Fiction: Nothing Either Good or Bad by April Vázquez

Nothing Either Good or Bad by April Vázquez

            On the day Señora Ines Hernández Caiman noticed that she had grown old, she went to Don Ignacio, the fortune teller, and announced, You must make me young again.

            Señora, I would gladly, he answered, shuffling his worn tarot deck with a practiced hand. But I cannot.

She abused him to his face, which the good man bore with equanimity; he had been insulted before. But when Señora Ines began to defame him to the circle of rich widows that made up the heart of his clientele, Don Ignacio knew he had to act.

The following Friday evening at the senior citizen dance in the plaza of the Catedral Expiatorio, Señora Ines’s friends looked on in amazement as the old woman fawned, minced, simpered, and batted her eyelashes like a 1940s film starlet. She didn’t look a whit different.

Hypnosis? I asked Don Ignacio over a game of baraja and a cubita de tequila. But I should have known that the old man never showed his cards.

Her friends did not forsake her, as Señora Ines made for excellent entertainment. Indeed, she got her happy ending, for, as Don Ignacio is fond of saying, There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.


A native of the North Carolina foothills, April Vázquez holds a B.A. in Literature and Language from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and an M.A. in the Teaching of English as a Second Language from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  She currently lives in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, where she homeschools her daughters Daisy, Dani, and Dahlia. April’s work has been published or is forthcoming in The Missing Slate, WindhoverCleaver, The New Plains Review, Gravel, The Fieldstone Review, and others.