by Zoltán Komor
Spell of the Game
I witness a pervert insulting a young girl on the bus. Opening his long, black trench coat, he shows the girl the Rubik’s Cube between his hairy legs.
“Solve it, you little bitch!” he hisses at her. The girl takes it as a challenge, and begins to turn the sides of the magic cube. As the colors roll, the guy moans in pleasure. After a few minutes, he climaxes, and tries to button up his coat. But the girl is so lost in the game, she smacks on the pervert’s hand, and tears open his coat again. The other travelers get closer, giving advice to the girl on how to solve the puzzle. Then they join the game; taking turns they roll the sides. As more and more hands begin to touch him, the pervert begins to feel quite awkward. He tells the travelers that he wants to get off at the next stop, but no one’s paying attention to him. As he tries to break through the passengers, they grab and throw him to the ground. A few people hold down his arms and legs, and the game continues.
“God damn it, I almost got it!” yells a middle aged woman, ripping out the toy from between the guy’s legs in anger.
Since then, the cube travels from hand to hand. The rule is that everyone can roll it five times, then he or she must pass it to another gamer. The bus driver almost solved it, but then a dumb teenage boy messed up all the colors. Later, the young girl even handed the toy to the pervert, hoping maybe he’ll know how to finish the game, but he didn’t take it, the guy just lay there, bleeding, begging for an ambulance. He was blocking our concentration, so we threw him out at the next stop. Then we went back to the game.
In the morning, a salesman greets me at the door. He’s not willing to leave until I watch what his vacuum cleaner is capable of. Eventually, I let him in to do his work. He carries a giant suitcase; I assume the machine is inside. But when he opens the case, a wounded woman crawls out from it. Her head is bleeding; the left arm hangs motionless beside her injured body. She looks like someone who got hit by a car.
“Please, call an ambulance!” the woman whimpers, but the salesman kicks her in the ankle.
“It’s the newest model, you’ll see what it’s capable of, watch! Come on, clean!” What could the woman do? She begins to crawl on the floor, moaning painfully as the broken bones crack inside her body, and puts every shag pile she finds into her mouth. She chokes and coughs, while trying to swallow them. Blood is dripping onto my carpet.
“That’s enough, I’m calling the police!” I say.
“There’s no need for it, if you don’t like the product, then I’ll just leave!” he stutters, grabbing the woman by her legs, dragging her out from the house. Outside stands his car its front is damaged. I know there’s only one way now to save the woman.
“Wait, I’ll buy!” I yell, and the salesman begins to smile. As I give him the money, I curse myself for falling for the good old “hit a woman, and sell her as a vacuum cleaner” trick. The car drives away, and I call the ambulance. As they put the injured woman on a stretcher, the ambulance man asks if I got a warranty card. When I say no, they shake their heads and leave.
Returning to my house, I watch the blood stains on the carpet. How will I clean all this mess up? Soon, someone rings my door. It’s the salesman again, this time offering a stain-remover. As I give him the money, I curse myself for falling for the good old “hit a woman, sell her as vacuum cleaner, who will mess up the carpet, so we can sell our stain-remover” trick.
Slaves in a Closet
The girl discovers that the boy she moved in with is secretly a slaveholder. While hovering, she finds a coffee plantation under the bed. And when she wants to iron the sheets, she discovers thin, beaten Negros in the closet. She realizes this is something she must discuss with her boyfriend.
Soon, her lover arrives home – riding a muscular thoroughbred, a whip sways back and forth on his side.
They sit at the kitchen table to drink their coffee, and the girl tells her boyfriend about her discovery. She also says, that she can’t commit her heart to a slaveholder; her parents raised her as a liberal. The boy listens for a while, then he asks: “But the coffee’s good, isn’t it?”
The girl wants to say something, but she can’t deny that.
“Maybe they would do the cleaning and the washing too, if I would teach them.” adds the boy. The girl doesn’t say a word. She just drinks her coffee. She stays mute for the next couple of days. She shuts her ears at nights, when her boyfriend crawls out from the bed, and disappears in the closet. But still, she can hear the crying, and the cracking sound of the whip.
In the morning, she pours fresh beans into the coffee-grinder. It must be her imagination, but she sees the coffee beans as tiny crying Negro babies. Her eyes glimmer with tears, when she turns the machine on. Then she begins to cry, as the sound of bone cracking fills the room.
Zoltán Komor is 27 years old and from Hungary. He writes surreal short stories and which have been published in several literary magazines (Caliban Online, Drabblecast, The Phantom Drift, Gone Lawn, etc.). His first English book, titled Flamingos in the Ashtray: 25 Bizarro Short Stories, was just released by Burning Bulb Press.