It was already 10:40 AM and still the foggy sky refused to deliver any sunlight. Chilly as it was, the air wrapped the small village in a refreshing rather than a freezing breeze. A symphony of distant barks, squawks, moos and neighs was the general soundtrack for the rural scenery. With utmost diligence, Mr. Sanchez the baker was baking the last loafs of bread while Emilio, his son, did el reparto as quick as he could in his old van. Time in this lonely and small corner of the world was slow and regarded laxly, but it remained relentless like on the rest of the planet.
Old pedazos marked by stone walls covered the landscape up to the sea. The Atlantic Ocean remained the guardian of this island, on a watch that had lasted a million years. Different tones of green, ochre, gray, yellow and black stained the hills and valleys as if the earth was a dormant animal. The old sleepy craters were now covered with green vineyards, and clouds played getting in and out of them, giving them the appearance of huge fuming teacups.
Kunta entertained a small number of pussycats without engaging with any of them seriously. He used to boastfully lick one of his paws and then carefully curb his whiskers. Living on a rural island had increased his opportunities for socializing in ways that seemed almost unimaginable in Madrid. Cats were a booming species in this place, as he had learned since his arrival. He just couldn’t believe how lucky he had been to cross paths with Edelmiro. Life back in the poblado on the outskirts of Madrid seemed like a nightmare. At first, he had feared Edelmiro abandoning him, just like almost every human seems to do sooner or later, but he had the immense luck that his new master had included him in his new bizarre “family.”
It’s been almost a year since we arrived here. I was very sad at first. I had left my friends in Madrid and all the things I knew. It is not that I had so many friends, just my cousins in San Blas and one or two girls from my class who lived in Vallecas. Because of dad’s bad temper, neither my mom nor me were used to hanging out with people outside home. I’d rather visit some of my friends at their places and come back at a prudent time in the evening, before dad began to wonder where I was. The contact to a few people you know and relatives is something to be missed, but I felt deprived of other things, things like churros and barquillos from the barquilleros at the San Isidro festival, the shops and shop windows at la Gran Vía, the Retiro park and the smell and rare colors of the fallen leaves from the trees in the park next to my building. As parks are intended to bring a little bit of nature to the cities, there are none of them in El Hierro. Nature rules everything in this place, and you don’t need to walk to find trees, flowers or animals as they are all over the place.
Well, since I’ve arrived on this island, I have lived at the old house that Edelmiro inherited from his parents, who passed away long ago. The three of us have formed a bizarre family – sorry, I forgot to mention Kunta Kinte, our cat. At first, we were distrustful of everyone. I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do with dad.
I felt quite disappointed and amazed about our sudden departure from Madrid. Edelmiro, up to that moment, had always been just another neighbor with whom we weren’t in much contact. I always knew that dad hadn’t gone to Zaragoza for work.
I wasn’t sure about it, but I knew mom and Edelmiro were up to something. It wasn’t very clear what it was. Sometimes I feel like a weird pressure in my stomach and a little nausea afterwards when I think about what happened back then in Madrid. I still don’t know what their relationship is.
I kind of like Edelmiro. He is quiet and serious but also very nice to me. He seems to have changed a lot since we have been here. He started to work his family’s fields and now we eat at home the fresh fruits and vegetables he grows. He also seems a little bit more talkative. It feels kind of safe here with him. They both, mom and him, look like strangers living under the same roof, but I suspect that Edelmiro would like to be something else…
This old house is scary sometimes because of the little noises that so much wood makes, but it feels cozy here and I have plenty of space. I have a much bigger room than the one I had in our flat in Madrid. I’m too old to play with dolls and toys, but I wasn’t able to bring all my stuff to this place. So I miss it. Mom and Edelmiro have bought me new clothes, books and all sorts of things so I can manage here. I have a huge wooden window through which I can see the green hills and the ocean. There is also old wooden furniture in which I keep my belongings.
(…to be continued…)
2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation
January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)
March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)
July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)
August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)
October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)
Background – Context
In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
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)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: El Hierro, Spain – Lost in the mist – Victor Suarez Naranjo (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed