Trafika Europe 12 - French Bon-Bons

Breathing into Marble

‘What ’s the matter?’ Liudas rubbed his eyes. ‘Nothing. Go back to sleep. It ’s Ilya, the lunatic.’ Ilya was crouched in the kitchen, next to the fridge. The look on his face had changed. She recognised the gaze. One morning, having taken Gailius to school, she asked Ilya to fetch some wood from the barn. It was the beginning of April and they still needed to light the stove occasionally. Having knelt down by it, she was feeding kindling into the flames when she heard the child’s footsteps behind her. She heard the sound of the wood being dropped onto the floor and then suddenly – a sullen silence – and a chill ran down her spine. ‘If I had hesitated a moment longer, he could have killed me with his look,’ she thought later. ‘Ilya,’ she had said loudly, not turning around. He moved, creaked. ‘What are you thinking when you stand like that, behind my back?’ ‘Your jumper has a hole in it,’ he said. ‘Where?’ ‘Here.’ He put his finger into the ripped seam on her shoulder. Isabel used to take him to Kurpiskiai and gradually he stopped grumbling and even began to look forward


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