The following morning I went looking for the fountain where I was to meet the Bruja. Even though she walked ten paces behind me, she did not give me any directions, so I followed a winding path that brought me to a small grove of trees and from there I spotted a distant pueblo in the immense emptiness of Lorca's Andalusia of tears. I continued my walk and as I came closer it became clear to me that the village was deserted. There was only one unpaved street and the houses were boarded up or empty, no doors, windows or shutters. You could see straight through them into their backyards. The roof of a tiny chapel was half gone and a feral dog moved around the cemetery. As soon as he noticed me the beast raised his hunches with the hair on his back standing on end. As I made my way through this sad pueblo in search of a water well, with the Bruja close behind me, it felt as if I was being watched, as if dark eyes followed me. There was dirt and dust and dry leaves everywhere, it was obvious that the people had left years ago. Opposite the entrance to the cemetery I found the water well, a stone construction placed against a wall that had a round window above it. I detected the shape of a Star of David in it. There was no water in the well. Maybe that's why the people left. I felt a gentle nudge at my shoulder, as if Bruja wanted me to enter the graveyard and a little later I wandered between the grey and mossy tombstones, most of them sagging, as if they had trouble carrying their own weight.
Near one of the tombs Bruja stopped and started to sing a prayer or a hymn in a foreign language. The name and dates on the stone had become illegible. When she stopped praying I turned around, but she had gone, no trace of her. I left the cemetery and walked back the way I had come. I saw the dog in a doorway looking at me, this time wagging his tail.
'Hey boy,' I called out to him. He seemed glad to see me or maybe glad that Bruja was no longer with me. A man came to the door. He was thin as a pencil, slightly stooped, unshaven and leaning on a walking cane. His shirt was in tatters and he kept his pants in place with a piece of rope.
'I don't know you,' he said.
'Just passing through.'
'Come in,' he said and turned around. In the middle of the room stood a table and a couple of rickety chairs. A bed in the corner and all around shelves with supplies from the ceiling to the floor. Canned food, sacks with flour and rice, sugar. I saw large bottles with wine. In the far corner stood a cart that had only one wheel left and that had a large metal barrel on it. Water, I guessed. The old man invited me to sit down and took some glasses from a shelf. As he poured the wine from an open bottle on the table he said that I had done a good deed today.
'What do you mean?' I asked.
'You brought old sad Deborah to sing at her father's grave.'
'The woman you brought to cemetery just now.'
'Tell me more,' I said as I raised my glass and the dog lay down at my feet.