No sooner had he caught up with him, that the man had driven off. So, he followed him in his car. And the truck travelled far, till it reached the town’s suburbs, where it stopped on the edge of a ravine. Kazirra climbed out of the car and went to take a look. The stranger unloaded the crate from the truck and, after taking a few steps, threw it into the gorge, which was cluttered with thousands and thousands of similar crates.
He approached the man and asked him, ‘I saw you getting off my land with that crate. What was inside it? And what’s with all these crates?’
The man looked at him and smiled, ‘I’ve got more of ‘em on the truck that I’ve got to get rid of. Don’t you know? They’re days.’
‘Your lost days. The days that you lost. You were waiting for them, weren’t you? They’ve arrived. What did you do with them? Look at them, pristine, still bloated. And now…’
Kazirra took a look. The crates formed a huge pile. He climbed down the side of the ravine and opened one of them.
Inside it, was a road in fall, and at the far end, Graziella, his girlfriend, leaving him forever. And he didn’t even call after her. He opened a second one. Here, he found a hospital room, and, on a bed, his brother, Giosuè, who was ill and was waiting for him. But he was away on business. He opened a third one. At the little gate of the old, wretched house, he found Duk, his loyal mastiff, who had been waiting for him for two years, and was now reduced to skin and bones. And the thought of going back there never crossed his mind. He began feeling something here, at the pit of his stomach. The workman stood upright on the edge of the gorge, as still as an executioner.
‘Sir!’, shouted Kazirra, ‘Listen to me. Let me take away at least these three days. I beg you. At least these three. I’m rich. I’ll give you all you want.’
The workman made a gesture with his right hand, as if to indicate a point that was out of reach, as if to say that it was too late and that no remedy was possible any more. Then he vanished into thin air and, straight after, the gigantic mound of mysterious crates also disappeared. And night’s shadow fell.
(my translation of the Italian original in D. Buzzati, 180 racconti, Mondadori, Milano 1982)