CULTURE

THE ARTIFICIAL ALBATROSS, An excerpt from a short story

The year we became minimalists was the same year we gave up meat. You decided these things were for one another, and so this is what we did. Some years previous, when we had decided to be two women in love, we were incredible disasters. I had sloppily painted the walls a burnt orange and draped silk scarves atop the lamps, rather than replacing their spent bulbs.

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RAPUNZEL'S TOWERS, A short story

Every morning, between six and seven thirty, thousands of gray-haired Rapunzels rise, gently toss their blankets aside and make their way to the kitchen. Some make breakfast for their grandchildren. Others leave bread crumbs for the pigeons on the balcony. They put coffee-makers or teapots on the stove. Some even turn on the radio. Inside, there's a slight draft. So they wrap their cardigans more tightly around their bodies, and clasp the cup of coffee or tea with lots of sugar with both hands. They feel chilly, they always do, but what else could they close in order to stop the draft?

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PORTRAIT OF A SEA

We all know how boring the Black Sea is. It lacks the saltiness of the Aegean, the rugged coastline of the Adriatic, and the rich marine life of the Red Sea. Its waters are dead, its fauna has been lost to pollution and overfishing. In short, the Black Sea is dull.

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THE PLACE, An excerpt from a work in progress

You can enter by the road from the south, the north, the east or even the west, although the west road, unfortunately, is not very good. Actually, even then it was quite bad and annoying to drive on, with lots of potholes; there would often be fallen trees. There is no reason to think that the road is better now. You cannot be sure what to expect, once you manage to get into the city. Even back then, the buildings had almost entirely lost their magnificence and charm, which was reminiscent of a decent past, and suggested a relatively prosperous future.

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GREEN AND GOLD

To my father

 

She has no idea if the time she has left is enough. But the desire is stronger than common sense and she starts piling up pillows to hem in the corner of the huge bed where she can sink fully into her thoughts and find peace at last. In the house time has its own clock, slow and different. She hopes nobody is going to look for her.

She falls asleep before she knows it, carried away by shouts and voices distant as the world outside this room. Everything starts from the beginning like the breaking day.

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THE UNBULGARIANS TRAVEL AROUND BULGARIA, END IN SOFIA

It was organised by the Free Speech International Foundation and the Multi Kulti Collective, supported by the Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein NGO Programme under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.

The UnBulgarians show the "Bulgarian life" of people from New Zealand to the United States, from Russia to India, and from Peru to Japan, but also of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan Africa, asking thought-provoking questions about multiculturalism, tolerance and national identity.

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DELICATE THUGS, An excerpt from a new novel, entitled Gently, Lovingly, Farmingly

Billy was an old-school hustler. His complexion revealed a few things – a bachelor still living with his 75-year-old mother who provided for him, permanently devoid of work habits, managing the local soccer team on and off in exchange for a puny salary granted by the village mayor as compensation for his active involvement during elections i.e.

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THE INFECTION OF BEING, an excerpt from a novel

Five years of getting up at seven. Suits, dress shirts, blazers and high heels. Hair up in a bun, nails painted nude. Less than ten years ago, I used to dream of it, hoped to build a career some day, saw myself precisely like this – in a large company, with a flashy office, in a prestigious and important position… And the weird thing is, I still like my job. Well, kind of. But more often than not I hate it.

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