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THE LAUGHTER

Silvia Mavrikova

web

Magnificent laughter, hers. Begins at the bottom of her chest and climbs up until generously pours out. Whenever they heard it, people smiled, cats arched, chestnut trees waived their branches.

Anton mulled over his phone, to call her or not? Her ass was drooping down, flat tits, short and dry like chalk fingers. A teacher of literature, she talked only of her beloved poets during the dinner, what a bore.

Should he call her? He observed her carefully and noticed hidden irritability and latent hysteria behind this stiff body. He was sure he guessed her shortcomings and even had moved back in disgust, as if looking under a rock and seeing the crawling maggots there.

But that laughter! Anton left the phone and went to the kitchen, opened a beer and gulped greedily. That bittersweet laughter, bubbling in the ears, getting you by throat, but gently, like a toddler's hand.

He cursed, went back to the room and dialed her phone number.

 

The wedding was modest. The guests looked confused with their flowers in sweaty hands. His father, clean shaven and smelling of aftershave, was almost hiding behind a column in his discomfiture. His mother was drying her eyes with a handkerchief, yet, not failing to observe how the women present were dressed.

'Yes!' screamed the bride. Startled, Anton looked at her - under the thick, but sloppy make-up, her face glistened like a frying pan. He felt the urge to lift up his hands and stop the ceremony. But, as if guessing his thoughts, that laughter spilled over like liquid gold. The guests happily smiled, nodding to each other, his father cocked-up, coming out of his hiding, his mother dropped her handkerchief on the floor, her eyes immediately dry.

Anton bent down and kissed the bride.

 

A month later the hospital called. The doctor quickly narrated what had happened: an accident, broken pelvis, state of shock. Anton was unable to say anything, his fingers just holding tight to the phone.

'Do you understand me, Sir? Your wife lost her command of speech. Most likely, a result of the shock. There is no telling - she may recover her voice tomorrow, she may remain mute for the rest of her life.'

Anton nodded slowly. Ah, that laughter...

 

 

© Silvia Mavrikova
© Vesselin Vesselinov, Craig Hasbrouck - translated from bulgarian
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© E-magazine LiterNet, 01.09.2017, № 9 (214)
















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