Passengers Online


                                       Ciro van Guz, a sergeant in the Foreign Legion rendered heroic services in Chad, survived the offensive of warlike operations impossible to control, and to understand well what happened there, we must know that this was not only a remote place, but also a dangerous and exterminating experience where Lieutenant Reich, his German-born comrade, a pilot and expert of all kinds of armaments, died in an atrocious manner beheaded by the steel splinter of a shell, and he, unhinged, picked up his head and returned it to the base for not to leave it abandoned as food for carrion.

That was the final push he needed to get out of there escaping the ruthlessness of the Legion in Chad and the horrible of that place he had not to invent it, to survive it was necessary to tattoo himself a destiny with fire on the steel of the rifle, become scorpion or mutant because there wasn't required courage or honor, any virtue was transformed into a drag, those combats were not part of the famous repertoire of the Geneva Convention.

Filthy of all that he retired abandoning his legionary name, returning to inhabit with his civil identity of Dutch citizen. Ciro van Guz was his real name and now worked as a security officer in the 'Derricks' guarding the digital system of machines of the 'ZIP Corporation' that pumped oil day and night on behalf of a United Nations projects in Iraq. He received a huge pay because after the infamous invasion nobody wanted to go there voluntarily. His plan was very simple, to retire with a meticulously planned pension, deposited faraway, in a tax havens country.

In the small steel shed that served as an office in the desert south of Baghdad the temperature reached 45 degrees Celsius and the air conditioning had stopped working. Van Guz, slim and nervous, dressed in his orange jumpsuit came in and knelt as in time for ritual prayers, he took out a bunch of keys, chose one accurately, and opened the steel casket embedded in a square of reinforced concrete, with a quick gesture he selected a satellite telephone, closed the tank again, adjusted the glittering tile above and then composed the number of Code inscribed on the back of the device.

"Mister Reichdon?" He said with a German accent.
"Reidon, Reidon!" Replied the other, exasperated.
"Okay, I'm Guz, Mr. Reidon!"
" Ahead...!"
"Kronos 38, stopped working 15 minutes ago."
"It can't be ... -said Reidon, cautious - the Kronos 38 has an online program with the central plant in the Istanbul office, direct alert"
"It's not about that"
"So what's about ?"
"The Kronos 38 continues to pump, also electronic system is intact"
"Then ? " Shouted Reidon.
"The Kronos 38 only pumps air; water with residues, no Oil remains in the well ... "
"Impossible, not before 6 years ..."
"I don't know Mr. Reidon, I tell you what is happening today," insisted van Guz.
"This is your first call?"
"... I follow the the manual instruction Mr. Reidon."

For a few seconds the connection to the satellite was interrupted, and the Reidon's dull voice came again, this time with a fiery commanding voice.

"Guz, go back to the Kronos 38, disconnect the system and trigger the alarm via intranet our engineers will be able to take action."
"Mister Reidon?"
"Guz! move fast ... "
"It will not say that the Oil is over, do I break the digital code? ... everything is drying up !"
"... Guz? ..." ... the telephone link again cut off ...
"... at your command ..."
"... Return to the Kronos 38, Now!"

The satellite stopped working. Ciro van Guz, sweating in his orange diver, put everything back in his place, picked up the bunch of keys, closed the case, jumped into the Jeep, and sped away on the trail, while letting behind him a very fine rain of yellow dust from the most arid desert in the world.
 Minutes later, in the distance at the bottom of the hollow where the delta basin separates from Chat-El-Arab was drawn a tiny bright spot almost imperceptible of metallic color that slowly got enlarging and became more and more glistening against the deep blue sky. 
Guz still driving fast did not seem to notice the object drawn against the horizon, sharply gaining a fraction of a millimeter in the space of a few seconds over the uneven line of the mountains and what at first was only a contrast of brilliant aluminum,
was transformed,  and Guz still without realizing it and the jeep jumping through unevenness following the trail marked by the
huge tires from heavy trucks that left a drawing printed on the broken plain.
Was during one of those jumps when he saw the first flash, f
ar away, a sort of slight burst in his rear mirror, he reached out and wiped the dust with his sleeve, instantly understood that it was a plane and also his fault because the fatal error that was his satellite call to the ineffable Reidon.
This was a 'drone', they sent it to eliminate him, then he cried loud it in rage.

Now saw the flash becoming clearly metallic,
the Jeep was on bouncing around on the rocks. 
He measured the angle of the sun, compared data with the GPS screen glued to the steering wheel side.
The object was coming directly to him,
no doubt, so rapidly leaning beneath his seat, he pulled out a small box containing a 'portable' connected to another satellite channel with no relation to the Oil corporation."Tourism Las Palmeras!" reply a neutral voice, in several languages.
"Room 301, is urgent," said Guz.

"Are you sure ?
301 is not connected! "  answer the voice."To the Palms owner, now"  he replied.

"Priority" ...

"Can I help you?" said a man.

"A model aircraft follows me and encompasses my displacement"
"Concierge? wait, we are visualizing it on the screen, it is an automatic flight, belongs to a private service we do not have frequency to neutralize it ".

"Can you intervene?" Guz insisted.

"Can't do anything, it's not a compatible model ..."
"Then what to do ? shouted Guz."Follow the rule, leave the place ... they will sweep you out"

Guz slipped the phone under the seat, the satellite still connected and listening the voice echoes from room 301 while the Jeep continued to raise a reddish dust that enveloped everything.
Now the metal object was a remodel aircraft, a plane with wings in delta and remote control equipped with a flight mimic while the real eyes of the pilots were directing it from a cabin seven thousand kilometers away.

The 'drone' lost height tilted one side and at the lower part of his right wing stood a tiny launching ramp from where abruptly was fired a luminous object with a long stream of foam at 120 meters per second speed, starting in straight line
towards the reflective Van Guz orange jumpsuit that served as a focus. In four seconds the impact was precise with steam and fire followed by the noise of an explosion but attenuated by the vastness of the desert; mute protected by the immensity of space, that was the only thing that was seen in the distance.Then the 'drone' continued its route, briefly changed direction flying again over the place, passed over the smoking rubble. The pilots in the control tower verified the total destruction of the vehicle before resuming height and moving it away in the direction of Baghdad.


The Adirondaks mountains printed like a blue spot could be seeing drawn on the border of the United States. Portrayed against the last clarity of the afternoon in an autumn already finished. The daylight was quickly lost, it darkened early and the snow was not long in coming. Down in the prairie by the trails and the water the herds returned to the stables wandering, slowly approaching dairies farms where they would spend months protected, and heated.

Again Quebec was preparing for another long winter, the opaque mist rose from the 'Two mountains lake' and cypresses and pines was the only green left, behind was the high skeletal maple logs drawn as a gray and black plot and from far away
the sound of the continuous rumor from the 'transcanadian highway' that extended its black asphalt to the western routes.

Pablo, depressed, put on a leather coat and a long scarf, the cold began and the snow could surprise him at any moment, he descended the hill with a steady pace stabbing his cane in the dry leaves covered by the shade at the edge of the pine trees although
at that hour no one was on the route of Saint-Lazare. He stopped at a bend when he found the the truck drivers hideaway with giant trucks parked on either side of the restaurant behind a huge sign of blue neon tubes with their glass partitions where it read on an intermittent reflection that one was, more or less, in the "blue of the Greek islands". Inside a mirror covered the entire wall, high above a giant screen in perpetual connection with golfers on vacation at all hours of the day in remote places where sailboats floated in a blue harbor of postal tourism.As he set foot on the doorway, his iphone alarm went off. Then he walked to an armchairs at the counter bar and settled in answering the call. It had to be explain so they would understood his email, that for more than a year he had not heard of  about the 'Dutch character' and although in the past he heard a lot of talk about him, he never saw him neither in photos or online, nor his voice so that all he could do was trust that the call was really from the 'Dutch'. Do you want to know how it all started ?

The plot, or sort of complicity was set by Casimiro de Montrond, whom he met in a encounter at the Camps family home in Montréal during one of those rare visits from Montrond, at that time still living in Iceland. Then Casimiro asked Felipe Camps if one day it appeared
in Montréal a strange fellow, a Dutchman, asking for help because he was really in a crisis situation when he identified himself, he unavoidable had to use a key phrase: "I bring a message from his aunt, Doña Alma Errante" and only then could they accept that it was something of extreme urgency, at the same time, verifying, they had to ask him how many years has
Doña Alma Errante achieved and there was no possible mistake in that.  She was 100 years old on December 31st, for over a century. "A household tradition" had insisted Montrond, with that slyness that characterized him."You do not know me, I'm Dutch and live in Istanbul"  he said in impatient and cutting Spanish, with a slight German accent. He was at Montréal International Airport calling from a telephone booth. It was 7:30 p.m. and it was in the arrivals hall of the P-E Trudeau airport leaving customs; on a flight from Toulouse, no stopover, was his transit but later he had to continue to the United States, Salt Lake City. but now needed someone of confidence to accompany him to Montréal, remove an envelope from a UPS mailbox in downtown which would not take more than an hour and then return to the airport because the flight to the US was at 02:30. Casimiro de Montrond gave him this number, no name but simply said 'that he had a message from his aunt, Alma Errante' mentioning that it was related to 'the investigation of the Bach's cantatas'.Suddenly Pablo became absorbed in his memory and fall back to the previous summer when the meeting with Montrond and Felipe Camps took place to discuss the first part of the investigation about 'the famous Bach cantatas'. Outside still the reflection of the neon blue blinking and the giant screen showed parsimonious golfers in Las Vegas and the line of the portable caught the echo of noises of broken voices coming out of the airport's loudspeakers."I understand, tell me then to identify you, how old was Doña Alma Errante on December 31th" ?

So the next minute he trotted up the hill to get his truck and then drove quickly to meet Van Guz at the Montréal airport to try to get him out of the quagmire and even if
the iphone sounded again, insistent, he didn't answer, surely it was a call from Orlando Elcanoso and that would have turned it into an endless conversation.

With this email he was going to complete what happened telling them exactly as it was told by Van Guz about what happened when he returned aboard his Jeep to the Oil wells of the ZIP Corporation. Explaining that when he was able to reach Istanbul through Syria in a horse caravan,
it was Montrond, who saved his life and now was sending him to Salt Lake City for they scheduled a meeting within a month with the Church of the Mormons, the only ones who maintained a complete genealogical and up-to-date ancestral repertoire. Family tree for generations."I did not know Montrond was interested in genealogy," said Pablo."The files Casimiro is investigating belong to Europol but Mormons have offered help and Montrond says it's the only way forward" answer Van Guz.Entering Montréal, he left the Bonaventure motorway, taking the elevated way to go directly to the city's downtown at a time when there was not much overnight traffic, so without delay he entered through the Rene Lévesque Boulevard to the east until he stopped at the corner of rue Peel in front of the Canadian Imperial bank building."I'll be back in a few minutes," said van Guz curtly.

He saw him crossing 'Square Dorchester' and get lost where the majestic Sun Life Insurance building stands in front of Montréal Cathedral with the 12 Apostles statues at the top  crowning the sector next to the
Canadian Pacific railway where the Windsor Station conform an historic rectangle with the Saint-George-Anglican Church and the glass-and-aluminum skyscraper of the IBM tower rises a little further back.
The truck continued with the engine running when few minutes later Van Guz returned and settle again, this time carrying a yellow wrapping envelope, sealed with clear gummed paper.
-Thanks, we can return to the airport.-
Inside was his new identity another passport already stamped, social security card, registered in a Belgium parish with Bruges registry, already validated credit cards and medical insurance with his new name and surname.
In a UPS's mailbox left his old identity with the old  passport in a waterproof envelope within a packet, disintegrating slowly in a poured acid liquid before it locked under key.

-There's no danger of degenerating into a fire ?-
Pablo said cautiously.
-They're just a few drops of acid, erasing the ink in the documents, nothing spectacular- he answer.
Since they still got a couple of hours before the next flight they went for a coffee at the airport and there he told him in detail the inside about what really happened when he was returning to the Oil wells by that old path at the Iraq's desert and that infamous 'Drone' mysteriously fired a rocket that exploded his Jeep, he need to emphasized, it was from there everyone thought him dead and even the Oil Corporation had published death notices in European newspapers.

What saved him was that he was always wearing a Keffiyeh rolled up in a Kandora tunic, as well as a pair of leather sandals, which he had used it since his time in the Foreign Legion.

At first he saw, incredulous, how the Drone was coming to him, and in a second, like a contortionist, he managed to take off his orange romper and hang it on the back of the seat, then h
e covered his chest with his cotton backpack and without hesitation he threw himself between the stones from where he rolled down bouncing the slope while the Jeep continued forward leaving a fierce cloud of dust.The blow was tremendous, at all sides and the pain left him unconscious for a few seconds. He was finally among a pile of rocks in the hollow and without any awareness that the plane overflew the place again. Wasn't before long minutes until he was recovering, now he knew
with deep anguish he had to disappear quickly. Though he had no idea how or which direction to take, especially that now, for sure, returning to the Oil wells was impossible. Nor did he know exactly when the 'Drone' launched the rocket but believed that it only fired one and that was like a huge dynamite blow.

At dusk,
he rose slowly, had nothing broken only bruises. He pulled the Keffiyeh out of the pack, put on his sandals and then wrapped his head, covering his chest and torso, then dressed in the Kandora robe trembling with fever always fearing that the damn Drone was watching him. But then the sun was gone, the first stars announced a cool evening, thus began that long march to Istanbul and now if everything goes well he would get to Salt Lake City, Utah.



The BBC of London announced the assault of a command attacking fortifications in the band of Gaza and now installed comfortably at 'The bistro' was impossible to get to understand it, because of the surroundings everything seemed banal with air conditioned and connected to the TV cable and its
24 hours golf making it impossible to get him fully into that surreal world.
It was already another universe, completely and even if they played golf in the Middle East, surely no one was going to bring up the issue, indulge in irony at a press conference.
He would describe all by messaging. Thus picture the good and bad that had been accumulating so that when everything comes to light it would hurt them less, give themselves beforehand a better awareness, in the inevitable case that suffering could hit them.

They need
the exercises of  'historical memory' to get comfort and still be going more than anything as they slowly ceased to be themselves and in the end there was nothing of the human that took over when they start filming the documentary.  


That training was reduced to a pure and simple act of motion without having to express pain or to digest frustrations, let alone see the truth in front of them. So they postponed the bitterness, covering the responsibility with disdain to film a reality that neither of them managed to understand.
They were passing the camera quickly over the 'spot' showing only a 'professional take' stating with pragmatism that this was 'the politically correct judging', on the go, convinced not to give anyone any explanation about the

It all started years ago on the French Riviera, dancing from Saint Tropez to Nice, playing paparazzi, photographing for 'gossip magazines' with Orlando Elcanoso, watching over the building where the celebrities were lodged and believing themselves to be amateurs detectives t
he first time they saw the famous yellow Lamborghini
with a chauffeur who also was a bodyguard, parked at noon at the entrance of a mansion waiting for that famous 'contortionist princess' qualified as the queen of the underworld.
In fact it was Orlando Elcanoso who recognized her and tried to film it, thinking only that this was his first 'work of art', masterpiece of documentary about the mafia and for that reason jumping on the Ducatti,
accelerating the motorcycle two hundred kilometers swearing the holy name and vomiting until losing the bile convincing himself that it was him the neutral referee of social vices.
But the princess in spite of everything run out in the Lamborghini without imagining the close-up from Orlando that continued clinging
like a caricature to the moto steel, screaming with laughter that for -God's sake ! he didn't care she was not dancing in the Royal Ballet, they could see her naked dancing in the discotheque the 'Goddess of Aphrodite' although they would not let them in with out a briefcase full of dollars.Orlando Elcanoso had his best domestic narrative after a bottle of Porto with English name, of course. After half a bottle he use to give free lessons about how beauty could be reached only with well invested wealth and of course the one that none of them would never have.
lthough in his case everything was a little different because his aunt Matilde who died in Spain, thanks to her he went to the Juilliart of New York with a scholarship, because the great lady before dying in her vineyards paid him years of residence, i
n fact, Orlando, always brought up the memory of his beloved aunt Matilde but also could be true that she never existed or die in La Rioja, Spain.
Then it must be said, too -
over there in Manhattan-
he shared with the whole group a sort of folk system, an invention of parallel learning where of course no one followed the rules of art, but each had something to go about by inventing his own Shakespearean Second Act in a handcrafted way.
He repeated in his perorations that only the poor
stood there watching the parade, learning to die without hatred or envy at the last act of a bad TV series, adding with compunction that was his endearing aunt Matilde who said it exactly that way and without any mercy.
He reiterated until exhaustion that wealth could sponsor histrionic things to high levels creating social relations, opening doors, banking, inviting diplomats, watering everything with Moet & Chandon to achieve and transform the profession into what is now called 'dramatic art' i
n front of which nobody shall be indifferent.


So they understood quickly how to recite the Baudelaire 'Flowers of Evil' despite the fact that they would not digest it or even aimed at life. But everything was for opening up to other things and not stay in pure dilettantism.  At the beginning they put an accent on the interpretation of a forgetful roll because everyone finally accepted that they had to sacrifice 'reality' for something, or suddenly take surgery without anesthesia.  Although vigilant and aware that sometimes they became strange characters who need to control themselves as not to be tempted to snatch others from what little they had. Because sometimes it seemed that they could turn everything with a vulgar blow...
That's why in Iraq from the moment they set foot in Baghdad he realized that they could not survive and of course he had to think about it, because with cruel irony he saw everything beforehand, like a premonition, everything they were going to inevitably lose since
the moment they set foot there to film the infamous documentary that now of course, could use it as an autobiographical account incorporating it on Youtube with all the creepy movie data.Orlando Elcanoso -from his side- months before had filmed the assault against a refugee camp in Lebanon. Now he had to keep writing, telling about the subject since the first email was only to respond quickly, always thinking about the curiosity to know the complete narrative of what had happened.

                                                  When he returned from the truck drivers restaurant early in the morning he searched the library for the old notebooks where Sara left the memories of a very similar time, -Aleppo 1918- and began to read them again.
There was the account of the granddaughter of a Sirius  that recorded everything. 

When they crossed the desert on foot, told in the diary that their eyes did not know Jerusalem but that they had slept among their ruins.
The time had passed and everything was repeated even though they were older, it all came back to have the feeling that time had passed in vain, had to come back to insist.
The BBC of London was explaining that the white walls of the
village were left untied and that the doctor was in 'Doctors with out borders' and they killed his daughter, they said, only going there helping others he added in his statement. The war was not even his business he was simply volunteering.

Now returning again with the memory of Sara to the Holy City.
She found an old blank notebook and baptized it as the diary of Sara. She wrote that the earth was a circle twisted with equal roots adding
that everything would grow again despite the heinous stupidity of the crime committed.  She was the first Arab girl they brought to America and then the first grandmother with  hope. Although it seems redundant to look at the photographs again, it does not appear that anything has aged, every one have the same name and the same face.
She was the first fresh flower that reached these shores and saw passing caravans, clouds, navigating awnings, holding her breath as she listening passed the motorized Turkish battalion and behind came chasing after an English battalion.

In her insomnia the broken chairs, broken ceramic walls, then a cathedral carved in the rock where she left a rag toy  and a box of dates between the stones.
Everything was still, forever and they took them from there, crossed the world, nobody looked back but equally everything became twilight, years that served to rebuild the memory. They had not finished crossing the desert and it was too late for the return, always looking for the eyes of another girl who resembled her, trembling with fever inside the boat, and already all the other dead, crossing the sea, lingering, tired, without water or food and only wanting the hand of his mother who was no longer there. They did not know when they escaped, nor did they know how long they fled, they saw only the white walls and did not even know where the moon was, only remembered camels, there were many camels, they raised them on their backs and someone said they were going to cross the sands of the desert, what for her at that time meaning  nothing.
She brought in her hand a few grains of wheat that planted many years later and at the end of her life everything returned to be flour and odors again.

She thought of herself as eternal as the Sacred City. But she kept her past undoing the turbulence of that memory and then gradually became a tower of fog, a hiding place, to be able to live simply under the sky.

Are you still reading 'online' in spite of how late it is?



The fall, finally settled in the porch and pushed branches and dry leaves, later the rain passed rotting everything. The remains that accumulated were sadly splashed all over on a large neighborhood.

Okay, when he received the email from Madrid that Monday in mid-October, and they asked him to go to the
ineffable doña Flor de Loto Murillo's mansion was like pushing him into a sort of surrealistic movie, going back to the delinquent years of his childhood.

He understood why they begged him to do it but he lack of
courage before he could decide, so he insist on explaining the mood in which he went down the hill despite the phobia he had to the damn place that left him trembling forever.
He did so by faithfully fulfilling what she asked him :  Go there to probe absurd designs of cartomancy, card readings, especially to ensure the metaphysical reliability of the meaning of Tarot Arcanes and of course to verify if the old Doña Flor still had some of that mysterious power. 

He would have never been encouraged and would never have returned, but approached the gate, tossed the rope of the blissful bell which he had once stole from the Church of the Trinitarians, recalling the blessed bell of Pavlov's dog that sounded over the reddish waters of the Saint Laurent's river.
In the distance, to the east, covered by the mist, the profile of Sorel labyrinth islands and the flocks of Geese that took off in formation
forming an angle, migrating again to the south, was a brush letter written against the sky with black ink and quick stroke while everything was under that orange darkness that are the autumn evenings in Quebec.

Telling you a little about the script.
Just as it would have to appear in the first takes of the documentary, -always thinking that perhaps they would remember things related to Doña Flor de Loto in a way they never were- for that reason he was discreet and had to ask them one more time if they really new her personally or ever saw her in flesh and bones.
Do you remember the house adjoining the granite quarry in front of the Saint Laurent sea way ?
He would have to film the interiors again because the writing of a script changes the reality and by the time could well be that the first video uploaded on Youtube would create a new character of Doña Flor de Loto Murillo, another, a new one and for worse,
one who they never imagined.
He would also add a video with Ravel Bollero soundtrack, a coniferous forest with a Orient-Express train ride or something like that.

He went through the rusty and unused railroad line and descended on what remained of an asphalted entrance on the ruins of rue Gauthier.
The house showed a side of remains of stone tiling and steps following a railing that reached the ancient carved wooden door separating the building from the alley and  down with the pavement to the river from which rose the fresh smell of the Saint-Laurent. 
Lazy river, big as an ocean.

He filmed his tides high and low, invading everything, a fleet of commercial container ships sailing very close, decorated in red and yellow
like eastern eggs, it could be heard the heavy noise of the engines by the concrete wall, shaking the night and everything from the foundations.

At the hall he found 'the boudoir' with Austrian perch, and gray waterproof uniforms, German helmets from the First World War hanging there forever and the black mahogany library covering the whole wall. Then an iron forged ladder
going down  to the basement dug in the hillside, -they will surely remember-.  A living room decorated with the same old paintings and plants of all kinds supposedly tropical.
The furniture was nothing but old, then with time happened to have acquired the category of antiques, walls were
white, the woods stained with dark varnish and instead of the stone fireplace a large big steel stove.

The wine cellar always served as a filing cabinet. There were also bottles of wine that had accumulated there since the days of the Diplomatic Service when they were ambassadors of the Republic in Portugal.  Bottles of wine that were no longer in existence for many years and Julio de los Entuertos told him to be all Château
Lafite of the nineteenth and he knew it better than anyone being the only who -
from time to time- took care of the house and Doña Flor de Loto .
Rust iron lamps on all sides and tables and chairs bolted to the rock so that the wind will not take them out - another idea of ​​Julio de los Entuertos -he worked out with his nocturnal equipment of masons screwing everything to the rocks for
as he said, to honor the memory of wonderful gatherings that took place long before everything was transformed when was petrified into the disorder of her memory after the vascular accident...A huge window with pointed arcs opened over the garden and then the land went down to the river on terraces and in each of them stood planted, his famous ceramic sculptures that were life-size replicas of the famous Chinese terracotta army. Inside everything was covered by shelves full of books and wooden toys of the belle époque that had faded due to the humidity that infiltrated over time so things lost their primary colors and the reality of the the place ended in black and white and the skylights of the sailor's bar were transformed with dirt because a faded color of light impregnated it with the atmosphere of the river that exhaled a stale fragrance of brine.
On one of the terraces that led down to the pier, an old woman appeared with a broom of branches sweeping slowly and he immediately
recognized her, the ineffable aunt Flor of his childhood, a toy articulated like a mechanical doll. She stopped in front of a window illuminated with brown light, the floor full of ceramic vases and embalmed birds, she always liked the embalmed birds and collected them as well as boxes full of butterflies brought them from Costa Rica.She stayed for hours in her room without raising her head, without dressing, waking up every day in front of the pointed window from where she could see only the sky and a tree. The horizon was a long line drawn in the blue of the window and the implacable wind of the west rocked everything and now she was there in front of him,  disguised as a Russian doll sweeping the terrace.
When she saw him she disappeared behind the scenes in the back of the gallery and then he appeared again with a mirror tray where he brought cards of the Tarot de Marseille, with an explanatory book, the authentic compendium of the Tarot de Marseille, without any artifice as
she wrote it herself

during the war sitting on top of lumps in transit at train stations and harbor docks when they were taken away escaping at the end, running like crazy, running away from something, always moving somewhere, writing without stopping, sitting on top of the suitcases without being able to console herself for having lost everything so violently and still watching the soldiers singing, marching happily towards the front of the war and for her all that was nothing but lost tears.

-The changes, moves, however well done, can not disarm a house where a whole life has been piled up- she said, -although you always think you're going to get to port and build another as if everything were possible simply because you imagine miracles-
They sat down without saying a word in front of the Tarot as they had asked for it in the email and Doña Flor de Loto Murillo threw them all, also assuming her role without being surprised, as if she had been waiting and brought from the kitchen a porcelain teapot on all sides with blue cups that had the varnish chopped, sugar and cookies in a green cardboard box, covered with faded silk that he didn't touch.

The house, which of course they do not remember, was still strange, a kind of ancient ship anchored like a washed-out watercolor facing the Saint Laurent river between islands, channels difficult to navigate, wrapped forever in the haze of that autumn, because there in Sorel, Québec, as everyone knows the autumn had always lasted.
He found everything very humid, everything smelled like rolls of string and stale oil like in the old docks and that is why he came to the idea that at some point the Admiral Demenorca and the ineffable Earl Jaime del infeudado, seamans by profession and all peninsular relatives got passed by there
and pretending to be 'Greats of Spain' with a duke crown and faded bonnet but in total bankruptcy but since Royal titles never existed about this 'Great Ones of Spain', this parchments were put in whenever they got the desire.He went to the guest bathroom, opening the toilet cover.
Suddenly a figure with weird edges jumped on him, like an acrobat climbed on the ledge at the top of the door and from there he stared at him with a sort of big sad human eyes.
He didn't know
immediately how to react but despite the surprise he tried to intercept the batrachian thing with a plastic tray full of old jars of remedies but at the same time the creature leapt through a vent in the top of the door and he can swear that it was crying with a childish moan.

Doña Flor de Loto Murillo, sitting in front of him was trembling and transformed from the old doll she use to be, throwing on her shoulders a threadbare cloak of what once was an exquisite Manila shawl for its colors and embroidery.
She raised a dry gray face marked by vertical lines drawn by implacable wrinkles and from his sharp chin to his forehead everything was stretched behind the neck tied solidly with an onion bun and silver needles crossed a black veil planted on the crown of her
head, and her small black eyes pinned him to the chair. Then she stared at the Arcana scattered on the tray of mirrors, looked at the tree behind the window that continued to sway in the breeze from the west.- You have not come to see me for a long time- she said with a slightly accusing tone.- True I was ungrateful and stop giving any sign of life when the gatherings nights of black magic by the fire ended.-
- Things from the past, son, things from the past, I would be here until the end- was the only answer.
Then she explained that Julio de los Entuertos was the only one who came to see her from time to time especially to fix leaks in the pipes and dry everything when it rained inside the library where the collection of 'incunabula printings' was, sometimes she gave him an old one and he took it out and sold it on the internet, as he had explained it.

She scattered Taro's letters, chose seven Arcana without showing them, and then only uncovered one of them :
-Ah !
the Wheel of Fortune! - she said with a sigh.

Started talking about those distant relatives that she knew very well, the fake Earl,
Don Jaime del Infeudado a bankrupt faux duke, saying that he had to reconsider the decades fight that separated them from the Demenorca family and the quarrel during the civil war and  had to return to Castelldefels and assist his cousin the Admiral Demenorca who was dying of leukemia.-How could she have known that the Admiral was dying of leukemia, maybe from Madrid they already knew something and that's why they sent him to see her ?- She insisted that Don Jaime should buy the Admiral's house, although he was going to refuse everything; and give as a pretext that he was going to receive a nephew born in Argentina that were from other memory, created on another exile. It had his nephew living so far away in misery.

-Orquidea in a vulgar flowerpot- she said, looking unperturbed at the window beyond where this happy tree continued to sway in the wind.
-What do you think of that ? about treating Don Jaime as a vulgar fake duke in bankruptcy -Don Jaime del Infeudado had to go to Castelldefels as soon as possible and stay a few days with the Admiral because what contained his house was immensely valuable; explaining everything in great detail, as if you had learned a text from memory. The machines of the renowned Demenorca lithography were still there for rotary printing and binding, engraved and screen-printed plates of advanced technology, with their original plates, even with a chain of custody certification.
To give greater seriousness to the matter o
nly the Admiral knew what all this was for and the right time they could be used.

he Argentine nephew was none other than Julio de los Enteuertos, of course, he was not yet called Julio de los Enteuertos, nor was he Argentine since he was born in Valparaiso during a hot and dry summer in 1962. 
At eighteen
, completely disgusted with the policy of the military that governed Chile, he climbed incognito in a Japanese whaling ship and went to live in India.
His father was born in Logroño in the winter of 1918, he became a young soldier of the Spanish Republican army, he was promoted to officer at the age of twenty and when the final debacle occurred he managed to cross the border through the Pyrenees.
What expelled them all to a planetary exodus from which very few returned, most died in America, never returning to the forbidden land.

- Pablo, you have to forgive me, I took a few days to answer your last mail. -

This morning  -explaining coincidences- before the departure of the duke to CastelldeFels, they learned that the health of the Admiral had improved now for several weeks and was considered out of danger.
A true miracle of medical science...
-Didn't she say that the Admiral was dying ? 
- the duke said ironically- and he still believed in this Taró thing ? -It was a tremendous surprise because nothing happened as supposedly should have been and it turn out to be all false and at the same time strangely true.
It seemed to him that they were never going to be able to know for sure what was true because it seemed that the false turned out to be the only reality and, of course, all of them, obeying the instructions of the infamous Taró as soon as they received their first email and
his detailed account of the visit to Doña Flor de Loto Murillo.
They have to tell him, frankly, the great Admiral Demenorca was not sick much less dying but what was true was the inheritance of the house.
It was about to be transferred to the argentine nephew who had lived in India.The duke and the admiral had a very cordial first meeting and after a few  'gin-tonics' they fully entered into the matter. They knew each other all their lives and they had relatives in common, times of lands and counties already spent together.
The Admiral said that he was waiting for his visit and would not create a problem, on the contrary, he agreed with the strategy planned by 'The Order of the Rose' and deep down for that he was waiting for him.
verything was up to date and approving the reasons why the duke received the message to go see him.- In the Ciutat de Gavà, they were what they were - said it in Catalan very clearly.
They descended at night to the underground of the dungeon that according to the Admiral was connected with the dungeons of the castle of Eramprunya, a mythical place.
They passed through stone tunnels that smelled like sewage drains in poor condition.
The duke also said  that everything smelled like asparagus. Imagine, the duke sniffing things, insisting that he smelled like urinals after having eaten asparagus. But in that area everyone ate asparagus, only asparagus and at that point in his life nothing surprised him.Then went to a very large alcove covered with old solid wood ending in a wall with a steel Solingen door embedded and protected by a digital code lock, it was evident that the Admiral often visited those sides and that place had been there since the time of the March family.The mansion was located behind Can Lluc where was the current headquarters of the museum.

He wanted to show him everything,  opening closets, old dungeons, everything.
He opened a cedar chest, took out a file containing very fine and embossed copper sheets and about fifty sheets of 'velin d'arches' paper separated with cellophane and wax.

- This serves only to print an original Dali- said the Admiral, with a distracted air like it was something trivial.

Then he closed the chest and removed a large sheet of metal that was hermetically fitted;
it contained several containers each with a modern padlock. They could be opened only with an electronic password. But all the chests obeyed the same master key. They were original plates for the engravings of Dali and it was the painter who made them personally, his signature was authentic, even the folios of velin were made in his workshop at his sight and presence.

In another box the Admiral picked up a leather folder presenting him with another series of engraved plates of very thin filigree.
All of them presented in relief an image with different values ​​of euros to be print on paper money and in a steel tube preciously preserved was several reams of the original paper. - This series are already registered and also the numbering is legally registered but of course  they have never been printed before - said the Admiral.The reams of paper were authentic everything was legal and legitimate the paper had a watermark and electronic filigree, without optical bleach and today no one could fake currency using plain paper.
It could be detected only using a source of ultraviolet light. The paper had relief in different parts and changed color according to the angle of the observer.
It was optically variable, everything depended on the incidence of light, in this case even the best experts in detection would approve it because everything was true. They were the one who manufactured the originals for the Brussels bank.
-The Order of the Rose' asked imperatively to move all that to Madrid and there everything would be under his responsibility.-
They talked about the past, he was the owner of the dungeon and the house from long ago . Now everything that was about to happen, was going to happen...

Now everything was going to the hands of this nephew who was arriving from Argentina and that was the urgency, to put everything away from innocent hands.

Julio de los Entuertos grew up in Chile.

Things of life and family history were inculcated, of course, with a partial method and the same rigor was applied to everyone learning what happened in that sinister civil war with intimate family blood and secrets.

He never clearly understood what made him different from other high school classmates even if didn't matter at the beginning.

At first they were a generation without land, almost all of the same age, without borders and the common language grew as a virtual passport.

The moral of the story was that they had to keep fidelity to the fallen dead, keep alive the beloved memory of the forbidden homeland forever. Because of that in the early years of his childhood during an early reading of Don Quijote he decided like his hero to consecrate his life to correct all evil behavior, 'wrongdoings'.

From there he called himself Julio de los Entuertos and from anger to rebellion he hated the idea of war and tried to cut ties with his father's memory and the truths pontificated by uncle Ariosto, those who tried to put them under a bloody flag with ceremonials, hymns and endless military songs, that were not theirs.

In front of the fireplace uncle Ariosto use to tell the story about combats of the 1st and 3rd mixed brigade where uncle Diego a hairdresser fought, in the battle of Madrid. Praising the battle of the Ebro where the first child soldiers were mobilized and who were to be known as the famous "the babe brigade".
He didn't want to remember the chorus he heard from his childhood

-Rumba la Rumba, Ay Carmela Ay Carmela, the rage of the traitors the fury of the traitors, fighting against the Moors, fight against the Moors, rumba la rumba -

This was the impeccable oral tradition taught by uncle Ariosto de los Huertos, one of the founders of the famous 5th regiment, but when the time came he didn't hesitate to put them all into the Holly- Fathers College, the most Catholic one in Valparaiso.

One morning, the last day of classes they were all in the central patio of the school, a group of classmates from the humanities graduate, a little before they took them on vacation to Mendoza, to their farmhouses in Argentina. They discussed all about politics, about Pinochet, about the military that did not want to leave the government when suddenly, without knowing how or by what means, one shouted at him, loudly in front of the others:

-You have no right to comment on what happens here, you are the son of Spanish refugee-

All voices ceased at the same time like if suddenly was a solar eclipse, at the group nobody added anything else.

He was born and raised in Chile so to be told that he was the son of Spanish refugees did not hurt him immediately and didn't have time to react to the insult. It was only that night when he told what had happened in front of everyone at the dinner table, that he burst with the impact of his uncle Ariosto's furious explosion.

Now -said the Admiral- his nephew had no art or part in all of his business. He planned to demolish the winery, dismantle the bunkers and deliver to the museum the collection and tunnels with galleries. They were connected to the prehistoric Mines of Gavà-Can Tintorer. But a direct access was not known and they were simply going to demolish the way and so years later the museum would find the famous galleries after an 'archaeological research'.

The duke was struck by a large oil painting of bulls, an original signed and showing the cattle of the Duke of Veragua, common ancestors with the Nuñez de Prado, related to the Duchess of Uceda.
- It will be a great event for patrimonial issues - he said, smiling mellifluously.
Then the move was made and the Duke of the Infeudado brought from Castelldefels the famous artifacts of the Demenorca lithography.

Finally the house of Gavà had been transferred to the nephew and the Admiral said that he would come later to Madrid to stay a few weeks and teach the Duke how to work the plates in his lithography workshop, adding that they had to be used only in very serious and dramatic situations or in case of extreme urgency.

He stressed a lot insisting that this was mandatory from the 'Order of the Rose', explaining the seriousness about printing euros without motive. It would have to be for something that really put in danger all members of the Order, total bankruptcy of the ibex, a social setback or a greater collective disorder. But there was always a risk. He also said the Dali numbered works were not so important, many circulated although they were also authentic in the sense of counterfeiting.

He ended up explaining, for hours, the meaning about what it was to print something true but false at the same time. How in those works everything was true, paper, canvas, oil, diamond, everything true ! and at the same time false.

Nobody could distinguish for sure Van Gogh paintings that were not originals because the pigments and the fabric, brushstrokes, was all true and all authenticated and cataloged by expert doctors in the field, with enormous value in the market although they were more false than Judas.
The true peaces could be absolutely false because there was a counterpart that everything that was false in every way was also repertory and inscribed as a well-made copy, a true registered copy from this 'originals', that was recognized in all catalogs and of course obtained a price. There was a valuable market for all that.


- As for them? - what about ?
Clinging to the domestic as shipwrecked to the lifeboat but this time she was not going to run the rescue as in other times. They were too many years spent. Sailing without marine charts, guided by the fins of the sharks, protecting themselves near some rock of the coast. She had to be always saving him without receiving any thanks, for the pure spirit of sacrifice and all for safeguarding of the Order of the Rose.
They received the first shots of the video about the erotic adventures of the 'Tibetan nun' although she insisted he would not get great flattery for them. But Don Jaime was transformed with this 'dose' of the Tibetan nun. He said it repetitively, that he knew that artistically the videos were worth nothing but that they fulfilled their purpose.
-A true tabloid chronicle- says the duke, about the Tibetan nun.
He received them last night at dinner time when they served him a Gevrey Chambertin a gift from the Corporations. 
He was in a good mood, although the famous Chambertin was somehow acid and not at the heights of a gift from this Brick Guild Business.

So to speak, life was a little workshop theater where you could not see your self working early in the morning to only appear three minutes in the third act before the curtain fell. But then it is not the best thing to always represent a great platonic love and everything does not depend on a simple well-made 'mise-en-scene'.
The other day she dot the i's and cross the t's to the duke; clarifying, without offending him, that he was editing his life because after all until when they were supposed to conjugate friendship and reality since it was amazing that she could still be a kind of sweet to which to cry all the way to the end; believing the lies, and accepting them. She not also believed them but convinced herself that she lived loving and
she could be sure to believe it made her suffer less.
That he tried to understand her was all she asked; disarming killing passions, rescuing lovingly without expecting reward or sweetness. She always in a hurry at the speed of light and disguising everything, as if nothing had ever happened there.
- Do you realize now what all of that has meant? -
Finally, let's see, let's put it another way; in the presentation of the work, when they raised the curtain, she read the speech clearly, repeating that she had been enjoying herself for a couple of years and that she would have neither man nor children.

At the beginning with a very youthful and unconscious certainty but which she maintained over the years and affirmed again, neither man nor children.
Because that was always her secret key and now, when she got to the last act she did not want to be wrong because was repeating everything well and lent things to the anecdote and the happy ending.
So she spent the afternoon explaining by email her concept of loyalty. She was loyal but never said that had been faithful but simply that she had been loyal. She was not sure, either, that they had understood  and that was why she repeated it again. Without disdain, although putting a bit of contempt in the declamation. A slightly higher tone, that sounds strong in all the languages ​​of the world.
She got tired of the endless times playing 'little sister of Charity' concentrating on him, listening to his blessed ailments, embodying his drama on her skin so perhaps he could really feel it.

At the same time, trying to be professional, engaged in human tearing, all at the same time.

Although she did not forget at that time she was only a figurine and suddenly had to assume a first role;
disguise, make up, and learn the script without help from anyone.

-Can you see a bit how I was about ? -
Then she continued reproducing minute by minute gestures and words, what was said.
But above all what they did not say.
The portentous silences, amazing, trying to understand everything they did to keep quiet. Having lived the total despair in that first act while the other shouted like a madman offering 'his kingdom for a horse'.
Certainly she now used it as a metaphorical plot but at that moment nobody understood anything of her personal horror where by obligation she had to deal forced by anonymity to that Majestic old patient in its final phase; signing documents, authenticating a false hospital, authorizing those milligrams of morphine and then the removal of oxygen.

At all times her interest was concentrated and filtered only by friendship, i
n that case, she had to decide everything for herself, a medical issue and a political issue, nobody else was really involved or aware because it remained a state secret.

Thus she was trained and diligent since her childhood.
Like an animal in the middle of the path in front of the beam of light waiting for the explosion of the shock or the firing of the hunter; horror and scream and then all sitting obediently as spectators of a little melodramatic work
where they never knew or realized they were acting.

Innocent actors, without a script and also never knew if there was a script, b
ut then nothing that happened there would've been different even if they had known it.  That Majestic Dead and its ceremonial became the subject of autumn in the country side, even father Bernardo came at night, discreetly, to comfort his aunt Cayetana who was in charge of the family trust. and
the priest played an important role because he made them all disguise themselves as little sisters of the poor and sometimes even like 'Tibetan nuns'

It was from there that they began to really take her into account to the extent that she could demonstrate a decided spirit to administer the inner chaos of the family;
returning to organize everything because the 'old ones' lacked courage, although they never wanted to recognize it.

- Now, after time, would they come to understand it without judging ?-

 In the past
they've missed the novitiate of true seduction and will still be missing it for ever, although today the videos of the 'Tibetan nun' can replace what they never had. But it is not about what they lost but simply about what they never had and at that point she was not making moral boasting or criticizing a sexual audacity even if it was always looking for the same effect or produce the same result. The libido had metamorphosed them deriving the passion towards aesthetics demanding purer airs and wrapping everything in a purified idealism that never before existed.
She tried to instill in her everyday reality and evident beauty because only then could she go all day in the professional atrocity of legal medicine, which was his real job.
A human misery without backstage, backdrop stained with blood, one of the best plays without leting the honorable public fully realize or witness the true phenomenon. Another paradigm for the environment and above all without warning bells at the end of the intermission.