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



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

Under pressure

From "Under pressure", Blesok, 2012


/4
p. 1
Faruk Šehić

1.
    They brought us to the frontline. Mud and fog are everywhere. I can barely see the man in front of me . We almost have to hold  each other's belts in order not to lose our way. We are moving among torched homes. The column is trudging along rickety fences. The mud is sticking to our boots as dough. Nothing matches the first encounter with the front. Everyhting is new and hairy like balls. Especially when you take over the line at night and then, come morning, you realize that you are on the tip of a nail. Schorched beams are falling off a roof and sizzling in the mud. We are stumbling down a big hill. The grass is slimy from the thick fog. Those who fall are slowing down the column and, as a rule, they are swearing at the president and state. My piles ache at the thought that we will sleep in the field tonight. A military police guide leads us to a hilltop. Emir and I take over a shallow trench  containing a muddy matress, blanket and several cigarette butts smoked to the hilt and nervously stabbed into the ground.
    - Hey boys, cold enough for you? - a voice reaches us from the right.
    - Come here and I'll tell you about it. - Emir replies from the matress.
    A figure approaches us from behind,
    Jumps into the trench.
    - I'm from the 3rd Batallion. - he says as we shake hands.
    - Got any fags?
    I open my cigarette case full of Gales [Columbian cigarettes made in 1974]
    - Aren't they gonna' see us smoking? - Emir asks.
    - No way. They are far from here and the fog is thick.
    Both of us light up as if we were ordered to do so.
    - What's the situation like here? Is it fucked up?
    - They plowed the hill with shells today. A soldier from the 2nd Company had his cheek torn off by a piece of shrapnel. They got two big guns on Metla, that's a hill twice the size of ours, and they can see us as if we were in a coffee cup. - The guy from the 3rd Batallion slowly explains.
    - So, whoever survives will eat with a golden spoon. - Emir interjects.
    - Its not as bad as it looks. - The guy from the 3rd Batallion consoles him. - You gotta die one day anyhow.
    Fear creeps into me as rising damp. Tomorrow


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