“Go away,” she said voicelessly.
Aureliano, smiled, picked her up by the waist with both hands like a pot of begonias, and dropped her on her back on the bed. With a brutal tug he pulled off her bathrobe before she had time to resist and he loomed over an abyss of newly washed nudity whose skin color, lines of fuzz, and hidden moles had all been imagined in the shadows of the other rooms. Amaranta Úrsula defended herself sincerely with the astuteness of a wise woman, weaseling her slippery, flexible, and fragrant weasel's body as she tried to knee him in the kidneys and scorpion his face with her nails, but without either of them giving a gasp that might not have been taken for that breathing of a person watching the meager April sunset through the open window. It was a fierce fight, a battle to the death, but it seemed to be without violence because it consisted of distorted attacks and ghostly evasions, slow, cautious, solemn, so that during it all there was time for the petunias to bloom and for Gaston to forget about his aviator's dream in the next room, as if they were two enemy lovers seeking reconciliation at the bottom of an aquarium. In the heat of that savage and ceremonious struggle, Amaranta Úrsula understood that her meticulous silence was so irrational that it could awaken the suspicions of her nearby hus-band much more than the sound of warfare that they were trying to avoid. Then she began to laugh with her lips tight together, without giving up the fight, but defending herself with false bites and deweaseling her body little by little until they both were conscious of being adversaries and accomplices at the same time and the affray degenerated into a conventional gambol and the attacks became caresses. Suddenly, almost playfully, like one more bit of mischief, Amaranta Úrsula dropped her defense, and when she tried to recover, frightened by what she herself had made possible, it was too late. A great commotion immobilized her in her center of gravity, planted her in her place, and her defensive will was demolished by the irresistible anxiety to discover what the orange whistles and the invisible globes on the other side of death were like. She barely had time to reach out her hand and grope for the towel to put a gag between her teeth so that she would not let out the cat howls that were already tearing at her insides.