Craita Nanu – Atonement și Being Alice

Craita Nanu este una dintre cei doi participanți și câștigători ai primei noastre încercări de a crea un concurs de literatură noir. Îi mulțumim foarte mult pentru textele rafinate și întunecate pe care ni le-a trimis și o așteptăm cu o invitație dublă la premiera de mâine, 12 noiembrie, a spectacolului „Omul Pernă” de Martin McDonagh, de la Teatrul Act, la ora 19:00. Felicitări și mulțumim!

Atonement
My friend and I knew what it was. Our eyes were on the thick green mist forming up above, embracing the lamp and leaving out just a round fat beam of light. The room got darker and, in that makeshift spotlight, pieces of thick green mist started falling into a rubbery puddle that moved.

The word “penguin” first took the shape of the animal, flapping its small wings and slowly shaking its beak, as if in complete disapproval of what was happening. Then the penguin started shape shifting. The body elongated, the wings turned into skewers, the beak became a handle and the small legs grew spikes. For a couple of seconds it hovered into mid air, upright. Then it slowly tilted until the spikes and skewers were facing her, my friend.

One of the raisin eyes on each side of the beak handle winked at me. First I was too petrified to react but the second I moved my hand to grab it, the whole thing just darted towards my friend. The skewers went into her face and the penguin torture device started turning clockwise then counter clockwise. Blood was squirting everywhere.

The thick green mist had at that point dripped from the ceiling and was slowly covering her. I wasn’t completely sure she was still there. The armchair and the lower half of her body were green mist, her face, an open wound, was still being worked on by the rotating spikes, and her hands, impaled on the wing skewers, looked like rubber bands being curled up together. Silence crushed the room throughout the entire process. It was like being deaf, couldn’t even hear myself breathing. The green mist slowly covered her entirely. I squinted my eyes and caught the last two rotations of the deadly penguin. Then everything fell like tired lids over bloodshot eyes.

I opened mine again when I heard her sigh. My friend was intact. She was staring at me coldly; her lips pursed shut into that superior annoyed look I had called penguin-like. Then she got up and left the room without saying good-bye. We never saw each other again but I will never forget her and the night I realized words could kill.

Being Alice
Behind door number one is a blind man petting a turtle. His eyes are pulled completely from their sockets and just hang there like sinister Christmas decorations. The turtle raises its head, opens its mouth and bites a dangling left eye. It breaks with the sound of a crushed grape. The man screams and the reverberation pushes me out of the room like a gush of strong wind.

I fall back on the soft red carpet and catch my breath. The corridor is long and splattered with doors. They’re everywhere, even on the ceiling. There are doors within doors and I have no idea if they lead to smaller rooms inside bigger rooms or it’s just a matter of perspective. I open one big enough to fit my head and lay on my back to look inside.

For a couple of seconds I see nothing because I have to hold my breath and grasp the fact that I am underwater. Then calm and silence set in. I blow a bit of air to move the piece of algae covering my eyes and blink. There’s commotion above. With dolphin like movements, two bloated cadavers play catch with a severed woman’s head. I ponder a bit about how it looks just like my head. But pieces of white gelatinous meat float about and I expel what little air I had left in my lungs to keep one from landing on my mouth. I get my head out right before the makeshift ball hits me. At least they’ve got something to do while decomposing, I think while drying my hair.

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