Black Star. A Retro-Prospective of the Work of Eugenia Martínez and Other Women

EXTRACT is an online section where we share some of the texts published by Temblores Publicaciones, Terremoto’s publishing house. We present “Event Horizon” by Clyo Mendoza, from Black Star. A Retro-prospective of the Work of Eugenia Martínez and Other Women.

Event Horizon

by Clyo Mendoza

The boys always followed Greta. They followed her everywhere, and she didn’t realize how attractive she was. When she went out to buy bread, the boys were already there outside the store, pretending to play some game or other. When she crossed the sidewalk, the boys had eyes only for her back—which might as well have been anyone’s back. Nonetheless, they had to stop everything to watch her cross, lowering their eyes with a certain modesty to the place where her back, always covered in a heavy, lint-covered sweater, curved.

One ordinary day at the right time, they waited for Greta outside her house to secretly escort her on her shopping, but Greta didn’t come out. The next day, right on time, they waited in the same spot, but there was no sign of her.

The night was warm and they kept talking until very late. They planned new routes for following her, using the street as a chalkboard to trace imaginary paths, and they called this new form of pursuit and scrutiny Operation Number X.

On the first day of their game, they saw Greta run past them towards the river. She ran as if her pelvis carried her forward, with her arms hanging at her sides like long lumps. They were surprised by her lack of coordination and grace, her clumsiness. One of them suggested changing their route (to go look at the old lady who was sunbathing that day) and the rest of them agreed. Their obsession with Greta was diminishing by the day. One of them believed, without showing it, that his desire had turned into fear. Her face wasn’t the same: now Greta had a blank stare, fits of laughter, a fixation with rolling and unrolling balls of dirt mixed with her spit.

The days went by. That boy who was first surprised by the girl’s hollow smile decided to follow her. Greta left her house, once again as if she were impelled by a being lodged in her gut, shaking her head like it was a little bag full of water.

The boy followed her as she hunched to make herself smaller and crossed through the wall that enclosed the river. One after another, Greta and the boy went through the damp hole. Resting his fingers on the wall, he felt the soft, cold touch of a snake. It was very dark, but at the end of the short tunnel light filtered through the stems and pistils, radiating green. There, the weeds heralded an exit. 

Greta didn’t notice that someone was following her. 

Find this full text in the printed version of Black Star. A Retro-prospective of the Work of Eugenia Martínez and Other Women here.


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