As Novelas – By James Brodows

The novela Celebridade leaps from the Brazilian televisions and streets.

At last week’s Flamengo soccer match the fans shook homemade signs:

Quem matou Lineu?

(Who killed Lineu?)

The question on everybody’s mind after the soap opera murder.

And this week with the revelatory episode looming:

Eu matei Lineu

(I killed Lineu)

Eu sei quem matou Lineu

(I know who killed Lineu)

In Copacabana at 3:00 AM prostitutes swarm the bars and corners as men circle. A motorist revs his engine behind an unmarked patrol car. The police throw him against a wall in handcuffs, and twenty minutes later he is freed.

A young man in a suit approaches two friends who linger.

“I know places with beautiful women, why don’t you have a look?”

He consults doormen as they enter the clubs without paying the cover fees. They purchase and finish drinks, then proceed to his next commission.

At the final stop they’re permitted a single free admission. While one friend disappears behind a black door beneath the neon sign American Bar, the guide and other friend wait amid the bouncer and working girls pleading to work inside. Two are denied entry, and as the girls debate a next move, there is a moment of rest. The young man steps forward, opening a conversation:

“Quem matou Lineu?”


James Brodows’ writing has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, Litro, Pif Magazine, Southword Journal, and Wilderness House Literary Review.

As Novelas was first published in Issue 15 of Apeiron Review.

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