In the days that followed, Hilda bought a dress with long lace and colored ribbons for Lark. The whole family participated in the preparations for the trip. For Lark, that family trip was no longer part of her routine of visiting fairs. She felt a very strong emotion pulse inside her body every time she remembered that she would participate in a singing contest.
The day to go on a trip arrived and before everyone got on the truck, Hilda prayed to the Virgin Mary to take care of them during those two months that they would be out of Jutiapa. Manuel was happy to have the company of his wife and all his children in the truck.
Upon reaching the village, the children went with Lark to explore the fairgrounds. Hilda and Manuel set up the stall and put up the wire fence around the space they had been assigned. They prepared the cab of the truck for their three children to sleep and they arranged a mattress under the counter to sleep as Manuel always did when he traveled alone with Lark.
On the opening day of the fair, Lark stayed with her little brothers, taking care of the sales booth. Hilda and Manuel went to have fun. They got on the wheels. They participated in many games. They ate garnachas, crazy corn, danced, drank milk punch with a picket and had fun together in a way that they hadn’t had the chance to in a long time.
On the third day of the fair, the singing contest was announced, which would take place at 08:00 at night. Manuel would stay take care of the sales and his youngest children. Hilda would accompany Lark for the entire duration of the contest. It was six o’clock in the afternoon when Hilda began to do Lark’s makeup and hair. She also helped her put on the new dress and put the colored ribbons in her hair.
Lark was nervous but very happy. With a strong hug she showed Hilda her gratitude and her love for her. Lark was very beautiful, showing off her beautiful figure, carved by the lace of her dress. Her mouth was a blossoming cherry, always ready to draw a perfect smile. Her eyes shone with the light of her innocence making her entire face glow.
When Lark left the stall and started walking across the fairgrounds, she looked like a magical princess from the enchanted pages of a fairy tale. Wherever she walked, the wind stopped; Lark receiving the curious glances of the women besieged by her while the men sighed, stupefied by seeing so much beauty.
The natural movements of her body, the bewitching smile on her lips, the dazzling shine in her eyes and the perfume that emanated from her hair, inflamed many in the town.
Several participants sang before Lark took the stage. The driver announced her as the “Little Lark, coming from the east”. Upon hearing her name, Lark felt very nervous and for a moment she doubted going out to sing, but as the music began to play, its vibration began to penetrate her skin until it ignited her blood. Her heartbeat quickened, awakening her love for music and her passion for singing.
Skin prickling, she walked confidently to the center of the stage, grabbed the microphone, and let her vocal cords resonate musical notes through her singing. Her voice caused cheers of joy from the audience, the contest judges were fascinated by Lark’s talent for singing; her notes were almost perfect, and she did not go out of tune once. Lark danced softly, a contrast to the energy of her singing. Her melodious but powerful voice traveled with the wind until reaching even the darkest places within the fairgrounds, where they awakened the hidden zeal of the black roads.
When she finished singing, the conductor named her in front of everyone “THE LARK OF THE EAST”.
Alondra won the contest and received offers to sing at the fairs in other towns. The prize for the first place in the contest was 500.00 quetzales. Alondra was very happy, with many people coming to congratulate her. It was almost midnight when she and Hilda returned to the sales booth where Manuel was waiting for them.
After receiving the congratulations from Manuel and her siblings, Lark went to the cab of the truck, where she began to undress and change her clothes; not noticing the wicked eyes, that viewed her with lewd flashes, stalking her from behind the metal fence …
TO BE CONTINUE…
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