All Stories



Croatia Moldova Uzbekistan

Croatia

Ćelentano’s Bestiary
By Zoran Malkoč
from Croatia

Back then I was still friends with Ćelentano. He wasn’t sending his boys after me. Nor was he threatening me. But there’s no doubt that even then he was completely crazy.

Translated by Tomislav Kuzmanović
Read Full Story >>>


The Fir
By Suzana Matić
from Croatia

Dad planted the fir when I was nine, after it was done more or less successfully pretending to be our Christmas tree. Sure, it was a tree; just a puny one. The smallest Christmas tree in the world. Our next-door neighbors had a potted tree, as well. Their daughter was a friend of mine, so I remember it very well: she was always better than me in every possible way, including that one. If I could have picked my own Christmas gift – to put under a tree, mind you – it would have been her tree.

Translated by Ira Martinović
Read Full Story >>>


Preserved Strawberries
By Sanja Pilić
from Croatia

It all passed with no hurry at all—preserved strawberries, among other things. We stopped eating sweets, and no longer checked for strawberries in the garden. Jars stood on top of the cupboard, and Aunt died. We were no longer children, my brother Isak and I, my twin brother and I.

Translated by Mirna Cubranic
Read Full Story >>>


The Devil’s Passage
By Milan Zagorac
from Croatia

Call me Zaza, Cerise, Nina, Canelle, Lola, Clochette, Felice, Ficelle, Anice, Mimosa, Fleur, Lisi. In fact, don’t call me any of that. They’re just names of silly cats from a T-shirt he bought me. That T-shirt was the last thing he got me. He’d spent an incredible 10.90 euros (with a fifty-percent discount included) on it because I reminded him of those dumb, small, round, fluffy, adorable kittens. Kitties. Pussycats. Any of those stupid pet names.

Translated by Marija Perišić
Read Full Story >>>


Anything Could Happen
By Mira Petrović
from Croatia

Diana is driving a hundred kilometers per hour, on a narrow road with tight corners, she is racing, yelling, thrashing about her arms. Her body is a grimace of pain, it is the embodiment of chaos, with tears in her eyes and a burning desire in her womb, blazing in flames of her own self-destructive rage.

Translated by Nikica Mihaljević
Read Full Story >>>


Fathers and Children
By Nikola Đuretić
from Croatia

He had already been ill for a long time and I believe he knew there was no cure. We both knew it. The fact that there was no cure. Which is why these regular visits to a dying man in the hospital weighed on me so much. All the forced conversations in which both of the collocutors keep pretending they do not know what both in fact do know that the other knows, an unnatural leisureliness, a pretended casualness, this entire playacting…and for whom, why!? Yet still we continued this game, week in, week out, from one month to the next, not knowing how much longer he truly had. But not long! That much we knew. Both he and I.

Translated by Tamara Budimir and the Author
Read Full Story >>>


Revolution
By Ksenija Kušec
from Croatia

Even as I’m climbing up the empty staircase, I just know it: I’m too late. The bankers have stripped my grandma’s place already. The front door has a hole in it where the lock should be, the door is half open. I guess they don’t care if someone just walks in and tries to steal something; everything worth stealing is gone already, all theirs now.

Translated by Ira Martinović
Read Full Story >>>


African American Woman
By Lydia Scheuermann Hodak
from Croatia

Someone soon happens along and wants to talk with Berit. She excuses herself, smooths out her flimsy dress of smoke-grey voile, and leaves. I am enjoying the day and taking in the hubbub of voices on the terrace. A group of women are sitting at the neighboring table. One of them is an African American Woman, an Afro-American, a university professor from a rich American city. She is tall and slender, has the graceful ease of a young gazelle, a short boyish hairdo, and is dressed in a designer outfit. She sits in a garden chair, not leaning back into it but moving the upper part of her body as if dancing, and she speaks in refined American English.

Translated by Nina Kay Antoljak
Read Full Story >>>


The Desk
By Jelena Zlatar
from Croatia

After his father’s death Bruno finally moved in with me. He was bringing in his things slowly and cautiously for days on end, placing them in the corner of the room that he had spontaneously made his own. Soon the corner became his little universe although there was only a desk with a computer on it, crammed with papers, pens, notebooks, lighters, and rolling tobacco.

Translated by Dobrila Vignjević
Read Full Story >>>


Beardy
By Zoran Žmirić
from Croatia

After breakfast, the commander introduced us all to Beardy, who had arrived that morning as a replacement. I noticed everyone disliked him immediately. He said his name was Knez. I didn't want to remember his name, as if I felt we wouldn't spend much time together. We shook hands and he immediately became repulsive to me.

Translated by Marino Buble
Read Full Story >>>


In Her Garden
By Vedran Volarić
from Croatia

I felt pretty exhausted, tired and worn out, when I got her call. She kindly told me that it was time to keep her company on the other side of the world. I had promised her my visit a long time ago, but strenuous and tedious work always kept me away from that promise.

Translated by Vedran Volarić
Read Full Story >>>


Thanks for Kazakhstan
By Zoran Tomić
from Croatia

A tie should be okay, a voice was telling me from inside, but I didn't feel okay, inside. I looked at the gang, they didn't give a fuck, like we were up three-zip. I didn't feel like partying. I can't loosen up just like that. I always think five moves ahead. I think strategically. I'm not the group leader for nothing.

Translated by Zoran Tomić
Read Full Story >>>


Deserter
By Dinko Telećan
from Croatia

Along the same way, always. Through the village to the Small Pier, then the path leading to the cemetery, and then turn towards the hill next to the house that will never be completed. Next it’s a trail bordered by drystone walls, briers and brambles, trodden red earth flecked with stones, ever narrower and increasingly overgrown.

Translated by Dinko Telećan and Andy Tomlinson
Read Full Story >>>


The End
By Ivana Šojat Kuči
from Croatia

It hits me sometimes. Like a wave. Like someone waved her hand above a pie and spread the aroma of puffed pastry and apples sprinkled with cinnamon all over my face. Everything gets sugared up in my mind, calms and quiets down somehow. Tranquility takes over me. I guess it is tranquility.

Translated by Nevena Lazić
Read Full Story >>>


Return of the Genius
By Tomica Šćavina
from Croatia

My name is Niki. Niki Terura. I will try to serve-up my story in small mouthfuls, so you don't choke. I don't know whether I'll manage, Nonna says I speak quicker than I think. She is probably right but I have my reasons. I had a disjointed childhood so my neurons link in odd ways. A disjointed childhood with my parents dying when I was twelve. They were shooting up heroin that some guy from Split cut with laundry detergent.

Translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać
Read Full Story >>>


Even if I hadn’t
By Dinko Relkovic
from Croatia

It is at times like this that I seem to forget everything I know. His face is still young and pure, and his hands are small and powerless. Used only for hugs and funny little drawings of the two of us. For petting our dog and explaining how much he loves me. Picking flowers and assembling toy airplanes.

Translated by
Read Full Story >>>


Ah, Madhouse
By Sanja Pilić
from Croatia

They brought me to M. by special train. "She's mad but harmless," they said. I looked at the landscape through the iron bars of the carriage. Then they opened the door, it was so hot that the sun burned my eyes. I was wearing a silk dress and an ivory bracelet.

Translated by Vera Andrassy
Read Full Story >>>


Ostojić, MD: Literotherapy in Action
By Luka Ostojić
from Croatia

Dear Doctor, I am the concerned mother of our curious little five-year-old imp, Neno. Our Neno is in that age when he soaks up the world around him like a sponge. He has an infinite number of questions about everything—Mommy, why is this? Daddy, how is that? He is interested in everything!

Translated by Dea Ajduković
Read Full Story >>>


The First and Last Punker
By Gordan Nuhanović
from Croatia

Exactly at noon, I started working the first shift of my life.

Translated by Julienne Eden Bušić
Read Full Story >>>


When I Was Nana Pila - Dead, Yet in My Prime
By Zoran Malkoč
from Croatia

The demining squad was just leaving as I entered the village. I the czar, the king, the champion. I, door-to-door book salesman who'd leave no illiterate, blind, or unemployed wretch alone without closing at least a thousand kuna deal. My pitches would mesmerize them into thinking that they were buying not an ordinary health book but an elixir of youth, and they'd wonder how they even got that far without it.

Translated by Dado Čakalo
Read Full Story >>>


Matrix
By Ksenija Kušec
from Croatia

Today is the day. What should I wear? High heels? Sure, it’s warm outside; I’ll put on peep toes. Jeans are good; they go with everything. White T-shirt, black jacket, to match the shoes. I wanna look like Trinity. In my belt, I put two pieces.

Translated by Ira Martinović
Read Full Story >>>


The Biker
By Nada Crnogorac
from Croatia

“I'm going to buy myself a motorbike,” he said slowly and in a loud voice. The words kept bouncing off the washed plates he was taking out of the dishwasher. They were rounded, smooth, shiny and cold. Jelly—she thought. A stupid association, for those were porcelain words.

Translated by Mario Šavorić
Read Full Story >>>


Serpent in Paradise
By Mirjana Buljan
from Croatia

Once we had driven out of the city, father took the reins from Hakija, who didn’t know the way. Hakija wanted to light the lamp that hung on the side, but father thought that was dangerous. If some German scout or spy plane happened to fly over it could catch sight of us.

Translated by Sibelan Forrester
Read Full Story >>>


Perhaps the Dog Was Dreaming Us
By Boris Beck
from Croatia

I haven’t slept since August 28, 1991. I know the date well, because it was the day after my mother's name-day, Monica. That night we held a wake for my grandfather. The casket was closed, of course, and aside from my father, mother, and one elderly aunt, nobody was there.

Translated by Jelena Primorac
Read Full Story >>>


A Hermit’s Freedom
By Tomica Bajsić
from Croatia

That Polish sculptor from Bahia was a secretive man who lived like Robinson in a tree house he built himself. His estate spread along the sandy shore for several miles, and it was protected by five guard dogs and barbed wire.

Translated by Boris Gregoric
Read Full Story >>>


Moldova

The Last Storm
By Teodor Bordeianu
from Moldova

A heavy drop detached from an enormous grey cloud and headed down through little shy white clouds, then through the fingers of a statue and hit the pedestal. A breath of wind threw a few droplets towards the face of a young woman who was standing right beside the monument. She was looking up—first at the fixed expression of the statue, then at the clouds gathering above.

Translated by Teodor Bordeianu
Read Full Story >>>


Uzbekistan

Excerpts from Hay ibn Yakzan and the Language of the Bees
By Hamid Ismailov
from Uzbekistan

Long ago, in the land of Mongolia, there lived a king by the name of Qorud. He was the king of all winged creatures. One day, King Qorud decided to have a taste of the most delicious flesh in the world, no matter to whom it might belong. He summoned before him, from among all the flying beasts, the Crow, the Swallow, and the Bee, and this is how he greeted them.

Translated by Shelley Fairweather-Vega
Read Full Story >>>


FOLLOW US