Rated R: Contains Pixie Dust and F-bombs
Juan Caceres in the Zapetero’s Workshop
by Derek Künsken
Juan Caceres swayed triumphantly back into San Pedro Sula on a Wednesday. Hours had passed, but the foggy, laughing dizziness from the ogre toe he had snorted had not worn off. He stumbled from the bus station and weaved between angry white taxis jamming the narrow streets. Old goblin ladies trundled wooden carts of soup, mango and tortilla. They hissed and watched with yellow eyes, so that he could not sneak fingers around an unwatched tortilla. His stomach ached.
Begging for food would not work, dressed as he was in all his goblin finery. He traded his white school shirt for a stained t-shirt to a kid whose goblin sickness had wrapped his fingers in fine scales. Another kid, huffing into a bag of ground pixie, traded Juan Caceres his old shorts for the school slacks. Only the kid’s fingers had gone green. There was still time for him.
“Get yourself some more ground pixie, brother,” Juan Caceres said.
The fingers of Juan Caceres the trickster were smooth and brown. Goblin sickness might chase him, and thick-skinned police and fork-tongued social workers might roam the streets like predators, sweeping up unwary kids, but Juan Caceres was too clever.
About the Author
Derek Künsken is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Gatineau, Québec. His fiction has sold to Asimov’s, On Spec, Black Gate, and other markets. Although trained as a molecular biologist, he left science to work with street children in Latin America and eventually found a career in refugee issues. When not writing, he is invariably found with his six-year old son playing with action figures, building forts, or reading comic books. He is just finishing a fantasy novel set seven years after the events in this story.
About the Narrator
Roberto Suarez is a monthly supporter of all Escape Artist Productions and has had the privilege of narrating stories for PodCastle, PseudoPod, and Escape Pod. He is the co-host and producer of “A Pod of Casts: The Game of Thrones Podcast” and the upcoming “Radio Westworld,” a podcast dedicated to HBO’s latest sci-fi series. You can find Roberto on the web at robertosuarez.me, or on Twitter @PuertoGeekan.