Old Hands

The entire pueblo, all sixteen of them, live lockdown shrink-wrapped like abuela’s chorizo; sealed in hot, airless homes on the Castilian plain.

A youth cycles up on the dust road, head down, oblivious to nesting storks above. The grammar of their clatter lost on him. Raps on her door.

Abuela never talks about the other time strangers came. Only said once, “Los republicanos came for our crops. Then los nacionalistas took our animals.”

But this outsider wants to bring help. What might she need? If things get worse?

She smiles, wondering if he could roast a pigeon, bone a rat.


Kathryn Aldridge-Morris is a freelance ELT writer. Her flash fiction appears in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2020, Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2020, Reflex Fiction, Lunate Fiction, Paris Lit Up, Retreat West, and the anthology “From Syria with Love” (Indie Books). Twitter: @kazbarwrites.