Chronicles of a gentleman
Guillermo Alonso del Real, winner of the 19th edition of Literary Excellence in the short story category, tells us how, in the world of children, reality and fiction are one and the same thing. There is even a risk that the fiction we imagine becomes our new reality.
Ignatius possessed the ability to see reality from two dimensions.
-Mom, I'm going for a ride on the bike!
That was the beginning of a simple walk around town... or the beginning of an adventure fit only for brave hearts.
First, Ignacio descended the stairs leading to the garage as if they were the descent into a dark dungeon. Or to a stable, because there awaited him his bicycle, which from that moment on he contemplated as if instead of being made of iron, it were the sum of fiery blood, muscles in tension and a shiny coat. Because it was no longer a bike inherited from his older brother and that had previously passed through the hands of his other two brothers, but a white steed dressed in bridles and warrior's harness.
The boy stroked the neck of his faithful steed, which was similar to those mares that the sheiks ride in the desert. He placed his feet on the pedals and put his hands on the handlebars. On the way out, his mount was a graceful rocín. On the way back, however - a thousand devils - it was reminiscent of a nag, as it coughed and squeaked. As soon as the journey began, Ignacio was no longer just Ignacio, for he became Don Ignacio de la Casa de San Rodorete.
Aquella mañana, comenzó a pedalear a la vera del canal de riego cuando el sol estaba en lo alto. Se detuvo a apreciar si los limoneros estaban en flor. Los cascos herrados de Bici Cleta golpeaban armoniosos el asfalto. La cabalgadura relinchaba de vez en cuando con su alegre <<clin clin…>>. ¡Qué grandeza!
Más allá de aquellos parajes, la pendiente comenzó a elevarse. Sin pensarlo, Ignacio puso a Bici Cleta al trote. Los pedales cada vez mostraban más resistencia. Al ritmo de aquella marcha llegaría a su destino en poco tiempo. ¡Iluso!... Durante el ascenso, sin previo aviso, sintió a sus espaldas el galope de una manada de toros bravos. ¿Quién demonios era capaz de subirse a horcajadas en semejantes bestias? Las reses pasaron bramando junto a sus flancos. Bici Cleta, poco acostumbrada al tumulto, se puso nerviosa. Su jinete decidió prudentemente aminorar la marcha, pero, de improviso, uno de esos bóvidos gigantescos les adelantó con un molesto <<mec mec…>> que les dio un susto de muerte.
-Kid, get on the side of the road! -he heard the shout of the driver behind the wheel.
Once they reached cima, they stopped at a hillock. There Ignacio got off his horse, which he allowed to rest against a wall. They did not have time for many pauses, so he immediately took it by the reins and put it back to trot.
Un poco más lejos, se detuvieron para apreciar un castillo. Don Ignacio admiró su grandeza y sobriedad. Poco le duró la paz… Un arriero de mal carácter le gritó: <<¡Ten más cuidado! ¿No sabes que por aquí no puedes circular?>>.
At last they came upon the steepest slope that Bici Cleta had ever trodden with her rubber helmets. On one side and on the other were knights armed with helmets and wearing motley breeches. The boy, who wore the clothes his mother had laid on his bed that morning, was undeterred. He spurred the steed, but when they were about to face the slope, he understood that they had fallen into a trap. A tar-scaled dragon with white lime claws emerged from the earth. Although it did not spit fire, it did its best to interrupt Bici Cleta's passage. Don Ignacio de la Casa de San Rodorete used the whip, spurred the horse forward, but it was useless: the time had come when the steed became a nag.
He had no choice but to dismount and, to make matters worse, to pull his horse. Ignacio thought of abandoning his horse, cursing the blossoming lemon trees and gravity, even throwing himself downhill. But he persevered and pushed and pushed his exhausted mount.
However, once the dragon was vanquished, he remounted, secured one foot on a pedal and, soon after, set his rocín galloping like the devil takes the hindmost.
A timid backfire sounded, how could he not have foreseen it? He stopped and dismounted to confirm his suspicions: he had a puncture. It was the result of what he had been putting up with such a faithful horse: every afternoon, a new adventure.
As if by magic, Ignacio's conscience recovered its first dimension. That was nothing more than a flat tire on a grueling slope. And he was just a boy eager to eat a Nocilla sandwich and turn his life into a chivalrous novel.
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