Where is Allasneda?
by Sascha Hannig
Translated by Toshiya Kamei
Santiago de Chile, February 21, 12:42 p.m. A well-dressed man,
holding a box of tomatoes and wearing a top hat, steps up on an
overturned wooden box and pats himself on the chest a couple of times.
Around him, men and women bustle about, following the rhythm of the
city that traps them and turns them into the gears of a great machine
of the twenty-first century.
That strange figure takes out a small bottle of dark brown or black
liquid and begins to call in an energetic, convincing voice: "Step
right up, folks! Don't miss this golden opportunity to get magic in a
bottle! Only science has managed to surpass the old potions of
yesteryear! From hair loss to migraines, this liquid will cure all
For several hours, no one so much as throws him a glance. He's a
ghost in a crowd, ignored by women and children. Finally, a man stops
in front of him.
"Why haven't you gotten off that box once? I saw you here in the
morning, and you haven't sold a thing." The young man, standing in
polished shoes with a couple of books under his arm, smiles. His hair
is held back by a pair of glasses and his belt by a gear.
"Because I was waiting for you." The salesman smiles, and the young
man steps closer.
"My great compatriot, so you've already noticed."
"Why am I dead?" asks the salesman. "I suppose I don't fit into this
world like a stranger in the southern land. I still can't find
"When you manage to sell a bottle, you'll have arrived there."
"What's there? Are they all ghosts?"
"No, you're alive there. Here, in the twenty-first century, you're
only an invisible fictional character, not even a memory. Don't you get
it? You exist only for those who have been to Allasneda."
© 2019 Sascha Hannig
Born in Santiago de Chile in 1994, Sascha Hannig made her
literary debut in 2010 with the novel Sombras de venganza. She
author of the Allasneda series whose volumes include Misterios y
revelaciones en Allasneda (2011) and Secretos perdidos en
(2015). Allasneda is a steampunk fantasy world created by Sascha as an
alternative setting for the magical lands of Southern Chile. For more
information, visit https://saschahannig.wordpress.com/
. She's on Twitter:
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