Translated from Macedonian: Elizabeta Bakovska
Drops of sweat run down her face. Large, round, like peas they drip on her eyes. Her eyesight is blurred. Her steps are heavy. She feels an awful burden on her back, as if he carries a sack that is too heavy. She can barely breathe. There is nobody on the street. Who would be there in such hot weather. Her whole body is sticky. She has never felt so hot. The air is scarce and humid, at times she feels like suffocating. At one moment her clothes feel unbearable and she feels like stripping and jumping in some water. The kiosks are closed, she cannot even buy some drinking water. She cannot remember which day it is, why are there no people? All of a sudden, she enters the ZOO, but there it becomes even more unbearable. An even hotter wave hits her from the crowd moving towards her. At a moment she realizes that everybody goes to the exit and she is the only one heading inside. A stench of still water starts to tickle her nostrils. That is where the heat most probably comes from. A million small flies stick on her sweaty face. She tries to stop them with her hand, but they start to stick on her hands as well. She can hear ducks from somewhere. Most probably they are in the pond. Mothers with children push her. It becomes more and more unbearable. As she tries to push her way through the crowd, she sees a decaying building with a sign: “No entry. The venue is being renovated.” The building seems as the only salvation. She enters. It is cool. Apart from the fresh mortar smell, the air if clean. A cold wave passes down her body and she shivers. It is quiet. There is nobody here, not even the workmen who have recently been there, according to the fresh mortar smell. In one corner of the building she sees a cage with a tiger lying in. When he sees her, the tiger starts to roar. A smell of fresh meat spreads from the cage. Of blood. Her feeling of uneasiness returns. It is too cold, the smell of blood becomes stronger and stronger. The tiger continues to roar, he can break the temporary cage at any moment and tear her apart. She starts to run along a corridor. As she runs, pieces of mortar fall on her head. At the end of the corridor she comes across another age with a lion in. When he sees her, he starts to roar too, and the tiger who has gone quiet when she moved from his vicinity starts to roar again. The corridor leads to nowhere, instead of a wall it ends with glass from which one sees a cage with predator birds. Brigita returns and after passing the tiger she follows another corridor which is on the other side of the building. While she moves, she notices a new cage down the corridor. Without looking inside she continues until the end of the corridor which also ends with glass through which one can see the cage with predator birds. The building is a real labyrinth, she thinks. She returns back to the exit and before leaving she looks at the cage she has just passed. The cage is dark. At first it seems empty, and then she notices that there is something cowering in the corner. As she approaches the cage that thing starts to look bigger and bigger. She comes so close to the bars that she shivers with the thought of what can happen to her. The thing raises a bit and she recognizes him. He body crouches with fear. She starts to panic and she is completely paralyzed. It is him. The one in front of whom the eyes open in horror and fear. The one that makes your body shiver so hard that you think you will never set free again. She is not in a ZOO, she is in prison. He lies in his cell. She comes even closer although she can feel her heart pounding in her feet. He looks straight in her eyes. Their bodies are so close to each other for the first time. Only the metal bars separating them. He looks at her atrociously. The smell of blood that she has felt until a while ago is here again, except that it is not the blood of an animal, but her own. She knows that smell. She hopes that he too would not start to roar. No, he does not roar, but he can tear her apart at any moment. He has the eyes of a wounded animal that can attack to defend itself at any moment. She shivers from those eyes. He is naked down to his waist. He has a tattoo on his right arm. For a moment, his muscular body looks like St. Sebastian’s body pierced with arrows, twisted in pain, but emitting dignity, it is the only male body that takes Brigita’s breath away. No, he is not St. Sebastian. She tries to erase this thought from her head. As she fights with herself to push those thoughts away, he runs and hits the cage. The bars tremble. He returns and repeats the same. The cage still does not open. He remains encaged. After she is convinced that he cannot come out, she approaches the cage. Free from the thought that he could not do anything to her, she leans against the bars, tired. As she tried to save some time to think what she could do, he grabs her by her neck and starts to strangle her. As he does, his face cramps and Brigita notices a scar above his right eye. With every new squeeze of her neck his face cramps more and more. The veins on his arms start to protrude, the scar on his cramped face starts to look like a medusa. As he strangles her, his lower lip is more and more pressed against his upper lip, his eyes are half closed, they look like he is trying to see something in the distance, his scar looks more and more like a medusa. Brigita starts to gasp for air. She tries to pull away his hands from her neck, but she cannot. She is not that strong. After several unsuccessful tries her body starts to give up. Now she has fully surrenders. Everything that she can see through her teary eyes is the medusa which becomes bigger with every passing second. The medusa comes dangerously close to her face, it can swallow her at any moment. The medusa is no longer a medusa. Now it is a big mouth in which she sinks. Brigita gasps for air. Just as she starts to surrender to death, when she can no longer feel air, he releases his fingers from her neck just enough for her to take air, and then pushes her down and shoves his penis into her mouth. The air is gone again. She does not even have the strength to bite him. This time is really finished. She feels rubbing in her throat. Her mouth is dry. She tries to open her mouth to take some air, but she cannot do that. He is inside her more and more. The only thing that she can see in front of her is a black cloud. It must be death, she thinks and she fully surrenders to the darkness. He is still inside her.
Brigita opens her eyes and with her mouth wide open she starts to breathe in air. It is still dark, death still hangs above her. She starts to breathe in again with her mouth wide open. The air cuts through her chest. She feels her body filling with air, a bit stale, but air nevertheless. The dark cloud that has enveloped her starts to clear and Brigita starts to recognize the things around her. The double bed that she sleeps on, the blue cover that she has bought at Ikea together with Tomas, the nightstand with the lap that she has been given by a colleague for her birthday… She is in her room. In her apartment. It is just a dream. She starts to touch her bed, her pillow, her cover, just to see that it is a dream. Then she starts to touch her body to see that it is all there, that she does not miss a single part of it. First she started from her neck staying there the longest. She caressed it to convince herself in her own presence. Then she moved her hands to her breasts that hung on two separate sides, then to her naval, being scared to lower her hand further, to the emptiness that has made her scared since she was a child, and in the end she found the courage to start touching her vagina. As she touched herself she felt her underwear was wet. She rubbed her fingers and she felt the stickiness that she had not felt for a long time. Her body shook with this knowledge. She had felt pleasure in her dream.