Italian Language Blog

Carmela’s Little Black Book Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Vocabulary

She awoke suddenly in darkness, a strange light flickered around the door frame sending menacing shadows dancing across the walls. Smoke … her throat was parched, she began to cough. Stumbling across the room she reached for the door handle and cried out in pain as it burnt her palm. An intense panic welled up in her chest, her eyes watered and she gasped for air. She tried the small window, fumbling with the catch as the burning door cracked and fell behind her. Fiery beasts breathed an intense blast of heat into her bedroom.

incendio (4)-002

Finally she managed to tear the window open, fill her lungs with fresh air and scream “aiuto! … aiuto! … sono intrappolata, non riesco a uscire, oddio, aiutami!

“Arriviamo, arriviamo”, shouted a voice from the darkness outside, “dai ragazzi, sbrigatevi con quel cazzo di scala …. di qua, di qua, vedete, quella finestra lassù … ecco … occhio, piano, ecco così!”

“Aiutatemi, sto quasi bruciando, oddio!”

“Eccomi fanciulla, eccomi che arrivo ……..”

She awoke suddenly in darkness, the digital clock flickered on the night stand ….. 03:21. Outside the hissing of rain, a distant siren, and the low rumbling of thunder. “Dio quell’incubo, sempre lo stesso, non arriva mai quel signore a salvarmi dall’incendio. Quella maledetta scala infinita. Vedo lui che sale, sale, sale ma la scala si allunga sempre di più e non arriva mai a salvarmi … poi mi sveglio … è sempre così … porca miseria!”

incendio (2)-001

Carmela reached out and switched on the bedside lamp, the Beretta lay reassuringly where she’d placed it. Gradually her head began to clear … “mi sono addormentata guardando il libretto” she realised seeing her little black book still lying in her lap, “ma è difficile che mi riaddormenti ora … allora, su, finiamo questo lavoretto, poi vado a trovarmi un buon caffè da qualche parte.

She pulled herself upright, noticed the bar of dark chocolate lying beside her, hesitated, then broke off a chunk and popped it into her mouth. “… tanto, mi aiuta a concentrarmi …”

Photo: Geoff Chamberlain

Photo: Geoff Chamberlain. Click on image for a closer view.


Vocabolario = Vocabulary

oddio, aiutami! = oh god, help me!
dai ragazzi, sbrigatevi
= come on lads, get a move on

ecco … occhio, piano, ecco, così! = that’s it … watch out, slowly, that’s it, like this!
Vedo lui che sale, sale, sale … = I see him climbing, climbing, climbing …
non arriva mai = he never gets there
è difficile che mi riaddormenti ora = it’s unlikely that I’ll fall asleep again now
allora, su, = right, come on,
tanto = anyway

Chapter 1: Carmela’s Italian Footwear Obsession – Part 1

Chapter 2: Carmela’s Italian Footwear Obsession – Part 2

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  1. Patricia Rubino Sandler:

    Mi e` piaciuto molto la storiella. Per quelli che non conoscono Italiano anche dei commenti gramaticali sarebbe una buona idea.

  2. Bill Auge:

    Hi Geoff, I’m a little behind in my reading so I just got around to the latest adventures of Carmela. I can tell you are enjoying the use of your imagination in creating her story. One of the things that is good about the stories and dialogues that you and Serena put together is that they expose the reader to the nuances of the language
    For instance when I read the word “occhio” I immediately thought of “eye’ or the word “tanto” which i associate with “much”.Now I see different ways those words are used. Of course the English language works the same way. Thanks for your continued help in my linguistic journey.

    abbracio a te e Serena

    • Geoff:

      @Bill Auge Thanks Bill, your comment means a lot to me. I must admit that I was a bit demoralised by the lack of comments on this particular chapter, but that’s the way it goes on the internet, it’s all a bit anonymous, a bit like sending out a message in a bottle ……
      However, I have a lot more ideas for Carmela that reach both into the past and the future, so, knowing that at least you will be following them will give me a little extra impetus!
      E tu, come vanno le cose, tutto bene? Il cane, come va? Marco e Marzia mi hanno detto che sei sempre in contatto con loro e che ne sono molto contenti.
      Un saluto a te e Victoria da Geoff e Serena.

  3. Mama:

    Hi Geoff,

    Found Chaps. 1, 2, & 3. Will read them properly as soon as I can because I am already intrigued with the first chapter (also the comments were interesting!) X

    • Geoff:

      @Mama Well done, you’ve impressed me once again mother! Un abbraccio da tuo figlio 🙂

  4. Jane:

    So the notebook is the shops that she bought shoes? Or banks she robbed? Mi dispiace ma non conosco molto italiano.

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