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Spanish Version: Carnaval – Parte 3

The trip was calm, and the rain went away, left behind with the village. The boat swayed slowly, creating some pleasant swingings. Little by little, while the sky was clearing up, and the sun went down creating a twilight full of warm colours, Opalia’s lids turned heavier and heavier, until the girl thought it would be nice sleeping for just a couple of minutes, before they arrived, waiting for Amélia to wake her up when needed. However, when she opened her eyes, she noticed that the boat was no longer moving, the sky was completely dark and she could hear some high heels stepping onto some nearby wooden floor. She sat quickly on the boat, scared for being asleep for so long, and she immediately realised Amélia was not here by her side. Opalia wanted to stand up as soon as possible, but she had such a bad fortune that she moved the boat abruptly and she almost fell to the bottom of the boat. She managed to stand still for some seconds and, suddenly, she was facing up over the boat, looking at the starred sky at her right and some shiny lights at her left. She sighed and looked for energy to try and stand up again, but, all of a sudden, a head bobed under the lights.

  • Are you okay? – said a voice that was masculine, yet sweet and soft.

He sounded truly worried about her and something in Opalia’s heart jumped, thinking that someone saw her making fool of herself and even thought she was hurt. Gradually, her eyes got used to the bright light and she could see the young man’s face, hidden partially by his blond hair, which had some highlights that were almost white. His hair was long, touching his shoulders, with a wild and blunt style, and it waved back and forth since he was kneeing on the dock, letting his blue eyes, as bright and shiny as his hair, got stucked into hers. The boy’s features were masculine, although not too much, leaving a soft line along the eyes and the nose, as if he was just a teenager, but the line of his jaw was a tiny bit harsher. The boy was lending a hand towards her, waiting for Opalia to take it and get out of the boat. The girl would never, ever take a stranger’s hand, but there was something on him that made her trust him, and stay calm… That or she would be the easiest, stupidest victim of a murder in History.

  • I am okay… Thanks for your help. – said Opalia, with a voice so low that the boy had to come closer to her to understand it, after looking at her with his bright eyes and blinking in absolutely incomprehension. When her feet stood over the “solid ground” of the dock, her legs stopped shaking and her heart calmed down a little. She sighed fiercely, like if some weight was lifted from her shoulders.

  • Are you sure you haven’t hit your head somewhere? – asked the boy. Suddenly, he remembered something, shaking his head. – Where are my manners? My name is Lenzo.

  • Ops. I mean, Opalia. – the girl said, blushing at the second. – I am sorry, Ops is just a family nickname.

  • Nice to meet you, Opalia. – he answered. – Have you come to the party by yourself?

  • No… I came with… Damn it! I came with a friend, but I don’t know where she is. Haven’t you seen a girl with a green dress and dark hair? She should have left not so long ago. – Opalia asked him, looking everywhere while searching for her friend.

  • Oh, my lady… This is the first time you came to this party, isn’t it? – Lenzo said, trying to suffocate a laugh.

  • Mmh? Yes… Can you notice it like that? – she said, laughing nerviously.

  • Opalia, let me tell you something. – Lenzo said and, with the utmost confidence, he grabbed the girl’s hand, then tied it with his own arm, and they both started walking together over the dock.

On that moment, Opalia’s attention was diluted in the thousands of colours and lights that decorated that dock and the nearby streets that it was connected to. They let the boat and the river at their right, which was so dark there was no possible way to see its other side. To the left, a succession of little buildings made out of wood, like if they were of fishermen, that served hot meals and colourful drinks to the visitors that arrived to the party, like it was just a welcome. From the water besides the dock to the buildings dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people arrived and entered, all of them wearing different dresses, suits, big hats and small ones, feathers, wings, shoes and boots, each of them more eye-catching than the previous one… and, principally, masks. The masks used to imitate human faces, but not always, as Opalia could soon see tigers, lions, bears, and even goats. Little by little, as she saw more masks with the shape of humans and animals, the bodies of those wearing them were changing, growing, dwarfing… And, suddenly, there were less arms and legs than usual… or a bigger number than what would be natural. It seemed to her that the trunk of an elephant was escaping from behind a mask, and something similar to a person made of tiny beings, like gray lints, was put together under a sumptuous dress with black lace. The voices joined and marched like well-geared choirs, and, all of a sudden, they didn’t just speak in unknown languages for Opalia, but in sounds that weren’t even human.

– Xiriti! Xiriti! – a person shouted, wearing a black mask, with golden edges and a human appearance that emphasised his completely white eyes.

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