LUCA | Chapter 2

Sep 1, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第二章 中文版↗

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  Luca swam back to the fields, his herding crook in hand, and picked up the shiny wrench he had spotted earlier. He held it in both hands and sighed. Then he noticed something shining in the distance. Swimming toward it, Luca saw a drinking glass.

  He picked up the glass and brought it to his face. Turning it around, he looked through the bottom, which magnified everything in the distance.

  Then he gasped when he saw something else! Swimming as fast as he could, Luca finally reached it. It was a wooden box with a large metal horn sticking out of the top. This was what land monsters called a gramophone, although Luca didn’t know it.

  As he got closer to the gramophone, Luca was unaware that something was watching him.

  Something wearing a diving suit and carrying a harpoon.

  A diver!

  The diver was only a few feet away when Luca suddenly turned around, saw the figure, and screamed.

  He swam away from the diver, slammed into a rock, and dropped his herding crook.

  “Boo,” the diver said, taking off his helmet. Luca was shocked to see that underneath, it was just another sea monster—a kid who looked to be around his age. “It’s fine,” the sea monster said. “I’m not human.”

  “Oh!” Luca said, laughing nervously. “Thank goodness.”

  “Here, hold this,” the other boy said, handing the harpoon to Luca.

  “Uh. . .” Luca said, uncomfortable about holding the weapon. He watched as the other boy squirmed out of the diving suit and began to pick up the human items from the seafloor, including the gramophone. “Do you. . . live around here?”

  “Down here? No, no, no, no, no,” said the boy. “I just came for my stuff.”

  Luca watched as the boy picked up Luca’s herding crook and swam off.

  “Hey! Wait! That’s mine!” Luca said, swimming after him. “Sir? You forgot your harpoon, and—”

  “Oh, yeah. Thanks,” the boy replied, and took the harpoon. Then he exited the water with his armful of stuff, including Luca’s herding crook.

  Luca was stunned. He couldn’t believe the boy had just left the water!

  A second later, the crook broke the surface of the water and hooked Luca. He struggled against it, but he was pulled out of the water and onto the sand!

  Luca’s hand felt weird out of the water. He looked down as it started to transform. His blue scales were disappearing! Luca screamed and flopped back toward the sea.

  “First time?” the boy asked.

  “Of course it is!” Luca shouted. “I’m a good kid!”

  “Hey,” the boy said. “Relax and breathe.”

  Luca did his best to listen. He breathed, looking around. He saw the bright sky above, and the trees and grass dotting the landscape. He had always wondered about the world above the water. Now he was finally seeing it for himself.

  “Well?” the boy asked. “Isn’t it great?”

  “Uh, no!” Luca answered. “It’s bad, and. . . and I’m not supposed to be up here. Good day.”

  Then Luca raced back into the water.

  The boy noticed that Luca had forgotten his herding crook. He picked it up. A moment later, Luca returned, taking the crook.

  “Thank you,” he said, and walked away.

  He came back one more time.

  “Good day,” he said politely. “Again.”

  Then Luca disappeared beneath the water.

  Try as he might, Luca couldn’t sleep. He just lay in his bed, thinking. He looked over at his grandma.

  “Grandma,” he whispered. “Did you really go up to the—” Suddenly, Grandma snored loudly. She wasn’t awake. She was fast asleep with her eyes open!

  Luca sighed and turned away.

  The following morning, Luca was out in the fields bright and early. He had gathered a bunch of rocks and made what he thought was a pretty decent representation of himself.

  Turning to the goatfish, Luca said, “Okay, everyone. This is, uh. . . Smuca! Yeah. He’s in charge now. Got it?”

  The goatfish looked at Smuca, then at Luca, and went about their business.

  Luca turned away and swam toward the surface of the water. A few moments later he was just about to break through, but he backed off. He was afraid, unsure of what might happen. After all, the first time he’d gone on land wasn’t his fault—it was an accident. This time it would be on purpose!

  Summoning his courage, Luca approached the surface again, then backed off again.

  “Wow.”

  The voice startled Luca, who turned around and saw the sea monster from the other day, arms full of stuff, staring at him.

  “That was hard to watch,” the boy said. Then he handed some of the stuff in his arms to Luca. “Here. C’mon.”

  The boy left the water. Luca took a deep breath, held it, and went right after him.

  At the surface, Luca watched in disbelief as the boy transformed from his sea monster form into a land monster! He looked so different. Now he had brown, curly stuff on top of his head. Hair, maybe? The boy flipped the hair, and water went all over.

  Luca took a step onto the beach and dropped everything he had been carrying. He tried to shake the water from himself like the boy had done.

  And then he transformed.

  Luca was mystified. He was a land monster! The only sign of his previous form were his seaweed shorts! He turned around, looking for his tail, only to see that it, too, was gone.

  “Wait,” Luca said. “It feels like it’s. . . still there.”

  “Yeah, that’s called phantom tail,” the boy said. “You’ll get used to it.”

  Luca picked himself up off the beach, and fell right over. “Right,” the boy said. “Walking. Don’t worry—you’re in luck. I basically invented it.” With effort, Luca rose on his legs and managed to stand up without falling down.

  “To start, stack everything, one on top of the other. Like a pile of rocks,” the boy said, watching Luca adjust his body with a loud grunt. “Great. I mean, fine, whatever. Now, walking is just like swimming. But without fins. Or a tail. And also, there’s no water. Otherwise, it’s like the exact same thing. Give it a try.”

  Luca tried it again, and fell onto the sand again. Luca looked at the boy and took a step forward. He fell onto the sand.

  “That’s not it,” the boy said. “Try it again.”

  “Oh! Try to lead with your head,” the boy advised. “No. More belly.”

  Luca had no idea what that meant, but he kept on trying.

  “That’s. . . that’s lying on the ground,” the boy said. “How about this? Just take a step without even thinking about it.”

  “I don’t know how to not think about something!” Luca said, completely out of his element.

  “Okay, okay,” the boy replied. “Watch.”

  The boy stood up and walked over to Luca. “Point your feet where you want to go. Okay? And then just catch yourself before you fall.”

  Luca gulped and pointed his feet forward. Then he got up and took a step.

  This time he didn’t fall over.

  Then he took another step.

  And another.

  “Good. . . good. . . yes. Yes!” the boy shouted.

  Luca was walking! “I’m getting it!” he yelled.

  “Not bad, kid,” the boy said. He reached out a hand to introduce himself. “Alberto Scorfano.”

  “Luca Paguro,” Luca said. With great confusion, he took Alberto’s hand, and his new friend pumped it up and down. He didn’t know that was called a handshake.

  “Piacere, Girolamo Trombetta,” Alberto said. Noting Luca’s confusion, he continued, “It’s a human thing. I’m kind of an expert.”

  “What does it mean?” Luca asked, eager to learn. “The thing you just said?”

  Alberto looked at Luca, then suddenly changed the subject. “C’mon, I’ll show you some more stuff!”

  The two boys carried Alberto’s stuff up a hill until they arrived at the base of a small abandoned-looking tower. An old weather-beaten ladder rested against its side.

  “Mother of Pearl!” Luca said. “You live up here?”

  “Yeah. Me and my dad. He’s not even here a whole lot, so I pretty much just do whatever I want.”

  “Isn’t it dangerous?”

  “Yeah,” Alberto said. “It’s the best. Everything good is above the surface.”

  Then Alberto’s eyes widened as he prepared to illustrate for Luca all the good things above the surface.

  AIR!

  “Air!” Alberto yelled. Luca took a deep breath, inhaling as deeply as he could. But he accidentally inhaled a bug and Alberto had to help him cough it out.

  GRAVITY!

  Luca had no idea what gravity was, so Alberto demonstrated. He scrambled to the top of the tower and yelled, “Gravity! Also known as—”

  He jumped off the tower and into a tree. . . then he fell out of the tree.

  “—FALLIIIIIING!”

  THE SKY!

  Alberto pointed. “The sky. . . clouds. . . sun. . .”

  Luca noticed the brilliant yellow orb that floated in the blue sky.

  “Whoa, don’t look at it!” Alberto said, covering Luca’s eyes. Then he chuckled, uncovering them. “Just kidding. Definitely look at it.”

  Luca screamed, temporarily blinded by the bright yellow orb. He did not look at it again.

  “And then. . . there’s human stuff,” said Alberto, rubbing his hands together. He climbed the ladder to his home and Luca followed.

  Inside, Luca couldn’t believe what he saw. A big mess! There was human stuff everywhere. Old, rusty things littered the place.

  “As you can see, I’ve been collecting for a long time,” Alberto boasted. “So ask me anything.” Luca immediately focused on the gramophone.

  “Ah, yes, that’s the Magic Singing Lady Machine,” Alberto said. “It’s broken, unfortunately.”

  Looking at the machine, Luca saw a handle, and began to turn it. Suddenly, the gramophone came to life with a woman’s beautiful singing voice.

  “Whoa!” Alberto said. “You unbroke it!”

  As they listened to the music, Luca’s attention drifted over to a big poster hanging on Alberto’s wall. On it was a large, boxy thing on two wheels. “What’s that?” Luca asked.

  “Oh, that’s just the greatest thing that humans ever made,” Alberto said. “The Vespa. You just sit on it, and it takes you anywhere you want to go. In the whole stinkin’ world.”

  “Vespa is freedom,” Luca read from the poster. Then he slowly looked around the room at the incredible collection Alberto had been gathering. “Are you gonna make one? I think you have all the parts.”

  Alberto’s eyes widened as he, too, gazed at the objects that surrounded them. There was a wheel over there, and something else that could be a wheel, and a rocking chair that could work as a seat.

  “I do have the parts,” Alberto said, stunned. “I am gonna make one! You wanna help?”

  “Me?” Luca said. “Yeah! Wait. No, I can’t. I gotta go home.”

  “Right this second?” Alberto asked.

  “Yeah. If my parents found out I was up here. . .” Luca mused. “Oof. It would be bad. So thank you, but goodbye.” He looked at the Vespa poster sadly. “Forever.” Then he looked at the poster again.

  One Hour Later

  “Okay, but now I really do have to go,” Luca said.

  In just an hour, they had managed to build the basic framework for their Vespa scooter.

  “Okay,” Alberto said.

  Another Forty-Five Minutes Later

  “Seriously, I have to go, like, now,” Luca said, looking at the Vespa, which they’d found wheels for. “Like, right now.”

  “Uh-huh,” Alberto answered.

  And Two Hours After That

  “It’s even better than the picture!” Luca cried. He looked at their one-hundred-percent homemade Vespa, full of excitement.

  “Yeah, it is,” Alberto agreed.

  At last, Luca said, “Oh, gotta run!” and he bolted for the ladder.

  “See ya tomorrow!” Alberto called as Luca waved goodbye and disappeared.

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