Tanya Tynjälä (Peru) is a science fiction and fantasy writer based in Finland, specialised in children and young adults. She has a Master Degree in French as a foreign language. Beside children books, Tanya has published the flash fiction book SUM (2012) and (Ir)Realidades (2017). Her story “El Ritual” (Rituaali) was included in the book Suomalaisia Saunanovelleja (2017, Aviador). She also writes a travel blog: Piedra que corre sí que coge moho and is editor in chief of the Spanish language for Amazing Stories Magazine. Sivuvalo is very honored to publish “Law Zero” and “Like Unicorns” translated by Marlon James Sales. “Dont switch off the light” was translated by Tommi Tynjälä
Receiving the Nobel Prize only made his schizophrenia worse.
That same evening, he confessed to Ajeeb (the only one capable of listening to him without any prejudice) that life was causing him so much pain. He broke into sobs like a young boy. Ajeeb did not embrace him, since he thought that his metal body would only bring more chill to the already frightened Genius.
The autopsy read, “Death by overdose of bio-modified benzodiazepine.” Ajeeb took care of administering it to him every night. It was the only substance that could relieve the chronic insomnia that rattled the Genius.
When the authorities interrogated him, Ajeeb stared at them blankly. He then responded with a calm and monotonous voice that so characterized him:
“They shoot the horses. Don’t they?”
DON’T SWITCH OFF THE LIGHT
Little Pedro simply asks for the light not to be switched off when he goes to bed, he refuses to give any explanation. His parents have tried everything, entrusting him with the guardian angel, making fun of him telling he is already a big boy, threatening, psychotherapy. Nothing works. The psychologist does not believe in a trauma. Apart from this detail, Pedro seems very calm and happy. The psychologist advises the worried parents to wait; surely it will pass when he gets older.
Little Pedro only sighs and asks for the light not to be switched off without telling why. His parents would not understand. He is not afraid of anything. It is that stupid hairy monster who hides under the bed that is afraid of darkness. If they turn off the lights, it gets with one jump under the blanket of poor Pedro. And who wants to sleep with a trembling and weeping monster?
The girl shyly peeked through a hole in the fragile ice, just enough to see the immense creature that there stood. ¿Did she create it herself? The creature was accompanied by two smaller ones. “They must be her babies,” the girl thought.
The creature was waiting patiently for something to happen, something the girl did not seem to understand. Its babies were skipping about and playing as they tried to push and bite one another. The girl smiled. All of a sudden, one of the babies lifted its head and looked directly at the place where she was hiding. She got frightened. She wanted to escape. But there was something stronger than fear that made her stand still and hold her breath. It was curiosity. The little one came near her, its curiosity about her also piqued. Would it get frightened? Once it reached the place where she was hiding, it drew its snout closer (she imagined it to be very cold) and sniffed her. The girl saw its little black eyes and its fur that was as white as the snow around them. She realized that she had never seen something as beautiful. She tried to touch it.
The creature let out a roar that sent shivers down her spine. It went away and trotted towards its mother.
The girl ran as fast as her short legs could take her. Upon reaching the hatch of her shelter, she hurriedly placed the palm of one of her gloved hands onto it. The hatch recognized her and let her in. She did not even bother to stay in the disinfection chamber. The computer flashed a warning. She could not afford to wait. She needed to tell it to everyone. She found her family eating the evening meal. They turned around and looked at her. She did not even remove her diving suit.
“I saw a polar bear! I saw a polar bear!” She shouted enthusiastically.
Her mother wanted to reprimand her for entering the house with the suit still on. It must be full of God knows what radiation from the outside, but all she could do was smile at her innocence. The girl’s older brothers were the ones who began making fun of her.
“Everybody knows that polar bears don’t exist! Soon you’ll be seeing ghosts!”