© 2015 by Antonio Bernal. 

When There Was Still Wine.-

He was drinking a glass of wine which he had just brought up from the wine cellar in his basement, leaning against his house'’s outside wall on the porch.  The wine was from the year 2008, a good year for wine. It was the only barrel he had left and he had always wanted to keep it for himself. The wine cellar was the only habitable place due to the extreme heat, and he spent almost all his time there these days. Besides, he didn'’t have anyone who'd argue with him; his wife had left him after that sunstroke that had nearly killed her, and his children had moved away and except for the usual Christmas card or a rare phone call, he didn’'t hear from them much. 

 

He took a sip from his glass and left it on the barrel that he used as a table. He went into the house and took his hat from the coat hanger. The hat was absolutely necessary due to the ruthless sun, which, at that time of the day, could make the temperature rise up to 47º on the shade. As if following an invisible prompt, he went down to the fields, followed by Canuto, his loyal, old dog, and without realising, he found himself surrounded by those dead vine trees.  

 

So much loneliness! The birds weren't singing, nor could the noisy leafhoppers be heard. 

The man in the hat looked into the distance and stared with infinite sorrow at the three trees that were still standing. He bent down to stroke the dog's head, who looked up with a slight howl, trying to find the man's eyes. While they looked into each other's eyes, the man in the hat said "They too will be dry soon".  

 

He looked towards the old, abandoned house in the distance, and walked back, sadly and with his head down. There weren't any other signs of life apart from those three trees. Global warming was having a huge impact, and this was just the beginning. 

 

 

 

Rafael Antonio Castro Cotrino.-