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The Leopards Who Have Run With Me
Reading a page of a book out of thousands and millions of pages is, for us, like looking through a window on brighter side of the world that is constantly calling us, tempting us to set on a journey with the frigate of a book for more and more adventures...
A Pool Replete with Nightmares
On his first day of arrival in his hometown after twenty years, Morteza was arrested for having
killed a swan (he had been seen carrying a dead swan by its legs, the long neck of the swan hanging and its beak leaving a track on the whiteness of the snow).
All over the way to the police station was frozen (and sometimes the ice broke and filled the boots of the policemen with water); none of the policemen (there were only two) used handcuffs on Morteza.
The police courtyard reminded of prison yards although it did not smell like a prison. An old woman with crimson gums and no teeth in her mouth was shouting: Where are you? Mash Ismail?
Morteza stopped, to take a deep long glance at the old woman. But one of the policemen said: “go on, she’s mad.”
“Is Mash Ismail alive, by the way?” asked the other policeman.
“If Mash Ismail was alive. . .! If Mash Ismail . . .” replied the old woman.
Morteza sought for a stick of cigarette in his long coat’s pocket, lit it in the corridor of the police station and sat on a wooden bench. There the policemen put a handcuff on him and now he had to move both hands up to his smoke white mustache to pick the cigarette up that was resting in between his lips. In the meantime he finished his cigarette, the snow was falling again and the sergeant had gone to staircase to bring in the guard officer under a cloth sky (he was holding an umbrella for him). The lieutenant sheered off from the umbrella and took off his hat. The snowflakes that were sitting on snow – on his hair – were melting.
“The woman’s here again?” he asked.
The sergeant replied, “She’s gone to the teahouse and said she’d reveal her ears to men for 10 tomans.”
“Did she really do this?” he asked while taking the stairs up.
“Yes sir,” said the sergeant climbing up behind him.
The lieutenant said: “Release her.”
The lieutenant was tall with long legs and the sergeant was almost running behind him. In the police station hall, the lieutenant said: “Now what’s the snow case?”
“There, sir,” said the sergeant.
The lieutenant stood up looking for the snow corpse, “Where?”
The sergeant pointed out to Morteza sitting on the bench and commanded: “Stand up!”
Staring at the heating set, Morteza thought to himself that a heater with no flames is not even worth God’s curse.
The lieutenant stepped in the room and left his hat on the desk, and tidied up his hair while standing in the frame of the window facing the pool. The pool was far away and looked like a dark bridge in the window with no bird moving to and fro in there.
The Leopards Who Have Run With Me | Page 14
Author: Bijan Najdi (1941 - 1997)
Publisher: Nashr-e Markaz
Release Date: 2011; 14th edition
Category: Short story collection
Id : 140607