Dare to Read

April 10, 2011

Two Moon Princess Book Blog Tour

Filed under: Author's Interview,Books, Reviews,On News — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:52 pm
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the second week in the Two Moon Princess book blog tour.

Saturday, April 9: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Review) http://caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com/

Sunday, April 10: Diana at Books By Their Story (When I’m Not Writing) http://booksbytheirstory.blogspot.com/
Monday, April 11: Michelle at See Michelle Read (Author Interview) http://seemichelleread.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, April 12: Page at One Book At A Time (Review) http://onebooktime.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, April 13: Gail at Ticket To Anywhere (This or That List: Carmen) http://www.tickettoanywhere.net
Thursday, April 14: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Tens List) http://caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com/
Friday, April 15: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Review) http://lastexilewords.blogspot.com
Saturday, April 16: Page at One Book At A Time (Cover Interview) http://onebooktime.blogspot.com/

February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Becquer!

Filed under: Becquer,On Reading,On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:59 am
Tags: , , , , ,

by Carmen Ferreiro Esteban

Today is Becquer’s birthday.

Becquer, Gustavo Adolfo, was a Spanish writer, born in Sevilla in 1836. Had he been alive, he would have been 15 years short of 200, today.

Unfortunately he died young, at 34, leaving behind a too short body of work his friends published after his death, for while alive, he was mostly unknown.

Yet, Becquer, the poet, is not dead for every day, someone, somewhere, cares enough to publish a poem in her blog, to read his legends, then lie awake at night in fear of the ghosts he’s conjured with his words.

Becquer is not dead for he lives in his poems. And his poems are alive in the feverish mind of any Spanish girl whose heart has been broken yet once again.

He’s alive in my thoughts, for, as you may remember if you’ve read my previous posts, in my book, I made Becquer immortal and brought him to the New World.

And I know he’s alive because today, after weeks of struggling with a plot that seemed to go nowhere, something clicked in my mind and story and characters fit together at last, like the pieces in a game of chess aligning for checkmate.

It was that magical moment, if you’re a writer you’ll recognize, when everything falls neatly into place, the way a mighty castle forms at the bottom of a lake by the addition of just an extra grain of salt.

And being my book about Becquer and being his birthday today, how can I not believe it was his spirit’s whispers the wind that made music out of my notes?

And so it is with all my heart, I wish you, Becquer, a very Happy Birthday and a long immortal life.

January 15, 2011

Becquer: The Unknown

Filed under: Becquer,Garlic for Breakfast — carmenferreiroesteban @ 2:59 pm
Tags: , ,

Click here

http://www.becquerdesconocido.es/

to watch a fantastic documentary about the life and work of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, the Spanish poet I stole as the undead protagonist of my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.

I just spent an hour watching it and loved every minute of it.

Who said research is boring?

Enjoy!

January 4, 2011

The Enchanted Ink Pot

Filed under: The Enchanted Inkpot — carmenferreiroesteban @ 8:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

 

 

To celebrate the New Year I have joined The Enchanted Inkpot, an online group of YA writers.

If you want to know what the group is about and also what the group thinks about the new way B&N have arranged the YA books in their store separating Fantasy and Paranormal titles, please go to http://community.livejournal.com/enchantedinkpot/78218.html

December 27, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast-8 by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Welcome again to my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.
If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

 

My cheap violin and my cross, indeed,” Federico said when the song ended, paraphrasing the last line of his poem. “I wrote these words years before I met Becquer and he made me an immortal. I wrote them for a lover long forgotten. But they reflect my feelings for Becquer exactly, on our first winter in Vienna.”

“Becquer made you?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Why? Did you ask him to do it?”

“No. I was unconscious when he found me, bleeding through my broken skull and half buried in the ditch that was meant to be my grave. No, I didn’t ask him to change me, but I would have died otherwise.”

“Why didn’t Becquer rescue you before? Before they took you to the countryside?”

“Because Becquer was in Barcelona when he heard of my arrest through the radio. He had to get to Granada first, then wasted more time tracking me down.

“You must understand it was a confusing time that summer of 1936 in Spain. A time of fear and betrayal. And silence, thick as mud. When the fascists came to arrest me at my friend’s house where I was hiding, my friend was reassured I would be freed soon, after my charges had been disproved. And for all he asked, they refused to tell him where they were taking me.

By the time Becquer localized the cell where I had spent the previous day, the cell was empty.

To be continued …

If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

 

To hear Ian Gibson’s talk about Federico’s fate click here

 

December 17, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast 7

Welcome again to my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.
If you missed the previous installments, please check below.


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

“Don’t.”

Federico’s arm shot in front of me and grabbed my hand. “Please, don’t,” he said. “Becquer might forgive me for breaking his car. Or for failing to drive you to the party. But if I do both, he will kill me for sure.”

I turned to look at him, surprised at the self-deprecating teasing in his voice.

“I thought you were immortal,” I said.

Federico smiled. “I’m sure he would find a way,” he said letting go of my hand. “His ingenuity to cause me pain knows no limit.”

“You love him,” I said and regretted it immediately, for I was afraid my inappropriate comment would throw him into another fit of anger. But Federico didn’t seem to hear. He was staring at the gaping hole in the dashboard where the wheel used to be as if he willing another one to appear.

“Becquer is right,” he said after a moment. “I do overreact sometimes.”

He sounded so defeated I felt sorry for him. Becquer was charming, I had to admit. It was not difficult for me to imagine falling for him and the pain at his rejection. “Not at all,” I said to cheer him up. “Your reaction was understandable giving the circumstances. He should have offered to pick you up.”

“You think?” he asked. Then, after I nodded, he added wistfully. “Let’s hope Becquer agrees with you when I tell him.”

I waited for him to produce a phone and call Becquer to ask him for a ride. Although it wasn’t cold outside, I was not looking forward to walking in the dark in my too tight black dress. But Federico didn’t move and when, after digging into my handbag, I offered him mine, he shook his head.

“That won’t be necessary,” he said. “Matt is coming.”

“How do you know that?”

“Becquer just told me.”

“But you didn’t…” I didn’t finish my words but waved the unused phone in my hand.

“I don’t need a phone to talk with Becquer.”

“You can read his mind?”

“Not exactly. I only hear what he wants to share. I cannot force myself into his mind. He would notice and block me. Actually, he just did that, when… Did Becquer ask you to be his secretary?”

“No. I’m just a writer.”

“Only a writer.” He smiled, a friendly smile that lit a twinkle of mischief in his eyes. And I found myself warming to him. “And what do you write, if I may ask?”

“Mainly stories for young adults, about impossible love and faraway lands.”

Federico nodded. “It sounds like something Becquer would love, and Beatriz would hate.”

“And you?”

“Me? I would have to read the story first. I used to write dramas when I was human. But I have mellowed with time.”

“You were a writer before you were immortal?”

“I was indeed.”

Federico bent forward and worked the CD player with his long fingers until he found the right track. “Listen,” he said. Sitting back against his seat, he closed his eyes.

Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.

There is a shoulder where Death comes to cry.

The broken voice of Leonard Cohen came through the speakers, declaiming a poem made song. The first song I had danced at my wedding with the husband that had since become a stranger.

Take this waltz, take this waltz,

take this waltz with the clamp in its jaws.

Federico, eyes still closed, sang along keeping the beat on the dashboard with his fingers.

I looked at him in profile and, as if seeing him for the first time, I noticed his dark wavy hair, his cleaved chin, his arched bushy eyebrows. I gasped.

“You’re Federico,” I said, my voice breaking before I could complete his full name.

Federico nodded. “Yes, he said. I am ‘that’ Federico.”

Without losing his beat, he resumed his singing, his voice fitting perfectly the lyrics of the song, the lyrics of his perfect words.

To be continued …

If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

December 7, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast-6

Filed under: Becquer,Garlic for Breakfast — carmenferreiroesteban @ 8:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

Welcome again to my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.
If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Madison rolled her eyes when I picked the black lace dress from the rack.

“That won’t do, Mom. It’s Halloween. It has to be a costume party. Why don’t you call and ask.”

But I didn’t have Becquer’s number and, even if I had, I doubt I’d have gathered the courage to call him. So instead I bought the black dress, for wearing no costume to a costume party seemed to me less embarrassing than to show up in disguise to a regular one.

The dress was too fancy for me and way too expensive but we didn’t have time to shop any longer. As it was I had barely finished my make up when the doorbell rang.

I called to Madison to open the door while I put on my earrings and struggled with the reluctant clasp on my necklace.

Downstairs, I could hear a male voice pronouncing my name with a Spanish accent that mimicked mine.

“Mom,” Madison called as I left my room. Without inviting the man inside, she climbed the stairs. “I told you it was a costume party,” she whispered as she reached me.

I looked over her shoulder, at the man framed in the doorway. He was dressed in an ivory suit that would have been in fashion a century before. Yet, by the easy way he carried it, the jacket open revealing a white shirt with the two first buttons undone and a red handkerchief loosely tied at his neck, I knew it was not a costume. I also knew, by the wide smile spread across his face, he had heard Madison’s comment.

I smiled back at him and, without apologizing, as doing so would have made the situation even more awkward, I offered him my hand.

“I’m Carla,” I said, “and you must be Matt.”

He was handsome, I noticed, with black hair and sensitive eyes that stared openly at me.

“Federico, actually,” the man said.

I looked at him with renewed interest. Federico. The friend Becquer didn’t want to pick up. The one who didn’t want to rent a car.

“Shall we?” Federico said and took a step back.

In the dim light of the porch, I noticed  a reddish glow in his eyes, a reddish glow that could only mean he was an immortal.

I hesitated. Why had I agreed to go to this party? What if they were all immortals and I was meant to be their dinner? Not all will be immortals, I reassured myself. For Beatriz would be there and Beatriz, I was certain, was human. Human maybe but no help to me. The look of hate she had thrown at me when leaving the Coffee Shop had told me that much. She would not help me if her boss decided to kill me.

But that was absurd. I had no reason to mistrust Becquer. He had been nothing but polite when we talked and I had no proof that he fed on humans. He had a coffee in front of him when I met him. I couldn’t remember him drinking though.

I was about to say no, claim a killing headache, a previous engagement. But Federico’s eyes were still on mine and I couldn’t bring myself to lie. Besides, I needed to see Becquer. I needed to ask him why and when had he given his business card to Nico.

I nodded to Federico. “Of course,” I said, grabbed my coat from the rack and followed him into the gathering dusk.

“I thought you didn’t like driving,” I told him as we reached the silver convertible parked by the curb.

“You’re right, I don’t like driving,” Federico said holding the door open for me. “But listening to Becquer and Beatriz argue I like even less. Believe me, Madame, I am in your debt forever for giving me an excuse to leave the house.”

“Why were they arguing?” I asked after we joined the traffic.

Federico stole a quick glance at me, as if wondering how much I knew, then shrugged. “The usual,” he said. Without warning he switched to Spanish, his words flowing fast, in the clipped pattern of Southern Spain. “As far as I can tell, she didn’t want to publish your book.”

“Oh!”

“I wouldn’t be offended if I were you. On the contrary. Beatriz has no literary talent. Yet she has taken upon herself to save humanity. Through books. She believes only Philosophy treaties should be published, and literary books dealing with the human condition. You know the ones where nothing happens and the authors are so much in love with their own writing, they forget to tell a story. I don’t understand why Becquer has put up with her this long.”

“You don’t like her much.”

“The feeling is mutual.”

“That wasn’t my impression. This morning, he convinced Becquer to go to the airport to pick you up.”

He braked sharply and swerved out of the road until the car came to a halt on the dirt shoulder.

“Becquer didn’t want to go?” He asked, his voice tense with anger.

“He… he had things to do and­­­–”

“Things to do. Like what? Decorating the house? I haven’t seen him for over a year, and he needs convincing?”

His voice rose as he spoke so that by now he was almost screaming.

I looked ahead at the trees caught in the headlights and waited for his anger to pass.

“What else did he say about me?” he asked after a moment.

“Nothing. Really. He left right after Beatriz came. Well, not after she came. For first, he stopped time so she wouldn’t interfere with my signing–”

“He stopped time?”

I nodded.

“So you know? You know who he is?”

“Yes.”

“What about me? Did he tell you who I am?”

I shook my head.

“No. Of course not. I am not important enough. For two decades I was his lover. And what I am to him now? An inconvenience when I come to visit, an errand to add to his list of things to do before the important guests arrive.”

He grabbed the wheel so hard it broke in two. He stared at it for a moment as if puzzled, then shook it loose and, opening the door, threw it against the darkness. His eyes flaring red, he turned to me.

He hates me, Becquer had said. He doesn’t, Beatriz had told him. And she was right. Federico didn’t hate Becquer. He was in love with him.

I stood still, eerily aware I was sitting next to a man who was not human and that, for all his gentle appearance, could break my neck without even trying. As he had the wheel.

I had to leave. Now.

My hand trembling uncontrollably, I reached for the door.

To be continued …

If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

November 24, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast – 5 by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Filed under: Garlic for Breakfast — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:49 am
Tags: , , , ,

This post is for Marie and all my friends at BILY.
And in memory of Robert. Debbie, I think of you.


 

 

 

“Good for you!” was all Madison said when I told her I had an agent.
Her headphones back in her ears, she resumed her typing, while talking simultaneously, to the heads of her girlfriends trapped on the screen.
“He invited me to his party,” I said.
Not surprisingly, I got no answer.
“MA-DI-SON!”
“What?”
“Close the computer and look at me. We have to talk.”
“About what?”
I just stared.
“I have to go,” Madison spoke to her laptop, then snapped it closed. “I was busy,” she said, pulling off her headphones.
I ignored the challenge in her voice. For all her attitude, and unlike her brother at her age, she, at least, obeyed me. For the moment that was enough.
“Have you decided whether you are going to your party tonight?”
“Yes.”
“Yes, as you have decided, or yes as you’re going?”
“Yes, as in ‘I need a ride to the Mall to buy a costume’.”
“Today?”
“It’s your fault or have you forgotten you don’t let me wear the one I have?”
“I can’t take you to the Mall. My party is at six.”
“You are going to a party?”
Her surprise irked me, for it implied this was as rare an event as finding her in a good mood. Which was, in fact, the case.
“Yes, I am. I just told you. Becquer, my agent, invited me.”
“Then, you’re the one who needs to go to the Mall. You have no costume.”
“It is not a costume party.” I frowned. “At least I don’t think it is.”
“You don’t know? Really Mom, you need help.”
“Okay. I’ll take you to the Mall. You’re right. I need a dress.”
“Cool!”
Madison jumped from her bed and, in one of those sudden changes of mood I could never predict, sauntered over the piles of clothes that covered her floor and hugged me. “I love you, you know?” she said.
“Yes, I know.”
“Now about tonight,” I said as she started digging into her closet. “I will ask your brother to give you a ride at eleven, in case I’m not back.”
Holding a pair of jeans small enough to fit a Barbie, she turned to me. “Are you kidding? “He will be too stoned by then to drive.”
“Madison! Nico is not using. He has been clean for a year.”
“If you say so. But, if you don’t mind, I’d rather ask Abby if her mom can drive us.”
I left her texting on her cell, and headed for my room. But her words about Nico haunted me. Was she badmouthing her brother out of jealousy for all the attention he had gotten over the years by misbehaving, or had she seen something I had missed?
But what? His UTs, taken randomly since he had moved back with us late in August, had been negative. And, as far as I knew, he had been attending his classes at the Community College. A friend of mine taught there and I had told her to keep an eye on him. She would have called me had he missed too many classes.
As for his behavior, Nico was polite to me, as polite as teenager would be, and whenever he didn’t come home to sleep, he always let me know in advance. What else could I do? He was eighteen. I couldn’t tie him to a chair. That would be illegal, as the humorless psychologist had told me when I suggested it the previous year. The psychologist my ex had hired to evaluate us and advice the court who should have custody over Nico. I had meant it as a joke, of course. He hadn’t.
I heard doors opening and closing and the water running in the shower. Drawn by fear and by the memory of a time when this was routine for me–the time last year, when I was trying to find proof that Nico was using to force my reluctant ex to believe me and get help for my son–I stole into his room.
An unmade bed, a guitar against the wall, open books by the computer, dirty clothes upon the floor. Nothing obvious at first sight suggested drugs. No empty pens, no folded pieces of aluminum foil, no dryer sheets. None of the paraphernalia I had found then, for at his worst, Nico had not even tried to hide the evidence, as if he was too wasted to care, or maybe, at a subconscious level, crying for help.
No, nothing obvious, and I had become an expert at detecting everyday objects that could have another, lethal use, or unusual ones, like the glass container I was told it was a bomb by my friends at BILY, the support group for parents like me. The glass container that, otherwise, I would have put on my mantelpiece. For it had that artsy look.
I bent down and picked up his rumpled jeans. With expert fingers, I checked his pockets: his cell phone as was expected, a box of matches from a club I memorized and, at the very bottom, a small piece of paper, rolled in itself.
I unrolled it distracted, my mind a thousand miles away, already considering what this meant, and the few possibilities I had to make it right, now that Nico was eighteen. I held the paper in my hand. A business card, I noticed. And then I saw the name, Becquer’s name, beautiful rendered in the old-fashioned calligraphy I had seen earlier today, Becquer’s name screaming at me.
“Mo, what are you doing here?”
I turned. Lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t noticed the water in the shower had stopped running. But it had, and now, Nico, stood at the door, a towel wrapped around his waist. The boy who once had fit so smugly in my arms, a boy no more, looking down on me, his dark brows raised in a question.
He wasn’t angry. Not yet. Only curious. He wasn’t angry, until I raised my hand and showed him the card. “Who gave you this?”
Fast and furious, Nico reached forward and tore the card from my fingers. “What does it matter?” he asked as he squeezed it in his fist. “Are you spying on me?”
‘You don’t trust me, do you?” he continued, his voice getting louder with each word. ‘I did what you asked me, I took your dumb tests, and still you don’t trust me?”
“Have you met Becquer?”
“Why should I tell you anything? You won’t believe me, anyway.”
Before I could answer, he grabbed some clothes from the floor and left the room.
I stumbled back and sat on the bed, holding my head in my hands.
My two worlds that until then I had kept apart, my writing and Nico’s addition, had unexpectedly collided and lay broken at my feet.
Was Nico using again? Had Becquer a hidden reason for signing me?
Becquer had said he never lied. Even if he was being truthful when he claimed that, it didn’t mean he had told me everything. Or maybe Becquer had met Nico but didn’t know he was my son. Maybe he had given him his card. That didn’t mean they had been together when Nico… It was only a rolled card. It didn’t have to mean he had been using. But if he hadn’t why had he refused to answer me?
“Mom?”
I looked up. Madison, dressed to kill, in a short dress over tight pants, and wearing more make-up I could use in a month stared at me. “Are you ready?”
“Ready?”
Madison pouted. “Don’t tell me you are bailing on me? Whatever Nico has done this time, we need to go to the Mall.”
Lucky for me, I had somebody to set my priorities straight.
I knew better than to say that aloud, as Madison didn’t take well to sarcasm. Besides, she was right, we did need to go to the mall. As things stood between Nico and me and, despite the fact that Becquer was not quite human and I had met him only that morning, my guess was I had a better chance to get an explanation from Becquer than from my son. And that meant I had to go to the party to talk to him, and thus needed a dress.
I stood up. “No. I’m not bailing on you.”
Without saying a word that could release my fears and destroy my self-control, I followed Madison down the stairs and drove her to the Mall.

To be continued …

If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

November 22, 2010

Who is Becquer?

Filed under: Becquer,Garlic for Breakfast — carmenferreiroesteban @ 7:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

In case you wonder, this is how I imagine Becquer when I write him.

Any guesses who this actor is?

November 19, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast 4

Filed under: Becquer,Garlic for Breakfast — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:26 am
Tags: , , ,

Welcome again to my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.
If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

Garlic for breakfast

by

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

He beamed at me when he was done. “I will ask Beatriz to send you a copy,” he said, whisking the contract in his briefcase.

“Why don’t you ask her now?”

I turned my eyes towards the woman standing by the door and, as I did, she came to life and stepped inside.

With the feline grace that characterized all his movements, Becquer stood—the noise of his chair skidding the floor lost in the brouhaha of conversation that once more filled the room—and motioned his secretary to join us.

“Beatriz,” he called as she came closer, “what a pleasant surprise. We were just talking about you.”

He flashed at her a smile that would have charmed a miser out of his gold. But the pinched expression on the woman’s face remained unchanged. “Indeed,” she said and stared at me.

I climbed to my feet.

“Federico called,” Beatriz said after Becquer had introduced us and told her I had already signed with him. “He’s flying into Philadelphia and wants you to pick him up.”

Becquer swore with an old fashioned Spanish word I had never heard spoken before. “Why didn’t you send Matt?” he growled. “Or told him to rent a car?”

“I did. But he insisted he wanted you. You know he doesn’t like driving.”

Like a boy told he must do his homework before playing, Becquer sulked. “Is that why you came? To tell me this?”

Beatriz nodded. “I called your cell first. But, as usual, you left it at home.”

“I hate cell phones,” Becquer said.

“You better go,” Beatriz insisted. “It took me a while to find you. Federico’s plane will be landing soon. And he hates waiting.”

“Yes, he does, doesn’t he? Even more than he hates me.”

“Federico doesn’t hate you.” Beatriz’s voice was firm as if talking to a stubborn child. “He…”

“Then why does he do this to me? Now, I won’t have time to set the lights.”

Beatriz took a step back as if to urge him to follow. “You don’t have to worry about that. I told Matt to set them after you left this morning. I thought you were too busy this year to care for such trivial matters.”

Becquer stared her down. “I appreciate your concern,” he told her, the stiffness of his body saying otherwise. “But you know I like to decorate the house myself.”

“You can always change the decorations if they are not to your liking.”

“Of course.” He looked at his watch, a flash of silver on his wrist, then he continued, no trace of anger left in his voice. “But you were right in asking Matt to do it. If I am to get Federico, I will merely make it on time before the first guests arrive. Which reminds me, he said turning towards me, “I have not invited you yet. Have I?”

“No, I don’t think you have.”

“How rude of me! I host a party for my authors every year for Halloween. I would be thrilled were you to come.”

“Thank you for the invitation, but–”

“The party starts at six,” he interrupted me. “Don’t worry about the directions. I’ll send Matt to pick you up. Expect him around five thirty.” He turned to Beatriz, “Please remind him if I forget.”

“Great,” he continued as Beatriz nodded. “Once more thing,” he said to me. “Please, don’t mention my–condition as my other authors do not know.”

He smiled when I agreed and bowed to me and, after stealing his briefcase from the table, wrapped one arm around Beatriz’s waist and whisked her away.

I watched them go. He, dark and tall, she swaying slightly on her high heels, their closeness hurting in a way that shouldn’t have.

His hand never leaving her waist, he opened the door and held it open for her to pass. And as he did, their bodies touched.

Beatriz looked back over her shoulder and glared at me, her pale blue eyes cold like ice, her lips closed in a tight line. Then she was gone.

I sat back.

I was breathing hard, I noticed, and my heart was beating fast. What had just happened? Was Beatriz jealous of me as Becquer had suggested, jealous that I’d take her place? Or was she warning me that Becquer was his? But he wasn’t, was he?

“She’s my personal secretary,” Becquer had told me. How personal, I wondered now. Had he meant that they were lovers? And what if they were? Why should that bother me? But they were not, could not be for she was close to my age and he was…almost two hundred years old.

I closed my eyes for a moment to calm myself down. What was I thinking, worrying about Becquer’s private life instead of worrying that he had a life at all, as he, by all logic, should have been long dead? Unless nothing of this had happened. Unless I had imagined he had stopped time. Unless his claim that he was Becquer had been a lie.

Outside the window, coming down Main, a dark convertible waited at the light. As I watched, the roof rolled back and the sun poured inside the car, on the black hair and pale skin of the man who claimed to be Becquer. I held my breath, afraid that he would burst into flames. Across the distance, Becquer smiled and, in my head, I heard his laughter, a clear laughter of childish joy. Before I could react, the light turned green and, with a slight movement of his hand, he shifted gears, and, disappeared in a blur of blue.

His acknowledgment of my reaction did nothing to reassure me because, as far as I was from the window, no human eye could have seen me. And so I knew that Becquer was Becquer as he claimed, an immortal who could freeze time, and I, by signing the contract, had just bound myself to him.

I took a deep breath. The smell of coffee overpowered now the other scent, the scent of lemon with a hint of cinnamon, Becquer had left.

Steam still rose from the second cup he had brought me. I picked it up and swallowed the espresso in one gulp, burning my tongue. But caffeine did not do the trick. The fear remained.

Unfortunately, as Becquer had mentioned, in the States, you can’t get brandy in a Cafe. And that was what I needed now, a shot of brandy in my coffee. Or, even better, a shot of brandy straight.

I needed a drink.

To be continued . . .

Check next Friday for a new installment of Garlic for Breakfast, a novel delivered to you bite by bite here at Carmenferreiroesteban’s Weblog and at http://www.notreadyforgrannypanties.com/search/label/Carmen%20Ferreiro.

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