NIGHT FLIGHTS, VOLUME III    SELECTIONS:

 The Timely Tune  and  Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall 

by Rodney E. J. Chang

夜航班机


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THE TIMELY TUNE

适时地旋律

 

     Aunt Velma wanted to leave the hospital and die at home. The families knew the time was near. Only in her mid-sixties, after the ravages of cancer, her once beautiful face had now shrunken inward to its underlying skeletal framework. Her jaundiced and blotchy bluish complexion further made her appear as a very ill woman in her late seventies.

威尔玛姨妈希望离开医院,在家中逝世。家人们都知道这个时间越来越近了。在她只有六十多岁的时候,被癌症所蹂躏之后,她曾经美丽的面庞如今已经塌陷,缩进了颧骨之中。皮肤上的黄疸和斑点让她看起来像是个七老八十的病妇。

 

     Her moribund appearance was such a contrast to the youthful portrait on the fireplace mantle. It was her wedding photo, taken when she was a ravishing beauty, while still living in the Philippines. The old photograph was quite pale and disappearing, soon to become a faded memory not just of the ceremony, but also of a life that once was. After marriage Velma, her husband and her extended family immigrated to the United States. That was decades ago. Since then, they had become citizens and spent all those years living on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. It had been a good life in America.

她濒临死亡的形象与壁炉罩上面青春洋溢的肖像简直是天壤之别。那是她的结婚照,拍摄时正值青春妙龄,当时她还住在菲律宾。这张照片相当的灰暗和褪色,不久将成为一个消逝的记忆,消逝的不仅仅是形式,还有曾经的生活。婚后,威尔玛,丈夫和她的大家庭移民到了美国。那是几十年前,从那以后,他们成为了美国公民并且多年来一直生活在夏威夷州的瓦胡岛。在美国过上了幸福的生活。

 

     “She looks so frail,” whispered her younger sister Martha to their brother Jacob. She didn’t need to whisper at bedside; Velma appeared to be sleeping or unconscious.

“她看起来那么虚弱,”她的妹妹玛莎与弟弟雅克布耳语道。她其实不必在床边耳语;威尔玛似乎是睡着或者昏迷了。

     Jacob continued to hold his dying sister’s hand.  It felt clammy and limp.

雅克布不断地握住即将离世的姐姐的手。手是冰冷而无力的。

     “At least she’s not in pain; the medicine is really working.”

“至少她没有痛苦;药物真的很起作用。”

     “But,” said Martha, “the drug takes her away from us, making her sleep all the time.”

“但是,”玛莎说道,“药物会令她离我们而去,让她一直沉睡不醒。”

     “Yes,” conceded Jacob, “there’s no time left to communicate with her, about our lives together.”

“是的,”雅克布承认,“没有留给我们与她交流我们曾经一起的生活的时间。”

     Velma’s eyes remained closed, her breathing slow and shallow. The two siblings assumed Velma could not hear them talk.

威尔玛的双目仍然紧闭,她的呼吸慢而浅。两姐弟推测威尔玛无法听到他们的谈话。

     “But I know,” said Jacob, “she is consoled by the music in the room.” Church hymns were playing.

“但是我知道,”雅克布说到,“她正被房间中的音乐所安慰。”教堂唱诗正在播放。

     But elsewhere throughout the house, every radio, stereo, CD player and television was blasting away.

但是这栋房子的其它地方,每台收音机、录音机、CD播放器和电视都在吵个不停。

     Velma’s greatest passion in life was music. She had instructed the family that when she returned from the hospital for her final days, she wanted the house to be “full of music.” She clarified this meant that in every single room, every sound-producing device was to be playing. And loudly. Except her room of course, where visitors needed to talk to each other without shouting.

威尔玛一生中最大的激情就是音乐。她已经告诉家人,在她从医院离开后的最后日子,她希望这栋房子中“充满音乐。”她解释说这意味着每一个房间,每一个发声设备都要进行播放。而且要大声,当然除了她的房间,因为访客们需要交谈。

     “I want everything loud, as if it’s a party. Play it soft and it sounds like a funeral.”

“我希望一切都大声,就仿佛是开一次派对。轻声播放会感觉像一场葬礼。”

     So, to respect her “final request,” all the audio electronics were on and the volume high. The televisions in the living room, guest room, and basement had different music channels selected. Even end table clocks with radios sounded away. Indeed, for all the relatives and friends who had gathered to visit her and pay their last respects, the house was filled with the sound of music.

所以,为了尊重她的“最后愿望,”所有的发声电器都打开并且音量开大。起居室,客房和地下室的电视都放在选定的不同音乐频道。甚至连带收音机的茶几时钟都开着。实际上,对于所有聚集在这里看望她和致以最终敬意的亲朋好友来说,这栋房子里充满了音乐之声。

     For most however, it was stimulus overload. It was noisy – too damn loud. It was inappropriate for the glum situation at hand. The place sounded like a wild, drunken party.

然而对大多数人来说,这有点过于刺激了。它是一种噪音太他妈的吵了。这与这里闷闷不乐的气氛格格不入。这个地方就像一个喧嚣的狂野派对。

     Some relatives wondered, What must the neighbors think?

一些亲戚感到奇怪,邻居们会怎么想?

     Another more frugal one thought, I can imagine the electricity bill that comes at the end of the month, if she holds on longer than the doctor predicts.

另一些节俭的人在想,我可以想象在月底电费账单有多可怕,如果她坚持的时间比医生预测的要长。

     She was a life-long piano player and her old instrument was almost as dear to Velma as her husband Antonio. But the piano wasn’t in the house. It was located in a small townhouse where the elderly couple now lived.

她是一位终生的钢琴手,她的老钢琴几乎与她的丈夫安东尼奥一样的宝贝。但是钢琴没有在这栋房子中。它放在了这对老伴侣现在居住的一栋小别墅中。

      The big house that she now laid in was rented to a family of relatives. Velma and Antonio ended up not having children and could no longer keep up with the housework. But instead of returning to the townhouse from the hospital, she stayed in this house. It was more centrally located in the city, afforded extended family care, and provided a larger space to accommodate visitors for her final days. And it had this available extra bedroom.  

现在她所躺着的这栋大房子是从一个亲戚家租来的。威尔玛和安东尼奥以没有孩子告终,并且不再能进行家务劳动。但是他们没有返回自己那套别墅,而是住在了这栋房子中。它距离市中心更近,方便被照顾,并且为前来探望的亲朋好友提供了更大的空间。并且它可以提供额外的卧室.

     “Where is Antonio?” asked newly arrived Lorilyn, a younger sister of Velma, who came with her husband straight after work, to show their last respects. All knew the end was near, maybe even that night. Even if the doctor had said,

  “安东尼奥在哪儿?”刚刚到来的罗瑞林问到,她是威尔玛的一个妹妹,在下班后直接与丈夫一起到来做最后的道别。所有人都知道离别即将来临,甚至可能就是那天晚上。即使医生说过,

     “Mrs. Paschal has been a strong-willed patient; she may live a few more days. But I have to inform you that the metastasis is quite advanced.”

 “帕斯夏尔夫人是一位拥有坚强的意志的病人;她也许能多活几天。但是我必须要通知你,癌症转移的相当快。”

   “Her husband is at their other place out in Waipahu,” answered Lorenzo, a cousin of the stricken.

 “她的丈夫在莱帕胡的令一个地方,”劳伦佐,病人的一位表弟回答道。

     “So why is he there and not here with his wife at this crucial time?” asked Lorilyn, with a frown on her face.

 “那么为什么在这个极其重要的时刻,他不来陪着她的妻子?”罗瑞林皱着眉头说道。

     “Antonio said he needed a break. He has been at her bedside all day. He’s so stressed out, the poor

fellow.”

  “安东尼奥说他需要暂时休息一下。他一天来都陪在床边。他太累了,这个可怜的家伙。”

     “Well,” said Lorilyn to the others gathered close to Velma’s bedside, “she doesn’t look very good and I really think he should be here at his wife’s side. Who knows, my dear sister could go at any time.”

  “好吧,”罗瑞林与聚集在威尔玛床边的其他人说,“她看起来不怎么好,而且我真的认为他应该守在妻子的床边。天知道,我可怜的姐姐可能随时就会离世了。”

     Nobody commented but, looking at Velma, they all agreed.

  没人接话茬,但是都在看着威尔玛,他们都同意这种说法。

     A hodge-podge of other songs played throughout the other rooms from other audio sources – per Velma’s instructions. Intermittently, inappropriate, raucous and silly commercials intruded from various rooms, contributing to a disturbing atmosphere of cacophonous sound bytes throughout the house. The adults especially stayed away from eighteen-year-old Francisco’s bedroom that had hip hop blasting from his stereo system. Fortunately, it was on the extreme opposite side of the house from the room where Velma laid bedridden. In there hymns from a CD player continued to grace the room with the appropriate spiritual ambiance as well as to underscore the somber moment of Velma’s critical condition. Velma, however, wasn’t “there” to appreciate the fitting music; she was comatose.

  五花八门的音乐从遍布房间的其它音源发出依据威尔玛的愿望。间歇的,不合时宜的、嘈杂和愚蠢的广告从各个房间入侵,为整栋房子营造了一个纷乱的气氛。成年人们都远离18岁大的弗朗西斯科的卧室,他的房间里面传出了震耳欲聋的嘻哈音乐。不幸的是,他的房间就恰好在威尔玛所躺的房间的正对面。从CD播放器中传出的圣歌不断的为威尔玛在这弥留时刻的精神营造了恰当的气氛。然而,威尔玛,并没有在“那里”欣赏这种合成的音乐,她已经昏迷了。

    Antonio actually was lying upstairs in their bedroom at their other property, drowning his sorrow in alcohol. He had taken his whiskey bottle and drinking glass upstairs from the kitchen, passing Velma’s cherished piano down in the living room. Once upstairs, he downed another shot, then plopped on the bed and turned off the light. It was dark and quiet, the way he preferred it during this time of solitude and reflection. In fact, unlike Velma, who was always enriched by the sounds of music, Antonio preferred dead silence. All the noise at the other house was one of the reasons he had to leave for a spell. It gave him a migraine. The booze helped dull it.

  安东尼奥实际上正躺他另一所房子的楼上的卧室中借酒浇愁。他已经拿着他的威士忌瓶子和酒杯从厨房来到了楼上,期间经过了威尔玛放在楼下起居室的心爱的钢琴。一上楼,他就一饮而尽,然后一屁股坐在床上,并且关上了灯。黑暗而寂静,此刻他更喜欢的方式就是孤独和反思。实际上,不同于总是被音乐之声所围绕的威尔玛,安东尼奥更喜欢死寂。另一栋房子里的所有噪音就是他必须要离开喘口气的原因。这噪音令他头疼。而豪饮帮他缓解。

     Although Velma liked music in the air and Antonio preferred “peace and quiet,” opposites did attract and their courtship led to a long, successful marriage. They never had kids to make things complicated. The couple invested their hard earned wages and now had two homes owned outright, one in Honolulu and the other in Waipahu just outside the city. The beautiful suburb was twenty miles away from their city residence.

  尽管威尔玛喜欢音乐在空中飘扬而安东尼奥更喜欢“和平与宁静,”互补性格使它们的婚姻长久而成功。他们从未让孩子来打扰他们简单的生活。这对夫妇用辛苦所得购买了两处房产,一处在檀香山,另一处在莱帕胡城外。这个美丽的郊区距离他们的城市住所有20英里远。

     Suddenly Velma’s eyes opened wide, escaping her morphine-induced slumber, and she started gasping for air. Her chest jolted forward like she had just been punched in the back. Blood started spurting from her mouth.

  突然间,威尔玛睁大了眼睛,从吗啡导致的昏睡中挣脱出来,并且她开始大口喘气。她的胸部剧烈的起伏,就好像是后背被打了一拳。血开始从她的口中喷出。

     Bernadine, a sister-in-law, happened to be next to Velma’s bed at the moment.

  博纳丁,她的妯娌,此刻碰巧就在威尔玛的床边。

     “Come quick everyone, I think she’s going!”

  “大家快来啊,我觉得她要去了!”

     The extended family of nineteen relatives all rushed from the other rooms to her bedside, watching in horror as Velma uncontrollably performed a vehement exit from this life. Everybody heard when Uncle Fredrick, the teenager’s father, yelled from the bedroom doorway a second time at his son,

  大家庭中19位亲属都从其它房间冲到了她的床边,惊恐的看着威尔玛无法自控的与世长辞。当少年的父亲,佛里德里希叔叔第二次从床边冲着门口大喊,每个人都听到了。

     “Francisco, I said get your ass in here now!”

  “弗朗西斯科,我说马上给我过来!”

     The teenager heard the order as the shout this time successfully trumped the volume of the “heavy metal” rock song that was vibrating the walls of his bedroom.

  少年这次听到了命令,因为喊声成功的盖过了卧室中震耳欲聋的“重金属”摇滚歌声。

    “Oh dear,” said sister Martha, “Where’s Antonio, ...that husband of hers? God, he should be here right now!”

 “哦亲爱的,”玛莎妹妹说道,“安东尼奥哪儿去了,她的那个丈夫?上帝啊,他应该马上来这里!”

     As Jacob rushed to the telephone in the next room, he informed all that he would immediately call Antonio to “get his butt here before it’s too late.”

  当雅克布冲到隔壁房间的电话机旁,他知道现在立即要做的事情就是给安东尼奥打电话,让他在为时未晚之前马上赶到这里。

   “But he’s in Waipahu and it’ll take at least fifteen minutes with the traffic to get here. I don’t think Velma will….”

“但是他在莱帕胡,按照现在的交通状况,至少需要15分钟才能赶到这里。我觉得威尔玛可能坚持不了

     Before Martha could finish her sentence, Velma had expired.

  在玛莎的话还没有说完之前,威尔玛已经断气了。

     She now just lied there motionless, with all eyes directed towards her stilled body. The women started to cry. Martha used her hand to close Velma’s eyes and tried to close her mouth, still ajar. Lorilyn held a hand over her own mouth; it was open as part of her overall facial expression of shock and despair. Evangeline, a cousin, was wiping away dripping blood from Velma’s mouth and neck. A towel was placed over the blood- drenched blouse to conceal it. Uncle Henry was saying the rosary aloud.

  现在她一动不动的躺在那里,所有的目光都投射到她僵硬的身体上。女人们开始哭泣。玛莎伸手闭上威尔玛的眼睛并且尝试闭上她半张着的嘴。罗瑞林一只手捂住自己的嘴巴;由于震惊和绝望,张着的嘴巴构成了她的一部分面部表情。伊万杰林,一个表弟,正在擦去威尔玛嘴巴和脖子上滴下的血迹。血浸透的上衣上放上了一块毛巾来遮盖。亨利叔叔正高声诵读着玫瑰经。

     Everybody suddenly became aware that all the music-generating appliances of the house had gone silent, including the CD player in Velma’s bedroom. They knew it couldn’t be a power failure as the light in the room remained on. And now, with it quiet, all could hear the tick-tock of the large grandfather clock that stood in the nearby living room. There still was electricity. In the silence, everyone heard the microwave’s door suddenly pop open. Strangely, it wasn’t on and there was nothing inside of it.

  每个人都突然间意识到,这栋房子中所有的音乐播放设备都哑了,包括威尔玛卧室中的CD播放器。他们知道,这不可能是电力故障,因为房间里面的灯还亮着。现在,在一片宁静中,所有人都能听到立在客厅的落地大摆钟的滴答声。还有电。在寂静中,每个人都能听到微波炉门突然爆开。奇怪的是,它并没有运行,并且里面什么都没有。

     Without the flood of music, everybody also became aware of the howling by several dogs on the street. It was as if the animals were announcing that someone in the neighborhood had just died.

  没有了音乐的喧嚣,所有人都注意到了街上几条狗的叫声。仿佛是这几只动物在宣布这个社区有人已经去世了。

     With the cessation of music, the sudden silence instilled a morbid sense of gloom in the house. In such an atmosphere, with the patient now reduced to a corpse and the incessant howling heard out on the street, all the relatives together did the sign of the cross. From blasting music to dead silence, it was quite a drastic transition, like that from life to death.

  随着音乐的戛然而止,房子中突然的寂静充满了悲情。在这样的氛围中,病人变成了尸体,在街上就可以听到这里的恸哭,所有的亲属们一起划着十字。从刺激的音乐到死一样的寂静,发生了一场戏剧性的转变,就如同从生到死一般。

     There was a knock at the entrance, just a few minutes after Velma Pascal passed away. Jacob had seconds ago just gotten off the telephone.

  门口传来了敲门声,就在威尔玛·帕斯卡尔去世的几分钟之后。雅克布在几秒钟之间忘了打电话。

     Everyone was surprised (and relieved- even if he was late) to see Antonio at the door. Better late than never, thought Lorilyn, displaying the facial expression of disapproval for her brother-in-law’s tardiness. The two had always had their differences.

  所有人都感到吃惊(并且释然-即使他迟到了)在门口看到了安东尼奥。亡羊补牢,为时未晚,罗瑞林想道,对她姐夫的迟到表现出不赞成的表情。他们两个一直就存在分歧。

     “Wow, that was quick,” said Jacob. I just tried to call you and here you are.

 “哇,还真快,”雅克布说道。我刚要给你打电话,你就到了。

     “I’m sorry to inform you but Velma just passed away.” He placed a hand on Antonio’s shoulder.

 “很遗憾的通知你,威尔玛已经与世长辞了。”他把一只手放在安东尼奥的肩膀上。

     “Yes, I know, …I came as quick as I could.”

 “是的,我知道我尽可能快的赶来了。”

     The relatives gathered around Velma’s husband to give their condolences, as well as to find out how Antonio suddenly appeared, almost in a timely manner. Lorilyn remained besides the bed, just holding on to her deceased sister’s still warm hand. They had been close as sisters.

  亲戚们聚在威尔玛的丈夫周围来给他安慰,同时找出为什么安东尼奥会突然出现,几乎是及时雨。罗瑞林仍然在床边,抓着她已故姐姐还有温度的手,她们姐妹的关系非常亲密。

     “I was already on the road, driving here as fast as I could. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic

tonight.”

 “我已经在路上,尽可能把车开的快一些。幸运的是,今晚路上车不多。”

     “But how did you know her time had come?” asked Jacob.

 “但是你是怎么知道她即将去世的?”雅克布问道。

     Everyone could smell the strong alcohol on his breath but nobody made a comment.

  所有人都能闻到他呼吸时强烈的酒精气味,但是没有人发问。

     “Well, when I was resting upstairs, the piano started to play.”

 “嗯,当我在楼上休息的时候,钢琴开始响起来。”

    “Who was playing it?” Bernadine meekly asked.

 “睡在弹它?”伯纳迪恩温柔的问道。

     Everybody’s eyes were affixed on Antonio’s face, awaiting the answer. All knew that he and Velma lived alone in that townhouse.

  所有人的目光都集中到了安东尼奥的脸上,等待着答案。所有人都知道他和威尔玛单独住在那栋别墅中。

     “Well, when I hurried out of my bedroom to turn on the living room light where the piano was,

…there was nobody there. By then the music had stopped.”

 “嗯,当我匆忙的走出卧室去打开放着钢琴的客厅的灯的时候没有人在那里。那时候,音乐就停止了。”

     Joanne, the wife of Jacob, also a pianist, asked, “Do you remember what song it was that was

playing on the piano?”

  乔安妮,雅克布的妻子,也是一位钢琴家,问道,“你还记得当时钢琴演奏的是什么曲子吗?”

    “Of course,” replied Antonio.

 “当然,”安东尼奥回答道。

     “It was Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata.’ Velma always reminded me how well she performed it at her high school music recital. Won her first prize. Velma said that ever since, it has been her favorite song.”

 “是贝多芬的‘月光奏鸣曲。’威尔玛总是提醒我她在高中音乐汇演中她弹奏的是多么棒。赢得了她的第一个奖项。威尔玛说从那以后,那就是她最喜欢的曲子。”

     Goose pimples raced across the livings’ skin.

 生者的皮肤上遍布鸡皮疙瘩

     Martha said, “Praise the Lord.” Some of the other women did the sign of the cross.

  玛莎说,“向我主祈祷。”其他一些女人们划着十字架。

     Uncle Henry resumed reciting the rosary out loud as the dogs kept howling. The light in the bedroom flickered several times.

  亨利叔叔在狗不断的吠叫的时候重新开始大声的背诵玫瑰经。卧室的灯光闪烁了几次。

    - Rodney E. J. Chang

 

 

 

 

 

MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL

by Rodney E.J. Chang

镜子、墙上的镜子

 

 

     Grandma Po-Po just died two days ago. Chinese believe the soul remains here on Earth for three days to visit their beloved relatives before moving on with their spiritual destination.

  婆婆奶奶两天前刚刚去世。中国人认为灵魂在去往他们的归宿之前,还会在世上停留三天,去拜访他们热爱的亲人们。

     It was a hot and humid summer afternoon in Niu Valley, a small pocket of residences tucked among the many small valleys east of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The infant was sound asleep in the master bedroom of Doris and her husband Walter. Walter is one of the recently departed’s sons, in fact, her favorite. Both were not at home at the time. Henry and Betty, their kids aged eight and ten, were in the house. Their other surviving grandmother, Jade Tam, Doris’s mother, was babysitting them as well as the sleeping toddler that Doris babysat for a working neighbor. Jade was the temporary stand-in babysitter so that Doris could make a trip to the local supermarket to do her mid-week grocery shopping.

  这是牛谷一个炎热而潮湿的夏日午后,一小批当地居民挤进了位于瓦胡岛,檀香山东面的很多小山谷中。婴儿们在多伊斯和她丈夫瓦尔特的主卧室中酣睡。瓦尔特是最近离开的儿子之一,实际上,是她最喜欢的。两个人此刻都没有在家。亨利和贝蒂,他们的孩子,分别是八岁和十岁,在房子中。他们另一位幸存的祖母,杰德·塔姆,多伊斯的母亲,正在照看他们以及多伊斯帮助外出工作的邻居照看的睡着的幼儿们。杰德是临时的保姆,这样多伊斯就可以去当地的超市采购周中的日用品。

     The summer afternoon’s quietude was suddenly shattered when Malcolm, the toddler of eighteen months, started to holler.

  当十八个月大的幼儿马尔科姆开始大声叫喊。夏日午后的宁静突然被打破,

     What could be his problem? the kids wondered from the living room, where they were playing on the rug with building blocks of their log cabin construction set.

  他可能出什么问题了?孩子们都在起居室,他们正在地毯上用他们的建筑积木搭小木屋。

     It was dark and cool in the master bedroom where the little one was taking a nap, with the fan blowing and the window curtains drawn closed. The loud crying intensified into screams like Henry and Betty had never heard before.

  小家伙正在午睡的主卧室黑暗而凉爽,风扇吹着,窗帘拉起。那大声的喊叫加强成了尖叫,好像亨利和贝蒂之前从来没有听到过。

     The screaming sounded like an emergency, suggesting a horrific event was occurring inside the darkened bedroom with its door shut close.

  那尖叫的声音像是遇到什么紧急情况,表明在关着门的黑暗卧室中有什么可怕的事情发生了。

     “Something really bad is happening to Malcolm,” said Betty to her brother, with a fearful look on her face.

  “马尔科姆真的出事了”贝蒂对他的弟弟说,她的脸上露出了恐惧的神色。

     Henry and Betty wanted to find what was going on, but they themselves were helpless, frightened children. They had been listening to all this talk about their paternal grandma’s death and upcoming funeral. Both looked to their maternal grandma to investigate the situation. The kids were confused, but the elderly Chinese woman knew what was up.

  亨利和贝蒂希望知道发生了什么事,但是他们自己也是无能为力,受到恐吓的孩子。他们一直在听关于他们的奶奶去世和即将到来的葬礼的事情。他们一起看着姥姥来查看情况。孩子们有点糊涂了,但是这位年长的中国女人知道出了什么事。

     Without hesitation, being that she was a staunch Catholic, Jade snatched the one-foot high wooden crucifix off the wall. She inadvertently yanked it so hard that the nail to which it was affixed, tore away from the wall and fell to the floor. Then, with the kids in tow, hiding fearfully behind her long skirt, she entered into the hallway and stormed towards the closed bedroom. Little Malcolm was still screaming bloody murder.

  毫不犹豫,作为一个坚定的天主教徒,杰德一把抓住墙上一英尺高的木质十字架。他不经意的猛地一拉,用力如此之大,以至于钉在墙上的钉子,从墙上脱开并且掉在了地上。然后,跟在身后的孩子们,战战兢兢地躲在了她的长裙之后,她进入了走廊,冲往封闭的卧室。小马尔科姆还在血腥谋杀般的尖叫。

      Again without any hesitation, Jade twisted the doorknob and flung the door open wide. Almost simultaneously, with her empty hand, she flicked on the wall switch to turn on the ceiling light. In her extended other hand, she held the cross up high and faced it towards the crib.

  再一次,同样没有丝毫迟疑,杰德扭动门把手,把门开大。几乎同时,她空着的手,甩向墙壁开关打开顶灯。她伸出的另一只手,高举十字架,用它指向了婴儿床。

     She and the children, peering from behind her ankle-low mu mu (long, loose-fitting, traditional Hawaiian dress), saw the diapered toddler standing upright, holding himself up with both hands on the crib’s security railing. The infant’s eyes were bug-eyed with fright; its face beet red and streaming with tears. With others at the entry and the room’s light now turned on, Malcolm stopped crying. Like when one hiccups, the toddler’s head and chest jerked upwards between gasps to breathe as he sobbed uncontrollably.

  她和孩子们,从她垂到脚踝的穆穆(长的,宽松的,传统的夏威夷礼服)直勾勾的看去,看到了还带着尿不湿的婴儿直直的站着,双手撑在婴儿床的护栏上,把自己撑起来。婴儿瞪大了惊恐的眼睛;他的脸是甜菜红色并且留着泪水。其他人也来到了入口,房间的灯被打开了,马尔科姆停止了哭泣。就像当一个人打嗝的时候,幼儿的头部和胸部向上猛地喘息来呼吸,因为他无法控制地抽泣着。

     Even as Malcolm continued to sniffle, he was able to utter something. Jade as well as the children heard him say, as he pointed one arm with a finger stretched out at their mother’s large vanity mirror,

  甚至当马尔科姆继续抽泣,他可以说清楚一些事。杰德以及孩子们听到他说的话,他伸出一个手指的一只手臂指着他们母亲的大化妆镜,

    “Po-Po.”

 “婆婆。”

     Malcolm was just learning to speak. Only the other week, after been taking along by Doris to visit and bring some soothing chicken-ginger-vegetable soup to her dying mother-in-law, the toddler had finally learned to enunciate the old woman’s name.

  马尔科姆只是正在学说话。在多瑞斯带着他去拜访她即将去世的婆婆并且给她带去了安慰性的鸡--蔬菜汤之后只一个星期,这个孩子最终学会了叫老太太的名字。

     “Malcolm, say hello to Po-Po.”

 “马尔科姆,对婆婆说你好。”

     “Po..…Po.”

 “婆婆”

    “That’s very good, Malcolm! You’re a smart little boy.”

 “好极了,马尔科姆!你是个聪明的小男孩。”

 

 

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