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The mystery of good friday
Titol | The mystery of good friday
Author | Antonio Sobrio
ISBN | 9788893324601
© All rights reserved to the author
No part of this publication may be reproduced without the
prior consent of the author.
Via Roma, 73 – 73039 Tricase (LE) – Italy
The picture in the back cover is by Davide Zeccolella
Before you start reading I want to tell you I’m sorry if the translation isn’t perfect but I’m Italian and I can’t write very well in English. Anyway I hope the novel will like you the same and will give you good emotions and sensation. My purpose is in fact that people of every place of the world can know the amazing island where I was born and I live, its history, its culture, its art, its beauties and spreading my ideals in every corner of the planet. Thank you.
Places, people and information are freely inspired by the real, the reference to people and situations is purely causal. The use of names and surnames typical of the place aims to make the description of the story more realistic and contextualized in the place where it is set.
Terra Murata is the highest point on the island of Procida, the smallest of the gulf of Naples, just four kilometers big. Arriving from the mainland by ferry or hydrofoil, it is the first place you look, topped by the imposing d'Avalos Palace, an ancient fortress built by Cardinal Innico Avalos of Aragon, in the second half of the sixteenth century, with the aim of intimidating and defend against invasions by pirates. Since 1830, at the behest of King Ferdinand II of Bourbon, the elegant old building was adapted and used as a prison and entrusted to the custody of military corps of the Royal Navy, destined mainly to the imprisonment of prisoners of war and exile. This function was performed until the early seventies of the 1900s when, probably for the inadequate sanitation, was closed and left in a state of neglect for decades to come.
Besides the palace, for the same reason concerning the threat of attacks by pirates, which raged for long periods, Cardinal Innico Avalos of Aragon, who held the function of ecclesiastical governor of the island, built thick walls of enclosure, to protect the entire settlement. It was then that the area gained the title of “Terra Murata” (wall land), instead of “Terra Casata” (home land), name of the first settlements on the island, as a defensive castle natural, tuff, digging in which habitants had built the first houses.
The heart of “Terra Murata” was the abbey of St. Michaelthe Archangel, built in 1026 as a monastery and destroyed several times by Saracen pirates, only to be rebuilt from the political and religious power on the island, in particular by the aforementioned Innico D’Avalos.
Even today the old building, along with other attractions of artistic culture, such as the restored church of St. Margherita of the sixteenth century and De Iorio Palace, built before the sixteenth century and considered the home of Giovanni da Procida, the first vassal of island and hero of the Sicilian Vespers, plays a central role in the cultural and religious life of the island. Its charm makes it a destination for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world, attracted by the presence, inside, of priceless works, such as the silver statue of the patron saint, the gilded coffered ceiling and some extraordinary paintings.
The name of the island Procida, seems to derive from the Latin "prochyo", deep, indicating that as volcanic earth, has been thrown out from the depths of the sea. Others argue that it derives from Pro-Cuma, because it is near to Cuma. The question remains open and subject to debate.
"Marco, pass me the hammer, please?"
"The last effort, guys, we're almost there."
Good Thursday. On the Citadel of the mysteries, was born a few years earlier, near the prison, exactly where it took place drug dealing, there was intense preparations for the completion of the carts to carry in procession on Good Friday. The mysteries, precisely, hence the name Citadel of the mysteries. In addition to the existing premises, adapted for this purpose, the available area was also extended to the two forecourts, side of the road that leads out of Terra Murata, with the installation of some tents set on the ground.
Before the birth of the citadel, buildings were handmade realized within the large doors present in many buildings ancient dispersed on the island’s territory, with interior areas, covered, through providing access to homes and gardens placed behind them.
They were kept strictly secret, for the public to admire them only once completed, the same Friday, during the procession.
The Procession of the Mysteries, a tradition that has its roots in first half of the eighteenth century, is one of the most exciting events on the island during the year, along with the “Sagra del mare”, a festival of the sea, the highlight of the summer, dedicated to the memory of all lost at sea, where she was elected Miss Graziella. Miss of the island, choice of strictly local girls, aged from the fourteen, parades with the traditional clothes of women of Procida, colored from red, to green, to yellow, finely embroidered in gold and jealously guarded by some of the families place, only willing to grant a loan, because there are currently very few authentic specimens.
Very expected, during the year, are also the various processions dedicated to patron saints.
The procession of the mysteries begins early in the morning, starting just by Terra Murata, and then paraded through some of the streets historical center of the island and end around noon, on the harbor of Great Marine. Here the mysteries remain on display for about an hour or two, before being returned to the citadel, where they will remain available to anyone who wants to admire them for some weeks to come.
To construction and equipment the mysteries are two associations in particular, Boys of mysteries and The island of mysteries, the second spun out of the first, to differences of views with the rest of the members, which resulted in a split. To its members, for the installation and commissioning shows the mysteries, it was granted recently another public facility, the ex church of St. Giacomo, located on Vittorio Emanuelestreet, the main street of the island, not far from the historic center.
Ex church since 1979 because within it aren’t celebrated more features religious. So it is in disuse because the deconsecration provides that at its internal be incurred serious incidents such as suicide or murder, that however they are not to have occurred. At least officially, and up to moment. Just it was decided to allocate the structure to cultural compatible and that took into account the fact that at one time was a house of God. The rites of Good Thursday, in particular the washing of the feet of the apostles, and the last dinner, taking place right in inside, forcing the members of The Island of the mysteries to move a few days before the procession, carrying their mysteries on the citadel.
The decision to allocate the structure type activities primarily cultural, such as art exhibitions and painting, plays and musical evenings, was probably dictated also by the fact that within two hundred square meters, or a little more, there are also four churches, for a total, on the whole territory, where they live about ten thousand habitants, more than ten churches, all active. In practice a church for every thousand habitants, almost more than shops of basic necessities, such as grocers and food.
"Look here what I bought on the Internet", said Nico with a satisfied tone to his friends.
"What?", he replied Federico, with his brown hair slightly forelock, eyes thrown forward and the nose slightly pointed.
"A microphone? That black box is a microphone?"
"Where you sing, sorry?", added Saverio, a year older than the other two, tall, thin, with blue eyes, brown hair cut short, irregularly, and slightly protruding ears.
“Shit Saverio, you don’t understand anything. It isn’t a microphone to sing. It's called microphone, but need to ... "
Before continuing the phrase Nico, blacks hair shaved, eyes slightly squinting and burly physique, especially as regards the stomach, looked around to see if there was anyone who could hear him, after which, lowering his voice, said "It’s a bedbug. A bug."
"A bug? ", said Federico.
"Shhh, lowers your voice, that if we are discovering it was trouble."
"Where did you get it?", was the legitimate observation of Saverio.
"On the internet, I told you. There is a site that sells them."
"But it is legal? Well, I mean, you can freely sell such items to spy on people?" Federico was puzzled.
"I don’t know. It was enough to make the payment with a prepaid card or checking account, as you normally do for other purchases on other sites, and I have bought it. I spent twenty euro. Anyways however it is not professional and in any case I'm going to use it just for the fun of doing some innocent joke, after which I do disappear."
After a break Nico, already excited about how to use it, added "And if tonight we are putting him in some marquee on the Citadel of the mysteries? We are feeling a bit what they say, so, to pass the time, and tomorrow we will go to resume. How about?"
Federico, lover of jokes, said immediately agreed, while his girlfriend, Juana, an showy Cuban girl, tall and shapely, known on cruise ships, where he worked as a deck officer, bounced from one face to another with astonished expression, not having understood what they wanted to do.
Many maritime of Procida, as Federico, get engaged, and in many cases raise families, with women from many different parts of the world, known during their travels. As a result the island, especially in recent years, has become increasingly multicultural and multiracial, even after the increase of adoptions, especially of Asian children, as well as the arrival of many foreigners from Eastern European countries, especially Bulgaria, Ukraine and Poland. The latter in particular, since their countries joined the European Union, carry out work mainly as domestic workers and caregivers, tasks that Italians people often refuse to play, even if, gradually, they works also in additional sectors such as construction, gardening, supermarkets and so on.
Saverio, meanwhile, unlike Nico and Federico, didn’t seem as convinced to take part in the initiative conceived by his friends, considering it rather inconvenient and far from his way of doing. But he was in the minority, however, also he held back by its nature rather condescending, for not to make the figure of what you pull back did not show any concern. He often find themselves in that situation, as when, many years ago, he had been dragged by some friends smoking joints and, despite being contrary to participate from the start, he found himself also involved the arrival of the police. Fortunately they fared with a reprimand and a warning to parents, having at the time less than eighteen years.
"But how does it work?", asked Federico to Nico, already anticipating the situation.
"Inside there is a card of a mobile phone, you just dial the number with a telephone and to listen, just as if you were calling."
In the houses of Procida, those night, and for a while for weeks before, there was great expectation and excitement. The women were busy in bringing the final touches to the clothes that men of all ages would wear to take part in the procession. Dress completely white, wide bell, with on the bottom a series of folds that can unstitch to stretch in the case of children in their growth or if they must to use by different people.
The traditional costume is completed by other distinctive features: a hood with the front with two holes to eye level, reclining, to be fixed behind the neck; a short cape turquoise to settle on his shoulders, called “mozzetta”; a cord of the same color to be tied at the waist; Finally, a pair of white shoes that everyone puts on the model and brand preferred, provided they are completely white. It can happen, however, that someone points out the symbol of some large multinational, especially in the case of young boys or unwary appearance or doubts aesthetic tastes.
The same clothes, without mozzetta and tied at the waist, are worn on the evening of Good Thursday, during the procession of the Apostles, in which twelve members of the Brotherhood of the Whites parade through the streets of the island, in a thoughtful and silent atmosphere, to some meters away from each other. They have a hood pulled over his face, making them unrecognizable, the crown of thorns on his head and a black wooden cross on his shoulders. All elements that give them a rather sinister and disturbing, while the people there knows who is behind them, though in no particular order. Because at the end of the procession, removed his clothes, they get together, as already mentioned, in the former church of St. James, to simulate the washing of the feet and the meal of the Last Supper of Jesus.
In the homes of new parents, uncles and grandparents, on cabinet doors stood out the classic dress angel, completely black, with golden decorations and hat with plume, wearing which the baby is carried in procession in her father's arms, grandfather’s arms or uncle’s arms, occupying a segment located to the rear of the procession, behind all the mysteries.
Some dads, finally, in private homes, basements or garages, gave the finishing touches to the little mysteries that were preparing for their little children, with the size of a desk or a little more. The excitement was great and covered all, either, boys, men, women, elderly, children, regardless of age and gender, including those who do not have directly participated in the event but who were preparing to live it as mere spectators, including Federico, Juana, Nico and Saverio.
Like every year, Federico, Nico e Saverio, along with Juana, for which it was instead the first time, were driving on the citadel to peek in the sheds and take a look in preview at the mysteries.
When they were child had taken part in the event several times, but now, after thirty years, for work that, as in the case of Federico kept him away from the island for several months a year, and detachment the habits of young people, more and more taken by the needs of adult life, as in the case of Nico and Saverio, they were only spectators.
Federico especially remembered with emotion and a bit of homesickness the magic of that day, as a child, thinking about his future, he was convinced that he would never go away from his island to do not living those feelings. Then things had gone differently and need to work, that there is not on the island, he had been forced, like many other persons of Procida, to pursue a maritime career.
He remembered the preparations during all night, until dawn, in an atmosphere evocative made of sacred images and symbols related to religion and more. Shewn now, the mystery was brought to Terra Murata, by hand, except some smaller children’s mysteries who were transported by vans or pickup trucks. Their clothes were still folded in large plastic bags tied to the “sdanghe”, wooden or iron poles, with which the mysteries are lifted and transported, while the sky was dark and people of Procida was still in their beds to sleep. Or at least trying, as they were more exciting for the procession, waiting for the morning alarm clock.
Sometimes, remembered Federico, they had also enjoyed playing bells and intercoms of homes along the way, childish that everyone has enjoyed doing in the age of thoughtlessness, and who remember the time always with great pleasure and joy.
But if that atmosphere and that magic should be represented by one symbol, if need only choose one emblem, it would undoubtedly the trumpet. A particular version of the wind instrument without keys, from which emerges a screeching sound. A kind of lament that, after some initial notes, remains dormant for a few long seconds, simulating the sound that accompanied condemned to death in ancient Rome.
The trumpet is played by a very small group of residents of the island, the only ones who know technique and secrets revealed and handed down only a few chosen others, destined to succeed and take their place in time. The sound echoed through the streets of the island already during the night and early morning hours, as a reminder to the entire population to participate at the event. Subsequently it leads the procession, accompanied and succeeded, within a few meters and seconds, by three shots of eardrum, played with particular force and vehemence by another group of people who work constantly changing, as the players of trumpet, requiring it a huge physical effort in the first case and great breath in the second case.
The strong sense of unity and cohesion that is created between the participants in the procession, especially on Thursday, when they are all present, even those who no longer lives on the island and back for the occasion, is something unique. Vaguely reminiscent of the times of the last year of school or the atmosphere that you live inside the theater groups before going on stage, but accompanied by an emphasis and a mixture of feelings and sensations even stronger and overwhelming, as rarely it happens to experience in the life of a person.
To contributing at the exciting are also expected to know how will be the react of the multitude of people huddled along roadsides during the procession in front of their mystery. The curiosity of the comparison with those of others to declare what will be the best, the most beautiful, the most original, the most heavily.
This yardstick concerns especially the younger kids, who take into account, as the main discriminating, its heaviness, even more than beauty, emphasizing the important aspect of the physical effort and sacrifice bodily tribute aims to emulate what Jesus worked for the salvation of mankind.
The mysteries in particular are made up of a base, made with wooden wall, about fifty centimeters high from the ground, on which are depicted scenes from the life of Jesus in the traditional way. The materials used are chosen among those less heavy, such as cardboard, wood chipboard, polystyrene, and so on, so that they are transportable without the risk of not being able to get to the end of the path. In practice this is a kind of carnival floats, similar to those that are being built in Viareggio, but in religious terms, transported in an atmosphere of recollection, being a funeral, that of Jesus in particular.
A fundamental element of the parade is just the statue of the dead Christ, the work of sculptor Carmine Lantriceni, completed in 1728, as attested by the signature and the date placed on the wooden base. Not much is known about him, but the date on purpose would seem to rule that this was an inmate of the House Criminal of Procida, as an urban legend would like it to be, since it was established more than a century later. Rather, as attested by a rectangular area at the base of the statue itself, shortly before the author's signature, which covers three golden dots arranged in a triangle, he probably belonged to Freemasonry, secret society evidently widespread in the eighteenth century Neapolitan. Probably the work was commissioned, as is shown by a bill of fifty ducats, about eight hundred, nine hundred euros current on its payment. Digit rather small for such a work, if it was confirmed.
Just before the statue of the dead Christ in the procession is carried on shoulders Our Lady of Sorrows, representative Mary, mother of Jesus, grieving for his son on the cross, with black dress and golden decorations.
The tradition, as mentioned, was born in 1629, when it was established the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, called the “Turchini”, for the turquoise color of mozzetta, the small cape bearing the brothers on white robes.
Obviously over the years we have been gradually introduced various and successive changes to the religious event. As the size of the mysteries, always larger, building techniques, up to the issue of representation itself, expanding it first to the Old Testament and, more recently, current events, in order to make news, too at technical level, keeping pace with the times and by evolving tradition, but while never straying too much from its principles.
Before entering the Citadel of mysteries, Federico, Juana, Nico and Saverio made a brief stop at the bar-pizzeria-restaurant "La piazzetta" in Of Martyrs Square. Square named in honor of the martyrs of 1799, remembered by a marble stele placed on one side of the base on which stands the bronze statue of the illustrious jurist, economist and politician Italian Antonio Scialoja, who died in his beloved Procida in 1877.
They tasted great lemon granite, a sort of ice cream prepared with typical lemons of Procida, especially large and with a thick pulp which makes them suitable to be eaten even the salad, seasoned with salt and mint or sugar, according to taste.
"Oh my god this climb", said Nico, queued other while traveling along the short but painfully leaning climb to Terra Murata, Salita Castello street.
Saverio, with his cigarette still between his fingers, was a few steps ahead of him, more accustomed to walk. Leading the group were Federico, the most athletic and fit of the four, holding the hand of Juana, almost dragging. With her high heels she was completely out of place for the paving stones and cobblestones of which consist predominantly the streets of the island. She was definitely in trouble, moving almost as if she were walking on stilts.
Just then it descended, at a certain speed, a car with the stereo ball, which came from the disco hit of the moment, by vibrating to the beat of bass even the windows of the car itself and the cobblestones on the ground. "'Tamarri", commented Federico looking at them askance, a term which in Rome defines the forced, or at least the peasants in general, considering them completely out of place on the island, especially on a night like this, completely breaking the atmosphere that prevailed.
"But the fighters did not say anything?", said Saverio.
"And that should mean?", was the reply ironic Nico. "Here everyone goes about his business, including firefighters. Then something happens and everyone to say "I knew it, you had to intervene before", etc ....etc .... The people of Procida, ... »
Fortunately, after a few seconds back calm.
Once in front of the former shop of the prison, the Belvedere Cannon, before proceeding to the sheds, the four stopped near the two findings of Bourbon times that give the place its name. They admired for the umpteenth time in their lives the extraordinary landscape before them, with the profile of Procida and the background the island of Ischia with the imposing Mount Epomeo. They had seen a hundred times, yet each time they remained enraptured as if it were the first, feeling proud to see tourists equally amazed in front of the breathtaking scenery, as if in some way belonged to him, it was a bit too.
"Well? In that tent we place it?”, Nico said softly, approaching others, impatient as a child to take action.
"I would say in one of Ciro Lubrano," he said Federico gassed by the idea. "With him do the mystery so Mario Scotto, Domenico Costagliola and others we know. So we enjoy to hear what they say, right?"
"Good idea", said Nico. "What do you think Saverio?"
"For me it’s the same", it was the answer of Saverio, condescending as usual, when he was in group situations like that. Only to come out with its ideas whenever he was face to face with a few friends with whom he had a relationship more confidential, including Federico.
To build the mysteries, as mentioned, are groups of more people, which can be up to twenty, thirty or more, depending on how many bases make up the mystery. Typically, however, each is identified with the name of who stood out more over time for his charismatic qualities or manufacturer. Similarly where a football team is represented by its best player, despite being part of a group of more than twenty of them. In that case it was just Ciro Lubrano, with whom Federico was found to make the mystery a few times as a kid.
"And how do we do?", he added Nico.
"Simple. While we turn around the mystery to grasp the details, without noticing we place the microphone somewhere where it is not visible."
"Right. I forgot to tell you that the microphone has a magnet, so if there is something iron, reinforcement type, the kind that are typically used to hold two wall of wood, there we can stick on it."
"Great", said Federico. "Then just inside look around and try immediately if there is something on which it can attack. Alternatively we can always place it in a corner, covered, so that nobody can see it. "
"Ok, let's go" and crossed the threshold of the tent.
"Good evening, guys, can you?"
"Please, please, come."
"Ué, hello Federico. Hello guys, come in, come. Come and see. So what? How about? You like?"
"Beautiful", said Nico. "What it is?"
"I'm glad you like it", replied Ciro smiling. "Title is "The sacrifice of the lamb." It depicts the memorial described in the Old Testament, according to which, as God commanded him to do unto Moses and Aaron, the day of Passover is sacrificed a lamb to commemorate the liberation of the people of Palestine from Egypt. The jambs and lintels that you see played depict the homes of the people where the lamb was eaten and that the people had to mark it with the blood of the same, so that the Lord, having to strike down every firstborn to punish the gods of Egypt, would passed over. On the basis instead there is a reproduction of the dead Christ, symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus made at the behest of the Father, to recall the Lamb."
"I guess to be heavy?", said Saverio as he admired the tall and robust reproductions of housing.
"Enough", said Ciro. "Except for wood and plywood we have also used some plaster casts and various reinforcements to make columns more stable and prevent them squeak during the procession. Under the base we even added the iron plates corner”, and he smiled full of himself.
At those words Nico, Federico and Saverio turned almost in unison their eyes with smug look. View amazed expression which in turn took Ciro in response, Federico, to avoid suspicion, hastened to reply: "Mama, the iron reinforcements? Who knows who killed you will."
"Yeah, but that's the beauty of the procession. More and more tired you're satisfied in the end."
"Too bad you don’t bring the mystery", he was told by a voice from the back of the shed, which was followed by a big laugh from everyone.
In fact, representatives of the various mysteries, during the procession, usually walk a few meters in front of the mysteries themselves, without bringing it to almost nothing, so that the public along the roads, at least one island, can understand that this is the one made by the group he represented. Everyone who instead led him physically, the soldiers, considering the one or more sleepless nights they spend to complete it, usually are so tired after the procession that they go to sleep in the early afternoon of Friday to wake up on Saturday morning or even directly afternoon.
"Let's take a closer look if you will, boys."
"Sure," was the reply. "Go ahead, we go back to work that time is running out."
Federico, Juana, Nico and Saverio began to turn slowly around the base of the mystery to observe in detail. It was really very well done, attention to detail, with the capitals of columns and decorations that seemed sculpted, the floor made of bricks with moss that filled the cracks. Really a small work of art.
The microphone had Nico, well hidden in his pocket, and he was looking to see one of the iron plates under the base cited by Ciro, where he can attack, being careful not to get noticed. But much attention of those present was almost exclusively directed at Juana, with her narrow black skirt and the neckline of the white blouse that revealed the big breasts. At Procida you know a bit all, and a pretty girl like Juana would leave absolutely indifferent.
To make she even more attractive and desirable had her hair tied back in a ponytail that left admire the olive neck on which fell a small chain very thin, confluent in a pendant made of a "J", decorated with white beads. Federico had given her that since he used to spare no expense on gifts. Also because he could afford it.
In the meantime a twinkle under the base made understand to Nico that he had found what he sought. He looked around to make sure no one was watching, he bent slightly and, placing a hand on the base of a column, for pretending to feel consistency, with a quick snap of the other placed the microphone on the iron plate. The latter, attracted by the magnet, produced a slight noise, impossible to feel, covered by that of hammers and power tools various, such as flex and electric saws, in place in the halls.
The bases of the mysteries side are left uncovered until the last moment, in case it needs some remodeling work, and only work is finished coated, usually with the colored cloth. Usually it is the last operation that is performed. Some even bleed a few minutes before starting the procession, when the mysteries are in their assigned station in the nearby Delle Armi Square, represented by a rectangle the size of the base, painted white on the paving stones of the road, with a central number relative to the mystery, specifying the position to be taken within the procession.
"Congratulations boys. Good job. We continuing the tour."
"Hello guys, thanks for your visit and enjoy the rest."
The four friends came out smiling from the shed, looking in the sense of understanding, unable to suppress a smile of satisfaction at having succeeded in their aim. Saverio lit a cigarette.
Having toured in other halls, Federico, Nico, Saverio and Juana walked toward the house of Saverio, in Corricella Marine, by the greek "Chora Kale", beautiful district, located just below Terra Murata and can only be reached through a series of ladders and staircases.
Among the mysteries they had seen they were particularly impressed by one depicting the passion of Christ, in three bases representatives respectively scourging, crucifixion and burial. The statues were meticulous in detail, built with the store mannequins clothing, cleverly placed, finished with clay or das and hand-painted, so much so that they seem real, especially in expressions. One of the boys who had contributed to their creation watched them repeating "Why do not you speak? Why do not you speak?", with open hands projected toward them, the smiles and general admiration.
Then there were the usual mysteries of each year: the Ark of Noah, representing the ark with which Noah was saved from the great flood unleashed by God to punish the men, putting rescued his wife and a pair of every species animal, some of which were transported on the mysteries, lives; the Good Shepherd, depicting Jesus with his flock of men; the Samaritan woman at the well, with the title "Woman, give me a drink" on the billboard, a simple or decorated panel on which is written the theme of mystery, resulted in general, at the height of the bust, as a child before the wagon few steps. And so on, with all the classic mysteries that are played each year: the betrayal of Judas, with a dummy representing the disciple of Jesus hung dangling from a branch of a tree; The Wedding at Canaan, during which Jesus turned water into wine. But above all lots of "Last Supper", the mystery most repeated every year ever, which gives the advantage, after the grueling, to meet the next night to eat whole foods meal representing the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles, brought in procession in earthenware dishes. Typically these are dishes of meat or fish, with or without the presence of the mystery of the thirteen mannequins depicting Jesus and the twelve apostles, according to whether the representative style is realistic or symbolic.
Corricella Marine is a small fishing harbor, picturesque and timeless, resembling a large crib, made up as it is by many colorful houses piled on one another, painted in different pastel colors: yellow, blue, pink, white, through which the fishermen, but mainly seafarers of Procida, who suffer most from the homesickness of the island, unable to recognize his own house in the distance, when they go off, on board ships or fishing vessels where they work. That one of Saverio, in particular, is unique and unmistakable, painted a teal color that distinguishes it from all others. It is taken often featured in postcards and photos, and it is also often chosen as a backdrop for movies and advertisements of known brands of products.
Inside there he lived alone, since he had lost his parents several years earlier. Therefore he used to invite friends and organize dinners, especially during special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.
The four reached the house, they went up the narrow steep stairs and as soon as set foot in the house, immediately pulled out their phones from pockets, curious to see if the microphone worked.
The quickest of all was Nico that had already dialed the number.
"You hear, you hear", he said excitedly.
"What do you hear?", he said Federico approaching, while Saverio was careful to follow a short distance.
Juana, on the contrary, less interested in what, was out off the balcony to enjoy the view before her: Terra Murata view from below, on the left, with the seagulls, with their strident toward, made feel all their substantial presence on the rocks below; the sea a few steps, past the pier, just a few meters wide, with the typical fishing boats, the Saccalée, named in dialect of Procida from "bags and leverage", interpreting the traditional fishing technique exercising lifting nets then bag in, pulling them out with the winch, mounted on a machine similar to a small crane.
The docks were the fishing boats of the local inhabitants, while off were moored yachts and pleasure boats of various sizes, often belonging to celebrities and entertainment. Actors, singers, football players, who choose to land on the small harbor to avoid being mobbed by fans and curious island. These are mainly players of the team of Napoli as EdinsonCavani, Mertens, Dzemaili, or former of the past, such as Ciro Ferrara, the world champion and gold ball Fabio Cannavaro and many others. But also actors like Richard Gere, landed on the island and captured in photos taken by the staff of the restaurant where he stopped to eat.
The same yacht, illuminated by dim lights that night on board, in the summer invade the bays of the island, filling them in full. They stop at a few meters from the beaches crowded with tourists, contributing unfortunately often dirtying the water, releasing oil and waste into the sea, but also stirring up algae from the seabed then coming ashore, forcing people of Procida and tourists to bathe in a water is not always spotless. Fortunately currents come to clean it, but certainly we should avoid giving the opportunity to stop and stand in the bays, as if they were the large outdoor pools, allowing maybe just switching off, as well as make the ferries and hydrofoils in order to preserve the clarity of the water, its flora and its fauna.
Finally, on the right of Juana, it was visible throughout the rest of the harbor, with various bars and restaurants teeming with tourists, who came from various parts of the world to take part in the rites of Holy Week in Procida. Especially for the Procession of the mysteries of the day after.
By restaurants came a smell of various foods, that mixed with that of the sea creating a mix of smells very special and typical of the islands and coastal areas.
"It feel the indistinct voices", Nico said as he tried to understand a little more.
"These are the same people we have met before, Nico. It 's still early, there is so much confusion, it should try again later", was the reply of Federico.
"In fact," added Saverio, "Do we go to dinner now? It’s ready in the oven, sausages with potatoes, we just cook the dough", and moved into the kitchen for a drink.
The night was still long, but they were not going to spend it entirely awake. At one point they were going to sleep to get up at dawn and go to the streets to see the procession, like every year. At least that was their intent.
Having dined and drank a bit of wine and beer, about an hour later the three, with Juana watching them on the sidelines, they tried again to dial the number of the microphone. This time Federico.
"What do you feel?", he asked immediately Nico.
"Nothing, usual confusion, ... wait. It seems to distinguish the voice of Mario."
"We hear that he says. Put the speakerphone", Nico suggested excitedly.
"You're talking to someone."
"Guys, did you see who is the new Michela’s boyfriend?"
"Michael who was in our class."
"Isn’t she married? He also has a child!"
"Yes, she is married, her husband was caught her in bed with her lover and filed for divorce."
"Federico, what I told you? We get a lot of laughs tonight. It’s already the first scoop and we just put listening. I think if we phoned just after we left the tent we also heard some comments about us", suggested Nico pleased and amused.
"I prefer don’t know what others think of me. Moreover, even if I had to speak to them I would not be very good. Especially against Ciro."
"He is an ignorant peasant. Only because it is believed to be the mysteries who knows who. He even knows the grammar", Nico thought as Federico, obviously.
"For me he is just obnoxious," said Saverio.
"Anyways by not distract us, we return to hear what they say. What are they saying Federico?" Meanwhile Federico had in fact removed the speaker and Nico could not hold back the excitement.
"Anything. Comments on Michela that you can imagine and solidarity toward her husband."
"Okay, come on, off, try again later, before going to sleep. Do you want a drink now?", suggested Saverio.
He drank a bitter, Saverio smoked a few cigarettes. Also Nico smoked, who used to do it only on special occasions, as could be the evening with friends, and stayed talking until after midnight.
Federico and Juana allowed themselves some small effusion and intimate moment, without exaggeration, to not embarrass the two friends, until, by now tired and sleepy, they were about to say goodbye and go to sleep. But before they decided to try to call for the last time, they not being able to ever imagine what would have heard a little later.
"Can I try to call?", said Saverio to Federico and Nico, getting positive response.
Juana meanwhile was lying on the sofa, asleep almost entirely. She looked like an angel. When you see girls like that around is hard to imagine them in relaxed poses and housewives, as if they always be top dressed and well groomed, but also they the morning rise with tousled hair, bags under the eyes and go to the bathroom.
"Well? What do you feel?”, asked Nico impatient.
"Voices in the background. Many are gone and there are only boys intent to complete the mystery."
"What do they say? Can you understand something?", relaunched Federico.
"No, I can’t make out what they say, they will be far from the microphone. What I do?"
"Close, we go to sleep, it's late."
"One moment. I hear voices approaching and a strange sound."
"A strange sound? Give me that", said Nico ripping the phone out of the hands of Saverio.
"A sound? But it’s a verse. The cry of an animal."
"Of course, it will be a lamb. Ciro told us that the title of their mystery is the sacrifice of the lamb, do you remember? Evidently they use a real lamb", was the assumption of Federico.
"Yeah, it's true", said Nico. "We feel what happens”, and operated by the new speaker, putting the phone on the table so that everyone could hear.
"What do you want to happen? Come on, let's go to sleep. Juana doesn’t take it anymore, she fell asleep on the couch." Federico spoke those words sleepy and annoyed by the loss of time, while the outstretched arm pointing his girl crouched on the couch.
"One moment. They are screaming, it seems that quarrel", interrupted Nico excited and worried. "It’s the voice of Antonio, he is angry with Ciro seems to me."
"You said quell it, these were the terms."
"Yes, but so Sunday however we must kill. It 'a completely different effect put on the mystery a slaughtered lamb."
"You don’t kill just any lamb Ciro, do you understand?"
"Oh yes? And who stop me? You?"
"These are serious guys. Why don’t we go there to calm things down?", intervened and said Nico.
"And are the others doing? They share them! And then we already went there, I wouldn’t want you become suspicious", was the response not as worried about Federico.
"Become suspicious what? How do we even remotely imagine that we put the microphone? Apart from that even if they found it will never understand what it is. And even if it were as they cannot understand that we put us."
"There are our fingerprints on it."
"Fingerprints? You see too much television Saverio. Too many police. Fingerprints in Procida? There are only three or four policemen, who at best do a roadblock to fine some kid without their helmet, without insurance, or to stop and get some girl to make palyboy", Nico said sarcastically.
"Put down that knife Ciro", they was hearing from the phone in the meantime.
"Cabbage, he has a knife."
After a few moments excited and confused, it felt a terrible scream, after which the silence. Federico, Nico and Saverio looked petrified, saying nothing, hoping it was not what they feared happened. Juana, until a few moments before almost asleep on the couch, drawn from their reaction had suddenly awakened and followed the story with worried face, not understanding what was happening.
"What have you done Ciro?", he screamed a shrill voice, almost desperate.
"I haven’t done it on purpose. Have you all seen? He is put in the middle. It was his fault! I didn’t want to do."
"Close the tent, soon, don’t let anyone in!", they heard another voice says.
"And now? We're going to go to jail."
"Calm down guys, we don’t panic. It must be lucid and rational in certain situations."
"But how can you be lucid and rational Ciro?", said another voice. "You killed him. There's a dead man on the ground and you preach calm? "
"We call the police", suggested one of the voices heard previously.
"The police? Are you crazy? What do we say, that was it a mistake? No guys, I do not want to go to jail. We must hide the body."
"Hide it? Where? Do you want to get out of here with the body?"
"Wait, let me think about. We could hide here, somewhere or take it somewhere else and make it disappear. Now there are too many people around."
"I have an idea", he was told by the voice of Giovanni" We could put him under the black veil instead of the statue of the dead Christ, what do you think?"
"It’s too risky”, said someone.
"But it's not a bad idea", replied instead Ciro.
"Ok come on, com …"
Suddenly, at that moment, they did not feel anything. Federico went to the phone to check if the line had gone out. It had access, with the minutes and seconds of the call that continued to flow.
"What happened? Why don’t you feel anything?", he asked with his face painted with panic.
"You will be discharged battery microphone. I forgot to tell you that lasts a few hours. It’s the only major limitation that has this thing", said Nico regretted.
"Ciro killed Antonio. Do you realize? We have to go right away by the police to report it", was the comment alarmed by Saverio.
"From the police? Yes, and maybe also we tell him that we have planted a bug in the tent to listen to what they said, became eyewitnesses of a murder. No guys, calm", stopped them Federico. "Let us not panic", and while he felt a pang in his chest at the thought that Antonio was killed. He had been his classmate in high school, along with Nico, as well as a big friend, although over the years, for various reasons, their relationship was a little cold.
"Antonio!", said Nico with his hands on his face.
"I knew that we should don’t make this thing. I felt that we would have got into trouble."
"Keep calm, Saverio", said him Federico, after which he slumped with his elbows on his legs, thinking back to what had happened. He could not believe it. He did not want to believe it. "You cannot, I don’t believe it", he kept telling himself, shaking his head and hoping strongly that someone told him that it had been just a joke. One that he liked so much to do and he had done the same Antonio in the past. Like that day when, along with another their classmate, had called to invite him to a party, that there would never have been, fun to see him knocking on the door of the hypothetical celebrated while they were hiding nearby to observe and get many laughs.
"And if find they the microphone? The recordings will find that we knew. We will be accused of spying, if not worse", relaunched Saverio, not reassured by the words of Federico.
"We have to stay calm." Federico, reverted