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[American Story] 【整理】SENEWS-2008-0105-FEATURE

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Now the Special English American Stories, today’s story is called Light and Gentle Things. It was written by William Sayers, here is Shep O’Neal with the story.

The snow kept coming down, quietly, ghost-like, covering the land, deep and deep. It seem does feel would go on forever. It was the first snow fall of the year. Billy looked through the kitchen window, he felt like diving into the snow and buring himself in its softness.

“Billy?” his mother shouted. She was standing at his side but had to raise her voice because he was not listening.

“Do you have to call me, Billy? I meant Bill.” His mother answered quickly. “I forgot how to close you are to be in a man. Go help Pa with a fence.”

Billy started out to the fence that was the story of his life, think thing this think thing that. He worked slowly, the falling snow had a strange power, the power that did not seem real, it was like magic. Billy wanted to keep going, wishing there was no fence to reach or to fix. And then suddenly, out a coross the fields he went, he didn’t know what he was doing, he like to help his father, but he kept thinking that at home he would never be more than a boy with small jobs to do.

He acrossed the frozen creek and then walked up into the hills. When he came down into the flat lands he began to run, racing against the whole world. Then he thought his friend Joey standing near his father’s bar with a pail in his hand.

“What’s got into you?”Joey asked.

“I just feel good, that’s all.”

“You look like funny.” Joey said.

Billy wiped his hot face with slow. “I don’t think I ever feel so good.” Joey said he was going to townhall for misic and dancing, Billy went with him. The townhall was on hill between two long vallies. As they drove up they heard misic coming out the hall. Inside the hall, the air was sweet and warm, some of the girl smile at Billy in a funny way, he couldn’t tell if the smiles were friendly or not. He turned back to the door and decided to stand there for a moment and then go. There were too much noise inside.

“You are standing right into the cold.” Someone said to him, it was one of Joey’s cousins, Sheilla. Sheilla something or other, she lived in next town, Billy didn’t know her last name.

“Oh,” he said, his face getting red, he moved a little.

“You are still in it.” She said.

Bill looked at her. She was sort of pretty with long black hair and blue dream eyes. But Billy wished she would go away.

“It’s only fresh air.” He said, “Go pick on somebody else.”

“I am not picking on you. I am trying to help you, that’s what.”

“Too many things they are helping when they are not.” Billy said.

She studied him, “Well,” she said, “That’s ture.” Then she smiled. “You don’t like it here doing.”

“I feel better outside.” He answered, “without thinking,” Billy said.

“Look, would you like to go out just for a few munites?”

She turned her head way then said: “I get my coat.”

Outside, they stood in the snow looking at a light windows of hall. She walked quietly beside him. A stranger in white coat, shoes, and gloves. He could still hear the music from the hall but it was part of snow fall. It seem to be made not for dances but for works. It seem strange and wonderful that should be someone so near him.

Suddenly he asked: “do you think something?”

“No.” She said. “do you?”

He shook his head.

“What do you think about when you work like this?” She said.

“Oh, different things what I like to do and never can. It is day dreaming I guess.”

“Yes,” she said, “I do that too.”

The snow seem to be falling fast now and music from the hall was gone. From far below came the the sound of bells fellow by a few coughs from an old car. Then there was just silence as if the snow had cough all the sounds of world. Billy looked at her white coat and hat beside him, they belong to that world of wonder, that world of magic that was born with the first snow fall.

He touched her head.

“What are you doing?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “I just…” he stopped.

There was nothing real but the snow even the whiteness of her coat and hat seem to gone from the snow, he turned around. All sides of the roads were gone.

“We are the only two in the world left.” He said.

“That is why you touch my head?”

He said nothing, but then in a rush of words, bravely, he said: “maybe I want to kiss you.”

She laughed, “I wouldn’t let you.” She said: “I don’t like kissing.”

“I don’t either.” He said, “Oh, well, that’s a good thing, because you wouldn’t really be able to.”

“Why not, I am too strong for you.” She said.

“So that what you think. You are wrong, if I really want to I guess I can do it all right.”

“Dreamer!” she gave a pushing around back to wall the hall. Before he knew it, he was after her, he had called her. Nothing she pushed him and down they went into the snow. He expected her to let him kiss her now, that were often happened in the story he read. Why would she laugh if her struggle against him were real. But she didn’t led him, she fought him as if she wanted hit him, wanted to make him feel small.

“You are a child.” She said, pulling away from him.

“I should let go.” He thought. But he held on to her and told her the feel that he could hold on forever. He wanted to hold on forever. It was really a simple thing to hog a girl he thought. Her head had been pushed off and snow shining on her dark hair. He now felt a strange gentleness for her. As she looked angrily at him, her face red and full of fight. He told himself it was not right moment to kiss her. However he tried to kiss her anyway, more in pride than anything else but he missed her mouth. He still held on as the snow light and cool as the fresh white sheet began to cover then. She was getting tired, she was looking at him different now with less anger. And he tried to kiss her again. This time he didn’t miss her mouth and met hers fully. As she moved to meet him he did not know. In his day dreams, success had always lifted him out, people cheered him. But be in able to kiss her was a different kind of success. He didn’t feel lifted up, there were no cheers and there was no fire in his blood as some of his dreams made him believe there would be. Instead he felt something else.

He looked at the small hat in the snow and the smalll wet face of one who was not strong enough. He felt sorry for her. This feeling was new to him, he wonder how such a feeling how could be a part of another feeling that is seem so good, very gently. Billy kissed her at first time, then he let her go and they stood up. He picked up her hat and put it on her head, they began to walk back to the hall.

The music came to them again as light as the snow that covered down. As they walked, her hand touched his. She did not mean to do it, her touch was just another part seem to be, a world of light and gentle things.

“Do you want to get back to the hall?” she asked, her voice was slow, she no long looks so strong.

“I guess not,” he answered, “are you going in?”

“I back,” she answered, “I came with friend, how see you again? Want I?”

Her question surprised him, he had not thought about seeing her again. He was still lost in a dream thinking of a day’s happening, feeling the wonder and excitement of new born things, like the first snow fall. The fist spring flowers, the first feeling is going up becoming a man. Billy heard her asked again.

“I will see you again, won’t I?”

He shook his head.

“You mean I won’t?” she said.

“I mean you will.” He asswered.

She smiled and sent inside. He began walking along the road to the vally. The snowfall seem to be stopping, but he believed that would be last until he got home.

You just heard the American Stories Light and Gentle things. It was written by William Sayers for the new England magzine called Yankee. Our narrator was…
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