Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Fox from Hounds

For audio click here 
The lullaby of cricket song and clink of wine glasses accompanied the soft smell of young oregano on the warm breeze. It should have been the perfect summer’s evening. Federico paced across the wooden floor, the tip of his cigarette touching his lips but he wasn't smoking it. A fresh sheet of paper stood up straight in the typewriter awaiting a touch of a key. The wine glass was smudged with fingerprints but for now, it sat untouched. 
Word had got to Federico that they were coming for him, again. He'd wanted to run, but the problem was where could he run to. The Fascists had men everywhere. He'd constantly be running like a fox from hounds until either they caught him and ripped him to pieces or he died of exhaustion. 
There was a knock on the door, Federico froze to the spot, smoke snaking up from his cigarette. He took a drag, listening to the muffled conversations from the other room. Another drag, smoke swirled around his lungs and billowed out of his nose. The door swung open. Federico recognised the two men standing in the stairwell. The fat pig Benavides with a smirk on his face doing this for fun, and the expressionless policeman Ajenjo, doing his ‘duty’.
“Come on you poofter,” Benavides said and grabbed Federico’s arm. They dragged him away, his friends averting their gaze; they all knew there was no coming back this time. 
“Get in,” Ajenjo said pointing at the car. Federico did as he was told, stooping to get into the car and joining three others on the back seat. The two burly men wore the look of anarchists but the third man was slight and timid looking. Federico forced a smile at him, sensing the stranger's crime was the same as his. 
They drove through the warm night, leaving behind the town and heading into the Vega. This was Federico's territory; the fields he'd roamed in as a boy. He could smell the wild garlic and the olive trees, the crickets kept up their song. Each man stared straight ahead, no words were spoken. They bounced along country roads until the car slowed and the door opened. 
“Let's go for a little stroll,” Ajenjo said. The four men were marched single file through the groves until they reached a ditch. 
The clouds were heavy above them, one or two drops of rain fell out of a lightening sky. Sweat rolled down Federico's back. This was his land, his home, his muse. He breathed in the familiar smells as a boom of thunder echoed overhead. The slim man fell forward into the ditch. Another roar and one of the anarchists also fell. Federico tensed. Would he be next? A bang, he flinched but he was not hit; the second anarchist fell. 
“Turn around.”
Federico slowly turned to look at the firing squad. Benavides smiled at him. 
“And now your turn,” the bastard said. The crickets chirped, petrichor filled his nostrils and the thunder clapped.

This story is based on a true story. Federico Garcia Lorca was a gay Spanish poet, playwright, and activist who was shot by the Fascists in August 1936. Brought to my attention by Peter Harris’s Facebook history page which you can read here. I hope I have done this story justice and haven't trivialised it. 


  1. Pity you don't do the lines of the week any more. I would nominate the first line: The lullaby of cricket song and clink of wine glasses accompanied the soft smell of young oregano on the warm breeze.... I love it when you refer to the four senses in your descriptions. The story is very interesting and I also like the last line as petrichor is one of my favourite words. Thank you

    1. I like that line but I am not sure I've got it quite right. But thank you.

    2. Why not sure you've got it right?

    3. I just played with it four or five times so nothing sounds right now :-)

    4. It does sound right. At least I like it

  2. There are plenty of biographies describing the character´s feelings at tense moments. I mostly can´t unify the writer´s ideas and the characters possible feelings. There are so many cultural differences, the people were brough up in a different way, the family background was different, different education, different experiences... I always view it as a fiction. But I must say that this story was very vivid and in the last paragraph I was standing next to Federico by the ditch.