A few hours had passed since Mark arrived at Anzio. He was not in a hurry. There was enough time to enjoy the day. After having spent some time window-shopping at a slow pace, he headed down the slope. The excitement in his soul was growing with every step he took. There had passed more than three years since his first and last visit to this place, so precious and important to him, and the town seemed not to have changed at all, at least at first sight. Just like the first time, he was very surprised again by the hospitality of the local people. The residents of the whole region were extremely kind and really friendly. Perhaps it was one of the reasons why he wanted to spend those cherished and unforgettable moments right here. Mark was walking slowly, contemplating and he finally arrived where he had headed for. ''One always returns to the place where he was happy once'', he thought. The house was just the same. Only the greenery outside seemed to him more scattered, but it was probably just because of the dry and hot summer that had just passed. As he was looking around and speechlessly contemplating on his living memories, the hostess appeared on the porch. She awaited him, that's why she had assiduously prepared and arranged the room the same way she did three years ago - something he had specially asked her for.
– Mark, come in! I'm very glad to see you she started speaking right from the porch. – How are you, how's Monica...? Get in finally.
Mark nodded kindly, but purposely didn't answer.
– And how are you? – he asked in return. Did you receive the money I sent to you?
– Yes... yes, I got it. Come in, make yourself comfortable.
His soul was seized with strong excitement the moment he crossed the threshold of the house and started walking inside. ''The effort of these people is touching'', he thought while opening the door of the room.
– I am pleasantly surprised. It is obvious that you've done your best – he quietly uttered a few seconds later, but nobody was there to hear him. To his surprise, the woman had already gone out of the room.
He gently touched the nicely spread snow-white sheets that covered the bed, walked around the room and his heart filled with excitement that quickly turned into grief. He knew every nook and cranny in this room in a way he could never forget. Here, in this place he had felt so much joy and happiness. The walls seemed to have been soaked with that mysterious energy that gives life to everything beautiful and eternal and to what makes world better – love. That kind of love, however, could not be recreated or described. It could only be experienced. Mark pulled one of the two chairs in front of the table, took out the only bag he carried and an empty envelope in which he had carefully folded a couple of blank sheets of paper beforehand, sighed heavily, thought for a moment and began writing. "Dear Mony, from the bottom of my soul I would like to tell you that I am truly sorry mostly about I missed telling you how much I loved you that day when you went out. I know time flows in only one direction and I have no chance to turn it back and yet if we assume that…'' For a moment he seemed to have been startled. Then he stopped for a while, glanced around and started wondering. Why was he writing this letter? What was he hoping for? What was he expecting? Monica would never read his outpouring. It was obvious that despite his strong desire and craving for a dialogue, his efforts were in vain. There was no point prolonging any more. "The moment has come", he quietly uttered to himself, threw his writings angrily on the floor and suddenly stood up. Shivers ran down his back and small drops of cold sweat covered his forehead. "Well, if there is still something beyond – it crossed his mind like a flash of lightning – is it really possible that if, instead of setting myself free from the pain and the burden, it happens that I take them with me forever?'' However, he was perfectly aware that he should not think about such things at the moment if he really wanted to bring it to end. That's why he decisively ignored these unknown thoughts that made him hesitate, opened his bag again, took out two packages of pills and carefully started to open them. He knew well, because he had informed himself in advance that he should have taken some food beforehand, just to make sure he won't vomit when the pills start dissolving in his stomach. However, against his will, he was not able to put anything in his mouth since morning, and now the day was almost over. Mark looked again at his bag to find out now that the bottle of mineral water he had bought in Rome was empty. ''What an irony'', he silently exclaimed. Indeed, did it really matter what kind of water he was about to take the sleeping pills with? For the first time in a few weeks now he smiled, then rose and slowly went to the bathroom, poured a glass of water and started taking the pills.
He was having five at a time, taking a big sip of water, swallowing, waiting for a while, and then again taking next dose.
Suddenly, as if provoked by something, he jumped and went to the window. Why not spend his last minutes or an hour maybe walking on the beach – he would more thoroughly enjoy his favourite place and keep it deeper in his heart instead of spending his remaining time doing nothing in the room. Thus he would escape the inevitable headaches and troubles his hostess, totally unaware of what he intended to do, would definitely have as a result of his action.
Mark quickly swallowed the last pill and headed towards the street. ''Strange he was thinking while walking towards the beach – I'll be probably dead in an hour but I still have a purpose''. Not noticing, he walked all the distance from the house to the beach for less than five minutes. When he stepped into the sand he saw just a few people there lying on the still-warm sand trying to enjoy the last rays of autumn sun. It was such a cherished and unique moment. Every minute was incomparable, final and holy, that's why it was quite logical for him to choose to experience it alone. After a quick look he chose a quiet, comparatively remote spot, quite far from the few people on the beach, where he could end his life in peace. Even before he used to love his privacy, the quietness and the silence. Now more than ever he needed them. He sat down and rested his tired body on the fine sand. This would be the last stop of his existence – the place he will remain forever at.
The people on the beach were not aware of what was going on. They probably hadn't even noticed him and it was definitely the best option. The thought what others would think when they figure out that he has committed suicide bothered him the previous days. Now, even to his surprise, all the fears and remorse had completely left him. In these last minutes he preferred to sink into those nice and beautiful memories which he had experienced right here, on that appealing azure coast, instead of torturing himself with things he could not control anymore. He wanted to memorize this wonderful picture in which he was now a real part of, and weave those eternal and beautiful emotions of his precious past into it. The sea was more beautiful than ever. The sun with its autumn rays was soothing him gentler than ever before and the water was shining crystal clear, warm and full of life. There were several yachts sailing in the distance that seemed like not touching the water, but hanging in the air because of the sun reflections. ''What did people in the Middle Ages think – Mark was contemplating while looking at the distant boats, – when seeing ships gradually disappearing from sight? First their hulls, then their sails and finally their masts and flags. In those days they used to believe that the Earth was flat, so that gradual disappearing of these vessels beyond the horizon was really surprising and mystifying to them. This ''phenomenon'' was surely raising lots of questions in their minds which they were not able to answer at all. As to the Sun it used to be easier – they used to see what we see now: that it goes round the Earth, not in the reverse order, which they used to believe without unnecessary reasoning''.
The effect of the sleeping pills had not apparently started yet because at this stage Mark was thinking quite logically or at least he thought so. He was surprised at his desire to go for a swim for the last time – something he loved and was good at. But he quickly rejected this idea on the grounds that it would be too ridiculous for him to drown, having in mind that he had a name for an excellent swimmer. ''It is a weird feeling that since I've taken the pills, I am constantly being obsessed by different desires. First I wanted to go out, then I came to the beach, and now I want to swim. Could it be the reason that I'm still not ready to die?'' He started looking at the sea as his attention was for the second time attracted by the distant small boats which seemed to be purposely sailing on the very border with the horizon. ''It is really beautiful. There is probably no place on earth which is so beautiful...'' At this moment, a couple in love was passing by about thirty meters ahead of him. They were holding hands and obviously burning with desire and yearning for each other. Mark looked completely stunned for a moment – he felt he envied them. He had not experienced such a feeling all his life. He had always strived to be good, careful and modest. He was raised in this manner and that's how he would die. Different mixed feelings and desires were surprisingly raging in his soul now when he most wanted to be in harmony with himself, relative though it was.
An hour had already passed since taking the sleeping pills; at last they slowly but surely had begun to have effect. In a way you could say that Mark was well aware of the fundamental problems of psychotronics as well as various stories about paranormal experiences on the threshold of death described in many books by different authors. He was impatient to see, as most books described, the most important and significant events of his relatively short life that had to appear as a film before closing his eyes. Then he had to go through something like a tunnel and to be finally welcomed by a creature radiating white light. However, all stories would end up at this place and the dying would wake up again in their well-known, mostly sick or injured bodies. Whatever the truth was he would be finally able to check it himself and it was about to happen very soon, fortunately or unfortunately. This thought made him feel slight satisfaction and even arouse for a while the constant human curiosity that relates to everything unfamiliar and unknown.
Ten minutes later he had no power left. The effect of the medicines was getting more significant: only a few minutes before his mind was clear and relatively calm. Gradually, however, mental fatigue and drowsiness prevailed. His thoughts were getting unreasonable and illogical, and the focus of his eyes imperceptibly shifted from the beautiful sea to the sky. Mark was still lying on his back, making his last attempts to concentrate and muster up his remaining strength in order to move his left arm. For some reason or other, his arm was in a very unnatural way, placed quite far from his body. He concentrated all his energy and last efforts and willed himself to place it in a more comfortable position. His eyelids grew so heavy. Time was tightening its grip; he could not resist any longer. He could still feel the sand and hardly hear the surf. He slowly lost all his senses. Mark closed his eyes and relaxed fully.
The last feeling he had was like he was sinking.
Fragment of Martin Ralchevski's novel ''Forest Spirit''
‘What is the fabric of this world?’ Adam asked rhetorically, while deep in thought, one afternoon. ‘Why do misfortunes find us so easily? They seem to descend upon us out of the blue, and before you know it, you are already counting the days to your own execution.’
Hanif was preoccupied with his own fears and worries. He had been keeping to himself recently and the two of them talked much less than they had used to. When Adam again brought up the well-known theme, Hanif felt reluctant to discuss it, and decided to tell him a story instead: ‘The source of our misfortunes may lie but in many different places,’ he started parabolically. ‘More often than not, though, things are much simpler than they look. I know this from experience. It is hard to understand why people are always willing to look for meaning where there is none, and on the other hand, refuse to accept the logical explanation. I am speaking of the simple mechanics of cause and effect. But let me try and illustrate what I mean.
Nine or ten years ago, something took place that, I feel, shook up the whole of Syria, even if only for a short time. It all started with a seemingly unimportant event. A certain Abdul Rahim, or was it Abdul Rahman… I don’t remember exactly, bought a dog and brought it to a spot in the desolate Eastern province where his old father’s house was, with the idea that the dog would bark and drive away all ill-meaning strangers - burglars, for example. Quite some time passed, and the man, although aware of the existence of the leashed dog, could not find the opportunity to take some food and water to it. The old house was far away from the place where he worked and lived, and he used this fact to soothe his own conscience. So… he could never find the time to go to the deserted house; the weather was rather hot and the poor animal had neither water, nor food.
At last Abdul made the journey to the house, more than four weeks later, and you can imagine what he found - the poor creature had died. You may be tempted to think that there is nothing peculiar about the story so far. It is a sad and cruel story, but as we both know, such things often happen in this world of ours. The story, however, does not end there; a few months earlier, Abdul’s son had undertaken a risky journey, with the intention to illegally immigrate to Germany. He had stowed himself in the cargo hold of a ship, which, based on the initial calculations, was supposed to berth in Hamburg on the third day following its departure. Therefore, the young man had prudently packed food and water to last him for about a week. However, fortune has its own ways. Whether by accident or by design, the ship, in which the boy was hiding, under the influence of certain objective factors and circumstances pertinent to customs requirements, was kept for almost four weeks at open sea, and its unloading in the Hamburg harbour was postponed correspondingly. The authorities had received a hint from a reliable source that a fraud attempt was in progress, and had initiated a thorough inspection of the cargo, and to this end, they had put the ship under quarantine, and had begun to carefully examine all pertinent documentation. While the inspection was under way, the cargo remained sealed until further instruction. And the whole process, as I have pointed out, bizarre as it may appear, continued for almost two months. As per the shipping documents, the cargo consisted mainly of ready-made clothes, so no one was really worried that any harm would be brought while the inspection was in progress.
This happened a long time ago, I don’t remember if I have already mentioned it, but I think that it happened more than 10 years ago. I remember that this case quickly became notorious in Germany and Syria, and in my opinion in many other countries, because of the fact that the young Syrian had been found dead from hunger and thirst in one of the sealed cargo holds on board the ship...
Fragment of Martin ralchevski's novel ''Half-Goddess''
Dear Mom, countless times passed since fate took you away from me. As I think of those damn days I become so sick that a real storm of anger, grief and intolerance is rising in my soul. Truth is often painful, but did I know, at some level it is indeed what made me feel alive. Deep in my soul I always felt that the day will come when I can share it with you. Well, that moment has come. I will try to tell you everything worth remembering. I will leave judgment to you. Three days ago Manuel died. I buried him yesterday. I feel so lonesome, unhappy and disillusioned that honestly speaking – I wish I could follow him. Till this moment I never thought that God is able to cause me such misery... and he did once again... in my already plundered life. I've always believed that every evil is cruel enough in itself not to be repeated, leave alone happen third time in life of the same person, but alas, apparently I was disillusioned... With the loss of Manuel I became desolate irrevocably. Oh, Mom, I am writing to you about Manuel, but forgot to tell you who he really was. Excuse me, I started a little backwards. This is because everything is so absurd. Manuel was my husband, with whom I lived for nearly fifty-eight years. The most devoted, attentive, gallant and caring man on earth. I say these words in clear conscience about him. In this line of thinking it seems right to share my age with you. I know it will probably sound strange to you, but these are the facts - I am seventy-eight now. I love in Lisbon in a big, nice and cozy house situated between the Gunco Jera and India boulevards, but if I need to be more accurate it is closer to India. The windows on the second floor are overlooking the sea, with its gentle and pleasant breeze that can be felt all year round. But what is the point of having a beautiful and orderly home, when you’re on your own and the person you loved for so long is no longer alive? Long time ago, when the children were small, I shared with Manuel, that despite the years I keep missing you inconsolably and he advised me to write you a letter. Honestly, it seemed crazy then, but here I am, look at me now, he is gone for three days only and I am sitting on the porch with a big stack of white sheets of paper on the table, pressed down with an empty glass vase to prevent blowing them by the wind, determined to tell you everything.
I don’t know if you will ever have the chance to read these lines but hope is all I’m left with. It is very likely that they will never reach you… yet, medicine changes at such a rapid pace that it makes me want to believe, as my loving husband would assure me more than once, that one day you will be alive again! That’s why I am going to write! I feel some inexplicable urge to do it. I am certain that you deserve it. Late it might turn out to be, you have the right and you should know about what has passed.
My cherished, my dearest and only mummy, I intend to turn you into a witness to the whole odyssey of mistakes and progress, which has befallen me during the past years…but since I have never done it before, I don’t know what the result will be... What I have in mind is that my writer skills are not at all that great. You, however, will show understanding and will forgive me all my blunders, emotional and sentimental outbreaks, the repetitions and so on and so forth. Right?
I suppose that to a certain extent the truth will probably upset you but if I hold something back, I will never forgive myself, that’s why I will write without concealing anything for which I beg you to forgive me.
Well, I begin.
In order for you to understand the following events more easily, I will go back to the beginning itself. I will start from the moment that you arrived in the US and soon after you closed your eyes pinning your hopes to the time, to that vast future, when a cure for your illness will be discovered and you will awake again to be cured once and for all.
About a month after you got ill from that terminal and accursed disease (as you know) you, dad, my brother and I assembled in the dining room to take the crucial decision to sell the house. In this way we could send you to the States, where you could be frozen.
Everything was like a dream then.
I remember that when dad, drawned in tears, white as a sheet and shaking from grief, announced that we have to sell the house together with the whole furnishings so that we could save you, it was Wednesday because if you remember, every Wednesday night we would go to an Akathist to the Mother of God in the chapel. On Saturday night the house had already got its new owner and you, dad and the accompanying doctor left for America.
When dad came back, he shocked us with the news that despite the prior arrangements with the clinic, the money received from the house was not enough. At the last moment he was hard-pressed and forced to draw a substantial amount from the bank so that he can pay the remainder for your treatment.
He said that if everything went to plan, the credit would be paid off in ten years or so.
However, four days have passed since he returned and he passed away. Doctors comforted us that it happened so suddenly that it wasn’t painful at all. My dear dad suffered a massive stroke and died on the spot, just like that, just when he was going back from the local market, driving and speaking on the mobile phone with my aunt. When he learned about it, my brother, it has been long since I blamed him for something, started drinking on a daily basis and stopped caring about anything at all. All of a sudden we were left all alone. We have lost not only you and dad, but our home, our safety and all our hopes for good. The situation was desperate. Since in no time we have become orphans, without a roof over our heads and with unenviable material circumstances, auntie took pity on us and gave us shelter. There is no need to tell you how much we suffered then. In less than a month we both lost more than ten kilos of our weight. We had nothing but the clothes on our backs, we had no money. We completely depended on the mercy and the good will of my aunt and her husband. And it so happened that my brother couldn’t find enough will to give up drinking, what is more he even turned to drugs and driven by good intentions only they have sent him to a special hospital for treatment. It was only the first day of his stay and he tried to run away. He climbed up the roof and…by an absurd accident he slipped. He couldn’t hold and fell from about fifteen meters on the asphalt. He died on the spot. Auntie paid for the two funerals – dad’s and his.
I stayed with her, all in all, for four months. Most of this period is rather blurred to me. I remember that I would take sleeping pills for quite a long time and for that reason I would sleep without memories during the nights. My days, on the other hand, have turned into long, tortuous nightmares. I started to feel how insanity, slowly but impetuously crept on me more and more. It first started to show in my thoughts, then in my words and finally in my actions. I’m very thankful to my aunt. She was truly indulgent and good to me. I, however, didn’t return her due. I behaved badly, often even terribly. I refused to eat, to take a bath, to brush my teeth, for a while I have even looked like a hippy, neglectful, dirty, not carrying about anyone or anything. In this critical moment, if it wasn’t for one neighborhood girl who took pity on me and gave me this overtly simple, but actually quite right and timely advice, the way things were, I would have probably followed my brother.
Judging from aside she didn’t do much but it proved crucial for me.
She advised me to find a boyfriend. “Just anybody” these were her words. So, with my back against the wall, with no family, no home or income, but apparently with a small bit of hope, that I had before the string of misery, I resorted to the thing that have turned over my whole life.
Copyrights: Martin Ralchevski
'Стандарт' резюме на Сборника
Кратко видео за ''Измама''
Кратко видео за ''30 паунда''
''Час по България'' водещ Проф. д-р Пламен Павлов, гост Калин Терзийски. Тема на предаването – романът ''Измама''
Вестник ''Лечител'' за романа ''Измама''
Интервю на пейка
.Всемирното Православие за романа 'Измама'
Интервю в ''Стандарт''
''Безкарайна нощ'' – преиздадена
Представяне на романа ''Измама'' – ВИДЕОТУК
Да не губим вяра в чудесата на живота
За цената на думите
Пред кръста свеждат чело само осенените души
Силата на Разума
Представяне на ''30 паунда'' в ТВ СКАТ
За ''30 паунда'' Канал 1:
''Българите в чужбина''. Участие в ТВ СКАТ
''30 паунда'' в новините
Вярваме ли или не в Христовото Възскресение?
Каква беше целта?
/в отговор на Мартин Карбовски/
КОГАТО НЯМА НИКАКВА НАДЕЖДА
Интервю за "Безкрайна нощ"
Интервю за "Горски дух"
Интервю за ''Безкрайна нощ'' и ''Горски дух''
Интервю за ''Полубогиня''
Статия за ''Полубогиня''
Мнение за ''Полубогиня''
от Екатерина Томова
Интервю за вестник 'Лечител'
Ще изчезне ли българския народ?
Интервю за ''Подземна медия''
Коледа без Бог! (статия)
Завръщане в България след 200 години (разказ)
За Америка без розови очила