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By Carlos Fuentes

"Vlad" is Vlad the Impaler, after all, whose mythic cruelty used to be an idea for Bram Stoker's Dracula. during this sly sequel, Vlad rather is undead: dispossessed after centuries of mayhem through japanese ecu wars and rampant blood shortages. greater than a postmodern riff on "the vampire craze," Vlad is additionally an anatomy of the Mexican bourgeoisie, in addition to our culture's methods of facing demise. For—as in Dracula—Vlad has desire of either a attorney and a real-estate agent with a purpose to identify his new country, and Yves Navarro and his spouse Asunción healthy the invoice well. Having lately misplaced a son, may they now not welcome the opportunity to determine their ultimate baby dwell without end? extra importantly, are the pleasures of middle-class lifestyles sufficient to maintain one from becoming a member of the legions of the damned?

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With no announcing a notice, Zurinaga hung up the telephone. i used to be on my strategy to paintings, using at the Periférico, the hoop street round Mexico urban. I inched my BMW via site visitors on the velocity of a tortoise on a challenge. i used to be fearful to demise approximately Magdalena, who was once over on the Alcayagas’ condominium. yet I felt a bit higher while I remembered that Asunción had acknowledged, “Don’t fear, expensive. I’ll decide her up, and we’ll see one another at dinner. ” “So what time are you deciding upon her up? ” I’d requested. “You understand how children’s events are; they pass on eternally. And María de Lourdes has sufficient actions scheduled to move on for weeks. There’s tag, cover and search, you’re it! And, enable me inform you, María has an arsenal of piñatas and goody luggage full of whistles and flutes. And there’ll be sufficient punch and cake to feed a military of kids. ” She’d laughed as she complete. “Don’t you take into accout? Even you have been as soon as a baby. ” bankruptcy 7 The hunchback opened the door and taken his face a lot too on the subject of mine, looking at me insolently. His breath reeked of yogurt. whilst he ultimately famous me, he gave a fawning bow. “Come in, Licenciado Navarro. My grasp is anticipating you. ” I entered and searched in useless for the count number within the huge lounge. “Waiting the place? ” “Go on upstairs to the bed room. ” I climbed a semicircular staircase that had no banister. The servant remained on the foot of the steps. I don’t comprehend no matter if he was once overdoing a convey of courtesy or of subservience, or even if he was once simply looking at me with suspicion. at the higher ground, all of the doorways to what I reckoned have been bedrooms have been close, aside from one. I approached that one and entered a room with a large mattress. via that point it used to be already 9 o’clock at evening, yet i spotted that the mattress used to be nonetheless coated with black satin, and had no longer been became down for the grasp to retire for the night. there have been no mirrors within the room, yet under the place a replicate may need hung stood an arrogance with all kinds of cosmetics, and a row of wig stands. whereas he combed his wig and utilized his make-up, it appeared, the count number must think himself. a gentle steam billowed from an open rest room door. I hesitated for a second; I felt as if i need to be invading my client’s privateness . . . yet he acknowledged from inside, “Come in, Mr. Navarro, come on in. Don’t be shy . . . ” within the rest room, the steam emanating from the bathe stuffed the air. count number Vlad was once washing himself in the back of a dripping lacquer door. I seemed away. nonetheless, interest bought the higher of me. during the fog, i spotted that the rest room too lacked mirrors. the lavatory additionally lacked the standard instruments of hygiene: shaving brush, comb, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste . . . As within the remainder of the home, there have been drains in each nook. Vlad opened the door and emerged from the bathe, exhibiting himself bare prior to my discomfited gaze. He had shed his wig and his mustache. His physique used to be as white as plaster. He didn't have a unmarried hair anywhere—not on his head, now not on his chin, no longer on his chest, now not in his armpits, now not round his genitals, and never on his legs.

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