Read The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind Online

Authors: Meg Medina

Tags: #Teen & Young Adult, #Literature & Fiction, #Social & Family Issues, #Family, #Romance, #Contemporary

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

BOOK: The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
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P
ROLOGUE

C
HAPTER 1:
The Missing Boy

C
HAPTER 2:
A Revelation

C
HAPTER 3:
Tía Neli’s News

C
HAPTER 4:
A Deal with Señor Arenas

C
HAPTER 5:
Escuelita

C
HAPTER 6:
Adiós,
Tres Montes

C
HAPTER 7:
Despedida

C
HAPTER 8:
Felix and Tía Neli Wonder

C
HAPTER 9:
The Eyes and Ears of Tres Montes

C
HAPTER 10:
The Traitorous Conchita Fo

C
HAPTER 11:
Crossing the Haunted Valley

C
HAPTER 12:
La Capital

C
HAPTER 13:
Servants

C
HAPTER 14:
Breakfast Service

C
HAPTER 15:
Market Day for an Exemplary Apprentice

C
HAPTER 16:
La Lavandera

C
HAPTER 17:
Driven to Distraction

C
HAPTER 18:
A Letter Arrives in the Capital

C
HAPTER 19:
Abuela Comes to Visit

C
HAPTER 20:
A Call for Help

C
HAPTER 21:
Men of Loose Morals

C
HAPTER 22:
A Night for Answers

C
HAPTER 23:
Pancho’s Escape

C
HAPTER 24:
An Old Lovers’ Quarrel

C
HAPTER 25:
The Stowaway

C
HAPTER 26:
A Friend on the Road

C
HAPTER 27:
A Surprise in the Garden

C
HAPTER 28:
The Arrangements in Colonia Vásquez

C
HAPTER 29:
Loving Thieves

C
HAPTER 30:
Miracles for Sale

C
HAPTER 31:
Dos Mundos

C
HAPTER 32:
Farewells

C
HAPTER 33:
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

The curse on Sonia Ocampo’s life came without warning before she was even born, cleverly disguised as good luck.
It blew in on one of the worst storms anyone in Tres Montes had ever known. The wind moaned as it bent pine trees in half and stripped them down to bare sticks. Bawling cows were dragged down the mountain on waves of mud, and far below in the canyon, the river swelled and churned like an ocean. The villagers huddled in their swaying houses and cried out their final prayers to any god who might still have pity — all but the Ocampos, who were too busy coaxing a baby into the world.
The tempest — like the birth — raged on for hours. But when at last Sonia Ocampo slipped into the world, blue and shivering, the wind miraculously ceased and the river calmed, leaving behind a peaceful and starry night.
The next morning, the people of Tres Montes were shocked to find themselves still alive. They donned rubber boots and climbed over rubble to reach their church ruins. Each family was counted; not a single life had been lost. No one could explain their survival.
But then they learned of the girl who had arrived in the night.
The elders gathered to inspect the child closely. Wrapped in her grandmother’s shawl, she wore the unmistakable look of a sleeping angel.
“She must have been sent to us by God,” the old miners proclaimed, unaccustomed as they were to good fortune of any kind, “to protect us from harm.”
The coppersmith was ordered to his forge, where he pounded a nugget of metal against his anvil until it revealed the shape of a girl with arms open to world. This was the first
milagro
ever pinned to Sonia Ocampo. And it was with that simple prick of a prayer charm through her swaddling cloth that her terrible destiny was fixed to her for good.

T
HE TRAIN WHISTLE
did not sound through the valley the day Ernesto Fermín’s men found Luis. In fact, that morning the whole mountain was unusually quiet. The winter winds had blown in during the night and coated everything in yellow dust. Ghostly buzzards circled for prey over the canyon.

In those days, the train’s weekly arrival was still a spectacle for the people of Tres Montes. It crossed the bridge before dawn on Saturday, belching white steam and blowing its whistle to frighten any goats grazing up ahead. Soon after, it would pull into the station, Marco, the handsome conductor, waving like a cinema star over the heads of the bike-taxi boys he’d known all his life. Passengers from far away stepped out to buy pastries and share news from the capital. To Sonia Ocampo, the train meant more than customers for her family’s pastries and vegetables. It meant a glimpse at a world she thought she would never know.

She’d been running late that awful morning. Her eyes were heavy for sleep as she crossed the highway and hurried along the winding street. The vigil over a miner’s sickbed had lasted all night, much longer than she had expected, but she hadn’t had the heart to leave Old Guacho afraid and alone. Even now, as she ran along, she could hear his pitiful groans mixed with the yelps of stray dogs following at her heels. It was as if suffering itself were chasing her.

The rest of her family was already at the plaza, getting ready for market. She spotted her brother Rafael’s truck parked against their stall as she arrived. Like everything else, it was coated in dust. Even her brother looked like a spirit.

“Did I miss the train?” she asked him.

He handed down a basket of dusty tomatoes and glanced at the empty tracks through the haze.

“Why do you care?” he replied. “Are you going to moon over Marco like the other girls?” He waved pompously over his head like the conductor.

Sonia pinched his leg. “You’re jealous.” She squinted to see the farthest point of the tracks and frowned. “It’s strange, that’s all. Marco never forgets to blow the whistle.”

BOOK: The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
13.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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