The Zen Revolter
Copyright 2011 by Lyubomir Nikolov
In the Beginning Was the Subway
For Noah and soccer tables
Tree tales of a Very Windy Town
Smokini – Trivial Delirium
* David’s Child was awarded in 2010 – VIII National Bulgarian Competition for short stories organized by LiterNet & eRunsMagazine
*In the Beginning was Subway – awarded in the national SF short story contest held by the Human Library Foundation
I was roaming the basements near the Arts Academy, looking for David. From the depths of smelly holes pretending to be shops, chubby saleswomen shrugged me off. „Oh, David isn’t here. Nobody has seen him since that woman butchered his canvasses.“, said one. „Who knows, he may even be dead“, opinionated another. Nobody knew a thing.
I was searching for David because a friend of mine wished to buy his paintings with the cross-eyed child. The very ones Sonya destroyed with a knife. Everyone here knew the story – every painter, everyone who sheltered in the basements, every saleswoman’s lover heard it and passed it along further. During the second day after David’s exhibition opened, Sonya had sneaked into the gallery and cut to pieces the paintings with the cross-eyed child. It was their child with David, as she said. Most of the paintings were of her and the child. Sonya hugging the baby, or breastfeeding him, or pulling his hair, and even holding the child upside down by his feet. The baby was about a year and a half old, intelligent, with sharp, penetrating eyes. Eyes like fish-hooks – biting, drilling, never letting go. But the baby was cross-eyed. Just a little bit cross-eyed, Sonya thought, but in David’s paintings there was a horribly cross-eyed child, painted without a trace of love, coldly, as if it was a still life composition, say, a carcass of a rabbit next to a bottle of Burgundy in a basket. When Sonya saw the old gallery guard napping on his chair, she ripped the paintings with a scalpel and ran away. The guard did not noticed.
The next day David went to the gallery and started stitching up the remains. He sewed them coarsely with a needle and tread, the way one repairs an old sack, not a painting. Now the…..