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1002 Ghosts

illustrations Veridiana Scarpelli
São Paulo, 24th May


Pals! Hey you guys from 1002 Ghosts!

I am sorry, I feel I am out of my mind just for calling you

Pals. I am totally clueless. Who are you? 1002 Ghosts?

What is it?

But, I definitely need to reach out. It is urgent!

By the way, this is the first letter I have ever written in my whole life. I mean, I am always texting, sending emails, but true letters, actual ones that we have to post in an actual mailbox, no, I had never written a letter like this before.

A few years ago, back to my elementary school days, I just loved writing journals, but then I started feeling rather stupid, so I threw them away...

Now, as I am writing as an answer to this bizarre add of yours, something I saw in the newspaper, I get the feeling I am doing something, having some control, getting a grip somehow.

What can be the scariest fright in one's life?

I have never been afraid of things, I mean, I never thought about ghosts, invisible stuff, supernatural urban legends, nothing of the kind. The only unusual thing about me is having a twin sister. My name is Catriona and my sister is Carolina. Our father is Irish and mom is Brazilian.

Guess what?

I am feeling better now as I write to you, but I have stalled telling what is truly happening here.

So I am going to take a deep breath, close my eyes and try to face my horrible memories.

There we were, Carolina and I together looking at the bathroom mirror. We were trying mom´s wigs on. Our mother is an actress, so when her plays, her stage performances are over, she brings her wigs home. Mom tells us we can always play stage games and she likes us to do that. So, every once in a while, we stage a homemade play. I mean we write some scenes, then we film them and post them on our youtube channel. We have hundreds of subscribers already!

Anyway, on the fright night I am going to write about, Carolina and I did not want to go to bed early. It was Friday night, August 13th, I can remember well. I put on the black,straight hair wig, purple lipstick on my mouth. Carolina chose the long, white haired wig, covered her skin with pale bb cream, white lipstick…

“You look like just a ghost!” I told her and laughed.

But she did not take it lightly. There she stood, gazing at her own reflection in the mirror, not a wink, her mouth ajar.

“What is it, Carolina? Are you rehearsing already? How come? We haven't written our scenes yet!”

Silence. No answers at all. I felt sweat dripping from my forehead, but it was winter time and I was not actually feeling cold. My mouth went dry. I lowered my head and reached for the sink. I turned on the tap and drank a few water drops. I felt a bit better and raised my eyes to the mirror. My sister's reflection remained the same: her mouth ajar, eyes bulking out of her face. I copied her facial expression, as if we were on stage. Then, two rear little windows at the back of the bathroom opened and started banging so fast, I thought the wind must be really strong. I ran towards the windows and I thought my sister would follow me then. No. There she stood, mouth ajar, eyes wide open, her white face, her white wig looking so bizarre, suddenly she just pointed her finger to the mirror. I reached out and closed the window in front of me. No rain.

I had never seen such dry, strong wind before, but it was11 all right. Out of the blue, my sister just screamed. Her voice was so distorted by fear that her scream seemed to go through my mind and take me out of my senses. I almost fainted. I gazed at the window once more. This is when I saw her. I swear I saw her. I am telling you guys the plain truth, nothing but the truth.

The woman was flying near the window, in her white gown, long, almost transparent hair, eyes sinking deeply into her face. Her voice was hollow and her sound penetrated deeply into my heart. I walked towards the woman floating outside the window. I almost forgot the fact we lived on the tenth floor of the apartment building; I just couldn't comprehend that there was a normal person, hovering near the window pane. I don't know why, but the only thing I wanted to do was to pull the woman inside my house. I felt as if she was singing as a cry for help and I felt I just needed to take care of her.

I reached out my hand. I pulled the window.

“NOOOO!”

Only this time the scream came from behind my back. My sister. She knocked the mirror down so strongly it felt into pieces. Then she fainted. I ran and called my parents.

They were so relaxed, chatting over coffee in the dining room. They had not heard anything at all. It was so weird. I was sure the windows had made a lot of noise, as well as Carolina´s screams.

When Mom came into the bathroom and saw Carolina on the floor, she took my sister to bed,and closed the window, then she asked my dad to take Carol´s temperature, placing a wet towel over her forehead. Yes, she had a temperature.

To put it shortly: my sister was in bed for two days, with a fever. She took a lot of tablets but her fever and delirium would not go away. She spent the next 48 hours singing. Just like the hovering, translucent lady. And, when she finally recovered, all of us were very happy and, apparently, things went back to normal.

APPARENTLY...

Because Carolina has not been herself again. She doesn't want to play stage games with me, nor videogames, or anything else. She doesn't´tell me stuff, but whenever our family gets together, Carolina acts as her old self. I mean, my parents are just happy, but I feel terribly scared.

Why?

I may be getting even crazier than my sister… the truth is I cannot stand whenever she sings what I call her “supernatural twilight” songs. I said supernatural because I came to think that thing, that apparition outside our13 window was a ghost. And that maybe this ghostly creature has gone into my sister's mind and overwhelmed her. I once saw a horror movie in which somebody was dominated by a ghost. And there is something else: when our parents are not near us, Carolina speaks to herself in some unknown language. At dawn she leaves her bed and sleep walks around the room.

She sits by the desk and draws exquisite images, so outlandish as the songs she just won't stop singing. I have tried and tried to tell my parents she has changed, that something very strange is happening in our house. But Mom's reaction was just the opposite to what I had expected: she loved Carolina's drawings so much she says she will use them on the background scenery of her next performance. She even asked me if I was jealous:

“This is the first time you do something apart, Catriona”.

But she is just clueless. I am not jealous at all. I am terrified. We are identical twins. Light brown, curly hair, blue eyes. We are skinny, the same height.

Everytime my sister keeps on swirling and singing around our bedroom, I feel as if part of me were there with her. I keep on thinking about the flying ghost outside my window. And drops of sweat reach my forehead. My mouth gets dry. Fear overwhelms me. I just don't know what to do.

Was that an apparition?

What has happened to my sister?

What does it mean?

I really hope you can help me. I have no one else to talk to. I even tried speaking with friends, but everybody thinks I am making things up to our next youtube play. No one believes in what I say...
Desenho de duas marionetes fantasmagoricas Catrina Sampaio O’neill
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THE TALE TRACKERS: A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE

original work in english Heloisa Prieto e Victor Scatolin
illustrations Daniel Bu Eno

excerpt from the book

“Every poem is a letter.

Every poem holds a tale…”

These thoughts crossed Caique´s mind as he whistled while walking down the street.

“I don´t mean a regular, beginning, middle and end tale” he thought to himself.

Poems hold on to something else.

As a fragment of one´s own life story. Let´s say, for instance, the day he sat at the bench, at the square, next to Mr. Angelo, the best guitar player in the world, at least the best one he had ever met. Or still, as the new poem that just now drew itself in his imagination, as he tried to reach back to the moment he found out about the powerful combination of words and music. Thinking about music he raised his eyes up to the sky looking for birds. To think that birds can fly far away as words in the wind. Listening to birds singing he realized their voices could be so diverse as people´s speech. Clouds… Poems can just pop up in one´s mind. The true secret is to know how to hold on to them.

Caique ran until he reached the square.

He chose the empty bench, under an old, familiar, welcoming tree. He took his notebook out of his backpack. He opened the white, empty page. He looked at the sky and drew a poem…

He smiled feeling good about himself.

He sighed.

He stood up and took his way to school. As he walked through the square, he thought about all the good things that had happened last year.

At school he was now seen as someone who had made a dream come true. His friends and teachers called him The Poet. It made him feel shy sometimes and he told them:

“How can I be a poet if I can't even rhyme?”

Caique saw poetry as something that just sprouted out of his mind, opening up his eyes to see things around him as if they were brand new…

Nothing ever bored him, because according to his own, particular way of seeing life, there was no such a thing as boredom. What would be the opposite of being bored? Being cool? What´s the difference between one and the other? Being cool and being boring were just about the same, so he thought.

Caique´s poetry was not only about beautiful things, such as the flight of birds, or even their beautiful songs. If there was one thing he could do quite well was to make a poem out of joke, a poem out of a drawing, or still a very sad poem just to make someone cry and smile at the same time. Empty poems also pleased him. Silent ones too.

Poems were everywhere to be seen.

Whenever Caique recited a poem, everyone stopped to listen to him. But there were always the ones who liked to make fun out of him. People who kept on telling him poetry is just useless at the end of the day.

Caique liked to reply:

Is our life useful after all?

What are we here for anyhow?

One day he just thought to himself:

Every living being is a poem, every poem is a living being.

imagem do da capa do livro
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The Adventures of a Dog Named Petit

Editora FTD
written by Heloisa Prieto
illustrated by Maria Eugenia
afterword by Raissa Pala Veras

excerpt from the book

The day my sister was born I felt deeply jealous of her.

She was my own doll. Nobody else could play with her. Whenever guests came to the house to see her, I found a way to distract them by acting strange, so they would not get too close to her.

“Olivia! What are you doing, my child? Why do you want to call everybody's attention like that?”

I did not want people to pay attention to me. I just did not like people to keep on holding my dear Alice. I had never imagined that a baby sister coming out from the hospital could be so pretty: her round little forehead, curly, thin hair, her tiny little hand that kept on holding my fingers to play with them.

“Alice is my sister!” I kept on telling everyone. “And she is going to sleep in my room when she grows older. Both of us are going to play, to take baths, to travel, go to school, to do everything together…”

My mother did not know how to handle me. Several months went by. Alice became prettier and my jealousy grew stronger. This is when Dad come up with an idea:

“I think I know the perfect antidote for Olivia´s jealousy! It is so very simple! She needs to have her own baby, someone else to love…”

“Oh, no, George!” Mom said “It’s definitely too early for us to have another baby!”

“A baby?” asked Dad and then just kept quiet.

I could not sleep, I was so curious about Dad. What was he scheming? Next morning, at breakfast, he told all of us:



“Tomorrow it will be dog´s day… We will take you, girls, to the dog shelter for you to adopt a puppy. And Olivia will take on full responsibility for this new baby, right, my beautiful child?” Another sleepless night.

I was so happy I could not close my eyes! I had always dreamt about having a dog and Dad had just guessed my strongest wish…

As we arrived at the shelter, Mom came out of the car first, holding Alice. I could not have guessed that a little baby like her would be so happy in this place so crowded with dogs. She would not stop laughing. She clapped her hands. She even made happy baby sounds. So we saw dogs from all sizes, colours, shapes and ages… How could we decide which one to choose?

imagem do livro mostrando Olívia e sua irmã no colo
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