>Oooh, a nice twist here, and so I’ll try not to reveal too much of the plot. The narrator works in the grocery store and occasionally thinks back to the arrival of nameless young man. The village is full of gossips—there’s little else to do—and so when the wife of one of the barbers in town seems to take a shine to the boy, there is talk. It doesn’t help that the woman, known as “the French Woman,” is already under a cloud of suspicion, especially by the women of the village. Beside this nice conflict, there is the battle between the two barbers in the village, each outdoing the other with service, perks of various kinds, color T.V., etc. But then the boy and the French Woman disappear, and half the town figures they just ran off together and the other half figures that the barber did away with them somehow.
And that’s where I’ll leave the discussion. It’s short. Read it.
Although I call the ending a twist, it is not at all an incredible twist, and in fact, on rereading, there are clues, or at least there is a foundation, and that’s what makes the ending satisfying.
It’s a good, meaty story, I think.
April 27, 2009: “Vast Hell” by Guillermo Martínez