Three Argentine Flash Fictions
Having met by chance, they hugged. “Long time no see!” the men chorused. They caught up, exchanged telephone numbers, and promised to meet again for coffee sometime. On his way back home, M. tried to remember why they’d stopped seeing each other; such a nice guy. (One meets so many fools in life, he mused, but truly worthwhile people vanish without a trace.) But when the taxi arrived, he found that his wallet was missing. Identifying the guilty party immediately, he wondered when his erstwhile acquaintance had chosen his moment: during their unexpected greeting, or the hug goodbye.
The Ghosts of Canter Villa
They broke in through the window at night and barricaded the door from the inside. The next morning, they draped the mansion’s façade with a large red flag with Che’s face on it (the mansion had been empty for years). They made cairns of stones on the balconies to repel the police response and piles of leaflets to hand out to journalists. But neither the police nor the media paid them any attention. Now they’ve been living there for years, claiming to be revolutionary insurrectionists. But people in the neighborhood regard them as simple squatters.
Because of its geographic location, in the town of El Hoyo, the wind doesn’t blow from the side but from above. This means that hats aren’t blown off heads and doors don’t swing shut, but also that you can’t air out rooms by opening the window (and girls’ skirts don’t fly up in the draft). Here, flags hang from horizontal masts, you light cigarettes vertically, and umbrellas are called windbrellas. Although they can’t fly kites or sail paper boats, the children still have a happy childhood. Or at least one in which their hair is always neat and tidy.
Translations from the Spanish