by Jonay Quintero Hernández


“¡No! ¡no! … ¡nooo! ¡please!”- moaned the old man in his stained clothes and greasy hair. “¡Don’t kill me, please!” – he kept on yelling like a pig in a slaughter house. Evelio felt a little bolt of disgust, but apart from that, it was hard for him to discern any other feeling about the situation playing out. Ruthlessly, he raised his tool for the work, a second hand Beretta 92 FS he had bought in a poblado on the outskirts of Madrid, and without giving it a second thought, shot the desperate man three times in the head.

Plenty of brain mass fell to the ground, and many small pieces slid across the leaves of the neighboring vegetation as silent guests. One minute before that body was a human being, wicked as he might have been, but still a living creature. Evelio had executed the man outdoors, next to some bushes, close to a nearby slum. One of the few still standing after the impressive urban and economic boom that the city had experienced a few years ago.

No people were to be seen, neither did the stars seem to be watching the scene from the sky. The middle aged man scratched his dark beard, wiped his forehead with the back of his gloved hand and sighed in resignation. Being a dark night, it felt as if all the crimes and ignominies were to remain undercover. That made Evelio think that maybe his parents would not be able to see him from above. Fortunately, he thought, they died a few years before, and they did not have to see how things had begun to go wrong and he ended up like this. Sighing again, he lit a cigarette and wondered to himself “How did I end up like this?”

Probably, everything started to go poorly some years ago, in the crisis. Evelio was made redundant from his position as sales manager in a big corporation. Already in his 50s, he allegedly had lost the competition against younger candidates that got paid substantially less, had fewer vested rights and were more “malleable.” The pretentiousness of his earlier years had vanished all of a sudden, crushed by a fierce reality imposed on him.

The economic problems started quite soon. María, his wife, was jobless as well, and both spent too much time at home. They thought they would spend much less that way, but in the long run they passed so much time together that it began to show all the cracks in their relationship. They never had the time to have children, as they were so focused on their respective careers and now they discovered that they had not much in common after all.

One sunny morning Evelio woke up, and María just was not there. No letters, no sms, or messages on whatsapp and the worst of the case is that he did not care much about her absence. “Tanta paz lleves como descanso dejas” (as much peace you take as relief you are leaving) thought Evelio. Without any income, he was soon unable to pay the mortgage of his fashionable detached house and was evicted by the bank. He would have seen himself on the streets if it weren’t for his sister Elba who took him in.

He began to walk back to his car, troubled by all these thoughts. The night was very dark, and eventually he had to stop and turn on the light of his cell phone to see the way. After a few steps he noticed a small black shape on the floor. He got closer and realized that it was a cat. The small animal could not move and a few drops of blood seeped out of its mouth. It was struggling for life as its breath was so weak. In all likelihood, it had been poisoned, hit by a car or suffered from some internal injury. Its green eyes were half closed and its black hair was very soft as he touched it.


Tío Jacinto was the head of the most important gipsy clan, which controlled the narcotics market in the south of Madrid. He slid out of bed, glanced at the big crucifix on the wall above it, and carried the many pounds in his body across the floor. Not without struggle, he stretched, making his old bones crack, and then dragged his feet towards the window. He looked out at the huge no man’s land before his eyes while deciding what his mood was going to be like for the rest of the day.

(…to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Jonay Quintero Hernández

Extremism Is Now the New Hype – Jonay Quintero Hernández

The Fear of Not Knowing – Jonay Quintero Hernández

Embracing Instability – Jonay Quintero Hernández

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Madrid, Spain – On the outskirts – Eduardo Mendez (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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