Skip to content

Languages

377 article(s) translated from Spanish

Number Six

José Ignacio Valenzuela’s distrustful woman debates whether she ought to allow a stranger into her home.       Characters WOMAN MAN NEWSCASTER (voiceover) A living room with a small sofa, a television set switched on, and a door. There’s an old- fashioned phone beside the TV. We hear the sound of rainstorm: thunder and lightning. A woman is sitting on the sofa watching the TV. VOICEOVER OF THE NEWSCASTER  The police have issued no statements...

No Direction

Miguel Alcantud and Santiago Molero present the mysterious call-and-response of a nameless man and the woman who appears to be holding him captive.    Characters HIM HER The room appears to be a bedroom but with a bit of everything thrown in. It looks like a kind of basement area or shed, although it is well set up. There is a bed, a piece of low furniture that could be a dresser or chest of drawers, and a chair. As the audience enters a man can be seen...

Three

I never got the knack of fidelity. Ever since I first experienced pleasure outside the four walls of our tacky bathroom, I’ve continually violated the most sacred pacts of love. At first I put this down to my lack of character or inability to assert my desires in relation to an Other, to have some coherence in my life. How could I enjoy properly transgressive sex without sacrificing Sunday movie nights and breakfasts in bed? How could I keep the excitement of a secret rendezvous but...

Three Microfictions

Machos in the Metro I’m always aware of who’s around me in the metro. For two reasons. One is that I like to snap pics of hot guys without them realizing. I pretend to be texting or browsing Facebook, but I’m actually capturing portraits of raw masculinity: an unshaven square jaw, a bulge at the crotch of some sweatpants, the biceps of a guy holding onto the pole when the car starts to slow down. And it’s an even bigger turn-on because they’re not aware of my...

Trilingual Day of Rain

stone over stone s i l e n c e   il pleut aujourd’hui au Fort Chambly il pleut exactement comme il pleuvait il y a 400 ans il pleut comme il pleuvait il y a 1 400 ans il pleut comme il pleuvait il y a 11 400 ans 11 400 années de pluie as rain falls this afternoon a man in wet clothes stares at stone over stone the low clouds, the rain in s i l e n c e   Louis XVI reinaba en Francia en Nueva Francia llovía sobre las piedras y los bosques sobre la piel del...

The Flowers of War

the flowers of war open at night on boulevard Saint-Laurent a line from Lorca a word from Castellanos a body unharmed by the siege of Sarajevo a bomb that didn’t explode in Hanoi or Baghdad and the sweet lips of women in winter are enough to make dawn bear fruit on this corner on boulevard Saint-Laurent best if you don’t know who you are best if you don’t know where you’re from best if you don’t know where you’re going the boulevard’s flowers in...

The God of Tar and Bone

a man standing on the tracks stares at a train as it advances with a moan of metal and night the iron moves the blind diesel thrusts the siren wails the feverish headlight lights up and splits the chest of the earth and forest but the man stays still before the apparatus still ten meters left and he just stares and stares at the invention that will chop him split him shatter him he lacks no strength or ability     to thrust his body to one side he can jump run dodge save...

María Times Seven

Across the entire region, people spoke about Doña Toña’s multiple births for weeks. Seven strong and healthy baby girls had issued from their mother’s swollen belly, screaming at the top of their lungs. No sooner had Doña Toña finished breastfeeding the lot of them than a ravenous appetite roared again in those who were first to take their turns. For thirty days and thirty nights she didn’t sleep, dutifully offering each child her chance to...

Project DreamReal

Herson Tissert Pérez reads “Project DreamReal.”  1 The individual who greeted me in the building’s lobby didn’t much resemble the one pictured in the advertising leaflets. He seemed less physically imposing, and his smile, cordial and welcoming in the leaflets, now struck me as that of a man with some kind of secret to conceal. Nevertheless, my excitement was so great that I followed him unhesitatingly down a network of hallways and staircases until,...

Swimming Upstream

“I don’t like ballet,” the doctor admitted. “OK,” Nicanor said, “but it’s different with me. It’s not that I don’t like sports, it’s that they don’t make any sense to me. Like I wouldn’t understand a salmon explaining why it has to migrate. I just don’t get a stadium full of people screaming with enthusiasm or outrage about eight guys who bang a leather ball around better than the other eight.”...

The Bleeding Hands of Castaways

To my love, the Tramontana wind that shook my life forever. A book is a bottle flung into the sea. I want my books to reach the bleeding hands of  castaways. —Samuel Feijóo I found an old mining asteroid of no interest to anyone, rented it for a few Federation kopeks, and built a bar that matches your eyes, though you’re not here. I searched through the tangle of collapsing tunnels until I came upon exactly the right space, its acoustics perfect for your voice. I...

Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse à la solitaire . . . For Two

For Erelvis Jiménez and Roberto Armas Saladrigas This exquisite dessert, so emblematic of our era of space conquest, dates back to the 2103 recipe by Iljon Tichy, though some detractors of the celebrated cosmonaut refuse to accept this theory on the grounds that there’s no mention of the now-legendary delicacy in any of the many volumes of Tichy’s well-known Star Diaries. Great is human envy . . . and extraterrestrial envy is even greater. What remains undisputed...

Royalty Check

For Elisú   I walk into the bank, check in hand, and ask a security guard whether I can cash it. He takes my question to another man who might be a plainclothes guard, then comes back to tell me 1) that I can indeed cash my check at this branch, and 2) that the computer connections have been going down a lot today. I don’t know exactly what this means in technical terms, but I soon see the practical result: slow at the best of times, the bank is putting its full capacity...

Cinderella’s Secret Dream

Years ago, there was a doctor who lived in our town, a wealthy widower. The only family he had left was a beautiful daughter, blond as beer, named Cleis. He had a bad heart and was worried that he’d die and leave his little girl all alone, so he married his housekeeper, a respectable widow who had two daughters named Lotta and Regan, and who seemed very fond of Cleis. I knew that scheming bitch didn’t love Cleis. Far from it. She hated the poor girl and was just faking it. But...

Nothing to Declare

Father traded his life savings for this hole in the waste-recycling compartment. Of course there’s not much space. Anela, Soulness, and I are getting cramped arms and stiff necks, we’re steeping in each other’s hot breath. But we couldn’t have asked for more from our old man. Trembling, he placed the two mega-credits in the spaceport attendant’s gloved hands. He trembled because he feared our trip would be thwarted and we’d have no chance at a second...

The Scream

“where we are is hell, / And where hell is must we ever be.” —Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus   It is one of those mornings when it’s hard for her to get out from under the sheets, as if her body weighed more than usual. Tons weighing down her arms and each of the hairs on her legs. She rubs her right eye with three slow swipes of the hand, her elbow grazing her husband’s back. He barely stirs; his body, sunk into the mattress, hardly...

Curfew . . .

Overwhelmed by the weight of oblivion, she plunged one leg into the bathtub full of warm water, flowers and leaves that chased away the pain living inside her . . . fortunately, the herbal bath relieved her aching body and the sores spreading across her skin.   Still standing there with one leg navigating the tiny ocean she had designed at the end of the bedroom, she caught a glimpse of the world lying in wait outside her window. Her other leg hung suspended in the surrounding cold; a...

No Euskera

Bilbao rose to meet them, swathed in stagnant drizzle. At the door to the train station, the old woman opened her umbrella and stepped outside, with the girl walking snug against her body. The damp fog blurred the outlines of the city. Objects appeared menacingly distant, and the people seemed to be walking an inch off the ground. The old woman tied her black kerchief under her chin without dropping the basket hung over her arm. She was dressed in an old village woman’s prim mourning...

Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late, Part III

This is the third installment in a three-part fiction serial of Peruvian writer Carlos Yushimito's short story "Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late," translated by Valerie Miles. You can read the first installment here and the second installment here.   5. The day the farming truck crushed Papá’s car the hunting had been bountiful; the marmalade jar had struck and stirred up the tight body of an earthworm colony. We trapped at least fifty of them but I had to...

Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late, Part II

3 I hated how Margarita cracked her knuckles when it was her turn to play the piano. She knew the sound of cracked nuts when she laced her fingers together and twisted them triggered a slight nervous twitch I wasn’t able to conceal. But it wasn’t only to bother me that she popped her joints like snail shells underfoot; in fact, she meant it as a reminder of how much happier both of us were outdoors and not underneath that roof. But to maintain the serene course of things,...

Living with the Beast

  Wilfredo Inuma is the chief of an indigenous Amazonian community. But above all, he is the guardian of the lavatory. Wilfredo founded the Shipibo community of Bena Gema twelve years ago, together with 150 families fleeing the misery of the jungle. They settled in the outskirts of the city of Pucallpa, capital of the Peruvian region of Ucayali. They wanted schools for their children. And jobs. Wilfredo has worked guarding oil company facilitiess against attacks by locals. He has...

Like a Rolling Stone

The fat man was interesting. A tourist, of course, who had only come to Qoyllur Rit’i to rubberneck. Zimm had seen him on previous days down on the plain below the ice, walking around the campsites set up most recently on the Sinakara depression. There was no mistaking his shape; Zimm figured he must weigh at least three hundred pounds, which ruled him out as a typical festival pilgrim. Plus, the fat man hadn’t brought altar candles with him up to the still night-darkened ice,...

A Sign

On the first attempt, the trigger jammed. The prisoner wasn’t afraid, and in fact felt a sort of indifference that seemed, in light of the brutality of the instant, to have been there all along, his whole life, quietly lurking behind each of his experiences as though awaiting the ideal moment to surface. Behind him, the footsteps of the soldier, his executioner, rang out: rapid-fire, ready to finish off the job. Then the cold of the steel touched the back of his head for the second...

At Peace

“We die from the moment we’re born, but only say we die when we’ve reached the end of that process, and sometimes that end lasts an awfully long time.” Thomas Bernhard, Breath Mariana Speranza! It’s been four years since I last heard my name. I’d almost forgotten what it sounded like. Someone knocks on the door three times. The last time I heard it was on a Thursday, four years ago, as I was leaving the office. It was my last day of work. I resigned. I...

1-02

I cut my sister’s hair today the locks fell like huge tears against the baseboards I swept it up and tossed it in the trash All that dead hair has filled my dreams One day I dreamt of dead hair  The strands all joined back together They ganged up and demanded I account for my sad deed I was silent, dumbstruck The dead hair insisted: Are you there? Why did you butcher me? I gathered up the hair and my sister’s face appeared floating in the distance Why did you throw my hair...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.