prose

Ksenija Kušec: Matrix

Ksenija Kušec does not like banks or corporations. Actually, she does not like the rules that are over a man, the rules in whom feelings are excluded, the impartiality of those rules. Well, Ksenija Kušec is anything but impartial, at least in her stories and at least for now.
She wrote Tales from the Solar System that are 100% true, collection of short stories Tell me everything, which are mostly stories about the wicked husbands and how to treat them, and novel Janko and weather-machine.
She writes two novels at the same time and in the meantime does not write.



M a t r i x

 

Today is the day. What should I wear? High heels? Sure, it’s warm outside; I’ll put on peep toes. Jeans are good; they go with everything. White T-shirt, black jacket, to match the shoes. I wanna look like Trinity. And then my belt… and two pieces. One piece in each jacket pocket, one in each jeans pocket… A holster over the T-shirt, under the jacket. And the bag. You bet I’m packing.

Bank first. I got number 246; it’ll be a wait. I could read a book while I’m in here. I’m checking all the pieces, making sure they’re ready, wondering which to use first.

This is taking time. I’ve been waiting for five years and now there are thirty people in front of me, each and every one of them with a sad story, just like me. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten myself into this in the first place. But the place was too big after Mom died, what was I gonna do with all that space? I just wanted a smaller apartment. Nothing unusual, right?

The list of laws they used to fuck me over is as long as my arm. First there was the nationalization, then the matter of inheritance and ownership. I signed and signed and signed documents. They kept shoving papers in my face to sign. This proves you agree to be represented by us in court. Who wouldn’t sign that? This proves you agree for us to take over your life. OK, not exactly, but it turned out that way.

So, where did it all go wrong? One of the papers to sign was a credit application to refinance something I never needed to refinance. Because the apartment belonged to my Mom, it had been paid in full a long time ago – I still remember those lines and those documents. My Mom was already old and fragile, we took a fishing stool wherever we went, as she couldn’t stand in line to sign, agree and consent. The bank says Mom had agreed to a credit, and now they want me to pay them in cash? They have an explanation, of course, but who understands their language? Endless legal babble until you grow tired of it and just sign. It’s just a formality, they say.

Ever since I’ve realized it was all in vain, I keep filing applications and requests to annul all the previous ones, while the bank keeps refusing. They never fail to find just the precedent to benefit them, not me.

It was supposed to be simple: sell the large place, buy a smaller one. I just wanted a smaller apartment.

The line has moved; number 239 is a crying woman. They are refusing to give her an advance on her social security check; she’s in the red and interests keep eating up everything she makes. The teller says they are powerless. It’s only the fifth, the woman says; how am I going to pay the electricity bill? What am I going to eat for the rest of the month? The teller calls the guards and one shows up, packing just one piece – a lot less than me – grabs the woman and escorts her to the door. Number 240, a veteran. He’s packing, too; I can see the bumps under his clothes. This should be fun. The teller is telling no again. I wonder what it’s like to say no for living. Maybe it’s well paid, that would make it OK. Still, nothing is paid enough on a day you get a client like me. It certainly won’t be paid enough today.

I’m eavesdropping; can’t stop. Unbelievable. The vet owned two hundred to o a man, couldn’t pay in time, got sued. The court clerk made a typo and two hundred turned into twenty thousand. An omitted comma – one comma! – and the vet owns twenty thousand. He’s yelling. Banging his fist on the teller’s counter. How can you pretend that mistake wasn’t a mistake, how am I gonna come up with that kind of money, I do not owe that much; I owe twenty times less! I’ll kill you all! Take us to court, then. I can’t take you to court, that would cost me and I can’t afford it! I’m a veteran, I lost my leg defending this country, I get five thousand a month and it all ends up in your hands! I’m waiting for the mayhem, but the teller is calling the guards again and the same guy shows up again. The vet sees him coming, shakes his head in dismay, leaves. He’s not as mad as I am. Yet. One comma?

I’ve been doing this dance for five years: if the agency bought the apartment from me, how come I never saw any money? Where is the proof they bought it? How could this happen? And why? Take us to court, they keep saying; knowing it would take me a million documents to do so.  Why am I paying taxes for an apartment I supposedly don’t own? Those were the terms of the agreement, they say; and you signed it. Take us to court.

I can’t wait for my number to show up on the screen. I’m not taking my eyes off it, watching numbers appear and disappear accompanied by an annoying beeping sound. I’m sure that’s a planned move on their part; they could have chosen a lovelier sound, but no, they went with this devil’s squeal. To make us crazy. Well, they succeeded. The five-year dance ends today.

It’s my turn and I ask my questions. I have all the documents, I say. Signed and stamped. Official. The teller glances through, says they won’t do. Why not?, I ask with a kind smile. Because there is no registry number on them, and because I wasn’t supposed to file those here, and besides, the bank has dealt with cases like mine in the past and the petitioner never wins. It is at the bank’s discretion to decide if I get the money or not. Any money. Oh, is that so; I say. Well, in that case, give me back my documents and I’ll go file them where I’m supposed to. Do it the right way. Oh, I’ve already stamped them as invalid, she says. She would need to call her superior to issue new ones. So call him, I say. The bitch picks up the phone and whispers some bullshit into the receiver. I’m gonna lose the documents and get thrown out of here, I can tell. But, no, her superior shows up, after all; a loser in a cheap suit. How may I be of assistance, he asks. I explain everything one more time, and, naturally, he says no to everything. “Court-signed documents cannot be filed and unfiled just like that”, he says. I’ve filed it, it’s done. We’ll take care of everything now, he says, and I can’t believe my ears. Trust us, he says.

I’ve lost and I know it. There is no way I can get duplicates of every single paper the teller has just taken from me, there’s no way I can get back my apartment, my money, my life. I’m stuck. It’s a good thing the superior asshole is right here in front of me. I put on my sunglasses and reach for the guns in the holsters under my armpits. The teller and the asshole get a full magazine each. It feels good. I grab my documents, noticing the guards rushing toward me. There’s four of them, all wearing bulletproof vests. I run, bounce off the walls, escape them defying the laws of physics. I reach for the grenades in my jacket pockets. Pins out, and it’s done. The line is not moving, nobody’s running away, people are thrilled with the show, applauding. No one is getting hurt but the guys who need some hurting. Men in black are rushing down the stairs… but they are not men, after all. Not human. Bankers. I have four magazines left, just enough for them. And then silence. The dust is settling, the line is frantic with adrenaline, almost joy. People are hugging and cheering, grabbing their documents and money from behind the counter. Good for them. I’ve got what’s mine and now it’s time to leave.

I dust off my jacket, check my hair, check the nail polish winking from the peep-toes. I’m happy to see it’s still perfect, not a dent in it. I check my guns; they’re all still here, good. I load them again; next stop – lawyers. The ones that represent the agency that now owns my apartment. I won’t even bother asking questions or standing in line, I’ve heard all their smug lies. I’ll just walk in, kill everything in sight, walk out. See if they send me off with a sneer like the last time.

And then the land-registry people get it. They let the lawyers – who by then will be dead – get away with their scam. When I asked them how they could do it, they said it was my mistake not to check the ownership status sooner. These things need to be checked several times a year, they said; the law firm obeyed the rules to the letter. It’ll feel extra good to spill their blood on their disgusting books. Shred the paper into bloody confetti. And sign my name on the dotted line where it says Owner. To the letter, gentlemen.

Last stop, the morgue. They misplaced the death certificate just long enough to allow all those thieves to forge my mother’s signature, make it look like she was still alive and giving them all the power.

 

When I’m done, I’ll go have a cup of coffee with Mirjana, haven’t seen her in a while. It’s not even ten yet, I’ll make it. We’ll chat about stuff, she’ll ask me what’s new, and I’ll say I finally got my apartment back. I’ve got all the blood papers in my bag.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' - uži izbor

Nakon šireg izbora slijedi uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade prozne autore. Pročitajte tko su sedmero odabranih.

proza

Hana Kunić: Vidjela sam to

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR

Hana Kunić (Varaždin, 1994.) završila je varaždinsku Prvu gimnaziju nakon koje upisuje studij Glume i lutkarstva na Akademiji za umjetnost i kulturu u Osijeku, gdje je magistrirala 2017. godine. Kao Erasmus+ studentica studirala je Glumu i na Faculty of Theatre and Television u Cluj-Napoci u Rumunjskoj. Glumica je pretežno na kazališnim (HNK Varaždin, Kazalište Mala scena Zagreb, Umjetnička organizacija VRUM, Kazalište Lutonjica Toporko), a povremeno i na filmskim i radijskim projektima. Kao dramska pedagoginja djeluje u Kazališnom studiju mladih varaždinskog HNK i u romskom naselju Kuršanec u sklopu projekta Studija Pangolin. Pisanjem se bavi od osnovne škole – sudjelovala je na državnim natjecanjima LiDraNo (2010. i 2012.), izdala je zbirku poezije „Rika“ (2018.), njena prva drama „Plavo i veliko“ izvedena je na Radiju Sova (2019.), a njen prvi dječji dramski tekst „Ah, ta lektira, ne da mi mira“ postavljen je na scenu lutkarskog Kazališta Lutonjica Toporko (2021.). Suosnivačica je Umjetničke organizacije Favela. Živi u Zagrebu, puno se sunča i alergična je na banalnost.

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Saša Vengust: Loša kob

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR

Saša Vengust (Zagreb, 1988.) završio je školovanje kao maturant II. opće gimnazije. Nakon toga je naizmjence malo radio u videoteci, malo brljao na Filozofskom fakultetu po studijima filozofije, sociologije i komparativne književnosti. U naglom i iznenadnom preokretu, zaposlio se u Hladnjači i veletržnici Zagreb kao komercijalist u veleprodaji voća i povrća. Trenutačno traži posao, preuređuje kuću, savladava 3D printanje, boja minijature, uveseljava suprugu i ostale ukućane sviranjem električne gitare te redovito ide na pub kvizove da se malo makne iz kuće.

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Sheila Heti: Majčinstvo

Sheila Heti (1976.) jedna je od najistaknutijih kanadskih autorica svoje generacije. Studirala je dramsko pisanje, povijest umjetnosti i filozofiju. Piše romane, kratke priče, dramske tekstove i knjige za djecu. U brojnim utjecajnim medijima objavljuje književne kritike i intervjue s piscima i umjetnicima. Bestseleri How Should a Person Be? i Women in Clothes priskrbili su joj status književne zvijezde. New York Times uvrstio ju je na popis najutjecajnijih svjetskih književnica koje će odrediti način pisanja i čitanja knjiga u 21. stoljeću, a roman Majčinstvo našao se na njihovoj ljestvici najboljih knjiga 2018. godine. Hvalospjevima su se pridružili i časopisi New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, Chicago Tribune, Vulture, Financial Times i mnogih drugi koji su je proglasili knjigom godine. Majčinstvo je tako ubrzo nakon objavljivanja postao kultni roman. Sheila Heti živi u Torontu, a njezina su djela prevedena na više od dvadeset jezika.

poezija

Selma Asotić: Izbor iz poezije

Selma Asotić je pjesnikinja. Završila je magistarski studij iz poezije na sveučilištu Boston University 2019. godine. Dobitnica je stipendije Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship i druge nagrade na književnom natječaju Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize. Nominirana je za nagradu Puschcart za pjesmu ''Nana'', a 2021. uvrštena je među polufinaliste/kinje nagrade 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. Pjesme i eseje na engleskom i bhsc jeziku objavljivala je u domaćim i međunarodnim književnim časopisima.

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Ines Kosturin: Izbor iz poezije

Ines Kosturin (1990., Zagreb) rodom je iz Petrinje, gdje pohađa osnovnu i srednju školu (smjer opća gimnazija). Nakon toga u istom gradu upisuje Učiteljski fakultet, gdje je i diplomirala 2015. godine te stekla zvanje magistre primarnog obrazovanja. Pisanjem se bavi od mladosti, a 2014. izdaje svoju prvu samostalnu zbirku poezije, ''Papirno more''. Krajem 2020. izdaje drugu samostalnu zbirku poezije, ''Herbarij''. Pjesme objavljuje kako u domaćim, tako i u internacionalnim (regionalno i šire) zbornicima i časopisima. Na međunarodnom natječaju Concorso internazionale di poesia e teatro Castello di Duino 2018. osvaja treću nagradu. Poeziju uglavnom piše na hrvatskom i engleskom jeziku.

proza

Luka Ivković: Sat

Luka Ivković (1999., Šibenik) je student agroekologije na Agronomskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Do sada je objavljivao u časopisu Kvaka, Kritična masa, Strane, ušao u širi izbor za Prozak 2018., uvršten u zbornik Rukopisi 43.

poezija

Bojana Guberac: Izbor iz poezije

Bojana Guberac (1991., Vukovar) odrasla je na Sušaku u Rijeci, a trenutno živi u Zagrebu. U svijet novinarstva ulazi kao kolumnistica za Kvarner News, a radijske korake započinje na Radio Sovi. Radila je kao novinarka na Radio Rijeci, u Novom listu, na Kanalu Ri te Ri portalu. Trenutno radi kao slobodna novinarka te piše za portale Lupiga, CroL te Žene i mediji. Piše pjesme od osnovne škole, ali o poeziji ozbiljnije promišlja od 2014. godine kada je pohađala radionice poezije CeKaPe-a s Julijanom Plenčom i Andreom Žicom Paskučijem pod mentorstvom pjesnikinje Kristine Posilović. 2015. godine imala je prvu samostalnu izložbu poezije o kojoj Posilović piše: ''Primarni zadatak vizualne poezije jest da poeziju učini vidljivom, tj. da probudi kod primatelja svijest o jeziku kao materiji koja se može oblikovati. Stoga Guberac pred primatelje postavlja zahtjevan zadatak, a taj je da pokušaju pjesmu obuhvatiti sa svih strana u prostoru, da ju pokušaju doživjeti kao objekt. Mada pjesnički tekst u ovom slučaju primamo vizualno, materijal te poezije je dalje jezik.'' Njezine pjesme objavljivane su u časopisima, a ove godine njezina je poezija predstavljena na Vrisku – riječkom festivalu autora i sajmu knjiga.

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Iva Sopka: Plišane lisice

Iva Sopka (1987., Vrbas) objavila je više kratkih priča od kojih su najznačajnije objavljene u izboru za književnu nagradu Večernjeg lista “Ranko Marinković” 2011. godine, Zarezovog i Algoritmovog književnog natječaja Prozak 2015. godine, nagrade “Sedmica & Kritična Masa” 2016., 2017. i 2019. godine, natječaja za kratku priču Gradske knjižnice Samobor 2016. godine te natječaja za kratku priču 2016. godine Broda knjižare – broda kulture. Osvojila je drugo mjesto na KSET-ovom natječaju za kratku priču 2015. godine, a kratka priča joj je odabrana među najboljima povodom Mjeseca hrvatske knjige u izboru za književni natječaj KRONOmetaFORA 2019. godine. Kao dopisni član je pohađala radionicu kritičkog čitanja i kreativnog pisanja "Pisaće mašine" pod vodstvom Mime Juračak i Natalije Miletić. Dobitnica je posebnog priznanja 2019. godine žirija nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" za 3. uvrštenje u uži izbor.

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Ivana Caktaš: Život u roku

Ivana Caktaš (1994., Split) diplomirala je hrvatski jezik i književnost 2018. godine s temom „Semantika čudovišnog tijela u spekulativnoj fikciji“. Tijekom studiranja je volontirala u Književnoj udruzi Ludens, gdje je sudjelovala u različitim jezikoslovnim i književnim događajima. Odradila je stručno osposobljavanje u osnovnoj školi i trenutno povremeno radi kao zamjena. U Splitu pohađa Školu za crtanje i slikanje pod vodstvom akademskih slikara Marina Baučića i Ivana Svaguše. U slobodno vrijeme piše, crta, slika i volontira.

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Marija Skočibušić: Izbor iz poezije

Marija Skočibušić rođena je 2003. godine u Karlovcu gdje trenutno i pohađa gimnaziju. Sudjeluje na srednjoškolskim literarnim natječajima, a njezina poezija uvrštena je u zbornike Poezitiva i Rukopisi 42. Također je objavljena u časopisima Poezija i Libartes, na internetskom portalu Strane te blogu Pjesnikinja petkom. Sudjelovala je na književnoj tribini Učitavanje u Booksi, a svoju je poeziju čitala na osmom izdanju festivala Stih u regiji.

proza

Philippe Lançon: Zakrpan

Philippe Lançon (1963.) novinar je, pisac i književni kritičar. Piše za francuske novine Libération i satirički časopis Charlie Hebdo. Preživio je napad na redakciju časopisa te 2018. objavio knjigu Zakrpan za koju je dobio niz nagrada, među kojima se ističu Nagrada za najbolju knjigu časopisa Lire 2018., Nagrada Femina, Nagrada Roger-Caillois, posebno priznanje žirija Nagrade Renaudot. Knjiga je prevedena na brojne jezike te od čitatelja i kritike hvaljena kao univerzalno remek-djelo, knjiga koja se svojom humanošću opire svakom nasilju i barbarizmu.

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