Individual description of The Silver Teacup: Tales of Cadiz.
The Man in a Blue Tunic. On a solitary beach on the outskirts of town, a young jogger finds a stranded man who greets him in Latin. They walk to downtown, where the stranger describes Roman Cadiz—the ancient city of Gades—with all sorts of details. Under a dragon tree, he points to the area where his home stood twenty centuries ago. Incredulous, the young man listens to him as if his companion were out of his mind. What transpired in the following 24 hours will have an everlasting impact on him and his fellow citizens.
The Ruby Ring. A young boy receives his late uncle’s ruby ring from her aunt. Throughout his life, the jewel keeps the memories of his beloved uncle alive. It also serves as a constant reminder of his absence, for the ruby grieves its late owner with lackluster sparkles, as if tears tarnished its faces. Then something happens that restores its beauty.
The Olden Silver Pesos. A laborer finds a sack full of silver coins on a beach. He hides his cache and attempts to sell a few coins. An obverse inscription proves that their minting took place in Mexico several centuries earlier. He traces his previous owners—a tycoon, a slave trader, and a pirate—and unveils the story of their lives and the fate of the coins. What he learns rocks him to the core.
Always Ready. In November 1872, George Gordon Meade lies in his deathbed. The General evokes memories of his hometown Cadiz, his father’s loss of a large fortune helping this city during the two-and-a -half year siege by the French, the ungratefulness toward his father, his own disappointment at criticisms after his success in Gettysburg. Landscapes of his hometown intermingle with heroic war scenes as he assesses his life before facing his Maker.
Under the Crescent Moon. On an official visit to a castle, Alvaro wanders into the inner gardens banned to Christians and comes across Fatimah, the vizier’s youngest daughter. It is love at first sight. After he finds a secret passage, the young lovers continue their forbidden romance. When her father arranges her marriage to the emir, they plan their escape. Their scheme is discovered and, fearing the worst, she makes a daring move to save her lover’s life.
An Errand for God. During a near-death experience, a man receives God’s request to let everyone know what He looks like, but he has never seen Him. He concludes God must have made Himself visible in the face of someone close to him. His thoughts revisit people and events in his life. He goes to the neighborhood in Cadiz where he was born, and recalls local religious rites and sites. But to no avail. He then sees His face where he least expects it.
The Old Man and the Dog. A lonely old man nurses a stray dog that was badly wounded while defending him from a viper’s attack. The man adopts the dog and both initiate a long friendship. One day the master takes ill and an ambulance rushes him to a hospital. As the siren rages on, the dog takes off after the fast-moving vehicle. The events that follow make headlines in newspapers.
Crossing the Herring Pond. After winning a chess contest, a young man from Cadiz comes to Chicago invited by a cousin. Lake Michigan and the cityscape of the host town impress him. He hones his skills in Chicago. Enthralled by life in the huge metropolis, he contrasts it with that in his little hometown, and falls in love with her cousin’s girlfriend. She spurns his overtures. In the end, he must wrestle with his feelings about leaving the Windy City and his yearning to return to his hometown.
Victoria Beach. A son rushes to a hospital to accompany his father during his last days. Powerless, he watches how his father fights a pitch battle to live and how the fateful illness overcomes him and sinks him into a coma. Memories of better days do not relieve his grief. When the cloudscape draws the face of God, the son clamors a desperate request from Him. His striking response stuns him.
Plaza de Toros. Intent, a youngster sits amidst the audience at the bullfighting ring in Cadiz. Hidden in a backpack is a red cape. His mind drifts into his efforts and frustrations to become a bullfighter—rehearsals on his flat roof, illegal entries into the venue, clandestine nocturnal bullfights, testing of brave calves, fighting wild cows, refusals by impresarios, broken promises. As soon as the first bull charges into the ring, the youngster eludes security and jumps in.
Carnaval. It is carnival in Cadiz when, from a float, a chorister watches a lost five-year-old boy. The child listens to his songs, as if he could hardly wait to grow up and join him on the stage. The youngster leaves before he can help him. He hears the parents’ anxious calls in the midst of an overcrowded plaza. He decides to search for him. The chase takes him through a labyrinth of merriment and fear, which leads him into his past and an unexpected world, which surpasses the boundaries of human reality.
The Accordion Man. Hoping for a few coins, Dominick plays his accordion. He lives from hand to mouth in Barrio del Populo, but he prides himself on his musical talent. Every day he must meet his quota: money to survive, sustain his loved ones in Rumania, and put away for his return home. Today is a big day; a cruise ship is putting in. He goes to Plaza Cathedral, where tourists enjoy outdoor cafés and restaurants. He sits on the steps leading to the temple, raises his eyes to God, opens his accordion, and sings.
The Archangel’s Torn Wing. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Cadiz falls into the fascists’ hands. Paco rushes home to join his brother and escape with him. He finds his girlfriend–whom he plans to marry this year—and his mother but not him. As he waits, he learns of his brother’s betrayal. His mother conceals him before the treacherous son arrives with several fascist comrades. Wielding a gun, he demands that she hand him his brother. Paco darts out of his hiding, wrestles him to the floor, and the gun goes off.
Poppy Flower. A young man is obsessed with the ghost of a woman he has seen in his new apartment in the Barrio del Populo. She is beautiful, bears a sad expression, and holds a poppy flower in her hand. Through a roll of parchment that he has unburied in his bedroom, he learns of her identity, and her death on the stake. Armed with the record of her trial in national archives, he fights to reverse the unjust verdict.