Fiction - Page 2

Walking the Line

Dorottya Turza

Our world is constantly changing. Some would say it is for the better, some think the complete opposite. Even with the bad things in our mind, we can’t deny that in many aspects our current society surpasses that of our predecessors. Living conditions are certainly better than before. We gained a bigger space to freely practice our rights, as well as many opportunities for workplaces and ways to engage ourselves in our free time. Considering the above, many would even say that parents have a much easier time raising their children. It sounds good in theory. However with our continuously altering society, the problems haven’t disappeared. They have simply changed as well.

My husband, Ben, and I met during our teenage years. We clicked pretty much instantly. In a blink of an eye we were already living together, and not long after that we got married. And a few years later we were expecting a baby. Her name is Emily. The moment she was born she became my whole world.

Surprisingly (considering our stubborn personalities) she turned out to be a precious angel growing up. Still had her temper tantrums as no doubt every baby does, but I like to believe that we handled them properly. I much preferred to talk things out rather than just plainly brush them aside. Maybe I was a bit soft-hearted at times, but I had Ben at my side on those occasions to help me navigate through them.

Emily’s bond with me was extremely strong. She used to tell me everything from mundane everyday things to more serious matters. She seemed to naturally gravitate towards me during those times and await some advice or even just an opinion. For a parent it is certainly a relief to know that your kid trusts and values your thoughts enough to approach you and consider them.

So it was all the more frustrating and at the same time crushing to know that something could alter this state of affairs.

The change was so sudden it felt like a slap to the face. One day she happily learned a new braiding style, and the next day she wanted to shave her head completely. I wasn’t against the idea, simply curious as to where this came from. However, when I asked her she went berserk. She started to yell at me that I can’t understand her and finally shut herself in her room. I was stunned. This kind of breakdown had never happened before. At that time it surprised me, but I simply blamed it on puberty..

I was entirely wrong.

These kind of situations became more and more common. We coudln’t even remain in the same room without one of us shouting. It got out of hand. Until ultimately she confronted us.

She told us that she didn’t feel like a girl and she felt like she was born in the wrong body. She said she was a boy and would like us to accept her. I like thinking that we received it well. As well as we could in that moment. The fact that your child isn’t comfortable in their skin is quite shocking. Especially at first. So what do you do in that situation after the temporarily freak out? We asked a lot of questions. I mean a LOT of questions. She (he?) answered all of them. After all of this, we reassured him that we will try our best to make him fell accepted and comfortable in our home.

The next weeks were really awkward, because we didn’t know how to behave around him. For a long time we slipped up a lot, but with more time we adjusted relatively well. He looked extremely happy, and it seemed that our problems were solved at last, or at least I hoped so.

Then it hit again…

One evening he came forward with a serious face and claimed that he was a non-binary individual with ADHD. This time we were a lot more skeptical. The rapid identity changing was bizarre to say the least. And compared to the previous conversation we were at a complete loss and couldn’t understand half of what he said. Apart from this we moved on, with difficulty.

Later at night I discussed the issue with Ben, but from his attitude it appeared he had kind of given up and taken it as a phase that would go away. Simply going with the wave didn’t soothe me, just made me feel even more lost.

Now the slowly built up routine fully crumbled, and the uncomfortable atmosphere appeared once more. We tried to get back some normality, yet the absence of communication did the complete opposite instead. Usually we avoided any topic involving gender or sexuality. As well as calling Emily/Emil by name, instead using pet names like darling, sugar, etc. This condition lasted till it was time for high school, when everything finally made sense.

They continued their education in another city, so we had to start packing to be ready on the day of departure. While I was focusing on organizing the different belongings I overheard some things. They were having a conversation probably with one of their friends, where they were speaking about a strange sounding thing. Something called Tiktok. Apparently they did a Tiktok test which told them they have personality disorder and extreme anxiety. These aren’t unheard-of things, but you can’t just toss them around lightly. So I downloaded the application and started researching.

It was certainly an experience. A really concerning one. This platform was stuffed with different kind of influencers. Unfortunately many of them could easily impact people and their way of thinking. Especially children who are still developing individuals. With a curious click they can easily find themselves on more mature platforms. After witnessing a huge amount of people doing the same thing, you feel a strong sense of pressure or need for belonging, so you simply follow their example. These are so-called trends. Trends are circulating through the app, causing people to make instant, thoughtless decisions. Some of them seem fairly harmless (like cutting your hair during the pandemia), but countless others could alter lives forever (like changing toddlers’ gender with different operations, because they don’t like to play with trucks or dolls).

I only needed a few hours to have enough of this. I approached her room, gathered my thoughts, and stepped inside. I told her that I knew about these trends and wanted to know how much of this was influencing her current identity. She flipped, and started to shout that it was completely natural to be a boy today, but a girl tomorrow. That there are certain things that can trigger this. We are the ones who were too conservative to even comprehend this.

From then on I don’t remember much. I felt so angry and disappointed, mostly in myself. I should have paid more attention to her and questioned these sudden shifts more. At the end I confiscated her phone and stormed out of the room.

After I calmed down, Ben and I had a discussion to try to figure out what to do from here. When we came to a solution, we called her in. We told her that we wouldn’t oppose her identity-searching journey, but that she shouldn’t expect us to support it either. If she wholeheartedly committed to it with different kinds of operations or hormones, then there would be no turning back. That she can’t just change gender for the sake of convenience. Also she can’t just self-diagnose serious conditions, even if at that moment one or two symptoms seem plausible, However, if she truly thinks a gender transition is best, then she can talk about it when she reaches adulthood.

Of course after we gave our opinion, our farewell was sour, but I felt much better. We did everything; now the only one who can decide where things will end is ultimately her.

Goodbye Forever

Áron Antal

– Good morning, dear.

– Morning, Mom.

As soon as she closed my door again, I wanted to fall asleep, but I just couldn’t. Kept turning for ten minutes until I got tired of it, and left my room. The sunrays struck my eyes like a car’s highbeam on a dark night.

– I made breakfast for you – said mom.

She made the best bread with eggs, and tomato salad to top it off. Salty and dripping with vinegar.

– Would you mind turning on the radio, please? – asked my mom. – If you bought it at least use it once in a while.

I bought this old humongous radio at a garage sale down the street a week ago for half a dollar. It was a beauty, made from wood that was in good condition, and I had a bakelite plate player as well, long, middle, short and ultrashort reception with a ferret-antenna, and at dawn you could even get Japan on it, although with a lot of static. My mother hated it.

So I pushed the ON button, the radio sizzled, and the old speakers started to play a song from the 70s.

– Where is dad? – I asked.

– At work as usual – she replied. – He said that after you woke up, you have to help him. They are fixing a harvesting machine or something. So when you finish your breakfast, you have to go help him.

– Okay – I said, and continued to consume the delicious breakfast. Our dog was sleeping on the porch, turning from left to right, sometimes yawning. The birds were chirping in the garden, and the sun was rising higher form the horizon. It was quite peaceful, considering the fact that a war was raging in our “neighbor.”

The news came on the radio:

– Mortality rates are increasing while there seems to be a stalemate in the war….

My mom took a leap forward to the cord, and pulled it out.

– I hate when they speak about the war. Why can’t we live in peace after hundreds of years of wars? Humanity has had enough bloodshed already.

– I have to agree, but what can you do about it? Next year, if I graduate, I will buy Bill’s old BMW, and go travel for a bit in the summer.

– If you can earn the money, then you may. Although I will miss you – said my mom with a frown on her face. – I even miss you when you spend two days at Jack’s working.

– I should go now, or dad will rip my head off.

– Yeah, you should go. Be careful while fixing that harvesting machine, I have a bad feeling. You know maternal instincts!

– Yes I know, be assured, nothing will happen. Bye mom.

I walked out to the garage, where my motorbike was parked. At the moment I started the engine, our dog was standing next to me. She always got here so fast when someone was leaving, you would think she could teleport or something. She looked at me with a sad face.

– Okay girl, I won’t be away forever. When I get home, I have to fix Mr. White’s Honda, I will play with you while doing so, okay?

She was just staring at me, but I know that she could understand what I said, or maybe not understand but just feel from the tone of the speech that I had some good intentions for her.

I opened the gate of the garden, and went on the road. The traffic was minimal, as one would expect from a small agriculture town in the middle of a plane, or in the middle of the geographical location, where nothing happens. Life just flows like in a spring, never disturbed and uninterested in what happens.

As I was going on my way, enjoying the warm weather of May, in front of a house with a detailed fence stood a man in army uniform, around twenty, getting hugged by his mother, his father waiting in the car.

– Poor fella – I thought. He enlisted for what? To die out on the field “protecting his country.”

Soon I arrived at the ranch out of town, at our family ranch. Although the word “ranch” is quite demeaning, as our “ranch” had forty-five thousand tonnes of grain storage, eighty thousand liters of gasoline and thirty thousand liters of nitrosol artificial fertilizer storage capacity, so it was big to say the least. As I rolled in the main gate and went behind the mechanic hangar, my blood froze in my veins.

Two tanks were parked there and a military truck. My father seemed to be arguing with an officer.

I stopped at the gate of the hangar, and with rapid steps approached the vehicles.

I always had an amazement for huge and heavy machines, and was a great heavy machine operator, but now I was terrified by the sight of the tanks.

– Good morning – I said with a resonating voice.

– They want to take you away!’ – cried out my father. – They will take you away.

– What?

– Good morning Mr. Goodman – said the officer – your father is quite right. We have the order to enlist you and some of the workers of the facility, while placing it under military control.

Two soldiers approached me, took me by the hand, and led me towards the truck where George the tractor driver, John the mechanic and Nate the heavy machine operator were sitting with their heads hanging low. They were between the ages of 19-23. I couldn’t say a word as I stepped up onto the truck. I turned back when we were driving away, saw my father crying while he was waving goodbye, maybe forever, and heard him shouting something like: “How could this happen, why not me, your mother…” but I could barely even raise my hand to wave goodbye to him. I didn’t even know what I would have to do, whether I would be deployed almost after enlistment or stationed until the time came.

The sun shone on the back of my neck as the truck bumped on the road, and I was just thinking: I couldn’t even say a proper goodbye. Who will play with my dog, who will fix old Mr. White’s Honda, who will buy that old BMW and who will stop my mother from throwing out my radio? The answer is easy: no one, because I won’t be there.

Value What You Get

Áron Antal

I have been sitting here for more than two hours. Some modern music blasted in the background, people were talking to each other, some were sitting around me in the living room. I was staring into the abyss of the striped grayish white carpet on the floor, while holding a can of beer, my fourth or fifth along with countless shots, I couldn’t remember.My childhood was on my mind.

….oh my God, why don’t you leave that fool, you deserve better….

I was at my grandparents’ house. I remembered playing in the garden with my sister. I was frustrated because I hadn’t seen my dad for weeks.

All of a sudden my mind switched back and realized that staring at a carpet while people are talking around me is kind of rude, so I raised my gaze.

– How drunk are you? – asked Samantha. Her high-pitched voice was like a police siren screaming in your ear. I didn’t even know why I had been sitting around the girls. I wasn’t even remotely interested in any of them. I wasn’t even sure what on earth I was doing here or why I had come.

– Let me assure you that I am not  – I said, stood up, took a last glance at the grey carpet on the floor and walked towards the kitchen.

George was creating some sort of abomination out of whiskey, tequila and rum. I stared at it in disgust, but my stomach was made of steel. Greg’s wasn’t, because as soon as he drank up that fence ripper, he threw up. Loud cheering followed, and Greg received a pat on the shoulder from Mary, and an F for effort.

– Who will come to the next party on Friday? – asked Jack, half drunk, from among the crowd.

– Meee, Weee!- shouted everyone; everyone except me.

– Come on man, why not? Don’t tell me it’s a bad party!

– It’s not that, Jack. I have to work starting next week.

– Pfht! – he said and made a sluggish movement with his arm, denying the sentence I just told him, in the effort of which he knocked over a shot glass that shattered on the floor. He stared at the shards for twelve seconds, tried to walk over them, which resulted in him stepping into them, and held me by my shoulder.

– Your father can’t be so cruel as not to let you come.

– He wouldn’t be. I don’t want to come. I wouldn’t have the time and energy, and couldn’t be in proper shape for the next day.

– Then you are just a wuss! Ahhaha!

– Yeah, go to hell then!

He stood there laughing, still standing in the shotglass he knocked over as I walked out to the street and directed myself towards home, still holding that can of now piss-warm beer, drinking from it on my way.

The day arrived when I had to work during the summer break. My alarm clock rang at 6 a.m. I got up so rapidly from my bed in excitement that I left my blood pressure under the blanket, so I had to sit back down for a moment. My father was already up, and after half an hour of gathering, we sat in the pickup and drove out of town to the ranch. The morning attendance meeting started at 7.

I shook hands with all the workers who were there, and with all the others who came in late.

– One sugar and milk right? – asked Anita, the measurement facility’s operator.

–Yes, please – I answered.

By the time my well-awaited coffee was ready, the instructions were given out. I was tasked to prepare my tractor and wagon by 9 a.m., and then go out on the back gate, turn right, then turn left and go until I saw the harvesting machines. Today was the first day of harvest.

I drank my coffee like a shot of whiskey, and walked through the ranch to where my tractor and wagon were parked. I drove the Old Lady, the 1993 John Deere 7600, which had a 40 speed gearbox (20 forward, 20 backwards) that could be operated with two gear levers. It was an art to drive this beast. Last year I had a 2017 John Deere 7230R, with a 40 speed automatic, but I hated the on-board computer and the fact that everything was electronic. That’s why I asked specifically to work with the Old Lady.

I did what always had to be done: checked the oil and coolant level, the pneumatic and hydraulic hoses, the wagon attachment, and the connectors of the hydraulic cables and brake valves. I also brushed out the interior. When I looked at my watch, it was 8:56, so I was ready to start. I sat in the seat, pulled the steering wheel up against me, and turned the ignition key. The engine started after two seconds of cranking, shooting a cloud of soot up to its white cousins. After the air pressure reached 4.5 bar, I put the main gear lever in B, and pulled the second gear lever from Park to Neutral then into the fourth gear forward, and left the ranch.

It was midday, the June sun was scorching the surface of the earth, and by that time, there were no clouds to at least ease the heat.

I just had my lunch, which was pasta with cottage cheese and a hint of wheat stalk. I put it out on the hood of the tractor with the hope that it would heat it up, because I had picked it up from the fridge the second time I went back to the ranch with a full wagon. Unfortunately, as it was working in the sun, and I fell asleep because two tractor were ahead of me, one of the harvesting machines passed by, covering me and my lunch in dust and straw.

After an hour it was my turn finally, and after relieving three harvesting machines of eight tonnes of wheat each, I headed back.

This went on until 8:30 p.m., when after arriving with my final delivery, I could go home.

On my way home, I asked my dad to stop for a minute, because I wanted to have an ice cream to crown the day.

And to my suprise, Jack was there, with another guy and three girls, all of them dressed up in fancy clothes, and expensive ones at that. I was approaching them in a torn shirt covered in dust and sweat.

– Ay man, how’s work going? – he asked.

– Fine, I guess.

– You look like crap, maybe you should just quit – said Jack, and all of them giggled.

– Yeah, this is so lame, working all day. I can tell you I wouldn’t even talk to a guy who is not available for me the whole time – said one of the girls.

I took my ice cream, paid the guy, turned toward them, smiled, and said:

– All of you are worthless.

Jack hopped up at the instant I finished the sentence, and tried to hit me in the face. The outcome of this event was that I hit him in the nose as he changed his mind after I sent my arm toward his face before he could hit me.

I think it goes without a saying that after this incident I was never again invited to his parties, which I will not miss. I realized that with hard work, you can make a difference, which you can’t do by just wearing expensive clothes and drinking your mind away.

Beyond Perception

Áron Antal

I went to the bath at 7:40 pm. The warm water filled one third of the tub. I submerged my body in the warmth and washed my body. It was time to wash my hair. I applied shampoo, washed it down, but felt a warm sensation and an urge to remain submerged. The only thing I could hear was the changing of the rhythm of my heartbeat according to my breathing. Inhaling; heart beats faster. Exhaling; heart beats slower. My head was about at the middle of the tub, hands folded behind my head, my feet up on the wall. I was lying in that position as my head sank in the water that was just high enough to keep only my nose above it. Then I lost my perception of my body. It felt like I was in the womb of my mother. Then I lost my perception of time. It felt like a make-believe concept, and I existed in a realm of timelessness. I was aware of what was happening, but I couldn’t do anything. Then thoughts rushed through my mind, many nonsensical thoughts, disjoint and unintelligible. This happens every time before I fall asleep. Yet I didn’t fall asleep. I existed between two concepts; I wasn’t quite sleeping, but I wasn’t quite awake. Then I encountered myself.

– Hello! – I said with doubtful confidence.

– Hi there! – I replied.

– Are you my subconscious? – I asked.

– I am.

I noticed that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think or even say a word in Hungarian, my native language, no matter how hard I tried. I have been learning English for twelve years, and had many dreams where I spoke it, but I never sensed that Hungarian could feel so remote from me.

I wanted to see if I was having some deep thought process, or if I was really “face to face” with my subconscious.

– Prove it! – I said. – Show me a memory that only I can know, a memory that is so important that my consciousness couldn’t recall it.

I saw my perspective when we moved to our newly built house in 2007, with me sitting in the kitchen gazing out the window. I was two years old at that time, and from around this age I only had two memories of our old house; all the memories I could recall were after the birth of my sister.

– Show me my desire!

I saw an image of a primary school classmate of mine, who I have been talking to on the bus for a month now only on Mondays, but I have came to the conclusion that I like her and probably she likes me too although we weren’t close before, and now we have had about six twenty- to thirty-minute conversations since our coming together. I couldn’t admit to myself that I liked her, but deep down I knew I did.

Then I saw an image of my grandpa’s motorcycle in the garage, a four-year project I couldn’t finish because of school and other activities of mine.

– Can I access my full brain capacity?

My subconscious stood in silence, or so I recall. This response could be interpreted in two ways: that my subconscious didn’t know the answer to this question, or that it refused to answer me.

Then I had some conversation with my subconscious, conversation that I cannot recall, but I felt that my subconscious was superior to me.

I have since then come to the logical conclusion that I was talking to myself in a matter that one would talk to themself if they had a perfect copy standing right in front of them. I “stood” in silence.

I noticed a strong sensation in my body, as if my blood were flowing through my veins and arteries like a rushing river. It felt good. I had zero perception of the outside world, and my body felt alien. I felt that I could perceive my surroundings from a higher position relative to the theoretical position of my physical body. I felt that I was floating above me.

– Can my soul leave my body? – I asked my subconscious.

– No, not yet.

I could feel my soul “reemerge” with my body. Now the only thing I could feel was a strong sensation right in the middle of my forehead, in a spot that was approximately equidistant from my eyes, forming a triangle.

I was in a realm where the absence of thoughts enabled thoughts to be formed. It was thinking without thoughts. The only conversation I can remember was some existential questions I proposed to my subconscious, questions that I cannot recall. It was comfortable. The whole experience was. I heard heavy footsteps approaching, but that was the only thing I perceived from the outside world. Then as the footsteps became louder and louder, I could feel my heartbeat again, the rushing rivers in my veins were reduced to mere springs, and the sensation on my forehead was gone, my subconscious faded away as, triggered by an external stimulus, my consciousness began taking control over my body.

My father grabbed my shoulders and asked:

– Are you alright? It’s been 40 minutes since you entered the tub!

– I am alright, I guess.

I told my parents what I had experienced, and they could barely believe it. Still as I’m writing down these words two hours after this self induced ultra-meditative state I was in for about thirty minutes, I can barely explain and comprehend what went on in my mind. I have never felt so mentally relaxed and calmed before, and I can still barely believe what had just happened and understand how it happened.

I have always had a special way of thinking, perceiving, experiencing and recollecting, but this event was beyond anything that happened to me. It was bizarre, but felt calming.

The Way to Civilization

Réka Haluska and Napsugár Molnár


My Getaway from Plorlour

Antonio Markspen

This little brochure is the short summary of my Best Seller (on Earth) called My Getaway from Plorlour.

I would like you to read this not for my own wealth and sake, but for my planet’s citizens. Let’s try to help them together.

Let me start by introducing our solar system:

Our planet has a very strange sun that only emits colorfully reflectable light once a month, on the 11th.

That day may be the time of your life, but do not let this fool you.


Firstly, I will tell you about the day only your richest Earth fellows are familiar with. Yes, this is the only day when you can travel to our planet.

It starts when our own “time square” in the captial city reaches zero. Different time zones’ colourful 24 hours start at different periods of the day.

Everything from that point on is seen colourful, just like the way you see things on Earth every day of your life.

Shops open, people paint buildings, themselves and even others with paint bombs. This tradition is called bovali. There are festivals everywhere, neon signs are lit and nightlife is blooming. Everyone has a day off of work; even the shops are automatic, as we have very advanced technology.

It is a tourist attraction for the Earth’s top-tier man.

You get fireworks, laughs and everything you want.

But reality hits when the colour day is off.


Let me show you the other side of the “story.” The one no one talks about and no one knows about.

Unlike the glorious color day you all know, the rest of the days are cold, bland, rigid and something no one would be eager to visit.

Every single day looks the same, you wake up, go to work, buy groceries, go home, eat, sleep and repeat. This boring cycle is mindrotting, but in the moment you feel like it is worth it for that one day. To spend money, go on programmes. But in reality, is it really worth it?

From my perspective, it is  not. But there, they fill your mind with propaganda, the type that makes you think that this is the greatest planet in the whole universe. A place where people have a reason to keep going. They tell you that on Earth, every day is colourless, which makes you unmotivated to get away from Plorlour.

Now to focus more on the colourless days, I will try to express how depressing all of it is. The atmosphere almost feels like a weight on your shoulder that you can not get off. Most people have mental problems and depression caused by the hopelessness. But how could they be happy? Nothing to do besides work, no entertainment, no funky stores open, no cafes, no clubs, no cinemas, nothing. Everything feels pointless.

I have a request and idea I would like your help with. I think we could make glasses/lenses which polarise our sun’s light in a way that everyone could see colour. Every. Day. This could give hope to my humans and could help maintain our planet.


Story and book: Sára Radó, Veronika Török, Matilda Ősz.

Streetview and cover art: Matilda Ősz.

A Changed Connection

Zsófia Éva Zsiga

Maybe in September I met my trout fishing in America. Over the past months I always brought my trout fishing in America with me everywhere, but within the past few days something weird happened to me and my trout fishing in America. Our connection changed a lot. So the thing that happened is that sometimes my trout fishing in America just disappears like nothing happened. It is a really strange thing because my trout fishing in America never did that before, ever since we got to know each other. When my trout fishing in America is away from me, I am happier than ever. My trout fishing in America is bad for me, because it can control my feelings, my thoughts, and everything about me. It made me feel so much worse than I ever felt about myself. I am so tired of the things I think about, the way my brain works and the things I do when it is by my side. When my trout fishing in America found me, I felt like our meeting was written by someone who is known by almost everyone. It’s as if the one that knows everyone and the one who is known by everyone had given me a challenge. It was really strange but I got used to it. Now that my trout fishing in America is gone sometimes, I don’t know what to do with myself, how to fix my life, how to recreate everything about my life like it was before our meeting. Now my life has gotten strange when it isn’t around me. Everyone is asking about my trout fishing in America, but i don’t even know it well enough. It’s like no one can know my trout fishing in America enough. My trout fishing in America is the strangest thing I ever experienced in my whole life, and I can’t really get away from it. I feel like I am attracted to my trout fishing in America; even though it isn’t good for me, I really miss it. I thought it would be great to get away from it, but it turned out I can’t really think about anything else when our connection is broken. I wish I could explain it better but it is really hard for me to talk about my trout fishing in America.

Note from the editor: This is one of twelve pieces in the Spring 2022 issue of Folyosó that play with the concept of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

One Dark Stormy Night

Zóra Luca Tulik

One dark stormy night, an tall old man arrived, at a little ruined pub by the name of Trout Fishing in America located near a remote village the name of which has long been forgotten. The pub had only a few guests, an errant man who carried a dirty bag and a cat with only one eye, and four young knights who were on their way home but just stayed because of the night. The old man was hungry and tired, but he didn’t have enough money. Hearing this, the honorable knights decided to invite the old man for dinner in exchange for hearing a lovely story.

“Long ago,” the grey-bearded man said, “the villagers started to notice that every second day of the month a billy goat disappeared and a day later his skin showed  up on the mayor’s door. First they thought it was a freebooter who was angry with the mayor, but after the mayor died of old age, the disappearances kept on going. The old hunters said a huge monster who lived at the top of the hill was the one who ate the goats. On one of their hunting trips they saw it was three metres tall, it had arms and wings so long that it pulled them after itself when walking. It had claws and horns, and it wore a wolf fur coat whenever it went to the village. The youngest and bravest son of the mayor decided to go to the top of the hill to kill the monster once and for all, but he never made it back. His mother found his skin spread over his bed the following morning. To this day on stormy nights, as it is tonight, you can hear screams, though no one knows who is screaming.”

A long silence followed the words of the man, the faces of the knights anxious as if waiting to hear a scream. After a  few minutes the young knights burst out laughing at his story.

“This is like a fish-wives tale my nanny used to scare me with.” the youngest knight said.

“Well the fish-wives in the village certainly believe the story. Even my mother would never let me go to the hill as a kid, and mind you well, my mother is a brave soul,” the old man said solemnly with a smile.

“Very well, old man,” the young knight said with a grin, “we’ve heard your story, but we have a long journey to our homes in the castle and an early morning to wake up. Let’s go to sleep.” They all walked up the stairs, each to his own room.

At night the guards of the village heard the screams, as was usual on the stormy nights, and one of them swore he had seen a tall old man go along the river towards the hill, wrapped in a coat made of wolf fur. His arms almost touched the ground and he was dragging something shiny that looked like armour. No one took the guard seriously, as he was the mayor’s grandson and for years had drunk a few gallons of wine every evening, because he didn’t want to have nightmares where the monster visited him.

In the morning the owner of the pub was waiting patiently for his guests to come down, but when the maid came to change the beds, he was forced to go upstairs. He opened the old man’s door, but no one was inside, and the bed was untouched, as if he had never been there. He went to wake up the knights. As he opened the door he recognized with horror that all that was left of the knights was their skin laid out on the beds, and all their shiny armour was missing….

Note from the editor: This is one of twelve pieces in the Spring 2022 issue of Folyosó that play with the concept of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

Forest Encounter

Odett Tajti

He grabbed his jacket and left the silent house. It was early in the morning, the grass was wet  and the temperature was near zero. Tom opened the car door and let the aging dog, Rosy, jump into the backseat of the blue wrecked/damaged car, and they took off. During the drive Rosy was sleeping calmly and the radio was playing some old songs quietly. Tom was watching the beautiful Sun rise, which covered the sky with pale yellow, blue and warm rose gold colours.

The car stopped on a dirt road next to a wet field, which led to a big thick forest. Tom put the leash on the dog, and they started going towards the trees. They finally got into the forest, but by that time Tom’s boots were completely soppy. The boy and the doggy started walking. Tom had wanted to come here, because he was so tired and wanted to get away from the city and people for a while. They were walking slowly because the ground was pretty slippery. Some moments later they stopped because they heard a loud noise. They both got scared. Tom took a step closer to a  massive tree. Suddenly  there was a giant whoop. Rosy barked and she somehow ran away. Tom tried to reach her but he couldn’t. He began walking in the direction where the dog had gone. He was shouting her name, hoping that she would come back. After a while he stopped and closed his eyes to think about his situation. Then he heard a bark. He opened his eyes but  didn’t see anything. He turned  around and saw an old man. The man was short and was wearing dark green plastic boots and a strange red hat.

“Who are you?” asked the man in a mysterious, but friendly tone.

“My name is Tom,” answered the boy in hesitation

“Good. I am Trout Fishing In America. And what are you doing here kid?”

“My dog ran away and I’m looking for her.”

“Oh I see. May I help you…” The old Man looked around and started thinking.

“Hmm.. Where should we start? Where?”

“Follow me!”

The old Man started going straight into the middle of the forest, and Tom followed him.

After about twenty minutes of walking, they reached a glade, and there was a little stream. In the water the boy saw big dark rocks and some fish, which were trout. While he was looking around, he suddenly saw Rosy, who was playfully attacking the trout. The dog looked happy and energetic and she seemed much younger than an hour before. The boy was so glad that he had found Rosy. He turned towards the old Man to say thanks to him, but somehow Trout Fishing In America had disappeared.

Note from the editor: This is one of twelve pieces in the Spring 2022 issue of Folyosó that play with the concept of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

What Did You Find?

Lotti Tajti

Once upon the time an angler went to the market to find a good bait for fishing trout.

He was there for a long time, but after three hours of searching he found the perfect bait. It was a part of a plant; the seller said that trout really liked it. The angler thought, “I still have a lot of time, so I will go to the docks to try this new bait out.”

He sat into a boat and left the shore thirty meters behind him. He let the fish-hook into the water. He spent many hours in the boat, but he didn’t manage to entrap any fish. He pulled up the hook, and in anger he threw the bait into the water and went home.

A few months later the fish started to disappear. The anglers were upset and called the harbour controller, who looked for a few divers and told them: “Go down and alert me if you find something!”

They swam down. After a while one of them came up and said: We have found something. “What did you find?” asked the controller.

“I don’t know exactly, but it looks like a plant with two huge fishnets and in those there are hundreds of fish.”

Everybody, who heard this was shocked. A plant with huge fishnets! The diver brought up the nets with the fish; they were taken to market, and then the nets were brought back. After a period of time they were filled again.
The plant was named “trout fishing in America,” and furthermore, it is used for fishing trout.

Note from the editor: This is one of twelve pieces in the Spring 2022 issue of Folyosó that play with the concept of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.