(prequel to inside the fort )
Portia took a step back as the old gypsy woman pointed at her. She knew the faces of most of the vendors in the roadside market just outside the gate of the old Spanish fort. But this one must be new.
"Hello to you," the gypsy said, now smiling. Portia gave her a once over and continued to walk.
"Clarita!" the woman called out. Portia turned around and saw that the woman was looking at her. She walked back.
"Why did you call me Clarita?" Portia asked.
The woman stood in front of her, searching her eyes. Portia felt her heart skipped a beat.
"Clarita," she said, "that was your name. I knew you from your past life."
Oh, great, Portia thought, another nut!
"You were the most beautiful woman in that lifetime. You have the same eyes now as you had then. Many men wanted you, but you wanted only one."
Portia didn't know what to make of it. She smiled and said her goodbye, but the old woman grabbed her by the wrist.
"Come! I show you something."
They walked past the rows of roadside stalls and entered the open gates of the fort. Portia felt surprised at her willingness to hear the gypsy's story. However, she was not prepared to trek the steep steps towards the main building - she had an unexplained aversion towards stairs. She had never seen the inside of the fort except in pictures, even though she had lived within a few kilometres of it her whole life.
But the old woman kept walking, still holding her by her wrist, almost dragging her.
Sunday September 17th, 2017
1 day ago