Time on my Hands

by Giorgio Vasta

I took time to get into this story of young boys emulating the Italian Red Brigades. At first I couldn't believe that eleven year old's could think and act so politically, so strategically, but the horror grew and engulfed my disbelief. We know that children can be cruel but the calculation behind the dark cruelty of these incipient serial killers was especially chilling. A tough haunting read.


'It won't wash,' he said, thrusting his face forward and staring at me with his blind eyes. 'You can't pass yourself off as a victim.'
I felt the weight of his body pressing on my chest, suffocating me.
'You're not a victim, Nimbus. You're with them - not like them, perhaps, for what that's worth - but you're with them.'
He was so close to me that my eyes swiveled and I went squinty-eyed.
'You're not active,' he said again. 'You don't do a thing that's not in the rules, you don't say a word that's not in the alphamute.'
I said nothing and sniffed him. He smelled of damp earth and urine and excrement. Not excrement - shit; not urine - I don't know what. He seemed pleased to be so close, pushing his smell into my face.
Translated by Jonathan Hunt


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