short story
It was not the wife waving
Yousef alikhani
Translator: paymaan JafarNejad

Man had been retired. Wife wasn’t old yet. Man wanted to return to Milek*. Wife said: “I’m not old yet but I can’t go back.” Man said: “I have nothing to do in the city.” Wife said: “Well! Find a job!” Man was at home, getting older. Wife said: “Go out and stay young!”
But man wanted to go back. Wife didn’t want to, she was sleepless. When she slept, she dreamed they had returned to Milek.
Wife knew if they had stayed in the city, she would have never agreed to go ahead and find a wife for her own husband. She made the marriage proposal by herself and she planned the wedding by herself. Man left the wife at home. The house only had one room and a back room, which was dark. It was their turn to get water. Man had to go to their orchard and water the trees. Wife said: “I go to water, it’s your wedding night; you stay home!”
Wife went to water. She knew if she had been awake she would have never agreed to go to the orchard. She had a light in her hand and a spade under her arm. She didn’t take a Daas*, she thought she had a pin on her chest* and she would be safe. Water was good. Man had told her: “It’s non sense to have seven dry years in Milek. Now Milek has plenty of water and it’s dying for someone to live in.”
Wife changed the water gate toward their Kol-dari-bon*. Water rushed into the Keil*. She wanted four Keils of water and the light was reassuring her that there was nothing around to threaten her.
The First Keil was loaded. The Second Keil was over loaded. The Third Keil was under loaded. Then The Forth Keil was over.
Wife wanted to return, it was getting light. She didn’t take the road; she was worried about encountering Milek’s residents seeing her alone that early in the morning and asking her why she had set a marriage for her husband. Wife would have answered that her husband’s wife was beautiful. She took the path over the Kolisar*, she could see Milek from there. Milek was straight ahead, still sleeping. The sunlight had just risen over the stone castle to lighten Milek.
While she was still sitting on a stone under a Tadaneh* tree in Kolisar, she remembered that the Man had to work in the morning and he’s going to be late. She yelled from there: “Yousefi Peeeer, Hooy!”
Man had overslept. Wife knew she’s dreaming. She knew Man is retired. She knew the factory was in Qazvin* and now they are in Milek. She saw The Tadaneh tree over her head, but she was still yelling: “Wake up…, Wake up…, Hooy! You have slept late!”
Man and his wife probably have slept side by side. Wife saw her voice arose to the village and from there it turned to a tornado. But it wasn’t tornado. It seemed like a black wind. No, the black was not dirt and dust: “Oh my God… it’s a Deev*!” The black Deev came, came out of their house, came down the alley. He continued and passed the cemetery and shrine, and turned into the road.
Wife was still sitting. The Black Deev was getting close like a tornado. He got close to Kolisar. He just said: “Return!”
Wife had nothing to say, but heard:
“Kol-dari-Bon is mine!”
When the wife saw that Deev didn’t attack her to pull the pin out of her chest, she went to the orchards. Then Deev went and stand in the Forth Keil and from there he whispered into Wife’s ear: “From now on here’s mine!”
Wife was sleeping. Her man had been retired. Wife was insisting that for them Milek was not a place to live anymore.
Wife was returning with her Man. The black Deev was in Kol-dari-bon, laughed away, and waved to the window of the Man and Wife’s old house. From there, someone was waving him.

Daas: A sharp curved weeding tool with a wooden handle. It’s similar to an Indian tool named kirpi
Deev: Here means giant, evil.
Qazvin: A city in Iran, some 165km northwest of Tehran.
Having a pin on her chest:
An old belief says a metal pin on your chest keeps you safe from evil.
Keil: A small canal for watering the orchards.
Kol-dari-bon: Name of an orchard. Literary means through lots of trees
Kolisar: Name of a village.
Milek: Name of a village.
Tadaneh: Local name for Ash tree. It’s a holy tree in Milak


Yousef Alikhani
Translator: Mandana Davar-Kia
Read more

Unileg (Ye-Leng)
Yousef alikhani
Translator: paymaan Jafar-Nejad
Read more
youssef.alikhani AT yahoo DOT com