Novel: A Century of Ashes
Author: Martin Cid
Akron Publishers, 2009
‘A Century of Ashes’ is the story of the Fiodorovich family and the story of tobacco cultivation: legends about faceless men, slaves of seasons…, evergreen souls on that broken and yellow Mississipi land. They have been cultivating a strange type of tobacco called “Perique”. There are whispers from local people and superstitions, there are smoke and smokers, there are memories that defeat our own reality.
The man who rides is waiting for us.
Stanislaus Fiodorovich is living his exile last days in the waste land of Abenarabi, city of dreams, far away of those dirty tracks that he has hated and loved, far away of his own story. We are about to begin… talking to Russians and bad blood about lost and encountered dreams. We are about to talk to Fiodor Fiodorovich –the first father of the family-, we are about to find strange chronic diseases, we are now talking to a child… We are only two years old, we are about to die.
Fiodor Fiodorovich had found an accountant; both of them will build a railroad from their town to the next big city. Meanwhile, disease is breathing and waiting although generations and plants grow up…, Stanislaus Fiodorovich is smiling from the distance… on Abenarabi’s rock while smoking a crying pipe of laughs.
We will meet Beatrice and Stanislaus’ two brothers: Pierre and Cecil. We will find Absalon and we will walk with writers and readers along our own book. Who’s writing? All of the children will die with opening eyes, seeing those magic and eternal lands.
Fiodor Fiodorovich is riding arrogantly …, on the hill that has seen born him, on the hot blood of women and sons, on the broken land of Absalon. We are about to prepare our last tobacco mixture, with our ancient “perique”, past and present. We are about to remember, we are about to smoke and breathe plenty of times: past and future. The firing hills smile with us: ashes.
Martin Cid is the author of the novels ‘Ariza’, ‘A Century of Ashes’, ‘Eminescu 7 Sins’ and the essay ‘Propaganda, Lies and Editing’. He is founder and Literary Editor at Yareah magazine.