The armed fever



 A novel by

Asaad Al Jabbouri

Translated by

shurouk hammoud



The drunken bed and the snakes


As he touched the bell with his finger, he felt that this bell is burning with the ringing, and suddenly. Totmito found himself moving through a corridor with walls that coated with thick red velvet cloth, topped with lamps look like swans; their necks are hanging down the ceiling, as if they were made in order to be present at his brilliant day.

Totmito felt that his sweat was clashing with walls; so the corridor that the visitor found it long, was not long; but totmito imagined it like the corridor of  bab al mandeb. As to the ringing he heard after compressing the bell with his finger; was not a cathedral bell, it was his heart’s voice while flowing out these great depths. If he rang the bell once again, he would not be able to hear a ring, because the bell did not release anything but birds’ peep.

Everything raised alert in the depths of the man who is alien in the whores inn; although he was busy hearing crashes and sounds of demolition and collapses.

In these moments, Totmito’s body was throwing out the mud which was buried beneath it since years, many years. Therefore;he felt that his caves’ doors are dislocating, shattering and flying away from him, then snakes are coming out of them toward water sources. He saw his desires flying with thousands of stars over the drunken bed.

Yes. He found himself for the first time face to face with a woman, far away from the past archaeological mount (coastos) where he buried all his history and the history of (the lenko) too.


(The text’s dust)

From the entrance of the swans’ inn;totmito found his hand falling in the hand of a woman in her fiftieth, she led him toward the big saloon where she asked him to sit, to listen to his demands; but he soon refused to submit to the pimp woman, under the pretence that he wanted a quick coitus, which surprised her and made her response immediately to his wish, saying to him:well. I will take you for a round to the rooms of the women, and you just have to choose whom you prefer: one or more.

She held his hand again to introduce him to the workers of the sexual domain.

Totmito did not spend a lot of time, then the first room was the station and the decision too.

Thus he decided to make love with the first woman, even before completing his round to watch the other women who were distributed in the inn’s rooms!

Did you really like this woman, totmito?And why did not you complete the tour with the pimp of the inn which is full of swans, you may find in  other rooms a girl who is more beautiful and more lovely than the whore you fell on your face in her room immediately !

Did you fall in love with her since the first moment?!

Do not be silly, totmito and do not occupy your head with thousand and thousand of are not here for the aim of choosing; nor for the aim of research, exploration and checking to distinguish between the good flesh and the rotten one; you know why did you came  here now and this is enough.

Totmito sat on a chair of red leather facing the woman who also sat on a similar one, smiling for her first visitor in such a cold day; while totmito’s eyes were skimming over the contents of the room and the paintings on the walls; which were mostly sexual pictures except one which was plastic art one; it was like the lonely picture among several pictures.

Who brought Michael Angelo to your room, madam;are you from the ancient world? He asked the woman.

Who is that Angelo you talking about?Is he your friend? The woman replied coldly and carelessly?

Have you said my friend! ah, yes, he is an old friend, he was a great artist and this painting is one of his;he was art’s expert.

He answered her reluctantly; as if regretted opening a conversation with an ignorant woman like the whore before him.

Perhaps I know that man; he probably slept with me on this bed, but I am not sure;

Many men passed between my thighs, and perhaps wholly nations; I am asking you again: do you really know Angelo? many of my guests consider the picture of  the naked woman’ stature  completely dissolute; although they sleep with me naked, and Engaged in obscenity in my bed.imagine this contradiction.

I do not know; but Michael Angelo believed that nudity cannot be painted, but just be sculptured, therefore he spent most of  his life having sex with rocks; his works were high qualified and  worthy.

Worthy! Where do you bring these words from?Are you an artist? Or philosophy house graduate?

Neither this; nor that.I am just an ancient postman.and what I meant was an example; then, every sculpting of love is killing of it.that is all I wanted to say.

You are really complicating the issue;do you want me to throw the painting out the window? The damned Angelo distracted you from the thing you came for.come on ! Take off your clothes because the time that is allocated for coitus, is about to end. the woman said those words roughly; trying to deter him from the consequences of continuing his talking about painting.

But the dialogue is still in its climax and we did not come to solution. Are not we?

We will complete it in the bed, and we will see in the end, if you were right or not. The woman answered him reluctantly.

Yes. Why not?Is not the bed the most important school of history? totmito answered her while trying to find out the works of bed for the first time, with assistance of the woman with him.

What kind of curse befell you now, o totmito?! Here you are, from the nudes.

There is rest remained of Angelo’s soul, floating now around the room, to paint you as an obscene in such a moment.

Yes. every spirit has huge collection of lines that swim in gelatinous way in various places. some of them melt in the woman’s body, declaring its dispersion; and some of them watch the movement of the body and its acrobatics games on the drunken bed you float aver with the woman who you do not know her name, nor her body’s file; this soft body that has a sound of small bombs.

have you heard this in mount (coastos) before, o totmito?

did you see; the experiment was not as difficult as you thought; the smoke pillars that volatize from your body at these moments were not higher than the  legs which elevated on your shoulders. Oh my god !

When totmito started doing his job inside the female body which was moving underneath him and probing the depths, he realized that he had been regaining his life, and get shaped in the shape of snake. was he really different from that?

he does not want to sink into questions and their analyses’ subsequent and interpretations. here he is ! Feeling that he has a fever for the first time in his history.or lets use better phrase: the fever’s long history did not produce the kind of heat that totmito felt in such a freezing day like that.


(The text’s dust(

Damn your past life, o selveen.more than twenty years, and you are at this dissolute profession, as if you did not make sex at all.I doubt that the men who passed over your body were really men. Here you are, shaking  in moments of imaginary eruption, and lavas and  fireworks get into your pores; that the head fly with them to the higher heavens. How many times you thought that love is one of the metals that cannot be inflamed by a matchstick or a cannon ball, and here you are, blowing up such a belief now, after finding fires while eating all your lands.

Which charm this visitor, who has came from the unknown, let you get in its world?

Selveen, are you lying to yourself, and doubt that you are not flying now as a burning butterfly?

Or the reason of your screaming and sighing is motivated by uprooting the frost mountains from their ancient roots, because a woman like you did not feel her orgasm, as you are quaking by now? What did this man pour in your womb which get rotten and worn because of the past black years’ coituses; to make the pleasure as a sun falling down inside you.o selveen? She talked to herself that way while she was under the influence of some drug, while dozens of hands were knocking at her door to find out the source of the screaming which was coming out of her room.

Totmito was inflamed of horror inside, while looking at the woman who was hit by a coma after having sex with her on that fateful bed!!

Suddenly, totmito screams inside panicly saying: what a deadly coitus! Damn the sex and the miserable fate that brought you here, o totmito.

The pimp who worried about selveen and the inn’s women were knocking at the door with their hands to know what is happening inside.

While totmito stand behind the room’s door as a panic trembling rat, once he touched the door to open for them, the attack of the inn’s whores was quick and they all get inside, to find selveen lying down on the bed;naked and unconscious!

And Because they are experienced;they hastened doing the first aid for selveen until regaining her consciousness back, smiling that charming, malicious smile; this led to decline totmito’s rate of horror, and he soon grabbed a cigarette from his box and lighted it. While selveen was looking at him strange and filled with sweeping longing looks, she asked him to light her a cigarette too;which astonishes her colleagues who asked her to tell them what really happened. but she refrained from saying anything, pretending that the situation was nothing but a hoax;) I wanted to test your intentions and your love to me in the critical conditions). this is what selveen said to them, trying to justify what happened to her with totmito before they leave the room. totmito remained silent because of the surprise that hit his core;due to the shock he received because of his first sex experiment, though he approached selveen, putting his hand on her hair, asking her for her name.

I am selveen, and you?.


What a beautiful musical name.what does it mean?

The golden cloud.

Wonderful, you are really so.

Why you say that for heaven’s sake?

Because you have drowned me in magica water moments ago.

Are you afraid of this confession, o totmito?

What do you mean about drowning under water?the panic  have eaten my mind moments ago when I saw you like a lifeless corpse.

Do not say that please, the lustful dream still covers each place of my body, as if having sex for the first time in my life. I do not know what exactly happened to me;and I think it is difficult to explain that now.

This is what you say to every new and temporal man comes here; it is tape you need nothing to run it but to press play.

I did not have to do that at all; throughout  the time that has passed on me in this profession; I did not have a womb but a plastic bag, but you changed the equation.

Has the situation really changed now?How did it happen that quickly, o selveen?

I do not want to deal with details, it is still so early to know more, but I am extremely  happy and enraptured; this is all I know now o my toty.

As if you insist on the necessity of coming here on another day in order to pay money?do not expect a lot from me; I do not have anything but shades of money;and  to be honest: I am bankrupted o selveen.

If you want, I will go with you and pay you too.

Here you are; start arranging the dramatic work and bring it out well; I wonder why selveen?

You will see tomorrow ! She answered him decisively and conclusively.

As she said good bye to her new guest at the hostel’s door after kissing him on his mouth, which is not included as a habit of the workers in the sexual domain but rarely, her colleagues in the inn caught her, pulling her gently towards the salon as a formal place for daily confessions and for discussing and studying the career path and its circumstances in general.

It would be craziness from selveen to admit the unimaginable and incredible sweetness that happened to her with totmito; because if she told them about those volcanoes, totmito would be a guinea pig for them, and flew out of her hands; so she has no choice but lying and cheating infinitely; especially since all the inn’s whores know about selveen’s pains and diseases and health problems. for that reason she warned herself  from confessing anything of the truth; wishing to spend the rest of her last days happily in the lap of  totmito who is sent by fate down to her from the sky.

The fear hit us when we heard your screaming thunder, so; what exactly happened to you? The first woman asked her.

And more than this or that, we thought that the man has committed a crime; did he try to do so for heaven’s sake? The second one asked.

I have never imagined to see you alive after that damned coma, has he strangled you  then retracted? The third woman asked.

I expected that he put a skewer of fire inside you, otherwise, you would not be in such a situation we saw you in; how it happened? The fourth one asked her.

Was his penis so frightening to the extent of bringing you to the ground, selveen? The fifth asked.

I told myself that a man with weak physique was hiding a savage one inside, so your health could not bear his excessive strength. Is not it. selveen? The pimp asked.

Sleveen listened to a long series of questions.

Then she looked at everybody in servility way in order to win over their sympathy.and in order to cancel this meeting that looks like a trial; she answered them mischievously that the situation is nothing but an accidental incident related to her health, and she owes the man and wants to apologize because of the  dread she put in his heart. So she thanked her colleagues; then left the saloon toward her room  to dream her own and long dream among the pictures and the smells of totmito that still stuck in her soul, and in each piece of her room’s furniture.