Congratulations to Writers’ Mastermind member Charlotta Amato for getting her first short story published in Storgy Literary Magazine! We are so proud to have been part of her journey to becoming a published author. Let’s have a read…

Il Ragazzo by Charlotta Amato

It was a slow Sunday in late July in a small northern Italian town. The sun bullied its way through as I stood in the crowds of people at the tiny train station. The afternoon heat reached out, bringing forth the smell of the metal from the train rails. Unwashed hair is what it smelled like.

He was just lying there, the boy, on the tracks, but all I could think about was the smell of unwashed hair. Dirty hair. It made me sick. His body lay twisted and perturbed, but not in pain. His arm was outstretched, the elbow bent at an unsatisfying angle from his body. In his palm, he held a small silver chain, dripping red droplets of blood that seeped down through the tracks where they became a mixture with the rust and dirt of the ground.

I kept wondering how long before his skin would melt into the metal. Would it hurt? Even with his body splayed across the rails, he looked so incredibly peaceful lying there, a sculpture of flesh and fiery steel.

“Andate. Andate. Per favore.”

The police officer in his bright yellow vest had a hold of my shoulders, guiding me to the stairs that led out of the station.

“Vini. No sta bene. Murio. He dead. Il ragazzo. Si? You go.”

Before I turned away, I traced a cross over my forehead, my chest, each of my shoulders. Maria. Mary. Forgive me.

“Bene,” the police officer said. “God is here, God choose this.”

No, he didn’t, I thought. “But the train,” I said. “Il tren. I have to get on the train.”

“No. We mourn. He die. No train. Bus. Now go.”

My head was screaming. I couldn’t make out the next things the officer said. All I could hear was the shrill screeching of the brakes in my ears. Some of the people in the crowds joined the nuns in song of wailing, a sob so low-pitched that it made my insides vibrate. Il ragazzo mio the voices said, closing in with every short breath I managed to gasp. I followed the crowd of passengers that had gotten off the train, the one that was supposed to take me away from here…. Keep reading this story on

Charlotta Amato

writers. mastermind online writing group member Charlotta Amato

Charlotta Amato currently resides in Norway, the land of Vikings and trolls, where she teaches high school during the day and spends evenings writing, painting, reading and doing yoga. She lives with her two teens, their crazy Labrador, Louie, and their reckless kitten, Romeo. This is her first publication.