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The following story is from Burgués’s collection Flaixos de llum Blanca (Fragments of White Light), and appears exclusively as the Andorra selection for our Global Anthology, which highlights a short prose work from every country in the world.
Lying on a gurney, the ceiling’s constant whiteness. At full speed—depending on the urgency and skill of the orderly—the square neon lights rush by as if wanting to erase the monotony of the route so often taken between the hospital room and the operating theater.
Entering the elevator is an odyssey, a claustrophobic fit into a temporary coffin. It chills me. We’re leaving, and the whiteness is back; it always comes back. I cry so much, I always cry. I crave the blue of the past, and I dream.
I dream I open my eyes and the ceiling is sky-blue. Maybe they painted the hospital that first night, when the pain waned and I was able to sleep.
“Joan, give me your hand. Please. The meds are making me hallucinate.”
A white spot unexpectedly draws near; I’m in the car on my way home watching a white cloud through the window.
Translation by Julia Sanches
Copyright © 2015 Pilar Burgués, Editorial Andorra, Illustration © Berta Oromí
Translation Copyright © 2017 Julia Sanches
Read our interview with Pilar Burgués here.