by Sarah Arantza Amador


C’est ici l’empire de la mort.

You descend several hundred steps into the catacombs and steal a tiny bone from the left pinky toe of a saint as the last tour shuffles drowsily down the final tunnel.

Back out on the street, you buy a bottle of Beaujolais and force your travel companion to drink it in its entirety while seated on a park bench overlooking the Seine. It is 3:45pm on a weekday in early January. The sunlight is blue and fading quickly. You slip the pinky bone into your companion’s coat pocket as she stumbles along the quai and then kick her in the seat of her jeans, into the black river.

You scurry back up the Left Bank and huff as you make a scramble for the Gare du Nord.

Your train pulls away slowly from the station. You foam out of the corner of your mouth like an angry chipmunk as you shove past adolescent Australian tourists and into the next train car. You are drunk on ressentiment! En route to Calais to throw a recalled library book into the English Channel, you sleep fitfully and growl in your seat. You are hurtling through darkness in apocalyptic times as you dream of that old saint haunting your asshole roommate for all eternity. You have never felt stronger; the days have never shone brighter.


Sarah Arantza Amador is a graduate of the Creative Writing BA program at UC Santa Cruz and is a former Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish and Latin American Literatures at NYU. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her dog Roscoe, with whom she shares a best bud named Richard. She’s most recently had flash published in Word Riot, and you can find more examples of her fiction, scribbles, and oddities at

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