Andrej Bunuševac. A Stronger Fire.

Looking at him I wished I’d been an idiot, a right never actually denied to me, but one that now appeared quite approachable. As those people over there would say: “from first hand, a stronger fire, get it, you roast a chicken”. In a crystal ball we saw a double-headed axe, ship hooks, old Dutch halberds, and an ominous black flag with a skull on it. In Hell, blessed by the northwest, the mighty sickles of Russian serfs from 16th,19th and early 20th centuries were harvesting wheat – the year was 1942. To the right, there stood a hundred-year-old pine forest, black forest, up there, just outside Krakow, Poland. There was a sudden shriek, as if a cat was being fucked by a pig! An ancestor’s hand from an equilateral triangle lifted some metal. It cast me in irons; I could feel the enormous weight of the cornerstone. I knew I was in Yugoslavia, but when, where or what my name was, seemed equally enigmatic as it was irrelevant! A short, hideous, emaciated Chinese fellow from the fishing village of Shenzhen stood arrogantly in front of me. His face covered in war scars, topless and barefoot and wearing rags, with a crude tattoo of a black octagram on his chest. He pointed the index finger of his filthy left hand to my face and with a shrill voice he shouted: Adolf Hitler! This was accompanied by a simultaneous stomp of a garrison of army boots hitting the concrete floor, the squeezing sound of fully-equipped military belts and holsters, the shouting of other officers, it all disappeared into silence.

Driven by delusion, we lived in the city, residing in windowless concrete cubes, which were scalding in the summer and frozen during winter. This shit was spread out on a huge piece of land which used to be a swamp. Our collective abode included six people, six cats, and six soaking stinking mongrels. The animals were beaten every day with heavy chains. I felt a tremendous satisfaction because I knew I was being looked after by Karl Marx, the holy pseudo-patron of count Kropotkin! Even though I had a full-time job, my party assignments included collecting food coupons and monitoring and keeping detailed records of all tenants in our building. Sunday was my day off, so I would, almost mandatorily, take a stroll along our big amber-colored river which carried a thick layer of greasy and floury silt all the way toward Vienna. The river and its boiling heat produced a barely visible, poisonous, foul-smelling bluish haze. I walked down to the river bank to marinate my feet a bit and to think about what to do next. I had no idea what was happening inside me or around me so I instinctively grabbed my phone. I was on Twitter when I recalled I had a very pretty girlfriend whom I was very pleasantly in love with. She was online so we chatted for a while. We arranged to meet in ten minutes at the top of our latest post-apocalyptic Avala tower.

I ran toward our cog-soc municipal parking agency, inspired by romantic feelings, and despite the reactionary avarice that deeply consumed me, I rented a flying saucer in exchange for 30 food coupons. I also rented additional equipment, which was essential for operating it, and with a heavy heart I gave another 20 of my hard-earned coupons! When I finally flew over there and landed on top of the tower I truly looked like a real man. The medieval Bavarian steel armor that covered my scrawny presence was glistening in the Sun. I had a long sword, six-feathered mace and a dagger. I wore a long hooded cape made from red velvet and velour, while my helmet was adorned with a hanging veil of silver chain mail, which covered the entire surface of the steel battle mask. I strode in front of my adversaries, flaunting conspicuously. I found my girlfriend on the other side of the tower’s terrace. She was crying hysterically, banging her head on the wall, so I gently hit her on the back with my mace. She calmed down instantly. She looked at me cheerlessly with her big teary eyes and said sobbingly: “I wish to fly in flying saucer”! I pushed her into the damned saucer, I had to pull her by her hair inside the engine room, with the long sword attached to the groin area sticking straight into the control screen, I screamed at the top of my lungs through the helmet while banging the mace against the breastplate and sweating like a pig. The rhythm of all this bullshit caused the silly machine to move forward in pulsating jumps while bending space and time. The woman determined the direction of movement by singing and rubbing an old printed city map between her legs. Every now and then she’d become unconscious but my hand inside the armored gauntlet that held her hair would wake her up abruptly by rocking her head back and forth. The noise inside the vehicle was unbearably loud. At any moment, we were in danger of a serious traffic accident, because, generally, none of it had been designed for women anyway. I was horribly nervous and I couldn’t see absolutely anything. We made three circles around the city in that hideous carousel. Finally, I managed to get out of the gloomy interior of the flying saucer straight onto the terrace of the Avala tower, clanking down the pavement in my steel boots, I made a couple of more steps and then kneeled down raising my hands toward the sky. The Sun had almost set, ushering in the twilight. I couldn’t tell my head from my ass and right in the middle of this turmoil, a butler started running toward me. This evil bourgeois decentralist liberal with artificial horns and false vampire teeth. He came to me enthusiastically and asked in an elated voice: “Would Madame and Monsieur like a coffee?” Blood shot into my eyes and I cried at the bastard: “You bloody motherfucker! I shit on both Tito and the Party!” I hit him in the head with a mace as hard as I could and the devil fell down like scythed grass. I felt like Prince Marko as my lungs heaved with righteous wrath. Despite the glory and honor of the moment, I remembered the law, but alas, it was already too late. The sky was pierced by a thunderous monotone female voice coming from the Federal Post Office HQ’s answering machine: Attention Attention, since citizen X has transgressed the law of the current emperor Deocletian, contaminating the river Danube all the way to its tributary the Isar, and violating the law of the eternal king of the nation Ramesses II, and in accordance with Article 666 of the constitutional law of FPRY, in thirty seconds, this city will be hit by NATO’s ballistic missile with a 60-megaton active hydrogen thermonuclear warhead, goodbye and good luck to all of you, fare thee well, and love you too!

What’s gone on, what happening?! My darling girlfriend, who didn’t understand our native language all that well since she was a foreigner, asked confusedly. I gave her a hug and in poor English I said: “’ts okeh baybee, dawn warry!” She put her head on the breastplate and I lifted up the mask of my battle helmet revealing an empty space behind it. I said to myself jokingly: “the iron age”. Suddenly, a “stronger fire”, as she said, flashed in front of us, burning everything with the strength of ten thousand Suns! And since it was our vacation and we were sunbathing on the beach, I took great pleasure in rubbing Coppertone all over her charred buttocks, and I couldn’t wait for us to go back to our pine forest worker’s resort to play minigolf. I hated the sea and the sun, everything felt burnt.

 

Andrej Bunuševac

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