The Addition

(novel excerpt)

Filip woke up in a sweat. He could hear his mother talking to someone at the door and his first thought was the army. They must have come to get him. They had come in person, even though his waiver was valid for a few more months and he should have been notified by mail about the next appointment. But one couldn’t really count on such procedures, not in the chaos that ruled Serbia in the 1990s.

 

The New Disease

It was 1986 in Belgrade, and I was cleaning the school yard on a Saturday morning, just as if it was 1946. Most of the city bathed in fall colors, but Teacher Rada brought us to a slope with bare trees, where we raked dead leaves into a grassless corner by the iron fence. We looked like some youth work brigade from a post-war Yugoslav documentary.