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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 77-79 | volume XIV | March-August, 2011



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 77-79March-August, 2011
Prose

Time of Lies (Taboo I)

Excerpt from the novel


/14
p. 1
Sibila Petlevski

Pandora’s Box

    Paralyzed, with a spinal fracture and internal injuries, he was lying in a tent of a field hospital. A pretty clumsy and callow orderly, whose round face featured a thin moustache, tried to pour lemonade down his throat – yes, a lemonade, probably the same way Sub lieutenant John Pollard nurtured Admiral Nelson after the battle with the French. Given the serious condition of the patient, the taste of sweetened water with a couple of drops of half-rotten lemon could barely reach captain Peter Meier, only touching his lips and dripping down his blood-soaked chin.
    Why are heroes’ last wishes so trivial, so bloody typical in their shallow poignancy? It is almost as if at the very last moment those people were trying to connect with lost ideals through a seemingly marginal detail such as Admiral Nelson’s lemonade, to get somehow the final confirmation on what had just happened. They know it all too well – although the realization sinks in too late – that every goal they helped achieve and sealed with their blood has the exact same amount of glorious feeling of victory that it takes to squash the thick armour of a cockroach that stains the soles of their army boots with its grey-green insides. Deep down inside – somewhere in their gut, not their hearts – they feel that each goal they helped accomplish, strangely enough, managed to lose its purpose. The eyes of doctor Viktor Tausk started to tear up: in spite of it all, he admired people like Peter Meier.
    A faint sound of artillery fire was coming from the outside. Still conscious, Peter asked the doctor, should he be the luckier of the two, to go to Pölah, a nice little place by Lake Fuschl in the Province of Styria and deliver to his fiancée an object of great value to her. Captain Peter Meier was practically cut in two with a knife-sized shrapnel between the second and third vertebra. In fact, the piece of metal stuck in his spine was longer, heavier and more massive than a regular blade of a bread-knife.
    During examination of the torso, pronounced twitches in the knees. When pinched on the inside of his thigh, the patient’s leg stretched fully, accompanied by reflux urinary and bowel discharge. We regret
– the end of doctor Tausk’s medical report said – that the circumstances did not allow investigating plantar reflux


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