Excerpt of The Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird
(Page 6 of 6)
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Tomorrow we get down to work.
The loudest applause yet broke out.
But before that could you, all you visitors, please, join us in a moment of
silent prayer. Pray for rain, okay? Because if we dont get some rain Dios
only knows whats going to happen to our poor state.
As the theater fell silent, Alma stared at her palm. When the moment of prayer
was over, she read the note shed written there. Oh, big announcement, people.
Its about Farruquito. A chorus of squeals greeted the name of the Elvis of
flamenco, a young dancer with the talent and, more important, the right genes,
to be crowned the Great Bronze Hope. Like Carmen Amaya, like all the members of
the true inner circle, Farruquito was gitano por cuatro costaos.
Alma gestured for the squealing girls to calm down. This is a good newsbad
news sort of deal. Were not going to have time to publicize this, but I think
we can probably fill the KiMo Theatre just with word of mouth. We have a
last-minute change in the lineup.
For the second time that evening, my skin began to prickle and the air around me
seemed to become denser, the molecules slowing down as if the barometric
pressure had suddenly dropped the way it does before a storm. Because it was the
worst thing I could imagine, I knew before
Alma said the words what her announcement would be.
The bad news is that Farruquito has had to cancel.
A wave of groans swept through the crowd at learning that the boy wonder of
flamenco and heir apparent to the title of king of old-school flamenco,
flamenco puro, was not coming. The deadened thud in my chest accelerated
with a rhythm like horse hooves pounding nearer.
But the good news is that our most famous alumna has agreed to fill in.
I prayed, I begged all the flamenco deities to, please, stop what I knew was
coming. They ignored me.
So lets spread the word. Ofelia is coming home!
That name, those syllables, Oh-fay-lee-yuh, filled my head with a rushing
like storm water surging down a drain. It blocked out the sound of clapping. I
had to leave. Immediately. I staggered to my feet. Heads bobbed in front of me
like a collection of people-shaped piñatas, a gauntlet I had to run.
Outside the theater, I tried to inhale, tried to make myself breathe. The
scorched air chafed my lungs as I ran across the campus. I was coughing and my
eyes were streaming by the time I jumped into my truck, which Id left in the
Frontier Restaurant parking lot. I pounded my hands on the steering wheel to
drive that fraud of a name, Ofelia, Oh-fay-lee-yuh, out of my head. One
name, that was her entire lifes goal, to be a one-name celebrity. I refused to
give her that, to think of her as Ofelia. To me she would always be Didi. Didi
A long time ago she had been my best friend. Not so long ago she stole the only
man I will ever love.
Excerpted from The Flamenco Academy by
Sarah Bird Copyright © 2006 by Sarah Bird. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a
division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may
be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.