Categories
Short Stories | Contos

LUCY BREAD

“I got bread!,” shouted a brute in high school while groping Lucy’s buttocks.

“You got toasted!,” she retorted, hitting him right in the eye with Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain.

This is Lucy Bread and the moment was magic indeed. Never more in her all entire life she would be a victim of abuse. The brute got blind, she was expelled for the first in a million times and in all of those she couldn’t care less. Expulsion, sacking and debt became natural in her life. A happy life, believe it or not.

Lucy Bread had the genius of being highly responsible without taking life too seriously. She had her moments of grief, as anybody, and let them go away. Sadness did not deserved to be clinged by her heart.

“I am leaving you,” howled her first husband, “and the kid goes with me. You better stop laughing!”

Smiling widely, Lucy Bread scanned the condescending dimwit expert on money making from crotch to eye.

“Do you really want to fight me, win me over? Are you sure?” When it came to stabbing her heart, Lucy Bread’s voice had the calm, persistence and reach of a deadly epidemic. “Are you really considering destroying your daughter’s childhood out of spite for her mother? Do you really want to drawn your money there?”

“You won’t have a chance!”

“Try me.”

He did. For years. Lucy kept on laughing, as well as her daughter. The kid learned from the best and her dimwit father had to realize no money could depress that woman.

“How can you do it?,” asked one friend at the job center. “How can you be so happy while living in tragedy?”

“Find me a better way to deal with it.”

“You’re a nut case,” said one lover. “Too bad I don’t have the balls to cope with such invulnerable joy.”

“People are taught to solemnly cry and suffer with dignity. I taught myself to let all tears pour fast and laugh it out when I’m done.”

“You’re on denial.”

“And you’re deaf. I just told you I get all the grief and mourning done in one blow. No more annoying and tedious sadness, believe it or not.”

“You should coach people.”

“I’m not that presumptuous. People don’t laugh because they’re chicken.”

The second husband of Lucy Bread had the maturity to make no judgment and learn from her. I’ve never seen a happier man. I envied him hard and my wife noticed that.

“Would you like me to be like her?”

“I would like to be like her,” was my digressive response. “We should all be like her.”

She gave me the glare of immediate divorce and I kept my mouth shut to the moment I widowed. I don’t know if I fell in love with Lucy Bread. I eat a loaf of bread in her honor every night and do my best not to care a thing.

Saturday, August 28th 2021

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

THE DONKEY SITUATION

I was minding my own business when the intercom starts buzzing. This is rare. Actually it would only happen when there was some package or registered letter. There was a donkey on the video screen.

“It’s the mail”, said a voice I knew quite well, but I could only see the donkey’s head nodding. I pressed the button to open the door and went to the bathroom to look at myself by the mirror. There was no donkey looking back at me. One doesn’t know how far hallucinations can go.

After throwing some water to my face I opened the door and stared at the elevators. One of them had the light flashing. This was not Carnival nor Halloween, There was no movement on the extinction and procreation of donkeys right now. Either way, besides donating a few euros there was nothing I could do.

The door of the elevator opened. There was a donkey and the mailman in it.

“Mr Gilberto Inácio?”

“You know very well it’s me. I offered you a coffee last week at Mendes.”

“I wasn’t asking for your name. I was just wondering whether you were expecting a donkey.” Man and beast walked the aisle, as elegantly as possible, hooves echoing on every walls like the rattle of a machine gun. “This donkey is yours. Please sign here,”

“This is a mistake. I’m not signing that.”

“Do it as you please. I’ll follow the protocol.”

“Do you have a protocol for delivering donkeys?”

“To farm animals in general, yes.”

“This isn’t a farm.”

“According to protocol, once you’re home to receive the package, this is donkey’s wonderland.”

“I will not sign and I will not keep the donkey with me.”

“Very well. I’ll leave the donkey here and flip the receipt under your door. Have a nice day.”

“Wait a minute! What would you do if I weren’t home?”

“We knew you were home.”

“How would you know that?”

The mailman and the donkey looked at me in the eye.

“We are the post offices. We know everything about everybody.”

I felt a chill and got angry.

“How come you leave acknowledgment receipts to withdraw packages on the post office if you know when I’m home?”

“Sometimes we want you to go there.”

“What for?”

“To be checked out.”

“Checked out?”

“Of course. We can’t check out clients and let them know that. It would contaminate our files with wrong data. So we make you go there and check you out while you collect your package.”

“Check me out for what?”

The mailman shrugged his shoulders.

“Who knows?”

“Someone above you, I suppose.”

“Oh, my chief knows nothing. He just runs things.”

“And above your chief?”

“Who knows? That’s nothing of my business.”

I swear to you the donkey was laughing at me.

“I’m not keeping this donkey.”

“I will follow protocol.”

“No, you won’t.”

“One thousand euros fine says you will.”

I was chocked. I considered he was bluffing, but his eyes showed me otherwise. And the donkey’s.

“I must add”, the mailman hushed, “the fine for not signing the receipt is two hundred fifty.” Again, no bluffing in his eyes and the donkey showing its teeth.

“Give me that.”

He handed me the board with the receipt attached for me to sign. I carefully read it. I knew the sender. Too well. It was all explained.

“Have a nice day.” Now the mailman was handing me the rope of the donkey, before turning his back while whistling The Beatles’ She Loves You.

“Hey! Isn’t there any letter?”

“Nope.”

“Not even a note?”

“Zip. Only the donkey.”

He disappeared in the elevator, leaving me with the package from my ex-wife.”

Saturday, August 21st 2021