María’s Island (short story) | Post-Hurricane Flash Fiction

María’s Island” will appear in a collection of poems & short stories by Luis S. González-Acevedo (release: 2019-2020)DSC_0055


 

María’s Island

hurricane-earth-satellite-tracking-71116.jpegAnton Cortázar Toledo quivers in front of the urinal, steps back, and pulls on the cold lever. Waters rush down its porcelain back, disturbing the fresh blot of yellow like a cleansing waterfall.

“Boarding for Flight 920 to Orlando will begin shortly. Please have your boarding pass ready.”

Anton moves quickly toward the lavatory. After wetting his hands with lukewarm water, he positions them under the automatic soap dispenser, wets again, and rubs vigorously. The sight of the baptismal liquid washing away the tainted suds intrigues him.

The hand drier starts automatically as his fingers slide steadily back and forth below the vent. “Good as new,” he celebrates under his breath.

“Good afternoon,” says the stranger stepping up to dry his hands.

“Buenas tardes,” Anton replies in native Spanish.

The man leans in a little, as if confused, but eventually smiles and nods.

“Good afternoon,” Anton adds –in English– as he walks away.

As he steps out of the restroom, he can’t help but notice the digital clock with bright numbers on the wall –an acute awareness of time confronts him.

Near the gate, passengers continue to line up as Anton moves toward the end of the line.

He greets an approaching American couple with familiar warmth. They glance at him with little interest, saying nothing. Red-cheeked, he moves forward with the line, tugging along his carry-on.

 

| | |

 

Anton sits on the floor, next to his luggage. He pulls out a puzzle, a souvenir he picked up near Laguna del Condado. The puzzle conjures the smell of the lagoon’s troubled waters. He carefully selects a piece from the box and lays it over a previously assembled cluster. It seems right, but doesn’t settle perfectly. It’s slightly forced. He scatters the remaining pieces but doesn’t find one that’s more fitting. Given the piece’s shape and colors, it appears to be the only possibility. He presses gently, again, but the cluster doesn’t give naturally. Steam rises from within, and his chest inflates and deflates precipitously. His temples play a soft rhythm.

Groping himself with uncertainty, Anton pulls out a phone from his blazer’s inner pocket. No emails. No texts. No voicemails. The empty inboxes don’t surprise him, but he’s disappointed that he hasn’t heard back on the promotion. He clears his head, refocusing…

The woman standing nearby holds him captive with her mere existence. She sobs delicately. Silently… Her shoulders shimmy.

“She must be dear to someone,” he thinks.

“Someone staying?”

“Someone waiting?”

Her head sinks. His eyes are locked. He studies her meticulously, intensifying the quest for truth. His eyes pause briefly on the tag attached to the oversized bag between her elbow and torso, “María C. Burgos García.” She stands hunched, face drawn to the floor while cupping her mouth and nose with a trembling hand.

María’s breathing hops as she tries to catch her breath between private sobs. These vital moments unfold under Anton’s microscope…

“She’s torn,” he concludes.

“She weighs what she leaves behind against what awaits.”

“Who? What does she leave behind?”

“What? Who claims her in Orlando?”

“Should she stay?”

“Go?”

“Only she knows.”

 

| | |

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, boarding for Flight 920 to Orlando has been delayed. Please stand by for further instructions.”

Some passengers scatter about, but María remains rooted. She keeps to herself, eyes fixed on the cinematic images reflected from the waxed floor. Anton sits on the seat closest to his place in line. From there, he witnesses the wet trails coming to life on her face.

Anton’s eyes shift to his phone, not wanting to be too obvious with his observations. He taps a random app and skims quickly through a myriad of senseless posts.

María reignites his interest.

Gazing surreptitiously at her, he thinks: “Go or stay?”

Anton stares pensively at the gate.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we will begin boarding Flight 920 to Orlando.”

Turning away from the gate, his eyes rush down the long white corridor, cleansing his soul as they run. They’re drawn to Avenida Ashford by the lagoon.

His phone chimes. He checks his email:

 

“From: Stewart, Jack

To: Cortazar-Toledo, Anton; Frustrada, Jane; Mizphits, Jared

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

 

Anton, Jane, Jared,

I just received news that you have been promoted.

Congratulations!!!

Jack Stewart

Director, Human Resources”

 

“Stay or go?” he asks himself, as if demanding an answer.

María looks back at him with smiling, brown eyes as she quickly retraces her steps.

“She’s choosing to stay,” he says with amusement and some emotion –his voice breaking. The small crowd nearby stares at him –bewildered.

His breathing settles. He’s relieved and at peace, maybe for the first time in decades. He understands. He understands her…  Anton taps [delete].

Tossing his boarding pass into the trash on his way down the corridor, he follows María toward any dreamful possibilities floating in his lagoon.

–by Luis S. González-Acevedo

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palabras del maestro después del huracán

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palabras del maestro después del huracán

4 de octubre de 2017

por don pedro albizu campos y luis s. gonzález-acevedo

nota: las palabras del maestro don pedro comienzan cada estrofa y son la totalidad de la última.

 

hay un anhelo de superación puertorriqueño

anhelo que ninguna fuerza

huracanada podrá arrasar

 

hay una grandeza puertorriqueña

grandeza de un pueblo magno

con el espíritu de utuado y lares

el corazón del gigante adjunteño

y el valor jayuyano y ponceño

virtudes que una fuerza torrencial

no podrá quebrar

 

hay una visión de belleza puertorriqueña

belleza eterna que en momentos de crisis

eleva su estrella al cielo

y resplandece al luchar y progresar

 

hay una fe puertorriqueña

que se extiende hacia la eternidad

de generaciones por nacer de grandes y nobles

y santos puertorriqueños

Serie Poética (12 de 12) | Poema: Posdata Sobre el Rojo Gótico | La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica (English Option Available)

Serie Poética: La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica (English Option Available)


English Option: This post was written for Spanish readers. However, you can click on the link above the poem & photo to visit the corresponding English version.


La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica es una serie de poemas compuesta en inglés y traducidas al español. En total, son doce (12) poemas que construyen una historia contemporánea, gótica y surrealista. Los temas en la serie son: amor, fantasía, espantos hermosos, surrealismo, lujuria, temas góticos, sensualidad y cosméticos, entre otros. Como dije, traduje los poemas del inglés al español. Como toda traducción poética, se pierde mucho en el proceso. No obstante, espero que sean de su agrado.


English Option | https://luissamuelgonzalezacevedo.com/2017/09/22/poem-12-of-12-the-poetic-love-story-of-a-goth-postscript-on-gothic-red/


Versos Selectos…

Posdata Sobre el Rojo Gótico

(traducción de Postscript On Gothic Red)

por Luis S. González-Acevedo

Rojo gótico vestido de princesa mohicana
con ojos nacidos en el alba: gris-azules.
Viste tu traje nativo y guantes carmesí
para velar tu delicada piel pálida-blanca
y las constelaciones de pecas nacidas al este de Berlín…

…Y tales fueron los sueños del profesor:
ilusiones y fantasías de la mente
–lo suficientemente poderosas para crear un mundo
basado en Jill la Gótica…

…El Filósofo abre sus ojos
y nota las manchas
en sus almohadas y sábanas: hollín y brea.

GothRedHair


El poema en su totalidad se encuentra…

y el original en inglés @…

Serie Poética (11 de 12) | Poema: Réquiem para un Sueño Gótico | La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica (English Option Available)

Serie Poética: La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica (English Option Available)


English Option: This post was written for Spanish readers. However, you can click on the link above the poem & photo to visit the corresponding English version.


La Historia en Verso de una Chica Gótica es una serie de poemas compuesta en inglés y traducidas al español. En total, son doce (12) poemas que construyen una historia contemporánea, gótica y surrealista. Los temas en la serie son: amor, fantasía, espantos hermosos, surrealismo, lujuria, temas góticos, sensualidad y cosméticos, entre otros. Como dije, traduje los poemas del inglés al español. Como toda traducción poética, se pierde mucho en el proceso. No obstante, espero que sean de su agrado.


English Option | https://luissamuelgonzalezacevedo.com/2017/09/22/poem-11-of-12-the-poetic-love-story-of-a-goth-requiem-for-a-gothic-dream/


GothTombstoneVersos Selectos…

Réquiem para un Sueño Gótico

(traducción de Requiem for a Gothic Dream)

por Luis S. González-Acevedo

En los confines
de mi mente te desplazaste
y marcaste signos góticos
sangrándome, sepultándome en tu tumba.

Dejaste un réquiem para un sueño:
mis manos a tientas en la niebla
de un esquema fantasmal pálido
cuyo beso no me atreví resistir.

Ficciones desconcertantes de mi mente:
inexistente idea de horribles temores…

 


El poema en su totalidad se encuentra…

y el original en inglés @…