Decorous

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Marked by propriety & good taste: correct


Mang Berto knew when the Japanese were coming, and he knew the routes they would take. Mama had to make more lugaw for Papa, who could still not get out of bed, so when the morning was still cool Mang Berto took Oscar and me up high in the mountains, so we could see the march from a safe perch.

Mang Merto shushed me when I asked to be closer, to see the Japanese and the defeated Americans. “You should be helping your mama, anak.”

I asked if he was scared of the Japanese. Mang Berto clucked his tongue and scowled but he kept checking behind rocks and up trees, as if an entire garrison lurked in the branches like monkeys.

When the Americans came marching, though, Mang Berto couldn’t stop exclaiming. He was so loud even some of the Japanese looked up. I couldn’t blame him. The Americans shuffled by like puppets made of twigs. Slivers of burnt white skin flashed between bones and shadows. Oscar knew to be silent.

Mang Berto scrambled in front of me to get a better look. I pushed him back. [Hard. The Americans had really, seriously, lost the war.] This was no time to be polite.

 

Story Notes

12/100 of #The100DayProject. Written May 03.

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