between the orbit of Mars and that of Jupiter, but sometimes it had reappeared, after he had given it for lost, even on Saturn’s rings, and even on a crater of the moon. Grandpa Freddy happened to have a dream in which from that very small, rounded , flashing thing which , moving very fast, went close to him, a finger came out , that went to rest on the junction of his nose. Well, after that dream, when he looked again at the very small thing with the telescope, it seemed to him , however minimal it was, to see it as a very little hand with two missing fingers. And so, after having dreamed that a big toe came out of that tiny ball of light, in his observation with the telescope he seemed to see it ( the very little thing) as a tiny foot.
Grandpa Freddy thought …he was beginning to understand from where, perhaps even from whom that signal____that very tiny thing____was being sent to him. He was dismayed, worried…indeed he felt fear blowing on his face like an icy wind. In that series of atrocious crimes for which he too had been suspected and investigated, the girls who had been killed had also been mutilated: to whom they had cut off a hand, to whom a foot, to whom the nose, to whom the head. The pathologists who had done the autopsy had said that those mutilations had been inflicted on the girls still alive. Oh, they had been truly horrible crimes. He, Grandpa Freddy, had been among the suspects mainly because they had found in his house bullets of the same caliber as those with which the girls had been killed. And then, how couldn’t he think that if he had been suspected and investigated for those crimes, it had been also because of his past in the Foreign Legion? Ah, after all he had not been indicted, he had been acquitted of all charges. Yet now, when he looked through the telescope at that tiny , flashing thing, and it seemed to him it was a foot,or a hand, or a ear…he felt a fear that made his heart tremble. He felt he was facing with something he could not escape. He said himself oh, it was only a suggestion , it was because of his dreams , where hands, feets , fingers came out of that tiny thing jumping in the space, if he seemed, if he thought he saw really a hand, or a finger, or a foot in that tiny thing , when he looked at it through the telescope.But grandfather Freddy continued to tremble with fear. Because , even if he had been acquitted of all charges, he had witnessed one of those atrocious crimes. Not that he had taken an active part in it, but he had seen who had committed the crime.
And even when he had been investigated, he never had revealed it, yet he knew who the killers were. As he knew he was responsible for the crimes which had been committed after the one he had witnessed along with other voyeurs like him., who had stayed to watch …the show. He remembered with a squeeze in his heart the girl who had been killed, whose head had been cut off. He felt guilty too, he couldn’t help but feel guilty too. He had been acquitted of all charges, it was true, but he felt that a sentence had already been iussed for him too.
That day , as soon as he saw it in the telescope, that tiny bright thing turned into the young face of the girl he had been seen killed, beheaded. The girl’s smiling face moved towards him, and just before it went on his face, a bullet hit Grandpa Freddy in the centre of his forehead. In his last moment of life he felt as if he was flying towards infinite space.