Thursday 3 February 2022

DMITRIY GALKOVSKIY - YULETIDE BESTIARY #1 - Flash Fiction-Translated by Alexander Sharov


Dmitriy Galkovskiy

Yuletide Bestiary #1

Translated by Alexander Sharov

A certain classical rodent distinguished by keen inquisitiveness was once prowling around in the basement, collapsed into the amphora with wine and quickly drowned. On the ensuing day the amphora was dispatched to the seaport where it was loaded onto a vessel. Thunderbolts fulminated into the vessel during a tempest, conflagration erupted and the argosy sank midway between Jaffa and Piraeus. In 3694 the amphora with mummified vitrified mass was salvaged from the seabed and the fossilized rat was hewn from it. The layout of the specimen’s volatile memory was successfully reproduced by applying the methodology of algebraic scanning, and through the instrumentality of the 16-dimensional super-computer, emulating lower mammals’ sensory perception, the relevant video footage was displayed. It transpired that the rat which so (in) felicitously floundered into the amphora, six hours heretofore had sneaked into the presence of Pontius Pilate interrogating Christ.

Clandestine information on that matter was serendipitously unearthed by the computerized archeological mission in 5118. Regretfully, the then retrieved informational chip of the notorious NN-4 grid was almost utterly vandalized, and, in the ultimate reckoning, a portion of the index of contents, de-contextualized fragments of the dialogue and two video snapshots (from amongst the total of two millions) were displayable. A sessile gentleman draped in the toga of the Roman Martial Governor was seen on the former, the least corrupted frame. The foreshortening is extraordinarily abortive – worm’s-eye and lateral-side views. A hulking Romanesque-sandaled foot is visible, a disproportionately dwarfish head with a comparatively hypertrophied mandible, a wrist with a signet ring is on the lap. Opposite stands Christ – an approximately quadragenarian, swarthy-complexioned Semite, luxuriously gowned, aquiline hooked nose, wispy beard, bloated cheeks. The focalization of the snapshot (a chromatic splash) is the signet ring, an ostentatiously flamboyant one, supposedly, the artifact riveting the gnawer’s alertness this particular second. The latter snapshot is severely blurred. Pilate is scarcely discernible thereon. Christ is expostulating on something, gesticulating with his hand straightly at the rat. A hexapod (conjecturally, Blatta orientalis) is zigzagging across the foreground. The semantic cynosure of the snapshot is yawning. Evidently, the instant of refocusing attention from the insect on the background is videoed. Ostensibly, the rat lusted to ingurgitate the Blattoptera but was diverted by an exclamation.

Extant gleanings of the dialogue were exportable solely into the plain textual file format. Consequently, unambiguous authentication of authorship proved to be unidentifiable. The colloquy was being pursued in the Latin bureaucratese of the 1st century AD, and corresponding locutions were, with a certain dosage of conventionality, rendered into icon-based Vision English. Altogether, nineteen isolated snippets were decrypted:

  1. Now then, we shall fix the fiscal issue.
  2. Let us conventionalize things thusly.
  3. It is opined that thy folks ought to be disposed of.
  4. Where is thy executive headquarters?
  5. Thou wilt become shorter by the head.
  6. Where is the baksheesh?
  7. Now, let us tackle HR-related matters.
  8. We shall strike hands (*).
  9. To vilipend and denigrate.
10. To tweak the issue.
11. Troubleshooting and incentivizing the process.
12. To the Grassroots Committee? The sun is likelier to collapse down on the earth!
13. In an untruthful light.
14. We shall scrutinize this proposal as well in due course.
15. From the proper perspective, delight of my eyes.
16. A clerkly drudge.
17. Chine the edacious urban rat.
18. Asphyxiate the sycophant with a noose wetted in asinine urine.

The lattermost nineteenth fragment was identified as unequivocally attributable to Christ:

19. I beseech you never to terrorize me any more. Altogether, I am clueless as to what Your August Lordship is speaking about. I shall resurrect and persist everlastingly. My father, Lord, my God hath enjoined thus!

*) Hereunder is obfuscated whether figuratively or in the truest sense of the word.

Translated by Alexander Sharov

Dmitriy Galkovskiy (born 1960) is a Russian philosopher and man of letters. He matriculated from Moscow State University with a degree in Classical Philosophy. Attached hereunder is the translation of one of his short stories.

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