Flash Fiction,  Issue 3

Time of Sand by Amélie Olaiz

(translated by Toshiya Kamei)

I put colorful daisies in a vase, made up my bed with white sheets, and savored the fragrance of basil in pouches I kept under the pillows. After lighting blue candles, I opened my windows to hear the wind sing.

Determined to wait, I read a note that accompanied the old sand clock, a gift from him: “When the last grain falls, I will be close to you.”

Excited, I watched each grain slip through the hourglass, unaware that it contained the sand of the seven seas.

Tiempo de arena

Dispuse margaritas de colores en el jarrón, tendí la cama con sábanas blancas, disfruté el olor de la albahaca que en pequeñas bolsitas guardé entre los almohadones. Después de encender las velas azules, abrí las ventanas para escuchar música de viento.

Decidida a esperar, leí la nota que acompañaba el antiguo reloj, obsequio de él: “Al caer el último grano de arena estaré cerca de ti.”

Ilusionada miré deslizarse el caudal de piedrecillas, ignorante de que aquél era el contenedor de la arena de los siete mares.

*Previously published in The Bitter Oleander 20.1 in 2014


Amélie Olaiz was born in León and now lives in Mexico City. She is the author of Piedras de Luna (2005), Aquí está tu cielo (2007), and La vida oculta en la caja de nogal (2013). Her work has been anthologized in Prohibido fumar (2008), Antología mínima del orgasmo (2009), and Three Messages and a Warning (2012), among others. English translations of her fiction have appeared in The Bitter OleanderGargoyle MagazinePhantom Drift, and Slab, among others.

Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations of Latin American literature include My Father Thinks I’m a Fakir by Claudia Apablaza, South Exit by Carlos Bortoni, and Silent Herons by Selfa Chew.

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