El festín de los buitres / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Feast of the Vultures

     He had lost the sense of safety and daring after sacrificing his wife. He had surprised her in an interview with the enemy and inflicted death upon her without hearing the first explanation.

     He had been left alone and nearly inert. The migratory tribe had succumbed in the dispute with the regular armies. The survivor had no other goods besides his horse and a cart entrusted to the strength of his dogs where he would take shelter from the rain. He would have died of hunger had he not dared to eat the uncultivated roots and the food gypsies made the most of in their indigent diet.

     At each instant he received a warning from fate. He eventually ceased recognizing the noise of his own steps and he spun on his feet to defend himself. An apparition would tend to interrupt his sleep, violently destroying the door of his home amid the dismayed pack of hounds.

     The outlaw decided to abandon himself to the mercy of events. He fortuitously came across a pitiful beggar on the day he fell prisoner and was victimized. Old age had turned her into a crane with crutches.

     The beggar wanted the end of the continuous war, where she had lost her sons, and she lent herself to the task of spy.

     The victors arrived through different routes and dispersed the final gesture of defense. They injured it to satisfaction.

     The beggar limited herself to sealing the hero’s face with a fistful of dirt.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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