Short Stories

There was a full moon on the day when I first lay eyes on Polina. A delicate presence sat beside me on the bus, so close I could feel her heat; her beige trench coat tickling my elbow. The feeling of it lingered long after it was gone. What beautiful texture, what perfect bare fingernails wrapped around the yellow coffee mug she placed on the floor. What elegance, what delicacy! I traced her features with the corners of my eye; her shiny hair a shade of light brown untouched by the sun. With what gracefulness she took out that small book and pencil and placed it on her lap, with what gracefulness she highlighted phrases of Goethe’s poetry. The book cover resembled that of a collection of baby lullabies; light, soft colours on a white background, comforting to my eyes.

A purple, curved engraving read; Polina. Oh how I wished I could have read her thoughts, felt the weight of the words and her sweet suffering! She closed her eyes sometimes, absorbing the tenderness of her imagination as she pressed her long eyelashes upon her pale skin. In her mind I pictured faceless, weightless pink figures dancing in the moonlight absorbed by the ecstasy of love, surrounded by a myriad of white flowers, as pure as she. Her skin as bare as a baby’s bottom, as if kissed by feathers to reveal a voluptuous mouth, too big for her face. I could picture the tremor of those lips as she whispered.

Continue Reading

The KONDRATOV had grown up with a strong but diffuse sense of empowerment. “You can be anything you want! There is a world of opportunities waiting for you!” were the mantras of their upbringing. Their son in particular was a victim to that unfortunate mixture of naïve zest for action and subtle delusions of grandeur with a feeling of being completely overwhelmed with the countless contingencies of life as a 1990s child.

The young son lived at a time when popular culture seemed to suggest there were heroes behind every corner. Everyone was the chosen one for something. All you had to do was

find the one thing you were best at. The notions of discipline and hard work were substituted with opportunism, luck and naïve self-confidence not rooted in one’s abilities. Beyond the latently megalomaniac tendencies common in many of his peers, there was a vague notion that KONDRATOV was “the kind of guy who would be successful in life” for all of his life he had been told he was quite bright and people were not rarely rather impressed with his ability to express his thoughts and with their unique content and intricate nature when conversing with him.

Continue Reading

When Professor Darius Poirier gazed upon his wife, he was still enchantingly bedazzled by her, as intensely as the first day he had laid eyes on her. She roused a myriad of desires in him; an authoritative compulsion to protect her like a father, a vulnerable tenderness of adoration, and a fathomless passion which circled like a halo around her body and vanished into the paleness of her breast. 

He vividly remembered the first day he had noticed her; sitting by herself in the shade on the most isolated table at a

restaurant. It does not happen every day that a man observes a woman drinking out of a champagne bottle- and with what dexterity and agility! The light breeze blew on her hair so that she would often delicately brush shiny locks away from her eyes and behind her ear. He would often see her there, sitting on the same table reading a different novel every time; entirely oblivious to the outside world and to the hearts she would capture in her isolation.

Continue Reading