Walnut Creek, CA
Cormac M. | Author | Lost in the chaparral, NM
And so. The day came. The alguacil asked the boy what did he wish for a last meal. The boy asked for a bowl of pasta from Olive Garden. The alguacil considered this and finally agreed saying there was indeed an Olive Garden in the next town.
That evening a mozo came back into town leading a procession of men and burros. Panniers on the animals steaming like ungulate engines. The cloying aroma of pasta sauce. The loamy musk of breadsticks. The algaucil came to them. What was he to think of this?
And a man from the restaurant came forward and said they had brought pasta for the boy and that in the tradition of their restaurant the boy’s bowl would never be allowed to empty nor would he be want for breadsticks until such time as he was sated.
The algaucil was very angry. He shouted at the men and the burros and the mozo and all cowered but none would leave. For they knew as well as the algaucil of the law of that land. That the last meal could not be denied. And so the boy was served in his cell the unending pasta bowl. Attendants from the restaurant refilling the dish as it neared empty. A train of burros plodding from restaurant to jail and back to restaurant.
The boy’s day of execution came and went. A week passed. Then another. The algaucil fuming in his shabby office. The boy grew fat eating the pasta and the breadsticks.
On the hundredth day the alguacil walked to the jail and told the jailers to leave. And then he entered the cell where the boy lay eating and he unholstered his pistol and he told the boy he would shoot him if he ate any more pasta or breadsticks. And the boy lay there lacquered in sauce and bursting from his prison rags and closed his eyes as if to consider this ultimatum. He belched thunderously and was still. And so. The boy escaped the noose.
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