Emil Katsarov


Literature club | Emil Katsarov | new bulgarian prose




Emil Katsarov


         On the dark-blue cover upon the floor, in a shape of a huge butterfly drowned by rain, upon the bright-yellow suns, gleaming like pearls on the deep-blue fish-scales of an old, old underwater woman, or in other words - on a beautiful cover, colored in ocean-blue and its tender-yellow oval ornaments, an unknown female figure in a grayish-green dress was standing. She was half arisen and several juicy bloody-red, fresh gladiolas were put around her ankles. Her hair was descending like sea waves over the tender slopes of her arms, and her pointed, almost girlish, breasts looked like exotic islands, like magnificent corals in the treasure house of the night tide.
         I had been watching her for a long time trying to remember her face, but her features were obviously not so important at the moment, because, when I emerged from beneath the antique bronze bed, I realized that there was a delicate young woman in front of me, whose charm was pouring out from a secret corner in the space. It was absolutely impossible to determine whatever in this chaos of sensations, except the evident fact of the place that her dress had been taking in the tangibility of everything in the room at that moment. I sat down on the floor before her, then her body stretched and among the blazing colors of my imaginary and real sinking into the gray and green whirlpools of her dress I noticed an exquisite, discretely beautiful silk pleat, a wavy tender unevenness on the surface of her lovingly-driving-mad grayish-green nuances… I probed slowly with my eyes the outlines of this tiny silk mountain, but its borders locked me desperately into its numbing enchantment.
         Suddenly everything turned into unexplainable trembling, into a passing movement of an autumn leaf, touched by a whiff of suffering tenderness, and among the white space of these hardly going seconds, among the things (more likely running clouds and sunlight), I entered the tremble of this imaginary autumn world, whose true colors were scarlet like blood and juicy like fresh gladiolas, and then among the semi-transparent paper walls of the Hall where the porcelain fishes were kept, I unwittingly became a witness to the crime that was done by the Court painter Akebono, when outside the Palace, exactly at midnight, the bell rang, the guards changed and then the Emperor, lightly made dizzy, went into the Hall to see his favorite milky white adornments.
         Bent like a panther, Akebono stepped out of the plant pots with cherry-trees, drew out of his kimono a shining silver knife and even before the Emperor could say a word, the Court painter stabbed His Majesty in the chest, slowly wiped down the knife with the Emperor's dress, and after that beheaded His Majesty with careful concentration.
         Several minutes later Akebono passed by the guards of the Inner wall, staggering, with muddy eyes, as though he was drunk.
         The kimono around his belly was artificially swollen and this was probably the main reason for which the Court painter's figure looked suspicious to the Guard officer on duty. But even before Akebono was asked about something, he smiled ominously like a white mask from the theatre No and explained in a loud voice that for several hours the Divine Geisha had been implanted herself into his body and he was carrying her celestial fetus. Then, Akebono opened the kimono and the bloody Emperor's head fell down. The horrified soldiers were on the edge of running away, because in their eyes Akebono was not a human being but a fearful underworld ghost. Only the face of the Guard officer remained expressionless and almost on his own he arrested the killer of His Majesty.
         The invisible thread, in which the solders were lined, was jagged and for a second looked like a jagged piece of grayish-green silk, a twisting trajectory of a falling down autumn leaf, the shedding of a glittering dew-drop from the blade of grass` peak, the disintegration of a white cloud upon the canvas of the sun shining autumn sky. The tiny, discretely beautiful slopes of the silk mountain were the bottoms of opening one after another circles created by a flat pebble, thrown at the surface of a garden lake. I squinted and the charm of the dry yellow grass, the green bushes and the deep blue sky above them rushed into my body. As tough the suns were climbing - firstly, upon the fish-scales of the old woman, after that - in the anteroom of the grayish-green skies, and finally - sinking into the tender pleat, where the whole world throbbed, and where the yellow turned into amber dry grass, the green fell apart into blue and golden, in order to create the bushes, the sky and the lake.
         The red leaf touched the ground, the numbness melted, Akebono and the bloody head of the Emperor had been sunk somewhere, the white cloud went behind the horizon, the sun blazed stronger, the dew-drop vaporized, and I was standing in front of an unknown female figure, fondling her outlines with a fresh, juicy, bloody-red gladiola. Then I noticed once again the almost vanished pleat on the grayish-green silk dress. The woman turned back and began to crawl on the floor, while she hid herself under the bronze ornaments of the antique bed.
         When I decided to follow her, I evaluated the events. For several seconds life had been a tiny, discretely beautiful pleat of a silk dress, a tender plait over the graceful body of an unknown woman, a pleat, which was at the same time unexplainable trembling of an autumn leaf, the murder of a fallen in love with his porcelain fishes Emperor, a decayed white cloud, a dew-drop, dry grass and water circles, marked on a silent garden lake surface.




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