took with him Belinda, his beautiful 9-year-old daughter, and having
taken books and provisions for several months, drove his Jeep onto the
Manolo and Belinda
had decided to drive the entire day
through the country, while studying mathematics, Geography and
Literature, the three subjects that Belinda liked the most.
After several months on the road, they stopped
on a gas station, where a teacher called Ilma recriminated Manolo for
“Don’t you know that Belinda should be at
School?,” she said.
“I'm her teacher,” answered Manolo unwilling to
start a discussion about his private life, “I’m sure that my daughter
gets a better education from me than any of your pupils.”
That was an impertinence that Ilma, who also
happened to be a witch, could never forgive.
She decided then, to send Manolo to the road
that ends in the sea, a bewitched track from where no one had ever
“You should go westwards,” Ilma said smiling,
“we have beautiful cliffs near Rosewood, about twenty miles from here.
There is nothing as amazing as seeing the waves bursting against those
“Will we go, Dad?” asked Belinda with sparkles
in her eyes.
“Perhaps...,” muttered Manolo.
“You must go!” the teacher insisted, “but before
allow me to offer you a cup of tea.”
Manolo accepted with a shy gesture. Alas! He was
unaware that Ilma had a dangerous potion in her purse able to recall
demons to her aid - this, said in less spiritual terms, meant that she
was ready to give to Manolo a powerful and expensive drug able to
sharpen his most stubborn genes. Belinda, on the other hand, was going
to be put to sleep with a cheaper narcotic.
“It tastes funny,” said Belinda as she
finished her tea.
“Now you should have a nap,” said the teacher.
“No, thanks,” replied Belinda.
“Would you give us some directions on how to get
to the coastline?” asked Manolo.
“With pleasure,” said the witch displaying a
Minutes later Manolo was driving through an
Belinda was feeling her eyelids loaded with iron.
“I don’t see other cars!” said Belinda in an
effort to keep her eyes open.
“We must arrive before three!” Manolo exclaimed.
Belinda started to cry as she realized that the road was becoming
narrower and steeper.
“I feel dizzy,” she muttered.
“We are almost there!” said Manolo, “Look at the
sea! It’s just before us!”
Belinda saw a deep blue savannah flicking off
and on from
“The road is too dangerous...” she said before
Overtaken by the witches’ tonic, Manolo was
unable to grasp how dangerous their situation was. The edges of the
road track were now fading off over a rocky ground. He could see an
abysm before him, and further down the rocks where so many men and
children had died under the malign influence of Ilma.
“We are almost there”! he repeated unable to
stop, but then, suddenly remembering the patience of the Lord in the
cross, Manolo was able to understand how absurd his demeanour was.
“Oh, God!” he screamed as he pressed his breaks,
“this road ends in the sea!”
And then he realised that it was too late.
He felt his 4x4 Jeep sliding down the cliff into a void.
But then the Lord, who knew his noble heart, and
who had decided that his time in paradise had not come yet,
the Jeep to jump upwards and to his right, where it kindly fit
into a small cave that his angels had carved from the second day of the
creation of the world.
When Manolo and Belinda were rescued by a
navy helicopter, they told the journalists that they were
transported onto the air by the miraculous intervention of the Lord.
“Of course!” a journalist exclaimed with irony,
unwilling to admit the intervention of Jesus Christ in the
life of the upright, “but not everyone gets such miracles, you know."
Manolo asked why.
"There was a woman, a school teacher I think, who happened to be
overlooking the landscape just as you had your accident. She suffered a
stroke and didn't survive to tell the tale. Perhaps she was too
impressed to see you falling down from the cliff. Now , tell me
Mr. Believer, why wasn't she saved?”
Manolo went silent, for only the Lord could tell the why.
Beneath a bridge in
Lives a dispossessed
He mourns his sallow
On the waters of a
He owns a cracked pot
A fugitive of his own
He contemplates his
A gleam from a
Lurking for death he
Prosperity to his
His wife may remarry a
Fit to bring up his
Who sleeps in a 5-star
Comes from England to
He wears blue shirt,
red tie, white pants
A scrawny girl escorts
Serene as his tender
Vibrant as his
«Why are you here?»,
He stutters. «We'll
pay you», she adds
Two cameramen pierce
And inhumanly he cries
I heard him on TV, and
I saw him
Stumbling on the waters
To hide, as an ostrich
His face beneath the
Merciless to his
highlights his duty
«Recession hits so
That this fellow can
not even talk»
Thus the onslaught
As a carcass discover
on a road
As a ship swallowed by
A pariah may amuse the
|I was able to
When Dad walked away
Our garden went so
That even the nettle saddened and
Mum carried on for us
Her smile was a pale layer on a wound
I shared her low-tone
From my bed, in silence
Years of sleepless
Standing on the porch
Where Mum last kissed
She used to iron our
With a lifelong tender
Leaned on our window
She wandered aimlessly
on the road
Long shadows on her
Were heralds of the
My melancholy brought
All my offences, minor
«Perhaps I had upset
And Mum, my dear Mum,
Would she leave me one
day as well?»
I embrace her barren
But my hands were tiny
Trembling over my
«I miss you», I
«Mum misses you, we
The ink dried up and I
To the nearest postal
I took care nobody saw
Pushing a piece of
In a slit over the
And my folded love
I was so afraid they
would reject me
With no envelope, no
Without knowing his
|Our home was a
Ringed by a blue sky
I remember our joy on
days of rain
The fore road was not
Spotting our Christmas
We dallied endlessly
In a bog of clay
A yellow-stripped cat
Loitered wildly on the
roof next door
And a grey rat on our
Do you remember sister?
Our little hands used
to feed her
With soups Mum cooked
So laboriously for us
One day Dad discovered
All we three together
He brought us to our
To be cradled by Mum
As we sleep we heard
his hasty steps
On the patio, over the
Our pet never returned
Where did she go?