Nikoleta Ivanova

‘Fairy Tale for Stairway’

(90cm), 2013

‘…- Who are you? - Devil asked him ...- I am a plebeian by birth and all ragamuffins are my brothers . Oh, how terrible the world is and how unhappy people! This young man spoke with head erect and clenched fists. He stood in front of the ladder - high pillar of white marble with pink streaks. He gazed fixedly into the distance, where as murky waters of a swollen river rustled gray crowds of poverty. They were excited, boils instantly, raised a forest of dried black hands, a storm of indignation and furious cries air and the echo faded slowly and solemnly like distant cannon shots. The crowds grew, they came in yellow dust clouds, individual silhouettes ever clearer and clearer to cut out the gray background. Came an old man, bent low deeply indeed, as if searching for his lost youth. For his ragged clothes held barefoot girl and stared at the high ladder with gentle cornflower-blue eyes. Watching and smiling. And then came all gray, dry figures and choir singing stretched out dirg. Someone whistled shrilly, other, his hands in his pockets, laughed loud, hoarse, his eyes burning frenzy. - I am a plebeian by birth and ragamuffins all my brothers. Oh, how terrible the world is and how unhappy people! Oh, you're up there, you ...This young man spoke with head erect and fists clenched in manace. - You hate those above? - Asked the devil and slyly leaned toward the boy. - Oh, I will take revenge on those nobles and princes. Cruel will avenge my brothers, for my brothers who are individuals like yellow sand, which groan more sinister than December blizzards! See their naked bleeding, hear their groans! I will avenge them! Get off me! The devil smiled- I am the guardian of those above, and without bribe not betray them .- I have no gold, I have nothing with which to bribe ... I am a poor , ragged teenager ... But I 'm willing to give up my life .The devil smiled again :- Oh, no , I did not ask as much Give me only your hearing !- Hearing ? With pleasure ... Let nothing ever hear, let him...- You will still hear! - Soothed devil and made way for him. - Go! The boy ran and walked three steps at a time, hairy hand of the devil caught him- Stop it! Stop to hear the groans out there beneath your brothers! The young man paused and listened:- Strange why they suddenly started to sing happy songs and carefree laugh ? ... - And again he ran .Devil again stopped him- To go three more steps I eyes! The boy waved his hand desperately. - But then I will be able to see neither their brothers, nor those who go to avenge! Devil - You will still see ... I will give you a different, much better eyes! The young man went three steps and looked back. The Devil reminded him- See their naked bleeding. - Oh my God! That's very strange when they managed to wear that's all good! Instead bleeding wounds are bedecked with red roses wonder! In all three steps Devil took his small ransom. But the young man walked, he willingly gave everything to reach his revenge and fed nobles and princes! Here's a step, just one step, and it will be up! He will avenge his brothers! - I am a plebeian by birth and all ragamuffins ...- Young man, one step further! Only one more step
and you will have your revenge. But I always take this step double toll Give me your heart and memory. The boy waved his hand: - I Heart? No! This is very awesome! The devil laughed deep and masterful laugh: - I 'm not that cruel. I will give you in exchange for a heart of gold and a new memory! If you do not accept it, you will never go Tuy step, never avenge his brothers - those whose faces are like sand and groan more sinister than December blizzards .The young
man saw the green ironic eyes of the devil :- But I will be most unhappy . You took my everything human.     - Yes - the happiest! ...  But? Do you agree: only heart and memory.  The boy thought for a black shadow lay on his face, a furrowed brow broke off muddy sweat, he angrily clenched his fists and gritted his teeth: - Do it! Take them! And ... as a summer storm rage and wrath, waved black hair, he passed the last step. He was already at the top. Suddenly his face brightened smile, his eyes shone with quiet joy and his fists relaxed. He looked revelers princes looked beneath,  who was yelling and cursing, gray ragged crowd. Looked, but not a muscle twitched in his face:  it was bright, happy, contented. He saw beneath festive dressed crowds were already moaning hymns. - Who are you? - Sly voice the Devil asked. - I am a prince by birth and the gods are my brothers ! Oh, how beautiful the world is and how happy people! …’

Written by Bulgarian writer Hristo Smirnenski