Mustafa Deniz Serter – The Rooster’s Sin

Guest: Mustafa Deniz Serter
Title of The Work: The Rooster’s Sin
Original Title: Horozun Günahı
Genre: Story

The square of the village, which had been taken captive by the August heat, was groaning with the joyful laughter of the children. Drenched in sweat, the children pulled the taut strings held tightly in their tiny hands with all their strength, then let them go, and the kites soaring in the air danced in the cloudless blue sky. Devamını Oku…

Stories Between Two Novels: Hakan Günday – Derz (2023)

Hakan Günday, who has created a unique readership with his novels, brought together his stories published in various media, including magazines and book selections, in his book titled ‘Derz‘ and presented them to his readers. The meaning of “Derz” is the gap between wall stones or bricks filled with mortar and levelled by pulling a trowel over it. Devamını Oku…

Mustafa Deniz Serter – Dry-Wet

Guest: Mustafa Deniz Serter
Title of The Work: Dry-Wet
Original Title: Kuru-Yaş
Genre: Story

The barber’s apprentice Halis took out his razor hidden in his sock. Grabbing and pulling the wrist of his only friend Salih, he made a thin scratch on his arm. Then he cut his own arm and merged the blood.

“We are blood brothers now,” Halis said with a grin.

“Blood brothers,” repeated Salih. Devamını Oku…

Mustafa Deniz Serter – Rabbit

Guest: Mustafa Deniz Serter
Title of The Work: Rabbit
Original Title: Tavşan
Genre: Story

The roofs of houses, untouched backyards, untouched trees were covered in a blanket of white. After the snow had fallen, the air was freezing cold, and people, frozen by the frost, were moving slowly through the slushy muddy streets. Animals, cold in the cold, were in a hurry to feed themselves.

People waiting at the town bus stop with their hands in their pockets had red ears from the bitter cold and every time they breathed in, steam came out of their mouths. When Dr. Cevriye Hanım arrived at the town square, she did not want to wait for the bus. It was getting dark and the last bus to the city center was an hour away. She decided to take a taxi to the city. She approached the old model car parked in front of the grocery store across the tea garden with faded yellow paint and the word ‘taxi’ vaguely written on it. He tapped on the foggy window of the car with his bent index finger. As soon as the driver lowered the window, the sound of music and a nauseating odor emanated from inside the car.

“Here you go, sister. Where are you going?” said the driver.
“To the city center!”
“Really?” said the driver, surprised.

Ms. Cevriye placed the bag she was holding in her hand on the back seat of the car and sat next to it. She told the driver, who said his name was Hasan, the address of her house in the city. Removing the cassette tape and turning off the tape recorder, Hasan started his car and drove to the main road. He locked eyes with her in the mirror, looked away in embarrassment, and stared intently at the snowy road ahead. After a while, Hasan couldn’t stand it anymore and asked: “I feel like I recognize you, but I can’t place you. Where are you from?” Mrs. Cevriye did not hear the driver’s question, she turned her head to the window, looking at the snow-covered road, the gas station, the vineyards, the fields, the newly created memorial forest, the sparsely wooded foothills of the high mountain whose name she did not know, and was deep in thought. He thought about the young man who committed suicide with a shotgun because the girl he loved had married someone else. The tearful mother of the young man who breathed his last breath in the hospital came to his mind. He felt in his pockets for his cell phone and felt like calling his mother.

Hasan insistently repeated his question.
“Where are you from, sister?”
“I am from the world,” said Mrs. Cevriye, without looking up from her smart phone.

“Me too,” Hasan said with a laugh, “We are fellow countrymen then. There are also aliens, sister. The crazy guy in our town talks to them every day. We take him for a joke. We ask him to show us where they are. He raises his finger to the sky and says, ‘That’s where they’re coming from’.”

As she opened the phone book to call her mother, she received a message from her husband. “Darling, look!” a photo appeared under the message. It was of the man and their six-year-old daughter. They were both smiling with joy. Their cute daughter, with her blonde cornflake hair braided on both sides, was holding the white ears of a plush toy rabbit. As Mrs. Cevriye was about to reply to the message, her husband called.

“I had a hard time convincing him, but I succeeded,” the man said, “Besides, you can’t keep a rabbit at home, dear, let the little lady play with her toy!”

“Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!” hearing the high-pitched voice of the child, Mrs. Cevriye hung up the phone, saying that she would be home in an hour and would cook the food her well-behaved daughter wanted.

Curious, Hasan couldn’t help himself and asked again; “Sister, where are you from? I feel like I know you but I can’t place you!”

Mrs. Cevriye was about to say “I said I was from the world!” but she gave up and found it more logical to give short answers without prolonging the conversation; “I am the doctor of the town”

“I knew it!” Hasan said enthusiastically, “Doctor, if you hadn’t told me, I would’ve been sick inside. I would have wondered who it was until the morning. I would have stopped eating and drinking. That’s the kind of disease I have. I also have back pain, don’t ask, doctor. Since you’re here, what’s good for back pain? I let my middle son chew it, he kneads it like dough!”

The car shook as Hasan maneuvered left and right on the steering wheel while talking incessantly with his slack jaw. Mrs. Cevriye hit her head against the glass, her beautiful face tensed with pain. The driver, who quickly turned the steering wheel he was clinging to, was turning on and off the headlights he was flashing. Trying to understand why the driver was doing this on the empty road, Mrs. Cevriye felt with her hand whether her forehead was swollen from hitting the glass.

“I got you!” Hasan shouted.

As the young man shouted, it became clear that the car, whose undercarriage made a clattering sound, had run over something. Hasan braked his car with chains on the rear wheels and stopped it in the middle of the road. As soon as he opened the door, he got out and started running in the direction of the town. Mrs. Cevriye, whose panic had turned to fear, turned her head back and looked at Hasan, who was staggering down the road slightly illuminated by the red rear lights of the car. After running for about ten meters, Hasan bent down and got up, coming back with the object he was carrying in his lap. The approaching young driver was standing in front of the car, holding the hare by its long tail and hanging it upside down, showing his customer what he had done with the help of the headlights and a proud air. Hasan’s enjoyment in killing the hare by hitting it with his car was evident in the milk-white teeth shining through his open mouth, which he showed with a grin. After holding the rabbit’s tail for a minute, as if posing for journalists, Hasan ended the show, put the animal in the trunk of the car and sat back in the driver’s seat. The inside of the car was freezing cold because he had left the door open. Mrs. Cevriye, who was cold, was shivering, getting ready to explode angrily at the driver, waiting for her teeth to stop clashing.

“Your foot has been lucky, doctor. I’ve been after this rabbit for a long time, and today was my lucky day. You search high and low, but you can’t find it, you meet it on the road. Hey God, look for it in the sky and find it on the ground!” said Hasan, overjoyed, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, putting on the cassette tape and turning on the stereo, getting carried away with the upbeat music, apologizing when he remembered his respect for his customer, turning off the music, this time humming a song to himself.

“Are you sick?” said Mrs. Cevriye angrily.

“Thank God I’m fine, sister. Sometimes my back hurts. Are you in good health, God willing?”

“No! Are you crazy?” snapped Mrs. Cevriye, rubbing her swollen forehead with her hand.

“Don’t say that, sister. Such things are normal around here. Hey God! He’s like a lamb, mashallah! A whole family will be fed tomorrow with this rabbit!”