As time went by, poor Horacio de Tosango felt metallic. The vertical midday solar flame had roasted it a reddish brown, like the color of rust. But Horacio was still motionless in the middle of the dusty square, perched on the plinth where the statue that never arrived was supposed to go. The arrival of the statue had been delayed for so long that no one remembered the identity of the hero who would occupy that place; and Horacio de Tosango had sat there for so long that some already thought that he was actually the statue of some important stranger.
In the early morning, when the Morning Star was at its zenith, it drank the microscopic droplets of the surrounding air that it breathed and fed on the cellular nectars of the tiny insects that seeped into its breath and were attracted to the light of a languid incandescent bulb, which had been installed by the clerks of the parochial council. On their last maintenance visit they had written in their report: unknown statue luminary replacement. In the dilapidated and semi-abandoned town no one remembered the identity of the statue anymore, in fact, no one remembered the history of the town anymore. Since the great migratory stampede that took away almost the entire population, only the most foolish remained, those who clung to their homes. In time they became forgetful old men, dying in a long way, lonely. It was not uncommon to enter an abandoned house and find a stuffed body on his bed, still wrapped in his blankets.
His vital signs were spinning to a minimum. He had managed to reach the state where life was imperceptible, where his mummy spirit mocked death, which could no longer recognize him among his pending accounts. No one knew for sure how long it had been there. Nobody remembered anymore, that face from a frozen past.
In the early days her hair had grown like a long fern until it touched the ground; but with the passing of time, he had fallen, giving him the appearance of a noble, dissected, calm old man.
The clayey dust had formed a thick, solid crust on his skin; it had become the shell of a chrysalis that remained in a suspensive state, its contents frozen, even in his thoughts; as if waiting for the exact moment to decide between returning to life ... or death.
It was after a long time, perhaps years, perhaps decades, that a mission of monks from a distant continent came to town. They stayed in the only ramshackle hotel left. The old man who served hadn't seen a guest in years, but he still cleaned the crooked reception table neatly and remembered his once popular hospitable friendliness, from when the hotel was full of visitors, who stayed overnight on their long journey of days until midnight. capital; when the train stopped at the end of the day at the now abandoned station.
The outsiders asked him all sorts of questions in an unknown language, which the old man reciprocated with kind smiles and incoherent stories of when the town was the glittering jewel of the railroad track. No question was answered, neither understood the other's language, but everyone was satisfied with the conversation. The monks repaid him with dreams so serene and pleasant that the old man had begun to regain some freshness and his back had stopped hurting. The hotel garden bloomed again and a sentinel cloud patrolled the sky, casting an oasis shadow on the old rotting log house.
Every night, the strange visitors went out to the square to observe the embalmed grotesque that Horacio de Tosango had become. They stared at him for hours, with their eyes closed sometimes, like praying. They touched it and babbled words; they made strange wheels turn on a wooden axle, as if counting.
Whether it was because of the constant touching of the monks, or because of the scorching rigor of the equatorial sun that summer, the statue began to show small cracks. The cartilaginous peduncle with which it was attached to the marble plinth also began to weaken.
One night, when everyone was sleeping, a sudden revelry was heard. Some woke up frightened by a lightning-like light that filled everything. In the square, the monks were in an indescribable state of exaltation, crying with happiness in front of Horacio de Tosango's shredded shell. Above their heads a gigantic butterfly circled, casting jets of light over the night.