LUCA | Chapter 3

Sep 1, 2021

《LUCA-夏日友晴天》 动画 第三章 中文版↗

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  “Luca? Where have you been?” his mom called.

  Luca rushed into the house, hurrying toward the table for dinner. Don’t say surface, he thought. Don’t say surface.

  “Surface,” Luca said, quickly covering his mouth with his hand.

  “What did you just say?” Daniela said, her eyes narrowing at her son.

  “What’s wrong with your foot?” his dad shouted.

  Luca looked down at his foot and saw that somehow it was still human! “Ahhhhh!” he shouted.

  This would all have been very troubling if it hadn’t just been Luca’s imagination.

  In reality, he was standing in the doorway of his home while his mom waited for him to answer her question.

  “Luca?” Daniela said.

  “Uh, I. . .”

  “Gonna tell us where you were?” she prodded.

  All Luca could manage to say was “I. . . uh. . .”

  “It’s my fault,” Grandma said, jumping in. “I sent him to look for sea cucumbers.”

  Luca looked at his grandma, relieved. “Right. Sorry, Grandma, I couldn’t find ‘em.”

  “Mom,” Daniela said with a huff. “His life is maybe a little more important than your snacks.”

  Grandma shrugged.

  “Thank you,” Luca whispered to his grandma.

  Dinner came and went with no further questions about his whereabouts, and Luca went to bed right afterward. Once again, he found himself unable to sleep. But this time, he was ridiculously happy, thinking about his day—and the day to come.

  “Whoa! How’d you get it down here?” Luca asked. He stared at Alberto, who was standing on top of a hill, holding on to their homemade Vespa.

  “I rode it down,” Alberto said.

  Luca stared at him.

  “I didn’t,” Alberto admitted. “I pushed it out the back window. Took a while to put back together, but it’s fine now. You ready to ride it?”

  Alberto pointed at an incredibly steep hill, at the bottom of which was a small wooden ramp. It looked exactly like the kind of thing Luca would not like to do.

  “Oh. Well, thank you, but no thank you,” Luca said. “I mean, I just think maybe I would die.”

  “Okay, I’ll ride it,” Alberto said. “You hold the ramp.”

  “Uhhh. . .”

  The next thing Luca knew, he was at the bottom of the hill and under the ramp, holding it up.

  “Sir? Maybe we should sleep on it?” Luca yelled.

  But Alberto wasn’t listening. He jumped onto the Vespa and screamed, “Whatever you do, do not move!”

  “I’m not the guy you want for this!” Luca moaned. “I’m more of an idea man! I—”

  “Take me, Gravity!” Alberto shouted, and he kicked off from the top of the hill, thundering toward destiny.

  But on its way, the Vespa hit a rock. The scooter changed course, and Luca moved the ramp accordingly. Suddenly, the Vespa broke in half. Alberto was now riding the front half like a unicycle, struggling to keep it upright and trying to brake with his bare feet.

  “This is normal!” Alberto shouted. “Stay focused!”

  As the half scooter careened down the hill, it continued to lose pieces—pieces that sailed right by Luca, who managed to duck behind the ramp to avoid getting hit. He peeked over the top and saw Alberto being hurled off the lone wheel. The boy was now somersaulting end over end, rolling right for him!

  “Don’t move, don’t move, don’t move!” Alberto ordered, and Luca ducked under the ramp. Alberto rolled over the top, splashing into the water just beyond and hitting a bunch of rocks.

  “He’s dead,” Luca said to no one. “I’ve killed him!”

  But Alberto wasn’t dead, not by a long shot. He thrust his fists in the air and shouted, “WHOOO! ! ! !” And he laughed!

  “Wait, that was good?” Luca said, confused.

  “Did you see the height I got?” Alberto chuckled as he got out of the water. “Hey, nice ramping.” He slapped Luca on the back. “Come on, let’s build another one!”

  Luca looked at his new friend and was surprised to find that he was no longer afraid. He smiled and nodded.

  Soon Luca and Alberto were spending every day together, exploring Isola del Mare and working on their second Vespa.

  Alberto took the opportunity to show Luca more of the cool human stuff he had found. There was a sword and a buoy with a rope. Alberto swung the buoy around like some kind of weapon and managed to hit himself in the head with it.

  Another time, Alberto gave Luca some human clothes to replace his seaweed shorts and they danced to music from the gramophone.

  Eventually, their second homemade Vespa was ready. With Luca once again holding the ramp, Alberto set off down the hill. But a seagull attacked Luca and he had to abandon the ramp! Another Vespa was destroyed.

  While Luca was having fun with Alberto above the surface, Luca’s rock creation, Smuca, kept a watchful eye on the goatfish. But because Smuca was made of rocks, that meant absolutely no watching was happening. And Luca’s mom noticed.

  Both Daniela and Lorenzo were stunned to discover that their son wasn’t tending to the goatfish, and that he had, in fact, constructed a rock replica of himself instead. They looked all around the fields where Luca normally would have been.

  That was when they discovered his stash of stuff.

  Human stuff.

  A few days later, Daniela and Lorenzo observed Luca in the fields, piling rocks to build his rock structure yet again. They couldn’t believe it. Where was he sneaking off to?

  Daniela shuddered to think.

  Back above the surface, Luca had no idea his parents had discovered the truth about Smuca. He was having too much fun with Alberto.

  Alberto took off at a full sprint for the edge of the land and jumped. He sailed through the air, landing with a big splash in the water below.

  Luca was about to follow, when he stopped and stepped back. He took a deep breath, determined to make a run for it, just like his friend. He ran for the edge, but at the last second, he came to a halt. Or he tried to stop. Instead, he stumbled, slipping right off and belly-flopping into the water with a loud SLAP!

  After their swim, Luca and Alberto were watching the open water and saw a fisherman scream at a passing speedboat. The craft was creating a big wake, roiling the water and disturbing the fish.

  “What’s wrong with you, stupido?” the fisherman yelled.

  Alberto liked the sound of that phrase, so he decided to practice it. “What’s wrong with you, stupido?”

  At the end of another fun day, the two friends ended up in a cove. Luca picked up a couple of sea snails and styled his hair with their slime so it looked like Alberto’s.

  Everything was perfect.

  “Look, we gotta ride together,” Alberto said. He was at the top of the hill with another homemade Vespa, but this time Luca was up there with him. “If you don’t sit on the back and hold on to the front, the whole thing falls apart.”

  “Oh. . . and who’s holding the ramp?” Luca asked.

  “The turtle,” Alberto said, as if that was entirely obvious. He pointed at the ramp, which was slowly shuffling away. “C’mon, he’s faster than he looks.”

  Luca wasn’t sure about that, but he really wanted to try it. So he said, “Oh, okay. Here we go!”

  But he didn’t move.

  “You, uh. . . you coming?” Alberto asked.

  “Nope,” Luca answered flatly. “I can’t do it. Never in a million years.”

  “Hey, hey, hey. I know your problem. You got a Bruno in your head.”

  “A Bruno?” Luca gasped. He didn’t like the idea of having anything in his head, except maybe his brain, which was kind of necessary.

  “Yeah,” Alberto continued. “I get one, too, sometimes. ‘Alberto, you can’t. Alberto, you’re gonna die. Alberto, don’t put that in your mouth’. Luca, it’s simple: Don’t listen to stupid Bruno.”

  Luca pondered this for a moment, then said, “Why is his name Bruno?”

  “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. Call him whatever you want. Shut him up. Say, ‘Silenzio, Bruno! ‘”

  “Silenzio, Bruno,” Luca said weakly.

  “Louder!” Alberto ordered.

  “Silenzio, Bruno!” Luca said, sounding more confident.

  They kept repeating this until at last Alberto asked, “Can you still hear him?”

  “Nope,” Luca replied. “Just you!”

  Then Alberto picked Luca up and put him on the back of the Vespa. “Good. Now hang on!”

  Alberto checked his image in the rearview mirror, and with a strong kick, he sent them rolling down the hill. “ANDIAMOOOOOO!”

  Holding tight to Alberto, Luca could feel the Vespa bouncing on the ground, hitting every rock along the way. It didn’t help that Alberto wasn’t exactly an expert at steering. The Vespa was wobbling all over the place! Which meant that it wasn’t headed for the ramp.

  “Whoooooooo!” Alberto shouted joyfully.

  “AHHHHHHH!” Luca screamed in fear. He closed his eyes tight, then made the mistake of opening them just for a second—as the Vespa began to fall apart! Luca held on to Alberto even more tightly.

  “Silenzio, Bruno. Silenzio, Bruno. Silenzio, Bruno. Silenzio, BRUNOOOOOO!” Luca yelled, just as Alberto managed to steer the Vespa back on course. Amazingly, it hit the ramp. For a brief, shining moment, they were in the sky, flying!

  Then, for another brief moment, they were falling toward the water! Specifically, toward one razor-sharp rock!

  The boys screamed as they fell. At the last possible second, Luca had a thought. He let go, shoving Alberto away from him, and the boys splashed down on either side of the rock, missing it entirely.

  Alberto bobbed up and down in the water, shooting a fist into the air in victory. Luca cheered, and so did Alberto.

  “Yes! We’re alive! I can’t believe it! Yes!” Luca roared.

  “Yeah! Take that, Bruno!” Alberto hollered.

  “What are all those tiny lights?” Luca asked, gazing at the lights dotting the evening sky. The boys were on the roof of Alberto’s hideout, near a warming campfire.

  “Anchovies,” Alberto said. “They go there to sleep.”

  “Really?” Luca asked.

  “Yeah,” Alberto said. “And the big fish protects them.” He pointed at the moon. “I touched it once. I dunno; felt like a fish.”

  Luca couldn’t believe it. Was there anything Alberto hadn’t done?

  “Wow. Your life is so much cooler than mine,” Luca mused. “I never go anywhere. I just dream about it.”

  “You came up here!” Alberto reminded his friend.

  “Thanks to you,” Luca replied, turning his attention to the sky once more. “Otherwise, I never would have seen any of this.”

  After a while, Luca looked at the lights across the water. “Have you ever gone to the human town?”

  “Yeah,” Alberto said. “Uh, no,” he amended. “But my dad told me all about it. So I’m pretty much an expert.”

  “Your dad sounds so cool.”

  Something about Alberto’s demeanor suggested he didn’t feel so lucky. “Yeah,” he answered.

  There was silence, and then Alberto said, “Hey, you remember that time we almost hit that rock?”

  Luca laughed.

  “And we flew through the air, and I was like, ‘YEAAAAHHH! ‘ And you were like, ‘NOOOOOO! ‘”

  Luca kept laughing, holding his sides.

  “Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a real Vespa?” Luca said, and the words hung in the air.

  “Yeah. That’s the dream.”

  “Yeah. . .” Luca replied, and he fell asleep. This was, of course, a very bad thing, because it meant he wouldn’t be going home, which meant his parents, who were already so, so worried about him, would be even more worried.

  When he woke with a start, he shouted, “Oh no, I fell asleep!” and woke up Alberto, too.

  Then Luca ran for the steps, heading for home.

  Somehow, Luca had managed to make it all the way home and sneak into his room without waking anyone up. Grandma was sleeping, snoring as usual. Now all he had to do was slip into bed, and no one would know.

  Except that his mom was standing in the doorway, arms folded, staring at him.

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