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Spanish Secrets: A Dark Desire

"Tonight is a night to satisfy a dark desire. We leave our home driving down the lane and through the village. Lighting our path are randomly spaced street lights, around which the early evening mist forms a luminescent veil. Once through the village it’s onto the main highway.... '' To learn the secret of Craig Briggs's dark desire, read on.

Altering the clocks by one hour at the end of October feels as if part of the day has been stolen. Not exactly a thief in the night, more like a daytime mugging. The dark cloak of night advances across the fading sky earlier each day.

Tonight is a night to satisfy a dark desire. We leave our home driving down the lane and through the village. Lighting our path are randomly spaced street lights, around which the early evening mist forms a luminescent veil. Once through the village it’s onto the main highway.

Here our only guide is the bright beam from the car’s headlights. These focused yet limited shafts of light advance only through our progress along the road, unable to penetrate the dense blackness of the night.

In the distance the glow of an approaching vehicle appears, silhouetting the undulating countryside. Quickly it changes into a dazzling glare of white light cutting through the darkness. Momentarily my vision vanishes, a fleeting glimpse of the uncertain apprehension and terror that blindness might hold. The oncoming beam bows its brilliance, dutifully aiding our safe passage.

Our destination on this damp dark night is the town of Chantada. This small riverside town has an old-world charm. The cobbled streets and covered stone walkways connect a series of historic buildings, in a labyrinth of narrow lanes and dark alley’s.

The hard stone surfaces of streets and buildings echo with the sound of heavy footsteps and high heels. In the distance the laughter of playful children reverberates through the narrow alleyways.

Dim streetlights form a backdrop to the fluorescent glow from shop windows. Distorted window displays reflect off the damp cobbles. We stride purposefully through the maze of narrow streets, confident of locating our desired goal.

Through the mist we glimpse the shop-front shining like a welcoming beacon through the gloom. We enter to the cheering ring of a brass bell and a pleasant greeting from our smiling hostess.

Floating on the warm air is the exotic aroma of roasted coffee beans. A boiling hiss of steam fractures the muffled chatter of the café’s clientele. This is closely followed by the unmistakable rattle of cups and saucers and the musical tinkle of metal spoons.

We take a seat opposite the thick wooden serving counter. Upon which stands our chosen prize. Two metal paddles rotate rhythmically within a heavy-bottomed, clear glass caldron. Heaving like a miniaturised swell in a great ocean is our desired molten elixir.

Chocolate!

With our order placed we wait, drooling as the ritual preparation begins.

The waitress sets two small white saucers on the counter; upon these she places two glass beakers. Into the beakers she pours a generous portion of liquid cream. The thick liquid nestles in the base of the glass to an inch in depth. Silently the dark, rich, milk-chocolate is added, kissing the surface of the cream. A regal delight crowned by the soft fluffy folds of lightly whipped cream.

Upon presentation, I pause momentarily in admiration of this delectably delicious work of art. My self restraint lasts but a brief moment before my chocoholic instincts take over. Before long the masterpiece is devoured.

With our craving satisfied we return home and await our next dark desires.

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Copyright © 2005 Craig Briggs

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