Friday Fiction - "Nando 's Fight"

For today's Friday Fiction, I'm giving you another peek at my missionary story of Fernando Angeles.

 Nando's Fight

Tata and Fernando walked for two days along twisting gravely roads through the mountains to reach San Vincente. Tata led Fernando through the rows of painted houses until they came to a blue one on the edge of town. It had a tiled roof and glass windows. A chicken scurried away from the front steps as Tata knocked on the door. This is where Fernando would live during the week. He would earn his keep by gathering wood or toting water. Tata then left without looking back. Fernando felt all alone.

School began the next day. His heart thumped as he followed the other children through the streets. There were many cars and trucks. Loud music played from radios. Fernando tried to read the bright signs on the stores they passed as they neared the big, white school building.

Rows of desks filled a room bigger than Fernando’s whole house. A bigger desk sat at the front of the room, with a large black board on the wall. Fernando knew some of the Spanish words written on the black board.

A group of boys strode into the room and claimed the desks in the back corner. The tallest boy, José, seemed to be their leader. The other boys did whatever he did and laughed at whatever he said. Fernando couldn’t hear what they were saying, but noticed José looking at him. José whispered something, and all the other boys laughed. The teacher came in, and the students settled into their seats.

The day was confusing. Fernando didn’t understand much of what was being said. He knew it was Spanish, but the teacher talked fast, and the words sounded different. The city kids laughed at Fernando when he said the wrong word. The teacher laughed, too, and made him feel stupid. He was glad when it was finally time to go home —
well, back to the blue house.

“Hey, Barefoot Boy, are you lost?”

Fernando ducked his head. He hoped José would just go away and leave him alone.

“Hey, look at me! This is a school for the big boys.”

Fernando kept his eyes down.

“Why don’t you go home to your mama and wait until you’re bigger…or can afford to buy some shoes.” With the last word, José stomped on Fernando’s toe.

Fernando clenched his jaw tight to hold back a cry. He swung his fist at José, but the bigger boy caught his arm before it hit his stomach.

“Ahhh…did I make the baby mad? Are you going to cry?”

Fernando swung with his left hand, but José grabbed him around the waist and carried him upside down out of the school building. Fernando squirmed and hollered for help, but the other boys only laughed. José dropped him onto the road and gave him a kick in the pants.

“That’s where you belong, Barefoot Boy!”

Fernando stood up and brushed the dirt from hands. He was crying, but not because he was hurt, but because he was angry. He put his head down, like a bull and charged at José strutting back into the school. Fernando tackled his legs and knocked him to the ground. Then he swung and punched José’s face and stomach over and over.

“I am not stupid! I am not stupid!”

The boys rolled and kicked and punched each other in the dirt. José stood up and grabbed Fernando up by his shirt collar. Fernando felt it rip. José punched him in the stomach. Fernando fell backwards, but stood up again. Over and over José pushed him until Fernando was up against the wall. The other boys circled him, cutting off his escape. Their eyes glimmered with anticipation of seeing a Tenek, a sin rasin (a person without reason) get what was coming to him.

Fernando’s back bumped against the concrete wall. His eyes held José’s gaze while his hand felt around for a weapon. He felt a pole. He glanced at it —a mop! His fingers wrapped around it. As José stepped in for another punch, Fernando pulled the mop out from behind his back. He swung it around to his left. He swung it to the right. He hit their heads and their backs and their bellies. He didn’t care what he hit. Soon he was just swinging at the air. They had all left.

Fernando dropped to the ground and leaned against the wall. He pulled his knees close and laid his head on his arms. Maybe they’d leave him alone now. Maybe now he could show them that he wasn’t a baby—he wasn’t stupido.

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Karen said...

Great job with this story. I feel an emotional attachment to Fernando, and I want to read more.

BethL said...

oh wow! You have so much emotion packed into this heart-breaking story! Great work, Vonnie!

Laury said...

I was pulling for Fernando for sure. Good story, Vonnie!

Sara Harricharan @ Fiction Fusion said...

Poor Fernando! oooh, I wanted to whack jose myself for picking on him--great job with the emotion and action.

Bear said...

Really good description and the use of short sentences for a younger reader was artfully done!

Catrina Bradley... said...

Vonnie, I'm so distraught about Fernando! I want to cry! Where are the adults to step in and help? I want to be there to comfort him. :(

Obviously, you got me with this one. Excellent, but sad. I hope you post the next chapter so I can find out what happens!.


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