Seven Flash Pieces by Luis Felipe Hernández, translated by Toshiya Kamei



TRAUMA


She never learned to sew or embroider. The only time she ever tried, she pricked her finger and fell asleep for one hundred years.


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VICE AND VIRTUE


After each performance, while one of them runs away from the circus to get lost in shanties and brothels, the other prays and immerses himself in deep meditation. No one would believe that they were brothers, let alone Siamese twins.


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SECRET


Her mother spread the lie — a wolf dressed in her grandmother's nightdress attacked Little Red Riding Hood. Thus, no one found out that the old woman was a werewolf.


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TEARING


The audience was horrified when the sword swallower had a fit of hiccups in the middle of the chilling act.


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PASSION


A brawl broke out among party members. Two were expelled, three injured, and before the enraged souls it was not possible to choose their presidential nominee.


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ELEPHANTOM


She wanders around the circuses that gave her so much glory. Her ears, similar to transparent cellophane, are enormous like her swinging trunk with which she goes collecting memories: either the occasion when she did the Dance of the Seven Veils with the Ringling Brothers, and at the same time her double jump from a Barnum trapeze; already of the fateful, last slip that gave in the loose cord of the Atayde Circus.


The elephantom is not bothered by the new generations that try to emulate her clumsily. She simply observes them from a stand — always her preferred type — and shaking her head, disapproving of a hesitation, an error in the rhythm of the routine, and an unnecessary movement.


Sated once that it is of memories, the only thing the star continues to deplore with longing and craving less and less is that peanuts have no soul.


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ASYNCHRONISM


He kissed her and as she woke up, he was blasted by the foul breath accumulated over one hundred years.





Born in 1959 in Mexico City, Luis Felipe Hernández is the author of Circo de tres pistas y otros mundos mínimos (2002), De cuerpo entero (2004), and Falsos amigos y otras epifanías (2007).

Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations of Latin American literature include My Father Thinks I'm a Fakir by Claudia Apablaza, Silent Herons by Selfa Chew, and The Torments of Aristarco by Ana García Bergua.

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