The Mountain And The Guide

excerpt the shotguns in their slip covers, awaken from the sleepiness of the road smiling in anticipation at the show of the imminent hunt looking for strong sensations imagining the report of the rifle the bunch of metallic shots as an attribute of their being as an energy of the body not of the weapon the fall of the pray the struggle the agony of the animals they smile from where they stand take care take care how you handle them don't you get any of them cross, they are the mayor's guests, Vigu kept telling me before leaving, do not forget the instructions, you will contact the hunt maestro he was announced he was given instructions as well but tell him again what he is supposed to do, especially to have the prey run precisely in front of the range of their rifle, to bring the bear right into their shot otherwise you are dead both you and the maestro remember they are the mayor's guests and in case you become cloth to wipe their feet on, said Vigu, obsessed as he was with the protocol, I give you Galade, he is not a bad driver he knows his job I used him in jail he is classy but be careful he will be driving on this road for the first time and it is the first time when he meets such highbrow but I have only this Galade the others are nowhere to be found. now the driver panics his insecurity and his confusion have increased but he does not let it show he carries on with his mistake I try to help him I say turn here but he says he has a map and some clues plus he has his pride his error gets bigger the road is blocked no way back I let him handle the situation he is on a forest road which soon turns out to be a catastrophe we are about to fall in a precipice he says we'd better get back yes I agree if you still can if this is still possible but it seems to me you this is another nail in your coffin old Galade it is strange how someone like him can get lost in such a way he stops the car in a rut he curses now the important persons from the back seat of the car protest they are utterly offended, teach the boor a lesson he orders me but Galade keeps cursing under his breath you fucked-up steering wheel he puts the engine into gear and we hear a noise metallic bones get broken the engine goes quiet you blew it Galade shouts the skinny guy taking the shotgun out of the cover and letting two cartridges slip into the barrel we are in trouble stammers Galade all white giving up his fight with the engine and with any remaining hope wait maybe he manages to fix it I say he gets off the car he opens up the bonnet choking smoke rises up it is burned it is broken something inside the car I would like to shoot the boor's brain off says the skinny guy I let him try to concoct something but I know it is in vain spare parts are necessary everybody lost their patience they talk to me in annoyed voices I calm them down when I suggest several alternatives. Translated by Fabiola Popa

by Vasile Andru (b. 1942)