Luis Alberto Urrea: “Chametla” from Tin House Spring 2011, The Mysterious

Picasso, Bird No. 83, 1963 (Ceramic)

Men were raised to fight and enjoy fighting. None dared admit they were weary of it, weary of fear, and each had learned to dream, and dreamed at all hours – dreamed while sleeping, while awake and marching, while fighting. Only dreaming carried them though the unending battles.

What do you dream of? What would you dream of if you were on the battlefield most of your life? This short-short starts out as a standard battlefield story, then morphs into something goosebumpy, at first from creepiness, then from poignancy with a little horror at the edges.

Althought there’s no longer a link to the story through the magaine website, it’s available online via the “From the Vault” series at the Tin House blog. It’s very short (1200 words). Go ahead, read it, it’s worth it. Then tell the author what you think of it.

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