So Much BloodA Story by Yavor Kostov
A short story about the change of the course of a lifetime!
Author: Yavor Kostov
Translation from Bulgarian: Sarah Kostov
It’s seven o’clock in the morning. The sun is bashfully peeking through the narrow window. I feel its kind caress all over my body and I happily realize that the sunlight no longer irritates my eyes. How is it possible that all this time I haven’t noticed the beauty of the day and haven’t even enjoyed it for a second? I have taken it for granted. What a fool! I thirstily breathe in the stuffy air as if it is a fresh mountain air filled with the aroma of an evergreen pine forest.
I realize that it sounds queerly but believe me I have never felt this free before. I can barely make seven steps in one direction in this room, which will most likely be my home for many years ahead, but as I walk it seems as if I am traveling great distances full of thrilling adventures. No, I am not crazy. It’s not a dreadful effect of the stress from the experience. No. I was just born again. I was born and now my biggest desire is to tell you how it happened.
Please, listen to my story even though I know that I don’t deserve asking you for such thing. I beg you with all my heart, please, do it for me. It won’t take more than ten minutes. You can’t see me right now but I just started the chronometer on my watch. I see how the numbers start to change " one, two, three, four and so on. After you hear my story you will judge whether it was worth the time or not. I hope that you will also find out whether it is the truth or it is some kind of a mean, cleverly tailored fiction. Okay, okay I am done with this too long preamble.
In order to make the story wholly clear I will go back in the past a long time ago, when I was thirteen. I was small for my age but like an adult I clearly realized that my parents would do anything so that I could be arbitrarily satisfied. Of course, I took advantage of this insight. I often made problems and my parents always found ways to fix them and get me out. There are so many examples.
I fought with my classmates at least twice a month and one time I stabbed on purpose Goshi from the other class with a compasses. His parents complained to the principal of the school but as my mum had a strong effect on the expression and a noticeable influence in society I logically got away with everything. I remember how every Friday, in the afternoon when all students and teacher had already left and the school started to empties, I went to the front yard, took a big rock and threw it at my classroom’s window.
I felt an unexplainable satisfaction to see how the rock wins, bringing ruination. Little pieces of glass spilled all over the room and a storm of respect for myself was raging in my heart. Then my adrenaline grew from the risk and I ran to the nearest small street so that I could become invisible. Ahead I planned the escape route and by following it the result was that they never caught me.
Except for once. The principal finally had realized that there was a suspicious cycle of these attempts on the school property so one Friday after school he had organized a siege which ended up being successful. I was caught but mum intervened again. She paid for all the broken windows during my Friday adventures and I got away once again.
By creating all these problems for my parents I grew self-assured, overflowing with respect for myself, careless and with a sense of impunity. Trapped in the absence of critical thinking, a matter of time was for me to step into the real life of crime.
This prediction became a fact too soon. At the age of fifteen, virile, grader at school and totally transformed the rest of the day, I attended many school fights and a lot of midnight breaking of neighborhood shops and cars of the neighbors who, for some reason, had been added to the black list of our dreadful youth company.
The years passed, I aged nineteen, twenty, then twenty five and after that thirty two. It feels like all these years had passed like a moment. I stopped at thirty two because this is how old I was when the event, that changed my life, happened. I’ll focus on this stage of my life in particular so that my story could be specific and detailed.
The day was Saturday and the challenge of the season was about to happen. The football game between the two metropolitan football grandees the names of which I won’t mention as you probably already know them. My company which was part of the football supporters of one of the teams was determined to go down in history on that day with a total win over the other team’s supporters.
A win on the battlefield, in other words, outside the soccer field with the methods of the street fight. Our arsenal consisted of fists, brass knuckles, chains, knives, metal tubes and other edged weapons. We had been preparing for this clash a long time ago and now we felt more ready than ever.
We all gathered in a dark alley, located in the suburbs of the park next to the stadium, three hours before the beginning of the football game. All of us started to instill the idea of a total victory as the big amount of alcohol, which had drowned in our throats, helped us perceive ourselves as history makers. Then suddenly there was chaos of talking, cursing and angrily nodding heads.
The body of a crowd is an interesting phenomenon. The head is always someone who has leadership skills, ability to repeat and lift like a flag again and again the common cause and the acknowledged past as a brave fighter " someone who has earned the right to lead it. The leader of the, already mentioned raging group with mainly young reps, was I. The thirty-two-year-old Sergey Strashimirov.
“We want a
My nickname was in the lungs and mouths of the others as well, so they left me no choice but to speak. I got on a bench and I looked at them so that each one could see the raging fire in my eyes.
“Listen”, I lifted my voice and surprisingly the audience became silent almost at once. “We are about to face a remarkable clash and all of you feel it, don’t you?” I took their loud shouts as an agreement.
“These stinkers should pay and we are here today as the ones who play the role of the tax collectors of fee greatness. Because we, the ones that are here today, are destined to fight and win the greatness which rightfully belongs to us. If I’m right say “you are right””
“You are right, Terrible”, all of the young men cried out as one.
“Tell me now, to which team are we dedicated to?”
Then all of them started to instill the name of the team we worshiped and I got off the bench which had been turned into a pedestal.
Friends, acquaintances and strangers were greeting me and tapping my shoulder.
I liked such moments and I really did think that I was doing something significant by giving the others a reason to fight for something that would make them feel alive. Then suddenly someone from the back of the crowd shouted:
“They’re coming and they are many.”
The crowd grabbed their weapons and headed towards the enemy’s supporters. Now it will be hard to continue with the description of the fight as it seemed that everything was happening in a slow motion and I’m still incapable of remembering all the facts in the correct order. As in a dream I remember that I was griping a metal tube because it made me feel safe. I started running with all of strength when I saw a boy wearing a scarf with the colors of the enemy.
The boy was barely seventeen years old and he looked as if he was accidentally caught in the throes of the battle. The fear in his eyes gave me courage. I approached and struck him with all my strength on the side of the head. Somewhere around the temple. A gush of dark blood splashed around me. I felt how drops of this thick liquid wet my clothes and face.
The boy had fallen on my feet but I kept on kicking him, with my heavy shoes, all over his body and head. This lasted about a minute.
When I stopped everything around me was strangely silent. Through the fog of fury in my eyes, I could only see some silhouettes of warriors of the football folly who were still standing on their feet. I couldn’t hear anything but a harrowing screaming coming from the depths of my head. Then a cry came which made me come back from the trance I had been in:
“The cops are here. Run!”
Then suddenly my strengths returned to my body and I began to run. And just like once, when I had been a kid, with a preliminary escape plan, planned in my criminal mind, I started running. However, just a moment before I did this, I thought that maybe this time I had gone too far. I didn’t want to but I could clearly hear the noises that the boy had made, noises of a wheezy, deadly wounded animal.
“I need to go somewhere for a long time, far away from this place”, I thought and then started running with all my strength. In about twenty minutes I was back at my accommodation. I grabbed a rucksack from the wardrobe, threw some t-shirts and underwear in it, enough for a couple of days. Then I went to the bathroom to take off my bloody t-shirt and trousers and put them in a plastic bag which I planned to put in a container a few
blocks away from home, on the way to the station.
I clearly remember the long time it took me to wash off the, penetrated into my skin, blood which had been running in the veins of that unlucky boy until a few minutes ago. Moments after I had recovered a little, I went back to the room, put on a pair of jeans and a clean black t-shirt as well as I put all of my savings in my pocket and left forgetting even to lock the door.
These are the facts and I honestly hope that I’m depicting them as best. This awful day ended when I threw the plastic bag in the container and headed to the train station. I bought a ticket for the first possible train to B. and forty minutes later I was on the way to my salvation. When the wheels of the train started to move I felt some kind of relief which lasted no more than 1-2 minutes. The face of that boy and his wheezy noises hadn’t left me. They had gotten on the same train.
I look at my chronometer " six minutes and twenty seven seconds. They passed quickly, right? If you have any more time, please, hear the rest of the story. Isn’t it amazing how such a short story could contain events which have changed the course of a lifetime? There is still time to spend before ten minutes are over. Here is what happened next.
I arrived in B. late in the evening. There I had a friend called Vasil who had invited me to visit him a long time ago. And now was the time to benefit from his hospitality. I called him on the phone while I was still traveling and he was waiting me at the station with a wide smile on his face and little drunk. Because of the last fact he didn’t notice how pale I actually was.
I right away declared that I’d like to stay for a while if he didn’t mind and he answered me with loud happy shouts and assured me that even if I had wanted to stay with him for the rest of my days he wouldn’t have minded, what’s more it would have been just the opposite. His hospitality cheered me up and suddenly I felt like tons of pressure had been removed from my shoulders. Maybe I would once again get away with the troubles I had created.
On the following day all of the media was filled with reports on the previous day’s fight between the fans of the two metropolitan grandees. This was breaking news mainly because one of the boys involved in the fight had passed away. I heard this news while I was at Vasil’s place, lying on the bed in my room with the remote control in my hand. I turned the volume of the TV louder when they showed the picture of the dead football fan. The smiley face of the boy I had seen for the first and last time the day before was looking straight into my eyes.
announcer mentioned the name of the victim and his age; he had just turned
eighteen, she also said the name of his school which he had been going to until
the day before. With a serious tone, the woman announced that the name of the
detainee for the incident was Dimitar Petkov with nickname -
standing there stroked. I didn’t know whether to be happy or worried again. I
I pressed the red button on the left side on the top of the remote control and the screen turned off. I decided that in order not to give myself away I wouldn’t search for any more information about the incident for a few days. At such time even the slightest weakness can be fatal. In the evening I went out with Vasil and drank quite a lot. This mood showed only one thing " Sergey Strashimirov was the same carefree individual and as always he was enjoying life to the maximum.
I existed for another month. I had been hearing some information about the
incident in front of the football stadium from random people.
This line of thought made me be in amity with my conscious. At least during the day. I often had nightmares in which I saw the young boy, with cracked head, looking at me. I couldn’t stand his silence. It would have been better if at least he had cursed me. But he didn’t say a word, just silently staring at me.
One day, the one that would change my life; Vasil was at work so I had some time to waste and a few essential questions that needed answers. For example the question what would I do from now on for a living? This thought came so suddenly that it made me feel depressed. I found some 5 leva in my pocket so I decided to spend them on a film. I was near the cinema so I thought it would be worth it. It didn’t matter what I was going to watch as long as it occupied my imagination for two hours with something different than my inescapable domestic fears.
‘Passion of the Christ’ the name on the poster scared me a little but its frightening effect challenged me to buy the ticket. When I received the piece of paper in my hand it seemed as if all the resistance in me left. I went into the cinema not long after the lights had been turned off. I gropingly found a free chair because there were plenty, wearily sat on it and then forced myself to pay attention to the movie.
I am on the ninth minute of my story right now. Please, be patient just a little more because exactly here comes the denouement. So, have you watched ‘Passion of the Christ’? If you have had the opportunity to watch it then maybe it would be much easier for you to understand me.
Sometime in the middle of the film the Roman soldiers started to beat Jesus with whips that had many metal pieces attached to their ends. Every time the whips touched Jesus’ body they ripped off his flesh. There was so much blood gushing out of his open wounds that most of the viewers of the film couldn’t help show their emotions. They either cried or made noises similar to the moans coming from the movie.
I was standing there with my mouth opened, without making a sound. Just like the boy from my nightmares. The boy whose life I had taken. The blood of Jesus was spattering everywhere in the scene and it felt as if it was wetting my face. Just like in the fight in front of stadium one month ago. It was interesting how while I was watching the film I recognized myself in one of the Roman soldiers. The filthier soldier, the one that was smearing Jesus’ body.
My strength left me and the blood on the screen kept on pouring over me. But I felt that instead of staining me the blood was washing me. And then it happened, the thing I told you about in the beginning of the story. I was born again. I was born again from the moment I realized why this righteous man on the screen with the name Jesus was enduring such suffering. Do you know why? So that his blood could wash off the blame for the blood I had shed.
An hour later the film finished. When I went out of the cinema I was dazed and the world around me with all of its neon lights, the horn noises of the cars and the noise of people rushing to go somewhere looked unreal to me. I swayed for a moment but revived myself almost right away. Then while wondering whether my experience in the cinema had been real a boy obviously around seventeen years old approached and handed me a folded piece of paper. It was a brochure. On its front part was written this:
About The Guilt
There is a cure for the guilt
It is the blood
It is efficient and no other is like it.
It’s not about your or about my blood
It’s about the blood of the Son of God.
It’s been already shed.
It’s seven o’clock in the morning. The sun is bravely peeking through the narrow window. I feel its kind caress all over my body and my heart overflows with joy because the sunlight is kindly touching my senses. How is it possible that all this time I haven’t noticed the beauty of the day and haven’t even enjoyed it for a second? I have taken it for granted. What a fool I was! I breathe in thirstily the stuffy air as if it is a fresh mountain air filled with the aroma of an evergreen pine forest.
I realize that it sounds queerly but believe me I have never felt this free before in my whole life. I can barely make seven steps in one direction in this clink, which will most likely be my home for many years ahead, but as I walk it seems as if I am traveling great distances full of thrilling adventures. No, I am not crazy. It’s not a dreadful effect of the stress from the experience. No. I was just born again.
© 2012 Yavor Kostov
Vidin, Vidin, Bulgaria
AboutI'm from Bulgaria and I'm Christian. I love to write short stories and poems. I have book with short stories published. It's called "Someone at the door". If you have any interest in reading it you c.. more..