While waiting her turn, her mind flashbacked to the time of the separation — a year she will never forget. It was in early June of 2011 when it was announced that the economies of all countries would be collapsing due to…what? She no longer remembered. Besides, did it matter now? She had just turned 18, she had been born here on the northern border…Aha! She thought, 34 years ago. It seemed to be like a disgrace but now it was the only way to live…well, one would say to survive. First began a shortage of everything: of food, of medicine, of governmental services, and of jobs. In less than six months, the structure of life that everyone had known for years or, rather, centuries had disappeared. Ten more years had to pass so that some type of order could be established. Today, the legal intersection, at least in what is left of our continent, is precisely Tijuana, and the only ones allowed to cross over are the ones that rely on dual citizenship, are authorized, and most importantly, are healthy—since those with the slightest sign of illness are terminated. “20451993,” she overheard. She stood before the tracker, her heart beat loudly…then a robotic voice said, “Clean.”

By Kim Ochoa
Translated, from the Spanish, by Pepe Rojo


Pepe Rojo (1968) has published five books and more than 200 texts (short stories, essays and articles dealing with fiction, media and contemporary culture). He cofounded Pellejo/Molleja (with Deyanira Torres and Bernardo Fernández), an indie publishing firm, and edited SUB (sub-genre literature), NUMERO X (media culture) and PULPO COMICS (mex-sf comics anthology) for them. He has produced several interactive stories for Alteraction, and published two collections of Minibúks (Mexican SF and Counter-versions) at UABC, as well as the graphic intervention “Philosophical Dictionary of Tijuana.” He is currently an MFA Candidate in Writing at UCSD.