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    Alex the Penguin®

 

 

Hellyanna Stoichkova

 

 

    The Penguin was sitting on the pavement with his head badly hit and wiping his tears of his cheeks. It really heart, but how was he suppose to succeed without pain. The blood was streaming down all over his face and the looks of all that was terrifying. He put out his smoke, stood up and neared the wall. There was a blood spot on the plaster with some brown spice on. As he stood facing the wall he pulled a hand towel out of his pocket and wiped the blood of his chin to prevent at least splashing. He bent back and hit his had in the wall with all his strength and as he did so he bent down screaming because the pain that was too unbearable. He kneeled on the ground and felt the world go round and round. He overcame the pain and stood against the wall once more. As he hit himself again he fell on the pavement totally helpless and out of control. The pain was so horrible this time that he felt utterly desperate. He picked up a trash can's lid and pushed his head towards the wall with it. He was pushing so hard but just couldn't faint!
- My god, it hurts! Why cant I… - He dropped the lid and held his had while searching for the hand towel. At that point a stranger stopped just near him and squat to observe him closer.
- Are you ok?
- Yea, yea. Always better! - said the Penguin and burst out crying like a small child.
- Have you been robbed? How much did they take?
As the stranger stood up the Penguin looked up and saw a tall man with long face and small eyeglasses, stuck on a huge and long, rather ugly nose. The stranger squat again and his knees cracked horrifyingly noisy.
- Who are you? - The Penguin held the hand towel again on his forehead.
- Me… I am Gruncharov. I sell vacuum cleaners. Do you want one? This one's motor is with major extras.
- I need no vacuum cleaner, man! Don't you see I'm in pain!
- If you had one you would be home now enjoying a clean house!
- O! Sort off! What's your problem!? - The Penguin turned to the other side and his eyes began rolling as he was observing the pavement. The world was spinning.
- Could I be of some help? May be take you to a hospital?
- It's too early! - The Penguin took a long sigh - Just some more and I'll be ready.
- Look, I am just a tram driver, but I can still do something for you. I'm not as incompetent as it might seem to you. As a matter of fact I am pretty handy. I have worked at the shop of a clock salesman for four years! Which was a very hard work for so little money. But the clocks never cease ticking. That's the catch! Nothing else! The important thing is to keep the clock ticking . Do you know that there are clocks that function for some hundred, two hundred, even three hundred years without a failure? They are made out of…
The Penguin looked at him and almost roared:
- What kind of an idiot are you? I don't care about your clocks!
- You see, and I care why you're trying to break your head in the wall. One could always learn something interesting.
- I will tell you why, you insolent ass! Because I want to end this nonsense life of mine! Because I'm tired of being treated like a scumbag and I'm tired of people like you sticking their noses into other people's business! Because if I manage to fall in to a coma I'll solve all my problems! That's why! Now be on your way and sell your chimneys somewhere else!
- I sell vacuum cleaners.
- Same! Good by!
The tall man stood up and looked at the Penguin thoughtfully. He searched his pans and found smokes and a match. He lit his smoke and squat again as his knees cracked so immensely loudly that a thin echo crawled down the street.
- And why, if not a secret of some sort, would anyone like to be in a coma? Is there any kind of a deal there?
- And why would you be interested? - The Penguin was actually a bit scared that he might be taken fun of and last but not least his bright idea might be stolen.
- I don't know… It's cool. I meet some guy who instead of fighting like me to sell a vacuum cleaner every five months is sitting here on this pavement in a desire to fall into a coma. Now, what's the catch? What do you gain out of this? Come on. Tell me. Tell me something I don't know.
- Well, I could reveal it to you, but you must promise not to tell anyone!
- Let's see if you could impress me! - The lanky fellow pulled thirsty from the smoke and it became bright red at the top. The Penguin looked around and bent towards the other.
- Ok. I'll tell you. Here's the thing. Last year the neighbor from the apartment on top of mine hit his head in a metal beam while doing some job at a construction site somewhere in the mountains and when he woke up some nice people had taken care of him at their home. He had no documents, no money, no nothing! He's lying there and has no idea who he is. And here's the catch. He doesn't know - they don't know. And the daughter falls in love with him, and everything follows just perfect - engagement, christening and wedding! Divorced the old cow! After that the daddy of the woman finds him a cool job, than gives him a restaurant to run and so on. One year later the guy owns a small hotel in the mountain! Go figure! One week in coma! Some stupid nobody made it like that! - The Penguin shock his hand impatiently and started crying again - Just that!
- Well, well… - the lanky stood and his knees cracked again. - Theoretically… What will happen if you wake up in ten years? You loose ten years! Your life will pass while being in a coma…
- I have thought about that. I have considered every detail! - The Penguin started searching his pockets and pulled out a handful of newspaper cuts. He dropped some on the ground and while gathering them started reading the headlines: "More financing for the people in coma", "Hospitals open new rooms with special equipment for people in a coma", "a hospital opens a whole new wing for people in coma", "A man woke up after 25 years of coma and the government granted him a special lifetime pension".
- So what!
- So what!? Don't you see! I'll be living at the nicest, brand new hotel room, there will be beautiful nurses reading newspapers to me, they will feed me, give me beverages and all of that for free! I don't have to work, I don't have to get angry or something, I don't need to do anything. And I don't need to go to the bathroom for that matter. They have taken care of everything. All free. And at the end when I wake up there is this chance of someone to take care of me.
- Yea, well... Isn't jail better?
- No, jail is harder. Because when you're awake you kind of want things and as for when you sleep you don't. You just sleep. You dream something…
- I... - The lanky squat and leaned toward the Penguin - I like the idea of the prison better. At least you're awake. You read your newspaper yourself, nobody wants anything from you. You don't bother the others. There is no one to yell around about the bills and the landlady doesn't get a chance to get on your nerves. They can't kick you out of jail, could they! Therefore smart.
- Come on! You like that?
- O, yes. Quite like it, as a matter of fact. - The Penguin looked at the eyes of the lanky and got a bit scared. - I will offer you a deal. - The lanky stood up and began walking around in a circle. - That's right! Aunty is going to be mad about it. Stupid sheep! I can't stand her! She breaks my nerves as she enters each time and could strangle her with these two hands! And how she talks all the time about the vacuum cleaners! Hate them! Hate having it clean! - he kicked the vacuum cleaner and it clank on the inside. - I like having my clothes on the ground, eat with my fingers. I like creaking doors. I like the sound of metal "squeak, squeak, shtrak" I should have known earlier! Amassing! Like a clock that measures time… I don't like that capitalism thing. Minimalism! That's the truth! How have I miss seen this truth?
- What truth?
- That we vegetate! We exist only to give birth to tax payers and bring them up castrated! All kinds of work! We would work anything! Now instead of me working, they will take care of me. If you want little, you'll get more. If you want many things you will never feel satisfied…
The laky squat and the Penguin trembled of the crack of the cartilages.
- I beat you, you'll fall into a coma, I'll go to jail. Perfect! Deal? - He offered his hand to seal the contract.
- Uou! Wait a minute! - The Penguin pulled himself backwards - what if you kill me?
- I get a lifetime in prison. Great!
The Penguin jumped as if a bee had stung him.
- How come great!? I'm going to die here!
- So what? You have nothing to loose anyway.
- I don't want to die! I want to fix my life!
- I will help. We will be mutually useful to each other, won't we? - The laky inclined over and just now the Penguin saw exactly how tall he was. He began pulling himself back and stumbled at the vacuum cleaner of the laky, fell on the ground and started creeping on his knees and palms.
- Stay away from me! You're crazy! Help!
- I will hit you very carefully. I'll hit you just once..
- Stay away!
The laky stepped on the vacuum cleaner and it broke under his feet. He was reaching his hands for the coat of the Penguin.
- O, I will be very careful.
- He-elp! - was screaming the Penguin but there was but a soul on the street. Poor luck - he chose it for it was absent of people and now he was hoping to se one. - Stop it, man! It ain't right! Let's talk! Let's figure a day, an hour. Now is not the right time.
- O! - The eyes of the laky were shining - I will be very gentle…


 

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