Read: today’s made-up word


Rachel Sirotinina


Sitting outside a Siberian café, you wanted to talk to me, because I was foreign. You fought in the war; you thought I was German. Your left eye socket gaped empty. I was too polite to ask what happened; back home they prettify such wounds.

You offered me a cake, with nuclear green icing. It was hideous, your hands were filthy… I refused. You were drunk, so I was afraid of you. You swore and sneezed as I walked away.

I looked back, to see you had smeared the snot into your eye socket.

This piece of writing is featured in PEN’s e-book, “The Dictionary of Made-Up Words”, made in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. Read the whole book!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *