(All are a little wrinkled, thought Lisa, who has already got up.) “It’s normal!” replied the dwarf earthworm, who immediately noticed the little one’s mocking look.
“The book was a little closed and … how shall I say? We got somewhat compressed in our buttocks… We
were in an uncomfortable position, my friends and I, since we were abandoned… “
“Me too! I also I had a feeling of abandonment! Lisa already weary, “when Grandmother went to the
cemetery! But I have Loup with me now and…”
“PARDON ME,” resumes the critter, “but it seems to me that “clean cut” was my word! And I was going to introduce you to MY APPLE! And of course, my two companions. So please allow me a new intervention without further ado ???????? “
Lisa, a little perplexed, didn’t say a word and consents. The tone of the maggot,
warms her up a little …
His way of speaking, by inverting the words, resembled two drops of water on the Pablo’s paintings.
“Yes, it is! From Pablo Picasso! He is very famous and not really hairy!” intervenes again Lisa.
(I don’t want to join the complaints of the maggot, but as an author I would like to enjoy my pen as I see fit! (Oh, pretty Lisa. I’m the one writing, there! Also, in the future, I would like some discipline… And to be the only master of my imagination).
“Excuse me…” said Lisa, all sheepish. “I will learn my lesson…” As soon as I said it, I lowered my voice!
“Hum… Hum… So here it is: MY PERSON…” resumes the crawler while scratching his throat. “I am HUMPHREY.”
But he has an over-inflated EGO and an over-inflated ME, Lisa observes softly.
“Wow! This worm is not short of air! It takes a certain guts to be the first to mention himself!” she confides to Loup… “And no education at all!”
But nothing stops Humphrey as he continues:
“To my spot on; the Spider! Spider of the morning…Sorrow” he intones… “Spider of the evening… Cockroach. I am a little poet, I know…” he laughs. “Verlaine, Rimbaud, Reverdy of the words!”
While he was getting Lisa intoxicated, the Spider was trying desperately to unfold its acrobatic legs.
(And in doing so, it visibly hinders the speech of the worm who, to point it out, gives him a kick!
“Ouch!!! A cemetery Molière, you mean! He forgets where he comes from…” grumbles the spider woman who doesn’t appreciate the worm’s verses!
But, imperturbable, the unruffled one concludes: “And on my left!… Rabbit Martin. We are inseparable”
Lisa and Loup introduce themselves in turn, not without a touch of humor: “Let’s shake hands, paws and lampshade!” she says naughtily. I forget a useful detail… Why a lampshade? Well, the worm wears a hat, a hat that hides a funny guy!
And if he talks this way, it’s because he likes the opinions and what people will think of him, but in the end, he is a very good worm, even if he is a loner!
“It’s the middle of the night, and we need to sleep!” Lisa commands. (Indeed, Loup and the little one, although very excited, have the eyes in the shape of French fries, of French fries all elongated).
ONCE ASLEEP, SHE COUNTED EVERY HOUR THAT PASSED.
“It’s late, it’s late…” she repeated over and over. “It’s late, it’s late and every hour is counted!”
Lisa, for her part, had the strange impression that, after two o’clock in the morning, her life would be ruined…
(Probably because she had heard hundreds of times from Benoit’s mouth. THAT THE FUTURE
BELONGED TO THOSE WHO GOT UP EARLY!!!) Benoît was a plumber, sleepwalker and very handsome; it was easy for him to get up at dawn. He ran from one room to another without breaking his ribs!
At any time of the night, he could be busy, repairing pipes.
And he didn’t even see the work done because he was always all asleep! This made Lisa say:
“Plumbers are like feet: the faster it goes, the more it’s swollen! So, everyone goes to bed, and tomorrow they will tell each other absolutely everything! No sooner said than done… under the quilt!
(Grandmother would be very proud of her granddaughter: she went straight to bed, without dragging her feet, or even making grimaces).
THE SECOND DAY
The next day, Loup and Lisa learned from their friends that the man was no other than a wonderful storyteller who lived a life without fear or tears; by his side, lived a beautiful little boy giving him all his attention, love and stories.
But misfortune came from the horizon and leaving the man helpless WHEN DEATH CAME.
His son was gone while life went on. It was inconceivable!
The inconsolable man wanted to kill himself, but a vow prevented him from committing the irreversible.
(A promise he had made to his sweet Camille).
“I swear… REPEAT with me!” she said to him, while he was at her bedside (because she was sick, and with an incurable disease).
“I swear…” (their two voices echoed) … “that I will never… do what my father… once did. I swear… that death will never have the audacity… to drag me towards it and take my place!”
CAMILLE’S FATHER HAD GONE INTO A FRENZY. ORDINARY MADNESS LED HIM TO THE CEMETERY.
As for Camille, she was none other than the sister of the storyteller (his favorite, no doubt!)… A bit like Sauerkraut…
The man was a big-hearted person, he could see that she would not close her eyes until he had pronounced this wish. She was already suffering too much! He had to give her rest.
When he had finished repeating his promise aloud, she smiled, but with a smile from above… She was leaving him for eternity. (Even if eternity is a made-up word.)
Lisa was moved by this story of so many lost lives. So, to distract her from this mortifying tale, later in the evening, the ONE-TWO-THREE companions would thrill her when she learned how, one spring morning, THEY CAME TO LIFE DISCOVERING THEIR OWN SHAPES!
The feather tickled them earnestly as the man sketched them! And the brushed them with wild colors too, when he filled the inside of their drawn bodies!
But the most magical part, they explained to the little one (who is increasingly fascinated), was when the man asked his son Allan to crawl into his cozy bed, to tell him his latest story!
“So… and of course we had rehearsed everything, everything perfectly synchronized!” told the Spider, less embarrassed. “The man, in his deepest voice began reading a story without erasures!”
“As for us, we had the mission to get out of the book and mimic the action in front of the wise little boy!” continued Humphrey.
Lisa couldn’t believe her ears; the whole story was working for her. A mixture of joy and sadness was intertwined. She, who had dreamed so much of being read to, was so close to the goal and missed the meeting! She had understood well: life ruled this house, and passion was right.
Everything they did together was a precious diamond! They taught each other as much as they could without worrying about time!
BUT DEATH IS JEALOUS OF THE PEACE OF THE LIVING, RED-EYED DEATH HAS SWEPT AWAY THE CHILD.
Since that ominous day, man has abandoned his pen and no longer saw the moon. Since that sinister day, nothing has been said, nothing has been written.
And we, invented characters, have lost our cheerfulness and all is turned upside down in the book!
All abandoned on glossy paper was laid to rest.
THE THIRD DAY
On the third day, it was heavy!
(The heaters had come back on and, although they were all turned off, they had decided to warm them up a bit!) It’s true that everyone in the house was a bit upset since the man left, and a bit cold.
IT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY THAT THE LOUP, LISA, RABBIT MARTIN, HUMPHREY AND THE SPIDER SETTLED DOWN, TALKING AND THINKING ABOUT WHAT COULD BE TOMORROW?
“We must find the man!” exclaims Lisa in a rage.
Her sudden anger surprised all the others! She does not want to be authoritarian… But Loup is mute and nods to remove the layers! As for our three friends, they are waiting for an idea to which to settle…
“You, Loup, wake up!” continues Lisa, who is determined. “I need all your senses awake! We’ll take bundles, gruyere and tuna, and first thing tomorrow morning we’ll leave home!”
“Yes, very well, but where to start?” she wondered, a little lost.
“I don’t even know where is the north, where is the west, where is the south? Oh! what does it matter!” she blows, a little disoriented.
“I must be thinking very hard about the places Grandmother used to fill her unsealed bedtime stories!”
The day passed without any major issues: Loup bumped at least a thousand times, Martin Rabbit sometimes sang, Humphrey Worm gritted his teeth, and the Spider stitched all the time… Little Lisa, repeated, with her legs in the air, THE JOURNEY.
THE FOURTH DAY
Outside, already the birds were chirping, the grass without snow was rocking its limbs and the troops on the road were going through the alleys, and all, in single file, were looking forward to this new life.
“This morning a rabbit killed a hunter…” sang Rabbit Martin, joy in his heart.
“How wrong it is!” said the worm. “Wouldn’t you rather shut up and think about the meaning of the word EXOGEN, for the sake of it?”
“Does it do me any good?” pricks the rodent, which is turning into bad mood! “Would you rather we were called sinister, or that we were apathetic, or that we were just boring?”
“What is EXOGEN?” asks the Spider, going pale. (She’s all pale, because she ate very poorly this morning; too fast and too many flies! Even Loup gobbled up a dozen on the sly!)
“Hurry up!” says Lisa. “You’re walking too slow, and now we’re wasting time!”
On the road, a sign draws their attention… And a sign that says a lot…
“FORTUNE TELLER, COME INTO MY HOUSE!”- it is written.
A timely invitation! (The only thing missing is the word picnic!) Lisa is hungry, it’s morning! Everyone enters Madame X’s house, happy, thinking that she would be classy enough to offer them an ice cream.
(They all have in common a sweet tooth : they could devour two-three WOLVES on the run.)
And since they are hungry… They will stay!
“Iiirrkk!!!” notes Lisa, who, in passing, runs over a cat.” It doesn’t smell good in here, a smell stings the eyes!
Then, suddenly, a second one (Siamese this one), jumps on her arm. A third one (a little XVIth) which nibbles his finger, and hundreds of baby rats jump around.
“Did they kick the hive or what?” Humphrey very scared!
As he said these words, he finds himself nose to nose with a big hairy MATOU…And the whiskers of the angora tickle the silkworm.
“MARTIN!” he yells. “MARTIN! Get me out of here !!!!”
“What are you saying, Humphrey? I can’t hear you,” replies Rabbit Martin, who hasn’t forgotten the annoyance of the morning!
“Do you want me to sing something?”
“HURRY UP! He’s going to eat me!” begs the worm, green with anger.
“EXOGEN? That was it, wasn’t it?” he joked. “I have to concentrate, if you don’t mind… and, anyway, I cannot do two good “Zactions” at the same time. (That’s for the connection).
Instead, Rabbit Martin helps the Spider, who is a bit stuck herself! (He was very happy to imitate the worm’s way of talking… all backwards. But no effort on his part. That’s a lesson for him later!)
Fortunately, Loup is there, to get him out of this very bad situation! He catches him skillfully, without crumpling his clothes.
THE WORM IS SAFE, BUT IT IS PURPLE AND FOR REASON!
The woman who welcomes our friends is called Madame ÔNE-X; she is Chinese, and, like all fortune tellers, she wears earrings. But ancient earrings! (Lisa was sure of it, she had seen the same ones ones hanging on a wall.)
It was at the COSTUME museum, and the old woman, who was wearing a tiara, was standing very straight in front of the photographer… Grandma explained that she had a real “royal bearing”, it was certainly in her genes!
“As for me, I think she is rather arrogant!” retorted Lisa, who did not like her self-importance!
Mrs ÔNE-X, obviously, was suffering from asthma, because she was gasping for air every two or three sentences!
“What can I do for you?” she asked the group, with a slight Levantine accent.
“We are looking for a man who talks, have you seen him by any chance?” asks the little one.
“Let’s see if I can shed some light on my cards! I can do that very quickly!
“On the cards? Do you see people walking?” ironically asks the spider.
“It’s all in the method, I suppose, of doing it”, she says to Loup who wanders around, who doesn’t hear the bell, who doesn’t hear anything at all and who keeps moving!
Indeed, a small bell, from time to time, “chimed”. The woman was shaking it as if to confuse them more. And confused they were! But not because they were impressed, it was just the cats that, in a flash, formed a whole army behind our witch! It was very disturbing! Even paralyzing!
Madame Ône-X handled the cards with great ingenuity…. AND THE CARDS WERE MIXED TO FORM A LINE, in WHICH THE FORTUNE-TELLER, ALREADY SEEING SIGNS!!!
All this gibberish, to say the least, all gibberish and no directions!
“He is gone, I see… And he speaks, I think…” she said in an eerie tone that mimicked mystery.
“She seems very lively,” Humphrey comments, taken with her.
“Occupied, occupied… YES! But occupied” on the ground floor! Hiiiiiiii!” the Spider grumbles.
“NO KIDDING! And me (she starts, head on)… I see, I think… that I walk… yes, my goodness, if I walk, it’s thanks to my legs!”
The whole gathering laughed, even the cats couldn’t keep up.
MADAM ÔNE-X IS VERY ANNOYED, MADAM ÔNE-X HAS A BROOM: AND SHE SWIPPED THEM ALL OUT OF THE DOOR, IMMEDIATELY.
Lisa and her friends resumed their walk, which promises many other dramas. A police siren, appearing from nowhere, shouts its indignation: the car is blocked by a demonstration.
Lisa can’t see anything on the horizon, but she can hear screams, “NO!”, “NO!” and protests. (A bit like the storm of a rebellion).
So, she decides to turn right and go into a narrow street, in order to avoid any bad surprises.
(It’s not a lack of curiosity on her part, but the fortune teller has scared her). So, not sticking her nose anywhere else seems wiser… I bet?
(After all, LIFE is a slow process! And she can take her time).
On the way, she remembers a place that Grandma had described to her. It’s often white and it’s often big,” she recalls. They put people there who have lost teeth…(Or was it parents?).
Lisa had difficulty with her own memories, her memory is a so-called “selective” memory: she only remembers what frightens or motivates her.
“AN ORPHANAGE! That’s right!” she said, very proudly.
“I’m sure it’s an orphanage!” She remembered the adventures of a certain TOM SAWYURE… (or something like that!)
“We have to find an orphanage!” they all said in unison.
As soon as they said it, the joy filled their hearts.
On their way they questioned so many people! Some of them were children, but some were older too! And no one was clever enough to tell them about the man; it is after many kilometers they came across an unusual case:
A BICEPHALOUS ORPHANAGE… AN ORPHANAGE-HOSPITAL.
Lisa and company found the place. All said and done.
THE HOSPITALHospitals are everywhere, but a little girl with glass bones, being there… it’s much rarer.
Her name is Loulia, she doesn’t speak the same language as Lisa, she says “chhhe” and “chhtte”, well, some strange things. Lisa had never met such a fragile little girl.
This morning she overheard a man in a white coat talking about Loulia’s “illness”… DISEASE???? How can you even say that word like that when talking about a gift!?
“Glass bones, that’s the gift, it’s much lighter than bones, thinks Lisa… Glass bones, it’s like the bird that we put on the shelf of Grandma and she always said: “One day it will be yours, it was given to me by a king…. It is special. ” (I guess the king was Grandpa?) “
In short, Loulia always breaks when she hits herself… and when she hits herself, she breaks.
So, she is deprived of children’s games! It’s terrible! And on top of that, no parents!
“We have to do something!” said Lisa. “You, the Spider, can save her life! If you wrap your yarn around her, she’ll be protected.”
” ???????????? ” The crowd is stunned…
“But yes! Like the cocoon of the butterfly or the mummies of the pharaohs!
“But it takes tons of thread, and I will lose my life if I weave such a big coat for her!
“But her life is hanging by a thread! She is precious and you are my friend… and you must give her this gift!” replies Lisa.
The Spider, who had a heart as big as an Iranian elephant’s, did not wait very long. And one thing led to another, even in no time, she surprised all her friends:
IN JUST A MOMENT, SHE CHEATED TO THE DEATH TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL COAT.
Loulia is saved! (but the Spider is dead.)
“We’ll bury her close to Grandma, so they can talk to each other and even knit,” said Lisa, pretending not to be upset about the loss of their friend. And all decided to celebrate this new life, with a Russian way to toast.
“Oh yes? And what is a Russian way?” asked Rabbit Martin.
“We drink dry and we throw our glass over our shoulder … ” says Lisa.
” … And the glass shatters with a thousand pieces…” adds Loulia, in a burst of joy. (Loup, who is all flat, got drunk already!)
It’s time for everyone to say goodbye. The search must go on… And there, Loulia has a little cold, LOULIA IS IN FATIGUED-COMA. No, she hasn’t seen the man Lisa is looking for.
“But sometimes…”, she says in a crystalline voice, “you just have to look for the signs…” (her grandmother was an astrologer…)
“I think they say like t…çhâ!” she sneezes, because she has caught a cold.
We have to leave.
They will probably never see each other again, but they will never forget each other! The memory is that of the heart lasts much more than one hour! Loulia will remain engraved in theirs for an eternity.
(Even if eternity is a made-up word!)
“It’s too hard not to look back,” Lisa thought, all broken up, as she left the hospital room. “I wish I had taken her with us; she was, after all, lighter than a pebble! In my pocket, she could have snuggled up and not been afraid of the hits coming!”
BUT THEY ALL KNOW THAT HER SURVIVAL IS HERE, WITHIN THESE WALLS, EVEN IF THEY ARE OF PLASTER… EVEN IF THEY HAVE CRACKS…
“LIFE IS HARD!” expels Lisa who did not like :
1 – Neither the diseases that grow at night
2- Nor even the parasites that short-circuit life
3- Even less the chemos which make the patient vomit, so much it is difficult for the one who is doing them to think about tomorrow, because living is too vain.
And yet, Loulia has courage!
But most of all: “the rage” that forces the respect for each other.
Not a MINUSCULED MOLAR RAGE, not a RIDICULOUS ANGER RAGE, but an “ENORMOUS” rage to live! Only the sick people have it in common.
“It’s beautiful to have the will to live!” thought Lisa to her three companions in agreement.
They all left the hospital with their spirits high! They are going to fight and find the man, because after all, nothing stops them but their arguments and their colds! And all of them got rid of their anger…
As soon as said it, they feel like feathers!
Poor Spider! She is not in good shape anymore. Maybe fainted? Maybe she’s asleep forever too?
“Like Grandma who is in the cemetery…” thinks Lisa who stares at her somewhat slumped friend.
With a logic that only children have the secret of, she leads the group to a place of retreat and says:
“Since Grandma is well into beer and beer quenches the thirst…”
” ???????????? ” …Everyone hangs on her every word…
“So, let’s go drink water, because we are not camels!” she concludes not too proudly.
It is necessary to admit that the worries feed the appetite, and they are a little bit thirsty too!
Some of them to soak up some alcohol, the others to relieve their legs, they all sit down, without questioning themselves, at the terrace of a big café.
They are going to stay there for two hours, talking in low voice, because Lisa feels very tired! And from hour to hour, the heavy silence just waiting for one thing:
JUST TO BE DRILLED IN THE SIDE, DRAINED OF ALL BLOOD, TO TEAR OPEN THE BRUISE SO EVERYTHING EXPLODES!
And who better than a tummy to relieve the atmosphere? The party-pooper of the situation: the grumpy worm.
“My foot hurts,” complaints Humphrey, who drinks only milk.
“Of course, it does! It’s obvious… so take off your shoes!” ironizes the Spider at the bottom of the ashtray.
“THIS IS IT! SHE IS RESURRECTED!!!!! ” The company is happy as there no longer any doubts…
(Even the very aristocratic maggot kissed her, so moved that he saw his friend again!)
“You frightened us “, says Lisa to her with a hand on the heart. “I thought that the “fir coffin” was not far!
“I apologize for apologizing…” grumbles Humphrey, already forgetting the hug. “But it seems to me that a box of matches would do the trick, no need for a fir coffin that weighs too much for the man and the soul! Trust of the animal!”
“It’s nice!” replied Rabbit Martin, “as always Humphrey! I thought she’d never come back, too!”
Loup, on the other hand, says nothing (he’s lost in a mocha)
The sight from afar is rather uncommon: our creepy crawler is getting elected, Lisa is looking into the bowl and is, of course, not pretty; the “big ears” are in a beautiful mood! As for the artist (it is usual), she escapes again to the appeal! She fell from the ashtray and with salt tipped over onto the grayish asphalt and feels (still groggy) with her nose on the road.
“What a worry!” said the little one, “what a worry! You lose the thread… and the balance! I told you! What a worry. Come back here!” worries Lisa, “or someone will run you over!”
It is then that a small problem arises, a troubles, in other words something not so nice!
NO SEED FOR ADDITION, NO SEED BUT ASSOCIATIONS THAT ARE ALREADY ALL BROKEN, AND WHICH WILL LEAD YOU TO THE PRISON.
Gendarmes not really smiling came to look for the ” criminals “.
Two fled: the “suddenly dead” spider hid immediately, and Loup who is all flat and took a place of a tablecloth, without much trouble in his condition!
Who is left as a witness? Only a hostile and naughty being, who accuses the little one of stealing without remorse: A waiter of bistro, who smells like a bad burp.
Everything about him is a disgrace, he speaks so fast and so badly that “out of here ” … becomes “VITAL“!
Fortunately, Lisa is immediately taken to jail. She doesn’t blame her friends for abandoning her, she understands perfectly well that it’s a cowardice…
How can you blame animated “cartoons”? For Loup it’s a little different… But with patience and some time, they will soon be able to discuss it without raising the voice, and without showing the teeth.
It will be necessary for Lisa to negotiate hours and hours with the authority, so that they let her finally in freedom;
Lisa has no papers, no wicker baskets, it’s not Red Riding Hood since Grandmother does not move… not a matchstick merchant who ends up as a plate, nor is it called Cosette, nor does it say: “I am a seagull.”
“SHE IS LISA, WHO WANTS THOUSANDS OF STORIES TO FALL ASLEEP AT NIGHT AND FILL HER MIND, SHE WANTS TO FIND THE MAN, THE ONE WHO LEFT, SHE WANTS TO TELL THEM IN SHORT THAT HE IS: “THE MAN OF HER LIFE.” (Even if she doesn’t quite understand what she’s saying.)
As everything comes at the right time. Lisa wants to take advantage of this moment, to visit this strange place that they also nickname: the “MITARD”.
Dungeons lined up like ducks on the water, murderous loads are sweating out the cellar, calibrated to pick out shifty, ragged bums in soiled clothes… open up to her, in a heartbreaking spectacle!
“We should ban such places, or at least recognize that we could do better”
“How can such a concentration of lonely souls be a “promise” of a better future? They had no money to pay the bill, like me? And are all sent to the “Ladies” prisons…since they are ladies…”
(Lisa recalls a conversation her grandmother had with Mrs. Henriette, a very colorful shampoo lady…)
“Not necessarily ladies of the big world (that’s not a problem), but when you are a lady, don’t you have to be flirty? And to know how to dress for the pleasure of parties?”
… There, the Lady is a dirty flirt!!! She smells bad from her feet and dresses so badly! She is wet and gray, and her hair is a mess, her roof is made of tiles that are all ruined.”
It’s very sad, but that’s how it is!
Lisa then rushes to question the first prisoner in front of her nose, who is just walking!