LUCA | Chapter 1

Sep 1, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第一章 中文版↗

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  “Aaaaaaaahhhh!”

  The scream didn’t come from a couple of frightened fishermen. It came from the ocean depths. Specifically, from the mouth of thirteen-year-old sea monster Luca Paguro.

  Luca floated in front of an undersea barn, its doors wide open. Nothing was inside.

  His family’s goatfish, which were supposed to be in there, were swimming all over the place, eating everything in sight.

  “Fish out of the barn!” Luca exclaimed. “Fish out of the barn!”

  One of the goatfish bleated.

  Luca shouted, “Caterina! Wait!”

  But Caterina was already off. Luca followed her, swimming right past another farmer feeding some crabs.

  “Good morning, Mr. Branzino—” Luca said hurriedly.

  “Ah!” Mr. Branzino shouted, startled by the interruption. “Hi, Luca.”

  “—and also, I’m sorry,” Luca said, struggling with the goatfish. “How’s Mrs. Branzino?”

  The goatfish kept swimming and Luca left without waiting for an answer. He passed another farmer, Mrs. Gamberetto.

  “Excuse me, ah, ma’am?” Luca asked politely. “Have you, by—”

  “Yes,” Mrs. Gamberetto replied sternly. Then she turned her head, giving Luca an excellent look at the goatfish nibbling on the back of it.

  Luca let out a nervous laugh as he quickly collected his goatfish.

  But another one had gotten away—it was Giuseppe. Luca saw the fish moving along a hill, heading toward the ocean surface.

  “Giuseppe! Get back here!” Luca cried.

  He threw himself at the goatfish, but Giuseppe wriggled free. Luca wasn’t going to give up that easily. He kept grabbing, and at last, he got a solid grip.

  “You wanna run off like your buddy Enrico?” Luca asked. “Because I’ve got news for you. He’s either dead, or he’s. . . out there somewhere. Seeing the world. . .”

  Luca’s voice trailed off, as he imagined what it would be like to go out there somewhere and see the world.

  Snapping out of his reverie, Luca said, “But he’s probably dead!”

  Rejoining the flock, Luca looked at all the goatfish before him and took a quick head count.

  “Whew,” he said. “Okay. That’s everyone.”

  Then he noticed one of them had a slight grin on its face.

  “Monalisa? Why are you smiling?” he asked.

  Monalisa just stared as a smaller fish swam out of her mouth.

  “Anyone else in there?” Luca asked.

  And then a few more fish escaped.

  Luca was so distracted by Monalisa that it took him a moment to realize that Giuseppe was breaking from the herd once again.

  “Giuseppe,” Luca said, exasperated. “What did we just talk about, Giuseppe?”

  But the goatfish kept going.

  “All right,” Luca said, mustering some enthusiasm. “Let’s head out!”

  At last, Luca managed to move the flock along the landscape of farms and silos. His neighbors were already out in the fields, tending to their land.

  “Hi, Mr. Gamberetto!” Luca shouted. He hoped that Mrs. Gamberetto hadn’t told her husband about the goatfish trying to take a bite out of her head.

  “Good morning! “Mr. Gamberetto replied with a smile.

  Whew!

  “Good morning, Mrs. Aragosta!” Luca said as he continued.

  “Hey, Luca,” she replied.

  “Good morning, Luca!” Mrs. Merluzzo said.

  “Morning!” Mr. Merluzzo added.

  Luca smiled and gave a big wave. “Good morning!”

  The young sea monster swam over to the corral on his family’s farm and gathered his flock, herding them toward the pasture. When they arrived at the pasture entrance, he stopped the goatfish and peered inside.

  “Okay, all clear,” he announced, and the fish swam in. “Let me know if you need anything. . . Anyone?” The goatfish looked up at Luca with blank stares. “No? Okay!”

  Then Luca swam over to a rock and sat down. He blew a bubble and watched it drift away for a moment before turning his gaze to one of the goatfish. It was poking at something.

  “Giuseppe,” Luca said, and he swam over to see what had caught the goatfish’s interest. He didn’t know it was the alarm clock from the fishermen’s boat. To the young sea monster, it just looked like a mysterious round object. The clock began to ring, and Luca panicked until it stopped.

  “Whoa,” he said. Then his eyes drifted toward the surface of the water. Bright rays of light shone down, illuminating the farm.

  Returning his attention to the seabed, Luca looked around some more. A rectangle with strange markings floated in the distance. It was one of the fishermen’s playing cards! Luca picked it up, amazed and a bit giddy.

  Luca paced around, spotting a shiny wrench in the distance. But before he could swim to it, a rumbling sound, and a shadow moved across the water above.

  Luca gasped in horror. “Land monsters!” he screamed. “Everybody under the rock!”

  Luca quickly gathered his charges to a small cave. They hid there, waiting for the land monsters to leave. Luca watched in silence as the shadow moved on. For a moment, he wondered what it would be like to pop his head above the surface and see what was really going on up in the land monsters’ world.

  “Luca!”

  The young sea monster jerked his head toward the sound of his mother’s voice.

  “Lunch is ready!”

  “Be right there!” Luca said, and he hid the strange objects near a rock. Then he picked up his crook and herded the goatfish homeward.

  “Come on,” he said. “We gotta get back.”

  “You’re two minutes late!” said Daniela, Luca’s mom. She was waiting for him. “Was there a boat? Did you hide?”

  “Yes, Mom,” Luca said, sounding as though he’d had a lot of practice saying it.

  “Because if they catch even a glimpse of you. . . You think they come around to meet new friends? Huh? Make small talk? No. They’re here to do murders. So I’m just making sure you know,” Daniela said without taking a breath.

  “Thanks. . . Mom,” Luca said.

  Daniela continued her reprimands as they swam inside the house.

  “When I was a kid, we’d go weeks without seeing a boat,” she said. “And let me tell you, they did not have motors! Just a sweaty land monster with a paddle!”

  Luca saw his grandma sitting at the kitchen table. Daniela went to prepare lunch.

  “Hi, Grandma,” Luca said.

  “Hey, Bubble,” Grandma answered.

  Meanwhile, Luca’s dad, Lorenzo, was busy with his prized show crabs. He was cleaning a speckled specimen. “Luca!” he said. “Look at Pinchy-Pessa. She’s molting. Oh, it’s magnificent! Now, here’s a champion show crab if ever I saw one. . .”

  Luca looked at the crab and did his best to sound interested, “Oh, nice.” Then he looked at the crab’s eye stalks, and right away the creature opened her claws, assuming an attack position!

  “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Lorenzo warned. “Don’t look her in the eyes!”

  “Sorry,” Luca said.

  “But don’t apologize!” Lorenzo added. “She can sense weakness.”

  The crab pinched Luca.

  “Ow!” he said as Luca’s mom pulled the crab from his ear and guided him over to the table.

  “Come eat, Luca,” she said. “We’d better beat those Branzinos at the crab show this year. Everyone thinks Bianca Branzino’s so great, with her prize-winning crabs and amazing dolphin impression. Please! Anyone can do that!”

  Luca looked up as his mom did an incredibly accurate imitation of Bianca Branzino’s imitation of a dolphin: “AAAAHEHEHEHEHE! Right?”

  “I don’t know why dolphins even sound like that. You know? Why don’t they just talk?” Lorenzo asked.

  While Daniela and Lorenzo pondered the Branzinos and dolphins, Grandma noticed that Luca was remarkably quiet.

  “What’s on your mind?” Grandma said.

  “I—I,” Luca stammered. “Well, I was just wondering. Where do boats come from?”

  His dad had just taken a bite of his meal. He spat it across the table. His mom gasped.

  “The land monster town,” Grandma explained. “Just above the surface. I beat a guy at cards there once.”

  Now it was Luca’s turn to gasp.

  Both Daniela and Lorenzo were making “Stop!” gestures at Grandma, who either didn’t see them or saw them but didn’t care.

  “Mom! What are you doing?” Daniela asked.

  “He’s old enough to hear about it,” Grandma said with a shrug.

  “You’ve been to the surface?” Luca said in amazement. “And. . . and done the change?”

  “Nope! Nope! The end! Shut it down!” Daniela exclaimed.

  “I was just curious—”

  “Yeah, well, the curious fish gets caught!” Daniela said. “We do not talk, think, discuss, contemplate, or go anywhere near the surface! Got it?”

  Luca wanted desperately to hear more of Grandma’s stories of the land monster town, but he knew there would be no convincing his mom. “Yes, Mom.”

  “Here,” Daniela said, handing Luca a snack. “Now let’s get back to work.”

  Sensing her son’s disappointment, Daniela continued, “Hey. Look me in the eye. You know I love you, right?”

  “I know, Mom,” Luca said, and he left the house, thinking of the world above.

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