Chopin in Mallorca


Our short story of the week is a story about migration by Kate Novak.

Kate Novak is a feminist, immigrant, vegan cat lady. She writes about what she considers important: being an outsider, speaking from the margins, representing a minority perspective. She teaches American literature and writing. She is passionately anti-anthropocentric.

Kate has published several short stories in online and print magazines (EunoiaThe Bookends ReviewLiterary YardLiterature Today vol. 7). She also writes academic books and papers about literature, culture and translation. She has two novels in preparation, which she hopes to publish one beautiful day.

Chopin in Mallorca follows a woman whose musician father left the country when she was young.


‘He calls me three times before I pick up. He doesn’t know my mobile phone number, so he calls my landline. One evening I’m at work, another out with a friend. I recognise the number, but I don’t call him back. What do I have to say to this man? I hardly know him.

When I was a child, I dreamed about the Germans coming.

They come with their guns, and they shout in staccato, get out, get out. I have a hiding place, behind the kitchen cupboard, but they have those scary dogs, and the dogs sniff me out, sniff my fear and drag me out, the soldiers shouting their scary German words. They have heavy boots and they stomp all over and there’s classical music playing; not Chopin, but Wagner. In this fantasy I’m saved by the tank brigade from the TV series, by Janek and Marusia and their dog Szarik. This dog can also smell my fear, but he doesn’t want to tear me to pieces. He’s a friend.

When he calls the third time, I’m making dinner. Although to be honest, calling it dinner is an overstatement; I’m just putting a frozen pizza in the oven. I’ll make some popcorn and watch a movie – that’s my plan for this evening. But his call throws me off balance.’

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