‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ was already published in Serbia, but I’ve decided upon the expanded Kindle edition to have the cosmopolitan protagonist live through cosmopolitan fate, to have him read and loved not only in the isolated space of the Balkans, but also among the aboriginal tribes whom he, often, breaks bread with on his travels.
What I truly love about Samarrai’s writing is the brilliant dislodging of epochs and people, eruditional toying with the documented and the fictitious, the unpredictability, the lavish fancy and terrific dialogues. One should not be Tagore to enter the Garden of her worlds and labyrinths, where Mozart and Trier meet, Wagner and Bach, or rather Bachs. With Samarrai time and space are toys, an occasional means but never an end, rather a limbo where they, in fact, do not exist. In her necropolis living people dwell, , while the dead or undead roam the city streets, and those dislodgings seem quite convincing, realistic, even logical. This writing and Samarrai as the author both deserve a far bigger readership, for the fate of the poem-the verse-the tale is not to be silent nor is it the fate of great authors to be unmentioned.
LJUBODRAG STOJANOVIC WAS BORN IN GNJILANE ON APRIL 22ND, 1972, WHERE HE HAD LIVED UNTIL JUNE 1999. HE WRITES APHORISMS, POEMS, ROCK LYRICS, PLAYS, SHORT STORIES, AND NOVELS.
HE IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN NIS.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: ‘THE SERBIAN STORY’ (2002), COLLECTION OF APHORISTIC PROSE ‘BOTH INSANE AND CONFUSED’ (2009).
At springtime, as the locks of his raven hair started blooming, he left all the women breathless (left-wing ones in particular, as they were especially partial to flowers).
“There is a certain symbolism to them,” they claimed.
Boris K. was a seasoned communist, a ruin left behind by the transition, a redundant loser. Like many others, he looked back on the times when he subscribed to the Labourer newspaper with nostalgia. It used to be a matter of prestige.
Due to his former high-ranking positions as the coffee brewer and sentry for the Trade Union sessions, he retained the habit of sitting, sleeping and eating dressed in a gray business suit. On that cold evening he was waiting for the arrival of his landlady while reading “The Trial”. Remembering the times past and the chanting of the famous “Comrade Fidel, if you so said/we’d go live in a car shed,” Boris K. mused how, everything said and done, he was actually still living according to his beliefs. The very thought was heartwarming. Boris’ “car shed” belonged to none other than the very harpy, the very shrew who announced her intent to arrive at 6 AM on the dot. At that time, with the first rays of sun, she was to materialize in the flat. Boris felt hungry and mildly nauseous. Maybe it was the fear of the landlady, or perhaps an omen of the apocalypse. He felt confused. By the powers of the left wing, Boris K. was no coward!
He approached the old refrigerator, opened the handless door, and saw a drunken lady squeezed into a small glass cage. It was a bottle of vodka, the Russian standard with 40 percent of alcohol. The poster on the wall offered him support and encouragement, or at least so it appeared to Boris K. It seemed to be saying “Bottoms up, Boris! Long live the counterrevolution!”
“Alas… if only I could squeeze myself inside just like you,” Boris thought wistfully. He envisioned his landlady, the morning sun illuminating her like a halo, menacingly brandishing the electricity bill. He huddled against the wall, crying like a baby, his cheek resting against a poster. A thought pierced his aching head, which throbbed as if clenched within a hoop. “But I don’t drink.”
“Now or never,” he spoke out loud. After the first sip, it occurred to him that he should attempt to seduce his aging landlady. He was determined to fight to the bitter end.
“This is how Alexander the Great charged against the Persians with his sword!” he thought, detaching his tear-stained cheek from the poster. “Is the casino Alexander still open?” he asked the wall hopefully, his face beaming.
Feverishly, he contemplated the way to get out of debts. Even without a penny to his name, Boris K. decided to try his luck at the adjacent casino. He took a big gulp of vodka and stumbled. Toppling the chair, he knocked down the suit and the grey socks and grabbed for the closet. He let the bottle drop out of his hand after the second swig. Somewhere in the pile of jumbled clothing Boris spotted a formal suit à la Vienna. He looked at it from all sides. He looked both ways furtively, as if he were not alone in the room, so surprised he was at the appearance of a beautiful, shining suit in such a gloomy environment. He stroked the buttons gently with his fingertips. It was exactly what he needed. Boris K. looked up at the ceiling and muttered “Thanks!”
Delighted, he cast another glance toward the closet and noticed the secret barrier dividing it into two parts. He grabbed the handle and shook it tentatively, but it appeared to be locked. Boris K. stepped back and stood in the middle of the room. The bottle of vodka back in his hand, he raged at the locked compartment.
“You’re hiding some great treasure, I know it!” “
He heard something rattle in one of the suit pockets. His hands shook as he rifled through the pockets, but all he found there was some brass buttons.
“Pure gold,” he soothed himself.
Donning the suit, he decided to use the buttons as gambling tokens. Thrilled with his incredible discovery, Boris K. danced a few bars of the Viennese waltz in front of the cracked mirror, arranging his hair. Out of breath, he fell onto the sofa. He was transported back to the harsh reality by the picture of Fidel Castro winking – or so it seemed to Boris K – straight at him.
“Too much to drink,” Boris concluded. Pulling himself together he threw the cheap buttons into the corner of the room, took one glance at the electricity bill and burst into tears.
The old lady entered just as she promised – illuminated by the first rays of sun. On her dress, tailored back in the forties, she wore an embroidered swastika.
“The Brazilian tarantula. Such an elegant little animal,” she explained to the curious butcher’s wife in passing. She wore lace gloves, dirty fingernails showing through. Smoothing down her oily hair, she swiped a dainty finger over one of her eyebrows, tattooed according to the latest fashion. Following the unfortunately drawn arch, she cast an Ilse-Koch-like look to Boris K. A cynical smile spilled across her elderly, clenched lips.
“Cash on the table,” she pulled out a stopwatch from her undershirt, “in 60… 59… 58…” As she counted down, it appeared, the last seconds of Boris K’s short life, the age spots on her cheeks broke through the layers of golden foundation and bright lipstick on her cheekbones.
“Do sit down, old Fräulein,” stammered Boris K, pointing to the sofa as full of holes as a Swiss cheese and stinking of cigarettes. The old woman threw him a contemptuous look. Boris K. realized his mistake. “Meine Frau,.. I… I… Frau, bitte,” he stammered, hypnotized by the embroidered swastika flanked by a flashy heart-shaped medallion. Finally, he murmured “Just let me run to the casino. I forgot my wallet next to the roulette here.”
“The casino, you say?” The old woman swiped the corners of her widely open mouth using a forefinger and a thumb.
“I swear by… this poster on the wall, Fräulein Suzy!”
She studied him like one would an insect and, with a sudden twist, cast a look filled with loathing at the poster of Fidel Castro. Stalin was her true love, but it was a fact she carefully concealed.
“Too bad he is an infidel,” she said as the light pushed its way through the dirty windows, illuminating her head like a halo. Her voice rang with the austerity typical of elderly women of reckless youth, who remembered their days of decadence just a touch too wistfully. Once easy, now a puritan, she had changed the dirty skin of her body and threw it on the altar of martyrdom, akin to a snake.
Boris K. repented his actions. He felt like taking off his nonexistent à la Vienna hat.
The old woman turned, eyes bulging, and approached him at a menacing pace. With the stance of an SS officer, her long nose touching the chest Boris K, Frau sniffed him, noticed the empty a bottle of vodka and contemptuously waved her hand. Settling into the sofa, she closed her eyes in the manner of a yogi. It lasted a whole of fifteen minutes, with Boris K. perspiring, dabbing the sweat from his brow and occasionally massaging her feet, until she cried
“Genug! Stop!” Her wide open eyes startled Boris K and he immediately stood to attention. “At ease!” Boris K. threw the left shoe off his right foot, hips swaying. “I forgive you, just as my Fritz would have done,” she murmured wistfully, remembering her old love – a high ranking SS officer, carried off by the maelstrom of war. Boris K. burst into tears of happiness. “But, under ein condition! ,” she roared in a thunderous voice. Boris K. was all ears. “I will write off your debt if you can squeeze yourself into this bottle.” The Frau pointed at the vodka bottle. “Verständlich? Understand?” the implacable Frau screeched.
Boris K. glanced at the bottle, then at his soft, pink hand (he was an artist, and it is well known that they do absolutely nothing under the sun). He wanted to protest, to say that one could not treat the oppressed classes so. Squeezing people into bottles like that? Not even Mengele would have thought of that, he thought – but said nothing. Somehow he managed to bend his back; he crumpled, growing smaller, lowering his proud fists, his skillful fingers curled and his head hung low. Thus his entire body distorted.
Boris K. kept diminishing before the terrible powers of the frau, finally growing small enough to squeeze his tiny hand into the vodka bottle, followed by his shoulder, chest and spine – the latter proved easy enough to squeeze into the bottle – and finally his feet, which by that point had completely refused to obey him. Thus Boris K. successfully completed his task under the Frau’s contended smile. Only Boris’ two large, terrified eyes remained visible.
The giant frau stood up, took the vodka bottle and headed for the locked compartment – the strictly guarded secret of all secrets. For years she was suspected of hiding, if not jewelry, then at least Fritz’s letters there. She reached into her pocket for the gilded key and opened the plywood compartment. Frau looked with pride upon the arranged bottles of numerous manufacturers – English and French, but mostly German. One bottle contained Sir Gawain, her former tenant, the second Herr Hans, and the third, Jean-Paul. From the fourth, the Obergruppenführer Fritz (the former supreme commander of the Waffen-SS) smiled at his lover, the Frau, who blew him a tender kiss. Each of the bottles contained a tenant hopefully peering through the stained glass of his prison, every one of them grateful to his landlady for being so very generous as to write off his debt.
Imaginarium, Igor Morski 1960
I, Franz Kafka, He who is versatile with light sentences, as well as everyday lexicon, have in regards to finishing all of my novels found a way out by writing this Code of Law, through Kafkaesque De Sade- von Masoch Code- KDSVMC statutes which have a final, totalitarian order, with a well-rounded meaning and significance which can serve as solace to Kafkaesque characters, suggesting to them and providing them with the materials to conduct independent research as a hobby which will cut their dark days in half and preoccupy their sinful thoughts.
As I read these lines written in a neutral eerie tone and engraved by means of bloody knife into history,
- I, Franz Kafka, have permanently relinquished myself of the guilt which haunted me and heavily obstructed me in performing my government job, and have done so by adopting the following Kafkaesque De Sade- von Masoch Code- KDSVMC statute:
- All of the trials are limited to a Castle of your own choice.
- All trials are to be conducted solely in the Castle – and we will select what castle it is via fixed lottery.
2. I, Franz Kafka, oppose die Autorität, the Scourge and Saint Attila, by flogging myself. I do not need the Scourge – I will carry out my own justice.
- 3.Slanderers are not to be flogged but slandered because they are above the law, and he who feels no guilt is the biggest sinner of all. He is to be flogged but exclusively by a three-wire quirt.
THE KAFKIAN LEVITICUS (THE BOOK OF THE KAFKAESQUE LAW)
This Code was discovered by a washed up actor Simon Culpeper, who was working at a quarry. He found it right next to a bloody dagger.
FOR IT IS WRITTEN:
Respect thy Father and thy Mother by having them whip you.
QUIT YER BITCHIN’ FOR HERE COMES WHIP TWITCHIN’!
- Whipping is to be executed exclusively with a sterilized whip, dipped in a hydrogen solution.
- Whipping is sponsored by tanner shops and salt factories.
- Salt is a necessary element to be rubbed into the post-whipping wounds.
- Whipping is the same as whipkrieg and is not to be permormed without the blessings of the church.
- The church is obliged to bless both the convict and the whip with holy water before the execution is to take place.
- Whipping in BDSM establishments is forbidden.
- Whipping must not be performed with an old Avarian quirt.
- The whip must not be manufactured from horse skin, which would work for nomads.
- The libelous person accused of libel is to be set free for honor is defended by dueling.
- Duels are forbidden.
- Should both duelists die – duels are permitted.
- Citizens are not to be arrested nor killed at night but during the day, mid-day, in the open.
 A subtle refference to Serbian protests to the 2017 Election results.
After the landlady kicked Boris K. out onto the snow for unpaid rent, our hero, endlessly cursing the soulless Frau Susie, lit a matchstick to warm himself up a bit. Lights burned in the surrounding houses, for it had been Christmas. A powerful, very squally Belgrade wind was whipping away chilling our hero to his bones.
Roaming along the snow and ice Boris K. cursed the day when he forgot to bring the New Year’s sparkles, hence, when one matchstick went out, he proudly lit the next, and then another, and then one more, up until he spent all of the matches in the box.
With the last stick he set fire to his coffer, used it to transport fire to his pants and coat, only to finally lit his whole self on fire in order to keep warm. While the cold whirlwind scattered his ashes all over the city streets, a bright sun shone and melted all the snow and ice.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, From Shakespeare’s play Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio.
Boris K. took the “Mens sana in corpore sano” mantra deadly seriously and was on his way to the nearest gym. Out of sheer excitement, he forgot the towel. Truth be told, Boris K. never really sweated, what’s more the doctors diagnosed him with some armpit gland defect. He wore his tracksuit that he usually wore when he went to the farmer’s market and had sneakers on, clean, but with a tiny hole on their side.
The moment he stepped into the luxury space, akin to the gyms of Los Angeles where the Japanese Yakuza work out, the treadmill caught his attention. As he was running, green pastures went through his head where he soared as a child, running after a ball.
“Boris, get the ball!” he remembered the voice of his uncle Ivan The Terrible Fisherman, who often took him fishing.
He ran faster, catching the ball in his thoughts. Giggling, he lifted his arms up and whispered: “Death to fascism, freedom to the people”, respecting the house rules.
Luckily, others noticed the new workout guy, others who ran along the treadmill with light steps, wiping off the invisible sweat, exchanging many a word between one another:
“Sweetheart, I have discovered the Café Menstrualle. You pop one Café Menstrualle and no more ovary pain.”
“Such nice people, these folks”, he thought after a thirty minute cardio workout, ran his fingers through his odorous hair, with but a hint of sweat to it. He reeked of sweat and it felt good to him.
As he was fantasizing about making “Rocky VII”, a young man of 25-ish approached him, dark curly-haired, engulfed in a strong perfume, with buff arms, a square Lego torso and short legs, and he whispered into his ears words that almost froze Boris K. solid.
“Good evening”, he shook his hand with his own, dry chapped one. “I am Boris K.”
The trainer shook hands, unknowingly stepping away from Boris K., while down his tiny wrinkle on his young forehead, born out of constant frowning and grimacing, sweat poured.
“Forgive me, sir, but you stink. All the other folks that are working out are complaining about you.”
Boris turned around himself, sensing the sweat and the hostile looks. He shook.
“Male or female?” he applied logic.
He felt being bathed in cold sweat. As if something had been crushing him bone by bone, his field of vision narrowed. Him? He never broke a sweat. Even when he had to go to the doctor’s.
“What?”, Boris K. looked at him nearly maniacally.
“Nothing”, he said and wiped the sweat of his forehead. Catching glimpse of this motion, Boris K. facepalmed, merely uttering that he did not bring a towel which he would use to clear any doubt-raising link between him and sweat.
“Mistah Trainah, I have never once in my life…stunk, not even had a hint of an odor…and even if I did – is this not the right spot for it?” Boris K. was pulling these and similar arguments while counting the seconds in his head, bouncing the words around under his tongue, gulping, until finally he bent the knee and admitted defeat.
He was certain that he did not break a sweat, but this young trainer, who was a bodybuilder for at least a decade, certainly knew everything there was to know about stench.
“I’ve been wrongly accused!”, a slight rise in his tone.
The trainer shrugged and clenched his fists. The other customers started approaching with menacing faces. Boris K. noticed that he’s in a pinch and tried to apply some strategy. He smiled, to which the customers stepped back. Boris K. noticed that the workout gear was unoccupied, seeing as the people using them were surrounding him, therefore nobody was there using them. He felt the uncalm and the desire to leave, but he couldn’t leave well enough alone. He had firmly decided to continue the discussion with the discount Tommy Gann here by any means necessary, come hell or high water.
He felt that he was about to cry any minute. He held himself with both arms, comforting himself gently as the trainer, his voice a chill, suggested that he brought a towel next time, more modern sneakers and a Dolce & Gabbana tracksuit, like the ones other customers had. For a while he trembled out of confusion, uneasiness, he even wanted to cry. He cursed all the towels of God’s green Earth. He shook away the invisible sweat off of himself as the in-full-make-up female customers, casting a glance or two in his general direction, glared at him scornfully. One observed the sole of his left sneaker. Rolling her eyes, she whispered something to the lummox next to her who looked at Boris K., as if ready to crush him. Boris K. was smiling. He went out into the street shook up, confused, disturbed and offended, realizing that there was a stench there and that the trainer was absolutely correct.
“I know what it was! It was the scent of rot!”, he concluded, and stepped into the dark streets towards a new comedy.
Tomorrow Boris K. purchased a café menstrualle deciding that, as soon as he gets the right opportunity, he would complain to other customers at the gym about the pain in his ovaries.
The minister of culture and minority rights Cris Is Evayzhun was walking along the Phenomenonpublic boulevard with parliament member Iana Goatson (of GOAT – Government Approved Thou-shall-nots, as well as CleronationalVoxPIOUpuli ), his wife, and he plucked away from the rich history of Germany.
As the minister was shifting from one Nazi topic to the next, from the Big bang onward, out of the darkness crept Boris K. and with a swift “SiegHeil!” he tripped the minister who lay prostrate on the golden pavements of Phemonenonpublic.
“The minister is down!”
“They killed the minister!”
A trudge of steps ensued. A mass of people stood around the minister Cris Is Evayzhun,
“Help! An urgent republic matter! Dial 333-222. Assassination!”
Xavier, a gypsy youth, who begged for money in the graveyard shift, pulled a moist towelette from his bag with a swift motion and applied it to the spot on the minister’s leg which was sore.
Boris K. took a photo of this touching scene with his Motorola. The minister’s wife was thrilled.
“If I had a son like this, I would dress him up in the style of Albert, prince consort of Windsor”, she thought and much to her husband’s dismay she loudly blurted out:
“I want a son like this.”
“Ah, if only I had a mother like you.”
Boris K. remembered and told a touching story of the love one father had towards his son – one of the many tales he picked up somewhere during his life – as the foreign minister tried choking him.
The story went on for hours, until the Emergency vehicle came with a stretcher and took away the minister who was howling in pain and cursing the very name of Boris K.
A month later, coming back from the WIG Heil general tryouts, the minister and the minister’s adviser for the rights of minority Boris K. looked at a Gipsy woman sitting in front of the firecracker store and some cheap Chinese pyrotechnics.
“This Republic is going to pieces. An open market to any and all crap”, minister Cris is Evayzhun mumbled, looking at the Gipsy woman in a manner – was there any other, really? – not unlike that of a Nazi. “Nobody can control the quality of the merchandise (and people) which flows into our beloved Phenomenonpublic. While somewhere up there in Germany Berlin is on fire, I see everything around here!”
“Calm down and extend your palm”, the Gypsy woman smiled to the minister who was dreaming that he had his own panzer divisions in the Kriegsmarine. “In your past life you were a crazed SS commander”, the Gypsy woman started. “Now you are just a bozo whom an adopted child will make feel happy”.
The minister waved his head in disbelief. How can she know all this? He didn’t even giver her his palm.
The Gypsy woman continues palm-reading as if she were in a trance.
“We have to move to the front door ahead of a dangerous gang”, she spoke with a cracked voice. A few moment later there were gunshots. Boris K. and the Gypsy woman and the minister went into the front door, until the street situation calmed.
Six months later, the minister, his wife and their son – little Xavier – were walking along the boulevard.
Boris took the money from Iana Goatson, since she hired him to trick the minister. The Gypsy woman, Xavier’s mom was disguised as a fortune teller, got an apartment in the name of her remaining ten kids. Boris K. soon paid the fellows who were reenacting a mobster showdown, he purchased a luxury three room apartment for about a year and continued nailing the role of Hitler.
Chinese president Su Thong gave a statement for the yellow press yesterday that he would ensure the elongation of the Great Chinese Wall which would then serve to reroute all the possible issues into the right direction. A dog and two blind men, one of who was a murderer, supported him in this endeavors…
The next day, those Chinese who lived in the parts close to the Wall didn’t find it where it should have been. Instead, the Wall appeared on the opposite end of the world. AmidstHollywood, in the middle of the yard where married couple, an actor Quini Doyl and actress Many Hoyl have lived. Each of the media gave different announcement, and indictments started to hail…
One fine day, Boris K. was commissioned to hand over a tax return to Grandma Katrina, also known as Grandma Hurricana, Josefina, Super Sandy, and Camille. Regardless, everyone knew her as the ‘Freak of the Mountains’, who was infamous for releasing terribly vaporous winds. Some tell a story of how she was once a great Marxist and extreme leftist who, volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War. She drowned the Americans, who could not kill her with their rifles, by causing major flooding of the Mekong River. Others described her as a runaway Marxist who in her youth called herself, Josefina Brant and cut her hair in a Mohawk to resemble a great American Indian warrior. Regardless, she was a feminist with no desire for marriage who literally blew away all her suitors. Whenever an eligible man came near her, she would destroy them, creating storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, even blizzards to deter their efforts to court her. No one was really sure if she was really as bad as the legends indicated because her name changed as often as her methods of destruction. Regardless, everyone lived in fear of her.
For a long time, no one ever heard or felt anything from Grandma Katrina.When she got old, she decided to move to the top of a very high mountain and live on welfare. No one ever really heard about her except during tax time. For, whenever a postman would attempt to deliver her tax forms, terrible storms and flashes in the sky would appear. These annual deliveries incensed Katrina and she couldn’t help but break wind and annihilate every last man delivering her mail. As a result, she hadn’t paid her taxes in over 1500 years.
Boris K., who decided to try out being a postman for the Phenomenrepublic, thought the stories were just legends. Why did they look at him in such a pitying way when the boss gave him the assignment? They told him all he had to do was hand over the tax evasion form to the old lady. Boris K.’s colleagues explained to him that once he was three quarters of the way up the mountain, he will have reached the point of no return, the spot where every postman before him made it, but never came back from. Despite the legends and warnings, Boris K headed up the mountain ready to fulfill his duty.
He started his ascent at exactly eight o’clock that morning. He calculated that he would be able to hike approximately 4 hours per day if he needed to take a break to catch his breath every 25 feet or so. The journey ended up taking four full days. The slopes were sharp as glass, the curved crystalline walls made it impossible for Boris K. to progress without a great deal of pain and a number of skin lacerations. At times, he would slip, grasping for the moss and throwing himself over ramparts to avoid bruises during his freefalls. Blistered by the relentless sun and rushed by wild goats, Boris K. kept on going. Through dry parched lips and a raspy throat, he raved:
“Oh my darling….Oh my darling… ohhhhhhhmyyyydarrrrrrrrrling Clementine. Thou art lost and gone for tax…es, Ohhhhhmyyyydarrrrrrrrrrling Clementine!
When he got too hot, he fanned himself with the tax papers until finally he reached the end of the road, or at least he thought it was the end. Mysteriously, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle presented itself directly in front of his path. It was a giant obelisk, taller even than the pyramid of Giza. Boris K. stood staring at the unexpected barrier, desperate and exhausted, when he heard a menacing growl erupt in front of him. Startled, He leapt up, grabbed the bag with the tax papers, and assumed a fighting stance in front of the mysterious creature, who appeared to be from the early Mesozoic era.
“I am a flesh eating Epanterias. Call me Caliban” spoke the monstrous creature as saliva dripped from his canines.
Boris K. was blinded by fear, and momentarily lost his head. Fortunately, when he came to, he remembered he had a rope. He thought he might try using it to escape somehow. Desperately, he threw the rope over the Obelisk, where, by chance it landed over a small tree that was strangely growing out of the side of it. Like a bird flying into his mouth ready roasted, Boris K. had received a means to climb out of his trouble, thus sealing his questionable fate with the wind. Or so he thought. For as he descended the obelisk, he became entangled in the rope and rolled down the monolith like a log, breaking one rib and bruising one-half of his body.
After crashing into the hard ground, Boris K. sat up on the other side of the narrow but tall structure, moaning and whining. And that was then the beast approached him, calmly walking around the side of the obelisk, his fangs bared and his eyes bloody. The saliva was now literally streaming from his mouth like a waterfall. Suddenly, they both paused upon hearing an elderly lady speak with sandpaper in her voice.
“Son, did you bring your Grandma Katrina’s pension?”
She smiles at him with anticipatory evil in her eyes. She spreads her arms wide to embrace Boris K. His eyes blur with anguish while shivers stream through his body. He cries out though his dry mouth. It is at this moment he realizes that Grandma Katrina has been tracking him since the beginning, changing name and form, but always the same evil old lady.
“HELP!”he cries, but he knows no one will come.
“Do not be afraid, ”Grandma Katrina consoles him. “I’m a vegetarian, and Caliban does not bite, either. And even if I ate meat, I would have no interest in a postman. Their wages are too small, and they take no bribes to fatten their wallets or their stomachs. You’re just too skinny for any monster’s or witch’s taste. Boris K. takes it in, looking sideways at the Mesozoic animal, still salivating.
Katrina pats and parts Boris K.’s hair with her bony finger and proudly says:
“I am the queen of typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, bombogenesis and spring fevers that blow in from my March winds. Just give me my pension and give up on any tax forms. I’m responsible for blowing in Spring Fever with the Western winds, and I’m busy with more important matters. You postmen are annoying me. I’m losing my motivation to develop the mountainous highlands.
She pauses and looks at him inquisitively, as if she’s looking at him for the first time:
“You are the first one to make it this far up my mountain. Because of your tenacity and immunity to my vaporous charms, I will spare your life, but only if you can manage to deliver me your letter.”
At that moment, Katrina puffs her cheeks with the force and power of a trombone virtuoso and in a coloratura glissando, she lets out an unholy wind, strong enough to blow Boris K. back down the mountain. Boris K. turns his head and shields his face, but stands his ground.
“The way you conquered the obstacles I laid in front of you, like my magical Obelisk, which even naturally blonde girls confidently managed to bypass, amuses me. I admit Boris K., as long as I’ve been alive; I’ve never seen a fool like you!”
And with that comment, she flies away, back to her front porch. After five days and five nights of hiking and ascending that mountain, then climbing up and down an obelisk without any food or drink, Boris K. finally finds himself at the summit where Grandma Katrina was waiting for him, cleaning her tooth with dental floss. Now all he has to do is figure out how to get the tax papers in her hands so he can go home. Grandma Katrina sees the tax papers in Boris K.’s hand, chuckles, lifts her dress, and then runs into the cottage for a game of cat and mouse. Boris K. notices that the cottage has neither doors nor a mailbox. Grandma Katrina suddenly appears with her pet dinosaur, Caliban, on the bench next to the house. She sings a song with the eerie, husky voice of a woman at least, two centuries old:
‘Oh, Beelzebub, please open up your sheath
I conjure you to fill my mouth with teeth!’
After jumping up and down for joy, she instantly vanishes again. Boris K. stands up and limps up the one step to the chalet.
“What am I to do now?” He thinks, “Without a mailbox there is no way to hand over the tax papers!”
He suddenly hears roaring laughter coming from the forest. It sounds like Caliban and Grandma Katrina were laughing together. Her teasing was really getting on Boris’s nerves. She would appear on the bench beside her house and then disappear into the forest again. At one point, she appears near her house again, holding a cache of teeth in her wrinkled hand. That was when Boris looked up to her face and noticed that her mouth was collapsed in over her virtually toothless gums.
“One, Boo … thixty-thibe …” With each tooth counted, The Witch throws them far away from her, saying to Caliban.
Josefina had trained that dinosaur to return all 65 teeth back into her emaciated hand. Boris K. picks up a rock that looked like it also came from the Mesozoic era– it was gilded – he wrapped the tax return carefully around the rock, attaching it with rope. Upon considerable reflection and invoking the laws of physics, Boris K. turns his arms at a 180 degree angle; hand bent at the elbow, and releases the stone with full force toward the dark little room in her house. He misses.Stunned, Boris looks around the ground for another stone, finding one that might work. Afraid he might encounter Caliban again, he waits. He thinks to himself,
‘If I wait for Grandma Katrina and her beast to doze off, I can deliver those tax papers and then escape from this infernal den as fast as possible.’
Holding all 65 of her porcelain teeth in her wrinkled palm, Grandma Katrina speaks in a voice mimicking that of Demosthenes in the first stage of practicing Filipik:
“Abambon ah hope…! Babaa bime I bell ah beep was buring babecbacular bariot b races in Angen Brome. I waz bear an Grabe Ceezer asbed me to reblace em”
Katrina then turns her attention to cleaning her dental crowns and bridges with Efferdent and then affixing them to her gums with Fixodent. She was feeling fresh and fragrant again. Grandma Katrina turns to Boris K. and makes a creepy face. From her toothless mouth he could hear a strange squealing sound. This was Grandma Katrina laughing uproariously; and, to the horror of Boris K., she enchanted his tax papers and they were floating around in the wind. He got hold of his papers again, and aware that it was his last chance to be saved, he took small careful steps toward the entrance of her house. Unfortunately, it was enchanted too due to phenomenozations, and each time he tried to grab the door, the house would fly away from him, just out of reach.
“I will not give up!” Boris K. mutters emphatically, out of spite.
Beside him appears the Mesozoic man-eater, with saliva pooled all around him. He licks Boris’ muscles that are bulging with so much intensity, his postal uniform is bursting at its seams. Looking into the dark crater mouth of the prehistoric creature that threatens to swallow him whole, Boris K. orders loudly:
“Ricky, fetch!” and he throws his stone.
So this Mesozoic beast, possibly a distant relative of Pavlov’s dog, instinctually takes off, retrieves the stone, and brings it back to Boris K, with a vigor and happiness beyond all comprehension. Then, Boris takes out a copy of the tax return from the pocket he uses to cool himself when travelling in hot zones, he stares at it, and then crumbles it up in sadness, his hands trembling the whole time.
“Now even you are no longer of help.” Boris K. bitterly realizes that the law has failed him. That is when he hears the witch begin to speak again, in a distant, yet, academic tone:
“Fear is desirable, Boris K. Running away intensifies it. It disappears just before you confront it.”
The old woman was cooled herself with the disintegrated cover of Sigmund Freud’s book, The Ego and the Id.
“This is to be expected, is it not Boris K? I am a well-read Granny. Tell me, how did it all start, Boris K?
With that question, she begins a recitation as she magically lies Boris down on the bench, his arms resting thoughtfully behind his head.
‘For always you will stay and be a kid
Reacting and then following your Id
Postmen rarely make it past their ego
Forgetting there is so much they don’t know.’
Woot! Woot! Ha hahahaha!
Upon finishing, Katrina laughs blissfully and sadistically, revealing a full mouth containing sixty-five shining gold teeth. Then subtly, the air shifts, then ripples, revealing a focal cyclonic wind that surrounds only them. In the eye of the storm, Boris’ hair stands on end. He is already half dead from fear, and dripping with sweat. Boris K., confused and fearful, waits for the next play in Katrina’s sinister game. In his moment of fear Boris K. remembers something he heard someone say once:
‘On every mountain there exists a miracle.’ Or was it ‘if you have faith you can move mountains?’ Hmmm. He couldn’t remember exactly, but he knew that it was something about miracles being possible if you were on a mountain. Well, he was on a mountain to end all mountains, and so he was ready for his miracle!
With these confusing thoughts, Boris K. feels somehow comforted. Although it was dark, the sky was still shining and the sun was searing Boris’s body with an unbearable heat.
“What shall I do?” he thinks desperately.
He throws his hands up in the air and implores the blinding sun for assistance. Overwhelmed by fatigue and despair, his hope almost completely abandoned, the witch, who found Boris K. endlessly entertaining, laughs heartily, raises her skirt and then flees into the woods. For a long time, the woods echo with the witch’s laughter. Being infused with the energy of the sun, Boris K. finds renewed hope and climbs up to the top of Katrina’s house, invoking the strength of Hercules. Once on the roof, he leans against the chimney and holds onto it tightly. Once again he thinks about miracles on the mountain and he mysteriously feels his hands slipping into the chimney. His hands are now covered with soot, so much so, that they turn a surreal shade of red and black. With this success, he pokes his head and torso through the structure, momentarily staggering in the slowly increasing wind as he is half in and half out of the chimney. Confused, he peeks his head back out of the chimney to see if he can see Katrina. And that is when he is seized by a fully-erupted bombastic Tempest. Upon a great whipping wind, both Boris K. and the house are elevated to the heavens. Boris K. tightly shuts his eyes in fear, but manages to drop the tax papers into the chimney before he lets go, falls for an eternity, and then finds himself swimming in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Epilogue: Many years later, about 166 kilometers from the Earth, a low-orbiting NASA satellite known as Titan H, locates a tax return within a piece of space trash that resembles a house. Once again, despite all his best efforts, Boris K. prevails.