By Lily Prior
struggling mortician in working-class Rome, Freda merely married her repulsive ventriloquist husband, Alberto, since it used to be prophesied that she'd achieve this. Now that he is vanished mysteriously with his both abhorrent dummy (who Freda suspects is basically a midget), she'd like them either to stick lacking -- notwithstanding she's devastated through the simultaneous disappearance of her soul mate, Pierino, her cherished conversing parrot. whereas the police examine this sequence of attainable crimes, Freda will proceed embalming by means of day, unleashing her caged passions at evening in a seedy cabaret (until a sad hearth leaves the owner with a tuba caught on his head), attempting to make do with a speaking hamster in lieu of pricey Pierino . . . and recalling the vagaries of lifestyles that led her to this unlucky juncture.
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Extra info for Cabaret: A Roman Riddle
She was wearing the same pink T-shirt and shorts that she had been wearing when the accident happened, an eternity ago. She looked incongruous on the ward, like a day on a beach had somehow crept in among the serious business then of death and disease and suffering. The mark on her forehead burned like a brand, and as she loomed in at me, I noticed she still had traces of the gum clogging her eyebrows. “Freda, Mamma’s calling for you. ” She uncovered me and looked at my battered body, appraising how she was going to move me.
Here she paused with the effort of speaking, and I was terriﬁed she had already gone, because she was so quiet then, and I couldn’t tell if she was breathing, and her cloth hands were weightless and limp and I didn’t know what to do except cry. But then she continued, quietly, and quickly, as though she was running out of time. “Fiamma, don’t feel bad about what happened. It wasn’t your fault. You are destined for great things in your career, but you will marry a fool. Be happy. You too will be successful in your work, but you will have bad luck.
At the bottom of the hill, still some way ahead of us, the ﬁgure of a little old man ran out onto the highway. When he became aware of the mighty Cutlass bearing down on him at an impossible speed, he froze to the spot, and began to scream. The bubble Fiamma had blown into a big balloon burst, covering her face with exploded gum and obscuring her eyes. Her foot jabbed blindly for the foot brake but couldn’t ﬁnd it. Mamma was screaming. I was screaming. Fiamma was screaming. Seconds from certain death, the old man was screaming.