Adventure Fantasy Fiction

Barcelona... Barcelona... How long have I wanted to visit the city, the foundation of which is attributed to the mythological hero Hercules? In the city of ancient history, the center of world culture, where tourists lead all the roads and air routes, where you can admire the creations of the wizard of architectural design Anthony Placid Gaudi and Cornet, the great Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia, the House of Batlló, the House of Milla... What can I say: Barcelona needs to see!..

And here I am. With my prayers and according to my wishes, it's like an order from Samuel, my boss, the Angel of Death, also called Lucifer or Prince of Darkness. I rarely see him now, but it does not change anything. To me already booked a room, which I was not surprised by, because I consider myself on an extended business trip, i.e. I travel the world on business needs. As of who? What difference does it make? That's how things turned out. At first, I escaped from the revenge of the Illuminati and then from the "patriots." Now I am in the capital of Catalunya to correct the shaken end of health. For a short rest. I will gain strength and.

So what? Obviously, I have a new task and a new exam. It's like in life: "zebra" is the alternation of black and white stripes. And if there is an opportunity, I must seize the moment, extract everything that is possible from the situation. Although, of course, our chances are limited. It is too early to think about the cemetery if you are staying at a four-star hotel under the saying name Transit, buried in the shadow of a street width three-meter-wide. That won't tell you anything, but for me, Transit is a hint. It's a great location, in the heart of the Old Town, next to the Plaza España, built for the 1929 World's Fair. Not impressive, but I wouldn't ask for anything else. In my opinion, this is a good thing: you can wander the surrounding streets, taste their scents, get to know the sights. And Barsela Sants station is close and free Wi-Fi. Beach hotels are not for me. I am interested in the history, geography, people of the places I managed to visit. I wasn't happy for long, though: the next day, I came back from a morning walk and found a chessboard the size of which was surrounded by four chairs and a note addressed to me, Alejandro. It was either the maid who brought it or the receptionist, although it was customary to keep the correspondence for the guests in the lobby. In the note, I was instructed to go back on the road. How is that so? What will I tell my friends? Not to visit the famous Boquería market, not to admire the unique five-meter-long cat sculpture on the street Ramble de Raval? I didn't have time, didn't look at it, didn't taste it - and on you. But you can't argue with the boss, can you?

Barcelona is a huge port area, surrounded by green forests and blossoming fields, filled with architectural masterpieces inside. Nothing happened. A little farther out of town is a real harsh mountain steppe. Even if it is not quite a desert, but something close to it. Mountainous plateau. A gloomy triumph of stingy nature. A kind of fossil record of this corner of the country bore the seal of grey history, was akin to the carefully protected here medieval traditions and customs, such as bullfighting, bullfighting, primitive, in fact, fun, the remnant of the past, revered as a noble sport. In the hills, there are rocky placers and rare vegetation. Archaic. Beautifully, though, this cannot be taken away, but neither can the carefree beach plain of Barceloneta, with its touching care for the nudist corners, which are in abundance here. Clearly, there are so many suns in these parts that you want to throw everything off. Everything to a string! I don't care about the beauty; I'm told to come here and there. I haven't really understood where I went yet, but I have to go. The boss calls the meeting. There wasn't a penny, but suddenly the altar was called that in the olden days. It is a great honour, you know, an invitation to the boss to the meeting. The theme of the conference, however, the note did not specify. For the sake of secrecy, I guess. Or the organizers wanted to surprise the guests. Surprises, as you may know, are different, up to the separation of the head from the neck through the guillotine. Just in case, maybe you should wash your neck. I'm kidding.

The meeting will be held in a cave near the Monastery of Monserrat, now the stronghold of the Order of the Benedictines, and the monastery is already a thousand years old. To the walls of the monastery from Barcelona, fifty kilometres, no less - I looked at the map. I would have gotten by train in some forty minutes, but it was prescribed to overcome on foot. On the one hand, as a test of will and endurance, on the other side, it is possible that I did not get caught up with unwanted companions. The splendour of the cathedral, which has nestled among the limestone cliffs smoothly turned by the wind and rains, which by some miracle clung to the edge of the abyss, I will be able to observe carefully, but from afar. I'm not a goose, so I shouldn't be. Boss's verdict is harsh, but for me, it is the law. Sic! The Benedictine monastery keeps one of the most revered sanctuaries in Spain, and in the whole Catholic world - "Black Madonna," a statue of the Virgin Mary with a baby on her knees, "Darkie" in the local (Catalan) dialect, to which crowds of admirers, pilgrims and lovers of gazing at what you will not see in the homeland flock. The Mother of God, that is, I mean a figure skillfully carved from a black poplar.

It's just like that, they say, ten thousand kilometres is nothing. To me, a young man and 50 km seemed like hell. I was a little cunning, and most of the way got on the train, had to buy a complex ticket, as most tourists do. At one of the stops, closer to the monastery, I got off, but by the end of the journey, I was barely spitting, overcome by blindness, well yet, I hadn't noticed the vultures floating in the sky, who have an unusually developed instinct for a potentially dead body, which they pursue to the victorious end. An endless amount of space, cracked by the timelessness of the stone, teasing the blue sky. The sun was blinding. I couldn't tell the difference between the road and the road, yes, it was gone, but there was only a narrow path, slightly overgrown with rare grass. And when I was exhausted - what you want from a city-dweller - a fork with a pointer appeared in front. The arrow was explicitly installed for me. I understood it at once. As soon as I took a few more steps, it disappeared, vanished in the heatwave as if it never existed. I already clearly distinguished the monastery, but I do not need to go there under any guise. Ahead of me, an iron double-leaf door suddenly appeared in the thick thickets of blackthorn. No, not a mirage. It did not look new, in some places, it was lightly corroded and marked by birds, but it fulfilled its purpose. It was a bit strange to see a bronze handle in the shape of a dragon's mouth on it until it shone. So, I wouldn't accidentally pass by. The shooter pointed at the entrance: Aqui! Here it is, my lot. At first glance, it may seem like you're here of your own free will. Not at all. You can't change the place of the meeting, so the film with the same title was shot. Not bad, by the way. Of course, we could try to miss the train, throw away that note without reading it, but in vain. Who is destined to be hanged, will not drown? Freedom of choice is a mirage. The world is ruled by fatalism.

I knocked on a locked door. A rattling, rough, hangover-like, angry voice, as I thought, of British bassist and vocalist Lemmy, grumbling from somewhere under the ground: "Why the bell? The gatekeeper was right: I didn't really notice the call. An electric bell - and where? In the blackthorn, miracles are simple. There is still not enough unburned flame and full order. The door finally opened, and I was in total darkness. As they write: I can't see anything at all. By the way, linguists are still arguing about what “I see nothing” is. Some believe that we are talking about the road, others say it's a spark in the eyes, if you bump your head about something inadvertently, others say that the darkness, and, moreover, full, where the black cats live. And - suddenly, if not too many of these "suddenly" - I was grabbed by the hand and dragged deep into the cave, and I clearly knew that I was dragged down to the basement. I told you that they were preparing a surprise for me, not only for the Inquisition but also for the court of Inquisition, which for centuries became famous for this rich and pious country. But for what? Didn't you? Is it medieval today in the backyard? There was no one to ask, and I kept quiet, saving my questions for later.

And the first question did not hesitate to reveal itself.

- Is the sky cloudless over the whole of Spain?

Clearly, it was a password that only the person to whom it was communicated could know the answer. Having gathered together all my knowledge of Spanish, because I had not yet mastered

Catalan upon arrival in Barcelona, I responded with the same phrase:

En Toda España Cielo despejado.

June 19, 2021 02:46

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