Literature is filled with requests for cigarettes, but I doubt there are many that resemble the one found in Ondrej Štefánik’s “To Sacrifice Yourself For Someone Else”:
“Do you have a smoke?” I hear a squeaky voice from somewhere. It’s not the voice in my head. I shiver. I look around. Not a soul.
“So? Can you spare one?” It’s the squeaky voice again. It sounds like the winter wind pressing against the windows. In a state of shock, I look at the snowman.
“I could use a fucking cigarette. I watch the smokers all day, they look so peaceful,” the voice continues. This is impossible. It’s him. The snowman.
“Why don’t you answer? You don’t talk to white people? You Nazi!” the snowman yells.
This week’s Saturday European Fiction was translated from the Slovak by Luba Spear-Piackova and Maria Modrovich. There will be another Štefánik story forthcoming in B O D Y and an interview with the author in Literalab very shortly.
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