THE WAVE, circle of seven short stories by Nikola Kitanovic

Nikola Kitanovic - page of his short stories. Nikola wrote short stories since he was very young and he writing it as well today. Modern stories, short stories, postmodern stories, after-postmodern stories


I was walking by the river in the summer heat. I noticed a willow tree and decided to rest under it. I was sitting and watching the water flowing. “You see, you should be like a little wave. You show up in the flow and then softly disappear, the willow said.

And then what, I asked.

Then another wave comes, then another one and so on, indefinitely.

I was startled. “But you are frightening me, and what will happen to the wave that is me?

The tree became joyful. “Nothing will happen; your wave is going to disappear in the flowing water.

I was shaking my head and repeating to myself, “That is scary, that is really scary.

You should defend your honour by being a distinguished wave in the river. Moreover, you should provide for the other waves to appear after you. That is the beauty of this water, the willow told me fatherly.

I know, but it is still frightening me. 

And that is not all. This river’s bed will change, and one day it will completely dry up.  Neither beasts, nor willows, nor people will remember that here used to be a river. I had an impression that this tree really wanted to frighten me.


I was angry with the tree; it had spoiled the peace of my walk and my desire for rest. “What kind of a being are you; when you need sex, you blossom, then you allure the insects to pass on your pollen from one flower to another. As if we humans had sex by the use of pubic lice.

The tree burst out laughing. “Many of you are actually having it that way!

I laughed. The tree was right. I calmed down and then I went on, “What kind of a fool would speak to a willow? You are not a noble and wise tree, and I am not Buddha. What is the point of this conversation? There was silence; only the willow’s leaves were quietly rustling in the wind. The calmer I was the more clearly I could hear that the sound of the leaves was in fact repeating the sentence: What is the point of this conversation? It is frightening me again, I thought.


You are thinking a lot about sex. You haven’t had such contact for years, and yet you’re dreaming about it so much, the willow said, deeply absorbed in thought, without noticing that her flowers were opening.

That’s right, against my will I have lived as an ascetic for years, but at least I can daydream. I can also imagine, combining a man and a willow, for example. So I can imagine hundreds of genitals growing from my body, both male and female, and then I can have an orgy with myself in my imagination, and for that I need no insects.  

The willow was laughing. She was laughing like a child, like an angel. I could see that the laugh passed on to the river. I could not resist and I started laughing, too.


Look, you have blossomed all over! What a shame! If you could blush, you would be blushing right now!” There were a lot of insects around.

I’ve got aroused, and you see, I am a willow. As you say, I am not a noble tree, so the people don’t notice my flowers, fortunately. When you like some flowers, you cut them, pick them, give them to your dear ones, take them to the graveyards for the dead, take them to the temples for your gods. You offer our chopped organs to everyone.

And now you’re taking pleasure through the tiny insects.

The willow sighed in pleasure. “Yes, they are tiny but numerous; they can satisfy me. You humans have only one, a bit bigger than an insect, and you think it’s big enough. You should better go back to your imagination.


Why are you talking about sex, while thinking of immortality?

I was taken aback by the question of the tree. “You are a willow in blossom; I am a man immersed in imagination. You know my state; I recognise your state, which is a rare kind of eternity. We remained silent, without thoughts, breathing the fresh air and being content.

I have to talk to a tree in order to be recognised, and you are neither a man nor a woman.

She told me lazily, “I am a man and a woman.

Lucky you, you are self sufficient.

She laughed. “Nobody is self sufficient. I need the water from this river, the soil to plunge my roots into it, I need the air, the insects . . . I need a lot of things. Not even gods are self sufficient; they need all this chaos around us. 


Your insect is awake. Look how lively he is sticking up your crotch. You’re blushing; you’re ashamed! the willow exclaimed.

I am blushing out of excitement and imagination and not for shame—and why should I be ashamed of a tree?

Because I am your god, your supreme god!

I knew it! My supreme god is neither handsome, nor noble, nor wise. But my supreme god is constantly horny in my presence—A willow.

And you are my supreme god, the tree added.

Of course, and the two of us can have sex only in imagination.” I was laughing and the willow was laughing.


I can see that you’re writing the words ‘supreme god’ in small letters . . . perhaps because we are small and unremarkable,” the willow said, again deep in thought.

Because you and I are that wave I was telling you about. There is no greatness among the gods—just the arousal and nothing.

Listen, that is not a bad start for two unremarkable creatures, the willow concluded.