Mugshot après shopping


A supermarket is not at all a playground for crooks, nor is it an all-you-can-mug service, in spite of what the self-checkout terminals seem to suggest to certain people. This is a serious market for deals between the company and the clients. Quality meets expectation. The orange juice will have the exact same taste in every bottle; so will have the yoghurt, even the one with a higher proportion of more perishable, transfatty acids. Herr Umber is very aware of these and a thousand further details necessary to run a supermarket branch as successfully as he is doing it with this one.

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Becoming a Murderer and Not Knowing Why

The traveller could not believe his eyes about what he did today.

He had just stepped out that train and he took a knife out of his pocket. The red blood on the sharp blade reminded him of what had just happened. Seven people! He had killed seven people this morning. But was it real? Wasn’t this all theoretic? Continue reading

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Out of what Law

Charcoal exercise

Artwork by Enrique Cropper

Their office block was nothing special by Brussels standards: recent refurbishment; nylon replacement carpet; LED lights fitted according to the new European norm; and a lick of pastel paint, trying hard to give the impression everything was fresh and new. Yet the corridors in the building languished as long and lifeless as before; the work inside the office cells remained a routine series of email instructions calling only for copy-pasted replies;  and the output documents continued being loaded in those thankless applications, for a hierarchy ever more obsessed with timeliness and form, rather than with content and meaning. The staff moved with the times.

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La maleta roja


Art work by Enrique Cropper

El viajero que bajaba del vagón de tren cargaba una llamativa maleta roja. Solo eso destacaba de él, junto a un bigote ridículo y parecido al de Hitler. El resto quedaba escondido bajo un abrigo largo, de color indefinible, que lo cubría casi hasta los tobillos. El hombre andaba despacio pero comenzó a alejarse de su campo de visión así que salió de la cafetería para seguirlo. El revólver colgado en la pistolera se apretó contra su costado cuando se cerró la cremallera del anorak. Afuera había empezado a nevar y se enfadó por tener que estar en la calle, persiguiendo a un delincuente. Le apetecía bastante más estar en casa, sentado en su sillón cerca del radiador y tomando un güisqui. Continue reading

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Les vacances de l’assassin


Mots clés: menottes, assassin, rouge, l’obscurité, couteau, neuf, strict, crépuscule, défense, Belgique, voler, panda.

Le voyageur en face de moi me regarde d’un air indigné depuis quelques minutes. On dirait que quelque chose le choque dans mon apparence. Est-ce parce que je porte des menottes ? Je sais qu’on prend rarement le train menotté, sauf si on est prisonnier et qu’on est accompagné de policiers. Mais quand même, nous sommes dans un pays libre, non ? Si je veux prendre le train habillé en costume de panda, j’ai le droit. Et je ne cesserai jamais de réclamer ce droit. Continue reading

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