Feast By The Sea

 This is the fifth chapter of the historical fantasy entitled "Rhapsody of Nature."

Synopsis: The boisterous men indulged in a sumptuous feast...

A smoky cooking aroma wafted through the sea air and the twins started paddling their canoe in its direction.

Esteban sniffed several times to make sure that the luscious wafts were real. "Do you guys smell anything?" Esteban asked the twins after making a few sniffs.

"You do know we know what that is? Of course, we love food!" the twins roared out their excitement while they were paddling the canoe.

"Hmmm... why do you guys seem so excited? It could be from anywhere."

Sandro smiled and said, "Buddy, our hungry stomachs have too much intuition. We know exactly who's cooking by just the smell of it, even from miles away..."

"We're kind of experts when it comes to these things, you know. Even if we don't see the cook, we know it's him," Barbaro added while smiling.

"Hahahahah... it's none other than Felix! His barbecoa has always been amazing!" Sandro exclaimed.

Long before barbecues took their modern form in 1661, the Spaniards already call them barbecoa. And on that day, some time in 1598, Felix, the cook, was not only an expert, he also had his own style that set him apart from the others.

"It's a trade secret, buddy," Barbaro said. "But we know, because you know!" Barbaro grinned and showed all the gray and gold teeth he had.

"Barbaro! Sandro!"

It was Don Claro Zapote Yrastorza y Arnaiz waving and shouting at them. The glaring high noon sun was obstructing his view of Esteban, but the twins' whopping bodies were easy to spot.

Don Claro was the captain of the crew. Despite his age, already in early forties, he was still very handsome with broad shoulders and well-defined chest. At that time, he most resembled the modern day actor Ben Barnes, but the difference was that he had an indigo-colored iris on his deep-set round eyes.

Don Claro grew up in a large estate of dozens of different vineyards just outside Santiago de Compostela. He was an expert in wines and women-cuddling.

As the canoe draws closer to the shore, Don Claro notices a third guy among them.

"Well, who could that be?!"

Sandro and Barbaro immediately responded, "It's our third twin, Esteban!"

The chief was elated when he did see the auburn hair of the third person shining by. Immediately, he notices that it was indeed Esteban.

"Gracias, my dear God! It is indeed our long-lost friend, Esteban!"

"Where have you been, young man? We've been looking for you for weeks!"

To the mind of Esteban, he had only been away for a few days so that question really made him scratch his head, but he wanted to be responsive as always so he focused on the question.

"I was lost, Don Claro, but without any recollection of what had happened to me. But somehow, I made it to a scenic falls tucked inside the thick jungle. There was a cave just beside it, which I entered and explored all the way to its very end. When I made it out, I saw my buddies Sandro and Barbaro."

"We have been looking for you for weeks and weeks. We even thought you're dead, but you are here now and we have to celebrate!"

Esteban made a few grimaces while asking himself if he really was lost for weeks or only for few days, but the crew were so happy to see him so, before he could reflect and recollect, they were already tugging him towards the table where the cervezas were being plunged ecstatically out of joy and merriment that their long-lost friend had been found.

The barbecoa was immediately ready that time, even after a few moments of cooking. Felix used a local ingredient, the negrichaa oil, which when marinated with lime on the pork, cooks the meat after about half a minute.

"That explains why everything was immediately ready," said Felix, the cook, a slender thirty-seven year old man from the outskirts of Santander.

It was not so easy to see why Felix was a good cook. His lanky body makes everyone guess that he abhors food, but that is exactly why he was a good one. He's a self-confessed picky eater --- he eats only those that are palatable to everyone. As the twins often say, whatever he cooks is always delicious because he couldn't muster to eat anything less than that.

While Felix was the picky eater but good cook, his best bud, Pepito, was a fast eater. He eats as though he drinks all food. But they do not know why he remains relatively thin as he eats a lot of food and was never choosy.

Likewise, Pepito doesn't know why, but he doesn't care either. He was happy as can be; his jolly disposition in life distinguishes him from everyone else. However, the one thing that makes everyone remember is the lyre he brings everywhere to make spontaneous music and make everyone happy.

After eating, while everyone else was not yet done, he stood up from his stool, sat on a tree's thick roots and strummed his lyre...

I may have no teeth no more

But I will continue to sing

From floor to floor to floor

Until it gets really annoying!

I may have no teeth no more

But I will continue to scream

Across walls, beyond the door

Until you fall in love with my hymn!

I may have no teeth no more

But I will make you sing

Your all-time favorite lore

Until you scratch your ding!

I may have no teeth no more

But I will make you scream

That will scare the wild boar

And run across the stream!

Pepito's joy was infectious. Soon enough, everyone in the crew joined him and started singing while holding their beers up...

We may have no teeth no more

But we will continue to sing

From floor to floor to floor

Until it gets really annoying!

We may have no teeth no more

But we will continue to scream

Across walls, beyond the door


A short pause followed until they all toasted their mugs and sang "... Until Pepito scratch his ding!"

They all burst in laughter and drank the cervezas they were holding. Pepito strummed his lyre one more time and left out a smile --- despite that all he had were only three teeth, one black and two gold.

To be continued...


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