Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
Unfortunately, the queen had spoken in Sanskrit, a language at which the king was a complete dunce. He thought she wanted sweets. “Have all the sweets in the palace brought to the pool side!” he ordered his retinue. The queen who had spoken in Sanskrit felt embarrassed for him.
She reached to flush the toilet again. The head sputtered, “N-no, just a minute—"
She stayed her hand and looked down at the head in the toilet.
It was probably more accurate to refer to it as “a thing that vaguely looks like a head” than an actual head. It was about two-thirds the size of an adult’s head and resembled a lump of carelessly slapped-together yellow and gray clay, with a few scattered clumps of wet hair.
Life is filled with strange happenings that are hard to fit into our understanding of the world. Many we let pass in order to get on with our days. But this was not something I could let pass. I talked to Tiechan’s neighbors and his friends, his family members and his enemies. Slowly, I pieced together what had pushed my friend to his tragic end. This is what I discovered.
As someone who thinks of myself primarily as a writer, I first became interested in translation three years ago when I started working on a novel inspired by the tropes of wuxia (martial arts fantasy) fiction in English.