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|“THERE ARE NO OTHERS. JUST ME” (standard:drama, 3716 words)|
|Author: siromah||Added: Oct 30 2006||Views/Reads: 1792/1276||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A story about the national Bulgarian hero Vasil Levski|
“THERE ARE NO OTHERS. JUST ME” "O you, my Mother, my Native Land, Why is your cry so sad and heart-rending! And you, O Raven, accursed bird, On whose grave croak you of ill impending?" Hristo Botev, The Hanging of Vassil Levski Ali Saib Pasha looked up and gazed inquisitively at the chained giaour. Not that the man could escape. No living creature could escape from the old fortified prison and its armed-to-the-teeth guards. Not that Ali Saib Pasha was afraid of the man. He was not simply afraid; he was terrified by the mere mention of the rebel's name. "The Flying Dervish", "Jingibi", "The Elusive" - he was known by so many names. They said no bullet could hit him, not could a sword hurt him. One day he was in Tarnovo, establishing clandestine committees; the next day he was in Sofia, muddling the subjects' minds; a day later, he was in Philippopolis, teaching the local rebels how to load their flintlocks and how to cut the Turks' heads like cabbage. The ex-grand vizier had sent many men to the gallows or into exile in Diyarbakir, never hesitating for a second. If one asked him about the names or the faces of those he had sentenced to death, he would simply grunt. The Deacon's face, however, would be engraved on his memory forever. Ali Saib Pasha crossed his hands behind his back and slowly approached the Apostle.. The infidel's face was pale and unshaven. A dirty bright-coloured rag was bandaging his right ear. Seen from the side, one would say he had toothache, but a closer look revealed a dried streak of blood on his neck and his blood-soaked hair. The enemy bullet had reached him by the Kakrino Inn. The strings of his oxhide leggings got caught on the fence, leaving him to the mercy of his enemies. Some treacherous soul had tipped the Turks that the Deacon would be there, and they captured him. When they told the sultan about it, he rubbed his hands contentedly and immediately dispatched his ex-grand vizier Ali Saib Pasha, the mayor from the General Staff and ex-aide de camp to Mithad Pasha Shakir Bey, and the Bulgarian member of the State Council Haji Ivancho Hajipenchovich. The sinister trinity were acting as judges, prosecutors and investigators - all in one. To give the court an impression of greater authority, Ali Saib Pasha added six jury members from Sofia: the Bulgarians Haji Marko Stoyanov, Mityo Karamakchiisky and Pesho Zhelyavsky, and the Turks Dervish Mustafa, Mehmed Salih and Sadullah Sarri. The sultan's orders were clear: "Do as you please, just get the rebel hanged as quickly as possible." "Who are you," Shakir Bey asked dryly and gave the prisoner a stern look. The Apostle did not hear him. His right ear had developed an inflammation from the wound and the cold, and he was nearly deaf. The guard kicked the Deacon viciously. "Answer the great bey's question, scum!" Levski's grey eyes stared at his face, and the guard stepped back in panic. "He's the devil himself," he mumbled, and instinctively reached for the amulet protecting him from ill luck and evil spells. "What's you name, scoundrel?" Haji Ivancho Hajipenchovich raised his voice. "Rebels like you make me feel ashamed that I'm Bulgarian!" "Don't worry, Haji Ivancho, no one questions your loyalty," smiled Ali Saib Pasha. Haji Ivancho smiled back obsequiously and clattered his string of beads. "Now tell me," the ex-grand vizier stepped closer to the chained prisoner, "what's your name?" This time the Deacon understood his question and met his gaze. "Vassil Ivanov Kunchev. My friends call me Deacon." "Deacon, ah!" Ali Saib Pasha turned to avoid the Apostle's intense gaze. "Is it true that you are muddling the subjects' minds?" "Where injustice reigns, revolts are inevitable." The Apostle coughed and his chains rattled. "Yes, it is true!" Haji Ivancho gave a sigh of relief and looked triumphantly at Shakir Bey. "The scoundrel confessed, Shakir By. He's sure to go to the gallows!" The Turk shook his head and frowned. "There's no haste, Haji Ivancho, no haste..." The six jury members in the background murmured quietly. They had heard the Apostle's words. "Why is he doing this!" Mityo Karamakchiisky's face was worried. "He's sentencing himself to death!" "Please God," Haji Marko Stoyanov whispered, "Save the Apostle's life! Don't take away our hope!" He leaned forward and furtively made the sign of the cross. "So you admit, ah?" Ali Saib Pasha smiled mockingly and went on. "Is it true that you have founded clandestine committees in each and every town and village?" "Yes, it is true. I even founded one in Istanbul." The Apostle smiled so widely that his molars could be seen. "Pity I didn't have time; I would have paid a call to the sultan... and would have saved you the trouble to come all the way here!" "Shut up, giaour!" The Turk slapped him across the face with his gloves. The Apostle's eyes were glowing angrily, and he rattled his chains. "Aman!" Shakir Bey screamed and jumped in his seat. "He's a dervish!" The giaour had swung his chain and if Ali Saib Pasha had not been quick Click here to read the rest of this story (243 more lines)
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