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Diana Ivanova, Emil Katsarov

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A large bean seed was lodged in the child’s throat - turned broadside, half-cooked. Wailing woefully, the gipsy woman was calling on the universe for help. A revolting play of fog and seizures started flowing on the floor. Sali was trying to spit out his own universe, to disgorge his mother’s panty house. He had watched how she was stitching it up. He didn’t remember anything after that.

The father thought to himself that the large beans resembled the eyes of the gipsy woman he had once married. He looked at her. Sali was asleep, dead and smothered in the coffin. Maybe from the ground frost and the fatigue, Empfie had also fallen asleep, leaning stiff on the slanted wood board. He thought they were both dead, only he could hear his wife’s complacent, light snoring. He felt oppressed and walked outside. Darkness swarmed him there. He fell silent next to the chopped-off tree.

It seemed to him he was dosing off. He was falling asleep just like his child and his wife. He got startled, but again heard the lark in his dream. He turned over. His threadbare tailcoat caught a pointed branch on his left as he eased his back on the tree trunk. Hr-r-r-s-s...

A miniature black mare sprung from the torn left sleeve shoulder. Dark as a deep, unconscious sleep, she climbed on his nose. The gipsy man sneezed. The sudden motion of the sneezing transformed the warned out tailcoat. It turned into a huge alligator with its stomach ripped open.

A nightmarish vision took hold of the gypsy’s dream: his testicles hung like last year’s dry salami from the vault of a village church. The enormous eyes of a taxidermic whale stared from the crucifix and urged the father to do what was necessary. The alligator moved. Its shadow climbed up the tree trunk.

The man stood up, half awake. He walked with swaying steps to the wagon. Picked up an ax. Bent down. With a single swing he cut Emfie’s head off. “Let her sleep..." - he thought.

Then he mounted the black mare and galloped toward the Milky Way, where Sali was waiting for him.



© Diana Ivanova, Emil Katsarov
© Translated by Emil Lazarov
© E-magazine LiterNet, 01.08.2007, № 8 (93)

The text has won second place in short prose competition of LiterNet and Erunsmagazine (2007).