Aleksander Beciri lives in The Netherlands. He is a civil engineer, project-coordinator, author and translator. He translates from Italian to Dutch and vice versa. For many years he was involved in Dutch-Italian technical translations (manuals/guides industrial machines). Since 2012 he has been an adviser for Italian-Dutch technical translations. He contributed in the translating/editing of ‘Kruis van Vergetelheid’s (Cross of Oblivion) by Flutura Açka. (2014) and translated from Dutch to Albanian ‘Aan de Rand van de Wereld: Michel Houellebecq ‘ (‘On the Verge of the World: Michel Houellebecq’ a polygraphy on the French writer by the Dutch author and translator Martin de Haan (2015). Aleksander Beciri is also the author of a collection of poetry ‘Faje Njeriu’ (‘Human fault’) published in 2008.
By Aleksander Beciri
I had been chained all day long to the office chair, focused on the laptop screen until I got a square head – as though I had been busy saving the world. The sound of a sudden shower driven by the wind, beating against the window woke me up. The falling darkness reminded me of the lateness of the evening. ”Go home” they ordered me. ”Tomorrow is another day. The work doesn’t go anywhere. The daily monotony possesses enough time to kill you”. ”All right, all right, I know”. My obedience wasn’t really hard to obtain.
This wasn’t going to be a day like the others. I had fallen off my bike, my scratched right leg was hurting and now at the end of the day I was faced by this poor creature right in front of my eyes, begging for mercy.
”Who the hell are you?” I said.
”I come from the Animal Farm. I’m a fugitive. I need a place to stay. Some food and a bit of affection would mean a great deal to me. It would ease my pain” the poor creature said.
This simply couldn’t be true. Last night my brain had been tormented by a weird dream where this old guy from the afterlife calling himself George was narrating about an Animal Farm where pets had become beasts. A blood reign had arisen and safety had been erased from all vocabularies. Crazy writers, they create their own realities. Their words are not to be trusted.
Anyway there he was, one of the farm’s inhabitants. ”What shall I do, what shall I do?”I asked myself in a quandary. Years ago in my grandfather’s farm we had those two German shepherds. They had their own holy duty of protecting the herd. Those two four-legged living creatures left no room for misunderstanding. They did the job perfectly, but nobody was allowed to approach them. The baring of their teeth would warn you unambiguously. So forget it, no pets in the house! Maybe there is something to be done about the strange human desire to have a pet.
”No! -my reaction was firm, my forefinger straightened. ”You stay here!”. Having made the decision to keep going and leave him I walked away, one hand dragging my bike, one foot temporarily crippled. His crying voice though kept shadowing me. ”What the…okay, just for one night”. I placed him in the basket of my bike and pedaled away home.
He was allowed to stay for one night. I gave him a bath, he ate and one night became one week. In a peculiar way I became attached to him. That was until last Sunday evening. He jumped about wanting to play and I responded willingly. I held a toy bone firmly in my hand to tease him a bit. At first his reactions were playful but then his mouth approached my hand. Not suspecting anything I saw myself as a member of the pack. Naively that’s what I hoped.
All of a sudden, without any signal or valid reason the atmosphere changed to that of a slaughterhouse. Four sharp teeth of his drilled through my right hand as though it was made of butter. Streaming blood smudged the white carpet. Instead of kicking him out as a normal human being would do in such a case I froze. The red veins in his eyeballs were near to bursting. Maybe I thought, holding my wounded hand with the other, that the terrible madness of rabies had got into him and damaged him to his very soul.
”Look at you and the horrible beast you have become! I said. ”How could anyone in his sane mind call you his friend now?”.
What’s over there?
By Aleksander Beciri
Life is a cigarette,
Love is the smoke –
Up rolling whirlpool,
To the clouds above.
Life is falling rain,
Love is the thunder –
Some broken hearts,
Below down under.
Love and life illusion
A kind of falling star –
A human confusion.
* “Transformed” by Aleksander Beciri is a well built story. Its brevity does it no harm. The reader is quickly transported from the mundane restrictions and limitations of a day in the office to a face to face encounter between the escapee from its drudgery and a miserable wretch of a dog which suggests to the author that it is out of a bad dream he had the night before.
Notwithstanding that he takes the homeless creature home in the basket of his bike only to have his kindness rewarded by being bitten by a beast. A memorable short piece of writing with its own easy narrative style and dramatic denouement.