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Petya Gleridis


On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the birth of Kafka, the literary world went through artistic metamorphosis: some authors transformed into beetles, others into chrysalises, still others - into spiders and centipedes, and the more conservative ones - into classic cockroaches.

All that did not concern Sissy, because she did not follow literary news. This year, like every one of the previous ten, she was gathering material for three short prose pieces. And because the Muses habitually run away from her, like the cockroaches in her kitchen did every time she entered it, she decided to give herself a break. She took out everything she wrote in the last ten years for the Short Prose competition, cut the pages into strips, spread them on the floor, and started creating a collage. The newly arranged text had the same chance of not pleasing the jury as all the previous ones, because the jury was same as before and Sissy wrote the same incomprehensible piece as ever before.

She read her new work three times, let it stay disarranged on the floor, and went to sleep. In the morning she found three dead cockroaches next to the paper. She found three more the next morning and then three more every day until all cockroaches in the house were dead.

Three months later, on the 3rd of July, Sissy's door bell rang. There was a serious looking gentleman with big sad eyes at the door.

'Happy birthday, Sissy!', he greeted her, producing a carefully wrapped package.

'Thank you, but it was yesterday.'

'I know, Herman celebrated his yesterday too. Today is my birthday. I thought I could bring you some bonbons to celebrate.'

'Bonbons? I thought you were giving me one of your books.'

'No, dear. Life is much more interesting than reading a book by Kafka. But are you not going to invite me in? We can celebrate the 4th of July together tomorrow, then the birth of Jean Cocteau the next day, and on the 6th is...'

'Chocolate insects?!'

'Yes. 'Metamorphosis' - on the occasion of the 130th anniversary.'


© Petya Gleridis
© Vesselin Vesselinov, Craig Hasbrouck - translated from bulgarian
© E-magazine LiterNet, 01.09.2013, № 9 (166)