The Cave


(Translated by Toshiya Kamei)

As a boy I enjoyed playing with my sisters under the sheets on my parents’ bed. At times we pretended it was a tent, and at other times it was an igloo at the North Pole, though the most wonderful game was the cave. How big my parents’ bed was! One day I grabbed the flashlight off the night table and told my sisters I was going to explore the bottom of the cave. At first they were laughing, but they got nervous and began to shout my name. I ignored them and kept on crawling until I no longer heard their cries. The cave was enormous. When the batteries ran out I couldn’t go back. I can’t remember how long it’s been since then. My pajamas don’t fit me anymore, and I have to dress like Tarzan.

I heard Mom died.


La cueva

Cuando era niño me encantaba jugar con mis hermanas debajo de las colchas de la cama de mis papás. A veces jugábamos a que era una tienda de campaña y otras nos creíamos que era un iglú en medio del polo, aunque el juego más bonito era el de la cueva. ¡Qué grande era la cama de mis papás! Una vez cogí la linterna de la mesa de noche y le dije a mis hermanas que me iba a explorar el fondo de la cueva. Al principio se reían, después se pusieron nerviosas y terminaron llamándome a gritos. Pero no les hice caso y seguí arrastrándome hasta que dejé de oír sus chillidos. La cueva era enorme y cuando se gastaron las pilas ya fue imposible volver. No sé cuántos años han pasado desde entonces, porque mi pijama ya no me queda y lo tengo que llevar amarrado como Tarzán.

He oído que mamá ha muerto.

Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum’s The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa’s The Fox’s Window and Other Stories (2010), Selfa Chew’s Silent Herons (forthcoming), and Espido Freire’s Irlanda (forthcoming). Other translations have appeared in The Global Game (2008), Sudden Fiction Latino (2010), and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (2010).

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About Author

Fernando Iwasaki is the author of the novel Libro de mal amor and the story collections Tres noches de corbatas, A Troya, Helena, and Inquisiciones peruanas. He lives in Seville, Spain, where he edits the literary journal Renacimiento. His website is


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