Hispanic literature Literatura Hispana

Free Kick

A short story by Benjamín Aguilar Sandín.

Free Kick

Benjamín Aguilar Sandín

They forced him to knee after hitting him on the mouth with the butt of a gun. The sound barely echoed off the lower part of his face, a discreet gurgling of blood beginning to trickle from his lower lip onto his shirt. On the other side of the field, in the fast soccer field, the reflectors illuminated the entire field and even up to the middle of the street in front, and further back, maybe fifty meters, in the direction of the ravine. Roberto was conscious they were up to kill him and wanted to put up some resistance, but he couldn’t. The initial whistle was heard, and the second part of the state-free semi-final was being played. He didn’t hear the men charge their supers, and he didn’t hear the discreet clatter of guns before they pointed at him point-blank. The game began with a visitor’s goal. Millonarios FC played against Deportivo Flores Magón. Both teams were little more than semi-professional, on the Millonarios side they had Diego the redhead, who could play as defence or striker, always with the ball glued to his feet, always setting up from midfield. The other ten, the one from Flores, was Bahía, a veteran of the lower divisions of Zacatepec, a born ten, ambidextrous, who if he did not make his professional debut was more due to the indiscipline of the neighbourhood than due to a lack of qualities. The duel started even and Millonarios had to win by a two-goal advantage. They marked the first foul fifteen seconds into the game, Mateus, the Millonarios central defender, went looking for an unmissable ball outside the area. The referee scored a direct free kick while they continued to question Roberto. -Tell us where the Aleph is, I’m giving you a chance, man, but honestly, I´m running out of fucking patience. Tell me where it is and I’ll let you go, right now, you go, what’s more, we make a deal, bro, we let you continue doing your business, for real, just tell us where the Aleph is, man, and that’s it. Roberto looked straight at them, the country lights illuminating the side of his cheekbones, an uneven glow that made him look like a tired, youthful god, a high-resolution photograph. He smiled mockingly and spat out a mouthful of blood, a dark stain lost in the burned grass of the property, an immediate premonition full of pride and melancholy. Bahía asked to kick, four of them stood on the barrier, all four compact, all four waiting for a ball near the angle where the goalkeeper was not. The cry of goal was heard and almost at the same time, a dry shot was heard, a burst that gradually faded with the noise from the stands, with the pharaonic countenance of Bahía celebrating a perfect low shot, a specialty of the house.

Benjamín Aguilar Sandín

Master in Art and Literature, he has published articles on autobiography in Spanish-American literature. Specialist in the work of Jorge Luis Borges and the Latin American boom, he has also published fantasy stories in different literary magazines.

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