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Simón Barreales

He was nervous and sweaty, with a lost stare and rapid breathing, rather odd and, to be fair, ironically paused, as if it gave his regret away, but he knew well there was no way back. Once again. he took to the “Moscos”[1] bottle, only this time his throat did not resent the ethylic burn; and his look became the stare of a mad man, all of a sudden deranged to see all that money in his hands, he was fond of the smell of filthy paper; he would smile, at times with fear, at times with excitement, and he would tell his daughters that nothing would be missing from that moment on, for they were not like the common people in town.

Two soft knocks at the door were heard; Simón Barreales was petrified and ceased to breathe for a moment; promptly, he kneeled, gave his older daughter instructions and caressed her cheek. He took the cloth bag stuffed the notes in, got a last sip of “Moscos” and put the bottle away; afterwards, he kissed his younger daughter on the forehead and promised her everything would be alright as long as she were strong and never showed fear. He left through the back door.

Esther opened the door: she was decided to honour her name and save the situation even at the expense of her own life, though there was nobody at the doorstep, only a flayed rooster and a note reading: “HIDE YOUR SADNESS FOR IT IS NOT GOOD TO MOURN A TRAITOR”.

Simón Barreales did not get very far; on the corner where there was a white house with blue ceilings were Rutilio Cantalagua and Fermín Flores, the former smoking “Faros”[2] and the latter puffing on “Delicados”[3]. Simón, fully aware of his fate, just bowed down, shed a stray tear-either in fear or in regret-, took out his “Moscos” bottle and took a last drink of healing alcohol; he then placed the cloth bag before him and offered his neck in a peaceful way.

It was Rutilio who said -repent and believe in the Gospel truth, you son of a thousand whores- and Fermin pulled the trigger. They whistled at Satan and obedient he came next to them in the shape of a dark brown horse; strong, though poorly fed and its fur was so full of dirt that not even Fermin would pat it.

They tied Simón methodically -at this point, we are not certain whether he became a demon or an angel-. Rutilio finished off the bottle and crashed it against a light pole, next, he pinched Satan, who took the hint and began to demonstrate Simón’s already tight body all over town. The gallop was very slow, a sad and terrifying scene, a spine-chilling show.

People would look discretely through the window, making the sign of the holy cross; Simón’s young daughter went out to the street to see the show. She was unperturbed, knowing that, if she was strong and did not show her fear, everything would be alright. Just like Simón the Angel had promised.

*Text translated by Ivan Rodriguez Herrera [1] The "moscos" is a liquor fermented and distilled from sugar cane and orange, manufactured and distributed by the eponymous brand. It is originally from the city of Toluca de Lerdo, capital of the state of Mexico. [2] Cigarettes Faros is one of the oldest brands of Mexican cigarettes that emerged in the city of Irapuato Guanajuato, Mexico. [3] Emblematic Mexican brand of oval and rice paper cigarettes.

Simón Barreales

Estaba muy nervioso, sudoroso, con la mirada perdida y su respirar estaba acelerado; era un aceleramiento raro, más bien irónicamente pausado, como si esto delatara su arrepentimiento; pero sabía bien que no había marcha atrás. Volvió a darle un trago a la botella de Moscos[1], pero esta vez su garganta ya no resintió el quemazón etílico; y su mirada se tornó en una mirada de loco, repentinamente estaba enloquecido de ver tanto dinero en sus manos, le gustaba ese olor del papel mugroso; sonreía a veces de miedo a veces de emoción y a sus hijas les decía que a partir de ahora nada les faltaría, que ya no eran como las demás personas corrientes del pueblo.

Se escucharon dos toques muy suaves en la puerta; Simón Barreales se quedó petrificado y dejó de respirar por un momento, acto seguido se agachó y le dio indicaciones a su hija mayor y le acarició la mejilla. Tomó el bolso de manta y puso los billetes, dio un último trago de Moscos y guardó su botella; le dio un beso en la frente a su hija menor y le prometió que todo estaría bien solo si ella fuese muy fuerte y nunca mostrara miedo. Partió por la parte trasera.

Esther abrió la puerta, estaba decidida a hacer honor a su nombre y salvar la situación aun a costa de su propia vida, pero en la puerta no se encontraba nadie, tan solo había un gallo desollado y una nota que decía: “Escondan su tristeza que no es bueno penar por un traidor”

Simón Barreales no llegó muy lejos, en la esquina donde se encontraba una casa blanca con techos azules estaba ellos, Rutilio Cantalagua y Fermín Flores, el primero fumando unos Faros