For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Great Baro”

Virgilio Piñera


Baro was thunderstruck; he was already opening his mouth to object. His visitor didn't give him time. In a soothing voice, he said, “We have to give you a nice clown name. Yes, right this minute. You will be called Baro, the great Baro, the One and Only Baro, he who knocks them dead with laughter...”

“Or with sobbing,” replied Baro. “It isn't an objection, but I'm afraid that my clowning around will smack of funerals...”

“Don't look at it that way, not at all,” the boss protested warmly. “Don't forget that people go to the circus with the intention of laughing. Anything that takes place there, however dramatic it might be, turns into guffaws.”