Off the Grid, a Short Story by Paul García - SNReview

Off the Grid, a Short Story by Paul García - SNReview

Off the Grid by Paul García Winter-Spring 2013 I came to the United States with my brothers Ramón and Filadelfo when I was fourteen. My name’s Aleja...

95KB Sizes 0 Downloads 4 Views

Recommend Documents

La Tutayegua, a Short Story by Lauren Scharhag - SNReview
I got two little brothers, Alex and Christian, and then I got my baby sister, ..... By summer, he'd sold the TV, our bik

Interlude, a short story by Dustin Michael-Edward Davenport - SNReview
by Dustin Michael-Edward Davenport. On my way west, I'm stopping to rent a room in a hostel right in the vortex of a sma

A short story by Andrzej Sapkowski - Sme
to question the fact of emergence of a horrible mutation among girls born shortly after the eclipse.” ... before the m

Off the Grid:
Off the Grid: Exploring the expanding informal economy and threats to old-age social protection in Kyrgyzstan and Tajiki

OFF THE GRID
“All progressions from a higher to a lower order are marked by ruins and mystery and a residue of nameless rage.” Co

Eating Off the Grid
Eating Off the Grid. By Warren M Myers. Abstract. This paper presents a route for individuals and small families to –

OFF THE GRID
OFF THE GRID. A SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY FOR RESIDENTIAL FARMING. Strawberries. 500 Plants. Potatoes. 232 Plants. Peppers. 9

OFF THE GRID SCARF
Finished Size 31⁄2" wide and 54" long, not including fringe. Yarn Alpaca With a Twist Baby Twist (100% baby alpaca; 11

OFF THE GRID
Please list a cell phone number for someone in your party in case of an emergency during your stay_________________. Mak

Off the Grid by Paul García

Winter-Spring 2013

I came to the United States with my brothers Ramón and Filadelfo when I was fourteen. My name’s Alejandro, but everyone calls me Ali. Our village in Guatemala is two hours from Tuxtla by car. People are poor there in a way that’s hard to understand here, where everything is big—the cars, the meals, the houses, even the people! I left school in third grade to work our field of beans, tomato, corn, squash, chilies... In my prayers, I didn’t pester God too much for favors, just asked Him to take care of my parents. Sometimes people go without a doctor and die for no reason other than poverty. I thought of our mother and father when Ramón said, “Listen, Ali Baba, Filadelfo and I are going north, to work. Do you want to cross the border with us?”

Fall-Winter 2012-2013

The harvest was in, the sooner we left, the sooner we could help. I said, “Yes.”

Summer-Fall 2012

Filadelfo, always the serious one, said, “It will be dangerous, you know.”

Spring-Summer 2012

I nodded yes. I would have followed my brothers to the ends of the earth—not for being the youngest, but to help protect them. Ramón and Filadelfo are very different. Ramón is a joker; his wisecracks can lighten a tough situation. Filadelfo is hard, physically strong. Because he can fight, his nickname is El Perro. He’s uncompromising, stubborn; he latches onto something till its end. Filadelfo is smarter, but he’s the one I worried would need protection.

Home Summer-Fall 2013 Spring-Summer 2013

Winter-Spring 2012 Autumn/Winter 2011-12 Summer 2011 Winter/Spring 2011 Autumn/Winter 2011 Summer 2010 Spring 2010 Winter 2010 Autumn 2009 Summer 2009 Spring 2009 Autumn 2008 Summer 2008 Spring/Summer 2008 Winter/Spring 2008 Editor's Note Guidelines Contact

The village raised a few quetzales for us. Padre Eusebio heard our confessions and gave his blessing. We got a ride to the Mexican border. The guards there are notorious for their cruelty. I’ve heard that they take your money, beat you up, and send you back across. It’s even said that they have murdered people. So, I was scared. Thank God, they were busy with a livestock truck and let us pass without inspection. Our bus trip across Mexico, south to north, from San Cristóbal to Nogales took twenty-six hours. There, we rented a tiny room. Nogales was a big city to campesinos like us. The very next day, I got lost. A group of eight people from Honduras and El Salvador said they had a way to get across the border. They were two families, with mothers and kids, even. I went with them to see where the crossing was, figuring I could return to find my brothers and tell them. At dusk, we crossed the river and walked, walked, walked. That night, it rained, but heavy! The water rose to my knees, hips, chest. All night! How dark it was! And the water rising. There were two little girls in the group about three years old. We took turns carrying them, to keep them from being carried away by the water. I found a post to stand on. The water was to my chest that night. No sleep all that night. In the morning, some of the people were gone. The little girls, too. It was cold, but in daylight at least I could see. It was desert. I did not know people drown in the desert. I slept, woke up alone then walked for two days. When the American border guards found me, I was afraid. They had big guns. They asked in Spanish where I was from. “Nogales.” The one who looked Mexican, said, “You don’t sound Mexican.” I said nothing. He had a lot of muscles. I didn’t want to get beat up. They put a plastic cord on my wrists, and took me to a jail. They gave me food from McDonald’s, then asked me more questions and had me sign papers saying who-knows-what. The next day, they drove a busload of us indocumentados to the border in Nogales. You know, they didn’t treat us so badly.

Paul García's fiction has appeared in The North American Review and SNReview, among other publications. He earns his living as a translator and lives on the Maine coast. Copyright 2014, © Paul García. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.