Joined: 09 Nov 2003
|Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:51 am Post subject:
|Yugoslavia (as it then was)
April Fool's Day
By Josip Novakovich
|After a while, his fear dissipated. He took one skull with a hole in the pate and carried it home wrapped in newspapers like a watermelon. He hid the skull in the attic, imagining it would work as a ghost-receptacle. The executed man's ghost would visit what remained of his body and would perhaps come out of the skull at night to smoke cigars and sigh with sorrow.
In the evening, while visiting the skull, Ivan lit a cigarette butt he'd found in the gutter, and smoked and coughed. There was no sighing of the ghost, and Ivan felt brave indeed. Maybe there were no ghosts, only souls, and souls went away, to heaven or hell. What would happen in resurrection? He savored the mystery surrounding the skull.
Confident, he took a bet with several boys from his class that he could lie down on the tracks under a passing train. A quarter of an hour before the train was scheduled to pass, he went to the train station and checked the coaches for any metal objects that might hang from it and, finding none, he felt assured enough to lie down on the tracks.
When the train appeared around the curve, it struck him that another coach could have been added, with a metal hook hanging so low that it would crush his skull. He jumped off the tracks into the ditch a second before the train could reach him. The boys laughed at him. Ivan chased them because he hated appearing ridiculous, which made him look all the more ridiculous. (-- p. 5)
An energetic if brutal stomp across the Balkans.
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