14th February 2023


5 minutes read

László András


translated by Thomas Cooper

14th February 2023

5 minutes read

In the early evening hours of Tuesday, June 4, 2002, Károly Kósa Jr. beat Károly Kósa Sr. to death with an axe in the settlement of E. in B. County. He then threw the axe into the tall grass and left the scene. There were no witnesses. The body was discovered the next day, Wednesday, June 5, in the morning hours by the widow Margit V., the elder Károly Kósa’s neighbor. The widow was struck by the fact that Kósa had not shown up for his usual morning coffee, although he “never would have gone without it! He loved my coffee! We liked to sit on the bench and watch the kitty cats play. We have three kittens, or rather four, but the fourth is lame, so he’s a little shy and only rarely comes out. They like chicken backs and chicken feet. I cook them up good for them. It’s the least you can do for your kitty cats, after all. And they’re so grateful! I would never give them that fake food, that whiskers stuff or whatever it’s called.

My God, who would have thought that now Karcsi and I will never have coffee together again!

And he was a good man, a blessed man! Came down for coffee every morning. He’s been having a hard time walking lately, he’s had to use a cane, and my back has been hurting pretty bad, but neither of us would have missed coffee. Truth is you need little pleasures in life, or at least a good cup of coffee if you don’t have anything else. And then a good hot bath in the evening, that’s nice. No, of course we didn’t take baths together! Where on earth would you get such an idea!”

According to the widow, she went over to the elder Károly Kósa’s garden through a little gate between the two yards that had been opened by mutual agreement more than forty years earlier and had gone up to the house to see if anything had happened to Kósa which might have prevented him from showing up for their usual coffee. As she had walked towards the house, she had noticed that the shaft to the hydrophore had been left open. She approached the hole and looked inside. She saw the older Károly Kósa upside down, entangled or rather trapped in the mechanical fittings. She called out to him, but he did not reply. She decided that Károly Kósa Sr. needed help of a kind that she was unable to provide, so she called the ambulance and informed Dr. Englander, the district doctor, the police, and the fire department of the event.

The various bodies and individuals who had been informed of the incident arrived on the scene, if in a different order from the above, and Károly Kósa Sr. was removed from the hydrophore and was pronounced dead by consensus, with the exception of one of the firemen, Corporal J. Márton, who asked, “is it possible that he’s only clinically dead? You know… or rather, never mind, forget I said anything.” The widow Margit V. noted that Károly Kósa Sr. regularly did what appeared to be repairs in the shaft of the hydrophore. “I didn’t see him, or rather I only saw him climb in and poke around at something, but he often poked at that something for hours at a time, whatever it was he was poking at, and frankly he’s lucky he didn’t get dizzy and go tumbling in before, though I suppose one can’t really call it luck anymore, but still, I think he could easily have met his fate a few months earlier, or even two years earlier, but I suppose it’s all the same to him now, poor old man, for one way or the other, he’s dead.”

The widow Margit V. also spoke of how “the good doctor surely remembers the time Karcsi had a dizzy spell on the stairs in his house,

and we were barely able to get the hefty man down past the narrow turn in the stairs, there was hardly room for me and the doctor, and we could barely get the hefty man on his feet.” Dr. Englander confirmed what the widow Margit V. had said, but he did not wish to make any additional comments. As far as the cause of death was concerned, the authorities again agreed, with the exception of Corporal J. Martin, that, given the weight and speed of the falling body, the collision into the machinery had caused a blow of such force that it had crushed the skull. Márton J. raised the objection that “perhaps during the fall he had had a heart attack because he was so alarmed,” to which sergeant and wagon commander István H. R. responded, “Marcika, fold up the ladder and put it back on the truck.” Dr. Englander put the official stamp on the death certificate. The shaft to the hydrophore was then closed, the body was removed, and the representatives of the various official bodies departed. In the late afternoon hours of the same day, widow Margaret V.’s son-in-law, in other words me, arrived home from work.




written by

László András

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Issue 04


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translated by

Thomas Cooper

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Superposition by László András
In this short story by András László, a nameless narrator recounts the grim tale of Károly Kósa Jr., Károly Kósa Sr. and the bloody axe.