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The Short Form

“Of Anguish and Illusions”

Giancarla De Quiroga


Having decided to live his forbidden dreams, Estalín Monsalvo took off on a trip to the Caribbean Islands in the company of his mistress and returned just in time, one month before the anniversary of his birth, to be pardoned by his wife and die a Christian death in her legal arms.

Lola Caracol, employed in the oldest of professions, wanted to celebrate her forty years of life frolicking in her bed so that posterity would remember that she had died as she had lived. She waited in vain for the fatal outcome to arrive, drinking champagne with her regular and occasional clients alike, but at the precise moment, the tension was so overwhelming that she became paralyzed and had to abandon her trade.

Doña Deidamia Luceros, known as the “virgin widow,” longed to die in order to be reunited with her husband, whom fate had snatched away the day of their wedding some seventy years before. On her birthday she bathed in scented herbs, donned her wedding dress, placed the wax crown of citrus blossoms on her white head, laid herself down in her virginal coffin, and passed on to a better life with a placid expression on her face and infinite hopes.