Thistle and roses

received_1786668288245604 (480x352)Title: Thistle and roses

Author: Ismete Selmanaj Leba

Place of Publication: Tirana

Year of publication: 2013

Publisher: Dudaj ; Genre: Novel
ISBN: 978-99943-0-332-8

All rights reserved to the author:




1979 Albania. The communist power of dictator Enver Hoxha reached its peak and the population was reduced to hunger and misery. Anyone who dared oppose the regime denouncing the power abuses was abused and deported in the most remote country’s area. That’s why Mira, a 15 years girl, prefers to pass over in silence the violence suffered by the Party school secretary. The situation becomes complicated when she discovers that the violence resulted in a pregnancy. The girl becomes a “little whore”  for the public opinion but that doesn’t stop her from defending the innocent life of the creature she is carrying until it once bore her, then was torn from his hands.

The children born out of wedlock, in fact, became children of the State and was the Party that have full rights to them. Mira will try to rebuild her dignity and, in chilling vicissitudes, pleased moments and renewed passions, tirelessly tries to find his son. The courage that comes from redeem the injustice is the engine of this story that involves, moves and leaves in suspense until the last page.


A policeman came to take and accompanied her in the dungeon. In those days it was impossible to imagine a police woman. He closed the door and Mira was forced to sit on a mat because there were no mattresses.

In that cold prison she could not sleep and began to feel the fears grow. Mira thought for Dritan.

It was in the terminal phase of the disease. Mira hoped he didn’t have a lot of pain and didn’t understand his condition. Some time she was able to obtain from the hospital also some morphine doses, so that power somehow soothes the pains. He was in a constant torpor state .
How her life would have continued? She was only twenty-four years old. And how the girls would react, after their mother lost, they were about to lose even his own father? And grandmother Zara, would never be able to face the pain of the loss of her son? She was already deep in thought, hugging his knees on the mat, when she heard the sound of the door opening. He was surprised and thought: What do they want now? It will be almost midnight.
The door opened, and, at first, Mira saw no one. She hears some voices, but couldnt understand what they were saying. After a while she saw a man entering, and from his clothes, it had to be a prison guard. Instinctively, she stood up, believing that they would be accompanied by some other part. But he closed the door behind him. Mira began to realize her terror.
“They told me about you, as an insatiable sex woman! – He said with a mellifluous laugh – I and my friends we decided to fuck you very well this night. You see you’ll like it. ”
Mira stepped back, until she reached the wall.
“Scream all you want as well, down here you will not hear anyone. Maybe so you will excite me more! “He sneered. “Yeah, I was about to forget … I can also pick you inside, I felt that there I run no risk “and burst into laughter.
That night, into the early hours of the morning, the three guards raped her in turns, and without being happy at the end raped all three together in beastly way. Mira revived yet again the terror of rape and subjugation. She wanted to also try to think of nice things, distract his mind from his body used as an object of brutal enjoyment, but it was useless. That night she thought seriously about suicide. It was only the Dritan conditions and the thought for the three girls to prevent that gesture. But, above all, was the thought of his son who deserved to know his mother, to know that she had loved him and always tried.
In the morning she found herself naked on the mat, blanket on the body sperm and wet urine that the guards had sprayed him before leaving, even insulting.
“This is to wash, filthy whore.”
She felt humiliated to unimaginable limits.
The cell door opened and before him she saw the man she most hated, Comrade Estref. Only then she realized that what she was going through hell was his gift.
“You’ve changed a lot since the last time we met,” he said looking at her with disdain. Mira did not answer, but she tried to pick up the legs to cover her naked body.
“See how you reduced …” he went on. “The guards had just fun tonight. I told them to reserve you a special treat. It is known to have well respected my order. ”
He paused for a moment, smoking a cigarette in his hand, and when began to speak again, his voice had suddenly become threatening.
“I’d been told you’re still looking for your son. You can well understand that I can’t afford such a thing. Finding that child may one day will bring me some problems”. He paused again, again drew her cigarette before continuing.
“You’ll never find your son. If I find out that it continues to ask around, the consequences will be much heavier than you’re experiencing now. ”
He gave her a look from head to toe. «I would gladly took part in the festival tonight, but you know that I like virgins,” he said with a wink.
Worm, Mira thought. Do you boast of your wicked actions.
Estref not out of the cell, seemed to appreciate the scene he had before his eyes: Mira naked, raped and humiliated, as he had the power to decide her fate.
He stubbed out his cigarette on the shoulder of Mira, without her emits no groan, and from what as perverted sick, began to masturbate in front of her. He ejaculated on her head, tied his pants and before leaving he said :
“This is just a warning. I do well a favor: do not leave any documents about the fact that you were here. So your profile will stay clean and you can finish university. Now you can go home, they are waiting you, “and headed for the exit door. But then he returned again to Mira and she said, almost indolently “I was about to forget. If you brush and you quickly put your robes, just you are able to arrive in time for the funeral of your husband. He died last night” and went out without turning his gaze.
That was too much for Mira. Suddenly, she saw the dark before her eyes and fell into a swoon. She was in a state of unconsciousness, because the immense pain she had asked for help to all the defense body mechanisms. One of these mechanisms that the body often uses is the state of swoon. When she was resumed, she found herself in another room without remembering anything, the body numb from the cold and gasped. She was still naked, and one of the guards was spraying cold water from a hose. The other two laughed heartily. Comrade Estref had decided to humiliate her again.

Translated from the Albanian by Miranda Tetelli