Pavel Kovac is going to America (fourth and last part)

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

As soon as the class started, the teacher announced they will be having a block lesson and few more before the big day. Pavel’s heart sunk. Milan will be waiting for him as usual. His hands started to sweat. He carried the first part of instructions with well-practiced movements, only leaving a few wet marks on the shiny black metal of a rifle. He really needed to be on time today, Milan said they need time to talk. He was going to tell him when to sneak out of the house and what to bring for their trip.

When the teacher approached him, Pavel realized that he was carrying a new rifle for him to practice on. He also handed him a roll of ammunition. That meant the teacher will continue to stand close to him and observe. Pavel’s hands started to tremble. Now he will have no chance to sneak out. The teacher was smiling at him and Pavel could see his gum line bared above his teeth. He was saying something Pavel could not decipher. His ears were full of the drumming from his chest.

It was Janos that called the teacher from the front of the class. His big fingers jammed the mechanism again and he needed help. Pavel slowly placed the rifle on the bench and wiped his hands on his trousers. He picked his satchel and started moving towards the door. It usually worked. But before Pavel’s hand could quietly turn the door knob, the teacher called his name. Pavel turned around. He squeezed his satchel and looked at the floor. He did not want to cry. The teacher came close to him and put his hand on Pavel’s shoulder. He wanted to know where Pavel was going. All he could whisper was that he was not well and wanted to be let home. The teacher lifted his chin. And saw tears rolling down Pavel’s pale cheeks. The teacher no longer smiled. It was the second time in his life Pavel saw rapid changes in geometry of human smiles.

The teacher decided to let Pavel go home and ask Janos to accompany him. Janos made a face to his friend Andrej, before he picked up his own satchel and started walking towards Pavel. Janos was a big boy with a bold head and fat hands. He was also a youth leader in training.

Pavel could feel fear clawing inside his spine. His fingers were ice cold. He could not move. Janos was waiting for him. And Milan was waiting outside the school gate at the corner with the newspaper kiosk.

Pavel followed Janos outside the classroom and towards the school gate. Janos was trying to walk with Pavel but he was a few strides in front of him. Pavel walked even slower. When they approached the school gate, Pavel glanced around. His legs became even heavier. Steps in irons.

Janos turned towards the corner with the newspaper kiosk. Pavel did not move. He hoped Janos would not turn around.

It was the moment Janos called his name that Pavel saw Milan for the first time. He was running towards Pavel carrying a smile as wide as the summer sky above them. His hands were already in the air and he was calling after Pavel asking him why was he was so late when they have so much to talk about. When he reached Pavel he grabbed his shoulders and gave him a shake. With his hands still on Pavel’s shoulders, Milan saw tears flooding Pavel’s face. He saw Janos approaching in the same time.

Janos knew what to do. He had been trained. He ran back to class to find the teacher. And tell him that Milan Vargas is terrorising Pavel Kovac. He had seen it with his own eyes.

When the teacher and Janos reached the street’s corner they could not see anybody. Milan had half-carried, half-dragged Pavel into an abandoned basement behind the corner’s kiosk. He had spent many school hours reading in there or waiting for Pavel to finish his classes and meet him at their usual place. Milan knew the teacher would try to find them. He wanted to reach home before they start the search. To find his grandfather. Holding Pavel tightly, Milan sank his teeth into his lower lip.

After searching nearby streets, the teacher decided to return to school and call Pavel’s father. He needed to be the first to raise the alarm.

Running through the back streets Milan reached his home. He locked Pavel in the room with the radio and went to search for his grandfather. Without Pavel to soothe, his hands trembled recklessly. If he could only find his grandfather quickly they would be safe and free. The old man would know where to go until they could leave for the border. For the first time in his life Milan wanted his grandfather with him. To make sure that Pavel will be safe.

Pavel’s father was wearing a long overcoat when he arrived at Milan’s house. He looked even taller than usual. He pushed the front door open and stepped into the dim light of an early summer evening. The faint smell of motor oil and burnt food lingered in the room. It was empty.

Pavel’s father called his name in sharp, rapid bursts. Like bullets fired from a shotgun. He thought he heard that pitiful whimper the boy sometimes made, coming from behind what seemed like a roughly made door. He tried the door’s knob. Locked. The anger was stretching itself inside him like a long, lazy snake. A sneer flickered in the corner of his mouth.

He booted the door open. It landed on the window sill forming an empty space below where Pavel buried his face deeper into his knees.

Milan and his grandfather saw a jeep parked in front of their house. They ran in.

When Pavel’s father turned around they saw a gun in his hand. A Russin Tokarev TT-33. Milan’s grandfather stepped in front of him. Milan cried out. It was then Pavel launched himself onto his father. The late sun dancing in his hair. His face wet with tears, hands grabbing desperately, he screamed at his father that he was going to America with Milan. That he hated him. Sun-dancing warrior.

A gun fired. Once only. Pavel’s chest exploded into a crimson red stain. The same colour his mother used to paint the top of his nose with. When he was only a little boy.

It would be 20 years before Milan Vargas reaches America. In a bag he bought the same day he was released from prison, he carried an old school satchel. It was worn and dirty. The name Pavel Kovac written in a childlike scrawl could be just seen in the upper right corner if you looked closely.


The End.


Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

20 thoughts on “Pavel Kovac is going to America (fourth and last part)”

  1. As I dry my tears, I must tell you how much I looked forward to this last part. It was the only possible ending, I knew it would happen.


      1. You are very kind, my dear Julie. The truth is – I do not know of any such literary magazines … I do not mean to be intrusive, but if you do know of some I would be grateful if you let me know of them.
        Many thanks,


  2. Well, I can’t name any off the top of my head but there is this great resource for researching literary markets– it’s a book called Writer’s Market. They make a few different editions and update them each year; I recommend the one called Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. It lists hundreds of different literary magazines, what they look for, how to contact them, etc. It’s basically everything you need to know! Here is a link where you can preview the latest edition:

    I’ll keep my eyes open, next time I’m perusing a copy (I don’t own one; I check it out from my local library :)) for magazines interested in international stories! Cheers and good luck in your publishing endeavors. Your story deserves it and so do you!


  3. Thank you so VERY MUCH for your kind and encouraging words! I really appreciate you taking time and providing me with the useful link. I am going to have a good look through.
    Best Regards,


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