"Áron Antal" - Page 4

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Lucky Fellow

Áron Antal

The summer in the Hungarian Plain was as usual: very hot, around 38C. I had just arrived at the field with my MTZ type 81.1 tractor with its trailer. It was an old Soviet one, it had no air conditioning, nor radio or anything amusing. The only way to cool myself down was to open both doors and let the air flow into the cabin, with all the dust from the road, in my nose, in my eyes, on my sweaty, half-naked body, sticking my shoeless foot on the metal gas pedal, which had no covering, so it was pretty hot as well, like the entirely black interior. While I was thinking of next year’s summer, when I would get a better tractor, a John Deere 7230R, I arrived at the field, where two harvesting machines (out of the four) were working, harvesting durum wheat. Four tractors with bigger trailers then mine (whose capacity was only ten tons), were waiting ahead of me, on the other side of the long, narrow field. It felt like being at the doctor’s; there were three hours of waiting before I would finally have a chance to get to the huge, dark green harvesting machines. I stopped the tractor’s engine, switched off the ignition, and put my legs on the dashboard. It was around midday, the sunrays were super strong, no clouds on the sky. I was sitting in the cabin, no trees, not a single one as far as the eyesight reaches, so I had no choice but to stay in the cabin alone. My back was hurting, as this type of tractor has no rear suspension.

As I had no other way to amuse myself, I started thinking about what I should spend my salary on. The harvesting machine was approaching me. Its loud noise, the sound of the huge 12L turbocharged engine, and the sound of the grating metal bars on its table, that terrifying noise, scared some deers out of the wheat, and they started running in my direction. They were so scared they didn’t even care about my tractor; they ran in front of me, closer than I have ever seen a deer before. They were kind of fatty, and I stared at them with hunger in my eyes. The deer and the hunger started up thoughts about a good, tasty, spicy deer stew with noodles and pickle, with a bit of sour cream on top. I imagined that I was sitting in an elegant restaurant, with my girlfriend, about ten years from now. We had a very good red wine, nice music in the background, it was very romantic. She ordered crab cooked in butter, and I ordered deer stew. We spoke a lot and had a great time. When we finished the meal, I stood up, took a small box out of my pocket, and asked for her hand. She cried out loud, “Yes, of course,” hugged and kissed me, and was so happy about the whole thing, so joyful, so beautiful. Then we left the place and walked to my cherry-red 1985 BMW. We sat in the car and started driving home. Its suspension was so soft, the seats so comfortable and the air-conditioning… She started to plan our wedding, while I drove with a great smile on my face. What a successful life I had. I had a beautiful girlfriend, who in a few months would be my wife, a nice car, and overall, a very….

A strong horn blasted through my ears, and I saw that the harvesting machine was standing next to me, ready to fill my trailer. It hurt me. It wasn’t my back, or my ears, but my soul that was hurting the most.

What a nice and pleasureful experience I was having in my mind, when this stupid horn pulled me back to the plain reality, where I had no car, only a few mopeds, and no girlfriend. Our mind is an astonishing place, where we can be anyone we want, I thought, as I put the tractor’s hard transmission into sixth and a half gear and approached the harvesting machine, on that hot summer day when for three hours I had been a lucky guy….

The End for Each

Áron Antal

“Good morning, Mr. Ludwig,” said the receptionist.

“Morning,” said Mr. Ludwig.

He was in a hurry, rushing to his office. He was the head of America’s great stock company, the Investment co. The date was 1972, the time when the petrol prices started to rise; thus the stocks had lost some of their value.

Mr. Ludwig arrived at the elevator, which he entered. His office was at the top of the 26-floor building. The lift went up two floors and stopped. A man all in black from top to bottom, in a black cap and dark sunglasses, entered the lift; he did not say a word but just stood there. This was very disturbing for the principal.

Have I seen this man before? he asked himself. Maybe he is the new security guard, but I did not ask anyone to bring one. Interesting.

The man in the black suit pulled a small box out of his black coat and opened it up. No doubt about it, it was a beautiful, well-detailed, elegant cigar box . He opened it and put it in front of our principal, without a word. Mr. Ludwig was a heavy smoker, so he took out one and said:

“Thank you.” He got no answer, not a word. Then the lift stopped at the 21st floor where the mysterious man left the lift and went on. Mr. Ludwig looked at his hands and started to analyse the cigar, which was from Habana.

How could this guy get a hand on such a high-quality cigar, from the salary of a security guard? An illegal brand, no less? he thought himself. Only then did he realise that he had arrived at his office on the 26th floor. He stared at his handwatch, realising that he would have a meeting in two minutes. He quickly ran into his office, where the meeting took place.

It was 12:32 when it came to an end. After everyone had left the office, he closed the door and asked his assistant for a cup of coffee and a copy of the daily newspaper. While he was waiting, he looked out the window, down onto the busy midday streets of downtown. While he was gazing at the people down there wandering a bit at the marketplace, while he was watching all the people walking in a tight alley, he saw a man in black clothes, in sunglasses, standing and staring at his window. He almost felt that they were making eye contact, even though he couldn’t see his eyes. Mr. Ludwig quickly went to the shutter and closed it. He was filled with a very weird feeling. By the time his assistant, Mrs. Susan, arrived, Mr. Ludwig was browsing through papers about the rise of the petrol prices.

“Why did you close the shutter?” she asked.

“No reason,” he answered.

“Let me open it for you, it is a really nice, sunny day,” she said, while he put down the coffee on the mahagony table.

“There’s no need for tha…” said Mr. Ludwig, but the shutter was already open. He looked down at the street with great curiosity, but he couldn’t find that man in the crowd of people anymore. He sat up, stretched his back, and sat back to have his coffee, but then his telephone rang. He put down the cup and answered the call.

“Yes. Good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon Mr. Ludwig,” said Ludwig’s manager. “I have bad news for you, sir.”

“What is it?”

“Tomorrow you will have a meeting with the Californian stock expert.”

“And what’s the bad news, then?”

“That it will be at 6:30 a.m.”

“Okay, thank you, but that’s quite early.”

“Yes, but no need to thank me.”

He hung up the phone. Mr. Ludwig wasn’t happy to hear this, but for his luck, today he could go home earlier, at 3 p.m instead of 6.

From now on, nothing interesting happened, a short announcement, that was all.

At 2:56 he called for his private driver, Antony. Antony was a typical southern Italian at first glance. He was quite hairy, had black hair and a well-shaved face, and had that sunkissed brown skin all year round. He was very polite but not talkative. Antony wasn’t the best driver; sometimes, like this morning, he arrived late at the house of the principal. But Mr. Ludwig liked him very much, for no reason, and that’s why he did not search for another driver.

Mr. Ludwig then went to the lift and pushed the button with the number 1 on it. The lift stopped at the 13th floor, where six workers rushed into the lift, which became so jam-packed that a fly could barely fit in. Through the crowd the principal could only see another man in black and in sunglasses, who was staring at the lift, but his hair was just like Antony’s. When the door started closing, Mr. Ludwig could see that the man said something into a handphone and walked away.

Weird, he thought. Who are these people. They are so suspicious. Is someone trying to find out information about me? No. Why would anyone do that? But I’m quite important.

By and by, the lift arrived at the bottom. Mr. Ludwig stepped out and approached the door.

“Have a nice day, sir,” said the receptionist.

“Good bye.”

He entered the street. In front of his building, his car was waiting for him. A beautiful cherry-red 1971 Cadillac, with the latest V8 6L engine under the hood.

What a nice car, he thought.

Antony stepped out and opened the door for him.

“Good afternoon, sir,” Antony said.

“Good afternoon to you,” said Mr. Ludwig.

Then Antony closed the door and sat back behind the steering wheel. He started the engine and drove away. On there way home, they had to stop at a red light. There was no one on the road, only a few pedestrians, as it was a very quiet part of the city. Then out of nowhere, a black Cadillac, just like his, stopped next to them. It windows were as black as the sky on a moonless night. Then another car, just like this one, stopped behind them. Mr. Ludwig looked in the rearview mirror, which reflected the windshield of the car, and behind it, two men in black, wearing sunglasses. He could also hear bits of Italian music from the cars, from the same radio station. It was a bit loud.


“Yes, sir?”

“Isn’t this suspicious to you?”

“What, sir?”

“These black Cadillacs.”

“No, sir. Quite a few people own such cars in this neighbourhood. It is not a rare sight around here.”

“How is it, then, that I haven’t seen any Cadillacs around here other than mine?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

The conversation ended, and the light turned green, so they went on. The car next to them turned right, but the one behind them kept following them, until they arrived at Mr. Ludwig’s house. There the car overtook them and went on.

“See, sir, there is nothing to worry about. This car just happened to go in the same direction as we did. It was just a weird coincidence. Anyway, tomorrow I will come as always, at 9 a.m., right?”

“Not quite, Antony. Tomorrow I have a very early meeting, at 6:30 a.m. . So please, come at 6 a.m., not 8:45 a.m. as you always do. And be sharp. This meeting is very important.”

“Alright, sir. Good bye,” Antony said and opened the door for the principal. Mr. Ludwig stepped out and approached his door, while looking at Antony driving away in the car. When he turned around, he saw that the black Cadillac from the light was parking next to his house, lights on, engine running. He quickly entered the house. He only heard the engine rev and the car slowly disappear in the neighbourhood.

“Hi, honey,” his wife said to him.

“Hi, my dear.”

“What’s the matter? You look distracted.”

“It’s nothing. I’m just tired.” He lied to his wife about the events, concealing the fact that people in black, wearing sunglasses, were following him, because she was very paranoid and would get so afraid, that she wouldn’t be able to sleep for days.

“Tomorrow I have a meeting at 6:30 a.m., that’s the only thing that bothers me.”

“Okay, then,” she answered.

The day went on eventless from that point. They lived on the outskirts of the city, in a quiet, peaceful neighbourhood. No crimes had happened there for years, so we can consider it very safe as well.

The next morning, Mr. Ludwig woke up at 5 a.m. and did what everyone does after they wake up: brushed his teeth, put on his most elegant clothes, had breakfast. By the time he finished, it was 5:47. He turned on the radio, at a low volume, so as not to wake up his wife.

Morning economic news in one minute. The petrol prices keep rising as the Cold War situation won’t quiet down, meaning that the dollar probably will start investing also due to the conflict be…” The radio lost the frequency, only static noise could be heard.

He stood up from the table and started thinking. What should he do to prevent his company from getting bankrupt? All sorts of things were coming to his mind when the heard his ride arrive. He went out and greeted Antony, and they drove away.

The meeting ended at 8:40. He had no work for that day, meaning that he could leave now and arrive home at 9 a.m. On the ride home between the city and the outskirts, there was a blank area of about one 1 mile, surrounded with forest. Antony asked him:

“How was your meeting, sir?”

“Thanks for asking,” said Mr. Ludwig while he lit his cigar. “Everything went fine…”

His car exploded with a huge magnitude, blowing into hundreds of pieces, only leaving the chassis burning in the middle of the road. There was no one out there who could witness this misfortune-filled event. Except for two black Cadillacs and a cherry-red 1971 6L, just like poor Mr. Ludwig’s, waiting in the forest. There were 9 people, all in black suit, in sunglasses, one of them holding a portable rocket launcher, whose end was aimed to hit Mr. Ludwig’s car.

“Target is eliminated, we can continue the work. Go to Mr. Ludwig’s house, take him up, and drive him to the Boss, where we can overhear him, as the plan says,” said one of them with an Italian accent.

“Okay,” said the man in the cherry-red car.

The Cadillac drove out of the woods and started to continue on the path to Mr. Ludwig’s house. The car arrived at the house at 9 a.m. sharp. The driver sat there for ten minutes or so, waiting for Mr. Ludwig to come out, but he did not. The driver then went to the door of the house and rang the bell. Ludwig’s wife opened the door.

“Good morning, Antony? Where is my husband?” said Mr. Ludwig’s wife, with doubt in her tone. “You are… as if you were different today…”

“I came for your husband,” said the mafia member.

“This must be a joke, right? You took him to work earlier today; he should have come home with you.”’ At that point, the mafia member grasped the truth: that they had eliminated not only the driver, but their target to be kidnapped and offered up with a ransom on his head.

About the Contributors

Áron Antal likes to spend his time in nature and in the bordering land around his town; interested in old machinery, cars and motorcycles especially, and things from the mid-nineteenth century to the 90s, as well as the lifestyle of that era, he is trying to include these in his stories and build them a plot, an important role.

Szabina Tamara Da Cunha Carvalho is a student in Class 11.C who really enjoys writing about interesting topics, especially when it comes to giving an opinion. 

Dávid Csáki is just a gamer who decided to write a story.

Zoltán Fekete: If you let silence guide you, you unlock your full potential.

Lili Forgács is a fifteen-year-old girl with an enormous heart and even larger dreams.

Lili Galics hopes you shine, lil sweetie.

My name is Hunor Gangel and I am just a normal high school student.

Zsófia Gávris is a fifteen-year-old girl from Szolnok who sees the positive side of everything and works hard toward her goals.

Eszter Aletta Hevesi is from Törökszentmiklós.

Kázmér Kaposvári: I would say I am rather creative and have ideas, but most important of all, I create something out of those ideas.

Lilla Kassai is a bit of a weird girl who loves dark and morbid jokes and is not afraid of telling them to people like you.

Tamás Kertész: How is a picture made? “From Light comes Darkness, and from Darkness – Light!” It is that simple. (Quote from: Alodi; Warcraft: The Beginning)

Attila Marcell Kiss was born in Szolnok.

Dániel Lipcsei is a folk dancer in two ensembles, Rákóczi Néptáncetyüttes—Rákóczifalva and Tisza Táncegyüttes, and a member of Class 11.C at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium.

Anna Mészáros is an overthinker, especially when you ask her about her bio.

I am Adél Mihályi, and I am not good at speaking, so I write.

Zalán Molnár: Making history.

Dávid Preller is too boring to answer with something funny.

My name is Bernadett Sági and I am so excited, because this is the first time that my work has been published on the internet.

According to Gergely Sülye, the quarantine of 2020 is something you can conveniently use for some serious self-improvement at home.

(Alexandra) Süveges clapped you.

I am Gréta Tóth and I like to express my opinions through writing.

Dorottya Turza: I’m like a book you have to read. A book can’t read itself to you. It doesn’t even know what it’s about.

Issue 1:1 (Spring 2020)

Welcome to the first issue of Folyosó, an online literary journal by students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. Plans for the journal started in March 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic; these times call for a literary journal just as any time does—that is, boldly, clearly, and merrily. Two months later, on May 11, 2020, the inaugural issue appeared. See the contents below. We welcome your readership and comments!

Letter from the Editor

Interview with Dániel Lipcsei


Nosepieces (based on Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose”)



A High-Stakes Test by Class 11.C2 and Diana Senechal

About the Contributors

Submit to the Autumn 2020 Issue!

Cover art by Lilla Kassai.