Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Always the Dust

Pancho kicked the dust over the traces of his own footprints. Footprints still visible from the last journey. The journey he took everyday. The footprints a reminder, like the branding on Gonzales’ cattle, that Pancho belonged to el pueblo. El pueblo would never let him go.

Pancho curled his lip, spat, bent forward and inspected the mixture. He was part of the dust. Always the dust.

An ant reared at the gob like a minute stallion; Pancho smiled and crushed him beneath his worn espadrille, his back braced like a matador.

But Pancho was not a brave man. If he was a brave man he would fight the bulls in Malaga. If he was a brave man he would fight with his brothers and his uncles against El Caudillo. If he was a brave man he would take Maria to the fiesta; he would dance whilst the old men clapped and the young men stamped their feet; he would smile at Maria, to reassure her, as the young girls gazed on in envy; he would drink a glass of good brandy in one swallow, and the camarero would fill it again without a word.

But he was Pancho. He was Pancho the fool. She was Maria Lopez. Maria, with the dancing eyes. Maria with the bottom that rolled like a mare's. Maria with the hair as black as the silk ribbon that fluttered on the funeral director's hat.

Maria with Pancho the fool? Pah! He would stumble as the old men laughed and the young men shouted and the young girls pointed with their other hands clasped to theirgiggling mouths. The camarero would sneer as Pancho choked on the fiery liquid.

As he followed his footsteps into el pueblo once again, Pancho's tears dropped and mingled with the ants and the dust. His throat closed tight and would not let him spit. He kicked at his footprints, stumbled and fell backwards into the dust.

The dust. Always the dust.

1 comment:

Damian said...

Yeah, I changed it. Thought I would force one more cliche into it, and change the ending. Ole!