NOT TONIGHT, An excerpt from a work in progress

NOT TONIGHT, An excerpt from a work in progress

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 11:31

A text by the 2015 Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellow Verginie Ovanesyan

Tonight, there are no lovers walking down the park alleys. There are no kings in the castles, and the princesses die alone – they have no frogs or peas. Tonight, the inkpots are empty, and the words are uncountable. Tonight, all shouts are muffled by unbearable silence. Tonight, the barefoot do not find shoes, and the anthills are too few, too small, and too far away to save lost wanderers. Tonight, children sob softly, mothers behave unreasonably, and fathers – they remain unknown.

Tonight, all pictures are in pale green. The grass, the leaves, the ocean and the ship, and the people and their misfortunes, and the bottomless eyes of the woman waiting for someone’s return. All of them are pale green. Her hair, too, is pale green, and her hips, and the weariness of her hands, too, are pale green. When will the man she is waiting for arrive, will the pale green turn brighter?

Tonight, the rivers flow backwards and lure the fish (and people) into the well-known nets, which appear and reappear silently. The clocks turn back in one last attempt to flee, but all the battles have already been lost. And in this devastating muteness, under my window the steps of someone hurrying past resound. Someone who has, who loves and who knows how to win. He has escaped the net, but does not suspect that he has come too late, and there are no words left. And in fact, I don’t want to but I must cry out and tell him that there is no point, that everything has long finished, that the flags are lowered and the scars are hidden. And he would listen to me, he would go back and never want to hurry again, he would never see a reason to hurry.

Hoping to save him, in the last moment, I lean out of the window, and a second before crying out to stop him, I see that this passer-by, this hurrying person who has it, is actually me. The horizon suddenly turns upside down and in the distance appears the bright green shadow of a man returning home. Every ant finds its anthill, every king – his castle. The ink suffices for all the words, save those that are whispered. The nets have been broken, and there is no way, there is no one to prevent us from hurrying on… under the music of the young Chopin.

Tonight, Frédéric François Chopin is born in Żelazowa Wola, the world knows not the heights of his tragedy, the lyricism of his youthful aspirations and his iron will. And how I wish for Chopin to be, how I wish for Romanticism and for the hidden power of tragedy to be. But no. Not tonight.

Verginie Ovanesyan was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In 2012 she graduated from the High School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in Burgas, and a few months later moved to Bremen, Germany, where she pursued a Bachelor degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Jacobs University. Later the same year she became a laureate of the Bulgarian National Olympiad in Literature. In 2016 her fiction appeared in Granta Bulgaria 7. She is currently working on her first book and is going to continue her education this autumn with a Master’s degree in Quantitative Finance.

EK_Logo.jpg THE ELIZABETH KOS­TOVA FOUNDATION and VAGABOND, Bulgaria's English Monthly, cooperate in order to enrich the English language with translations of contemporary Bulgarian writers. Every year we give you the chance to read the work of a dozen young and sometimes not-so-young Bulgarian writers that the EKF considers original, refreshing and valuable. Some of them have been translated in English for the first time. The EKF has decided to make the selection of authors' work and to ensure they get first-class English translation, and we at VAGABOND are only too happy to get them published in a quality magazine. Enjoy our fiction pages.
Issue 119-120 Elizabeth Kostova Foundation

Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

0 comments

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

IN SEARCH OF EMPTIED TIME
1 I remember her bloody, drained, and happy, her thighs trembling from exertion, spread open to the sides. And I'm holding a piece of living flesh in my hands and trembling with fear.
BEAR BOY
"Can I get you anything else, Bear Boy?" inquired the waiter of the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall café with an ill-contained smirk. 
REGIME CHANGE, An excerpt
The white Renault parked in front of the House of the Communist Party. The chauffeur rolled down the window to have a smoke. Dimcho took a few moments sitting quietly in the back seat.
THE WRITER AS SPY
I have a story in which the main character is a voyeur. It is called The Red Room. Every few months this guy rents a new place to stay in search of more and more new scenes for observation.
RAKIYA, a short story
Comparisons of rakiya and other spirits are nothing new in Bulgaria – one such competition takes place annually in Sofia – but those contests consider alcoholic drinks mass-produced by established wineries and corporations.
RED TIDE
To defrost from a long Arctic Vortex and to draw mangroves in charcoal I flew to an artist colony near Fort Myers, Florida, on an elongated and thin island, a Key.
ALONE TOGETHER
We're in the time of COVID-19, and I'm in the southernmost country in the world, save for New Zealand and Antarctica.
THE SHAPES WE TWIST INTO
I've been to Bulgaria twice, separated by a gap of three years, though it feels like I've actually been to two different Bulgarias. This difference is on my mind as I think of how my home country, America, has changed in about the same timeframe.
BEING HAPPY
The White Gentleman decided that the weather was too beautiful this morning to waste the day in everyday nonsense. Therefore, he put on his happy hat and flung the door open with a flourish.
SAN SALVADOR
If somebody's heart stops due to a trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, CPR cannot save them. I know this, but I don't know if it is the same with cycling.