Kepa and Maite helped Ainhoa to her feet and guided her to a nearby rock where she sat shivering.
“Zer… Nola… Nor…?” stuttered Kepa.
“What the hell just happened?” interrupted Maite.
“We walked through that mountain,” added Kepa. “That’s not possible.”
“And that room?” added Maite. “How did it just disappear like that? Who was that man? What was he doing here? Where did he go?”
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
“Ainhoa, please explain what just happened,” pleaded Kepa.
Ainhoa looked up at him and tried to speak, but her voice caught in her throat. “Ura?” she asked. “Water?”
“Of course,” replied Kepa as he dove into his backpack and pulled out his water bottle. He handed it to Ainhoa who immediately downed several large gulps of water. Kepa then handed her one of the sandwiches they had packed.
“Mil esker,” she said as she took a bite.
“Feeling better?” asked Maite. Ainhoa nodded. “Good, then can you now tell us what just happened, Ainhoa?”
Ainhoa shook her head. “I’m not Ainhoa, at least, not right now.”
“None of this makes sense!” exclaimed Maite, getting to her feet. “What is going on?”
Ainhoa took another drink. “My name is Marina. I was born in 1583 and died in 1609, at the hands of that man you saw in the cave. I’m currently inhabiting Ainhoa’s body, trying to stop that man from fulfilling his plans.”
Maite looked at Ainhoa, or Marina. “Seriously?” she said incredulously. “You expect us to believe this nonsense?”
Marina shook her head. “I know it is hard to grasp, especially for one from your time that is so used to science and logic. But, know this: there is magic and it can do wonderful things, in the right hands.” Her face clouded over as she continued. “But, in the wrong hands…”
“Let’s start from the beginning,” interrupted Kepa. “Who was that man and how are you here?”
Maite gave him a searing look. “You are seriously going to entertain this txorakeria, this rubbish?”
Kepa just shrugged as Marina began her tale.