short stories

The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara

The second of four stories I have out this month is “The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara”, in the just-released Solaris Rising anthology, edited by Ian Whates from Solaris Books.

On the night of October 10, 1967, the residents of Vallegrande woke up uneasily with their mouths watering and the smell of pork crackling wafting through the air. It was a rare delicacy in the small Bolivian town, and children and adults as one went out into the quiet street to look for the source of the smell.

It is a small, pretty colonial town, Vallegrande, about 125 kilometres away from Santa Cruz. It has a church and a town square, an airstrip and a bakery and a school.

And the smell was coming out of the bakery.


It had been an exciting day in the life of Vallegrande. Only on October 9, just one day before, a military helicopter had landed in the small strip and the lifeless body of Ernesto “Che” Guevara was brought out. He had been shot nine times.