Issue 7 cover

The Hawthorn Bush

by Zdravka Evtimova

Issue 7 :: Spring 2016 (stories)

The first thing that struck me about Anna was her voice.

One day I heard a woman singing, one of those simple songs that the peasants in the mountain villages hum to keep awake in the long evenings. The song was about a young lass who wanted her boyfriend to buy her a belt with a silver clasp. I knew that song and could say I'd never particularly liked it. But what a voice it was--it had all the silver of all the silver clasps in the world in it, and it was bigger than the wind, and it had the strength of a thousand belts in it. I'd never heard a voice like that.

I was a keg-maker and a barrel-maker, but my heart wasn't in the hoops that held together the staves, nor was it in the wine that the barrels held. I made taps that whistled when the wine passed through them, and I loved it when I caught the sounds of the summer and of the wind in my gadgets.


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"The Hawthorn Bush" is roughly 4568 words.

Zdravka Evtimova was born in Bulgaria, where she lives; she works as a literary translator from English, French, and German. She has published the following collections: Bitter Sky (SKREV, 2003), Somebody Else (MAG, 2005), Miss Daniella (SKREV, 2007), Good Figure Beautiful Voice (Astemari, 2008), Pale and Other Postmodern Bulgarian Stories (Vox Humana, 2010), Carts and Other Stories (Fomite, 2012), Time to Mow and Other Stories (All Things That Matter, 2012), Impossibly Blue (SKREV, 2013), and Endless July (Paraxenes Meres, 2013). She has also published two novels: God of Traitors (Book for a Buck, 2007) and Sinfonia Bulgarica (Fomite, 2014).