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NAKAPURAO NGA AL-LIA

The Ghost Dressed in White

穿白衣的鬼

 

 

   By Rodney Pygoya  Chang

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Juan Magadangdang finally started up the old, Army surplus jeep from the 1940’s. He was the younger brother-in-law of Federico Espirito who was inside the house.  It was 1972 and they lived in Bacarra, a small town in Ilocos Norte province on Luzon, an island located at the northern end of the Philippines island chain.

胡安终于启动了那台老式的,20世纪四十年代陆军剩余物资的吉普车。他是住在房子里面的费德里克的妹夫。那是1972年他们住在巴卡拉,一个位于吕宋岛北部省的小镇,一个小岛位于菲律宾群岛的北端。

 

Cecilia, Federico’s pregnant wife, felt her water bag burst at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. in the morning. The closest hospital was in Laoag City, ten miles away.

塞西莉亚,费德里克怀孕的妻子,感到她的羊水在凌晨2,这个荒唐的时间破了。最近的医院是拉瓦格市,离这里十英里远。

 

“O.K., ‘Old Faithful’ is ready out front,” said Juan as he hurried back into the house to assist in any way possible. The rattling of the “MacArthur” jeep’s rickety framework and its noisy motor – that hollered for a new muffler that never would come – drowned out the chirping of the army of crickets that occupied their small plot of farmland.

好了,老忠实准备好了,当胡安匆匆地赶来以任何可能的方式协助时说。麦克阿瑟吉普车格格作响,摇摇晃晃的框架及其嘈杂的发动机——大声抱怨着新的消声器从来没见过——淹没了占领了一小块菜地的蟋蟀军队的鸣叫。

 

“Great, we’re almost ready; I have to grab a couple more things and we’ll be ready to go,” said Federico. “Juan, go fetch some towels and a blanket for your sister. It’s going to be a cold ride this late at night.” The jeep’s sides were open to the elements.

太好了,我们基本准备好了,我必须要再拿点东西,我们马上就好了,费德里克说。胡安,拿一些毛巾和一条毯子给你姐姐。这么晚外面会很冷。吉普车的两侧基本都是敞着的。

 

 “Hurry, Cecilia, we’re ready to head out to the hospital.” The woman came into the living room from the bedroom, where she was resting.

快点,塞西莉亚,我们准备去医院了。那个女人从她休息的卧室来到客厅。

 

“The sooner the better. I’m not feeling well.  The contractions are coming faster,” she lamented.  She didn’t look good, supporting herself by leaning on a chair.  One hand was gently rubbing her swollen abdomen.

越快越好。我感觉不太好。宫缩变快了,她哀叫。她看起来

太好,靠在椅子上支撑着自己。一只手轻轻按摩她腹部的隆起。

 

The two men rushed to the pregnant woman to assist her.

两个男人冲到孕妇身边来帮助她

 

“Here, let us support you,” said her husband. “Juan, hold up your sister from the other side and I’ll do the same from this side.”

她的丈夫说:这里,让我们撑住你。胡安,从另一边撑起你姐姐,我在这面也这样做。

 

Together the two men helped Cecilia out of the shanty, down the porch stairs and into the backseat of the open jeep. Before she sat, Juan placed a couple towels on the seat.  After bending and climbing to finally seat in the rear, the woman in labor moaned as she placed her hands upon her stomach area.

两人一起帮助塞西莉亚从棚屋中走出来,沿着走廊楼梯,进入敞开的吉普车后座。在她坐之前,胡安将几块毛巾放在了座位上。在崎岖跋涉之后终于坐在了后面,分娩呻吟的女人,把她的手在她的肚子上。

 

“Patience, little one,” she pleaded, as her abdomen underwent undulating motions.

耐心点,小家伙,她恳求,当她的腹部有起伏的动作时。

 

“Juan, now where is the blanket?”

胡安,毯子在哪里?

 

“Oh, Sorry.” The young brother scampered back in and was back in a jiffy with what he had forgotten during the stressful situation.  When he returned, he covered his sister with the blanket.

哦,对不起。年轻的弟弟地跑了回来,马上就忘记了他在压力的状况。当他回来时,用毯子盖住他的姐姐。

 

“Thank you, brother.” The thick cover stopped the little shivering that had already begun.

谢谢你,弟弟。厚厚的毯子止住了已经开始的颤抖。

 

It was dark outside, except for the harsh beam of the headlights. The two men jumped into the front seats and the jeep rumbled down the dirt country road fronting their homestead.  It had lots of potholes.

外面一片昏暗,除了粗糙的车头灯的光束。两个男人跳进前排座位,吉普车轰鸣的驶进他家对面灰尘漫天的乡间小路。它有很多坑坑洼洼。

 

“Ouch!” Cecilia cried from the back as the jeep was bounced upwards and then slammed back down.

哎哟!”塞西莉亚从后座喊道,她在吉普车上反弹,然后甩下来。

 

“Careful!” ordered her husband to Juan who was the driver. “Slow it down for now.  Don’t forget your sister’s fragile condition.”

小心!她的丈夫命令司机胡安。慢点。不要忘记你姐姐现在很脆弱。

 

“I haven’t; but I also am trying to get us to the hospital as soon as possible,” answered Juan.  “I have to hurry; my sister’s in a bad way.”  The driver continued to cautiously negotiate, as best as he could, around the muddied holes.

我没有;但我也想尽快赶去医院,胡安回答说。我必须快点,姐姐的病情严重。司机继续谨慎协商,尽其所能,避开周围的洞。

 

The ride became smoother once they reached the paved asphalt road that led to Laoag City. At the hospital, night staff waited for their arrival, as Federico had called to notify them that they were on their way from Bacarra.

一旦他们到达了去往拉瓦格的沥青道路行驶就变得顺畅了。在医院,夜班员工正等着他们的到来,费德里克打电话通知他们,他们正从巴卡拉赶来。

 

It was a long ride along mostly dark stretches of highway. Only occasionally would there be some lights when they sped pass small villages.  Most of the way consisted of open farmland, pastures or wilderness, all concealed by the pitch blackness of night, except for the bordering cultivated land and uninhabited jungle that were illuminated by the beams, directed at the road ahead.  There was no moon out that evening.  Fields of rice, tobacco, and garlic whizzed by at 45 M.P.H. as the workhorse past its prime rumbled towards the city.  For the most part, the passengers only saw the barren road ahead.  Air rushed against their faces and bodies as they rode in the jeep, open on the sides.

沿着多数都是黑暗的公路,这是一个漫长的旅程。只是偶尔加速通过小村庄时会有一些灯光。大多数的路都是由开放的农田、牧场或荒野组成,所有的部分都隐藏在漆黑的夜晚之中,除了与耕地与无人居住的丛林接壤处,指向前方道路的灯光。没有月亮的夜晚。水稻田、烟草田、和大蒜田在每小时45英里速度飞快地略过,向着城市隆隆作响。在大多数情况下,乘客只能看到前方的路。空气吹向他们的脸和身体,因为他们乘坐的吉普车是敞开的。

 

It was now 2:30 a.m. and not a soul or creature was in sight. In the houses, all were peacefully at sleep.  Frederico occasionally spoke to twenty-year old Juan to make sure he stayed awake at the wheel.   Cecilia let out an occasional groan.

现在是凌晨两点,看不到任何的人或生物。房子中,所有的人都在安静的睡觉。费德里克偶尔与二十岁的胡安说话,确保他在驾驶时保持清醒。塞西莉亚偶尔发出呻吟。

 

It was a clear night. Stars sparkled in the blackness above, void of any moon glow.  There were no other sound except for the loud motor and the wind current rushing through the open vehicle.  The radio had long ago ceased to function.  Like the muffler, it was a luxury the family couldn’t afford to repair.

这是一个晴朗的夜晚。星星在黑暗的夜空中闪闪发光,没有任何的月亮光辉。没有其他声音,除了巨大的马达声和风吹过的声音。收音机早就坏了。像消声器一样,对于买不起替换的家庭来说,它是奢侈品。

 

As the jeep advanced on its frantic way to the hospital, suddenly, in the distance, the men spotted a lone figure. As they drove closer, they recognized the individual to be a woman with long hair that was dressed in a long white dress.  Because she wore white, they could spot her further in the distance along the straightaway that they were now driving on.

当吉普车疯狂的朝着医院行驶时,突然,在远处,发现一个孤独的身影。当他们开车接近是,他们意识到这是一个有着长头发,穿着白色长裙的女人。因为她穿着白色,他们在开车时才可能在很远的地方发现她。

 

When they were close enough, they saw the woman waving a hand with the fingers extended downwards. This was the sign of requesting a ride in the Philippines, similar in request as an American pedestrian thumbing for a ride.

当他们足够接近时,他们看到女人挥舞着一只手,手指向下。在菲律宾,这是请求搭便车的信号,就像美国的步行者们竖大拇指要求搭车一样。

 

“Shall we pick her up?” Juan loudly asked Frederico, to be heard over the turbulent current. “The poor woman is in the middle of nowhere and at this ungodly hour.”  There was a vacant seat in the back.

我们要载她吗?胡安大声问费德里克,让他在吵闹中也听得见。可怜的女人在这个偏僻的地方,在这样荒唐的时间里。后座还有一个空位。

 

“Don’t!” cried out Cecilia from the back. She too had to shout because of the strong gusts rushing through the car.

不要!塞西莉亚从后面叫道。她也在喊,因为强烈的阵风刮过行驶的车。

 

“I’m in labor, in pain, and don’t want to be sitting next to a stranger.  Especially somebody who is standing out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.”

我就要生了,太痛了,不想坐在一个陌生人旁边。尤其是那些半夜站在偏僻的地方的人。

 

“Not only that,” added Federico, “dressed as she is makes her look like….a ghost.”

费德里克补充道,不仅如此,她的装扮看起来像……一个鬼。

 

Hearing the word ghost (his brother-in-law actually said “al-lia,” the Ilocano word for ghost- they were conversing in Filipino), Juan’s mind was made up.  It did appear that the woman had a nice figure and he was searching for a girl friend. But fear of haunting spirits overrode his carnal desires.  Without taking a closer look at her face, Juan looked straight ahead and sped right past the woman, still standing there on the right side of the road, waving her hand for a ride.  After he did, he peered into the rear mirror and watched as the white figure receded into the distance, until it once more was swallowed up by the darkness.

听到鬼(实际上姐夫说的是“al-lia”这个词,伊洛卡诺语幽灵的意思。菲律宾也说这种语言),胡安下了决心。那个女人看起来很漂亮,他正在找女朋友。但恐惧的精神超过了他肉体的欲望。不再仔细看看她的脸,胡安直视前方,加速超过了这个女人,她仍然站在路的右边,挥舞着她的手。之后,他凝视着后视镜,看着白色的轮廓被远远地落在了后面,直到再次被黑暗吞噬。

 

“A woman, out there in the dark, miles from any village, this early in the morning, is so strange,” said Federico. His wife again began to moan in pain from the back.

一个女人,在黑暗中,这几英里没有任何村,这个凌晨真是太奇怪了,费雷里克说。他的妻子又开始在后面痛苦的呻吟。

 

“Hang on, honey, we making good progress.”

坚持住,亲爱的,我们就快到了。

 

Being superstitious, Federico worried that the phenomenon might be an omen about the unborn child. Without his wife seeing, he did the sign of the cross.  Spotting this, Juan himself did so too.  Both men, still startled, remained quiet, preoccupied with their private thoughts.

迷信的费德里克担心这一现象会是未出生的孩子的一个预兆。没有让他的妻子看到,他做了十字架形状。发现这一点,胡安也这么做了。两个男人吓了一跳,努力保持安静,专注于他们的个人想法。

 

Suddenly the jeep started to swerve!  Juan was freaking out because of what he now viewed just outside the windshield.

突然,吉普车开始转向!胡安被挡风玻璃外的景象吓到了。

 

Federico saw it too and hollered with fright.

费德里科看到也吓得大叫。

 

That startled Cecilia in the back.  Looking out at what had frightened the front passengers, she too joined in with her own screaming.  This stressful moment caused the baby to kick within.  Its mother cried out because of the sudden internal assault and the rolling contractions.  And what a time to hit a pothole!  Up went the jeep.  The vehicle was already swerving before hitting the bump in the road.  Juan fought hard to maintain control of the vehicle.

后座的塞西莉亚吓了一跳。望向吧前面乘客吓到的方向,她自己也开始尖叫。这紧张的时刻引起婴儿踢打。因为突然的内部攻击和起伏的宫缩,这个母亲哭了。不知什么时候撞向了一个坑!吉普车癫了起来。在撞到路上的隆起物之前,车辆已经转向了。胡安艰难的战斗者,维持着车辆的控制。

 

What brought about all this commotion within the cabin?

是什么带来了车箱内的这一切骚动?

 

Up there, even after the pothole jolt, was the woman in white, sitting out on the driver-side front tire area of the hood!

在那里,甚至在撞向坑颠簸后,那个一身白的女人,坐在驾驶座一边前方的轮胎罩上!

 

Her hair flowed towards them as the jeep continued with its forward and swaying motion. Her head and face was turned towards the passengers, glaring sternly at Juan, apparently disappointed in the young man for having ignored her and having merely zoomed by.  The phantom then opened her mouth, revealing broken and sharp teeth, let out a hiss that they couldn’t hear (because of the nose of the motor and gushing wind), communicating to them that she was upset that they did not stop to offer her a ride.

她的头发飘随着他们的吉普车继续向前飘动着,摇摆着。她的头和脸转向乘客,严厉的瞪视着胡安,显然她对这个年轻人的忽视和掠过失望了。幽灵张开她的嘴,露出破碎,锋利的牙齿,发出了嘶嘶声,但是他们听不到(因为发动机的噪音和喷涌的风),向他们表示因为他们没有停下来载她一程,她很不高兴。

 

Imagine if they had!

想象一下,如果他们做了!

 

Juan managed to regain control of the erratic motion of the jeep, just when it threatened to go into a deadly spin. Regardless of the sharp turns of the jeep, the woman swayed along with the sideward forces as if she was secured to the hood.

胡安设法重新控制不稳定的吉普车,当它要进入一个致命的转弯时。不顾吉普车的急转弯,女人随着侧面的力量晃动,好像她被定在了安全罩上。

 

Once more in control of the jeep, Juan started to brake and steer towards the roadside to bring the jeep to a halt.  The vehicle rode over the bumpy dirt shoulder, causing Cecilia to cry out in pain from the barrage of jerky motions that shook her womb.  This turned out to be a tough ride for a woman in labor!

再次控制了吉普车,胡安开始刹车,导向路边,把吉普车停了下来。车辆骑在崎岖不平的肮脏的路肩上,接二连三的弹跳动作让塞西莉亚子宫不停摇晃,她痛苦的呼喊。对于分娩中的女性来说,这是一个艰难的旅程!

 

When the jeep finally came to a halt, the outside was veiled by the dirt kicked up from Juan’s slamming of the brakes and the skidding along the road’s unpaved wayside.

当吉普终于停下来时,外面被胡安猛踩刹车和在坑坑洼洼的路上滑行时扬起的灰尘蒙上了一层纱一样。

 

The terrified threesome stared through the windshield as the dirt slowly cleared out of the air. All three were still breathing hard from the frenetic ride, but were relieved when visibility of the hood returned.  The phantom was gone.

害怕的三个人盯着挡风玻璃上慢慢地被空气中清除的泥土。三个人仍因为这疯狂的行驶而呼吸困难,但当能看见安全罩时,他们都松了一口气。幽灵不见了。

 

Cecelia stayed seated because of her condition but the men jumped out, kneeled on the embankment and started to pray to their Lord, then finishing by making the sign of the cross. Then they made haste to get the heck out of there.  The jeep continued on, going as fast as it could to the hospital.

塞西莉亚因为她的状况,在座位上坐着,但男人们跳了出来,跪在河堤上,开始向他们的主祈祷,然后完成十字架的动作。然后,他们急忙回到了车里。吉普车继续前进,尽快赶去医院。

 

The pregnant woman made it to the hospital in time. Crisis over, Cecilia, now comfortable in a hospital bed, looked down proudly at her beautiful, newborn girl. It was time to name the child for the birth certificate.  At the house, they had several names in mind but hadn’t yet made a final decision.  For some odd reason, the name of Flordeliza inexplicably came from both of their mouths.  It wasn’t a name on their list of possibilities. Nevertheless, there was immediate consensus, which led to the name to be so inked on the legal document.  That was how Flordeliza Espirito came into the world.

孕妇及时的来到了医院。危机结束后,塞西莉亚现在躺在舒适的在病床上,骄傲地低下头看着在她美丽的,刚出生的女儿。是时候为了出生证明给孩子起名了。房间里,他们心里面有许多名字,但还没有做出最终决定。因为一些奇怪的原因,弗罗迪泽这个名字莫名其妙的从两人嘴里说了出来。这不在之前的名字名单上。然而,目前这是唯一一致的意见,这个名字就这样写在了法律文件上。弗罗迪泽就是这样来到这个世界的。

 

When the pretty child had reached the age at which she had a say as to how she dressed, Flordeliza stubbornly demanded to wear only garments of white.

当漂亮的孩子已经到了要打扮的年龄,弗罗迪泽固执地要求只穿白色的衣服。

 

A month later after the delivery, Juan was driving the jeep on the same road to Laoag City. He needed to pick up some farm supplies in the city.  In the daylight, he noticed what was roadside at approximately the location where they had previously encountered the apparition.  It was a bright sunny afternoon and he felt safe and self assured.

生产的一个月后,胡安驾驶着吉普车在拉瓦格市的同一条路上行驶。他需要在城里买一些农场供给。在白天,他发现他们之前在路边遇到幽灵的大概位置。这是一个阳光明媚的下午,他感到安全和自我保障。

 

Juan pulled over, got out of the jeep, and walked into the rural cemetery. The young man stopped and looked down at the first tombstone that was closest to the road.  The gravestone’s inscription had inscribed upon it, “Flordeliza Mabalot.” He read further:

胡安停下车,走下了去,走进了一个农村公墓。这个年轻人停了下来,低头看着第一个最靠近马路的墓碑。墓碑的碑文上写着,弗罗迪泽 马巴拉特。他继续读:

 

“Age 18.” “Hit & Run Victim.”

“18岁。”“肇事逃逸受害者。

 

 

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