by Vladislav Hristov; translated from the Bulgarian by Vania Stefanova

Naruhito is from Hiroshima. He does not remember the bomb, but he remembers his grandfather without arms and legs. Ten years he lived this way, then was buried in a coffin no bigger than a violin case.

Naruhito works as an architect. He constructs earthquake-proof buildings. Drawing and drawing and drawing all day long. Sharpens his pencil and starts over again. When he gets home his supper usually consists of rice with vegetables. Or meat, only vegetables or only rice. In fact, he doesn't really care what he eats but what matters is when he goes to bed because Naruhito loves dreaming the most. Before he falls asleep Naruhito sticks his nose into a metal thermos labeled "Himalayan Oxygen". After a few rapid inhalations a subtle smile crosses his face, after which he wraps himself in his favourite blanket, decorated with huge yellow chrysanthemums. Then he falls asleep.

Last night Naruhito had a very bizarre dream. He was double-headed. He looked like the German double-headed eagle. No… He resembled more the double-headed calf that could see double the number of stars in the night sky. In his dream Naruhito also saw everything doubled. Twice as long the road to work, twice as many diagrams, twice as long the road home, twice the amount in his dish for supper. Twice the "Himalayan Oxygen", twice as much sleep…

And he woke up late in the evening.


VLADISLAV HRISTOV was born in 1976 in Shumen, Bulgaria. He is the author of Photos of Children, 2010, a collection of short stories, and two collections of poetry Enso, (2012) and Fi, (2013). He has won the 2007 LiterNet & eRunsMagazine Short Fiction Contest and the 2010 National Haiku Free Topic Contest, as well as the 2011 International Cherry Blossom Competition. Since 2011, he has been a member of The Haiku Foundation. He was in the ranking of the 100 most creative haiku writers in Europe for three years (2010–2012). His works have appeared in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Hungarian.



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