After the ‘Alqueria Four’ blocked the stream and Manuela took her impromptu naked plunge into the cool water behind the dam, she lay drying in the hot afternoon sun. She remembered Alqueria in happier times ……………..
(With apologies to Dylan Thomas)
A velvet star spangled night in late Spring. A little Spanish pueblo, snugged down, reja windowed and whitewashed, sleeps silent. The Castle turreted and blind reaches into the night sky, the fountain below bubbles and flows, unseen. La Bar la Casa Devante shuttered and still, gaining strength for the coming horde of thirsty patrons pushing and elbowing, swallowing and spilling.
The babies are sleeping, the mill-owner and the Remitroot grower. Manuela late into bed and Paco confused as ever, all sleep. Would-be brides dream of their novios actual or pretend, the young men sleep unaware of these feminine designs. Village boys are dreaming of the Plaza where tomorrow they will be rip-roaring pirates or holstered cowboys, racing car drivers and spacemen.
Late evening cooking odours still linger on the still air, the afternoon heat subsides. Cool, fragrant, night descends. You can hear the air cooling as Alqueria contracts, the night quenching the heat of the day.
Olive drab and olive green Fernándo Rodriquez dreams of olives galore earning money, making wealth. Keeping the Hill People low, subservient, crushed. He will prevail. Alqueria will be his.
The Newcomer’s Barrio forever. Deport them, Manuela and the others. The ruined olive mill. Not my fault, others conspire. I was right I am always right. Not my fault. Alqueria is mine. Don’t listen to Poyato or the girl Manuela, I am always right.
Antonio Poyato dreams of Remitroot, drink it, rub it in, use it to lag your pipes. Brings power and influence. Use it wisely for the good of the Hill People. Don’t get addicted. And Manuela whom he worships from afar, snug in her bed in the Calle del Siniestra.
Manuela, Manuela Oh Manuela. Remitroot, Remitroot Oh Remitroot.
Gruntmore the resident Englishman and Geordie, dreams of his Tyneside home. Damp paved and beer sodden, nostalgic and grey. He’ll do anything for his home-town, except live there.
Newcastle Brown Ale and fog, through arch bridges and cold north-east winds. Dominoes in the snug of the Hanging Monkey. Rheumatism and memories. Better off in Alqueria.
Loco Paco, do you dream?
Yes, of giant rodents and Don Quixote’s windmills. Psychiatrists and paella. Keep reality away, it hurts!
Manuela dreams of …..
The boys and men, with or without Remitroot, I dream of the evening to be alone with them. Of the hated Rodriquez of men and boys. I dream of …….