The people of Alqueria were facing a crisis. There was no outside aggression, no one threatened their borders or imposed economic sanctions. It was a crisis of inertia. People have simply stopped caring. The zest for life which had sustained Alqueria through the centuries had been sapped by over organisation, conformity and a loss of individuality. In fact all the requisites which are ‘part and parcel’ of a modern integrated European nation. These are the very elements that turned Alqueria from a dysfunctional vital community who would take to the streets in celebration, remembrance or a spate barricade building at the least opportunity, into a modern responsible state taking it’s place among the society of nations. In short it became boring, mundane and passionless.
Loco Paco had stopped caring for Benjy, his pet Saharan dung beetle, which had taking to stealing from kitchens and busking on the Madrid Metro to survive. Antonio Poyato had stopped drinking Remitroot Wine and most surprising of all Manuela had taken a vow of chastity. The men of Alqueria were going blind, something had to done, but who was to do it?
The Pueblo’s saviour certainly wasn’t born great nor did she achieve greatness so we must assume she had it thrust upon her, something that normally happened to Manuela. Loca Pepa was oblivious to the mark she made on history but like all great events it happened with a whimper rather than the proverbial ‘bang’.
Loca Pepa had conformed, cut her hair short and starting having ‘Tupperware’ parties. She brought Paco his slippers and drove the neighbour’s children to school. She slaved away in the kitchen preparing Paco’s favourite meals, never refused his strange nocturnal requests and never even grumbled when Paco came home after a mere eight hours at work claiming to be exhausted. Loca Pepa became shining example of northern European womanhood. Things were bad.
Manuela, who was in the second week of chastity had by this time a visible twitch, started to stammer and was walking bent double. She wasn’t at her most receptive but noticed Pepa’s change. The implications, if carried through to their logical conclusion had dire consequences and put all things into perspective for Manuela.
Introducing raw Remitroot spirit into the water supply was the solution, although Antonio Poyato had started taking it intravenously by this time. Loca Pepa started once more treating Paco like the idiot he his and retired to bed with a hogshead of Remitroot brandy and a dozen pre-cooked pizzas. Loco Paco himself had a tearful reunion with Benjy. The sound of stone throwing and breaking glass again drifted reassuringly through the streets.
What of Manuela?
She stopped walking double and the men of the Village started smiling and regained their eyesight.