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   Chapter 36 Bardolino, brace yourself

The Story of the Mimosa By Paul Kater Characters: 11905

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04

They walked up Via Pralesi and then turned left towards Via Marzan, which passed his house and the damaged shed.

"What happened here?" Barthomeu asked as he noticed the roof being almost entirely beside the shed.

"The suit happened. There is no way to look behind or over you inside the suit, " Maurizio explained as more and more people stopped and stared. Some of them whispered, some were silent, but the entire group attracted more than its fair share of attention. Considering the rather outrageous and also many different ways that most of them were dressed that was hardly a surprise.

"Morizio, you live in an interesting place, " Barthomeu said, looking at the buildings left and right of the street. His attitude changed dramatically when they reached the end of the silent street and an Alfa Romeo came roaring by.

Maurizio knew the thing; it was the car of the mayor's son who always drove like a maniac. Being a good Italian he raised a fist and shouted "imbecille eccesso di velocità!" after the racing driver. Immediately the Harmony Clan raised their fists and repeated the words in fluent Italian.

"Morizio? What does that mean?" Zopierama asked.

"It means speeding imbecile. Because he is an imbecile, " Maurizio translated.

"Do you have such a thing too?" Ninnie wondered with a sparkle in her eyes. "It looks like fun to go that fast!"

"I don't. I'm just a postman with a bicycle, " Maurizio said. "Come, it's safe to cross the street now." In the distance he saw a Fiat approach. It was bright orange, so that was Mrs. Calgione's car, and she always drove so slowly that a snail could outrun her. Like a schoolmaster he herded the group to the other side of the road and went into the Via Vasco da Gama, where the more interesting bits of the village were.

Zopierama and Barthomeu wanted to go into a hardware store. The store promptly was crowded with the whole crew inside, and the owner, Mr. Visanbretti, almost had a stroke when the Clan all but brought down one of the large, overloaded and very unstable racks in the middle of the shop. They were just curious to see what things were on the top shelf of the rack and had not taken into consideration that old shops also had old racks.

Zopierama fell for a plunger. She adored the thing so much that Maurizio bought it for her, although he had no idea what good it would do on the ship. Barthomeu inspected the thing as they left the shop and decided it was good. The next stop was a ladies' clothing store. Rebel was overjoyed to see all the different clothes. Maurizio was less pleased to see all the different price tags, but found himself relieved when Rebel's taste in clothes was not so much extravagant as it was for comfort and convenience. Ninnie looked at a few scarves (which were 30% off) and Maurizio offered to get her one. At first Ninnie objected but the others from the clan said that a scarf would look good on her so she had a scarf.

Carmolo kept to the background and did his best to act as an inconspicuous military person who wanted to ensure everyone's safety. Barthomeu stood close to him and they discussed the various garments that hung everywhere. Not much of it looked all too familiar to them as the colours were odd and so were the shapes of some dresses. Barthomeu was glad that his dear Zopierama did not venture into those clothes. When the group left, Rebel wearing a new dress and her leather suit in a carrying bag (her boots looked wrong with the dress but she didn't care), Maurizio was certain that his spending money for the

over a shoulder, who came pacing towards the group. Of course there were no cars in the street this time.

"He is my boss, " the postman explained. "I should have been at work today."

"Let him come, " said Zopierama as she swung her plunger, almost hitting Dimmie in the chest.

A fluent stream of Italian came from the mouth of the postmaster. He spoke so well and long that many a foreign lady would have swooned for the lustful sound that he appeared to make. For Maurizio however there was nothing lustful about it except perhaps the man's lust for his blood.

Carmolo stepped between the two men. It was good that the postmaster was a small person for Earth sizes. The staff corporal grabbed him by the belt of the mail-satchel. "Do not talk to our friend that way, " he said, "or you will encounter the wrath of the Grand Koorstafa!" That said he let the man go and waited for a reaction. When it came, he didn't understand it.

"What did he say?" The postmaster's grasp of language was limited to the Italian dialect of his village.

"I'm not sure. Have you ever heard of the Grand Koorstafa?"

"No. What's that supposed to be?" The postmaster had completely forgotten the reason why he had come over.

"I'll ask him." Maurizio asked Carmolo about the Grand Koorstafa.

"It is the space creature that ate our original home planet, " the staff corporal said. "We knew it was coming so we escaped to the little planet. Most of our people did not make it there due to bad maintenance of their ships, so they were lost when the Koorstafa arrived."

Maurizio then explained to his superior that a Koorstafa was a large creature that ate planets. But probably just one at a time.

The effect was slightly exaggerated, the postman and tour guide thought. His boss stepped back into the street, staring at the group. "You, Blunt, you are mad. I knew it. University is not healthy and now look at the lot you are mingling with. More friends from there I am sure. Let me tell you, Blunt, that you are fired. You will never carry another letter in this town!" He did not know that Maurizio would prove him wrong.

The man's agitated expression and loud speech made Zopierama keep her plunger at the ready but as she saw that the man was retreating she lowered her weapon. Probably Carmolo's mention of the Grand Koorstafa'd had quite an impact on the man.

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