Month: June 2012

Random Conversation #1

“Does your child know how to swim?”

“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know? That is a matter of life and death. What if he falls into a river? He could drown.”

“There are no rivers nearby.”

“Or a pool.”

“We have no pool.”

“There are pools everywhere. He could be invited by one of his schoolmates, say, to a pool birthday party. You know how long it takes for your lungs to get filled by water? Seconds. And you are still conscious for a couple of minutes, so you are aware you are dying.”

“He is only six months old, Frank. He can worry about drowning later on. Though, not if it involves drowning by vomit, of course.”


I wrote this story for MoJo’s Group Creativity Experiment by fellow tweep writer @MoriahJovan. I can’t remember the exact date it was, but remember how much I enjoyed that experiment and wish it happened again. 😉

For more on Moriah Jovan please visit her blog.

For that week Moriah picked the song ‘Asking us to Dance’ by Kathy Mattea. Watch the video here.

And this was my entry:

Moonlight illuminated the darkened sky, accompanied only by a few shy stars. A soft, cold wind caressed your face and then mine. I inhaled your scent and felt alive again.

I watched you from a distance, silently waiting for you to complete your duty. As you held the rifle between your hands, I walked on the edge of the building. You concentrated on your target, I concentrated on your big brown eyes.

You moved slightly, crawling closer to the edge. I ran to kneel by your side and get a glimpse of whom you were about to shoot, but my hands strayed to your back and the tips of my fingers touched you slightly, sending a shiver down your spine.

Oh how I wished we could…

Your body stiffening stopped my thoughts. Your target was in sight and it was no moment for romancing as your finger pulled the trigger. A perfect shot.

You turned your eyes to the black sky above and whispered: “That one was for you, Vivienne. Wherever you are, I swear I won’t sleep until I kill them all.”

Oh how I wished you knew I was there, watching you, listening to you whisper to the air. I wished you could see me like I could see you and not just feel my ghostly presence by your side.

You picked up your bags, dried the tears in your eyes and headed for the stairs.

I stared down at the street to watch you go, while the cold wind caught me in its arms and swept me off.

Escape From The Tower of Babel

This one’s for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge at Terribleminds. There were six different settings to choose from and I really liked them all, but had to pick one, so I chose ‘The Tower of Babel’.



I was aroused from my sleep in the middle of the night by Enzo’s grave voice shouting “Che cosa?!”, followed by his hand shaking me to attention.

Non capisco!” He handed me his mobile.

I tried to shake the sleep off me before speaking, “Hello?”

Cynthia? Es Alfonso.” His voice quivered. “Hay un problema. Uno muy grave.

What? A problem? A grave one? My mind was still half asleep, my thoughts mixed with the leftovers of the dream I was awoken from.

Che cosa sta succedendo?” Enzo turned on the light, making me wince, and started pacing around the room.

I covered my eyes with my hand, trying to concentrate on all the channels that were suddenly open in my head. Enzo was waiting for an answer, so I switched to Spanish and asked Alfonso –in the softest way I could– what was the problem.

Tenemos una rata en el barco. Creemos que es Fabien.

Oh fuck, someone had filtered information and they were blaming the French dude. Alfonso proceeded to tell me how the police had arrived at the dock when they were about to unload the shipload of cocaine we were waiting for.

WE. That was a funny thing to say. I’d been with Enzo for what? Six months. And this was suddenly a ‘we’ enterprise.

Who am I, you may ask? I’m a translator. I wanted to work with the United Nations and had applied there some weeks before a friend hooked me up with a gig. Sure, some freelancing never hurt anyone. Then I learned the venue was a nightclub and that I had to sign a confidentiality agreement before even meeting with my client. I signed, I needed the money. That’s how I ended up translating a whole drug deal between members of a Spanish mafia and Enzo, the leader of an Italian cartel.

How I ended up in bed with Enzo that same night is another story that, right now, doesn’t even matter. What mattered then was that I had Alfonso in the line and I could tell he was trembling with fear at how Enzo would react.

Problemi con la spedizione, Enzo.” A problem, yeah, that was a pretty general concept.

Che tipo di problema?

I took a deep breath before saying, “Un informatore.

Enzo paused, his eyes bulging like I had never seen them before. Someone had coughed. There was a traitor among us.

Alfonso, ¿sigues ahí?” I needed to know if Alfonso was still with me.

Sí.” He was. Trembling, but he was there. So I pushed him on telling me the details of what happened.

Apparently, the police were waiting nearby until they could get them with their hands literally on the merchandise. Sneaky fuckers appeared out of nowhere and surrounded them. Alfonso sprinted towards the darkness of the trees around the beach and managed to escape, unlike the rest.

Chi?” Enzo pressed for a name.



Oooooh, he was mad now. Throwing stuff around the room and cussing loudly.

I whispered into the phone to ask Alfonso if he knew any other name.

No.” He breathed.

I said I’ll call him back, that he get himself somewhere safe and call back if anything else came up.

That was when he said the thing that made my blood run cold: that Fabien, the supposed snitch, was on his way to Enzo’s flat with a whole entourage of police officers.


I hung up the call and turned to the frenzied Enzo.

Siate tranquilo, Enzo.” He listened to me, his heavy breathing subsiding as his hands held on to the curtains.

“What else did he tell you?” He changed to English as the anger slowly made its way out of his system.

It is human nature that our brains switch to our native tongues when we are in stress situations. I understood this, since I had seen it many times before. Enzo and his men were from different nationalities and, at times, it felt like I was living inside the Tower of Babel. That was the nickname I used for his place, since it was where they would all come together and fret over deals and such.

A knock on the door startled us both.

“Police! Open the door.”

“Fuck.” I breathed, running around the bed to collect some clothes to dress myself.

Enzo stood in place, as if frozen.

“Enzo!” I shouted at him. “Come on!”

More knocking, more telling it was the police. I needed to get dressed, quick.

Enzo just ran his fingers through his hair.

The front door exploded into a million wooden splinters as I jumped into a pair of jeans and threw a T-shirt over my head.

They wouldn’t get me. No, sir. Not me. I was innocent, I was clean.

I gave Enzo one last glance, he nodded towards the window. I opened it, climbed out of the flat and landed on the cool metal surface of the fire escape in time to hear an officer shout “Enzo Macini! You’re under arrest!”

I ran down the ladder as fast as I could without looking back.

Chaos broke loose inside the flat and I could hear the gunshots getting farther as I took off towards the main street.

“Maybe the UN still has an opening for a translator,” I thought as I hailed a cab.

And that was the day I made it out of the Tower of Babel.

Convergencia Mediática, el FanFiction y la Remediación

This is an article I wrote for a class, it was published in a blog and now republished by the university’s digital newspaper (that’s why it’s in Spanish).

Convergencia Mediática, el FanFiction y la Remediación.

Google Translate link:

The Caregiver’s Playlist

Music is an intricate part of my creative process and The Caregiver was one of those stories I couldn’t have possibly written without a good deal of music playing in the background, inadvertently cheering me on, helping me nail the feelings/mood of a certain character, and setting the pace for many scenes. I can’t even think of writing fight scenes without a track playing through my speakers, giving me the beat to set every shot, punch, or stab.

So, here are the YouTube versions of the songs in the playlist for the first book:

The song that started it all: The Postmarks – No One Said That This Would be Easy

(The Casino Royale credits mashup version)

The Guess Who – Undun

The Clash – Death or Glory

The Smiths – The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

The Strokes – New York City Cops

The Clash – Guns of Brixton

The Box Tops – The Letter

The Who – Baba O’Reily

The Jam – Eton Rifles

The Yardbirds – Heart Full of Soul

The Killers – Mr. Brightside

The Zombies – Time of the Season