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  • Homecoming.




    The old bus grated to a lower gear and gave the climb a second try.
    Wheels bounced over ruts and stones, tired suspension springs groaned in
    protest as the bus reached the crest, leaving behind a comet plume of dust
    and diesel exhaust. The few passengers adjusted their bottoms for more
    comfort on the wooden slat seats and relaxed, just a kilometre to journeys
    end.
    Juan de Dios Sara turned his head to the window, looked through the
    pitted blood currant's of squashed flies, beyond to the beauty of the blue
    mountains of the Sierra del Segura. Was this home? He struggled to focus
    on the moving glimpses of memory.
    The bus wheezed thankfully to a stop in the tiny square. Broad hipped
    women gathered baskets, shopping bags jostled their way down the centre
    aisle and out through the open door, ignoring the hopeful tip box. The
    driver consoled himself with a cigarette and asked Saint Cecelia for the
    hundredth time what sin he had committed for him to be condemned to
    this lousy run.
    Juan de Dios Sara followed slowly; crumbling vertebra had arched his
    spine, greedy pain searching for a new home had long since found his
    hips and knees.
    He stood for a moment in the square. Yes there, the drinking trough and
    to the right, up the stepped path to where the little tower of Santa Maria
    pointed the way to heaven. Juan de Dios Sara smiled, he was home.

    From light to shade he blinked away the temporary blindness. The bar
    resting in the afternoon siesta held four card players gambling for a few
    pesetas; a bored figure in a grubby full length apron leant against the bar.
    Juan ordered wine Chorizo tapas and seated himself at a corner table.
    Time, bought with rough wine meandered slowly through the long
    afternoon.
    A torn tourist poster advertising a local corrida caught his eye.
    He smiled and shook his head. A charade for the unenlightened, a show
    for the white bellies and the posing nonentities seeking glory in the
    slaughter of milk cows.
    Alcohol loosened shards of memory; dreams like old friends returned and
    were grasped and savoured.

    A hot afternoon in Linares the, fifth bull, a mighty Miura blooded,
    untamed, Manolete the master, small, proud, grateful for the courage of
    his partner in the dance of death. Two, three passes, ever closer, the blood
    of the Miura staining his chest, the last act, the suerte de matar. The gust
    of wind that took the muleta to your belly; ah Manuel you took too long
    to die.

    The sergeant blinked the sleep from his eyes.
    “Sorry sir, I thought I had”---
    “Where is he?”
    “I’ve put him in the back room, we found him on the road to the church.”
    “Effects?”
    “A few pesetas, by the look of him, a gypsy, a stinking Gitano.“
    “Nothing else?”
    “This old suitcase, I haven’t opened it yet .”
    “Then do so.”
    The young police officer untied the string and opened the lid. On layers
    of tissue paper lay two letters. The sergeant leant forward lifting the paper
    covering.
    “What the hell?”
    The sergeant let his hand caress the white silk, then, reached for the
    letters.
    “Your stinking Gitano is Juan de Dios Sara and this," He said, pointing to
    the silk bundle. "Is his ‘Suit of Light.”
    He replaced the letters and closed the case.
    “I saw him once in Seville, he was too old for the ring but his work with
    the cape was still a thing to behold. The courage is in the feet boy, at the
    pass they are still, only the coward dances. The one worthwhile man this
    dammed hole produced has returned to us and by god that fat pig of a
    mayor will pay for the finest funeral this town has ever seen, or I will
    take a closer look at the town hall expenses.”
    He laid his hand gently on the battered case.
    “Welcome home Juan de Dios Sara.”


    Authors Note.
    Manolete was killed in 1947 by a Miura bull in the bullring at Linares
    and the whole of Spain went into mourning.


    Last edited by Cari; 09-20-2019, 02:59 AM.

  • #2
    You write beautifully, bringing memory to life in touching fashion. I enjoy your posts.

    Comment


    • Cari
      Cari commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah, thanks for reading and you are too kind. The little short story is simply about the desire of returning home to die, I’m not in any way promoting bullfighting, it’s a very controversial subject, but the main character had to be given a degree of fame to end the story.
      Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment, it is appreciated

      John.
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