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A word or two on Boris K.

The Adventures of Boris K.

Boris K. – The First Loser of Phenomenization

Some countries were ruled by the Inquisition. Others were subject to questionable privatizations. Boris K’s country was exposed to inexplicable phenomenizations. For Boris K, a man with no permanent occupation, phenomenization was so unexpected that he had no choice but to come to terms with it.

He got into different time periods without the use of a time machine. He found himself performing strangest of jobs without ever applying for them. He kept adapting to the situation, akin to a player advancing to the next level in an unpredictable computer game.

“What have I ever done to deserve the things happening to me?” Boris K. wondered. “I am no different than any other semi-skilled worker who got carried away by the idea of equality in our Republic. I enthusiastically neglected to further my education for the sake of blind faith in “better times” when the voice of the small, the ordinary, and the nameless would be heard as well.”

Boris K. was prepared to endure greatest of sacrifices in order to achieve this goal. As one of the deserving participants at the end of the great Revolution he was offered great benefits – which he promptly refused with utter disgust. It was against just such privileges that he had fought in the first place, he claimed, hence benefiting from them would be contrary to his beliefs. So he settled for an assembler’s job on a car factory production line, where he happily worked 12 hours a day fitting mirrors on the passenger doors.

One day he was laid off. Introduction of new technologies and reductions in work force, or at least that was what he was told; he was well aware the real cause lay in that ultimate evil slowly but surely corroding the fabric of humanity – the profit. Disposed of like an exhausted battery, empty hearted and with eyes full of tears, he moved from his humble but furnished apartment to the so-called “Lepers’ Valley”. The place was nicknamed for its inhabitants: hardly true lepers, but merely desperate souls befallen by a fate similar to Boris’ own. It was dubious in which of the two skins they would have thought themselves better off. The ancient buildings huddling together in irregular patterns, the abodes of unhappy families, were not made of concrete reinforced with Pittsburgh steel; they were built with eco-bricks with insulating layers of pure asbestos, which almost certainly guaranteed the tenants a case of lung cancer. As if there was not enough trouble in their lives.

It was in such a building that Boris K. found his new apartment. It was not the vacancy ad that attracted him, but rather the unusual appearance of the landlady – who was in a habit of swatting at the heads protruding from the adjacent manholes using the highest-circulating newspapers of the City.

“Like swatting flies,” thought Boris K, eyes fastened on a greasy rosary. Frau Suzy (as the landlady was called) and Boris K. exchanged just one glance and immediately recognized each other. Brushing his graying hair back, Boris K inquired about the price. The Frau leveled one measuring, scornful look at him, flicking the ash from her cigarette holder straight onto his hole-pocked shoe. Boris K glanced at her defiantly. Frau’s response came in a raspy, ancient voice.

“Ha!”

It was a mantra that meant one thing and one thing only and was uttered by the old woman only on the rarest of occasions. Boris K. liked mature blondes with an attitude, so he decided he would start his mission in that very unfortunate place.

Mission? What mission?

You will find out soon enough.

* Phenomenization, phenomenosition, from fenomenon (gr. φαινόμενо, occurence), something observable but utterly mysterious and untraceble, and better kept that way.

PHENOMENIZATION

from

Res Publicus Phenomesationem The people of the Republic have fathomed the secret of the phenomenization by the agency of a mysterious clairvoyant gammer: since the Parliament was hit by a lightning at the moment when there were 111 storks on the roof, 222 members in the building and 333 rants under the foundation – the famous phenomenization occured. The thoughts of storks, rats and Members of Parliament commingled in the air and fell to the ground. Thus certain individuals realized they preferred living in the sewer, others keep trying to fly and carry babies, while the rest just keep babbling about politics. Anything is possible in the land of phenomenization.

SERBIAN ORIGINAL:

Reč dve o Borisu K.
Boris K. — Prvi Gubitnik Fenomenizacije
U nekim zemljama vladala je Inkvizicija. U drugim je dolazilo do sumnjivih privatizacija. U državi Borisa K. došlo je do neobjašnjivih fenomenizacija. Fenomenizacija za Borisa K, čoveka bez stalnog zanimanja, beše tako nepredvidiva da mu nije preostalo ništa drugo no da se sa njom pomiri.
Upadao je u različita vremenska razdoblja bez korišćenja vremeplova. Nalazio se na najneobičnijim radnim mestima, a da na njih nije konkurisao. Prilagođavao se situaciji nalik igraču koji prelazi na drugi nivo u nepredvidivoj kompjuterskoj igrici.
„Šta sam ja bogu zgrešio da mi se to događa?“, pitao se Boris K. „Isti sam kao i svi drugi polukvalifikovani radnici koji se zanose idejom o jednakosti u Republici. Kao entuzijasta zanemario sam dalje školovanje zarad slepe vere u dolazak boljih vremena, onih u kojima će se saslušati i glas malog, običnog, bezimenog čoveka.“
Boris K. bio je spreman na najveću žrtvu da bi se taj cilj i ostvario. Kao jedan od zaslužnih učesnika, po završetku Revolucije, dobio je velike beneficije koje je sa gnušanjem odbio, govoreći da 14 15
se protiv takvih povlastica upravo i borio, te da bi prihvatanje istih bilo u suprotnosti sa njegovim uverenjima. Zadovoljio se poslom montera na traci za finalizaciju u fabrici automobila, gde je sav srećan radio po 12 sati dnevno, postavljajući retrovizore na suvozačeva vrata.
Jednog je dana dobio otkaz što je bila posledica uvođenja novih tehnologija i potrebe za štednjom. Tako su mu bar rekli, iako je dobro znao da iza svega stoji ono ultimativno zlo koje je polako ali sigurno izjedalo tkivo čovečanstva — profit. Odbačen poput istrošene baterije, praznog srca i očiju punih suza, preselio se iz skromnog ali uređenog stana u „dolinu gubavaca“. Ovo mesto dobilo je nadimak po stanovnicima, ne istinskim gubavcima, već očajnicima koje je zadesila sudbina slična Borisovoj i za koje se ne bi moglo reći u kojoj bi se od te dve kože bolje osećali. Stare zgrade, koje su se zbile u nepravilnom rasporedu, gde su živele nesrećne porodice, nisu bile od betona ojačanog čelikom iz Pitsburga, već od eko–cigle, sa izolacionim slojevima od azbesta, što je stanarima gotovo izvesno garantovalo rak na plućima. Kao da nisu imali već dovoljno nevolja u svojim životima.
U takvoj jednoj zgradi Boris K. našao je stan. Nije ga privukao oglas, već neobična pojava gazdarice koja je imala običaj da najtiražnijim novinama u gradu udara po glavama koje su izvirivale iz okolnih šahtova.
„Kao da ubija mušice“, mislio je u sebi Boris K, pogleda prikovanog za izmašćenu brojanicu. Frau Suzi, kako se gazdarica zvala, i Boris K. razmeniše samo jedan pogled i odmah se prepoznaše. Zalizavši sedu kosu, Boris K. upita za cenu. Frau ga odmeri prezrivim pogledom i otrese pepeo sa muštikle na bušnu cipelu. Boris K. je prkosno pogleda, na šta Frau, staračkim hrapavim glasom, reče:
„Ha!“
Beše to mantra koja je značila samo jedno, a koju je starica izgovarala u retkim prilikama. Boris K. voleo je starije plavuše sa stavom, te je rešio da svoju misiju započne baš na ovom nesrećnom mestu.
Misiju? Kakvu misiju?
Saznaćete.

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Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Ten, Mathilde’s Confession

Serbian Original Included

Mathilde confided in me often (which I hid from Amerongen like a Jew hides his gold) while alone or while we walked together along the garden tile path ‘Why are you so unhappy, mistress Mathilde? The master is trying…’, I coughed, ‘He seems to indulge you in everything, and yet…’
‘And yet…’
‘Confide in me, oh Mistress.’
‘There is no need for formalities, Larsen.’
‘Okay’, I nodded. ‘Do you suffer too much?’
‘It upsets me, it gets on my nerves.’
‘Break the silence and open your heart to me’, I said, fatherly.
‘This morning I recollected the life in Denmark… And my mother. Make a note, Larsen, and let the world see it! If the prison door ever open up for me and Hässe burns to the ground, I swear that…for something like that, I will rise from my grave!’
‘I will make a note, but I do not know what happened… Tell me the tale> is it the truth that Johana the Monster, as the locals called your mother…’
‘And the noblemen,’ the Mathilde declared fiercely.
‘…Yes…patience for the old man, young lady.’
Mathilde shot a smile back to him.
‘…she lived, as they say, in utter poverty?’
‘No,’ she stated simply.
‘Amerongen…’, I turned around and saw him fumbling around the stables – he was etching something into the ground with his knife and chanted… The guards were lazing around in front of the castle. A portion of the army, being bored on the roof of the castle and leaning onto the towers, under the Hässe sun, was taking a nap.
‘You could run away right now. I am reading your mind.’
‘And where would I go?’ I felt rage engulf her, a cold, suppressed rage, thus I fell silent in discomfort and decided to return to the topic at hand.
‘You know I always treated you like you were my own daughter.’
‘You are my solace in this home of the mad’, she responded gently, moving to caress me on the cheek but stopping midway through.
We entered the great Hall and sat on a bench one next to the other, tracked by the vile gaze of Orian von Amerongen.
‘Dearest Mathilde, the introduction is the most problematic to me. I can never seem to pin it down…Your words are sung with a lion’s strength, but I cannot discern whether you’ve written a novel of your mother and your real father,’ I started while looking at the scroll, ‘a made up story, or are these facts?’
She smiled somewhat tensely.
‘Tell me how you married Amerongen’, I prepped my quill and a parchment under my cassock.
Mathilde tensed up her body. Her countenance became brutally firm.
‘It was in Denmark. On that day, and what a dim day it was, Father, the Regenstein door opened with a bang. Seeing Amerongen, I thought the entire castle shivered and squealed, as if dying from a horrible disease.
‘The castle was founded in the second half of the ninth century on a steep cliff, from which I felt like ending my life in the endless abyss numerous times. It was a dark, aristocratic dwelling. Since I was a tyke I likened it to a monster. Toothy towers reminiscent of fangs, and dark windowpanes reminding of the eyes of Erebus.[1] Regenstein had spread venom around itself since those days.
‘Amerongen got his eye on me, tall and threatening. I stood in the middle of the hallway frozen by his gaze. I pressed the parchments I was carrying to the library against my chest. He looked at me like a bloodthirsty animal. He looked like a rustler.
‘ ‘Is this ever a beauty!’, he shouted and touched Johanna’s heart to tears, while joy glistened in Otto’s wrinkly eyes.
He suddenly averted his eyes, and his face calmed, as if the monstrous strength waned in him.
‘ ‘In the name of Yambe-Akka’, he yelled. ‘Did someone die in here? Give ale to horses first, then the serfs!’
‘ ‘Mathilde, you should be honored that this charming nobleman chose you for his bride’, the moment she said this the parchments dropped from my hands, and Amerongen looked at me curiously. I replied with a smile which surprised him and he told me: ‘Do you perchance like me? Truly it cannot be so!’, he pouted like a child and winked at me, which made me feel sick to my stomach. I assume he just wanted to make me feel better.’
[1] Greek god of eternal darkness.

He came very close to me and all but glued himself to my body.

‘The cold armor of Denmark had burned your body and mind with frost. In my home you will be warm.’

Fire was blazing in his eyes. He turned to the vase laden with red flowers drowned in the crystal clear water. He pulled a dagger from his belt.

‘Careful, sven! Mathilde is expensive!’, I’ve heard an apathetic voice of Otto Regenstein. Johana was licking her lips. Her hand lay on her hanging breasts.

Amerongen turned to them, smiled and carved my initials into the palm of his hand. Blood sprayed his gold-woven clothing. He put his hand in water.

‘Now the color is like that of flowers’, he said brightly.

His boot drummed on the straw-covered floor for a while, he was looking at me from all sides and was thinking.

‘Will you take our daughter?’, Johana asked with hope in her voice.

‘Her being silent is agreeable to me. As far as I’m concerned, with a body like this, she can be deaf-mute for all I care. I have decided, I will spend the night here’, he approached me again. His breath was heavy. He stank of blood. ‘I might come visit you tonight.’

‘The goods must always be tested, do you not agree, husband dear?, the cheerful voice of Johana uttered.

‘Are these goods spoiled?’, Amerongen shot her a shrewd look.

She looked at the crackling fire in the hearth.

‘A fresh, unpicked flower. A good deal’, Johana said.

Mathilde stopped talking. I lifted my head away from the parchment. My expression must have given away dumbfoundedness and unease.

‘Did you find out who your real father was?’

‘I’ve learned of this too – my real father was a French count of Bouyon, from an old house of de Melot. He was Otto’s best friend as a young man. Johana was incurably in love with him. Insatiable desire assailed her, and the decisions were never something she left up to God. She gave herself to him with love and joy. When he left her, she cut her veins, but Otto saved her.’

‘What was his name?’

‘Alberik, but Johana called him Surtr.[1] That’s the name of my real father, but of Amerongen as well. The two, I believe, had for her at the very least certain similarities. I also believe that the two spent an intriguing night together, but I have…’, Mathilde stopped. ‘I don’t want to go on, Larsen.’

I thought that her confession would end there. Upset, she looked at his eyes.

‘There is a shortage of words for some reminiscences. Nature makes it so that the deepest feelings are wrapped in a cloak of secrecy, with a dagger interwoven to torture us. That’s the gist of it… All of my memories are dyed in blood… Why all of this, Larsen, when it happened so long ago? Time devours all!’

‘My curiosity is a cruel one, Mathilde.’, I outstretched my arms and begged her to continue. ‘Your tale nested deep into my bones. I want to chisel it into eternity, as masons do.’

‘Rock is ruinous, and statues fall apart’, her eyes widened as her shoulders shivered unbeknownst to her. ‘If I confess all of it, I will still say nothing for it is a copy…a badly reproduced painting. A farce of the lived. A heavy rock pressing on the mind.’

Her story became too hard for her. She had not even reached the important bit, and already she cracked. Oh how she shivered, like wheat in a breeze. I sighed and decided to let it go.

But, at that moment, Mathilde’s cheeks went crimson, her eyes glistened, and her face was overtaken by an expression of pride. Amerongen stood at the Hall’s entrance and observed her mockingly. She whipped him with a look of anger. Her hands clenched into fists and Mathilde continued with such fire, as if a spirit had possessed her all of a sudden. With the corner of my eye I spotted Amerongen, in the moment Mathilde continued her tale, leaving the room.

‘I was so bored in Regenstein. It seemed to me that I had spent more time painting and writing than I did breathing or thinking. Still, I managed to end the boredom with fancy.’

At times Johana’s screeching voice would pulled me from my darling daydreams where my spirit lazed on. ‘Mathilde, dear daughter! Keep an eye on Agnes, for she will sneak out with the doubloons and leave! Who will cook for me then?!’ The servant girl would then cry her eyes out, and I would console her. In secret, we’ve endlessly made love with our eyes.

‘Go scrub the  floor!’, she would often scold her when she was bored of torturing me. ‘And I will return to Mathilde’s novel.’ She would place the scroll on the cold stone of the table and start spelling out with enjoyment: ‘She felt frail, for she knew she would never see him again. She remembered their nights together under the starry sky, his warm kisses…”Oh, darling, why did you leave me, I cannot live without you,” she sighed and cut her own veins.’Johana would tut pleased reading these lines. ‘Mathilde my daughter, if I didn’t have your novels, I don’t know what I’d do in life.’

Other times she would, pondering for a while over a dramatically important sentence, comment excitedly ‘Oh how exciting…let\s see what happens next…’ Writing these sweetish lines, I not only saved my skin, but also the serf girl’s.

[1] A flame giant in Norse mythology.

“That day, when Amerongen first set foot in Regenstein, after the sven retreated to quarters assigned to him, I called Agnes over and ordered her to bathe me.

‘They always spoke of my beauty, but I guarantee that Agnes was fairer.’Mathilde said simplemindedly. ‘She had eyes colored in the hue of a stormy sky. As I saw her at my solar door, my cheeks went red in an instant. Her face had a rhythm, a meaning and a hue. She herself was a poem of harmony. I had been wounded by her perfection.’

‘I think we should finally do it.’

‘It?’ Agnes said with a quiver in her voice.

‘Or…the other thing, if you prefer.’

‘This or that?’

‘The thing we were daydreaming of all these years. What’s with you?’ I was smiling.

‘I do not understand, mistress Mathilde,’ the serf girl lowered her gaze. My lips crafted a wide bitter smile.

‘Do you realize…’, I said slowly, ‘that they can kill us…both of us…and that nobody would notice? There is no difference between us, we are both the prey of satyrs. But, if we could escape…’, my tone was resolute. ‘We will sneak out like thieves!’ She stared at me mutely. Her body quivered. ‘We will take off! Today! Only if you wish to! Say yes,’ I grabbed her hand.

‘Yes, mistress Mathilde.’

‘That’s it…’ I said, studying her with satisfaction. ‘We will ring a few necessary things, some money too and head for the South, wearing chainmail and riding horses.  The Almogavar[1] Will be happy to see us’, I mumbled excitedly.

‘How can we travel to Almo…’she paused, ‘should I leave my duties in the castle?’

‘In the castle, shielded by dreadful thick walls inside of which you walk around like a ghost? Only my wit saves you from the Regenstein advances or the beasts of Amerongen. This is a wolves’ den, rich within a wasteland. We will both die here. They are marrying me off to a monster. And what will be of you then?’

‘I do not know, mistress Mathilde.’ I took notice of the serf girl’s heavy breathing. ‘Save me, only you can!’ Agnes, riddled with pain and fear, fell to her knees in front of me.

‘Alright’, I replied quickly. ‘You know what I want. I want to conquer you. Do you like that?’ I smiled to her with a smile of a harlot. The serf girl bowed her head and started disrobing. Her face went crimson.

Physical perfection emerged from the peasant tunic, perfection Agnes hid effortlessly, because beauty constantly hides itself, as does ugliness. I saw her harmonious body, no longer as part of fantasy or disturbing dreams, no longer as if looking through water, glass or fog. We danced a passionate game of love. The sound of flute was heard in the distance followed by the song of birds from the nearby forest.

‘I love music’, we lay there, legs intertwined, like Nephthys and Isis. I admired our bodies. We were so alike one to another, in body and looks. ‘I love the tug of wires on a harp…tugs like this one…’ I put my hand between Agnes’ thighs, moving towards the flower pulsing under my fingers. ‘I played the lute at the same time. It can keep up with the pain of a minstrel. My lute teacher was a minstrel. He would always cry over tones that offered pure beauty. And I am in love with beauty.’ I kissed her breasts. This way, like embracing nymphs, we remained until dawn.

2

I opened my dreamy eyes, noticing that Agnes was no longer in bed with me. I stretched like a cat, dressed myself and sneaked out of the castle towards Russvatnet lake, my favorite, most romantic place in the castle. I thought Agnes might be there. The cold burned my body, but I paid no heed to this. I dreamed on the lake coast, while my linen hair waved in the wind.

I observed the frozen lake, akin to an ice-scorched earth, thinking of the sweet wonder which happened last night. My awakened passion was visible on the icy surface. I took in my expression, where a trace of experienced gentleness was also admiring itself.

I stood there like that for a few moments, next to the lake shore, gazing in the distance. Then I jerked back and returned to the castle.

Windows of the great Hall were wide open. Over them were flippantly placed animal hides. Johana and Otto were like two statues upon which a bloodless window light shone. The moment they spotted me silence filled the room. Amerongen’s heavy hands, like claws, were benevolently placed on Johana’s shoulders. He looked at me with piercing green eyes of a hungry wolf.

He had a pale, monstrous beautiful face, like a Satyr, which gave off tiredness after a sleepless night, perhaps even boredom. He had coal-black hair, atypical of the people from the North. I wanted to paint it.

He approached me slowly and grabbed my hand.

[1] The Almogavar were mercenaries in the Aragon-Catalonian kings’ service who fought in the borderline areas against the Muslims in the XIII century. Thievery was their livelihood.

***

‘Do you know how long I’ve waited?’, he smiled mysteriously and the blood froze in my veins. I gave a bitter smile and tore my hand out of his. He turned nonchalantly, poured some mead in the pitcher and drank it up.

‘You might be wondering where Agnes is?’ the tone of his voice was cold. I sensed dread.

‘Sven, if you like our daughter, she’s yours,’ Johanna interrupted.

‘Out!’Amerongen growled. Johana and Otto obediently moved away, exchanging glances of unease.

Amerongen continued, catching his breath:

‘Life consists of an unending battle not to let ourselves go to frailty, of holding back, my dear Mathilde. You are not weak, but, from what I realized after last night, you do not hold back…’

‘I would like to go out for some fresh air, sven.’

‘Of course,’ he said graciously. ‘This is what I wanted to suggest, for I have something important to show you at the bottom of the lake.’ He still grinned vilely.

We were on our way to the lake.

‘I love your passion, your defiance, your noble yearning which you have in ample abundance, your unrest, your bravery, all of this awakens the hawk in me, I want to eat your soul, I wager it tastes well… I love that you resist… I love you. And you? Could you love me?’ He was talking non-stop while we descended down the steep path towards the lake. I was listening to him, not hearing him.

‘Do you understand my question or should I talk slower?’ he growled at her.

‘My curse is precisely the fact that I understand all.’

‘Blessed be we who gave up regular yearnings,’ he sighed turning his gaze towards the distant, ruthless vistas. ‘And I… I embraced the curse with passion. I was knee-deep into it… Flesh, blood, bones and all…’

I looked at him disgusted, but said nothing.

He grined:

‘You’ve enjoyed the embrace of that idiot Agnes, while I stalked you from the dark. You kissed her fingers, slid along her body, like it was all a pilgrimage of sorts. But I guarantee you, this is not a pilgrimage, it is a road leading to the abyss. Road of death. Pure Eros,’ he growled and tried to touch me. I quickly pulled away.

‘What more do you want? Take me away, it’s already been decided after all,’ I shivered under my pelerine, but not out of fear, but out of cold and I held myself with both arms.

He snatched me. I resisted, but he overpowered me and took me to the frozen lake. He placed me right next to the shore.

‘Move!’ He howled and took my hand. I did not resist. He pulled me along the uneven surface of Russvatnet. It was colder than usual. ‘Walk!’ He howled. ‘I will now show you a Danish spring.’

‘Russvatnet has its secrets as well,’ he said. ‘But a few surprises too…’ I could barely hear him, for his voice was suddenly overpowered by the howl of the wind. ‘Now observe what gifts the Russvatnet whirlpools have given you! Beautiful, is it not? It must be, for I have created it.’ With a sudden hand motion he tossed me to the icy surface of the lake. ‘Look! Look into your mirror!’ He yelled and stabbed his sword into the Russvatnet’s icy depths. Disturbed, fully awakened from its slumber, the calm lake water guggled in front of my face. Something emerged from the ice. Someone’s bruised face, misshapen by powerful punches, was what the restless Russvatnet waters cast out. It must have floated on the water for hours. ‘Look at her, Mathilde. Look how beautiful!’ He growled, pushing my head to the opening. My beautiful Agnes’ face, her eyes plucked out, was staring at me from the Russvatnet deeps.

‘I slaughtered your lamb! Now kiss it!’, he laughed demonically.

I screamed, which had been lying within me for years and I overpowered the wind. I wanted to join Agnes, to die next to her, so I tried to pull myself away from Amerongen’s squeeze and delve into the cold waters of Russvatnet.

Amerongen, overtaken by disbelief, realized that I pulled out from his claws. ‘Stop!’ He threw himself at me and managed to cover me with his body. I was struggling. ‘Let go of me!’ I screamed. ‘Let me die!’ He tore my clothes off with the feistiness of a madman. He took me with an animalistic urge. The silence befallen on the lake shore was torn asunder by my shrieks. The horror came down on me. I twisted my body, in a futile attempt to shake the beast away. He delved harder into me, and his caution waned for a brief moment. I managed to drive my nails into the scar plastered across his cheek, to which he screamed. He grabbed my face with one hand, still pinning me to the icy surface of the lake with another. ‘You damned whore!’ Agnes’ eyeless gaze was observing this whole scene.

All the foul language known to me came out from beneath my tongue, jerks of rage made my face crooked, while I was scratching at him, pulling away, screaming and hitting, but he kept beating me. My fight kept kindling his rage, so, to my fortune, he finished faster than he wanted to.

When he did, he sat before me, wiped my face and genitals with the torn-off dress and tossed it into my face. I held my belly, but did not weep. For a moment my future life flew in front of my eyes and made me feel sick. From the mere cognition I felt nauseous and I vomited all over the ice, to which Amerongen smiled. I could not have cared less about what was to follow.

‘Oh how you’ll love me, you can’t even fathom it,’ he told me gently…

***

‘There, Larsen. This is how I got married’, Mathilde finished her tale flatly. She offered me mead from the table, taking note of the offended look of my face. I could not look at her eyes, flabbergasted with all that was said.

Serbian Original


Матилде ми се неретко поверавала (што сам крио од Амеронгена као змија ноге) насамо или док смо шетали заједно поплочаном стазом кроз врт.„Зашто си толико несрећна, господарице Матилде? Господар се труди…“, закашљао сам се, „Чини све да ти удовољи, па ипак…“„Па ипак…“„Повери ми се, господарице.“„Ларсене, нема потребе за формалностима.“„У реду“, климнуо сам главом. „Мучиш ли се превише?“„Узрујава ме, иде ми на живце.“„Сломи тишину и откриј ми срце“, рекох очински.„Јутрос сам се присетила живота у Данској… И мајке. Начини запис Ларсене и дај га на увид свету! Ако се икада затворска врата за мене отворе и Хасе буде спаљен до темеља, ја се кунем да… за тако нешто, из гроба ћу устати!“„Начинићу запис, али не знам шта се збило… Исприповедај ми: је ли истина да је Јохана Монструм, како су мештани звали твоју мајку…“„И племићи“, жестоко ће Матилде.„… Да… стрпљења за старца, млада дамо.“Матилде му узврати осмех.„… живела, како се прича, у великом сиромаштву?“„Не“, једноставно је рекла.„Амероген…“, обазрех се око себе и угледах га како се забавља испред коњушница –исписивао је нешто ножем по земљи и мантрао… Гардисти су се излежавали испред замка. Део војске је, досађујући се на крову замка, наслоњен на торњеве, под сунцем Хасеа, задремао.„Сад би могла побећи. Читам ти мисли.“„А куда да одем?“ Осетих да је обузима бес, хладан, затомљен бес, те заћутах у нелагоди и реших да се вратим на тему разговора.„Знаш да сам одувек на тебе гледао као рођену кћер.“„Утеха си ми у дому лудака“, нежно је одговорила, кренула да ме помази по образу али се зауставила на пола покрета.Уђосмо у велики Хол и седоше на клупу једно до другог, испраћени злокобним погледом Орјана Вон Амеронгена.„Драга Матилде, увод ми највише проблема ствара. Никако да га савладам… Твоје речи су испеване лавовском снагом, али не могу да раздвојим да ли си написала роман о мајци и свом правом оцу“, започео сам загледан у свитак, „измишњену причу или су ово чињенице?“Осмехнула се некако напето.„Испричај ми како си се удала за Амеронгена“, извадих перо и пергамент испод мантије.Матилде напе тело. Лик јој поприми бруталну чврстину.„Било је то у Данској. Тог дана, а беше то тмуран дан, Оче, врата Регенштајна треском се отворише. Угледавши Амеронгена, учини ми се да је читав замак задрхтао и зацвилео, као да умире од тешке болести.Замак је подигнут половином ХI века на оштрој литици, са које ми је безброј пута дошло да се бацим у стрмоглави бездан. Била је то мрачна, аристократска грађевина. Још од малих ногу доживљавала сам је као чудовиште. Назубљене куле наликовале су на очњаке, а мрачни прозорски отвори подсећали су на очи Ереба.[1] Регенштајн је још тад ширио отров око себе.Амеронген се загледао у мене, висок и претећи. Стала сам на сред ходника слеђена његовим погледом. Притисла сам на груди пергаменте које сам носила у библиотеку. Гледао ме је као острвљена животиња. Личио ми је на коњокрадицу.„Ала је ово лепота!“, узвикну и до суза дирну Јохану, док је радост блистала у смежураним Отовим очима.“Нагло је скренуо поглед, а лице му се умирило, као да чудовишна снага малаксава у њему.„Јабме ми Аке!“, дрекнуо је. „ Је л’ овде неко умро?! Напојте најпре коње, потом слуге!“„Матилде, треба да ти служи на част што те је овај шармантни племић изабрао за жену“ како је то рекла пергаменти ми испадоше из руку, а Амеронген ме радознало погледа. Узвратих му осмехом од ког се зачуди и рече ми: „Не свиђам ти се можда? Па неће бити да је тако!“, надурио се као дете и намигнуо ми, на шта ми гађење натопи желудац. Претпостављам да је само желео да ме одобровољи.Пришао ми је сасвим близу и готово се припио уз моје тело.„Хладан оклоп Данске ледом ти је спалио ум и тело. У мом дому ћеш се угрејати.“У очима му је пламсала ватра. Окрете се ка вази препуној црвених цветова удављених у кристалночистој води. Извадио је нож из појаса.„Пажљиво, свене! Матилде је скупа!“, зачух равнодушни глас Отоа Регенштајна. Јохана је облизивала усне. Рука јој је почивала на отромбољеним грудима.Амеронген им се окренуо, насмешио се и урезао моје иницијале у свој длан. Крв му пошкропи одећу извезену златом. Ставио је руку у воду.„Сад боја одговара цветовима“, ведро је рекао.Добовао је чизмом по поду посутим сламом неко време, загледао ме са свих страна и размишљао.„Хоћеш ли узети нашу кћер?“, упита Јохана с надом у гласу.„Одговара ми што је ћутљива. Што се мене тиче, с оваквим телом, може да буде и глувонема. Одлучио сам: преноћићу овде“, пришао ми је поново. Његов дах био је тежак. Баздио је на крв. „Можда те посетим вечерас.“„ Роба увек треба да се испроба, зар не мужу?“, развесели се Јохана.„Да ли је ово покварена роба?“, лукаво је погледа Амеронген.Загледала сам се у распламсалу ватру у камину.„Свеж, неубран цвет. Повољно“, рекла је Јохана.“Матилде стаде са приповедањем. Подигао сам главу од пергамента. Мој израз лица мора да је одавао запрепашћење и нелагоду.„Да ли си сазнала ко је био твој прави отац?“„Сазнала сам и то – мој прави отац био је француски гроф од Бујона, из старе породичне куће де Мело. У младости је био Отоов најбољи пријатељ. Јохана је била неизлечиво заљубљена у њега. Морила ју је неутажива чежња, а одлуке није увек остављала Богу. Предала му се с љубављу и радошћу. Кад ју је оставио, пресекла је себи вене, али ју је Ото спасао.“„Како му је било име?“илустрације:Crazy? – Painting, 40×30 cm ©2018 by Dominique Dève – Figurative Art,La Folle (1822-1828). Peinture à l’huile de Théodore Géricault. (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon.)Матилдини родитељи

„Алберик, али га је Јохана звала Сурт.[2] Тако је мог правог оца, али и Амеронгена. Њих двојица, верујем, имали су, барем за њу, неке сличности. Исто тако верујем да су њих двоје провели занимљиву ноћ, али и ја сам…“, Матилде застаде. „Не бих даље, Ларсене.“Помислих да ће се њена исповест ту завршити. Узнемирено га је гледала у очи.„За нека осећања постоји мањак речи. Природа удешава да најдубље осећаје завије плашт тајни, с бодежом у постави да нас мучи. У томе лежи суштина… Сва моја сећања обојена су крвљу… Чему све ово, Ларсене, кад је било давно? Време све прождире!“„Окрутна је моја радозналост, Матилде“, раширио сам руке и преклињао је да настави. „Увукла ми се у кости твоја прича. Исклесао бих је у вечности, као што клесари чине.“„Камен је трошан, а кипови се распадају“, очи су јој биле раширене, док су јој рамена незнатно подрхтавала. „Ако се поверим до краја, опет нећу рећи ништа, јер је то копија… лоше пресликана слика. Фарса доживљеног. Тежак камен што ум притиска.“Прича јој је постала претешка. Није ни дошла до оног битног, а већ се сломила. Како само дрхти, као прут. Уздахнух и реших да попустим.Али, у том трену, Матилди се образи зајапурише, очи јој засветлеше, а лицем јој се разли поносит израз. Амеронген је стајао на улазу у Хол и подругљиво је посматрао. Она га ошину гневним погледом. Руке јој се стегоше у песнице и Матилде настави са таквим жаром, као да је у њу ушао какав дух и запосео је. Крајичком ока приметих како, у тренутку кад је Матилде наставила са причом, Амеронген напушта просторију.„Толико сам се досађивала у Регенштајну. Чинило ми се да сам више времена провела сликајући и пишући, него што сам дисала или мислила. Ипак, успела сам да досаду прекратим маштом.Каткад би ме Јоханин глас, крештањем, извлачио из дражесних сањарија у којима ми се башкарио дух: „Матилде, кћери! Држи Агнес на оку, јер ће се искрасти с дукатима и отићи! Ко ће тад да ми кува?!“ Служавка би тад неутешно плакала, а ја бих је тешила. Тајно смо, бесконачно водиле љубав очима.„Иди рибај под!“, често ју је грдила, кад би јој досадило мене да мучи. „А ја ћу се вратити Матилдином роману.“ Наслонила би свитак на хладан камен стола и с уживањем би почела да сриче: Осећала је слабост, јер је знала да га више никада неће видети. Сећала се њихових заједничких вечери под ведрим небом, његових топлих пољубаца… „Драги, зашто си ме оставио, не могу да живим без тебе“, уздахнула је и пресекла себи вене, Јохана би задовољно цокнула језиком, читајући овакве редове. „Матилде кћери, да ми није твојих романа, не знам шта бих у животу радила.“Другом би приликом, замисливши се над драматичном реченицом, узбуђено прокоментарисала: „Како је ово узбудљиво… да видимо шта је даље било…“ Пишући овакве сладуњаве редове, спашавала сам не само своју, већ и служавкину главу.Тог дана, када је Амеронген први пут крочио у Регенштајн, након што се свен повукао у њему додељене одаје, позвала сам Агнес и наредила јој да ме окупа.За мене су одувек говорили да сам лепа, али јемчим да је Агнес, била лепша“, простодушно ће Матилде. „Имала је очи боје олујног неба. Како је угледах на вратима мог солара, крв ми јурну у образе. Њено лице имало је ритам, значење и боју. Она је цела била хармонична песма. Бејах рањена њеним савршенством.„Мислим да коначно треба то да урадимо.“„То?“, рече Агнес дрхтавим гласом.„Или… оно, ако ти је драже.“„То или оно?“„Оно о чему смо маштале све ове године. Шта је с тобом?“, смешила сам се.„Не разумем, госпођице Матилде”, служавка обори поглед. Усне ми се раширише у горки осмех.„Схваташ ли..“, изговорила сам лагано, „да могу да нас убију… обе… а да то нико не би приметио? Међу нама нема разлике, обе смо плен сатира. Али, ако бисмо могле да побегнемо…“, глас ми је био одлучан. „Искрашћемо се као лопови!“, немо ме је посматрала. Тело јој је подрхтавало. „Отпутоваћемо! Данас! Само ако желиш! Реци да“, зграбила сам је за руку.„Да, господарице Матилде.“„Тако је…“, рекох, задовољно је проучавајући. „Понећемо неколико стварчица, нешто новца и право на југ, у верижњачама и на коњима. Алмогавери[3] ће бити срећни да нас виде“, бунцала сам, узбуђено.„Како да путујемо к Алмо…“, застала је, „зар да оставим посао у замку?“„У замку, заштићена одвратним дебелим зидовима међу којима се као дух шеташ? Само те моја довитљивост чува од насртаја Регенштајна или звери Амеронгена. Ово је вучја јазбина, богата у пустоши. Обе ћемо умрети овде. Удају ме за монструма. А шта ће с тобом бити тад?“„Не знам, господарице Матилде.“ Ослушкивала сам служавкино тешко дисање. „Спаси ме, само ме ти можеш спасти!”, испуњена болом и страхом Агнес паде преда мном на колена.„Добро“, рекох кратко. „Знаш шта желим. Желим да те покорим. Да ли ти се то допада?“, насмеших јој се осмехом блуднице. Служавка климну главом и стаде да се разодева. Лице јој се обли руменилом.Из сељачке тунике изрони физичко савршенство, које је Агнес тако вешто крила, јер лепота се вазда крије, као и наказност. Видим јој складнолепо тело, не више у фантазији или узнемиреним сновима, не више као кроз воду, маглу или стакло. Заплесале смо страствену љубавну игру. У даљини се чуо звук свирале праћен појем птица из околне шуме.„Волим музику“, лежале смо, испреплетаних ногу, налик на Нефтис и Исис. Дивила сам се нашим телима. Биле смо толико сличне једна другој, ликом и телом. „Волим трзање жица на харфи… Трзање попут овог…“, ставила сам руку међ’ Агнесине бутине, крећући се ка цвету који је пулсирао под мојим прстима. „Својевремено сам свирала лауту. Она уме да испрати бол минстрела. Мој учитељ лауте био је минстрел. Увек би заплакао над тоновима који нуде чисту лепоту. А ја сам заљубљена у лепоту“, пољубих јој груди. Тако смо, попут загрљених нимфи, дочекале зору.Илустрација: Couple, available on Amazon

2Сањиво отворивши очи, видела сам да Агнес више није била са мном у кревету. Протегла сам се попут мачке, обукла се и ишуњала из замка у правцу језера Руствон, моје најомиљеније, најромантичније место у замку. Помислила сам да би Агнес могла да буде тамо. Хладноћа ми је пржила тело, али се нисам обазирала на то. Сањарила сам на обали језера, док ми се ланена коса вијорила на ветру.Посматрала сам залеђено језеро, налик на ледом рањену земљу, мислећи на слатко чудо претходне ноћи. Моја пробуђена страст огледала се на леденој површини. Упијала сам свој одраз, у којем се огледао траг проживљене нежности.Неколико сам тренутака тако стајала, крај обале језера, погледа упереног у даљину. Потом сам се нагло окренула и вратила у замак.Прозори велике дворане беху широм отворени. Преко њих беху немарно пребачена животињска крзна. Јохана и Ото наликовали су двема статуама објасјаним бескрвном светлошћу са прозора. Чим су ме спазили у дворани је завладала ледена тишина. Амеронгенове тешке руке, малик на канџе, беху благонаклоно пребачене преко Јоханиних рамена. Посматрао ме је продорним зеленим очима попут изгладнелог вука.Имао је бледо, чудовишно лепо лице, попут Сатира, које је одавало умор након непроспаване ноћи, можда досаду. Имао је косу црну као угаљ, нетипичну за људе са Севера. Пожелела сам да га насликам.Полако ми је пришао и чврсто ме ухватио за руку.„Знаш ли колико те чекам?“, загонетно се насмешио и следио ми крв у жилама. Осмехнух се горко и истргох руку из његове. Окренуо се равнодушно, сипао медовину у крчаг и испио.„Можда се питаш где је Агнес?“, изговорио је хладним тоном. Предосетила сам несрећу.„Свене, ако ти се свиђа наша кћер, твоја је“, прекиде га Јохана.„Напоље!“, заурла Амеронген. Јохана и Ото се покорно удаљише, разменивши неспокојне погледе…Амеронген настави, долазећи до даха:„Живот се састоји из непрекидне борбе да се не препустимо слабостима, од уздржавања, драга моја Матилде. Ти ниси слаба, али, колико сам синоћ схватио, ти се не уздржаваш…“„Изашла бих да удахнем мало свежег ваздуха, свене.“„Наравно“, великодушно ће. „То сам и хтео да ти предложим, јер имам нешто важно да вам покажем доле на језеру“, и даље се опако смешио.Упутили смо се у правцу језера.„Волим твоју страст, пркос, племениту жудњу којом обилујеш, твоје неспокојство, храброст, све ме то мами као јастреба, појео бих ти душу, јамчим да је укусна… Волим што се опиреш… волим те. А ти? Можеш ли ме волети?“, причао је незаустављиво док смо силазили стрмом стазом ка језеру. Слушала сам га, не чујући га.„Разумеш ли питање или треба да говорим спорије?“, зарежао је на њу.„Моје је проклетство управо у томе што све разумем.“„Благослов нас који смо се одрекли обичних тежњи“, уздахнуо је окренувши очи ка далеким, суровим пределима. „А ја.. Проклетство сам пригрлио са заносом. Заглибио сам се у њега.. своје месо, крв и кости…“Погледала сам га са гађењем на лицу, али нисам рекла ништа.Накезио се:„Уживала си у наручју глупе Агнес, док сам те вребао из мрака. Љубила си јој прсте, клизила по њеном телу, као да је у питању ходочашће. Али, јамчим ти, то није ходочашће, већ пут који води у бездан. Пут смрти. Чист Ерос“, зарежао је и покушао је да ме додирне. Брзо се сам се измакла:„Шта више хоћеш? Води ме, ионако је све унапред одлучено“, дрхтала сам огрнута пелерином, не од страха, већ од хладноће и обрглила се обема рукама.Нагло ме је зграбио. Отимала сам се, али ме је савладао и понео ме према залеђеном језеру. Спустио ме је крај саме обале.„Полази!“, заурлао је и повео ме за руку. Нисам се опирала. Вукао ме је по неравној површини Руствона. Било је хладније него иначе. „Корачај!“, урлао је. „Показаћу ти сад како изгледа данско пролеће!“И Руствон има своју тајну“, рече. „Али и по које изненађење…“, једва сам га чула, јер је његов глас наједном надјачао урлик ветра. „А сад гледај какав поклон су ти послали вирови Руствона! Прекрасан је, зар не? Мора да буде, јер ја сам га створио.“ Наглим покретом руке баци ме на ледену површину језера. „Погледај! Погледај у своје огледало!“, дрекну и зари мач у ледену дубину Руствона. Узнемирена, из дубоког сна разбуђена, мирна језерска вода заклокота пред мојим лицем. Нешто изрони из леда. Нечије модро лице, изобличено снажним ударцима, избацише немирне воде Руствона. Мора да је сатима плутало у води. „Погледај је, Матилде. Погледај како је лепа!“, зарежа Амеронген, гурајући ми главу ка отвору. Лице моје прелепе Агнес, ископаних очију, посматрало ме је из дубине Руствона.ilustracija: Катерина Пејсова, Bloody Lake

„Заклао сам ти јагње! Сад га пољуби!“, демонски се смејао.Испустих врисак, који је у мени лежао затомњен годинама, и надјачах урлик ветра. Хтела сам да се придружим Агнес, да умрем поред ње, те покушах да се отргнем из Амеронгеновог стиска и уроним у хладне воде Руствена.Амеронген, у неверици, схвати да сам се искобељала из његових канџи. „Стани!“, бацио се на мене и успео да ме прекрије телом. Отимала сам се. „Пусти ме!“, вриштала сам, „пусти ме да умрем!“ Покидао ми је одећу жестином острвљеног лудака. Узео ме је са животињском жудњом. Тишину палу на обалу језера, раздирали су моји крици. Ужас се обрушио на мене. Извих тело, у јаловом покушају да стресем звер са себе. Он се јаче зари у мене, и опрез му на трен попусти. Успех да му закопам нокте у ожиљак који му је браздао образ, на шта Амеронген дрекну. Ухвати се за лице једном руком, другом ме и даље држећи прикованом за ледену површину Руствона: „Курво проклета!“ Агнесине слепе очи су мирно посматрале целу сцену.Из мене излетеше све знане ми псовке, тразаји беса ми искривише лице, док сам га гребала, отимала се, вриштала и ударала, али ме је и даље побеђивао. Моја борба је распалила Амеронгенов бес, тако да је, на моју срећу, завршио брже него што је желео.

Кад је завршио, сео је спрам мене, обрисао мојом подераном хаљином лице и гениталије и грубо ми бацио хаљину у лице. Држала сам се за стомак, али нисам ридала. У трену ми будући живот пролете пред очима и згрози ме. Од саме спознаје, смучи ми се и ја се исповраћах по леду, на шта се Амеронген осмехнуо. Било ми је сасвим свеједно шта ће се даље догодити.„Како ћеш ме волети, ниси тога ни свесна“, нежно ми је рекао…„Ето, Ларсене, тако сам се удала“, Матилде заврши своје излагање равним гласом. Понудила ме је медовином са стола, спазивши мој саблазнут израз лица. Нисам могао да је погледам у очи, запрепашћен свим изреченим.„М-матилде, кћери, да ли желиш да пођеш са мном у замак Енгсо у Вастерасу, на обали језера Меларен? Амеронген не зна да су ми понудили место капелана у тамошњој катедрали. Спремам се на пут следећег месеца. А за после ћемо видети. Можемо да стигнемо и до Тулуза, ако желиш“, освртао сам се око себе. Нервозно сам погледао лево-десно, у страху да ме Амеронген не чује. Матилде ме је чудно погледала.„Зар нећеш да саставиш спис, Ларсене?“„Да-да, свакако“, замуцкивао сам. „Али, зар нечујеш шта ти говорим? Могли бисмо да се склонимо у Енгсо. Не намеравам да се вратим у Норботен, а ни ти не смеш ни трен више у њему да останеш. Нисмо смели оволико дуго да се задржимо у Хасеу. Можемо да живимо ван Амеронгеновог домашаја.“„Зар се може побећи од њега? Да ли то може бити?“Загрлио сам је. Био сам потпуно уверен у то што говорим. Осетио сам нагло олакшање пред чињеницом да могу да је спасим.„Почни да се пакујеш у тајности, овде више нема ничега, ни за мене ни за тебе. Покушај да делујеш као и обично, како свен не би наслутио шта се спрема.“„А шта бих радила, Ларсене?“„Управо ми је то питање задавало мука све ове године. Посветио сам му сво своје слободно време. Можда да се издајеш за моју рођаку или удовицу, или… да се угледаш на Ивету Хај, да проведеш живот у колонији са лепрознима? Све је боље је од овога овде“, рекао сам узбуђеним гласом. „Самостани женама нуде многе могућности, не само за образовање, него и за креативно изражавање. Подсећам те на случај саксонске игуманије којој је било дозвољено да кује новце са својим ликом… Немачке монахиње из богатих и важних кућа једнаке су духовним господарима Царстава, да не говорим о предностима које би имала као игуманија или можда жена – мистик. Подсећам те и на случај Кристине Маркјет, жене која је одбијала је да се уда… и напокон постала светица“, заврших своје излагање завереничким тоном.„Али, ја нисам светица, Ларсене. Чак нисам нити побожна…“„Нисам ни ја“, насмешио сам се.Уместо одговора, Матилде је неутешно почела да плаче у мом наручју.(Рукопис се овде прекида…)[1] Грчки бог вечне таме (прим. аут.)[2] Ватрени џин у нордијској митологији (прим. аут.)[3] Алмогавери, Алмогавари или Алмугавери, били су плаћеници у служби арагонско-каталонских краљева, који су се борили у пограничним пределима против муслимана у XIII веку. Живели су од пљачке (прим. аут.)Крај првог дела поглавља…

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Uncategorized

Poems from my travels, Egypt

ankh symbol Painting by Liana Horbaniuc

1

I, who travel the world ruled by a bestial frenzy,

I am the pain of the sufferer and the distorted folly,

I left those who did not follow me.

According to the desire of my heart,

I traveled to the lands of the horizon, to step on my throne,

To calm down my stormy mind where the

Deluge dwells since the dawn of time,

Irritated by an ancient wrath

Turned into candescence as the centuries went by.

And I saw the top of the wondrous horn

It stands out as a bestly tooth from the barren gums

Whether it’s a crypt or a golden chest

Buried in sand

Breathing.

In the harsh desolation of the desert

A dead woman’s silent garden

Like an oasis.

A sweet, intoxicating voice asks from the grave:

”Where art thou go?”

Is that a spirit, or a jackal

Sneaking around my throne made of copper

Wishing to depose me and

Take my crown away?

You’re standing, Traveler, among the spirits –

The killer of the descendants of my kind,

Pharaoh Ai, counselor of the emperors,

Stands among the powerful ones he slaughtered

They murdered my children!

Ai, the slaughterer shall stand among the spirits

His smell is Pazuzu, the smell of Horus’ eye belong to my flesh.

2

”I do not ask for such a dwelling,

Or any other at all…

Blinded, I’m walking the world

To rise like a morning beast-star

And count all my foes

My eyes are open, my ears open too

I travel the horizons of the Sun, travel the horizons of the Dark.

I bridled my weapons

Ropes are tied, ships summoned

I have conquered, I’ve passed by – was that all it was?

I went to a dream of things that once’d been

Glory, the miracle of Gods, miracle, and a coffin

That’s the dignity that belongs to the powerful ones

And the desperate ones as well

Who will win this race?

I walk the world to command

Jackals, pass the throne to those who come in peace

And praise them, you, jackals;

The throne you should give, not your knives

Throne, so I can rule the spirits

With a forged scepter in my hand

Scepter made of an unknown element

To revive this heart in my dead body.

Then you sit on that firm throne,

On the throne of scholars,

In a lone tower that needs to be redone

I bow down to your deadly efforts

You brought light into my eternal night

And now listen to me well,

Because you won’t hear from me anymore:

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3

I, Ankhesenamun, an ancient statue

Mother of the dead-born children

Whom I sprayed with the sacred milk

Brewed in the breast of mother Isis.

Distorted by blows and insults,

distorted by time itself,

I’m leaving a mark on the ground,

Marking the arrival of the beast.

And the mark says:

Yes, the ropes are tied, the ships summoned

For the One who passed by the graves – was that all it was?

For the One who walked hand-in-hand with the dead and the spirits.

To the things that once had been

She voiced a wise word

About the One that was a loyal mummy in the dead hour,

A chaperone of the unfortunate King’s daughter.

They killed her children!

Bearing a white crown, in a royal dress, with two sagging,

Barren teats

In the house of Anubis

Your books will burn

Around the altar, the salted Sun pillars

And you will cry your witless eyes out

With an aristocratic humaneness

Coupled with vulgar curses

Fruitless are all hopes, and fruitless are woes

To be told in the cold heat of misery.

They’re keen to lament, but they don’t,

Sadly smiling before the emptiness.

Oh, crowned thou art, Ankhe, together with

The buried Gods in pain and fatigue.

You, worshiped by the temples with snake litters

In their foundations, and – behold! – vipers are

Waiting in the line.

4

Traveler,

May these sailors take you to the horizon

May they round your path off

My mouth is open to you, my nose is open to you

My ears are open to you, my voice reeds too…

Red as the red crown of Horus

(one can hear a whimper-like laughter)

Traveler,

Collect my bones when leaving

Clear this dust from my limbs

And from the furrows of a long thinking and dried tears

Which left a sterile track behind

Remove these bandages from my body and give me your hand

A grave is open for you too

But if you won’t, may your boats sail in a hurry

So my name can endure

So my tomb may endure

And that’s my temple, my temple too,

Forever

And before you go,

Here’s my gift to you:

A green feather of a crocodile God, with caring eyes,

With passing time,

The One that rules the river, Nile,

With his powerful face,

Yes, that’s the one that rules,

The master of the night,

And he says:

Every day is shining for those who yearn for the horizon

The upper door of the Heavens wait for them

A place in Heavens is ready for them

Under the blind eye of Horus.

And as for me…

For a millennium and a half, I haven’t talked to anyone

Like I talk to you!

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prose, short story

CAMERA 22, Part One

CAMERA 22

Leila Samarrai

 

I do not claim that this tale will disturb many a heart, end an endless fear, nor lap up your blood. Besides, many have had stranger tales happen to them than this one of mine, wherein an unending fear reigns. Yeah? On Christmas Eve, no less? This is what you wonder. You, smiling, story-intoxicated reader souls. Should dark wonders emerge from the colors of Christmas trees, betwixt laughter and kisses, the flying confetti? People with no prejudice, I’m talking directly to you now, you that were touched by Pluto, perhaps cut off at the waist by his hand, or pointed by it to the road of an eternal weather wane.

During the Christmas Eve party, in the villa on Gravity Hill, I was invited by Oliver Daldry, a controversial horror director, a master in his field. His amorphous creatures were capable of shapeshifting human organs in Ineffigatius on the Blue Hill, which was selling out packed theatres. He weaved tales later in Reanimated Beasts, the colossal Amorphoso, and the cult classic Hand Shape. All four films were banned after the first screening.

I drove to the villa in my Polo, driving in neutral on the inclines of odd gravitational pulls. I saw streams flowing upstream. I heard rocks ringing. I spotted wavy trees, growing crookedly and its old, knotty branches pinned to the ground.

– Eh, nothing Escher had not already painted – I thought. I was hitting the brakes uphill, meandered circular roads of Danteian architectonics. At long last I made it to the top, parked, managing to wedge my car between two other vehicles. One was a Lamborghini of a plastic surgeon. An attractive purple-haired Mexican girl talked him into, just in case, turning the front tires “hacia el centro de la pista, con el fin de asegurarse de que nada va cuesta arriba”.[1]

I laughed at her superstitious comments, shifted gears and stopped the car in front of the castle gates.

The castle towered over everything, surrounded by pine trees, towered over the villa, shining with the light of the intersecting light beams. Dressed in satin-like soil, umbra-hued villa was filled with numerous guests. The reflectors on the pyramidal roof were squirting droplets of light onto the limos, adding shade to the hue of the horizon.

I exited my car and, as my nose was assailed by the wind from the mouth of a sculpture on the porch, cast in bronze (a mere porch figurine, a misshapen Aeolus), I was welcomed by Daldry, a merry Hitchcock, in a strange way merging with this whole powder keg of a scene.

– My friend! Duck head, rhino neck, horse ears! We lose life illusions, but not optical ones, never those, ha ha ha – he clenched my hand heartily, while his eyes kept check, it seemed, of the items in the background. – Why do you think I chose Pasadena in the first place?

I shrugged.

– I see you have no response. Strange things make up life, my friend, and the creepiest of those have long been swallowed by celluloid – he mumbled with melancholy, only for his face to again be adorned by a smile of a Santa Claus.

[1] Towards the middle of the driveway in order to make sure that nothing goes downhill for them.

To Be Continued. 

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horror, mathilde, proza

The poems I wrote for the book “Sleeping Mathilde”, under the pen name Lothair The Dark

These are poems I wrote for the book “Sleeping Mathilde”, under the pen name Lothair The Dark, with a wish to conjure up a medieval mood and to create the dark atmosphere in the book. 

  1. A short poem written for the medieval feast scene:

“Upon the end of the meal the musicians played a painful minstrel romance:

In the water I shall leave my bones
In the ground the leaves my mirrors be
It seems they’ve already buried me.
As I lay, I wait to be found and saved
Should I rebel or leave it all to fate
For if I stay with You, the heart’s silence
Will be my tomb and my eternal life.

****
2. – and continued to listen to the flickering squeal of the lute. It was the famed song of Fjalar, from the quill of the cursed poet Lothair the Dark:

Atop Fjalar sat a warlock, an envoy of dark desires
Resist him not, o Traveler, but pray to him
For your horses are affrighted before the abyss.
Pitiful man, that are the blood vessel within eternity
Pitiful man, your fear walks in front of you
Pray like this to the warlock:
When the sun comes out from the East, my blood will burn
When the sun sets in the West, my body yours will be
I will gaze upon you blind, o dreaded Fjalar
Let me cross my path this one time more.

****

A poem written for the Morning scene:
Thinking of last night, from memory, came the verses of a poet who lived out the last of his days in the gallows. I think he was a Moor… I proudly raised my chin and with a dry, thin voice I sang, treading clad in a muddy tunic and festive boots all over the cotton tapestries:

Fair maiden
You are the sun of my morn
From you the wretched I hides
I call the woeful night my home
Fair maiden
I will paint your thighs
Akin to the silk of a bright morn
You sneak away into a shifty dream

:
***
I remembered Lothair the Dark, who wrote the prophecy of Hässe under the threat of the sword. 

O Colossus, the Heavens tell me: Beware!
A carrion to you alike will clip my wings
Those of heavy heart will feast in the Heavens
Justice will freshen them like wine
And doom will come to all!

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novel, prose

The Tale of Hjalmar, Sleeping Mathilde, Fourth Letter

July 14th1099

Fated brother Alfhild,

I wake amid a dune, its gold and blood hued sand swaying on the scorching sun. Corpses surround me as they rot below the ball of fire. The hollows of erstwhile eyes are filled with mindless thirst. Ooze, like tears, trickled down them in thin streams, or was it, perhaps, blood?

– But him…I know him, I think… – I looked at a dead man upon whose rotting carcass I was sleeping, dazed and thirsty. His body was swelling up under the chainmail. – He’s breathing. – Totally unexpectedly, the dead man turned on his back. I grabbed a sword and drew it in fear – and hope – of him being a Saracen in disguise…

armour

It was a woman, dressed in armor, with long linen hair which encompassed her captivating face. I stepped back for a moment while, at the same time, I got overwhelmed with desire to touch her face.

– What in the hell is a fairy doing in the desert? Mumbling again, Hjalmar… – Olof would respond had he heard me by any chance.

A smile was slowly appearing from her sensual lips, revealing a row of shining, strong teeth. I looked at her, taken aback, encapsulated by her, comparing her beauty with that of Princess Amira, Iftikhar’s daughter said to be the fairest in the whole world.

– Renounce vengeance, Hjalmar…for you will kill us all.

– Who are you, woman? – I whispered.

At that moment, I realized that the night fell over Jerusalem. So fast? I shook, as if I were awoken from a dream.

– I am the Undead, Mathilde von Bergman, betrothed to your descendant, the bloodthirsty Orian von Amerongen.

Her gentile mien suddenly hardened, and her smooth face turned rough in an instant. I heard her bones crackle and craft a new, powerful jaw, wolf-like. Her face became hairy, covered in red fur, specked in blood – she turned into a man. From the wound on her cheek some blood trickled out. It will scar, that was the thought that came to my mind in a split second for reasons beyond me. Maybe because I knew him, from the time when he walked around, as a ghoul, wearing a king’s gown completely covered in blood of enchanted dreams, that colossus, my monstrous descendant Orian.

He said to me: – Kill, Hjalmar! – He was in the hell of Timelessness, covering both days and nights in a funeral shroud, feasting on bloody chunks of flesh, be it human or animal, shaking from his lechery during the cannibalistic rituals celebrating the Gods of darkness, with blessings from some witch whore that came to my dreams…

– Relinquish the sword, Hjalmar. Leave Ismael alone – the corpse uttered. – In truth, you have cursed us all. Go back to Västerås, damn you! Damn you! – He grabbed me by the throat, while he was breaking my bones hitting me with his other hand, with a heap of cussing and frightening curses.

– You…Exist! – I spoke to the abomination with many a question on the top of my waterless tongue, which barely contained a scream. I shoved him away with my hands. His frightening eyes, hued in serpentine rage, where cruelty pulsated, filled with blood… My soul was overtaken by terror, I was dying, I screamed, and…I awoke.

As I stood among the corpses, stepping over scattered and crushed body parts in heavy lead boots, I was thinking of our father, Alfhild. I am no longer skeptical towards the visions as I once was. They speak…They know.

They were there during our father’s death as well. I remember him clearly. That night when he decided to reveal to me the secret of my shameful lineage, he was knocking off on the big ivory throne, as wise as Solomon. His words were fuming in the air drunk on the scent of rotting flesh, and I covered my ears to avoid listening to him while I was screaming.

– Do not lie, old man! – His lips were opening, knives flew out stabbing me. He did not stop, he spoke, he spoke… While I was curling up from the pain, the suffering and the sweat. Witch’s shades danced around us.

– Kill, kill Hjalmar! – His face was pale, cold and gray, I thought in the moment I removed my hands from his neck, while he managed to rattle the last words with his final twitch – You are not my son…You are…Umar’s…bastard.

His body bent unnaturally as his soul floated above it, on its way to Niflheim, for he had actually died of sickness of the soul which crumbled the whites of his eyes yearning for blood during his lifetime and filled his breath with cruelty and sin. He drank human blood, Alfhild, bowing to Hel, while he was deciding on my fate in place of a God. At that point, our father, not unlike an insatiable demon, got up for a moment from his demise, perched up onto his feet and stared at me like an enraged lion.

– Hel gave me a few more minutes on Earth to take care of you – he went after me. Even though he still spoke, there were no longer any signs of life in him.

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