Wednesday, January 22, 2003

new fiction from the alfars

Here's how Terminos (Endings), my latest Hinirang story, begins:

On the eve of his thirty-first natal day, Miguel Lopez Vicente decided he wanted to grow no older. The matter of age and the ravages of time had been weighing heavily on his head for the past few months. When he passed the halfway mark of a healthy man’s lifespan the year prior, he did it in a wine-induced stupor, refusing to even consider celebrating the event that was, to him, a signpost of death’s inevitability. He had been rescued from oblivion by the Guardia Civil who turned him over to the ungentle ministrations of the Tres Hermanas at the Katedral Grandu (for that unpleasant time alone, he did not wish to repeat the experience).

This year, he had thought about doing something else, to ward off the thoughts of another year ending, another year beginning - perhaps losing himself in the arms of some unknown young man (perhaps a rare Enkanto lost in the big city, or a handsome Tsino meztiso looking for something different, or even one of the slim Katao sailors docked in Ciudad Meiora for a night or three), but decided against it.

Here's how Nikki's Asin (Salt) starts off:

Blood gushed unchecked from between her mother’s legs, as the midwife urged her to push, push, push. They lived by the sea, that brought them their food and demanded their toil; and it was in their storm-tossed shanty, attended only by a midwife with no tools but clean cloths and hot water, that her mother died bringing her into the world.

Tears did not fall from her father’s eyes—not then, as her mother gasped her last; not later, when she herself wailed lustily at the indignity of being thrust out of the womb; and not after, when both mother and child were each bundled as appropriate, in shroud and blanket respectively. Her father never cried, for his wife was dead and his heart had died with her.

Watch for these in a couple of weeks on the Hinirang site!


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