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《没有影子的凯特》

原文作者:小越

  爱琳·鲍(erin bow),诗人、小说家,出生在美国得梅因市,成长于奥马哈市,现居住在加拿大安大略省。爱琳大学主修粒子物理学,虽曾在该领域的高端研究机构工作,但终究走向心爱的写作之路,获得令人瞩目的成就。《没有影子的凯特》(plain kate)是她的首部小说,获得了2011年td加拿大儿童文学奖。小说的主人公名叫凯特(kate),因其棕蓝色眼睛和非凡的雕刻技艺被小镇上的人们认为是“木雕女巫”。信奉迷信的人们决定要烧死她,致使失去父母的凯特被迫与镇上新来的陌生人兼巫师林奈(linay)做了交易,卖掉了自己的影子,与她那只施了魔法而变得可以说话的小猫泰格(taggle)走上逃亡之路。途中,凯特遇到了年龄相仿的崔娜(drina),两人一起开启了冒险之旅。面对林奈为死去的姐姐勒诺(lenore)苦心筹谋的复仇计划,凯特、崔娜和小猫泰格将如何阻止呢?
   下文选自该书第十八章,略有删节,讲述了凯特和泰格成功阻止了林奈的复仇计划,解救了差点被毁灭的洛伏城。
  精彩片段
  linay's one hand was tied to the stone pillar. the other held a jagged1) fragment of sword blade. blood dripped off the blade tip and dribbled2) over the wood at his feet, and as each drop fell, it caught fire. the little flames made spots of smoldering3) in the pitch-soaked wood.
   plain kate was shaking. "you don't want to burn, linay."
  "but i do," he insisted. "i've planned it. i've worked for it. for years." his voice was still polite, a little distant, but he was beginning to tremble. he closed his eyes for a moment. "i can do this," he said. "i want to do this."
   kate edged toward him. drina was crouched on the platform steps, taggle in her arms.
   "i wish you weren't here, though," linay said. "everyone here ..."
  kate could feel it, behind the clouds, the shadow and the rusalka4) drawing together, lowering like a slow storm. the blood, the fire: the spell was beginning.5) "everyone here is going to die," said kate.
   suddenly she knew exactly what to do. "why?" she said.
  "but you know!" his eyes shifted to drina, and he pleaded: "to save her! to save my sister!"
   kate held the carving out to him. "this is her. your sister's face."
  linay looked thunderstruck, staring at the carving. "lenore …"
  kate set the carving on the smoking wood at linay's knee.
  "what are you doing?" said linay. "don't burn it!" hot smoke made his skirts swirl6).
   "would she want to be saved, like this?"
  "she was a witch. she understood—the exchange of gifts7). the sacrifice." his eyes darted8) sideways to the carved face of his sister. "pick that up."
   "if you'll answer me. would lenore have wanted this?" fire was rising around the carved face.
   "i can do this. i can do this." blood dripped from his cut hand, from his bound and twitching wrist, and fell burning, burning, burning. "lenore!" he cried, and sobbed as he cried.
   "she wouldn't want this!" kate had to shout above the roar of the fire.
  linay's face—it too was turning black—suddenly calmed, suddenly hardened, and his eyes locked with kate's. "yes," he said. "lenore would want this."

 kate yanked9) her carving from the bonfire, scorching10) her hands. she waved it to linay's face. "don't!"
   "sister," linay whispered. "please. help me."
  and so called, out of the green-black sky, the winged thing came.
  "take it back!" kate screamed at linay. "take it back. stop it!"
  "please,

" she said. he was dying in front of her, burned everywhere, his red mouth open. "please stop it!"
   "there's only one way to stop it," came a voice from her elbow. she turned. it was taggle, sitting on the lip of the burning platform, solemn. "and you know what it is."
   kate looked down at the knife in her hand.
  "i'm sorry," said the cat. the rusalka was coming across the square slowly, tearing at the piles of the dead. "it has to be you who kills me," said taggle. "i was his gift to you. you must be the one to give it back."
   she felt her jaw open; her head shake itself from side to side.
  "you can survive it," said taggle. "and that is all i want. you do not need me. you can find your own place, with your strength alone." behind him, the wings loomed11). "katerina, star of my heart. be brave. lift your knife."
   kate met his golden eyes.
  she lifted her knife.
  and taggle, who had never misjudged a jump in his life, leapt toward her with his forelegs out-flung. he landed clean on the blade. there was a sound like someone biting into an apple. and then he was in her arms, with the blade sticking out of his back.
   kate folded up. "taggle," she sobbed.
  the cat stirred, flinched—and smiled.
  the rusalka was coming toward them, its wings beating steady as a heart.
  "taggle," whispered kate. his heartbeat slowed under her hand.
  "more ..." his voice was only breath.
  "more than a cat."
  "and i do not regret it." his eyes clouded. "could you ... this itchy12) bit ..."
   she scratched13) his favorite place. the heat from the fire lifted tears from one side of her face.
   taggle took one more breath.
  the rusalka's shadow wings folded closed. she took a step forward, shrinking, and the wings sagged14), and the shadow-wing dragged itself against the cobbles15). and then it was just a shadow. and taggle's heart was still.
   kate pulled her knife out. the cat didn't stir. no new blood came.
  in the square, a woman stood. her witch-white face was stiff with horror. she spread her fingers and shouted something.

 the fire went out.
  林奈的一只手被绑在石柱上,另一只手握着一小段锯齿状的剑刃。www.redprintm.com血从剑锋上滴落下来,一滴一滴地落在他脚边的木头上,每落下一滴,都会起火。那些小小的火苗使得浸泡过沥青的木头上生出星星点点的闷燃斑点。
   凯特浑身发抖。“你不是要把自己烧死吧,林奈。”
  “可我就是要这么做,”他坚持说,“这是我蓄谋已久的,我已为之努力了很多年。”他的声音听起来依旧客客气气的,略微有些冷漠,但此时他已经开始颤抖。他把眼睛微微闭了一会儿。“我可以这么做,”他说,“我就想这么做。”
   凯特慢慢靠近林奈。崔娜蜷伏在高台的台阶上,怀里抱着泰格。
  “不过,我不希望你在这儿,”林奈说,“这里的每一个人……”
  凯特可以感觉得到,在云层之后,她的影子和女怪正慢慢靠拢,像缓慢来临的暴风雨一样徐徐下降。眼前滴滴坠落的血和越烧越旺的火焰意味着:魔咒就要开始奏效了。“这里的每一个人都将死掉。”凯特说。
   突然之间,她知道该怎么做了。“你为什么要这么做呢?”凯特问林奈。
  “你知道的!”他转而望向崔娜,以央求的语气说:“我要救她!我要救我的姐姐!”
  凯特把木雕拿出来给他看。“这就是她。这就是你姐姐的脸庞。”
  林奈死死地盯着木雕,看起来极其震惊。“勒诺……”
  凯特把木雕放在林奈膝部正在冒烟的木头上。
  “你在干什么?”林奈问道,“不要烧了它!”滚滚热烟让他的袍子飘动起来。
  “你姐姐希望你用这样的方式来解救她吗?”
  “她生前是女巫,她懂得“交换礼物”,她懂得要付出的代价。”林奈把眼神投向身旁木头雕出来的姐姐的面庞。“把它捡起来。”
  “除非你先回答我,你姐姐勒诺希望你用这种方式解救她吗?”木雕周围正窜起熊熊火焰。
  “我可以用

这种方式救她。我可以的。”鲜血正从他那割破的手上、从他那被绑住的抽搐着的手腕上滴落,边落边开始燃烧,燃烧,燃烧。“勒诺!”他喊道,边喊边啜泣着。
  “她不会希望你这么做的!”凯特必须大声呼喊才能让自己的声音盖过咆哮的烈焰。
  林奈的脸也开始慢慢被火焰熏成黑色,他的神情突然变得平静、坚定起来,目光死死地锁住凯特的眼睛。“不,”他回答道,“这正是勒诺所希望的。”
  凯特把自己做的木雕从火堆中一把拽出来,手也因此被烫伤。她拿着木雕在林奈面前挥动着。“不要!”
  “姐姐,”林奈低声说,“求求你帮帮我吧。”
  随着他的呼唤,那个带翅膀的东西出现在了藏青色的天空中。
  “把它(译注:凯特的影子)拿回来!”凯特朝林奈尖声大叫。“把它拿回来。停手吧!”
  “求求你了。”凯特说。林奈浑身都开始燃烧起来,红色的嘴张着,他正在凯特面前慢慢死去。“求你了,别这样!”
  “只有一种办法能阻止这件事。”一个声音从凯特的肘部传来。她转过头来,是小猫泰格,他正坐在燃烧着的高台边上,神情严肃。“而且你知道办法是什么。”
  凯特低头看了看自己手中的那把刀。
  “对不起。”小猫说道。那个女怪正缓缓穿过广场而来,撕扯着成堆的死尸。“必须由你来结束我的生命,”泰格说,“我是林奈赠送给你的礼物,所以必须由你来将我归还给他。”
   凯特感到自己的嘴巴张了开来,脑袋不由自主地左右摇摆。
  “你会活下来的,”泰格说,“而这就是我所希望的。你不需要我。你可以凭借自己的力量,找到属于你自己的归宿。”在泰格身后,一对翅膀隐隐出现。“凯特琳娜,我心之星,勇敢一点儿。举起你手中的刀吧。”
   凯特看向泰格那双金黄色的眼睛。
  她把刀举了起来。
  而一生从未估算错过自己一跳会跃到何处的小猫泰格把前腿向外猛伸,跃向了凯特,准确无误地落在了刀刃上。那声音就像是有人在咬一个苹果。然后,他躺在凯特的怀里,刀从他的后背穿了出来。
   凯特弯下腰去。“泰格。”她啜泣着说。
  小猫微微动了动,疼痛地向后缩了缩——然后微微一笑。
  女怪正朝着他们飞来,她的翅膀扑扇着,节奏稳定,像是跳动的心脏。
  “泰格。”凯特小声呼喊着他。她的手可以感觉到小猫的心跳越来越慢。
  “我不只是……”泰格气若游丝。
  “你不只是一只猫。”
  “而且我对自己刚刚的举动并不后悔。”他的眼睛变得模糊起来。“你可不可以……这儿有点儿痒……”
  凯特为泰格挠他最喜欢被挠痒的地方。火焰产生的热浪使凯特一边脸上的眼泪瞬间蒸发了。
  泰格又喘了一口气。
  女怪的一对影翼合了起来。她畏畏缩缩地向前走了一步,然后把翅膀垂了下来,影翼摩擦着鹅卵石拖在地上。然后,影翼只剩下了一个影子。这时,泰格的心脏停止了跳动。
  凯特把刀从泰格的体内拔了出来。泰格一动不动,再没有新的血流出来。
  广场上站着一个女人,她那张女巫式的苍白脸庞上满是恐惧,显得很是僵硬。她张开十指,口中大声叫嚷着什么。
  火熄灭了。
  赏析
  浮士德(faust)是德国民间传说中的著名人物,相传为占星师或巫师。在歌德笔下,生活在中世纪的浮士德苦闷彷徨,热切盼望寻求新的生活,因此和魔鬼墨菲斯托约定,他将灵魂抵押给魔鬼,而魔鬼则要无条件地满足他的一切要求,倘若有一天浮士德自认得到了满足,他的灵魂就将归魔鬼所有。约定既成,借助墨菲斯托的魔法,浮士德经历了五光十色的人生:他品味了爱情的酸甜苦辣,又在政治舞台上大显身手,继而在烽火狼烟中所向披靡,并立志移山填海,建造惠利众生的人间伊甸园……未来的美好图景使浮士德无限沉醉,他不禁感叹:“你真美呀,请停留一下!”话毕就倒地而亡。魔鬼欲借机收去他的灵魂,好在天使及时赶来,带着他的灵魂飞向了天堂。

  爱琳·鲍的处女作《没有影子的凯特》略带中世纪传说色彩,穿插民间故事的奇幻元素,也许无意模仿,却又隐约可见《浮士德》之风。只不过这则童话的主角是一个叫凯特的小女孩,她交易的不是灵魂,而是自己的影子。
   凯特自幼是个孤儿,相貌平平却天赋非凡。她继承父亲衣钵,雕刻手艺堪称一绝,成品精美异常,因此被镇上的民众称为“木雕女巫”。小镇频频遭遇病厄饥荒,凯特不祥的绰号与不讨喜的外表给她带来挥之不去的痛苦。此时,一个自称“林奈”的、散发着诡异气息的陌生男子突然来到镇上,他给凯特提出一个诱人的交易:只要凯特肯把自己的影子给他,他便助她逃离苦海。凯特起先拒绝了,但她很快发现,莫须有的“木雕女巫”的流言已使她无法见容于镇上,她除了与林奈进行交易之外别无选择。虽有因“巫术”同样不容于世的“路漫人”同行,凯特的逃亡之路依旧十分艰难,只有被林奈施以魔法可以说话的小猫泰格与她相依相伴,聊解孤独之苦。路上,凯特偶遇与她年龄相仿的崔娜,两人结为好友。崔娜的母亲被洛伏城的民众以“女巫”之名当众处死,她的舅舅因此神智紊乱,不知所踪。崔娜告诉凯特,魔法的秘密就在于“有得有失”:魔法赋予你某种力量,你也必须有所付出用以交换。
   大雾弥漫,疾病蔓延,连“路漫人”也未幸免于难,没有影子的凯特被“路漫人”视为罪魁祸首,不得不再次逃离。她与泰格跳入河中逃离险境,醒来时却发现置身于林奈的小船上。林奈告诉凯特,他善良的姐姐勒诺就是为逃离暴徒追捕而溺水身亡,后化身为不知自己所作所为的吸血水怪,致使疾病横行。此时,凯特突然意识到林奈就是崔娜的舅舅,而勒诺正是崔娜的妈妈。林奈承诺到达洛伏城后把影子还给凯特,但她必须为勒诺的鬼魂输血以使勒诺有足够的魔力来摧毁洛伏城。没有影子的生活已然困难重重,然而凯特却发现,自己竟卷入了一场邪恶的、毁灭性的复仇计划中!为拿回影子,凯特勉强答应为勒诺输血,但她逐渐意识到自己必须阻止林奈的计划。她再次出逃,途中与崔娜重逢,两人结伴赶到洛伏城,却发现被守卫抓住的林奈自求火刑。
   节选部分正逢林奈行刑那日,勒诺借凯特的影子施法,企图将洛伏城夷为平地,凯特苦求林奈无果。危急关头,小猫泰格突然记起了崔娜所说的魔法的秘密,他纵身一跃,自戕于凯特的刀刃,以自身性命破除了林奈的魔咒。女怪勒诺最终现为人形,恢复了往昔的善良,洛伏城得救了,一切终于回归了平静。现为人形的勒诺在消失之前用魔法使泰格死而复生,而凯特也在林奈的小船上找回了自己的影子。
   凯特接二连三的不幸遭遇令人心惊肉跳,但她的奇幻经历也因此充满了戏剧性。这个故事有血腥的味道,有死亡的威胁,有难言的伤痛,但最终结束于温情的救赎。小说一针见血,直抵内心深处,毫不避讳人性的阴暗角落,却也由此净化了人们的灵魂。
   凯特的逃亡之旅也是她的成长之路。这条路荆棘丛生,危险重重。每一次站在岔路口都要面临一次抉择:是否选择为追求幸福出卖自己的影子?是否选择为勒诺输血换回卖出的影子?个人生命和整座城市相比究竟孰轻孰重?如果非要有人牺牲,那这人应该是谁?是自己,是朋友,还是心有隐痛但渴求复仇

的巫师,抑或是不分青红皂白、深深伤害自己的蛮横民众?这一切足以让人左右为难,举步维艰,然而故事却最终完满于一个皆大欢喜的结局:他人利益战胜了一己私情,以德报怨战胜了伺机报复,善良战胜了邪恶,仁爱战胜了仇恨。魔法的力量在于它是一份馈赠的礼物。这份礼物的背后蕴藏着深刻的含义和隐秘的情感:可以是愤怒、哀伤、怨恨,也可以是慈悲、快乐、希望。有得即有失,有失必有得。是非善恶,一眼之念,一念之间,全在于自己怎样去想,如何去做。
   凯特出卖了影子,却没有出卖灵魂。“浮士德”胜利了,而拯救灵魂的天使不是别人,恰是凯特自己。
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  •  更新时间:2013-04-07 16:34:49  作者:uedbet体育 [标签: 美丽的凯特 凯特温斯莱特 ]
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