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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 83 | volume XV | March-April, 2012



[размена]



SLOVOKULT.DE
KRUG
BALKANI
OKF







                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 83March-April, 2012
Prose

The Coward and the Beast

(Excerpt from the novel)


/4
p. 1
Barış Müstecaplıoğlu

No one is solely good. No one is solely evil.
    If ending a war is a heroic deed, then
    start by making peace with yourself first.
    Tho-en Kurme
, Ancestors-97th statement

INTRODUCTION

HARKUL shouted angrily at his family standing worriedly by the entrance of the tunnel: “Show a little courage! I’m not going to be late for this wedding because of some idiotic rumor!”
    Clutching their young son’s hand, his wife Alme asked, “What if it’s true?”
    The expression on her face showed that she was worried more about her child than herself. Seeing this, Harkul lowered his voice. Smiling tenderly, he said, “Okay, let’s leave this decision to our Uncle. If he’s reluctant to go through the tunnel, we’ll listen to him. Only then are we going to walk around this damned mountain. We’ll make it to the wedding at the end of the banquet – if that can be called making it there on time!”
    Alme accepted rather unwillingly. If it were up to her, she would have never set off for the wedding in the first place. The thought of spending an evening with all those boring people was annoying, and entering this gruesome tunnel would rub salt in the wound. But, she did not wish to quarrel with her beloved husband. The bridegroom was one of Harkul’s best friends. She had to be understanding.
    Uncle Jargol arrived panting. No one knew his age, but he had witnessed both of these young people grow up. Rather embarrassed, he said, “Old age is a malady, my dears. When I was your age, I used to climb this hill like a goat. Now I can’t even keep up with a small child.” As he spoke, he winked affectionately at the little boy holding fast to his mother’s hand.
    “Don’t worry, Uncle,” Harkul replied. “We’re not going anywhere anyway. Like confused cows, we’re trying to decide which path to take. Alme insists on not entering the tunnel. She says it’s cursed and that Grisol vanished into thin air after going inside … why should I be late for the wedding just because the village fool disappeared?!”
    “Not only Grisol!” Alme protested, her dark black eyes glowing like embers. “It’s true that Grisol was crazy, but Hiskot’s lambs vanished too, and they were definitely smarter than you are. The poor animals disappeared while grazing outside the tunnel. What do you say to that?”
    Harkul shrugged and said bravely: “A lunatic and a few sheep.






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