domingo, abril 19

The Surrender of Granada

Well... here it's the short story I wrote for my Creative Writing Class, the one about the re-telled historical event.
The idea I chose is about the surrender of Boabdil, the last arab king of Granada, when he lost the war against the Catholics Kings. It's from his mother point of view, Aixa. I used the arabs names, so Abu is Boabdil, in case of confussion.
I hope you like it.

Aixa had promised herself not to look back, but the view in front of her wasn’t less painful at all. She was leaving behind not only her home, her properties, the land she had loved and had tried to keep from their enemies, but also her pride and all her ideals; she felt as if all her effort, all the blood, sweat and tears she had shed, had been such a waste. She felt an intense rage and cursed her life as a woman. She couldn’t help to think that if she had been a man, that wouldn’t be happening.

She saw the scene again in her mind, behind her closed eyelids. The vast Christian army leaded by those kings, the guardians of the faith, placed near the Genil Fortress. Aixa smiled bitterly. The sumptuous dress and cape, with silver and gold embroidery, of the Queen Isabel made her feel lower and worhtless. She saw the keys of the city, the keys of Granada in possession of the King Fernando. She saw the triumph expression in all the faces among their army and then the disgrace painted in her own knights. She remembered the intense desire of slapping her son on his face when he tried to kiss the King’s hand. And he rejected it! He humilliated Abu even more than himself.

Why had she given birth to such a good-for-nothing man? She had opened his way to the throne, she had encouraged him to oppose his father, she had offered him war advices, and she had negociated his freeing when he was captured in Lucena by the Christian people. And he had tried to kiss the King’s hand... He thought he had done enough keeping their territories in the Alpujarra and he repeated that trying to be at peace with himself. But that was nothing, they had lost the war, the only thing they had now was exile. He deserved to suffer for his errors! Granada, their Kingdom, was now behind, faint, impossible.

Aixa looked at her son. He was dressed in black, as if he were mourning the loss of his manliness, and had a long white scarf over his saddle. His wife, Morayma, rode by his side, silently. Aixa could hear her sobs although she couldn’t see her eyes, hidden behind a blue veil. She herself didn’t wear the veil that morning: she wanted to look directly at the Christian Kings’ eyes. Her mouth had to be closed but she still could show their enemies the deep disdain and outrage she felt.

The sun appeared through the clouds and hit Abu’s face, illuminating a bright tear over his tanned skin. Aixa felt a burning in her throat that hurted her and clenched her fists. She couldn’t contain herself and said:

“Don’t cry like a woman what you didn’t know how to defend like a man.”

Abu ground his teeth when he looked at her mother. Aixa felt relieved to see that at least he still had some pride to be hurted by her words. The last King of the Granada Kingdom wiped the tear of his cheek and tried to keep his chin raised.

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