Fallen From the Same Tree


    Fallen From The Same Tree is a novel that revolves around an inconvenient meeting between a group of seven friends and a gang that escaped from prison. Everything takes place on a farm somewhere in the Alentejo, where Francesco Monica decides to celebrate his birthday. The same farm that was elected as a place of refuge for a group of prisoners sought by police.

    The house is only a scenario where we witness the events waltz and a whirl of emotions involving two groups of people stuck in a space that is becoming too small as time goes by. The differences between each other tend to worsen in times of danger, and fear will highlight the features by which each one follows its moral conduct. More than a compelling story, Fallen From The Same Tree is a reflection on behaviors, on the meager knowledge that humans have about themselves , about the social fabric, about good and evil.

    Excerpt from the 24th chapter Excerpt from the 2nd chapter Excerpt from the 3rd chapter Excerpt from the 4th chapter Excerpt from the 7th chapter
    Excerpt from the 2nd chapter
    He started drawing the prison building on a sheet of paper: the four three-floor pavilions, the two workshop buildings and the administrative one, the area flanked by the kitchen and canteen, baker’s, library and finally, the chapel. Then he drew the tower where the control centre was. Guards monitored the security system from there: vigilance cameras working twenty four hours a day, two-way radios, monitors everywhere. The lights in the cells were turned off from the tower after ten o’clock and turned back on at daybreak. The steel gate, a few metres from the Tower, was the last obstacle. Honório sketched it in detail, as people and vehicles came and went through there. He looked at the time, folded the paper, putting it into one of his books in the box he used as a bedside table.
    He’d slept badly, bitten by fleas, nothing anyone already bitten by rats couldn’t handle. It was getting hot, although it was only nine o’clock in the morning. He’d been sweating the whole night and if that wasn’t enough, he’d had to listen to his cell mate’s snoring. Either he woke up to Zacarias’s snores or those from the nearest cells, or because it was like being in an oven in there. He’d scratched his arms and legs until they were raw. He had corns on his fingers, but these were caused by the file he’d managed to pinch from the workshop. Every night, between one and three o’clock, little by little, he and Zacarias were filing their way to freedom. It wouldn’t be long before the previously insurmountable thick bars would become a nice unobstructed window. While one kept guard, the other filed. The barrier they were disputing freedom against consisted of four horizontal bars and four vertical ones. Bars having to be sawn almost to the point, where they would yield easily on the evasion day. 

    He and Zacarias had been preparing the escape for months. As the night wore on and coughs, snores, whistles and gasps became regular, the pair of convicts would start working. No rush, with caution. The four bars at the top of the window were ready. In the cracks of the bars which had already been filed, Honório and Zacarias placed iron-coloured cement paste, so that to the naked eye no one would notice what they were up to. It was a paste which would give way at the first pull.
    “ You know what’s missing?” Honório asked in his unmistakable high pitched voice.
    “I know, boss: a bottle of ether and plastic bags, those big black ones”, replied Zacarias, as he removed the sleep from the corner of his eyes with his forefinger.