Anastasia’s Toes (excerpt) — Mario Flecha (Camilla Balmer translator)

—Why do you want to see my toes?


—I’m afraid of the consequences.  I wouldn’t want you to become blind.  Do you know, I don’t believe Ladious Azur exists or if he does, I know who he is.  He is the only one who could help you by telling me one of his stories and if I like it, I’ll show you my foot.

I blushed.  Anastasia had realised the piece of paper I had given her, supposedly by a poet from Buenos Aires, had been written by me simply because it was in my hand writing.

—Shall I tell you a love story? —I asked.

—As long as it isn’t tragic.

—It’s the story of Donald Trump and Melanie…. Donald the Snail was travelling in a distant place, (Miami).  He didn’t sing flamenco songs, he just had murky, sexual ideas and a very developed ego.  His favourite song was MeMe by the republican band, the Twitter. Donald the Snail used to walk around the city to Seduce Snails, he liked them all. 

His sexual dissatisfaction was a turning point.  I must confess I don’t know what I’m trying to say with turning point but the combination of those two words seems to me to be very lovely.  Well Donald was a very, very macho Snail and on one of his hunts he met a very pretty Snail from a distant country.  He fell totally in love; she was a young beauty with a spiral shell of unimaginable colours.

He looked at her antennas, fascinated by her honey coloured eyes and christened her Melania.  Flirting, she called him Tramposo.  

They made love as only snails know how; he left a trail of calcium carbonate and she burst with desire, they copulated fervently for five hours.  Exhausted, they sat down to watch the day’s news on TV.

— “The president is a hermaphrodite” —said the newsreader.

Donald the Snail asked Melania what that meant. Furious, he started attacking the TV shouting 

—Fake news.

Surprised, she said: 

—You speak Ingle! 

Once he had calmed down, they went to the amusement park and amused themselves like mad riding on the Russian mountain.

Mario Flecha was born in Buenos Aires of Paraguayan origin.  He lives and works in London. He published Untitled magazine of contemporary art and Bastón Blanco. He has written two collections of short stories, Los vendedores de Humo and Professor Monday Zofana and collaborated with Gregorio Kohon and Viqui Rosemberg on Truco Gallo.  He is co-founder of Museo de las Palabras de Jafre.

Camilla Balmer has lived and worked in Latin America and London as translator and teacher. She has translated for art organisations, catalogues and magazines including Artscribe and Untitled and teaches English as a second language

Anastasia’s Toes is published by El Ojo de la Cultura.