The Moura's Cave. Chapter III Grandmother's Gift.



Grandma has not stopped watching me for the whole breakfast and has not allowed me speak again until she has made sure I have finished.


― So, well? Are you going to tell me now about your gift?


― Yes, neniña[1]but, promise me you won’t get scared…


― Grandma, if you tell me that, that’s when I’m going to get scare…


― Let’s see, where do I start? The premonitory dreams began long before I married your grandfather, sometimes they were simple things like knowing when I was going to see a person and others were more complicated, like when I knew that someone was going to die. At first I didn’t understand how my dreams related the relationship of my dreams to what was happening in real life, but soon I began to understand and interpret them. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until I was sixteen that she contacted me...


― She? Do you mean the Moura?


― Yes, I began to see big yellow eyes that tormented me, at first the dreams were not continuous but at a certain point they were repeated daily, like happens to you, they will become more intense until you get to see the Moura completely and she tells you what you she wants from you.


―From me? And what did she want from you, Grandma?


― She showed me your grandfather. She said that together we would be powerful and that our offspring would set her free.


― Your offspring… but Mum has no gifts… right?


― No, honey – I can feel hesitation in her answer  – but, I am convinced, that she is also related with all this, after all, she has grown up here, surrounded by our gifts, I would have liked her to return with us, to find out if it is so, but, I understand her reasons for not coming back…


― She doesn’t want to meet with my father.


― I know your grandfather wanted you to meet him.


― You know who he is too. Will you help me, Grandma?


― Sure, but I can’t tell you who he is, your new gifts will help you find out, you’ll see.
 By the way, Brais is about to arrive and he wants to take you for a ride around the village before lunch. I know you’re going on motorbike…


― Grandma, how do you know it?

― Oh? – Grandma winks at me –. Soon you will be able to get ahead of the events too, just promise me you’ll be careful and keep it the secret from Antonio, he doesn’t like Brais riding his motorbike either. Hurry up, go and get your stuff before he arrives –. I get up quickly with a smile from ear-to-ear and as I pass Grandma, I give her a kiss and she hugs me. I say in her ear: I love you. And I go back to my room.


I decide to let my hair at down and take my aviator style sunglasses, I put them in a small backpack where I also put my smartphone and grandpa’s notebook.


 Now, I can no longer be separated from it and I look forward to showing him to Brais, now that I know that he is my ally, my protector,  I have goose bumps just thinking about that word, protector. I run out the corridor, which is a bit dark and I bump into Brais who was coming to look for me.


― Oh, wow, such effusiveness. I am glad to see you too Eva –. To avoid falling on my face I have grabbed him by the waist and my head has been anchored on his chest.


― You’re such an idiot – I say, as I straighten my shirt and I separate from him –. It’s your fault, for standing here in the middle. I didn’t want to hug you... I just... I almost fall.

― Didn’t you want to hug me? Well, that’s disappointing, you have made my morning –. He gets serious and I have opened my mouth so wide it must be knees-deep –. Eva, it was a joke, relax –. Now he’s laughing aloud, laughing at me.


― You asshole!! – I close my hands in fists and punch him on the chest, he keeps laughing, grabs my wrists and pulls me closer, I am speechless and blushing to the max, I am not used to such proximity with a boy. Brais kisses me on the forehead and whispers putting his mouth on my hair: good morning, Eva. I think I have just melted.


While we’re on the bike, I’m trying to clear my head regarding Brais, but it doesn’t help much to keep my hands around his waist while we go down to the village.
 Since Grandma knows about the motorbike, she’s taken the opportunity to have us run some errands for her. Brais treats me so well that it doesn’t seem like a normal attitude, considering that we practically met yesterday. It is true that, when we were kids, we played together, but many years have passed since then. I can’t deny that I’m physically attracted to him a lot, but I feel another kind of connection or something like that, that binds me to him, I guess it’s because he’s my Protector, my Brais, mine... Since when am I so possessive? I smile with the certainty of that possession…Mine.


We’ve arrived at the village’s main square. Brais turn off the motorbike and leaves it leaning against a tree. Several neighbours have turned to see us, probably trying to guess who I am.


― Well, we’re here, first let’s do your grandmother’s errands –. Brais says and I notice that a dark-haired boy, on the other side of the square, doesn’t take his eyes off me. Brais walks over to me and puts his arm around my shoulders -. Stay close to me, Eva –. The other boy raises his hand and greets Brais, he tenses up, I look at him and I see in his eyes a mixture of anger and fear. Like an automaton I place my hand on his hand resting on my shoulder and interweave my fingers with his, he looks at me and smiles, the dark-haired boy has disappeared down one of the streets parallel to the square.


― Are you okay, Brais? Who was that boy?


― Now I do – he gives my hand a squeeze –. I hope you don’t mind but I am going  to hold on to  you the whole time we’re here.


― No, I don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind me holding your hand either, but I thought you needed some support.


― Yes, I needed it, that’s what has made him leave.


― Who was he, Brais?


― Don’t worry; he won’t come near you, although he won’t get tired of trying it, I...

― You will protect me –. Brais looks at me amazed.


― Do you know it? Who told you?


― It’s been my grandfather – his eyes look at sky – in a letter, he said you’re my Protector, although I don’t know very well what it means, why do you have to protect me, from that boy? Who is he?


― Did your grandfather say something about the Darks in his letter? – I nod –. That boy is one of them, he’ll try to get you to join the shadows and use your gift for them, to practice black magic  –. A shiver runs through my body –. We shouldn’t talk about this here, after lunch I’ll take you to a safe place.


― It’s fine –. I put my free hand in my jeans pocket and pull out the list Grandma gave me –. Let’s get the milk first, and then get the bread.


― As you wish miss –. Brais hangs an empty backpack on his other arm –. Let's go.


The rest of the morning in the village has been as normal and quiet as can be. Well, except for the awkward moment with Ruth, the baker’s daughter, who almost fell on her ass when she saw us coming in grabbed. Although, after talking to her for a while, I am glad to see that she is not jealous about Brais and that she is happy to see me in the village again.

We get to the bike and there is a guy leaning on it, he is as tall as Brais, with green eyes and dark hair, although he is a bit plump.


― Hi, Eva –. He greets me excitedly, while he gives me a kiss and a hug –. You look beautiful –. I’m a little puzzled, his face rings a bell but I don’t remember him.


― Come on, Raúl, don’t be a pain in the ass, can’t you see she doesn’t know who you are? – Brais pushes him away.


― Raúl? Of course, the teacher’s son. Sorry, I didn't recognize you. How are you doing?


― Fine and now that I’ve seen you better, just looking at you, makes anyone’s day –. I’m blushing. What’s wrong with the guys in this village? Are they all horny? Or what?


― Thank... thank you. –. I manage to mumble.


― Brais had told me how beautiful you looked but he was an understatement– he nudges him in the ribs, I look at Brais who winks at me and smiles. Raúl notices at our intertwined hands –. And I see you haven’t wasted any time, have you? – Dickhead, she has just arrived yesterday and you’re already holding hands...


Buff, right now I must look like a guiri after a day at the beach, I try to let go of my hand, maybe Brais feels uncomfortable, but he doesn’t let me, instead he squeezes it even more and brings me closer to him. God... What hot I’m getting...


― Are you jealous, man?


― Of course, you’ve a lot of nerve, it is not enough to be his Protector, you are going to become her boyfriend too.


Boyfriend? Did he say boyfriend? And… How does Raúl know that Brais is my Protector?


― Shut up, man –. Brais looks nervously back and forth –. I’ve told you a thousand times this village is not safe to talk about it.


― Sorry, it slipped out, I didn’t say anything they don’t already know anyway -. They? The Dark ones


― I know, but it’s not good for more people to know either... Which reminds me, we have things to talk about, meet you this afternoon around four, you know where.


― Okay, I have got things to show you too. Well, I’m off to lunch. See you later, Eva.


― See you later, Raúl.


Raúl goes to a bike on the other side of the square, gets on it and pedals home. He hasn’t changed a bit; he’s still the same good-natured, loud-mouthed kid he always was.


― I think it’s time to leave –. Brais says to me.


― Yes, it’s time –. He separates his hand from mine and starts the motorbike.


― You seem thoughtful, are you okay? – He lifts my head with his hand on my chin, my heart is soaring.


― Yes… I was just thinking about how weird this is…it's a little scary... Don't you get scared of it? – He smiles at me, I melt…


― Sometimes… A little… But, don’t worry, you’re not alone…I’ll always be with you, don’t forget –. I’m going to pass out. Calm down, Eva. I swallow, to see if this way I can talk and not look like an idiot.


― OK, thanks, well…Let’s go or your grandpa will catch us eventually.


― Come on, get on.


Luckily, when we arrive, Antonio still hasn’t shown up at home, Brais hides the motorbike in Grandma’s haystack and I, meanwhile, take advantage and sneak off to my room. I feel like being alone for a while, I’m so confused. First Brais, then everything about Grandpa and his gift, then Grandma’s gift and... Brais again. What about with this boy and me? I don’t understand it…well, I understand that he’s terrific, that I like him a lot and, as if that wasn’t enough, I understand that I’m going to spend the whole summer with him and that, on the one hand scares me and on the other I love it. I have to talk to Marta. Yes, it would be the best. I take my smartphone out of the backpack and I dial her number, finally at the third ring she picks up.


― Hey, hottie, it’s about time you called... - Marta greets me amused.


― Hello, yes, it was time, but you could have called me too. How about Paris? Is it as great as I imagine it to be?


― No, it’s much better –. She laughs -. How about you? How are you doing back home? Is it as bad as you thought it would be?


― The truth?


― Yeah, the truth.


―Well…the truth is that it’s not being bad at all…


― Oops, oops, oops, that sounds to me like there's some hot guy out there.


― Well…


― I knew it, I knew it... - She screams excitedly -. What’s his name? What’s he like? How old is he?


― Stop, stop, one question at a time, please. Let’s see, his name is Brais, he’s nineteen and he’s... In a word... Spectacular...


― Wow! Did you say spectacular? He must be great. I’m so jealous...


― What do you mean, what jealous? You may have a lot of nerve, but if you’re on holiday with Marco, the son of your parents’ friends, the one you’ve been drooling over since you were twelve...


― I know, I’m a lucky girl – she laughs again –. But so far, I haven’t made much progress, we’ve arranged to go exploring alone this afternoon, I’m nervous... And you with that boy? Braus or whatever his name is...


― It’s Brais, it means Blas in Spanish, well we have a bit of a weird relationship, we’ve been friends since we were kids, and we played together when we were here... I like him a lot, but a lot, a lot...


― As much as Alex?


― Believe me Alex compared to Brais is nothing.


― Oh my God, you have to take a picture of him and send it to me right now and, has something already happened among you? Did you two make out?


― No, we didn’t make out, but this morning we went shopping in the village on his motorbike and we were holding on all the way –. On the other end of the phone, I hear Marta’s mother calling her to go to lunch.


― I have to leave you, they are calling me for go to lunch, but... I want that picture, so don’t delay in sending it to me, tonight I’ll tell you about my progress with Marco on line, okay? And you’ll let me know how it goes with Brais. Now I said it right, didn’t I?


― Yes, you said it very well. I’m going to have lunch too, we’ll talk later. I love you, Hun, a kiss.


― And I love you too, Sis, ciao.


I look at my smartphone and smile while I put it in the back pocket of my trousers, Marta always cheers me up, she’s like crazy person, I hope this afternoon she’ll be lucky with Marco and they’ll make out for once, after so many years it’s about time. I decide to leave out my room and go to the kitchen to help with the lunch, but when I enter, I see that everyone is sitting and waiting for me.


― Oh, I’m sorry, I was talking to my friend Marta and I have lost my mind.


― It's okay, honey, we just sat down –. Grandma tells me, pointing the free chair next to Brais for me to sit in.


We started to eat but I barely enter the conversation, I am a little distracted by Brais, who keeps brushing my arm and leg, at first I think it’s unintentional but when I see him smile, I realize that he does it on purpose and that makes me even more nervous. I finish my plate in a hurry, get up and take it to the sink. A little breather, I’m very hot. I ask Grandma for permission and I go to the living room to watch TV, I sit on the couch, but I get tense again when I hear Brais' voice.


― Can I sit with you?


― Sure –.  I try to sound composed, and I succeed. But then Brais takes my hand and starts making little circles with his finger on my palm, a shiver runs down me and my skin is bristling.


― Are you cold? You’ve got goose bumps.


― What? No, it was just a shiver.


― Eva, can I ask you a question? – I swallow.


― Yes, tell me.


― Do I make you feel uncomfortable? – He stops moving his finger and he looks at me with a serious gesture.


― Why are you asking me that?


― Because at lunch you have barely spoken and when I have brushed against you, you got up and left. And now…when I touch you, you get tense…I notice it…I don’t want to bother you, Eva, so if I make you feel uncomfortable, you have to tell me and I won’t do it anymore.


― I... I... - I swallow again, try to calm down, think about what to say, but nothing comes out. Brais looks at me and, with a sad gesture, gives me a kiss on the palm of my hand, leaves it on the sofa and gets up to leave, but my hands have been quicker than my mouth and my brain and, they have grabbed him so he won’t leave –. No, don’t go – I can tell in just a whisper.I pull him back to sit next to me, he does and without being aware of my movements my hand caresses his face, I look into his eyes, but I am no longer afraid to speak ―. Sorry, Brais, it’s just that all this is new to me.


― What’s new? Being alone with a boy?


― Yes and no.


― Explain it.


― You see, I… I’ve been alone with a guy before, but I’ve never been alone with a guy who makes me feel what I feel now and that…that’s puzzle me a bit.


― Ah... - He remains thoughtful, takes my hand and kisses my palm again, I’m shudder, and he notices it and smiles. – Eva, can I have a kiss?


― What? Do you want me to give you a kiss? – I'm blushing.


― Yes, if you feel even half as much as I do, you’d want a kiss, I want it –. I doubt, I don’t know what to do, he seeing my confusion makes things easier for me, he brings his face closer to mine, his eyes look at my mouth, they separate us just a few millimetres, I can’t believe this is happening to me…


― Ahem, this… I’m sorry to interrupt…. – Raúl says behind our backs and we jump -. I guess I’m a little early, aren’t I?


I’m freaking out, Brais looks at Raúl with a sour look, he, without flinching, takes the remote from on top of  the table and sits down between both.


― What are you doing here? I told you we were meeting at the usual place.


― I know, but my mother has sent me to bring some homemade sweets, so I had no choice but to come –. He smiles.


― Well, I guess I’ll leave you two alone –. I say getting up from the couch.


― Noooooo, now that I'm here are you leaving? – Raúl protests.


― Yes, it’s just that you have that meeting and I don’t want to disturb.


― Disturb? But you’re the guest of honour at the meeting.


― Me?


― Of course, you’re the most important one in this story –. I look at Brais who nods to what Raúl has just said.


― It’s true, Eva, the meeting is to update us on what we’ve found out about the Cave, moreover it’s not going to be held here.


― Oh, isn’t it? So where?


― You’ll see it –. Brais winks at me.


― Anyway, I’m going to my room, I need to get some things for the meeting.


― Okay, but don't be late, we have to leave soon, it's almost half past four –. Raúl reminds me.


― I’ll be back soon.


Brais, he follows me with his eyes as I walk toward to the living room door, before leaving, I turn and smile shyly at him. I go to my room with my heart rate at thousand beats per hour. We almost kissed, we almost kissed!!! Almost… I look at myself in the mirror next to the wardrobe, I’m still flushed. I decide to focus on what I have come to do in my room, I look in my backpack for Grandpa’s notebook, inside is his letter, I take both things and a sweatshirt because I don’t know where the meeting will be. I look at myself again in the mirror, I smile at my reflection, fix my hair with my fingers and I take out the Wuivre from under my shirt, Brais hasn’t seen it yet, well no one has seen it, not even Grandma. I go out into the corridor and find Antonio, Brais, Raúl and Grandma.


― Are you ready, sweetheart? – Grandma asks me.


― Yes, I am –. I say showing the notebook and the sweatshirt.


― Well, then let’s go. It’s time –. Antonio says heading to Grandpa's office, meetings should be held there –. Brais, please give me a hand.


Antonio is at one end of the desk and Brais at the other, carefully, they lift it up and set it aside. Meanwhile, Raúl and Grandma roll up the carpet below, then I see a trapdoor on the floor, this is getting more and more surreal. From the low cupboard in the office, Antonio takes out some flashlights and gives us each one. I'm still freaking out, I haven't even moved. Raúl takes out a large key from his pocket, it seems old and heavy; he carefully inserts it into the eye of one of the snakes that are engraved on the trapdoor. Snakes again... With a creaking sound the trapdoor opens and one by one they go down the stone steps to... I don’t know where. Only Brais and I are left, he takes my hand and giving me a squeeze forces me to go down the stairs in front of him. I turn on the flashlight; the staircase is not very long, so soon I am behind Raúl and we advance through a stone corridor, there are many air streams so it must have several exits. Suddenly we stop, on the right side of the wall there is a door, with more snakes engraved, this time it is Grandma who comes and takes off a pendant...A pendant...It is a Wuivre, she puts it in a hole of the door, turns it and pushes it, the door opens and we enter in a big room, it smells musty, there is a large table with six chairs. Antonio presses a switch and a lamp on the ceiling lights up. That’s so cool!



[1] Neniña: it means little girl in Galician language.


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