domingo, 14 de mayo de 2017

Present (XVIII) Relics of a bet (6)

       Dylan came back from the basement just a few minutes later, with a stormy look on his face, bringing the round box I´d won in that unexpected bet. He threw it at me with the same rage that infused his words.

       - Watch what's inside! It´s alive. And it bites.
       - Thank you for the warning.
      - You're an idiot, Nar. If you were so sure you´d win, why didn´t you go for something more valuable?
       - That's precisely the reason I went low -I said as I watched the box land at my feet.

       Dylan looked like he might reply but instead his face froze and he gave me a stare I found difficult to hold. Then he turned his back on me. Suddenly the scene was over.

      - Fuck you, "Nar of the Mysteries"!

      With a kick that followed his furious farewell, the box rolled towards the bonfire. It stopped just short of the flames, though it didn´t open. Groups of dismayed faces scattered to make way: with hands in pockets and seven-league strides, Dylan was disappearing again towards his car.

       Feeling the weight of everyone´s eyes upon my shoulders, I stared at the box for a moment before moving to pick it up. It seemed smaller now than when I´d seen it in the basement. Rather than hold it by its strap, I lifted it up and held it close to me with my arm around it, and casting my eyes downwards, I went to my caravan. People were silent. Dylan´s car revving loudly on the way out to the road sounded like a cracking whip in the midst of that mutism.

      I was opening my door when I heard what sounded like a slow, glum, arrhythmic clapping coming from the speakers at the living room windows. I turned around and saw Richard closing them from the inside, gesturing me with his hand.

      Everyone realized that the party was over.