Tales From No Man's Land


File no. 277809/52

CONCERNING CitizXX/ness Ana daugher of Sârbu, called Anica, called The Witch

Major XXXXXscu with regards to XXXXdents that occured in XXXXX XXXloșu MXare:

In these time of hardening work in the camp of peace – of democracy and socialism – which is gloriously being run by the Soviet Union against the opponents which/from/ of the imperialist camp, permit me to report:

– XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXX 3 sources as follows:

a) Florin Arghire called Florin the Legless (because he has no XXXX)

b) informant ARKAŞA who is XXXXXX first class at the XXX of the village of ComXXXu

c) a village babushka, ex-XXXcher who knows everything that moves

the following transpire:

i) XXXXX XXXX XXX and superstitions

ii) at the pub XXE XXT CAT there’s a lot of XXXXXXX and a lot of XXunks that play cards and backgammon, with no ideological deviations though

iii) XXXigious obscurantism in the villaves is at a XXXXXXX level meaning not very XXXXX but also not entirely XXXgerated 

from all of the above and in spite of them, it can be conclusively that:

1) people from the village go and see Anica called The Witch in order for her to predict the XXXXXX

2) said Anica has an unhealthy past, a political dossier and two brothers who fought alongside the fascist and are now dead

3) she claims she is a relative of a former Colonel in the Army, from XXXXarest

4) she used to be a nurse

5) she has no one

6) she is an old hag

After a visit XXXXX under the pretext of being read my palm and in coffee XXXunds, followed by a session of cards which I did not understand, the organ in the present report which undersigns and is above name, claims the following of their own XXXord that:

Dressed as a civilian I went to Anica’s shack where I saw the below:

– the citizeness called The Witch lives alone, surrouXXX by cats and XXXs

– the citizeness called The Witch lives in the yard of a former bourgeois manor she looks after

– the manor is a ruin

– the citizeness doesn’t seem like much of a housekeeper

– the citizeness speaks to a picture of Jean BoXXX, former owner of the manor, she claims

– the citizeness is waiting for the above mentioned, former Colonel who disappeared in the Anti-Fascist War to return

– after asking her about Colonel XXXXXXXXX and interoXXXXXX and XXXstions, and a bit of yelling at her and some slaps across the XXX, just two, Anica started crying, confessing that it seems he is XXXX or that he simply XXXXX Xxisted, that she had met a man at a fair in Bucharest who had taught her Xxrot, and she started crying some more

– the woman, poor her, is without a XXXXX mad as a March XXXX, I concluded mentally

Establishing the above and XXXX XXXXX XXXX in accordance with XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX although everything seems to be O.K., I find myself in the position of XXXXXX XXXXXX in order to explain the events of the night bewteen XX.XX.XXX2 to XX.XX.195X, meaning the night between XXXXX to Saturday in order to exculpate myself:

I left normal and whole mentally from said Anica.

XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX unexplicably a black cat, and all of a sudden there was fog on the street and XXXXX XXXX XXXX hair stood on XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX. Ran like a mad man through XXXX XXXX XXX and fell in a latrine. Although not at all XXXXstitious encountered phenomenas Xxird nature, heard XXXXX and hell knows what.

Woke up a huge black dog. It almost bit me, good thing it was tied up. Ran through a cornfield. Encountered a billy-goat. The billy-goat started speaking.

Rand towards XXXXX, avoided big black dog, wound up in the road. In the distance there was a XXXXX-roads.

Saw in the cross-roads said Anica The Witch smoking XXpe. Laughing at me.

Went towards XXXX XXXX. Fell in a puddle. Other dogs started barking. Woke up half the village.

Dogs woke up in that part of the village Militia officer XXlu Cîrjoi, imbecile of the highest degree. Cîrjoi drunk XXXpid and a little hung over. Agitated. Came out at me yelling.

I yelled back. We got agitated, me forgetting I was in civilian clothing.

In the agitation and being considered a civilian, wound up beaten and thrown into the potato cellar of the precinct of the Militia of the Romanian People’s Republic XX from XXXXXXX Mare. Swore at his XXad relatives, XXints and XXds. 

Militia man beat me up in a mediocre fashion, until he got bored.

Clarified situation the following morning. Called for the milia van from XXXXXoara, put militia man under arrest in van, took van to get Anica. Reached manor.

Anica vanished.

Goddamn witch not to be found. Searched 3 days, no good.

Since then:

– cannot sleep

– I see her everywhere

– started praying

Declare XXXX XXXXX XXXX bad mental state.

Request strongly XXX XXXX Calacea. Or Herculane Balneoclimateric Resort if possible

Recommend Xroop of theological specialists sent to XXXXXigate situation of Witch Comloșu Mare.

Handed over the case to RELIGIOUS CULTS section.

I sign myself,


Long live XXXXXX and comrades XXXXXXXX XXXXX. XXXXXX XXXXXX and the XXXX for XXXXX.

Written today, XX.XX.1952




This story was originally published in the MOVING FIREPLACES. 2019 book.

Photo credit: Diana Bilec

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