Fiction, translation

Alexandra, Be Good (Hunting Lemur)

by Bojan Babic

 

She sits in the park, crying. She doesn’t know why she’s crying. A mustachioed statue of a hero climbs down off its pedestal to her, sits beside her and kisses her on the forehead, then kisses her on the mouth.

The teacher calls her to the blackboard and tells her: “solve this equation”. The sum is easy and she knows the answer, but she has a bird’s claws instead of hands and so she can’t hold the chalk. She wants to tell the teacher that she can’t hold the chalk, but instead of a mouth she has a beak and she lets out a bird’s squawk.

Now it’s night-time. She stares up at the sky. The moon is revolving quickly around the earth, faster and faster until it eventually falls down to earth, but everything is all right, because her grandma brings her a basket of cherries.

Then she feeds mechanical iron pigs, and they sing her a lullaby, all in the same mechanical way. They lick her feet with their mechanical tongues. They scratch her.

Now she is towing a ship across town with her hair. Then she is chased by babies in the street, and she’s naked. That’s what Alexandra’s friend Maja dreams, strange things, crazy things. Every morning Maja comes to school with a new story. Alexandra listens and says nothing. She says nothing because she dreams of nothing. She dreams of nothing because she hardly sleeps at all. No sooner does she fall asleep than she is woken by a noise, disturbed by light, interrupted by fear. And if she is fooled for a moment by her forcibly closed eyes and begins to dream, the dream is always the same. She is at lunch with her family in a nice large house, it’s their house. She reaches for the salt, and another hand smacks her lightly, because salt is forbidden. A stupid dream – and boring, above all else.

And then, at that moment, Alexandra always wakes up.

That’s the only thing she dreams. And she only sleeps for a short time, a couple of minutes, and then comes back to reality. She lies in bed, in the dark, for hours on end, all night long, with a blanket over her head, and hugging a toy, a small lemur teddy.

It’s the same every night. Tonight is no exception. Then suddenly the light comes on.

 

Get up, son[1], come on. It’s already half past four. We’re going stalk. You didn’t forget, did you? Come on, come on. What we’ve been hunting so far is nothing compared to stalking. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be asking to go again and again. Stalk hunt is the ultimate way to hunt roebucks. You know, a true hunter-stalker must be in good condition, know the ground and game excellently, have a sense of ease of movement and be fully observant. And we have these qualities, don’t we, son? For me, stalking, this hunting pursuit, is a real art.

To approach the quarry, the superior ones, to find yourself in a position to shoot, or to test yourself, and then to slowly get closer to young herds, not yet good for shooting, to examine the limits of nature, your own nature.

The chase gives you so many opportunities to improvise, to use quick-thinking and such suspense as you can only imagine, which is the sweetest thing of all. Adrenalin surges at every step as you stealthily get closer to the animal.

And when a buck you haven’t noticed up ‘til then rises from the grass. Pleasure. Stalking. Pleasure. Nothing’s better.

Come on. I’ve got a .243 Winchester for you. OK? I think it’s the right size for you now. You’re ready for it. I know, I can see what you want in your eyes, but you’re still a beginner. No rush, you’ll get to the .222 Remington. It’s for the experienced. You still have difficulty carrying it, but you’ll grow. You’ll get stronger. You will, my son. You will. I’ll keep it, for the time being.

And I’ve seen what you draw all the time, in secret. Nice gun stocks, rifles. Shooting. Targets. I too like to see pretty, engraved weapons, choice stocks, the glow.

But you should not yearn for such things. Engravings do not shoot the game, my son. What is important is that the rifle does the job. And that it is suited to its owner, while the engraving – the engraving may be over-done and become kitschy. What I used to see all over Greece and Turkey, those guns and rifles, yes, all that looked like mockery. As if a rifle were entertainment for lonely spinsters. As if it were some kind of embroidery or tapestry, or something. Engravings all over weapons with no order or plan, meaningless, shapeless. Come on, get dressed.

 

Alexandra pulls back her covers. Alexandra takes off her pajamas. Alexandra is in her underwear. He’s looking at her, stern, but proud.

 

              Come, my son.

 

Her legs are muscled, strong. Her body is robust, sturdy. She is wide, not tall. She isn’t fat, you couldn’t say that. Once she heard her relatives describe her well-built.

Her father taps her on her behind to hurry her along.

 

              Come on, son. The quarry won’t wait for us.

 

Alexandra hastily puts on a khaki uniform and cap. There’s no time to wash her face or other morning rituals. To catch the first ray of sunlight. To seize the day and draw it close. To catch a perfect roebuck and shoot it right below the shoulder blade. Killing with a single shot – the first commandment of hunting.

Off they go. They’re jolted along in a white Lada Niva on the muddy roads. They breathe in the woods. They stop. They search. Search without success. Oak trees, long grass, ditches, brooks, foxes’ dens, abandoned cottages, pheasants, wasps, all flash before their eyes for two hours until it’s time for breakfast. The secret is to be patient, to persevere. To take more time than the roebucks do. To always be one step ahead. To be a human.

Jolting along in the Lada again. Deeper into the woods. The road tapers off into nothing. On foot. They search. And search. Their boots pick up turf, mud. Their feet become stronger. Wider. He is in front, some twenty steps. He’s a scout. He spots something. He freezes to the spot. He quietens Alexandra’s footsteps. He kneels down behind a tree stump. She lies on the ground, in a ditch. He observes, motionless and silent. He doesn’t talk. The silence lasts a minute – an eternity. He points his finger and whispers ecstatically, at the top of his voice, so Alexandra can hear him over in the ditch.

 

I can see him. There he is. About a hundred and fifty yards away, I’d say. He’ll come out into the open. He’ll come out. Come. Come on, boy, walk into our sights. That’s right.

              What’s the matter now? Why are you standing, my boy? Come on, feel free. We mean you no harm.

Just to have a little fun. Ahaaaa. A plane flies by. Ignore the plane, little buck. Just go on your way. To the water. Come, come slowly. Can you see him, Alex, huh? See how handsome he is. Nature is a miracle. God is great. What perfection He has created. Look at those horns. They’ll be yours, Alex. Are you happy? Yes. You’re happy.

 

The roebuck approaches, no longer afraid.

 

That’s right. Come now, Alex, shoot. Breathe in, just like we practiced. Gun stock on the shoulder. Find him.

              Can you see him? Yes? Good. I have him in my sights too.

Look him in the eyes. Aim for the heart. He can’t be just wounded. Under no circumstances. Right through the heart, under the shoulder blade. Then he’s dead in an instant, in no time at all.

              I love this moment. Alex, this is what I live for.

That’s it. Two hunters. One target. Both have it in their sights. That’s how a special connection is created. I couldn’t feel it with just anybody, you know.

 

Alexandra aims. She looks at the animal walking freely across the freshly mown grass, directly towards the river. The river is between her and the animal. Father is on the same side of the river as her. Father. Alexandra turns with her eye on the sight. From the animal’s head to the man’s head, to her father. Ninety degrees.

What this right angle covers: mossy tree trunks, ferns, tree stumps, a small metal pot, a puddle with the surface covered in pond scum, a starling, spring. Nature through the blur of rapid movement. A face; an expression of tense exaltation.

Through the visor Alexandra observes the man aiming at the roebuck. She takes a deep breath and with a tranquil, so very tranquil micro-movement she points the little cross at the line of his temple. The man talks passionately:

 

Only with you, Alex. With you. Because you are the best. You are my own creation. No one else could share this love of hunting with me. No one else could understand me. You are so young, and so… Ah, my son, you still don’t know what people are like. Not yet. And it’s better to stay that way. Animals are better. Much better.

 

Alexandra aims at his temple.

 

              Look at those eyes of his. Huge.

 

Then she lowers the visor to the speaking lips. She’ll blow them up. She imagines them blown up by a gunshot. Flying lips. Speechless. He’s mute. Mute. At last.

He says:

 

              Look at him, look closely.

 

She’s looking at him, closely.

 

              How carefree he is.

 

Despite a spasm of passion, she recognizes light-heartedness on her father’s face.

 

              He doesn’t even realize you have him in your sights.

 

She smiles at the thought that her father wouldn’t even think that she has him in her sights.

 

How old would he be? Five, probably. He must have lots of young. You see, Alex, how God has arranged it. Animals pass away, disappear, and their young go on living. Fending for themselves. They don’t suffer, they don’t grieve, they don’t wait for forty days, six months, a year. And us, how closely related we are. You see, if I wasn’t alive, if I disappeared, if someone, for example, shot me accidentally now while hunting, what would you do? How would you cope? I shudder even to think.

 

Alexandra puts her forefinger on the trigger. She clenches her teeth.

 

Here he is. He’s moving. Good boy. There. Just a bit to the left. Turn a bit more to the left.

 

She lowers the gun aimed to the left, to the neck. She’s focused on the jugular.

There. That’s the ideal position, Alex. Got him? If so, shoot. Shoot below the neck, near the shoulder blade. Shoot for the heart.

 

She lowers the sight further, to the chest. The heart.

 

Don’t wound him. Kill him straight off, with one shot. Don’t torture him.

              Go ahead, shoot.

 

He makes a move with his body as if he wants to step away from his rifle and look at his daughter. Alexandra briskly resumes her initial position, with the weapon pointed at the five-year-old roebuck. Father glances at her expectantly.

 

              Go ahead, now. Shoot. He’ll run away.

 

Without hesitation, Alexandra fires a bullet, then one more. The buck takes a step in fear, then falls down. He tries to get up, but falls again. He raises his head, then lowers it. He keeps on moving his legs, then stops. He lets out a cry.

 

You’ve wounded him! You’ve only wounded him. I should have known you weren’t ready. Let’s go over there. Come on now. Quickly.

 

They run across the brook and undergrowth. They approach the quarry. There’s a big gaping wound on a leg muscle. Blood. The buck screeches. Cries out. The screeching is unbearable. The woods echo. Father positions himself over the fallen buck, observing him, not without pleasure.

 

Look at him. He’s hiding his eyes. He’s staring into the ground. Look, Alex. That’s how all of them look at the ground. They pray to it, or whatever. Praying for a miracle. How pitiful they are. How we used to slaughter them. Killed hundreds of them. And they all hid their eyes from death in the same way. They were all the same. They repented. Groaned. Squealed. Repented, not because they knew they’d sinned, but because they hadn’t moved, escaped in time. Fools. A lowlier species. Ha! Shoot now, Alex. Finish the job. Come on. Be good. You have to do it. Right in the heart. Lean the rifle over here.

 

How he screeches, wounded, he moves his lips inwards, draws them in. His gums are visible.

 

              Go ahead. Shoot!

 

Alexandra feels dizzy. Alexandra feels dizzy.

 

Shoot. Shoot! Shoot! Shoooot! Kill him. Be a man. A man, Alex. Shoooot!

 

Alexandra finishes the job. She kills the animal. Straight in the heart. The last jerk. The last. She can feel her father’s hands on her shoulders, his lips on her eye.

 

              That’s right, son. I’m proud of you.

 

As he hugs her, he pushes her head under his arm. She can smell his sweat.

 

              Now you’re a man. Now you’re a man, my son.

 

Alexandra cannot sleep. Alexandra cannot dream. She lies in bed, in the dark, for hours on end, all night long, with a blanket over her head, hugging a toy, a small lemur teddy.

 

 


[1] Fathers in Serbia sometimes call their daughter – son.

 

 

 

 

ALEKSANDRA, BUDI DOBRA
(LEMUR U LOVU)

Kao ona sedi u parku i plače. Ne zna zašto plače. Onda brkati kip junaka ustane sa postolja, priđe joj, sedne pored nje i poljubi je u čelo, poljubi u usta.

Onda kao nastavnik je izvede ispred table i kaže joj „Reši ovu jednačinu“. Zadatak je lak i ona zna rešenje, ali kao ima ptičje kandže umesto šaka i ne može nikako da uhvati kredu, nikako. Hoće da se požali nastavniku kako ne može da uhvati tu kredu, ali umesto usta ima kljun i ispusti ptičji krik.

Pa, kao noć je. Ona gleda u nebo. Mesec se vrti oko zemlje brzo, sve brže i na kraju padne na zemlju, ali sve bude u redu, jer joj baka donese kotaricu trešanja.

Pa, kao ona hrani gvozdene mehaničke svinje, a one joj pevaju uspavanku, isto nekako mehanički. Ližu joj stopala mehaničkim jezicima. Grebu je.

Pa, kao kosom vuče brod po gradu. Pa je jure bebe po ulici, a ona gola. Pa sve tako nešto nenormalno i ludački sanja Aleksandrina drugarica Maja. Svako jutro Maja u školu dolazi sa novom pričom. A Aleksandra sluša i ne govori ništa. Ništa ne govori jer ništa ne sanja. Ništa ne sanja jer gotovo da ni ne spava. Taman zaspi, ali probudi je šum, uznemiri je svetlo, unespokoji strah. I ako je na silu zatvorene oči nekako zavaraju na trenutak, pa započne sa snom, taj san je uvek isti. Ona je sa porodicom na ručku u velikoj lepoj kući, kao njihova je. Pruži ruku da uzme so, a neka druga ruka je blago udari, jer je so zabranjena. Glup san i nadasve dosadan.

I tu, u tom trenutku, Aleksandra se uvek budi.

Samo to sanja. Samo tako, kratko spava, po par minuta, pa se vrati u realnost. Leži u krevetu, u mraku, satima, noćima, sa ćebetom preko glave, i igračkom, malim plišanim lemurom u zagrljaju.

Svake noći je tako. Pa i ove. Onda se svetlo odjednom pali.

Ustaj sine, hajde. Već je pola pet. Idemo na pirš. Nisi valjda zaboravila. Ajde, ajde. Ovo što smo do sad lovili nije ništa u odnosu na pirš.

Kad jednom probaš, tražićeš da idemo stalno. Lov piršom ti je vrhunski način lova na srndaće. Znaš, pravi lovac tragač mora da ima dobru kondiciju, da odlično poznaje teren i divljač, da ima osećaj za lako kretanje i savršenu moć zapažanja. A mi to imamo, je l’tako, sine? Za mene je pirš, taj lov pretragom, prava umetnost.

Da priđeš lovini, kapitalcu, da dođeš u priliku za pucanje ili da testiraš sebe, pa da lagano prilaziš mladim grlima, koja još nisu za odstrel, da ispituješ granice prirode, svoje prirode.

Pretraga ti daje najviše mogućnosti za improvizacije, trenutna rešenja i samo

da znaš kakvu neizvesnost, a to je najslađe. Adrenalin cepa pri svakom koraku kada se prikradaš životinji.

A još kad se iz trave podigne srndać kog do tog tre- nutka ni ne primetiš Gušt. Pirš. Gušt. Nema bolje.

Ajdemo. Spremio sam ti vinčesterku, dvestačetrestrojku. Može? Mislim da je to sada prava mera za tebe. Za to si spremna. Znam, vidim ti u očima šta želiš, ali još si na početku. Polako, doći ćeš i ti do dvestadvadesetdvojke remingtonke. Ona je ipak za iskusne. Ti se još mučiš da je nosiš, ali porašćeš. Ojačaćeš. Hoćeš, sine moj, Hoćeš. Neka je kod mene, za sada.

A video sam šta crtaš stalno, krišom. Lepe kundake, puške. Pucanje. Mete. Volim i ja da vidim gravirano i sređeno oružje, birane kundake, sjaj.

Ali ne treba patiti za tim stvarima. Gravure ne odstreljuju divljač, sine moj. Bitno je da puška radi posao. I da odgovara svom vlasniku, a gravura, gravura može da bude preterana i da pređe u kič. To što sam ja viđao po Grčkoj i Turskoj, te pištolje i puške, pa da, pa to je sve izgledalo kao sprdnja. Kao da je puška zanimacija za usedelice. Kao da je to nekakav vez, goblen, šta ja znam. Gravure preko celog oružja bez ikakvog reda i plana, bez smisla, bez oblika. Ajde, oblači se.

Aleksandra se otkriva. Aleksandra skida pidžamu. Aleksandra je u donjem vešu. On je posmatra, strogo i ponosno.

Ajde, sine moj.

Njene noge su mišićave, snažne. Njeno telo je robusno, jako. Svo nekako u širinu, ne u visinu. Nije debela. To se ne može reći. Čula je jednom kako rođaci govore o njoj kao o osobi sa jačom konstitucijom.
Otac je udara po zadnjici požurujući je.

Idemo sine. Lovina neće da nas čeka.

Aleksanda brzo oblači maskirno odelo i stavlja kačket. Nema vremena za umivanje i uobičajene jutarnje rituale. Uhvatiti prvi zrak sunca. Uhvatiti dan za mošnice i privući ga sebi. Uhvatiti savršenog srndaća i pogoditi ga pravo pod plećku. Ubistvo jednim hicem – prva lovačka zapovest.
Izlaze. Bela lada niva ih trucka po kaljavim putevima. Dišu šumu. Zaustave se. Tragaju. Tragaju bez uspeha. Čitava dva sata im se pred očima smenjuju hrastovi, strnjike, šančevi, potoci, lisičji jarci, napuštene kolibe, fazani, ose. Vreme je da doručkuju. Tajna je u strpljivosti, u istrajnsti. Imati vremena više od srndaća. Biti korak ispred. Biti čovek.
Ponovo truckanje u ladi. Dublje u šumu. Više nema puta. Pešice. Tragaju.
Tragaju. Čizme nose busenje zemlje, blata. Noge postaju snažnije. U širinu. On je ispred, nekih dvadesetak koraka. On je izviđač. Nešto primeti. Zaledi se u mestu. Ućutka Aleksandrine korake. On klekne iza panja. Ona legne na tlo, u šanac. On nepokretno posmatra i ćuti. Ne govori. To ćutanje traje minut – večnost. On pokazuje prstom i šapuće ekstatično, iz sveg glasa, kako bi ga Aleksandra čula tamo u jarku.

Vidim ga. Evo ga. Negde je na stopedeset metara, rekao bih. Izaći će na pokošeno. Izaći će. Hajde. Hajde mali, dođi nam na nišan. Tako je.
Šta je sad. Što stojiš dečko moj. Hajde, slobodno. Ne- ćemo ti ništa.
Samo malo da se družimo. Ahaaaa. Avion proleće. Pusti avion, srki. Samo nastavi svojim putem. Na vodicu. Hajde, hajde polako. Je l’ ga vidiš Aleks, a? Vidi kako je lep. Priroda je čudo. Bog je velik. Kakvo savršenstvo napravi. Pogledaj te rogove. Biće tvoji Aleks. Je l’ se raduješ? Da. Raduješ se.

Srndać prilazi oslobođen od straha.

Tako je. Hajde sad Aleks, nanišani. Udahni vazduh, kao što smo vežbali. Kundak na rame. Pronađi ga.
Je l’ ga vidiš? Da? Tako je. I ja ga imam na nišanu.
Pogledaj ga u oči. Ciljaj u srce. Ne sme biti samo ranjen. Nikako. Pravo u srce, pod plećku. Onda je odmah gotov, u momentu.
Volim ovaj trenutak. Aleks, za ovo živim.
To je to. Dva lovca. Jedna meta. Obojica je imaju na nišanu. Tako se stvara posebna veza. To ne bih mogao da osetim sa bilo kim.

Aleksandra nišani. Gleda životinju koja slobodno hoda po nedavno pokošenoj travi, pravo ka reci. Reka je između nje i životinje. Otac je na istoj strani reke kao i ona. Otac. Aleksandra se okreće sa okom na nišanu. Od glave životinje do glave čoveka, do oca. Devedeset stepeni.
Šta sve staje u taj prav ugao: mahovinom obrasla stabla; paprat; nekoliko posečenih panjeva; metalno lonče; barica čije je površina prekrivena žabokrečinom; čvorak; proleće. Priroda kroz sfumato brzog pokreta. Lice; napeti izraz oduševljenja.
Aleksandra kroz vizir posmatra čoveka koji nišani srndaća. Udahne duboko i mirnim, najmirnijim mikropokretom položi krstić u liniju njegove slepoočnice. Čovek govori strastveno:

Samo sa tobom Aleks. Sa tobom. Jer ti si najbolja. Ti si mojih ruku delo. Niko ne može da podeli ovu ljubav prema lovu sa mnom. Niko drugi ne može da
me razume. Tako si mlada, a tako… Eh sine moj, još ne znaš kakvi su ljudi. Još ne. I bolje je da tako ostane. Životinje su bolje. Mnogo bolje.

Aleksandra cilja u slepoočnicu.

Pogledaj te njegove oči. Krupne.

Onda spušta vizir do usana koje govore. Razneće ih. Zamišlja kako ih hitac raznosi. Usne lete. Ne govore. On ćuti. Ćuti. Konačno.
On govori:

Pogledaj ga, pogledaj pažljivo.

Ona ga gleda, gleda pažljivo.

Kako je samo bezbrižan.

I pored grča strasti, na očevom licu prepoznaje bezbrižnost.

Ni na kraj pameti mu nije da ga imaš na nišanu.

Ona se nasmeje na pomisao kako ocu nije ni na kraj pameti da ga ona ima na nišanu.

Koliko li je star? Petogodac, verovatno. Sigurno ima dosta dece. Vidiš Aleks, kako je to Bog uredio. Životinje odu, nestanu, a njihovi mali nastave život. Snalaze se. Ne pate, ne tuguju, ne čekaju četrdeset dana, šest meseci, godinu dana. A mi, koliko smo samo mi vezani. Eto, da mene nema, da me nestane, da me neko, na primer, slučajno u lovu sad pogodi, šta bi ti? Kako bi se snašla? Ne smem ni da pomislim.

Aleksandra postavlja kažipst na obarač. Stiska zube.

Evo ga. Pomera se. Tako je dečko. Tako. Još samo malo levo. Okreni se još samo malo levo.

Ona spušta nišan ulevo i naniže, do vrata. Koncentisana je na žilu kucavicu.

To. To je idealna pozicija. Aleks. Je l’ ga imaš? Ako ga imaš pucaj. Pucaj ispod vrata, kod plećke. Gađaj srce.

Ona spušta nišan još niže, do grudi. Do srca.

Nemoj da ga raniš. Ubij ga odmah, iz jednog hitca. Ne daj da se muči.
Hajde, pucaj.

On pravi pokret telom kao da želi da se odmakne od svoje puške i da pogleda svoju ćerku. Aleksandra se naglo vrati u početnu poziciju, sa oružjem uperenim u srndaća petogodca. Otac je pogleda sa iščekivanjem.

Hajde, bre. Pucaj. Pobeći će.

Bez čekanja, Aleksandra opali metak, pa još jedan. Srndać napravi korak straha, pa padne. Pokuša da ustane, pa padne. Podigne glavu, pa je spusti. Nastavi da se pomera nogama, pa prestane. Oglasi se.

Ranila si ga! Samo si ga ranila. Trebalo je da znam da nisi spremna. Hajdemo tamo. Hajde sad. Brzo.

Dotrčavaju preko rečice i žbunja. Prilaze lovini. Na nožnom mišiću zjapi velika rana. Krv. Srndać riče. Doziva. Rika je nepodnošljiva. Šuma odjekuje. Otac sebe postavlja nad palog srndaća i posmatra ga, ne bez zadovoljstva.

Vidi ga. Krije pogled. Zuri u zemlju. Vidi ga, Aleks. Svi oni gledaju tako u zemlju. Mole joj se, šta li. Mole se za čudo. Kako su samo jadni. Kako smo ih samo tamanili. Ubijali na stotine. I svi su tako krili pogled od smrti. Svi su bili isti. Kajali se. Jecali. Roptali. Kajali se, ne zato što znaju da su nešto zgrešili, već zato što se nisu sklonili, što nisu pobegli na vreme. Budale. Niža vrsta. Ha! Pucaj sad, Aleks. Dovrši posao. Hajde. Budi dobra. Moraš to da uradiš. Pravo u srce. Nasloni pušku ovde.

Kako riče, ranjenik pomera usne unazad, povlači ih. Vide mu se desni.

Hajde. Pucaj!

Aleksandri se zavrti u glavi. Aleksandra se zavrti u glavi.

Pucaj. Pucaj! Pucaj! Pucaaaaj! Ubij ga. Budi čovek. Čovek, Aleksandra. Pucaaaaj!

Aleksandra dovršava posao. Ubija životinju. Pravo u srce. Poslednji trzaj. Poslednji. Oseća očeve ruke na ramenima, njegove usne na svom oku.

Tako je, sine. Ponosan sam.

Dok je grli, gura njenu glavu pod svoju mišku. Ona oseća njegov znoj.

Sad si čovek. Sad si čovek, sine moj.

Aleksanda ne može da spava. Aleksandra ne može da sanja. Leži u krevetu, u mraku, satima, noćima, sa ćebetom preko glave, i sa igračkom, malim plišanim lemurom u zagrljaju.

 

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Bojan Babic (1977, Belgrade, Serbia) has published 3 books of short prose and 3 novels till now. He was awarded Borislav Pekić award – the only literary scholarship in Serbia. Some of his short stories were translated to Albanian and Swedish. This is the first time his story was translated to English language.

Natasa Miljkovic, born in Smederevo, Serbia, in 1984. She graduated from the Department of English Language and Literature of the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, where she is currently doing her PhD thesis on scientific and artistic truth, based on some of John Banville’s novels. She works as an English teacher and a freelance translator.

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WBIFA_Confuse

Artist Nannette Guinto Amorado

Confuse

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