prose

Ksenija Kušec: Matrix

Ksenija Kušec does not like banks or corporations. Actually, she does not like the rules that are over a man, the rules in whom feelings are excluded, the impartiality of those rules. Well, Ksenija Kušec is anything but impartial, at least in her stories and at least for now.
She wrote Tales from the Solar System that are 100% true, collection of short stories Tell me everything, which are mostly stories about the wicked husbands and how to treat them, and novel Janko and weather-machine.
She writes two novels at the same time and in the meantime does not write.



M a t r i x

 

Today is the day. What should I wear? High heels? Sure, it’s warm outside; I’ll put on peep toes. Jeans are good; they go with everything. White T-shirt, black jacket, to match the shoes. I wanna look like Trinity. And then my belt… and two pieces. One piece in each jacket pocket, one in each jeans pocket… A holster over the T-shirt, under the jacket. And the bag. You bet I’m packing.

Bank first. I got number 246; it’ll be a wait. I could read a book while I’m in here. I’m checking all the pieces, making sure they’re ready, wondering which to use first.

This is taking time. I’ve been waiting for five years and now there are thirty people in front of me, each and every one of them with a sad story, just like me. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten myself into this in the first place. But the place was too big after Mom died, what was I gonna do with all that space? I just wanted a smaller apartment. Nothing unusual, right?

The list of laws they used to fuck me over is as long as my arm. First there was the nationalization, then the matter of inheritance and ownership. I signed and signed and signed documents. They kept shoving papers in my face to sign. This proves you agree to be represented by us in court. Who wouldn’t sign that? This proves you agree for us to take over your life. OK, not exactly, but it turned out that way.

So, where did it all go wrong? One of the papers to sign was a credit application to refinance something I never needed to refinance. Because the apartment belonged to my Mom, it had been paid in full a long time ago – I still remember those lines and those documents. My Mom was already old and fragile, we took a fishing stool wherever we went, as she couldn’t stand in line to sign, agree and consent. The bank says Mom had agreed to a credit, and now they want me to pay them in cash? They have an explanation, of course, but who understands their language? Endless legal babble until you grow tired of it and just sign. It’s just a formality, they say.

Ever since I’ve realized it was all in vain, I keep filing applications and requests to annul all the previous ones, while the bank keeps refusing. They never fail to find just the precedent to benefit them, not me.

It was supposed to be simple: sell the large place, buy a smaller one. I just wanted a smaller apartment.

The line has moved; number 239 is a crying woman. They are refusing to give her an advance on her social security check; she’s in the red and interests keep eating up everything she makes. The teller says they are powerless. It’s only the fifth, the woman says; how am I going to pay the electricity bill? What am I going to eat for the rest of the month? The teller calls the guards and one shows up, packing just one piece – a lot less than me – grabs the woman and escorts her to the door. Number 240, a veteran. He’s packing, too; I can see the bumps under his clothes. This should be fun. The teller is telling no again. I wonder what it’s like to say no for living. Maybe it’s well paid, that would make it OK. Still, nothing is paid enough on a day you get a client like me. It certainly won’t be paid enough today.

I’m eavesdropping; can’t stop. Unbelievable. The vet owned two hundred to o a man, couldn’t pay in time, got sued. The court clerk made a typo and two hundred turned into twenty thousand. An omitted comma – one comma! – and the vet owns twenty thousand. He’s yelling. Banging his fist on the teller’s counter. How can you pretend that mistake wasn’t a mistake, how am I gonna come up with that kind of money, I do not owe that much; I owe twenty times less! I’ll kill you all! Take us to court, then. I can’t take you to court, that would cost me and I can’t afford it! I’m a veteran, I lost my leg defending this country, I get five thousand a month and it all ends up in your hands! I’m waiting for the mayhem, but the teller is calling the guards again and the same guy shows up again. The vet sees him coming, shakes his head in dismay, leaves. He’s not as mad as I am. Yet. One comma?

I’ve been doing this dance for five years: if the agency bought the apartment from me, how come I never saw any money? Where is the proof they bought it? How could this happen? And why? Take us to court, they keep saying; knowing it would take me a million documents to do so.  Why am I paying taxes for an apartment I supposedly don’t own? Those were the terms of the agreement, they say; and you signed it. Take us to court.

I can’t wait for my number to show up on the screen. I’m not taking my eyes off it, watching numbers appear and disappear accompanied by an annoying beeping sound. I’m sure that’s a planned move on their part; they could have chosen a lovelier sound, but no, they went with this devil’s squeal. To make us crazy. Well, they succeeded. The five-year dance ends today.

It’s my turn and I ask my questions. I have all the documents, I say. Signed and stamped. Official. The teller glances through, says they won’t do. Why not?, I ask with a kind smile. Because there is no registry number on them, and because I wasn’t supposed to file those here, and besides, the bank has dealt with cases like mine in the past and the petitioner never wins. It is at the bank’s discretion to decide if I get the money or not. Any money. Oh, is that so; I say. Well, in that case, give me back my documents and I’ll go file them where I’m supposed to. Do it the right way. Oh, I’ve already stamped them as invalid, she says. She would need to call her superior to issue new ones. So call him, I say. The bitch picks up the phone and whispers some bullshit into the receiver. I’m gonna lose the documents and get thrown out of here, I can tell. But, no, her superior shows up, after all; a loser in a cheap suit. How may I be of assistance, he asks. I explain everything one more time, and, naturally, he says no to everything. “Court-signed documents cannot be filed and unfiled just like that”, he says. I’ve filed it, it’s done. We’ll take care of everything now, he says, and I can’t believe my ears. Trust us, he says.

I’ve lost and I know it. There is no way I can get duplicates of every single paper the teller has just taken from me, there’s no way I can get back my apartment, my money, my life. I’m stuck. It’s a good thing the superior asshole is right here in front of me. I put on my sunglasses and reach for the guns in the holsters under my armpits. The teller and the asshole get a full magazine each. It feels good. I grab my documents, noticing the guards rushing toward me. There’s four of them, all wearing bulletproof vests. I run, bounce off the walls, escape them defying the laws of physics. I reach for the grenades in my jacket pockets. Pins out, and it’s done. The line is not moving, nobody’s running away, people are thrilled with the show, applauding. No one is getting hurt but the guys who need some hurting. Men in black are rushing down the stairs… but they are not men, after all. Not human. Bankers. I have four magazines left, just enough for them. And then silence. The dust is settling, the line is frantic with adrenaline, almost joy. People are hugging and cheering, grabbing their documents and money from behind the counter. Good for them. I’ve got what’s mine and now it’s time to leave.

I dust off my jacket, check my hair, check the nail polish winking from the peep-toes. I’m happy to see it’s still perfect, not a dent in it. I check my guns; they’re all still here, good. I load them again; next stop – lawyers. The ones that represent the agency that now owns my apartment. I won’t even bother asking questions or standing in line, I’ve heard all their smug lies. I’ll just walk in, kill everything in sight, walk out. See if they send me off with a sneer like the last time.

And then the land-registry people get it. They let the lawyers – who by then will be dead – get away with their scam. When I asked them how they could do it, they said it was my mistake not to check the ownership status sooner. These things need to be checked several times a year, they said; the law firm obeyed the rules to the letter. It’ll feel extra good to spill their blood on their disgusting books. Shred the paper into bloody confetti. And sign my name on the dotted line where it says Owner. To the letter, gentlemen.

Last stop, the morgue. They misplaced the death certificate just long enough to allow all those thieves to forge my mother’s signature, make it look like she was still alive and giving them all the power.

 

When I’m done, I’ll go have a cup of coffee with Mirjana, haven’t seen her in a while. It’s not even ten yet, I’ll make it. We’ll chat about stuff, she’ll ask me what’s new, and I’ll say I finally got my apartment back. I’ve got all the blood papers in my bag.

o nama

Dobitnik nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" je Filip Rutić

Dobitnik književne nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" za mlade prozaiste je Filip Rutić (1997).
Nagrađena priča ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim” ima snažan pečat 2020, a autoru je uspjelo kroz nepretenciozan ton i jedan neobičan odnos dati sliku opće nestabilnosti u eri korone i potresa.
U užem izboru nagrade, osim nagrađenog Rutića, bili su Lucija Švaljek, Iva Hlavač, Luca Kozina, Marina Gudelj, Vid Hribar i Darko Šeparović.
Ovo je bio peti nagradni natječaj koji raspisuje Kritična masa, a partner nagrade je cafe-bar Sedmica (Kačićeva 7, Zagreb). Nagrada se sastoji od plakete i novčanog iznosa (5.000 kuna bruto). U žiriju nagrade bile su članice redakcije Viktorija Božina i Ilijana Marin, te vanjski članovi Branko Maleš i Damir Karakaš.

intervju

Filip Rutić: Književnost bez novih glasova i perspektiva pretvara se u historiografiju

Predstavljamo uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa''

Filip je u uži izbor ušao s pričom ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim''. Standardnim setom pitanja predstavljamo jednog od trojice muških natjecatelja.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' 2020 - uži izbor

Nakon šireg izbora slijedi uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade prozne autore. Pogledajte tko su sedmero odabranih.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' - popis šireg izbora, pred objavu užeg

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade autorice i autore do 35 godina starosti bliži se svome kraju. Ovo je peto izdanje nagrade, utemeljene 2015. godine, koja pruža pregled mlađe prozne scene (širi i uži izbor) i promovira nova prozna imena. Prva nagrada iznosi 5.000 kuna (bruto iznos) i dodjeljuje se uz plaketu. Prethodnih su godina nagradu dobile Ana Rajković, Jelena Zlatar, Marina Gudelj i Mira Petrović.

proza

Marina Gudelj: Ljudi na uglu ulice, pokraj prodavaonice pića

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Marina Gudelj (1988., Split) završila je Hrvatski jezik i književnost na Sveučilištu u Zadru. Radi kao nastavnica Hrvatskog jezika u školi. Prvi književni rad, kratka priča Semafor, šahta, apoteka, birtija objavljena je u Zarezu 2015. godine. Iste je godine osvojila prvu književnu nagradu na portalu KSET-a za priču Kamo idu irske mačke. 2017. godine osvaja prvo mjesto na natječaju Kritične mase za priču Lee. S istom pričom iduće godine sudjeluje na LitLink festivalu u Zagrebu. 2018. godine osvaja treće mjesto s pričom Dulcinea na konjaku na 17. izdanju Festivala europske kratke priče, a krajem iste godine ulazi u uži izbor natječaja Prvi Prozak i Na vrhu jezika s pričom Vještica. 2019. godine osvaja nagradu Prvi Prozak za autore do 35 godina starosti, a objava zbirke priča očekuje se sredinom 2020. godine.

proza

Vid Hribar: Bilješke za preživljavanje

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Vid Hribar (1993., Zagreb) je trenutno na završnoj godini diplomskog studija na odsjeku dramaturgije pri Akademiji dramske umjetnosti u Zagrebu. Piše scenarije, drame, poeziju, kratke priče, uz to se bavi komponiranjem i sviranjem klavira u brojnim zagrebačkim bendovima. Na radiju se izvode njegove ''Nule i ništice'' (2017.), radiodrama inspirirana motivima Harmsove istoimene zbirke kratkih priča, drama ''Oskarov san'' (2019.) te ''Od Vlaške do Britanca'' (2019.). Njegova drama ''Tuneli'' prevedena je na makedonski jezik od strane Makedonskog centra ITI, a njegova drama ''404'' objavljena je na portalu drame.hr. Kao kompozitor radi na nizu kazališnih, filmskih, televizijskih te radiodramskih projekata.

proza

Luca Kozina: Grbava plesačica

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Luca Kozina (1990., Split) piše prozu i poeziju. Radovi su joj objavljeni u časopisima: Zarez, Fantom Slobode, Mogućnosti, Republika, u zborniku Rukopisi 43 te na internetu (Zvona i Nari, Književnost Uživo, Kultipraktik, Nema). Dobitnica je nagrade Prozak za 2019. godinu. Piše književne kritike za portal Booksa. Članica je književne grupe NKV.

proza

Petra Bolić: Hans.

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Petra Bolić (1992., Varaždinu) studirala je francuski jezik i književnost, kulturološku germanistiku i književno-interkulturalnu južnoslavistiku na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu i Karl-Franzens Universität u Grazu. Znanstveno polje interesa su joj njemačko-južnoslavenski kulturno-književni transferi i suvremena slovenska proza. U slobodno se vrijeme bavi književnim prevođenjem i književnom kritikom. Vlastitu je kratku prozu do današnjega dana skrivala u ladicama.

proza

Ivana Pintarić: Propuštanje riječi

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivana Pintarić (1988., Zagreb) je edukacijski rehabilitator. Piše poeziju i kratke priče. Ulomkom iz romana ''Gorimo (ali ne boli više)'' ušla je u finale izbora za nagradu "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2015. godine. Ulazi u širi izbor nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2017. ulomkom iz romana "Ovo nije putopis o Americi". Bila je polaznica Booksine radionice pisanja kratke priče pod mentorstvom Zorana Ferića. Objavila je radove na portalima kultipraktik.org i booksa.hr. Objavila je priču u časopisu Fantom slobode. Članica je književne grupe ZLO koja okuplja mlade pisce različitih književnih afiniteta i usmjerenja, koji zajednički promiču ''mladu'' književnost, sudjeluju na književnim natječajima, festivalima te organiziraju književne susrete i čitanja.

proza

Josip Čekolj: Kokoši ne letiju visoko

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Josip Čekolj (1999., Zabok) student je treće godine kroatistike te etnologije i kulturne antropologije na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad je svoje pjesme i kratke priče objavljivao u hrvatskim i regionalnim časopisima i zbornicima poput ''Rukopisa'', ''Alepha'', ''PoZiCe'', zbornika Gornjogradskog književnog festivala, Po(e)zitive i drugih te na portalima Kritična masa, Strane, Poeziju na štrikove, Čovjek-časopis i NEMA. Ovog ljeta izdaje dječju slikovnicu ''Srna i Mak u potrazi za uplašenim mjesecom'' u nakladi Mala zvona. S pjesničkim rukopisom ''Junaci i zmajevi su izumiruće vrste'' ušao je uži krug za nagradu ''Na vrh jezika'' 2019. godine.

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Ana Vučić: U Limbu

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ana Vučić (1992., Karlovac) još uvijek pokušava završiti Kroatistiku i Sociologiju na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad su joj objavljene neke pjesme i jedan ulomak u studentskim časopisima i na Kritičnoj masi. Otkad je Jastrebarsko zamijenila Zagrebom piše tek neznatno više. U slobodno vrijeme čita, gleda sport i serije te mašta o obrani diplomskog rada u normalnim okolnostima. Vrhuncem svoje dosadašnje književne karijere smatra sudjelovanje na prvoj Kroeziji u kafiću Luxor.

proza

Ivan Katičić: Klošari

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivan Katičić (1990., Split) objavio je zbirku kratkih priča ''Pet metara bliže zvijezdama'' (Pučko otvoreno učilište Velika Gorica, 2016.). Živi i ne radi u Omišu.

proza

Gabrijel Delić: Orlovski

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Gabrijel Delić (1998., Zagreb) napisao je nekoliko članaka na temu automobilizma objavljenih na jednoj britanskoj web-stranici i poneku kratku priču od kojih je zadnja objavljena u regionalnom natječaju ''Biber'' za 2019. godinu.

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