"Miracle" - Nadia Zaharieva

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"Miracle" - Nadia Zaharieva
"Miracle" - Nadia Zaharieva

“People are different. Some drown when they reach the bottom. The stronger ones push back and surface." Just like the heroes of Nadya Zaharieva, whose collection of short stories is populated with Miracles.

Chudo” contains seventeen short stories that captivate with their resourcefulness, vitality and originality. The heroes of these "little" stories are brave and naive, dreamers and losers. Nothing extraordinary happens in their daily lives, but each of them changes the world in their own way, often without realizing it. The refined style of Nadya Zaharieva and the refraction of the eternal themes of human identity through a specific socio-cultural landscape, the specific color and taste of what bubbles under the banal surface of everyday life, the picturesque characters and dialogues, the idea of peace of mind as a counterpoint to social chaos - all this, sprinkled with warm humor – turns the book into a fresh and extraordinary experience.

Nadia Zaharieva graduates international economic relations at UNSS - Sofia. Her stories have been published on the WhyBulgaria website, in the magazines "Granta Bulgaria" and "Vagabond". He is the author of the book Чат@разкази (2005).

The premiere of the collection will take place on October 26, Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m. at the Peroto Literary Club, NDK.



Every evening, as soon as the hands of the clock decided that it was seven, he stood under the canopy in the square with an artificial rose in his hand. He would wait exactly one hour, then leave. Calm and frozen like the bronze figures on the bench, mothballed in his brown pinstriped suit and his moth-eaten moth-eaten borsalino. Neatly clean-shaven, smelling of aftershave, with clipped nails and shiny shoes. The booksellers sneered at him. Passersby didn't notice him at all unless they bumped into him. He lived in the attic of the apartment building across the street – peeling plaster, the stench of cat piss, dried fly rods forgotten in the boxes by the stairs. His apartment was polished to a shine, with piles of books instead of furniture and a window with a window sill - for the pigeons.

And once the darkness in front of his attic door got tangled in his legs and materialized into a globular, skinny thing. Bristle sparrow with pink plumage and beak earring. He lies still, his eyes glazed over, his sleeve rolled up and a syringe in his tattooed hand. He barely managed to sneak the girl home. He had no idea what to do. To begin with, it might not be a bad idea to remove the vomited clothes and clean up the facade as much as possible. She pulled out an old-fashioned dress with large flowers from a dresser - she was dressing one of the models for her paintings with it. The bulging ribs, the bright blue rivers of veins under the veil of skin, and the ridiculously sharp breasts hid under the makeshift floral shroud. But not for long.

The hurricane raged all week - overturned the bookcase, broke the window, scattered the clothes from the dresser, peed in the middle of the room and died down. He fed her yogurt, nuts and fruit. At first she preferred to throw them at him, but then she ate them. He locked the door carefully when he went out. Her screams turned into pleas, the pleas into moans. Her abstinence was so terrible that it became the reason to unravel the agent network of the grandmothers from the entrance, carefully built over years. Already on the third day, the pensioners betrayed their strategic positions, rattled chains, slammed latches, creaked massive doors equipped with peepholes of various scales. The stairwell rang with their shrill voices, excited by the forgotten OF unity. They aired a parliamentarian to negotiate with the neighbor, who was so fed up with all the old ladies that he took a simple shit out of her and proceeded to count out loud the five letters of Puccini's Opera and scratch the top of his head with a half-gnawed yellow bull. If only one of those pensions fell to him, he'd wring her bony neck, but it's not professional, is it? "Well, if the police can't…" the grandmothers said to each other and went back to their dens.

One day, a white flag - a torn sheet in stripes - flew out of the attic window. The fugitive was caught shortly before she slipped down the precarious rope and dangled like a Vratchan climber in the middle of nowhere. His slaps set her sunken cheeks on fire and unleashed a shower of tears. She pushed him, shoved him, bit him until his arms tightened around her in an awkward hug. "You don't understand, you wretched wretch!" I don't want you to save me! I wasn't looking for you! I don't need a long life - tenkyu veri match! To become a pterodactyl like you!" Her tongue tripped over all the t's. The flurry of words turned into a snarl. She leaned her head on his shoulder and didn't stop until she told him about her fucking life, which consisted mostly of boring childhood, lonely adolescence, and hopeless youth. She spoke as if no one had ever listened to her before. He absorbed every word, and when there was nothing left to say, he put her to bed. The same peaceful days filled in. The old man told her stories, explained to her the lessons she had missed and gave her small gifts. He introduced her to the constant presence-the three fat pigeons on the windowsill, who took an instant liking to her because she secretly gave them the cakes and pastries he brought her. The old man healed her sick soul with books from his library, with 70s disco, jazz and classical. But he never unlocked the door to the room where he slept. "What's there? The corpses of your ex-wives? A collection of priceless items from the neighborhood sex shop? What dirty little secret are you hiding?" Her curiosity was so strong that it clouded her abstinence. "I'll tell you when I decide. You're not ready yet.” He was adamant. "And what is this happening that you fix every Christmas Eve?" "I'm going to wait for a miracle." "What a miracle, huh! There are no miracles except in American films. There, everyone has a nice tan, snow-white teeth, and even if they cry or fuck themselves, their makeup doesn't smudge. Good children, united families, happy endings from head to toe - fuck the mother! You're crying and vomiting!" He looked at her kindly, filled the borsalino with the moth holes, took the artificial rose and went out into the square.

The little one didn't realize how much time had passed - a month, two or three, when one morning she found a key and money on the table. He cautiously opened the forbidden door and was stunned. Her brain registers the din of colors, hues and tones. The water of the fountain splashed her, she heard the noise of the gypsies fighting for the pennies thrown at the bottom of it, the passers-by pushed her. He had painted on the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the beams. Everyone who passed by him in the evening without noticing him was there. And the fat cookbook saleswoman, and the slobbery gamer with the rollerblades, who always caught him with his backpack, and the mother with the mischievous child, who was baited with McDonald's toys, and who climbed on them and secretly spit his sandwich into the pot on the side, and the long-haired greasy guys from the bootleg CD stalls. In the middle of the room was a tripod. He had drawn her as an icon with a piercing blue gaze, the kind that messes with your brain. A bristling, immature Madonna in an old-fashioned dress of large flowers, with pink hair, an earring on her nose, and a child in her arms. It was as if it had just been thrown to her, and she had caught it at the last moment so that it wouldn't smear on the tiles. It was only out of affection that she did not quarrel! He grabbed the money from the table and dusted the fourth down the turns of the gloomy staircase.

People are different. Some drown when they reach the bottom. The stronger ones are pushed away and surface. She floated away. Not immediately, several years passed in which the world ended for her every day. She lived for a while in a commune in Spain, went to psychoanalysts, was recommended occupational therapy, picked oranges, walked dogs, served in the cafes of Europe. In Munich he met the love of his life, but it turned out not to be the love of his. He left her with a note. Leave her pregnant and alone. She returned to her parents in Sofia and gave birth to a blond, he althy German boy. This kid loved it! Crazy! He found a job and tamed himself. He gave private lessons and translated crime fiction - at least one language he managed to learn while recovering from drugs. The obituaries on "Grafa" told her about the old team. She was probably the only survivor.

She was hanging around looking for some dictionary when her feet took her under the canopy of the square. He pushed through the crowd and faced him. An immature madonna in an old fashioned dress with large flowers and a child in her arms. The rose slipped from the old man's hands and dissolved into the air. He smiled, raised his hand and crossed himself. Then he slowly walked towards his attic - he had nothing to wait for.

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