The Arcades at the beach

by Uduvicio Atanagi

A thousand thousand blue bubbles...
A thousand thousand blue bubbles...
A thousand thousand blue bubbles...

coming out of the mouth, coming out of the nose while water seems black instead of blue while Riccardo whom his mother calls Riccardino tries to raise his head but they put it down, somebody gives him a kick, a slow kick, an underwater kick like a deep sea diver’s, a very slow kick that moves at moon speed and there are sort of laughs all around and Riccardino doesn’t understand and feels like chocking and all the things become sort of things in a dream, washed-out and faraway things, things as faded as an old film of scuba divers drowning and so Riccardino thinks about the videogames of the seaside.
Denis doesn’t want to do this but everybody wants to, the little fair haired girl looks at him and somehow smiles to him and something moves inside his belly and he is motionless and while everybody plays and dances in this game that now seems very dark he only sees the black sky above the black sea in the black night and the few stars that now seem to have all disappeared.
Riccardino is dragged outside and looks dead, somebody gives him a kick in the stomach, somebody says now that’s enough, somebody says we will kill him this way but somebody screams dances howls to the moon instead. There are Mirko and Thomas that are brothers, there are two girls, one is called Chiara and is fourteen but says she has already fucked with a guy in his thirties, Chiara always says that he loved her but the truth is that he raped her and she didn’t tell anybody, there are all the seaside friends and there is Riccardino that has fallen down to the ground and is coughing with saliva coming out from his mouth and mixing up with snot and saltwater.
Riccardino is the youngest one and nobody knew him at the beach and he always wanted to play videogames, nobody liked Riccardino, so this is how it happened more or less, when everybody got bored Michele suggested to play a game and pretend to kidnap Riccardino as he once saw in a movie.
Now they are dragging him and he is coughing and leaves a very long trail in the sand that mixes up with his hair, gets in his throat, in his nose, Denis turns around as if he wanted to stop, Chiara takes him by the hand, Chiara’s hands are soft and cold, Denis realizes that now his heart is beating very fast.
Riccardino is dragged to a farmhouse, they kick him and laugh, they spit on him and laugh and run and dance around, then Chiara jumps on him and Denis reaches out to stop her but can’t stop her and when Chiara stands up, a few red droplets come out from the soaking vest of the soaking Riccardino, then expand and then fill up all the fabric that was white and now is red. Chiara holds a fragment of glass in her hand and she has cut herself to clutch it, Riccardino gasps, now red bubbles are coming out of his mouth that mix up with the blue ones, a thousand blue and red and blue bubbles. All becomes motionless, Denis falls down on his knees, mucus running off the mouth, while the roaring of the sea waves slowly, so slowly impact against nothing.