Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • "Charles Maurice was lying on the bed, supported by a mechanical exoskeleton. He dreamt of being an emperor, dispenser of titles in exchange for praises. He was shrewd enough to know that the first and second ones are only external means for internal affairs.
    Where there is no flesh, the spirit covers thoughts with felt. So Charles Maurice, who could barely walk with his iron prosthesis, he lay eroded by the perspective of the empires. He fantasized about trading with sumptuous and foreign lands His, polymorphous, sublime mind hid among its slits all the vocabularies and notions, a great intellect that certainly weighed heavily on his uncertain skeleton.

    His eyes loony pupils assembled clouds, luxuriant lands, bridges, markets, cities and farmers burdened with onerous taxes. His nasal septum, slightly crooked, untied a twisted face. His long fingers clung to the cage around his neck: a limpish excrescence between his head and shoulders. The air got through, and with it, the dream of power. His feet came out from the bed, like a sign of conquest.

    Charles Maurice, elegant and erudite with a lively imagination, was reduced to the infinity of those presumed lands! He imagined himself galloping upon a canopy draged by the Asians and the blackest of giants. He was ugly, almost unpleasant. From a prominent family, silver cutlery, corridors and halls with ancestors' paintings, still locked treasure chests and servants for each room, they guaranteed him a secure income and a wife. If he had been able to have an offspring, other girls would become, mercenary lovers. He thought of other things. Fear and dresses, he saw himself as a sovereign, a great diplomat, a conqueror, or these three things all together. Heaven and earth deceived Charles Maurice, and he reciprocated by composing idylls on the wall.
    The lack of movement had sharpened formidable perspectives. He treated both orderlies and doctors as if they were all slaves. Charles Maurice's arguments were too witty and full of double meanings; cutting jokes, so unpredictable and paradoxical, that he could embarrass anyone. He yearned for a better world, subjugated by his hand. He was alone, unable to move. He dreamed of the walls of his empires and then, not content with it, he pulled down the bastions to reconstruct them more majestic and surrounded by beautiful gardens of jade.
    Without his avidity, Charles Maurice would have been any monster in an every day life; one of those who, unable to tread the walks, is surrounded by a curious salon. Midgets, Orientals, women attracted to the extravagant qualities of the houses' lord. The family jewels. His bust and pelvis were as thin as his arms, his skull was no more broad of his narrow thighs: he was all a tremor supported by the false railing of a prosthesis. When he was free of it he sagged on the small bed. If all the criminal princes and the villain sovereigns had such powerless bodies, there would no longer be the noise of battle in the world. Earth's mighty have sublime bodies and phalanxes armed with metal shells, but in their helmets, soft brains crush like a silly octopus."




    "Charles Maurice era sdraiato sul letto, sorretto da un esoscheletro meccanico. Sognava d'essere imperatore, dispensatore di titoli in cambio di elogi. Era abbastanza arguto da sapere che i primi e i secondi sono solo mezzi esteriori per gli affari interni.

    Dove manca la carne, lo spirito infeltrisce un pensiero. Così Charles Maurice, che a stento poteva camminare nelle sue protesi ferrose, giaceva eroso dalla prospettiva degli imperi. Fantasticava traffici con terre straniere e sontuose. La sua mente eccelsa, polimorfa, celava nelle feritoie vocabolari interi e nozioni, un grande intelletto che certo pesava sullo scheletro malcerto.

    Pupille strambe montavano nuvole, terre rigogliose, ponti, mercati, città e contadini su cui gravare onerose tasse. Il setto nasale, lievemente deviato, snodava un viso sghembo. Dita lunghissime, avvinghiate alla gabbia attorcigliata al collo: fra la testa e le spalle un’escrescenza molliccia. L’aria passava e con essa i sogni di potere. I piedi uscivano dal letto, come un segno di conquista.

    Charles Maurice, dotto, fervida immaginazione, elegante, ridotto all’infinitezza di quelle terre presunte! Si immaginava a galoppo di un baldacchino trascinato da asiatici e giganti nerissimi. Era brutto, quasi sgradevole. Famiglia altolocata, stoviglie d’argento, corridoi e saloni con tele d’antenati, forzieri ancora chiusi e servitori per ogni stanza, gli garantivano redditi sicuri e moglie. Fosse riuscito a costituire una prole, sarebbero arrivate altre femmine, amanti prezzolate. Lui pensava ad altro. Paventi e indumenti, si vedeva sovrano, gran diplomatico, un conquistatore, o tutte e tre le cose insieme. Cielo e terra ingannavano Charles Maurice, e lui ricambiava componendo idilli sulla parete.
    La scarsezza dei movimenti aveva acuito prospettive formidabili. Trattava inservienti e medici alla stregua di una schiatta di schiavi. Gli argomenti di Charles Maurice erano troppo arguti e densi di doppi sensi; battute caustiche, imprevedibili e paradossali, capaci di mettere in imbarazzo chiunque. Vagheggiava un mondo migliore soggiogato alla sua mano. Era solo, non poteva muoversi. Sognava le mura dei propri imperi poi, non contento, faceva abbattere i bastioni per ricostruirli più maestosi e circondati da meravigliosi giardini di giada.
    Senza la sua avidità, Charles Maurice sarebbe stato un qualsiasi mostro riposto nella quotidianità; di quelli che, non potendo calcare le passeggiate, si contornano di un salotto curioso. Nani, orientali, donne attratte dalle qualità stravaganti del padrone di casa. I gioielli di famiglia. Busto e bacino esili come le braccia, col cranio non più largo delle strette cosce: era un fremito sorretto dalla ringhiera posticcia di una protesi. Quando se ne liberava si afflosciava sul piccolo letto. Se tutti i principi criminali e i sovrani scellerati avessero un corpo così impotente, al mondo non vi sarebbe il chiasso delle battaglie. I potenti della terra hanno corpi eccelsi e falangi armate di scocche metalliche, ma nell’elmo, un molle cervello si stritola come una piovra sciocca."






    Tr. Alessandra Russo
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.