Mariachi! Mariachi! Mariachi! 


by Xenia Taiga

The man’s back was always in pain. He booked an appointment to talk about his problem. There were other problems as well but he didn’t bring them up. The doctor listened and put in a request for a MRI. 

The doctor looking at the results told the man that there was something funny in his back. The man laughed but the doctor didn’t laugh. 

The doctor on closer inspection found an illegal immigrant living in his back. Inside the lump that they had pried apart by pliers was a cave that the man made into a home. A chair there, a bed here, cups and dishes; all made from bone. The doctor shined the light and the illegal immigrant held up his fist: “Don’t you dare come in here, mister!” 

The doctor and nurses thought it was cute but the man who was unconscious could not make an informed decision, so they sewed him back up. Upon waking up they told him about his back’s situation. 

“We could cut him out. Eliminate him,” the doctor explained. 

The man thought about it. “No,” he said. 

“No? It’s important to eliminate this infestation. We need to drug it. Immobilize it in case the beast has some eggs waiting to be hatched. Often they do. They spread like wild fire.” 


“This could be your death. They can and will take over your body. It will be slow. It will be painful.” 

The man got up to leave. The doctor shook his head. 

That night the man slept and the Mariachi music like every night began. He didn’t get scared. Behind his eyes fireworks flared, piñatas tore apart, confetti snowed, and pink candy littered the landscape. He slept on dreaming of thick green leafy vegetation, cawing birds flying through the air, tequila shots with lime and the oceans lapping at his feet as the illegal man in his back danced, danced, and danced. 

The sleeping man’s toes wiggled. His feet arched. His body twisted till he pushed himself up from the bed dancing to the beat. He danced in the bedroom to the outside patio to the fence to the stretched field of dead grass until finally he reached the stars and there too, he danced.


Xenia Taiga lives in southern China. She likes to drink Dr. Pepper, coffee, Kombucha, and milk tea with those little black balls in them.
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