the short story project

Interruption of Service

David Pérez Vega On:

Interruption of Service by Tomás Sánchez Bellocchio

Elda, who has worked as a maid at the young narrator’s house for twenty-two years, hasn’t come in for over a week. Her employers – who even after all this time don’t have her phone number – decide to go to visit her at home to see if she’s OK. “I ran through all the memories I had of Elda. I was surprised that there were so few”, the narrator tells us before asking his mother a similar question as they head out. They make their way along the dirt roads of a poor neighbourhood until they finally get to their servant’s house and find Elda, as well as her children and grandchildren. “I knew there was something wrong,” the narrator tells us in a story in which Sánchez Bellocchio has subtly decided to move away from the neo-fantastic to explore the thin line between everyday realism and stranger, more mysterious territory. Retaining its social criticism, the story has, in just a few pages, transferred the narrative focus to other more oblique aspects of the relationships of dependence that establish themselves between people. Come and explore this other territory, which is similar and yet very different to our own.