Black gold of the sun

Apparently he owned 500 acres in the Canaries, but it was perched high up the mountainside, not an inch of it flat, the jet black soil parched by the sun and only good for wind bent conifers and whatever the locals called their particular version of gorse. At the time he’d been told it was the ideal site for a new hotel. Only when the roads came, of course, and of course they never did. But he was resigned to it now. Every year he would holiday at the same hotel where he’d signed the fateful papers, have the same doleful conversation with the hotel’s owner about the corruption of the local government not building his road, and sit and smoke and drink honeyed rum, staring out west all the way to Mexico, thinking about what could have been.