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Historical Fiction Fiction

Bernard oscillated out of his Mansion in a relaxed manner, just like America’s situation in World War 1.

He outstretched himself enough to sip in fresh air and then plunged his hand into a coarse pocket to grab a cigar.

He lit the pipe scratchily but the harsh winter swallowed the nascent, grey fumes.

Cornering the cigar with his hand, he a-blazed the lighter. The lighter felt numbingly cold on his hand. 

When he almost managed to hit the lighter on the right spot with the right pressure, the arrival of a bunch of stapled newspapers blew the lighter away.

He felt the blow thunderously.

His eyes fixated to the papers and he could imagine himself with an accentuated jawline, rubbing hand ferociously against the lighter. When suddenly bulky newspapers dived into the scene stealthily, and abandoned the lighter.

He shoved the cigar pipe aside and pulled out one newspaper from the pack, spreading it sheet by sheet like playing cards.

The American Times

Europe is presently more war-ridden than ever in the history of the nation’s bloodshed. A decision is soon to be made by the government, concerning survival issues.

Bernard looked out in the void, distraught by what he read. 

His eyes froze and he felt black blood oozing through well spaced streets, splattering against balconies and seeping inside well known homes surreptitiously, just like plagued mice. Terror swallowed people of the city and death was stamped on their forehead. Blunt gunshots were to be heard within uncomfortably short time intervals.

He continued reading.

Along with a few changes that it plans to adopt in its alliance with the US, obliterating import of pasta completely, albeit there is a particularly high demand, was the first step.

His pupils dilated. He could feel a large plate of pasta enlarging delectably, as he hauled open his arms trying to reach for it.

It grew bigger and bigger. But he remained small. Instead, more people barged in to fill in the plate’s area. People pushed, punched and twisted each other to be inside ‘the circle’. The plate came to a halt. With a wave of profoundness, it propelled down to them.

People were cheering with their mouths salvaging heavily. But in the very end the pasta was slapped hard on their faces and taken back.

He folded the newspapers into several half’s haphazardly as the exaggerated burden tumbled on him.

When he looked at the street, he saw a woman staring at him. Not in disgust. Not in surprise. Just plainly. So plainly and in a constant fashion such that it almost made him swallow his tongue.

He subtly overheard a group of men conversing about something that he though was vividly exciting: business.

He combed his hair systematically through the files of his fingers, adjusted his coat confidently and parted towards the battlefield of words, like a tough man.

His gaze stumbled and he noticed the woman still staring at him. 

Sure many ladies stared at him cause because he was a young and handsome man, but this stare was way off the subject of attraction. It was to deal with something deeper.

As he walked, he realized that she had worn a bright pink bustle, that had black highlights inked on the frills and furls and a top hat that sat on her neatly tied hair.

Entering the circle of discussion, Bernard started off with a prudent flair.

‘Ahem there gentleman!” They greeted him back with a similar touch of dignity.

“Yes Mr.Whitelad, I very much agree to the fact that disturbance in Europe’s economy should not the motivation for any kind of buisness be lowered. Especially regarding ban of import of pasta from Europe.” Bernard said.

The lady looked at him with both her brows perched up for a split second. He noticed that and sped the wave of his talk, clearly motivated.

The discussion went on and on. With time, after examining the wrinkling and loosening of skin, Bernard realized that the lady, whom he though was 30, was a sure 50. He was pretty impressed by her mysterious contorts, but now he was keen to know what did she want from him.

There were times when Bernard made exclusive statements and yet the lady didn’t even curl a single eyelash. It was like she bored holes into his eyes by her intimidating stare. Uncomfortable Bernard even rotated the talk circle so that she was given the view of his back and he was spared, but his back seemed to have 2 pairs of eyes.

“HEY!” He heard a sharp, determined voice. It was her, the lady.

She shouted at a young boy whose lips were dotted with cheese, in dignified elegance.

“No havin’ pasta in America anymore!” She stared at the package of pasta; her posture composed. But Bernard was shaken.

“Why not missy?” He fought back.

Group of people started crowding the area and Bernard was cut off from the woman’s voice.

- - - -

He could see that he boy hunched his bony back.

“Okay darling?” The lady said.

“Okay missy.” He gave in.

When he looked at the wall, the woman was gone.

His interaction with the woman replayed in his head again and again, with more intensity.

She didn’t even say one word to him and had hardly spoken to anyone else, but she left behind a very heavy impact on him. 

‘There had to be some connection. She wanted to tell me something, but couldn’t. No- she did. She left behind a hint- to follow her and talk to the young boy. The reason why she left was so that I follow her. And the boy who would help me locate her, could probably provide valuable information.

He stopped to ask the young boy.

“Young lad, why did the woman do what she did? Doesn’t she like pasta?”

“Oh no mister, she adores them. Infact, she loves it so much that she has preserved every type of pasta as an antique on her 55th birthday.”

“Then why did she behave like that?”

“Because- um”

Bernard ran ahead as he caught eye of pink lace against the cobblestone street. It was the lady.

She halted as she reached her seemingly house. Steadily, he moved forward to approach her. As he paced ahead, she slid inside her mansion. 

Bernard knocked the door. 

She opened it with a soft smile. 

“Pasta.” It was the only thing he said.

“Yes.” She replied instantly with a raw spirit.

“But why? You love it!”

She looked at him with the soft smile put on, but didn’t answer.

“There is something to do with pasta. Infact, pasta one whole of a mystery itself. Ever you opened your mouth or changed your expressions was when pasta came into the picture. Why is this the case? Why the long stares? For pasta?” He demanded.

"Dear son, there is one thing in life that we truly love, love more than ourselves. And for me, that is my nation- America.” He was surprised. “We all get one opportunity to serve that special thing. Two opportunities if you are lucky enough. But otherwise only one.”

“What do you mean to say?”

“I mean to say that London cutting down on import of pasta is fine. Bearable. But, America has to show ‘em, show the world that it can produce pasta on its own and with better taste, in the roughest of times.”

Bernard’s heartbeat increased. He could feel America in the form of a rickety table. As pasta was picked up from one corner, one leg lost its balance and was uprooted from its position. The remaining table stammered and fluttered and drowned down into the drains until- a stem rose from the tables’s center and uplifted it.

He looked at the lady. She looked back at him, sensing the vibrations that he emitted during his visualisations.

Suddenly, she started to perspire as if cascading waterfalls were pouring off her head. 

“Ouch, my back.” She held her back painstakingly.

“Dear lord, what’s happening?”

“I..am goin’ to diie, it’s a, a he-art attack.”

“Wait here for another minute, I’ll call-“

“Do n-not.” She grabbed his wrist.

“I got to call a doctor. Please. They- they’ll think I killed you.”

“No. No, they won’t kiiill ya.” She said with purple passion in her eyes. “You have to live.” He looked into the depths of her eyes. He could feel the vehemence of the words surfacing from her lips.

“For America! It deserves a pasta factory. Do it f-f-for Am-erica!”

And there she passed away.

1 year later

It was noon. Dressed in a black tuxedo and her Top hat, Bernard presented a bouquet of pink flowers and a grandeur packet of pasta on ‘The Lady’s’ gravestone. He looked straight up to his pasta factory across the greenery with a sense of glory and smiled at the gravestone honorably. He placed the hat and bowed.

[ Real life event in history- Vincent LaRosa and his five sons opened the first pasta factory in the United States. Bernard is shown as one of the sons of the Brooklyn entrepreneurs; the name ‘bernard’ is fictional.]

February 11, 2021 20:11

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5 comments

Daniel R. Hayes
23:28 Feb 15, 2021

Hi, I just read this story and I think you did a great job. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write, but you made me want some "Pasta." I think it's cool that this story is based on a real life event. I had no idea about this. I enjoyed reading this story. It was very vivid, and your descriptive writing made that possible. Oh, and thank you for the mention in your bio, that was very sweet and I think you're amazing too.

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Vibes Blossom
05:14 Feb 16, 2021

Hey thanks a lot. Yeah since it was my first historical fiction that was intervened in real life it was the toughest until now. Oh how I wish readers could get a free bowl of pasta for reading the story, lol. Yeah that event was very unpopular. But because of this reason and the fact that it involves food (not war) I felt it was crucial for people to learn about it and value it. Thank you for sincere praise! Your most welcome:) Thanks And yes, I realised that I couple of your stories or maybe more are yet to read, but I'll make sure as an...

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:41 Feb 16, 2021

Thanks, sometimes I get so many ideas that I have to write them and I just hope that people like them. That's why I write.

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Vibes Blossom
05:55 Feb 16, 2021

That's awesome!

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Vibes Blossom
21:35 Feb 12, 2021

Hey guys This is the first historical fiction that I've ever written in my life. Yay, so cheers to that. Not studing history in school made the prompt even harder but I just wanted to give it a go. So hereeee it is after doing tons of research and devoting extra energy. I am curious to know what you guys think about it.

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