This short story by Mexican author Gabriela Damián Miravete begins a series of science-fiction and speculative fiction stories that will resonate with the experiments of the Brazilian curatorial platform aarea . Designed in collaboration with Jeu de Paume, Futurs d’avant is an online project with artworks by Letícia Ramos and Marguerite Humeau.
We Will Dream in the Garden
A Novel by Gabriela Damián Miravete
Translated from Spanish (Mexico) by Adrian Demopulos
Download the PDF
The orange trees will be heavy with fruits, and their flowers will fill the humid air of the western garden. A silky fog will cool the ends of the grass, of the herb grown from that meadow. The sun will always come out behind the almond tree and the branches of the oldest tree, a stocky ahuehuete, will extend first toward its rays, lengthening like a girl who wants to stretch. Around nine the garden will become populated with silhouettes. Some will greet each other. Others will be frightened by the falling of an orange, and they will run away laughing toward the shadow of other leaves. Some more will look toward the sea that, beneath the slope that elevates the western garden over the beach, will roar and will extend enough to climb up to the grayish blue of the sky.
The assistants will check that everything is in good condition to receive the visitors, because in the mid-morning many groups of first graders will arrive accompanied by their teachers, some of them still apprentices. They will come out of the vehicles between tiny shouts of excitement and stumbles. The apprentice Teacher will warn them “No running!”, with a girl in his arms who had fallen asleep during the trip, with her mouth half-open and cheeks colored.
The Caretaker of the garden, a smiling old woman with a steady gait despite using a walking stick, will give the assistants the rigorous recommendation: support the apprentice Teachers at all times, accompany the children in their emotions, have the snacks ready at 2, every hour distribute water to slurp. Later she will quicken her step and stand at the front of a long line of children who will sing thunderously and off-key in a joyful procession on the pebbled path before arriving at the western garden. Some children will lose the rhythm, one girl will get distracted by a lizard hidden beneath a rock, and the apprentice Teacher will have to guide them again to the path, mark their steps, their palms. The small steps will be heard in unison over the gravel. The children’s laughter will float in the air, mixed with the scent of honey and the salty aftertaste of the breeze. The temperature will be very pleasant, a comforting warmth.
Before the tall brass bars that shelter the garden, the party will stop. A pair of teachers will continue entertaining the children, the rest will turn to listen to the warnings of one of the garden assistants.
“As you all already know, the idea is to let the children interact with them and intervene only when necessary. Do not be afraid of the reactions of the children or try to limit them, they are part of the educative process. We will be close by and aware of what they need at all times.”
Download the full text
The Jeu de Paume thanks the author for her kind and generous collaboration.
Mexico City native Gabriela Damián Miravete writes fiction and essays that embody her passion for fantasy and science fiction. She teaches film and literature; works in the Under the Volcano Writing Program; and is a founding member of the art and science collective Cúmulo de Tesla. Her stories are published in Three Messages and a Warning (World Fantasy Award finalist); Cuerpos: Fantascienza contemporanea spagnola e latino-americana, and Una realidad más amplia / A Larger Reality (part of The Mexicanx Initiative Scrapbook, Hugo Award Finalist), among others. She won the last edition of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, now Otherwise Award, with her short story “They Will Dream in the Garden”, about a future Mexico in which femicides no longer exist.