The war was over. La Republica had lost. Repression had once again taken control of Spain.
Pedro and Lola hid in a cave far into the woods. They had brought Pedro’s hunting rifle, his father’s shotgun, ammunition and some food. Not much more.
They knew about this cave from before. It was an old abandoned gypsy cave, quite a cosy place under other circumstances. A wooden door in the entrance, and a small window in the earth wall.
Five men came. Two of them had uniforms of the Guardia Civil, the other three seemed to be peasants. They were looking for Pedro and Lola. They were moving up towards the cave, slowly, from tree to tree, from rock to rock. They seemed to know where they were hiding.
A bird flew down from one of the trees, landed in the bushes and disappeared.
Pedro took position at the door, Lola in the window. The men came closer. They loaded their guns.
Don’t shoot yet, whispered Pedro. I want to speak to them. Maybe we can get to some kind of agreement.
Lola held the rifle to her shoulder, looking firmly through the sight. They will not bargain, mi amor. If we surrender we are dead.
The five men kept moving closer, signalling between themselves with their hands.
One of them started screaming. Aaaaaahh! A snake! A snake bit me!
They stopped for a moment. Silence. Only the bitten man’s moans could be heard.
Another man started screaming. Bitten as well.
It’s crawling with snakes!
Lola fired. Hit one of them in the shoulder. The ones still able to fight started shooting, retreating down the way they came from. Pedro could see them moving further down. They seemed to be heading back to town.
Pedro and Lola needed to get out of there fast, they would be back. They got out and ran further into the forest behind the cave. They kept walking up towards the mountains.
That night they slept outside. They had left the food in the cave, and they did not dare to light a fire. They were cold and hungry.
Early in the morning Lola woke up to the sound of Pedro’s voice. From the depths of her dreams, reality slowly came back. A horrible reality she didn’t want.
We need to go.
They kept moving up the forest covered mountains. Walked without pauses, without rest.
At mid day they heard dogs barking. The men had gone to get reinforcements. They were many more now, looking for them.
The dogs were coming closer. They could see them. Behind them they heard men shouting. Pedro and Lola started running. It was difficult in this rough terrain. Spines and branches cut their legs and arms. The dogs were right behind them.
Out of the bushes a rabbit appeared. It ran just in front of the dogs, teasing them. Then it ran off down a dry river lair. The dogs followed. Pedro and Lola climbed up the hill, hid i the bushes. They could see the dogs far below. They were following a deer now, and the men were following the dogs. The rabbit could no longer be seen.
They kept walking up, crossing the high mountains. There were no trees now. The path was steep, and they were tired.
Downwards it was easier, but they were even more visible. All night they walked. In the early morning a man appeared. He had a gun in his hands. For a moment they all froze. Lola held her hand tight around her weapon.
Bonjour! The man said with a friendly smile. Ca va bien?
A French hunter. They were out of Spain.
The man signalled them to follow him. They looked terrible, their clothes were torn. Cuts everywhere. The man knew why they were there, and wanted to help them.
Pedro turned around, looked towards where they had been coming from, as to make sure no one was following. He saw a little man sitting on a stone. A little man with a green hat on his head. The little duende waved, laughing, and jumped down behind the rocks.
A bird flew up and disappeared over the mountains.