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Gaja Grzegorzewska

Photo by Jacek Kołodziejski

Gaja Grzegorzewska

A Concrete Palace

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Read by Marta Meissner, recorded by Radiofonia Association.
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English translation: Paulina Ohar-Zima
I was woken up at eight by street noise. The proximity of Kleparz guaranteed such wake-up calls, which I had not thought about before. I had to find an apartment as soon as possible. May was not a good time for searches. Students have not yet vacated their vermined flats rented for ridiculous money. Good that Cracow is the kind of city where somebody is always searching for some digs and flats are passed around like an overworked whore. I took a piss and had a quick shower. When I clambered out of it, I felt like having some coffee.

I found some eating place, which a tourist guide to Cracow would describe as lovely – pastel shades and shit, vintage, controlled eclecticism. I ordered a double black coffee and lounged  with a laptop by an open window.

Sipping hot, thick, tarry coffee, I peeped at a copy of Wyborcza left on the table. I didn’t give a damn about world and national news in order not to remind  myself of the fact that we are heading towards self-annihilation, pushed by some inner force. Like those possessed pigs in a frenzy throwing themselves from a cliff into a lake. I got down to the Cracow supplement. A huge lead on the front page said: “Third victim of Salwator Butcher found.” I have always wondered who invents those pseudonyms.
The butcher has operated in Cracow for several months. They also wrote about the third victim in Dziennik and Krakowska but I never learnt anything new.

“The guy is ticking off one quarter after another,” the bartender’s voice pulled me out of my reverie.
“Pardon?”
“That psycho you’re reading about,” explained the bartender. “He already killed three chicks, each in a different quarter. He won’t be done until he’s ticked off every quarter od Cracow. You get it?”
“Was there something they had in common?”
“Nothing! Except for their sex. Different age, different looks. The first one was a manager living alone in a big apartment in Salwator. The other – teacher from Kurdwanów – was married with children. The third one was some psychology student from the Jagiellonian Uni. She lived in a rented flat in Ruczaj. A weird thing.”
Right, I need to find and apartment.
English translation: Paulina Ohar-Zima
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Gaja Grzegorzewska

(born in 1980) — laureate of the Nagroda Wielkiego Kalibru – a literary award for the best thriller or detective story written in the Polish language. She prowls mainly in Krakow. She is exceptionally good at killing, which she regularly proves as a columnist and reviewer of the Portal Kryminalny. With her boldest novel, Betonowy pałac (A Concrete Palace), she proves that she can use her language in a very naughty way.

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