the last conquistador

don santos diago stood with the old men and children and watched as the slaves carried their massive loads up the wooden planks and onto the waiting fleet of spanish galleons. don was a young spaniard with great ambition and pride, but lacked the notoriety and funds of the conquistador desoto. “who does this fool desoto think he is? it is don diago that is destined for greatness!” he told himself with fiery conviction. don santos diago had an elaborate scheme for his place in history. although poor and unknown, he would volunteer as a deck hand on one of the ships, then secretly set off on foot once they arrived on the shores of the new world. when the king would hear of his discoveries, he would finally get the recognition he deserved and his name would be praised on the lips of beautiful women along side the great coronado, balboa and columbus. it took several years to cross the great expanse of the ocean, but they finally landed on a featureless stretch of beach that would later be known as florida. that night, diago and several slaves he had coerced into joining him with stories of golden mules and goats of pure silver, they slipped quietly off the galleon and into the warm shallows of florida’s shimmering coast. with his boots now wet, diago felt his journey into history had finally begun. over the next few weeks, diago and his small entourage of emboldened explorers criss-crossed the sandy marshes and shell strewn dunes that rolled on endlessly under the unforgiving floridian sun. diago’s apparent lack of navigational skills and constant demands that he be carried gloriously on the shoulders of the slaves eventually proved to be their downfall. after months of wandering aimlessly, the men began to die off one by one until only don diago himself was left alive. exhausted, diago knelt in the warm sand and mumbled a soft prayer for a quick death. hopeless and starving, don diago stretched his frail body out in a clearing by the beach and quietly waited for the end to come. “the fools will never make it past the horn!” diago’s grandfather said startling the young boy from his daydream. “we better be on our way now boy, your mother will worry.” the old man said taking don diago by the hand. the old man walked the boy back to the village passed the endless procession of slaves that carried desoto’s supplies to the waiting galleons.

2 comments:

Perfect Virgo said...

As you know I am paddling in the "warm shallows of florida’s shimmering coast" so thanks for posting something delightful to keep me entertained my good man. (I'm sitting in "The Cyber Shack" on International Drive.)

I detect a subtle change in template superfly.

finnegan said...

Perfect Virgo, since any remarks in this here comment box will go unanswered by our superhero, you may as well address it to me. I will do my best to dream up something as lively as Don Santos Diago.

By the way, how do you manage to be paddling in warm shallows while posting a comment? And how did you get beamed to Florida? Did I miss something? Whooosh