(An Alternate History)
Copyright (c) Robert L J Borg 2011
Miguel loved Fiesta Time. The sounds from hundreds; no, thousands of people laughing, singing, talking all at once, filled his ears. Also from the raucous music heard from all the various musical groups which were scattered around the City. Some statically placed in cafes and bars, others moving around from street to street. He loved the colourful floats each representing a certain theme from their past – each theme representing a specific historical event per hundred years to their present day. Also around the City, buildings were adorned with banners, flags and flowers – a mix of yellow and red to honour the glory of their country’s greatest achievements. These were achievements which made their country the best, strongest and most dominant in the entire world. This Fiesta was one of many throughout the year. There were always the religious Fiesta’s which celebrated the patron saints of each of the City’s numerous suburbs. There was, for instance the Carnaval held forty days before Easter in Aguilas, which was reputed of being the wildest in the country after Tenerife and Cadiz. Holy Week the lead up to Easter and Easter Sunday itself were celebrated as enthusiastically. And the Fiesta for Christmas, which perhaps was the most joyful of all. At a time when winter usually dampens everyone’s spirits because of the cold, miserable weather, the Fiesta which reminds the people of the birth of Jesus Christ brings warmth into their hearts and homes. Today however the celebration of Peace on Earth day is being held in every major City throughout Spain and its Dominions throughout the World.
Of course Miguel, like most of his countrymen (and women) knew the histories by heart. It had been drummed into them at school; and reminders of their greatness was scattered throughout all Dominions in the form of posters and monuments. In all fairness, Miguel preferred simplicity of life. For him politics was for other people, some of his own children counted amongst those. For Miguel his preference was the land. He liked being a farmer. He adored tending his fields and caring for his animals. He was blessed with a wife who loved life; was caring, house-proud, and the most wonderful of mothers anyone could possibly ask for. They had, had five children during their life together as husband and wife. He was extremely proud for all of them, and grateful to God that each of them had made his or her mark in the annuals of their country’s greatness.
Miguel and his wife stood on their favourite street corner to watch the colourful floats drive past. The first showed the most recent achievement celebrating the first half-century of the colonisation of the Moon. People had been living there for thirty years now. The previous twenty years being taken up in exploration and construction of the settlement under a dome of transparent aluminium.
No sooner had the first float passed that the second appeared celebrating the 20th century. Although there had been a great deal of unrest, with many provinces wanting independence, as there had been in the previous century, the strength of government, which had been moulded over time, secured that peace should prevail. And one by one the disharmony amongst those rebellious Peoples soon subsided once their leaders had been publicly executed. A lesson learnt from their Gallic neighbours.
The third float represented the 19th Century. An era where conflict was prominent in the Americas and Caribbean islands; so the float was multi-coloured with a vast array of wild and exotic flowers and Peoples from those lands. The revolutions in the provinces of Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela and New Granada were easily crushed. It was not surprising as Spanish naval and military forces had dominated world powers for centuries.
The 17th and 18th Centuries were, as always, combined on one float. This was due to the two hundred years of uninterrupted peace. It was a time of exploration, colonisation and trade. It was an era of immense acquisition of wealth which stretched the globe from the silver mines of the Americas, to the trade with the Chin people in the east by the renowned merchant mariners from the province of Portugal, to the discovery of a large southern continent named after the celestial constellation – Terra Australis.
The loudest cheer of all accompanied the fifth float. It celebrated the Golden Age of Spain. It reminded everyone throughout the world why the Spanish Empire prevailed over all other nations. At a time when the heretics in northern Europe, particularly in England, were trying to detach themselves from the Holy Father in Rome, Spain was to remind them how to behave before the eyes of God. The Enterprise of England sailed on 28th May 1588. 151 vessels made their way to Gravelines in Flanders to rendezvous with the Duke of Parma’s army of 30,000 men. The English attempt to disrupt this by loosing fire ships on them failed, when a change of tide and wind sent the fire ships back out to sea, destroying the enemy’s ships. Without a navy England was lost. Spanish troops successfully landed on English shores and within days all resistance was utterly destroyed. Their heretic queen and supporters who would not swear allegiance to Spain were quickly dispatched by axe or hangman’s noose. It was an event which ensured Spanish dominance forever.
The last floats all captured more exciting periods in history. The discovery of America, the conquests of the Aztec nations, and the conquering of Valencia by El Cid, were all magnificent.
By the end of the day both Miguel and his wife were in high spirits. They had enjoyed the atmosphere of happiness and joy. They had eaten the food and drunk the wine they had brought with them, and now they were looking forward to returning to their little farm. Both remarked it had been the best Fiesta time ever.
RLB – Tomewriter