Hispanic literature

The Shadows

The Shadows by Mariela Anastasio

The Shadows

Mariela Anastasio


Among the tangle of buildings that roll up in search of the sky, the wanderer walks with convalescence. He will do so for many blocks, accompanied only by his darkened shadow and a dog that is in the same condition. One by one, as if coordinated the lights in the windows go off. People are sleeping inside, and the dim moon illuminates them all equally. It colours the tramp’s steps a little, rocking him in silence while he walks wearily, looking for a place to stop. He is dizzy. The lights of the yellow lanterns seem like flashes of a fading place. A silver air runs through the streets and gets into his nose, exhaling ethylic vapor. He does not feel his feet. The sores and other more serious things have made him numb. The threadbare boots are already part of his skin, directing him. He lets it go. At times he forgets where he is. He is ignorant of where he is going and where he has come from. Sometimes he remembers things, but he prefers to think that they are part of a dream, or of a life that he can no longer recognize as his. Like so, it is easier to live without a past, he answers when asked. Only he knows what he escaped from, and as such prefers that the path that remains, is presented to him by sections, without tomorrow, emptiness in his head, as only a Zen monk could achieve.
He takes a few more turns and reaches a corner to which he returns as if inertia always attracted him to it (or perhaps it is him who thinks he is moving away and only walks in circles). There something very his… a smell, some cardboards, and some memories. He accommodates himself in the hollow of a black door of an abandoned house. He huddles. The head crashes against the plate that hurts, on the other side nobody. What a pity. He would like to have a bed, but the street is all he has, and this corner, where he finds himself every time, it seems to him that God has taken care that he sleeps.


From the garage of a house on Avenida Libertador, a high-end black car exits. From the subsoil, from the bowels of the city of Buenos Aires, emerges the ebony ship that shines and that seems to mock with its led light eyes. It starts and advances at high speed. In the cold morning, he sails alone, and whoever operates it runs it like in a race. He enjoys the sensation… the smell of the leather on the seat, the perfume of the laundry room, the resplendent dash in the dark. The heat of the air. Outside it is freezing but he doesn’t feel the cold. Everything is fine in there: the right temperature, comfort, and neatness. When he gets to Constitución, he slows down. He goes slowly, he prowls, because tonight he has gone hunting. He sharpens his eyes because the sidewalks are very dark, but he knows that there is always someone. He will find them.


The dream is a wheat field, where he works. A blazing sun hits his face, and he feels happiness. All yellow. Everything for him. A table with a white tablecloth like a banquet. Cakes, wine, and socks to wear, served in tall, fine glasses. He eats and puts on stockings, one after the other, one on top of the other. Then the table disappears or the field is transformed, and is like a beach, in which the sun burns, it burns a lot, and it is so bad that his feet start to move. It is very real what he feels. Then he wakes up. He doesn’t understand. Or yes… his boots… his pants… the fire rises from down there. An impossible pain, a cry that he can’t get out of his throat, and finally crying. He refuses, writhes in spasms, and tries with his hands to extinguish his body. But clothes also catch on fire. He pleads for help. He begs. Between sobs, with cloudy eyes, he believes he sees someone… yes, it is a man, standing in front of a black car, which looks like a spaceship. He is looking at him, but he does nothing. Please, he starts to mutter. Then his eyes close. And inside he finds refuge in the wheat field. He is relieved, but the field catches fire and devours him in seconds like a dry branch. Outside, the man only sees a bag of bones, some more garbage in a garbage dump. But inside the light at last, and the soul is freed, while the shadows invade the city.

Mariela Anastasio (Argentina 1979). Writer, playwright and teacher. Prof. of Social Communication, graduated from UNLP.
She participated in international theater festivals (Spain, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador). She premiered 13 works in Argentina, 1 in Venezuela and 2 in Spain Guest 3rd Encounter of Female Dramaturgy, Athens 2021. / Participated in the festival “Mujeres Parlantes”, Barcelona 2021 / Winner of the First Prize of the Dramaturgy Contest, Open Theater (La Plata , 2020) / Finalist in the “Talking Heads” Contest (Barcelona, ​​2020 / Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, October 2020 Edinburgh) / Invited by Ed, Invasoras to integrate “Of the days without hugs” (Madrid, 2020). Published in Lado (B) erlin magazine (Germany, 2020) Finalist in the “Carro de Baco” Contest (Barcelona, ​​2020) / Published in the Mexican Literary magazine “Teresa Magazine” (December 2020) / Selected by Ed. Manticore, “Migrantes Contest ”(Gran Canaria 2019), Published in“ La Patria de los Parias ”, Ed. Invasoras (2019, Madrid) / 1st Prize I Horeca Microteatro Contest (Zaragoza, 2018) Selected Official Microteatro de Barcelona (2018) Scholar of the National Endowment for the Arts (2019) Published two books, with the support of INT: “Miscellany of Dramatic Works” (2013) and “Domestic Briefs” (2019). Club Hem, edited: “It will not be the same” (Emergent Collection, 2018)

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