Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Wheel of Fortune, Hana Pačesová

A Wheel of Fortune

A story about resilient Birck, beautiful Rosie, and one stupid bet.


Birck was sweating, even though the sun wasn´t shining anymore. He could feel the clothes sticking to his body that was aching from head to toe. He stopped for a moment to wipe his forehead and put the wheel on the ground.
„Damn you, you devil“, he murmured to himself while looking around.
Was it only illusion or did he really see a tavern? Suddenly he was very thirsty. Birck lifted up the wheel, pushed it with unexpected force and began running.
Rosie was standing at the front door, when she saw a peculiar thing – a man, rather weird looking, chasing something that looked like a giant wooden hoop. He was shouting something at her.
„How far is it to Brno?!“
He stopped right in front of her, the wooden thing fell down next to him.
„How far is it to Brno?“ he repeated his question more calmly.
Rosie was gaping at him.
He looked at her nervously.
„Ehm…could I at least get something for drink?“
Rosie shook her head and answered cheerfully: „Well, yes of course! Come on in! My name is Rosie!“
Birck grabbed the wheel and entered the pub. It was all empty. He chose a table next to the door and carefully leaned the wheel against one of the chairs.
„Do you want some beer?“ asked Rosie behind the bar.
„Yes, please!“
She handed him the beer and sat next to him, staring at the wheel.
„What is it?“ she asked.
Birck drank a bit and then answered: „It´s a wheel. I made it myself and now I am trying to roll it to Brno.“
Then he finished his glass.
Rosie started laughing. „I have never heard such a stupid thing.“
She took the empty glass. „Do you want another one?“
Birck hesitated. He was still very thirsty and he liked the beer and he also liked Rosie´s company. She was young, pretty and she smiled very nicely.
„Yes, please!“
Rosie handed him another glass in a minute. She looked at him with interest. ‚What a strange man‘, she thought for herself, ‚yet he looks quite agreeable.‘ 
„Where are you from?“ she asked with a smile.
„Lednice“, he answered, also smiling.
„Oh, I was in Lednice once, when we visited a local fair. It is a very pretty city.“
Birk seemed pleased with her answer. „Yes, it is. And have you ever been to Brno?“
Rosie shook her head. „No, never. Why? I heard there is nothing in there.“
She looked at him playfully.
He shrugged his shoulders. „Maybe you are right. Is it a long way there?“
„Oh, I don´t think so. My parents often go to Brno, they usually stay the night there. Actually, they are in Brno right now.“
Birck wasn´t sure. Did she just winked at him?
 „So, you are here all by yourself?“
„No, my nanna is here with me. But she is quite old, she went to bed. Also, her hearing isn´t what it used to be, you know.“
Rosie started playing with her hair. „Aren´t you tired? You could perhaps…..stay the night here, if you want to.“
Birck started thinking. ‚Rosie was right, what a stupid bet. I was so drunk yesterday and agreed with it now I am here with the damn wheel, and I am so tired…‘
She put hands under her chin and blushed a little. „What are you thinking about?“
He stood up and put some coins on the table. „I am sorry, Rosie, I have to go.“
Rosie was watching him leaving the door, the wheel under his arms.
„People are crazy“, she said to herself, locked the door and went to bed.
In the morning, she heard her father yelling something from the yard. She leaned form the window.
„Rosie, have you heard? Some lunatic rolled a wooden wheel all the way from Lednice to Brno in one day!“
„I have never heard such a stupid thing!“ she replied. „Is he expecting a monument for that or what?!“ she grinned contemptuously and closed the window.

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