Why Madrid by MaryB

Word Count 329


Johnny walked to the door of the barn. “Looks like the rain’s letting up.”

Her voice came from the darkness behind him. “I’ve always wondered. Why Madrid?”

He turned and looked at her for a long moment. Then he walked over to one of the stalls, absently fingering some of the long discarded tack still hanging there. “In one of the towns we lived in there was this livery. I used to go there when… The old guy who ran it would let me help with the horses and stay as long as I wanted. He used to tell me his people came from Spain. Like he was more than the peon he appeared to be. Someday he was going there. He would have everything he needed. People would look up to him instead of down at him. He worked his tail off, saving all his pesos. ‘Someday’, he’d say.’ Someday, Juanito, I will go to Madrid.’ The dream kept him going.”

The story seemed to stop. But not end.

“What happened to him?”

Johnny quit playing with the tack. He gazed into the back of the barn. Into the dark. Into the past. “A few years later I was back near there. I stopped in to see, you know. He was there. But real sick. Took awhile for him to know who I was.  The last thing he said to me was, ‘Someday Juanito,  Madrid.’ “ He shook his head. “I reckon I took his dream and made it mine. Only Madrid wasn’t a place. It was a means. I was gonna have everything I needed. And people would look up to me instead of down.”

“Did it work? Did you find what you wished for?”

He turned to her with a little smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “I found,” he told her, “that you should be very careful what you wish for.” He held out his hand. “C’mon. Let’s go home.”


5 thoughts on “Why Madrid by MaryB

  1. Short said so much Always wish the had explained more of. Johnny,s past. In the kid it didn’t sound like he disliked his stepfather just that he was disciplined for bad manners. But then I grew up with spanking so I know spanking and abuse are different. I still like the theory that Harlan scared Maria into leaving


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