23. The Castaway

After days of blank mourning, a purpose comes to Inglorion in the night. He will visit a nearby shrine, El Tiradito. The name means “The Castaway,” and the memorial is dedicated to sinners and outcasts, souls too degraded and impure to be buried in hallowed ground. Tereus was a non-believer, criminal and occasional drunk; Inglorion […]

15. To The First Storm of Summer

Over the spring and early summer, the pullets grow into young hens, Inglorion finishes the Thousand Nights and One Night, and both households’ crops mature. Brutus gives Inglorion a tobacco plant and teaches him how to cultivate it. Summer settles in, and it’s as bad as everyone says. Worse, since predictions and warnings are abstract, […]

14. Delighted with His Useless Gift

Lucius trots off, probably figuring its not the stupidest thing he’s been asked to do that evening. Inglorion perches on a nearby retaining wall. It’s a pleasant evening, and in a very few minutes he hears Lucius’s happy chatter, and Brutus’s soft replies. They come into view. Brutus is pulling a small, hand-drawn wagon. Inglorion […]

7. The Knowledge Grows Slowly Within

It’s full night when Inglorion walks back. It’s a sweet, cloudless evening. Brick and stone have begun to cool; the moon is waning. Inglorion can see again: The hesitant, frozen forms of rabbits crouching in the weeds; a handful of bats, flying irregular trajectories. A stray cat drops and rolls in the dirt, and eyes […]

4. The Thousand Nights and One Night

Now that there are two mouths to feed, Lucius sends Inglorion to buy a half-dozen pullets, saying, “Lots of people sell them around here, but I’d recommend this fellow Brutus. He sells a few from his flock every now and then, and I think you’ll find him interesting.” And so Inglorion walks a few miles […]

2. At the Foot of the Black Mountain

At first, Inglorion felt the serene clarity that follows a long illness. As Inglorion lies there, in his son’s embrace, emotion and sensation well up within him. He says, “Where are we, Lucius? I don’t understand how you found me.” “What do you remember?” “Very little. It’s strange. I can’t recall where I’ve been recently. […]

1. Inglorion in the Elysian Fields

Inglorion emerges from a long, cold stillness. His limbs are cramped like he’s been lying in the same position for too long. He’s limp, drained and aching, as if he’s suffered a long bout of fever. Instead of the melancholy of influenza, he feels calm, distant. He rolls onto his side, lies there for a moment, then […]