Image: The Magician card, Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck, c. 1450
After wiping the sweat with his handkerchief, he choked to death in front of the audience. That’s how they knew he wasn’t a charlatan – the magician had accidentally erased his face.
The old man in his wheelchair flashes a toothless smile as he takes his great-grandson into his arms. Tears trickle down his wrinkled face as he looks at the newborn’s chubby cheeks, soft skin, and eyes overflowing with light. Suddenly, the old man stammers his despair as his heart gives its last beat. The baby smiles and pulls at the dead man’s beard, eager to start using a baby walker and then walk again.
After creating the universe, God turned into the most dramatic, the most cheerful, and the most beautiful melody. Never allowing silence, that melody filled the air, as a gift for all creatures. But because it had always been there, no one could hear it, until God died and the melody stopped vibrating in the air. Then tears of joy sprouted, when the creatures could hear the majestic melody in the midst of the true silence in the hollow left by God.
Édgar Omar Avilés was born in 1980 in Morelia, Michoacán. He is the author of several books, including the story collections Cabalgata en duermevela (2011), No respiramos: Inflamos fantasmas (2014), as well as the novels Guiichi (2008) and Efecto vudú (2018). His short stories have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including the 2004 and 2005 editions of Los mejores cuentos mexicanos (The Best Mexican Short Stories). Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum's The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa's The Fox's Window and Other Stories (2010), Espido Freire's Irlanda (2011), and Selfa Chew's Silent Herons (2012). Other translations have appeared in The Global Game(2008), Sudden Fiction Latino (2010), and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (2010).