Miss Little Spark

Some say she’s been there for a whole century. Others say that she arrived to Mexico City with the first light bulb. Her name is Ámbar Electra Gómez Volta, but everyone knows her as “Miss Little Spark”, the owner of the electronics shop at number 110-B, República del Salvador, Mexico’s own electronics shantytown.

Legend tells that she was born between strands of peeled cables in a rainy day near the tram: her mother always said she was a shock, the jolt that changed her life. When she was just a kid, her brothers took her to the market, where she usually picked up any leftover piece of metal she found laying around. Every weekend, she would sell these metal pieces to her friends in the council estate. She named them “lightning rods”.

The first time her gaze caught a radio, she immediately wanted to see what was inside. She never believed her granny’s tall tale about being filled with magic elves that acted different parts in made up news! That day, she discovered valves and bulbs, making her think that maybe the insides of the radio were houses for shining fairies.

All her savings were spent in buying the strange artefacts that a German that used to visit the council estate peddled. This German gentleman said they were bits and bobs he brought from an old hospital in Europe. Turns out some of those pieces were bought by a young fellow going by the surname González Camarena (who also was obsessed with electronic parts).

Her biographers call the era between her 20th and 45th birthday as “The hidden life of Miss Little Spark”, as there’s absolutely no clear recollection of what happened to her. She did come back to the council estate when she was 46, with two daughters, a dog and a husband. This didn’t raise as many brows as the fact that she leased the dinky little place at 110-B República del Salvador and proceeded to fill it with the cargo that two industrial lorries delivered. The cargo included electronic devices, precision instruments, light bulbs, LEDs, cables, valves, tools and even a small tetrahedron that shone green. Everyone around town visited her to buy spare parts for their busted up electronics. Rumour has it that she actually paid two ne’er-do-wells to design her an underground bunker at her shop and in the deepest recesses of this 20 meter deep stronghold, the rarest of pieces can be found, including the first television, a ray gun and the Ark of the Covenant.

Time passed. Her husband passed away, so did her dog, the daughters became fat and people and modern life kept knocking on the door. More electronic part stores opened around her, leaving Miss Little Spark’s store at the heart of the street. Nonetheless, the archaeologists of the unknown acknowledge her and the spare parts she sells; if something seems to be non-existent, she’ll surely have it.

“…las serpientes también saben recitar…”

Words: César Cervantes

Translation: Sam “cuchareándole” Valdés López

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