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Submitted:Jun 23, 2014    Reads: 6    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Dust-covered and pressing his bloodstained flank, Frederick Greenburg swung to his liver chestnut's will. The sun caught from sideways three silver coins adorning the slanted front of his hat. Its sparing reflection Alfredo spotted as it drew near past the crop, and the figure resembling his uncle's. Grandma and grandson, Rosario and Alfredo Álvarez uproot yams for a stew she had promised to cook for him at Easter. Under a rosy sunset the wagon approached the first house east of Guernica.

Rosario sprouted to Frederick's final stare, with a plain linen handkerchief wrapping her head, knitted brows holding her palm and a hand on her waist: his mother in form, calling him home from where a pathway of unpruned bushes lead her sight, in the end of her own afternoon. He sneaked to the side of the house, climbed through a window and startled her from behind, "Land ahoy, windjammer", and optographed ground. The horse halted before Rosario and grandson. Frederick's body fell cold to their feet. Pale she turned to Alfredo:

- Go fetch your grandpa and talk to no one else, make haste, she said. The boy had not turned to run when his uncle Rámon appeared. Alfredo went after José Álvarez.

His eyes were opened and his fallen hand revealed the wound. A casualty of war Rámon made of him, and a spoil of its errantry of the chestnut and what it brought in. Unwary, he peered into the wagon. On seeing him back fright curbed the girl's breath. She clang to a curled blanket she had in her arms, flinched behind a big trunk, upon which was inscribed what Rámon's quivering lips read in a sigh:

- Ballenzo.

Evening tears broke out with a shriek Rosario could not swallow. His countenance was universal: the same they had bore. How could have been her then and now? Life's oneiric flow noosed around her on another iteration: omen shot down from its soar. Frederick's semblance at gaze, she exhaled a frigid air, twitching her hands against her breast.

Rámon embraced the girl and brought her out to Rosario. He took a flask from inside his coat and poured it on a rag he then applied on Frederick's face to cleanse him from life. Invoking old memories, he examined the wagon while he waited for his father to deal with the dead man. When in no time he arrived, José Álvarez was met with no ceremony: Rámon told him to grab the dead's feet and toward the wagon he pointed. Father and son, José and Rámon Álvarez carried him who could have been anybody's descendant. Rosario took under her wings the girl who Death had abandoned.


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