V tujem jeziku

2018’s Christmas Short Story Competition welcomed ten authors. Marcel Heybal from

R4A won third place, Matic Blatnik from T3A won second place, and Nikita Galuh Kapušin

from R3B won the competition. The best three young authors received authentic

British Christmas presents. We thank all the writers for their creative contributions. Special

thanks to Matic Zupet from E4B for his poetry recitation, and Gašper Pust from T2B

and Bor Zirkelbach T3A for their musical performances.

The cage was finished. I hung it on the wall and admired the beautiful yellow canary I had

put inside. Charlie, as I named him, was the last bird of his species I had left. My father

killed all the birds we had at home for the most obnoxious reason. He did not enjoy being

disobeyed, especially when it came to family matter. I refused to marry Carla Barnes, a

woman of class and intelligence who came from a wealthy, well known family in London.

Her father was a doctor, the best you could find. Dr. Barnes was also a very popular man,

having to attend many parties of noblemen. Some even called him an angel. Once, he rescued

a litter of kittens from a burning building and suddenly everyone in town called him

an animal lover. However, what the public did not know about was his drinking habit. My

father, Harry Donaldson Senior, never missed his chance to have a drink with the famous

Dr. Barnes. Those chances were very common as they stayed out late every night, both

drunk at three in the morning.

Carla and I never spoke. We met as mere teenagers many years ago and we never spoke a

word to each other in our whole lives. My dear father and Dr. Barnes loved playing matchmakers

in their drunken state and their children were always the ones who they would

play with, eventually resulting in a serious engagement between Carla and I, a man who

loved birds and nothing else. I know not one soul that would accept an arranged marriage

with someone they barely know. My father was furious when I declared my love for

another woman, who did not really exist, but nobody had to know about that particular


Ornithology brought peace to me. I would spend my days reading books about birds,

finding them all around the world, travelling to distant places just to see the wonders

nature offers. Thankful for the wealth of my family, I was able to afford big, beautiful

bird cages and admire the precious animals at home and soon I learned to make my own

beautiful homes for these creatures.

I only left my room for one hour. Upon arriving back, it was messy and blood stained

everything I put my eyes on. All the birds I ever had were dead, except Charlie, whom I

succeeded to save from my father’s tight grip. I could smell the alcohol in his breath: he

must’ve had a lot to drink before he destroyed my source of happiness. Without anything

to say, he stormed out and I was left to clean up the mess he made. Sadness overcame

me when I had to pick up dead birds from the floor and look at the broken cages that

represented my poor heart in that very moment. Carla visited me that night and we were

forced into speaking alone. She believed I loved her and would marry her right away, at

least that was what her family had told her. She did not care about my tattered clothes I


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