A Heavy Stone

written by Veselin Gatalo


The bay horse under Hayruddin steadily galloped on the road for Konja and sarajevo, three aršin wide. Young and fresh, the horse seemed not to feel the weight of its rider and the ducats in the saddlebags, ducats sneakily taken by Hayruddin from his valuables box while he was grooming his horse. The horse could not feel the weight, as big as a stone from the Bridge, which oppressed the builder's chest, cutting the short his breath and his heartbeats.


The Sultan's workd is never taken back. And the Sultan said, before the Sultana and all the advisers and great men of Istanbul: If bridge falls down again, swine, your head will fall too. Which meant that he would not recieve a katun ferman on fine paper, in a cylinder woveon of gold srma and with a silken braid, telling him to hang himself, but his head would be cut off with a sabre on a log in Istanbul if the Bridge did not hold this time. He would be cut down before his mother and brothers like a vlah or giaour, before those whose pride and support he had been all his life.