Doña Eustacia

Doña Eustacia

A Story by A R Lowe

A trip to the Spanish seaside...



Doña Eustacia



   Doña Eustacia was finally going to the seaside. She was sixty-four years old, had never seen the sea, and often wondered what it would be like. Like a big reservoir, she supposed, and she had seen one or two of those. She hadn't even seen it at the cinema, as the few films she had watched had been mostly set in cacti-spotted aridity.

   Born in a village near Toledo, at fourteen her father took the family to the metropolis to seek their fortunes. Her fortune turned out to be fifty years of domestic service and, if you had told her that during those fifty years she had had not more than five hundred days to herself, she would have thought it neither many nor few.

   She had worked for fine families on the whole and, apart from the odd challenge to her honour occasioned by some gentlemen in her younger days, she had no complaints. Nor did she regret never having married, as she knew how troublesome, fickle and unfaithful men could be; the men she had worked for at least. Fortunate, she thought, that she had worked mainly under the orders of the lady of the house.

   She had been with this family for fifteen years now and it would be her last. Soon she would return to her village and, although she hadn't visited more than a dozen times since she left, she would be home once again. She would live with her niece and Madrid would soon become a large parenthesis from which she would wean many a tale to tell at the fireside on the long winter evenings; but first she would see the sea.

   The family had prospered in the post war years of near famine, as the father was a corrupt, incompetent, highly respected civil servant. He was, nevertheless, an apparently good family man and had bought a house in a fishing village which was now to be their summer residence, away from the oppressive heat of Madrid. Many prosperous families were beginning to seek a haven on a coast that would become unrecognisable within a generation. They took the train to the coast across the great plains, also new to Doña Eustacia, and the faint mountain ridges in the distance reassured her that she was still on the same earth.

   The family loved Doña Eustacia, her village ways and her rigid views, and were eager to see her reaction to her first sight of the sea. They left the bags in the care of the manservant and headed directly for the promenade. Doña Eustacia looked at the beach, the waves, and finally the horizon, on which her gaze lingered as she scanned it from end to end, shading her eyes from the sun.

  “Well, what do you think, Doña Eustacia?” asked the younger daughter who adored her and would later visit her several times in her village.

  “It´s good, it´s fine… but it´s very bare, too bare.  It needs some trees at the end. A few little trees at the end and it would be so much prettier.”



© 2013 A R Lowe

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Added on September 6, 2013
Last Updated on September 6, 2013
Tags: Flash fiction, humour, humor, Spain


A R Lowe
A R Lowe

Lancashire, United Kingdom

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