The story continues for Ofelia, if you haven’t read chapter 1 yet, you can find it here in my blog. Enjoy!
“Hola! Come estas hermano?” Papa always greeted the store merchant with such respect. “I have lots of potatoes for you today.”
“Es muy bueno, gracias! Hola Ofelia, you grow so much every time I see you!” He lifted her up from the back of the wagon and set her on the ground. “Gracias Mr. Martinez!” She runs inside ready to purchase her candy.
Papa and Mr. Martinez start bringing in the sacks of potatoes inside of the store. Ofelia admired their strength and hoped that one day she would meet a man as strong as her Papa.
Looking out the window, Ofelia could see the remains of the burnt buildings in the Taos Plaza from the fire a few weeks ago. It was a devastating event because the buildings in the plaza were contiguous which meant the one fire would spread to others. “How’s the rebuilding going?” asks Papa to the merchant.
“Slow.” he answers. “I think the town is getting ready to establish a fire station and public water to limit the fires we have been experiencing.” The Hotel seemed to have dodged the flames.”
“That’s good. At least we can still have tourists come visit.”
“Perhaps.” says the merchant. “Until they decide to move here and try and change our village.”
“True,” Jose says empathetically. Running a business was hard, especially after the recession of 1929, and with fires burning down some essential business with no insurance, the town was an economic bomb shell. “I need some flour, oats and dried beans please.” He looks over to Ofelia and smiles.
“Sure thing hermano! And you young lady, what can I get for you?” She points to the candy in the jar. “Some of those please!” She couldn’t wait. popped one in her mouth and both the merchant and Jose chuckle at her enthusiasm.
As Jose loads up the wagon. Ofelia enjoys the sweetness of the candy. “Don’t tell your mama about letting you eat that candy before dinner hija.”
“Oh I won’t papa!”
The ride home was quiet and lucid. Ofelia’s mind was a little worried about her families well being, and knew they were really hurting since she wasn’t allowed to go to school anymore. She was happy to help, but at the same time wish she could do more.
When they arrived home, Ofelia could see her brothers digging the holes for the fence posts. She runs inside to show off her candy. Meanwhile Papa was asking her younger brother Juanito to unhitch the horses and ride them back into the barn. He was a little green with this chore, being only 6 years old, but it was expected that everyone pitch in in some way.
The scream caught everyone off guard.
Mama sprinted to the sound. Ofelia’s eyes widened. It all seemed like what she was witnessing was moving in slow motion.
Juanito was on the ground and the horse was out of control. Jose grabs his rifle, “NO!!” yells mama, trying to take the gun away from her husband. “Let me go!” He runs towards the horse and BOOM! Mama leaned in and saw that her little boy was till breathing. Papa lifted him up and carried him into the house.