The Three Miracles of Santos Socorro by Sarah Black at Loose ID
Flash Fiction Story:
*Santos rolled over in bed and stared at him. "Abraham, what are you thinking? You can't challenge my grandmother's mole. She's an old woman. She's…"
"She put a curse on me."
"My grandmother? Magdalena Socorro? She's down at mass right now, on her knees and praying."
"She's praying I'll be struck dead. She's praying you won't be gay anymore."
"What does this have to do with mole?"
"Everything! She's challenged me, Santos! Called me out. She wants to prove I will never be a decent cook and wife for you!" He waved his hand. "You know what I mean."
Santos ran his fingers through the thick tangled nest of black hair on Abraham's belly. "Don't be such a fool."
"So you aren't giving me the recipe?"
Abraham searched the internet, then he struck out into the back street markets of San Antonio, the small ones that sold glass bottles of pineapple soda and guava paste. So many elderly women told him their mole secrets, helped him find the best chilis and garlic and tomatillas that he began to wonder if they all knew who he was, what was at stake, or if they themselves had been cursed by Magdalena Socorro.
Plantains, pecans, golden raisins. Poblano chilis held into the gas flames with chopsticks until they smoked. Chick stock from an entire kosher chicken. Cinnamon from Morocco and chocolate from Mexico. And then, feeling a bit foolish, three kisses into the pot. He was ready.
Sunday dinner after mass, and Santos carried the mole into Magdalena's house. He was in a good mood, and Abraham darkly suspected he was enjoying having his Jewish lover and his Catholic grandmother fighting over possession of his soul.
Magdalena Socorro had skin as delicate and fragile as rose petals, and Abraham could smell Coty face powder on her cheeks. She studied the mole, stirred it slowly, took a tiny bite with a spoon. Her eyebrows few up, and she pulled Abraham into the kitchen. "Maybe just a bit more thyme," she said. She pinched several tiny leaves from the plant in the window, added them to the sauce. She patted him gently on the sleeve. "Come, Abraham. You help me in the kitchen." She handed him an apron.
"You made the mole the old way, Abraham. You cooked it for three days?" He nodded. Her voice sharpened. "Why?"
He felt a little shocked. "Well…that's the right way to cook mole."
Santos couldn't stand it. He rolled over, clutched Abraham by the hair on his chest. "Okay, what did you do? Did you leave something out on purpose so she could add it? You're a chef, Abraham, a professional. She's just agrandmother."
"Leave something out of mole? On purpose? Don't be a fool."
Abraham could feel Santos' hand on his hip, a little extra heat on his skin. That's the way they touched in public, the rough, competitive touch of a couple of middle-aged guys on a basketball court, a hand on the hip. Was he ready to move on? Did he want to roll with a bear? How did he feel, and why did his lover, Abraham Green, not know exactly how he felt? Up until this very moment, he would have said Santos was a ten on the satisfied scale. And so was he. No, he was a nine, because Santos' evil witch of a grandmother had hexed him. Shit! This was Magdalena Socorro's curse! She''d cursed him, and now Santos was making masks at a secret gay mask-making club.
They had lives, work. They weren''t together every night, but who was? He was just happy for anything Santos wanted to give him. But if anyone had asked Abraham Green how he felt about Santos Socorro, and he had decided to tell the truth, he would have just fallen weakly to his knees, touched his forehead to the floor. Everything he'd ever wanted in this life, and believed he would never find, walked in that man's shoes. Santos Socorro was a miracle.
What Reviewers Are Saying:
*Awarded Recommended Read/*Joyfully Reviewed by Lidyah: "The Three Miracles of Santos Socorro* *has to be one the most original and fulfilling novellas I have read this past year..I had so much fun reading The Three Miracles of Santos Socorro. The story started and left me with a smile on my face. The ending was entirely satisfactory and I feel Sarah Black has really upped the novella standard in e-book publishing."
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