Last week I posted part one of my story, ‘The Wind Sheds No Tears’. I said I would post up sections of around 800 words on a regular basis. Here is part two.
I hope you like it. Comments welcome.
Chapter Two – A Gentle Hand
Slowly he opened his eyes. He was lying in a soft bed. A candle just gave enough light to show the young girl leaning over to touch his forehead. He smelt her perfume, spicy and intoxicating.
Bewildered, he asked “Where am I? What happened?”
Softly she replied “Just lie there, don’t move. You’re safe now.”
He felt so tired. He rested his head back against a soft feather pillow.
Her gentle voice spoke again.
“Hush now, just rest”.
He drifted off to sleep only dimly aware of a delicate hand clasping his.
He awoke to the sensation of a different hand, a firm and determined hand gripping his wrist.
Dr. Lopez was standing over him taking his pulse.
He sat up and asked the doctor.
“What is happening? Where am I?”
“So you’re awake at last are you boy? We were afraid at first we were going to lose you; you had swallowed so much sea water. You were too weak to take too far. You are in my house. You washed up on my beach, it seemed my Christian duty to help, and it seemed like a test of my faith, somehow. Providence.”
He realised that he was in a very grand room with white tiles on the floor and he was in the most comfortable bed he had ever been in. The brightly woven mat on the floor spoke of far more wealth than most people in the area possessed. He was in the white Casa. Then he remembered the storm, the boat, his grandfather, uncle and cousin.
“I remember the storm, where is my grandfather?”
“Your Uncle and Cousin managed to swim ashore and the townsfolk began searching for you and your grandfather. As I say, we found you virtually on my doorstep. You are lucky indeed. Your grandfather, I’m sorry to say, wasn’t so lucky. He was found further down the coast. I’m afraid I was too late, he’s dead.”
He knew that at fifteen, he was considered a grown man, and grown men weren’t supposed to cry but he couldn’t control himself. He sobbed and cried with such abandon that any shame he felt was made nothing next to the overwhelming grief. His grandfather had been so much a part of his life, more so than his own father who spent most of his time selling fish at the market. He cried until the exhaustion overcame him and he fell into sleep, only to dream of his grandfather standing in his favourite place in the cantina, telling tales and making everyone laugh.
This time when he awoke, he felt stronger and the sunlight was streaming through the shuttered windows. Standing up from her chair in the corner, it was her. It was Margarita. Her dark hair was just the same as before, held with ribbons, this time mauve to match her dress.
“So Pablo, are you feeling any better? Yes, I can see you are. You have colour back in your cheeks. I will call Papa. Papa, he’s awake now.”
Dr. Lopez came into the room followed by a large, plump lady wearing a white apron and black hair piled on top of her head like a burnt loaf of bread. She was carrying a tray and the unmistakable smell of freshly baked bread wafted from under the cloth covering it. His stomach began rumbling noisily.
Dr. Lopez spoke. “Here you go boy, you’ll need some nourishment inside you after all the sleeping you’ve been doing. This is the third day since we brought you here. Your clothes are here.” He said pointing to a neat and clean but worn pile of clothes on the floor by the bed. “I will have some wash water brought in to you once you have eaten.”
“Thank you Doctor for looking after me, you have been so kind Sir.”
“It is nothing more than my Christian duty my boy, as providence saw fit to bring you to me. Besides, Margarita was desperate to practice her nursing skills on someone. Who was I to stand in the way of fate?”
Margarita blushed delicately and flashed a smile at him. Her dark eyes told him that his years of hopeless longing were not as hopeless as he had thought.
“We’ll leave you now to eat and get dressed. Today is the day of your Grandfather’s funeral; many from the town are going. He was a lovable rascal and held in high regards. We said we would escort you to the church, and then you can return home with your family. We have been keeping them informed of your progress.”
Dr. Lopez and Margarita left the room.
“Now be sure you eat every bite” The housekeeper told him in a deep, authoritative voice then left too.
Thoughts of his grandfather came to him and threatened to unman him once again, but he was too hungry to cry. He ate quickly and eagerly savouring every last mouthful of the bread. There was some sardine paste too, delicious.
End of Part Two…….
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 05/April/2018