1.000 caratteri: Hristo Boykikev

       by Hristo Boykikev

I knew I had to look away. There was just the bunk, the obscenely gapping toilet in the middle, the small table, empty of the only thing that was allowed on it – a bible. And the young man – a kid really – sitting cross-legged on the bunk with his back against the wall. On the wall facing him there was an elongated spot of light, beaming through the crack of the embrasure-like window, even more concentrated because of how narrow it was. Beyond it – the coarse masonry of more walls. Outside the November day was glorious and colorful but here it was a momentary eruption of abstract light, just like the pomegranate juice I had before entering: bitter and sweet, cuttingly clear and dimly golden on the edges. Burning on the goose bums of the lime plaster.

Probably this was the only moment when the sun shone in here and we were told that the inmates are not allowed in the yard. I had to stop intruding with my gaze, but lingered. Intense glow filed the solitary cell. It could originate equally from the sun-spot on the wall and the golden heir of the boy reflecting each other over and over. Like a bug in a piece of ember, I felt arrested by something in this sight and its brevity, but finally made myself to turn around. And only when I faced the inside of the prison and the hungry wild faces staring at me through the openings of the other cell doors, it reached me: the eyes of the boy were closed.   

Hristo was born in 1974 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has studied law and philosophy. Currently he is specialising in Washington DC. His texts have appeared in Bulgarian and Russian publications.
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