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A SMILE BEFORE YOU GO

UN ZAMBET INAINTE DE PLECARE



Autor::: Cliff Almas



Lucille, trebuie neaparat sa vezi cum este. Nu poate fi surprinzator pentru tine daca cineva se va supara. Caporalul Jeffery Mackinnon de la RCMP se simtea neplacut. Invelisul de plastic tare al scaunului pocnea in timpul miscarilor sale.

"Lucille, you must see how it is. It can't be a surprise to you that somebody finally got upset." Corporal Jeffery Mackinnon of the RCMP shifted uncomfortably. The plastic covering on the hard chair crackled along with his movements.




Lucille Nystrom colecta mici figurine colorate. Acestea acoperea toata suprafata plana din curata camera de zi. Mackinnon, un om cu umerii lati, era imens si grosolan. Se temea ca aceste miscari mici vor maceleari multimea de porţelan.

Lucille Nystrom collected colorful little figurines. They covered every flat surface of the neat sitting room. Mackinnon, a big broad shouldered man going just slightly to pot, felt huge and clumsy. He feared that the smallest movement would slaughter porcelain multitudes.



Poate Lucille nu va simti nervozitatea sa. Ea alege intamplator si muta intr-o parte un micut ponei Shetland din apropiere ...

Perhaps Lucille could sense his nervousness. She casually picked up and moved aside a tiny Shetland pony from next to his elbow as she refilled his cup.



„Eu sincer nu inteleg toata agitatia. Peter Carr a fost un om remarcabil de vesel, intotdeauna

cu un zambet pe faţa lui, si ce râs frumos! Il puteai auzi cand trecea prin camera.” Lucille se aseza usor, cu genunchii lipiti, cu spatele drept si il fixa pe Mackinnon cu ochii mari patrunzatori. „Trimitindu-i rasplata printr-o privire incruntata ce-l facea sa-i fie rusine de pacatul lui”.

"I honestly don't understand all the fuss. Peter Carr was a remarkably jovial man, always a smile on his face, and that belly laugh! You could hear it across the room." Lucille sat down lightly, knees together, back straight and fixed Mackinnon with a piercing stare. "Sending him to his reward with a scowl on his face would have been a shame and a sin."



„Vino Lucille, nu trebuie sa te incrunti in fata lui, dar un zambet larg nu este calea pentru voi doi” Mackinnon işi sobea ceaiul, controlându-şi tresăririle.. El a fost un om ce bea multa cafea si in cerul gurii gustul ceaiului era amar si metalice.

"Come on Lucille, you didn't have to put a scowl on his face, but a big toothy grin wasn't the way to go either." Mackinnon sipped his tea, controlling a wince. He was a coffee man and to his palate the tea tasted bitter and metallic.



Lucille se apleca in faţă şi mută un micut Collie cu o minge roşie intre ghearele sale pana cand Mackinnon termina cafeaua de pe masuţă. El se simti mai constient ca niciodata. Ce este stangacia muncii sale ce ise parea asa de evident ce facea Lucille de teama masacrarii figurinelor?

Lucille leaned forward and moved a tiny Collie with a red ball between its paws back from Mackinnon's end of the coffee table. He felt more self-conscious than ever. Was his awkwardness over the chore that had brought him here so obvious as to make Lucille fear a figurine massacre?



„Caporaal, am apucat casa de funeralii Nystrom, acea casa de funerarii, unde Gary a trecut in aprilie trecut. Susan C a fost singura care s-a plans despre munca mea de atunci” .

Cuvintele lui Lucille erau afectate dar inca avea o parte din zambetul ei temator care niciodata nu disparea in intregime. Primii 58 de frumosi ani de vaduvie erau populari in oraş. Antreprenorii erau mereu atenti, la sfarsit mai putin. Nimic clar dar exact acelasi lucru. Gary Nystrom acum, a devenit sumbru, chiar cu o figura dură. Probabil ca el nu mai avea nici o preocupare. (Ocupaţie)

"Corporal, I took over the Nystrom funeral home, this funeral home, when Gary passed away last April. Susan Carr has been the only one to complain about my work since then." Lucilles lips were primly pursed but still held the faint half smile that never entirely left them. The trim pretty fifty-eight year old widow was popular in the township. Undertakers were usually shunned, at least a little. Nothing overt but there just the same. Gary Nystrom now, had been a somber, even dour figure. He'd probably have been avoided no matter what his occupation.



Dar nimeni n-o putea ocoli pe Lucille, acea personalitate extraordinar de prietenoasa era pur si simplu prea tare pt a-i rezista.

But nobody could shun Lucille; that fiercely friendly personality was simply too forceful to resist.

Mackinnon sorbi si inghiti mai mult ceai amar. La fel ca oricine altcineva (bine, po at e cu exceptia lui SusanC si a putin altora care nu aveau chef in acele zile) Mackinnon o placea pe Lucille enorm, si era amarnic nemultumit de pozitia pe care era fortat sa o inceapa.

Mackinnon sighed and slurped up more bitter tea. Like everyone else, (Well, maybe excepting Susan Car and a few other offended bereaved these days.) Mackinnon liked Lucille enormously, and he bitterly resented the position he was being forced into.



Nimeni n-a intrebat-o cat de greu i-a fost de cand Gary a murit, dar a fost un an greu si toate acele zambete – bine SusanC n-a fost singura care l-a suparat, ea doar a fost prima care s-a plans in mod oficial.

"Nobody questions how hard you've worked since Gary died, but it's been a hard year and all those smiles -- well Susan Carr isn't the only one who's been bothered by them, she's just the first to complain officially."



A fost un an greu. Una din aceste statistici vorbea despre privirile atat de inofensive in ziar, dar in viata reala caile de accidentari si atacuri de inima si mortile curate de batranete au ales sa se adune impreuna in mod pervers. Latham a fost un mic oras nordic facut de fermieri, petrolisti si putini oraseni (intelectuali) care au venit cu provizii si munceau in scoli si in spital. Micuta populatie a crescut mai repede ca numarul deceselor. Mackinnon a condus un detasament din trei munteni pt 10 ani. Fiecare moarte semana cu pierderea familiei.

It had been a bad year. One of those statistical spikes that looks so innocuous on paper, but in real life means accidents and heart attacks and plain old deaths from old age have chosen to cluster together perversely. Latham was a small northern town made up of farmers, oilmen and a few townies who ran the stores and worked for the schools and the hospital. The tiny population had done more than its share of mourning. Mackinnon had headed up the three man Mountie detachment for ten years. Every death was like losing family.




Lucille si-a schimbat acel zambet de 1oo waţi si Mackinnon a clipit.

Lucille turned that 100-watt smile on him and Mackinnon blinked.



„Caporal, mortea nu este deva de care sa te temi mai mult decat este viata. Fuga dupa rasplata nu este doar o expresie. Este simplul adevar vesel. Lucille se intinse dupa ceainic si lua cupa lui Mackinnon.Ea se uita cu tristete sorbi cuminte o ingititura.

"Corporal, death isn't something to be feared any more than life is. 'Going to your reward' isn't just an expression. It's the simple joyous truth." Lucille reached over with the teapot and topped up Mackinnon's cup. He eyed it mournfully and took a dutiful sip.



Lucille se agita spre bucatarie cu ceainicul (Ibric), dar nu inainte de a alege un mic portelan dintr-o piesa acoperita de capul lui Mack si muta o carte de pe raft de-a lungul camerei. Mack simti o picatura de transpiratie rece sub tample si repede se tinu la distanta.

Lucille bustled off to the kitchen with the kettle, but not before picking up a tiny china shepherdess from the mantle piece next to Mackinnon's head and moving it to a bookshelf across the room. Mackinnon felt a drop of sweat slide out from under his hairline and quickly wiped it away.



13 morti. 13 oameni „si-au trimis regretele” in anul trecut, si incepand cu Garry N, 13 oameni iubeau odihna alaturi de Lucille N cu zambetul ei larg fericit de pe fata ei alba inghetata.

Thirteen deaths. Thirteen people 'sent to their rewards' in the past year, and starting with Gary Nystrom, thirteen people lovingly laid to rest by Lucille Nystrom with wide happy smiles on frozen white faces.



Si neplacut, fapta tainuita a acestei scurte vizite facute de Mack l-a indemnat sa faca ceva in legatura cu asta. Daca lucille nu poate fi convinsa sa se opreasca din mestecatul carnii moarte si zambetul ranjit si teapan – bine ea se va duce s.o opreasca, asta e tot ce trebuie sa faca.

And the nasty, unspoken fact of this little visit was that Mackinnon was going to have to do something about it. If Lucille couldn't be convinced to stop molding stiff dead flesh into beaming grins then -- well she was going to have to stop, that was all there was to it.



Mack deja a notat un nr de telefon catre Morga. Totusi el chiar nu vrea sa formeze acel numar.

Mackinnon had already made a note of the phone number of the Provincial Mortuary Regulatory Board. He really didn't want to have to call that number.



Dar o va face dc va trebui. Poate ca era timpul ca Lucille sa se retraga, chiar de vrea sau nu.

But he would if he had to. It might be time for Lucille to retire, whether she agreed or not.



Mack nu putea vedea inceputurile acestui caz murdar cu acele arsaturi simtite in stomac. Ceaiul si nervozitatea sa facusera bule acide crescânde.

Mackinnon could feel the beginnings of a nasty case of heartburn developing behind his sternum. The tea and his own nervousness was making acid bubble and rise.



Lucille, daca ai avea o privire mai impaciuitoare imi vei face treaba mai usoara.

"Lucille, if you could just make them look peaceful it would make my job a lot easier."









Lucille se intoarse din bucatarie, tinand in mainile sale o pânză(prospop) de ceai. Aceasta lume nu zambeste indeajuns Jeffery.Incerc doar sa aduc oamenilor putina fericire.

Lucille came back in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a tea cloth. "This world doesnt have enough smiles Jeffery. I'm just trying to bring people a little happiness."



Mack isi deschise gura si brusc o unda de agonie trecu prin pieptul lui sfasiindu-l si mana lui stanga se lasa in jos. El se rasuci si orbecai inainte inconjurat de durere.

Mackinnon opened his mouth and a sudden wave of agony rippled through his chest and down his left arm. He gasped and hunched forward around the pain.



Un scurt efect scarbos de greata se desfasura in stomacul lui si dupa 3 incercari Mack reusi sa inghita fierea amara multumita stransoarei neasteptat de iute ce-i apasa pieptul.

A sickening spike of nausea uncoiled from his stomach and after three tries Mackinnon managed to swallow down bitter bile through the sudden vice grip that was constricting his chest.



Imi pare rau dc te doare Jeff, vocea Lucillei era distanta si putin vibranta /tremuratoare. Sangele tasni frenetic din urechile lui mack. Digitalii erau cea mai buna metoda pe care am gasit-o pana acum, dar presupune putina durere. Mack incerca sa se ridice dar picioarele sale nu-l ascultau.

"I am sorry that it hurts Jeffery." Lucille's voice was distant and tinny over the throbbing, frantic(frenetic) rush(a se grabi) of blood in Mackinnon's ears. "The Digitalis is the best method I've found so far, but there is some pain." Mackinnon tried to stand but his legs were made of rubber (ca de cauciuc).



"Digi -- Digitalis?"



Doar un mic lucru pe care l-am gasit pe net draga- Am crescut degetel rosu /digitalis purpurea in latina/ in sera mea pt micul meu proiect. Asa de dragut con este mica tulpina a florii. Stiai ca aceasta arata exact ca un atac de cord si nu poti gasi nimic la autopsie decat daca un medic legist (coroner) il cauta atent? E o minune cum oricine moare din cauze naturale in cele din urma.

"Just a little something I found on the Internet dear. I grow the Foxglove in my greenhouse for my little projects. Such a pretty cone of little tube flowers! Did you know that when it's refined it looks exactly like a heart attack and it won't show up in an autopsy unless the coroner is looking for it? It's a wonder anyone ever dies of natural causes at all."



Lucille apasa gratios in pieptul lui Mack si iil ridica fiecare brat care ii atarna cu degetul ei mare. Pupila din stanga era considerabil mai mare decat cea dreapta. „Nu va mai dura mult de acuma, dragule!”

Lucille gently pushed Mackinnon back in the easy chair and briskly lifted each of his eyelids with her thumb. The pupil of the left was noticeably larger than the right. "It won't be long now, dear."



Mack era complet amortit. Faţa zâmbitoare a lucillei era putin mai mult decat un cap oval palid la sfarsitul tunelului intunecat- „D – de – de ce?”

Mackinnon was completely numb. Lucille's smiling face was little more than a pale oval at the end of a dark tunnel. "Wh -- wh -- why?"



Lucille lovi usor obrazul lui Mack, zambind la fel, zambind dulce.

Lucille softly stroked Mackinnon's cheek, smiling that same constant, gentle smile.



Deja ti-am spus Jeff- 20 ani cu acest mereu posac, omul mizerabil cu care m-am maritat m-a invatat o lectie f importanta.

"I already told you Jeffery. Twenty years with that sullen, miserable man I married taught me one very important lesson."



Degetelei Lucillei atinsera usor raceala lui Mack, cu buzele impietrite. Usor ii ridica pometii.

Lucille's fingers gently traced Mackinnon's cold, numb lips. Lightly lifting them at the corners.



Inca nu sunt destui zambitori in lume!

"There just aren't enough smiles in the world."




* * *

Cliff Almas is a writer living and working in Calgary Alberta Canada currently writing and editing content for an e-commerce startup. He has also worked as a writer and editor for magazines and papers both in Canada and the States. Cliff Almas’ story “In The Box” appeared previously in NEFARIOUS - Tales Of Mystery. Povestiri Despre Mistere (Misterioase)

Traducere partiala Dflorin 2006-09-27




IN CUTIE

IN THE BOX

De By

Cliff Almas

Iarta-ma Tata, pentru ca am pacatuit.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

A trecut... probabil aproape 15 ani decand m-am confesionat.

It's been... I dunno, probably about fifteen years since my last confession.

De ce asa de mult?

Why so long?

O gramada de motive, cred!

Lots of reasons I guess.

Au trecut 15 si cred ca pur si simplu credinta mea a disparut. Cred ca am incetat sa cred in Mos Craciun cand aveam 6 ani, alt batran cu barba alba care vorbea un pic cam mult.

I turned fifteen and I guess I just stopped believing. I mean I stopped believing in Santa Clause when I was six, the other big guy with the long white beard just took a little longer.

Hei, imi pare rau daca te supar, Tata, dar cum te astepti sa fim credinciosi in acest loc? Cred ca, la naiba, este un pacat mortal sa nu existi.

Hey, sorry to offend you Father, but you're supposed to be truthful in here aren't you? I mean, hell, it's a mortal sin not to be.

Am o gramada de defecte Tata, aceasta pur si simplu nu neg, dar minciuna nu e unul din ele. Foarte rau, as face un bine minţând, probabil ca nu sfarseam in puscarie.

I got a lot of flaws Father, there just ain't no denying it, but lying isn't one of them. Too bad really, I was any good at lying maybe I wouldn't have ended up in prison.

Nu, nu sunt aici ca sa ma confesez din cauza a ceea ce m-a bagat aici. Deja m-am confesat despre asta si au trecut 0 ani lungi de pedeapsa. Am pacatuit. A fost necesar dar am pacatuit.

No, I 'm not here to confess about what put me inside. I already confessed about that and did ten long years worth of penance. It was a sin, what I did. It was necessary but it was a sin.

Am avut o gramada de timp de gandire despre CUTIE. Chiar ma asculti in cutie, Tata?

I had a lot of time to think about it in the box. You ever heard of the box Father?

Cred ca da. Oricine a vazut cel putin un film cu inchisori. „Cool Hand Luke” poate, sau „The Shawshank Redemption”.

You probably have. Everybody's seen at least one prison movie. Cool Hand Luke maybe, or The Shawshank Redemption.

Cutia e o mica camera in care te arunca atunci cand vor sa te pedepseasca rau si inainte de pedepsire si chiar cand esti la inchisoare pentru prima data. Le plac filmele cred. Este intuneric si e frig si nu poate fi mai rau in iad ca in aceata cutie in care stau chiar acum.

The box is a little room they throw you in when they want to punish you above and beyond the punishment of just being in prison in the first place. It's like the movies I guess. It's dark and it's cold and it ain't a hell of a lot bigger than this box we're sitting in right now.

Dupa cum am spus, mult timp ma gandesc, si unul din lucrurile la care ma gandesc uneori este despre ceea ce trebuie sa ispravesc. Ei nu sunt draguti sau corecti. Ei poate chiar au pacatuit.

Like I said, a lot of time to think, and one of the things I thought about is sometimes there's things that have to be done. They ain't nice or right. They may even be sins.

Dar ei inca n-au terminat.

But they still have to be done.

Nu sunt totusi aici sa vorbesc despre toate aceste lucruri, Tata. Poti spune ca nu esti de acord cu ceea ce spun dar estein regula. E doar o chestiune de perspectiva, cred!

I’m not here to talk about all that stuff though Father. I can tell you don’t agree with what I’m saying but that’s okay. It’s a matter of perspective I guess.

Acum sunt aici pt a vorbi despre fratele meu.

Now I'm here to talk about my brother.

El este un copil asa de dragut, Tata, nu ai idee. Cred, cand aveam 11 ani deja fumam in spatele pietei si ma simteam ca TriciaS. . Acest copil pur si simplu iubea pe toata lumea. El n-a facut niciodata ceva rau. Crezi ca il uram pe mucul sfant, dar nimeni nu putea sa-l urasca pe Adrian.

He's such a sweet kid Father, you have no idea. I mean, when I was eleven I was already kiting cigarettes down at the market and feeling up Tricia Sterling. This kid just loves everybody. He's never done anything wrong. You'd think I'd hate the little saint but nobody can hate Adrian.

Sau inca n-am mentionat numele lui –Adrian? Oh,e in regula, Tata!

Oh, didn’t I mention his name’s Adrian? Yeah, that’s right Father.

(Altar boy – (la catolici) –acolit, baiat ce ajuta prin biserica)

Capul tau, acolitule.

Your head altar boy.

Vrei sa pleci undeva Tata? Dar suntem in mijlocul confesiunii. Eu chiar cred ca ar trebui sa terminam treba asta. Chiar trebuie.

You have to go somewhere Father? But we're in the middle of the confession. I really think we should finish this. I really do.

Auzi sunetul, Tata? In caz ca te miri, acesta e sunetul de 9mm al camerei rotative/armei. E apasator nu crezi?

You hear that sound Father? In case you're wondering, that's the sound of a nine-millimeter round being chambered. It's louder than you'd think, isn't it?

Oh Tata, stiu ca suntem in biserica, pur si simplu noi nu vrem sa fim intrerupti.

Yeah Father, I know we're in a church. It just means we probably won't be interrupted.

Ai inceput sa fii putin panicat Tata. De ce nu stai putin jos si trtage-ti respiratia. Isuse, toata lumea ar crede ca tu ai constiinta incarcata sau altceva.

You're getting a little panicky Father. Why don't you just sit down and take some deep breaths. Jesus, anybody would think you had a guilty conscience or something.

Ia loc!

Sit down.

Despre acel copil,Tata, iti voi povesti. El nu vroia sa spuna nimic. Mi-arata ca era ranit., dar in familia noastra tinem pentru noi asemena lucruri. El nu a vrut sa spuna nici un cuvant.

That kid Father, I tell you. He didn't want to say anything. I could tell he was hurting, but in our family we keep things to ourselves. He didn't wanna say a word.

Am sa-ti spun despre o gramada de chestii ce mi s-au intamplat inainte de a-mi spune ce vreau sa aflu.

I had to tell him about some stuff that happened to me inside before he'd tell me what I needed to know.

In final a zis ceva.

He finally did though.

Tata, nu-ti voi spune din nou sa stai jos.

Father, I'm not gonna tell you again to sit down.

Va deveni destul de greu sa mai conversam daca tu plangi asa de tare. Poate ca noi doar vom ascunde acestea acum.

It's gonna be real hard to continue our conversation if you're gonna blubber like that. Maybe we should just wrap this up now.

Nu? No?

Esti sigur acum, Tata? You're sure now Father?

Asa dar oricum, Adrian So anyway's, Adrian.

Acest copil,Tata, ma jur. Era primul baiat in familia noastra care mergea la colegiu - primul baiat care mai facea si altceva intre timp. That kid Father, I swear. He'll be the first guy in our family to go to college - the first guy to do anything else but time.

Avea intreaga viata in faţa lui. His whole life's ahead of him.

Acum nu mai poate oricine sa spuna treaba asta, nu-i asa Tata? Now not everybody here can say that, can they Father?

Ce vrei sa-ti spun, Tata? What do I want you to say, Father? What do I want you to say?

Este simplu. That's easy.

Este cel mai simplu lucru din lume. That's the simplest thing in the world.

Repeta dupa mine, Tata: Repeat after me, Father:

Iarta-ma Tata, pentru ca am pacatuit. 'Forgive me, for I have sinned.

Traducere partiala Dflorin 2006-09-27

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