are you dead now? • fiction

My grandfather offers me a cigarette, as he always does, and I accept it with a grateful smile.

“It’s gonna be the death of yours,” he says, the blue flicker of a lighter deepening his wrinkles. “It’s been the death of mine,” he adds a puff or two later.

So I bought this cemetery, and truth be told I’m sitting on a tombstone right now. My grandfather’s one, see? Kolya Stepanovich Volkov, it’s his name, and right now he’s walking up and down in front of me, the restless dead that he is. Some people just never change. It was also Grandfather who coaxed me into buying this plot of goddamn land, but that’s a long story. Sure, I’m gonna tell it, and you’re gonna read it, yet there’s no point in rushing things.

Haste spoils the fun of revelations. Like, if I told you whether I lived to see the end of this story or if I’m just as dead now while writing this as my grandfather is, you’d feel cheated. You’d still wonder, of course, about the nature of our kind of being dead (if I were dead, that is), for it clearly differs from the usual, but you’d feel cheated somewhat. Also, you could guess what kind of fate awaits you, my beloved half-sister. Rest easy now, I’m not gonna reveal for a while whether I live or die.

“Still can’t take your mind off dying, can you?” my grandfather asks me. “All the nonsense they stuffed your head with. You’re either back to dust to be excavated a thousand years from now by some Darwinist or you go to some kind of hell or heaven. Reborn sometime, at best.”

“You’re wrong, Grandpa.” I put out my cigarette, shaking my head and glancing at the sad, towering clouds above.”What I’m thinking about is all the dead I’ve got to take care of soon. By when should we expect them?”

He stops. “Expect them? They’re already here. If you can’t feel them, just look behind you. There’s young Mr. Collins, only he’s ever polite, that’s why he kept silent so far,” Grandfather says. “Step closer, son.”

You remember Mr. Collins, sister? He used to do your homework in high school, when you were too lazy to care about anything else but your music and your ‘lovers’, Jon Collins himself included. He was especially diligent about anatomy. Your anatomy, that is. But he went too far. That’s why we, me and the boys had to beat him, and beat him so badly he can now be staring at my neck. I do feel that now. Not as if we had wanted to kill him. You didn’t know it was us who did that, did you, sister? We ourselves learned about it only a few years later, and so far we never told anyone.

“You’re a bit early,” I say to Jon without turning. “Always an early riser, aren’t you.”

“Dead funny and original, you asshole,” he says.

{ My quick – about 1,5hrs writing time, no revisions, no proofreading! – entry for a “first page of a novel, 500words” contest that I’ve just found, barely 5 hours previous to its deadline. Had to enter just for the fun of it. Yeah. }

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4 thoughts on “are you dead now? • fiction

  1. Jenoe: Köszönöm! Ha már szólsz nekik, intézhetnéd úgy, hogy kicsit felhúzzák a pontjaimat, a fair play jegyében, hm? Úgyis a kapcsolatok számítanak itt is, mint az élet minden területén és mindenkinél, az, hogy kit ismersz, nem? Lefogadnám, hogy a többi versenyző is megrángat minden szálat, amit csak lehet… Szóval plíz! ;D

    Egyébként nem, nem gond az, hogy itt is kitettem, mert maga a verseny is publikus – értsd: minden entry azonnal nyilvánosságra került. Elég marha jól nézett ki a kb. 600db 500 szavas entry egymás alatt… Szegény bírálók, már csak belegondolni is, hogy 300,000 szónyi pályaművön kell átrágniuk magukat! Durva.

    No, télleg örülök, ha tetszett. :)

  2. d.: egy létező avagy nem létező, regény terjedelmű kézirat legelső oldalát (max. 500 szó) kellett beküldeni.

    nem nyertem — de ez cseppet sem vette el a kedvem az írástól. ;)

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