Friday, 29 March 2013

Gallego by Jo Mortimer




Gallego's village had been devoured by developers. With what remained, he built a wall around his home. The workmen peered over from the cab of their bulldozer and laughed. They said they would return after the weekend to finish their job. Fine, Gallego said, see you then. 
He built battlements, chewed his thumbs until they bled and surveyed his defensive architecture; it was useless. He imagined his wall a hundred feet high, a thousand, swaying across a deep blue sky. Gallego found a mallet and took a swing at the water butt. Thick old water poured over the side, settling on the baked ground; there had been no rain for weeks. Gallego slung the mallet through the kitchen window, made gritty black coffee and a thick meat sandwich before starting work. 
He wandered the rooms and corridors with his mallet and a wheelbarrow, gathering his wife's mirrors - each one an anniversary gift. Stopping in front of his bedroom door, Gallego smashed the lock; their bed sat in a bright, slow cloud of dust. 
It was dark when he woke – he wheeled the barrow outside, tipped its contents to the ground and knocked up some mortar. 
By midnight, all forty two mirrors were fixed facing outwards along the top of the wall but Gallego knew it wasn't enough. As the kettle whistled, he stared at himself in the back of a spoon. His reflection told him he needed more bricks.


About the Author: 
Jo writes from the South coast of England and enjoys both.

Image: (c) akiree