The Edge of the World (excerpt)

Excerpt from the book “The Edge of the World” by Mitko Madzunkov.


I have learned everything from you.

If you had an eye looking up, I would pull it out. If you had an ear with a golden earring on, I would cut it off. If you had a finger with a ring on, I would chop it off, as well. And you would lose your dick if it had not complied.

If you had a store – I would rob it. If you had a carpet – I would take it home. If your daughter was an honest girl – I would rape her. If you were right – I would prove you wrong. If you were smart – I would prove you nuts. If you looked for honor – you would find embarrassment.

Because there is no place in this world for both of us.

I have learned everything from you.

For the embarrassment I suffered from, I would have you embarrassed as much as 100 times more. If lice sucked my blood, I would suck you. If you saw me in shitty pants – I would shit on your head. If I wasn’t good at school – I would be your teacher. If you owned a furnace – I would own a factory. If you had a donkey – I would have a herd. I will be sitting at your dining table every night, disparaging you, for you to realize there is no place for both of us.

I have learned everything from you.

As if my mind is being restrained by a plow. From all that knowledge, it had turned out it was enough to be silent, it was important to nod. There couldn’t be a victory without having a healthy stomach; those who can’t take a bottle of moonshine, those who get palpitations from coffee, those who get burning pain in their asses from spicy foods – there is no place in this world for them. For every general – a thousand educated people, let them find the proper solution for everything, and I would place the gearwheel beneath their noise. They will be jubilating as dogs for being kicked in their snouts by me, may the glory be theirs, and the profit will be mine; there is no place for both of us in this world.

I have learned everything from you.

Not to fear of fear. No matter what happens, it will not change anything for me, death is up, and death is down; a naked ass isn’t afraid of punishment. Wisdom could be learned up to the third month; those afraid of stealing weren’t meant to be liars; those incapable of lying weren’t meant to be criminals. Nothing will be missing, we will have what we need, it couldn’t be the other way around. If justice wears out and breaks apart, if wisdom is to hiccup and a cattleman to prod. If ugliness turns into beauty, feeling into malice. If there is no God, everything is permitted, a wise man has said, and where everything is permitted, everything is possible. There is no place for two truths in this world.

I have learned everything from you, may the glory and praise be yours forever!


Decrepitude has been finally defeated. We were on our way back to the Earth from the Star of Death. That very dream came true, which I had personally hinted at in one bygone life: after all hourglasses on the Earth run out of sand, the personified spirit will remember its long time ago original homeland, so driven by strong yearning or mere curiosity, would start to recreate the long-lost world it was born in. A banal operation resembling delusional stuttering. The spirit, confined inside the stone, recollects the hit of the hammer, and walking through the path of its birth, from the opposite direction, could easily meet the Creator. Touching its spring, the spirit, without difficulties, using the scattered crumbles could create the essential image of the past, from which, by analogy and with the help of the aroused memory, the same long time ago quieted down world could be rebuilt and inhabited again, like a sort of nature’s living toy, or a museum we are both observers and observed at the same time.

So, we are coming back, we, who were being a personification of our own ideas, wishes and strivings – in our bodies, and therefore in our ancient homes – were falling like a rain of stars into our bygone life.

As I was diving through the blueness of the atmosphere, I recalled the life spent on the Star of Death like a stay under sandy oceans only, and it might have been the reason for my deep passion for light, sun, and old places. I was engulfed by immense excitement while climbing the Hill.

That dark lake was glimmering under its heights, and I was the only one to know it was a nursery of life, which was still keeping within the face of the Universe. However, there were men and women around the bushes, squatting and relieving themselves.

I couldn’t fathom that one man (who didn’t remember his previous life) wanted to return to the Star of Death. Life was running through its former (or maybe new?) flow even before we noticed we were here.

–          How much time has passed since we are back? – we asked ourselves on the first day.

–          Eternity, eternity!

–          And for how long we had been living on the Star of Death?

–          Eternity, eternity!

–          I came back from there after three months, – a young man said.

–          How?

–          Through connections, – the young man replied, I have already heard his voice before, which seemed to downplay our journey to ourselves.

–          It seemed? From the beginning, something seemed to you! You have been full of wise ideas overall.

I had been quickly adapting to the old order, but even still, I couldn’t help but wonder how not everybody was enchanted by the magic of the colors and light and growing and transience, neither astounded before the mere fact that the time of fear and death was left behind us forever.

Translated by Simeon Jankov

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *