It’s good, this place. Long concrete benches; it looks like the patio of a church. Tall house, painted white. Indeed, it is a church! On Sundays, it must be full of people. I am so tired of walking, carrying this belly. I’ll settle here. It’s evening, the church bell strikes eight o’clock. My guts fight when I’m hungry, I haven’t eaten yet today, I’ve only had water from a garden faucet.

I’ve been looking for a place since the day an evil man appeared and kicked me out of that abandoned house. I used to sleep in the porch, the doors were closed. It was so good… There was food to eat. The tree in the backyard was so laden with mangoes  its branches were closer to the ground. Mangoes can help you get rid of hunger just like that.

I darn well miss the time when I lived with my mother… She worked at a wealthy home downtown, and supported and much more. She even wanted me to become an educated gal! But the teacher couldn’t make much knowledge get into my head. For four years I went back and forth, back and forth, and I couldn’t remember the name of important men or big cities of the world, neither did I learn how to do math. The teacher thought I was lazy; she said that if I write correctly, there is no reason not to learn other things. What the heck, writing is easy, we can just copy what’s in the book or in the head of ours.

In my entire life, what I regret the most was having accepted a ride in the truck of a handsome man who always stopped at our door, asked for a glass of water and stared at me with those eyes as black as dark roast coffee. The last time it happened, I was very scared; the headless mule had been haunting around the area. He promised he would take me to my mother's work. It’s a pity that he only realized he’d taken the wrong direction when the moon was already lighting the road. We hopped off. He stretched a tarp on the creeping grass, convinced me to lie down and did something reckless to me. It was good!... I had never felt something like that, an itch between my legs, which would rise up, then run down, and then climb back up. The feeling grew so strong I had to scream, while the man moaned as if suffering great pain. Still, he snuggled me in his arms. The next morning, he had disappeared. I think he was the devil.
I got a lift with another truck. This time I traveled in the back with a lot of people: men, women, and brats of all ages. I ended up in a big city, and I couldn’t return home.

Ever since, I’ve had no place to live. People here feel no compassion! I spent a bunch of months outside that empty house. After I left the place, I’ve been jumping from square to square, I beg for money, and sleep under bridges. But I always have to move, because the street kids shout, "Let's burn that witch!... There’s a madwoman here!... Go away, you big-bellied woman! Out!” I'm afraid, so I hide. When I beg for money, they put the money in my hand from afar, as if I were a leper.

Luckily I found this church. My mother used to say that the church is the house of God, and that God loves everybody the same way. I keep feeling my insides are twisting around, sometimes it’s quite strong. Glad I nestled under this bench, so it will soon pass.

“Get out of there, woman! Go away!”

What is this scream?

“Oh, mister, I'm sleeping here because I have nowhere to go. With this belly, I can no longer walk.”

“Bishop John Evangelist told you to leave. Come on!”

“Please, tell him to have compassion on me!”

What a good thing, the man listened to me, now I just have to wait. He’s already coming, accompanied by another man who must be the bishop, because he has serious look on his face and he’s wearing very clean and well-ironed clothes. I'll kneel at his feet, he looks like a saint. I know he will help me out. Maybe after my paunch disappears he can find me something to do and lets me live here.

“Out, devil-sent woman!

“Mr. bishop, the devil didn’t send me here. I just got lost from my mother.”

“Sinésio, come over here! Help Antônio take this woman away from our church.”

My strength has abandoned me, I can’t speak. The twists in my stomach are stronger, I’m very weak. Two hands picked me up by my armpits and two by my legs. I feel my body sway from side to side, I hear footsteps. Strange hands lie my body on the stone floor, the footsteps move away. It'm at an alley with no light, I can’t tell if there are houses or just a wall. My stomach twists unbearably! I scream, but there's nobody to help me. Something tears me up from the inside, I hear a loud and shrill cry. Is it mine? An immense darkness surrounds me.

I come back. Dogs growl, fight while eating what came out of me. The sky clouds over as if it were sad. It rains. I'm flying to infinity. The world is silent.

MORGANA GAZEL has gone down several paths until she found the activity that, in her own words, gives meaning to her life: Writing fiction novels.

She majored in Mathematics, then worked as a Systems Analyst, and later became a Psychologist―a career she pursues to this day. As a novelist, her intention is that her stories contribute to the acquisition of feelings and values that are favorable to life and morals, in addition to raising awareness of our rights and duties.

Morgana has published two novels: Enseada do segredo [Embayment of Secret] and Liberdade negada [Denied Freedom]. She's currently writing her third book, entitled A carta da mãe [Mother's Letter].

So far, she has contributed to 25 poem and short story collections. She received the 2012 Literarte Literary Award for her poem Mundo [World] and earned an honorable mention with Aletologia [Alethiology] during the CEPA-62 ANOS competition.

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