Sofia (a more serious short story by me)

Die deutsche Version findet ihr HIER.

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Sofia was finally off work. It was dark outside, and it rained again. Since three days it had been drizzling nearly continuously. Everything was permeated by this impertinent humidity. An umbrella was completely useless against this soft, but insistent onslaught. Therefore she had finally bought herself a practical rain coat with a hood and even a pair of rubber boots.

Now Sofia was standing at the bus stop looking like a personified waterfall and waited for number 22 to take her home. She wore her handbag under the raincoat for protection.

She saw the headlights of a bus approaching. When it came closer, Sofia could make out that the display did neither mention the end stop nor the route number. She stepped back, so that the bus would not stop. But it stopped anyway, and the door opened. The bus driver, a very old man with a kind of jelly bag cap (really??That is the English name for it?) on his head sternly looked at Sofia. “Good gracious”, thought Sofia, “he must have been retired long ago, why does he still drive a bus? Should I really enter?” These staring eyes were almost hypnotizing, but Sofia still hesitated.

Then she noticed that one of the passengers cleaned the steamed-up window with his sleeve and looked out and at her. It was a child, maybe six years old. She could not make out, whether it was a boy or a girl, but she could see a round face with likewise round eyes and many fair curls. Was this child traveling all by itself? It seemed to be too young for that. Sofia could not hesitate anymore, she had to find out about the child. She showed her monthly ticket to the bus driver, but he demanded change. “I don’t have any change”, said Sofia, “and I did pay already, the monthly ticket is still valid!” Hereupon the driver just waved her through, closed the door and started the bus.

Meanwhile, Sofia went into the back and tried to find the child. There were only very few people on the bus, but only adults, no child, as much as she searched. Had it been imagination? Now she sat in a bus, of which she did not know where it went. How was she supposed to get home? She pressed the stop button, but the bus did not stop. She tried five times, but without success. Was that a kidnapping? Was the bus driver crazy or even had suffered a heart attack? The bus was lurching so strangely. She ran to the front to find out, but there wasn’t any bus driver anymore. Any moment now they would hit something or someone.

Determined she sat down behind the steering wheel and tried to keep the bus on the right side of the road, while at the same time searching for the breaks. After a wild chase down a steep hill, she managed by and by to slow it down and bring it to a standstill.

How does one open the doors? Sofia tried the manual lever, as she did not dare to try all the buttons and switches. It was a bit difficult, but she managed and left the bus. The other passengers followed her. But where were they? This was not their town! That was not even their time! They had ended up in one or the other little, ancient village without any streetlamps. The only light was that from the windows of some houses.

The other passengers all went into one direction, as if they knew, where to go. Sofia decided to follow them, what other choice was there? They arrived at a larger house, from which gleeful music was to be heard, and entered. A big party seemed to be going on. They were welcomed warmly and asked to sit down at the table, food and drink would arrive shortly.

That was very strange indeed; Sofia could not comprehend it. All of a sudden she could hear a voice calling her name as if from far away “Sofia, Sofia”, soft and kind. She looked around the room, but could not find out who was calling. There it was again “Sofiaaa”, this time more insisting. And then there was only light; the people, the party, everything disappeared and was engulfed by a blinding light.

And then Sofia opened her eyes and looked at the anxious face of her colleague Maria. It seemed like she herself was lying on the ground and Maria was bending over her. “A bus hit you, Sofia. I saw it from my window and came down immediately”, Maria said. It seemed as if she really had stormed out of the office, as she did not wear any coat and was already completely drenched. “There comes the ambulance, Sofia, I will stay with you”, said Maria, and Sofia knew there and then that everything would be fine.

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This story was part of the project „write with me“ (German only) by blogger Offenschreiben

 

Ich wünsche euch allen einen schönen Tag!

… Have a pleasant day, everybody!

An odd couple (short story by me)

Nach einer Initiative mit einigen wenigen Vorgaben von Frau Offenschreiben

Die deutsche Version findet ihr HIER. Achtung, grober Unsinn!

… After an initiative and a few input-requirements by Ms Offenschreiben

… Beware of fiddle-faddle, flimflam, humbug and flapdoodle! (I must say, the anglophones have more fun … 😉 )

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An odd couple
HamburgHauptbahnhof
(Foto: Pixabay)
Since six months, Karsten and Stig are sharing a small three room apartment in Hamburg, in a street called „Lange Reihe“ (long row), behind the main railroad station. It is not the best of areas, but cheap. It is actually Karsten’s flat, as his name is figuring on the rental contract. But, six months ago he had put an ad in the papers searching for a flat mate to save some money, as he is a student. A student of theology. He wants to be a parson and deliver God’s word to mankind. He might not be the only theologist with that plan, but he feels especially called. The fact is that God has talked to him and has given him the task to teach mankind how to better themselves.

Karsten thinks that he made a good bargain with Stig, a Swedish, relatively young  business man. They only meet at breakfast and have coffee together, share the morning paper, and then they go their separate ways.  Stig is often on duty travel for several days, so that Karsten has the flat to himself and can practise his future sermons aloud. The tone is important, insistent, urging, but not condescending, more in the style of „we are all sinners, nobody of us is worthy“. Karsten thinks that this would go down well.

Stig does not know about the grand plans, which Karsten worked out for mankind. Their communication at the breakfast table is sparse. They lift their coffee cups and look at each other over the rim of the newspaper, that’s it.

Everything could be sunshine and roses, if it wasn’t for their impertinent neighbour. She is young and quite pretty, and, as Karsten thinks, shows too much interest in the two young men, almost shameless. Every time she meets one of them she asks, if Karsten and Stig are gay, a couple that is. Stig just looks at her in a cool way and ignores her, but Karsten finds this behaviour outrageous and protests vehemently. But he only achieves that the cheeky person requests him to prove that he is heterosexual. Infamous jezebel!
Alexandra(Foto: Pixabay)
The infamous jezebel is called Alexandra, is tall and slim  and blessed with a great head of black curly hair. Pair that with a pale complexion and dark blue eyes, and you get a perfect Celtic beauty. It annoys her excessively that none of the two young men gets hooked. Both of them are good looking – each in his own way. Karsten has the air of a poet. He looks as if he is never here and now present, but always drifting on some cloud. Except when he scolds her, of course. He has delicate features and brown, wavy hair and is maybe just a little bit too thin.
Karsten
(Foto: Pixabay)
Stig, the cool one, is a more manly type, maybe comparable to Jean-Claude Vandamme. But he is completely unapproachable. Alexandra has not seen any of them with a woman ever, therefore the suspicion of homosexuality.
Stig(Foto: Pixabay)
Alexandra works as a waitress at a restaurant at Lange Reihe. That is not her dream job, but she is still young, just twenty, and still has to think about, what she actually wants to do with her life. At the moment she uses her free time to stalk Stig and Karsten. This is slowly developing into a real obsession.
She has already followed them both many times. Karsten’s day is boring. He goes to university, shopping and to the laundromat. Nothing else seems to take place in his life. Stig is a different case. He always succeeds to „lose“ her in no time, as if he knows that she is following him.  Therefore, she still does not know, where he is going and with whom he is meeting.
But, one morning another possibility presents itself. Alexandra is just passing Karsten and Stig’s flat – they live one floor below her – when she notices that their entrance door is not completely closed.  She cannot resist and opens the door carefully, so that she can take a peek. Somewhere inside somebody is reciting a poem or something similar, she cannot make out the words, but the tone is somewhat pompous. She sneaks into the hallway of the flat and sees Karsten, who is walking up and down the kitchen floor, an egg in one hand, with the other gesticulating with a spoon, talking to himself. Now she can hear the repeated mention of „God“, „Jesus Christ“ and „us poor sinners“. Dear me, Alexandra thinks, what is ailing him. Curiosity makes her open the first door to the right. This must be Karsten’s room. There are books galore on all formerly empty spaces. The titles speak for Christian literature. That’s why he is so uptight, she thinks.
She tries the door to the left. This room looks rather bare. No books, no pictures, no posters, nothing personal whatsoever. More curious than ever, she enters the room and looks into all the drawers one by one,  but with the exception of clothing, she cannot find anything that could tell her something about Stig. She looks under the bed. There is a flat box; what is that, an electric guitar? She pulls the box out from under bed. No, this is too slim, not a guitar. She opens the box … and closes it again immediately. Has she seen correctly? She opens the lid one more time: it is true, in the box is a gun; a gun like hitmen use them in gangster movies with all kinds of spare parts to screw on like silencer and such.  Alexandra cannot take her eyes of the gun. A Messiah and a hitman, what a pair, she thinks.
At that precise moment, the door opens and Stig enters the room. Alexandrea cries out, closes the box and pushes it under the bed. But Stig has seen what she was doing. The shouting alarms Karsten, who storms into the room, only to see how Stig is doing his best to choke Alexandra. Karsten breaks out into a loud lament about the sins of mankind and begs God for mercy for Alexandra and Stig’s black soul. Stig is so astounded that he loosens his grip around Alexandra’s neck, who with great presence of mind kicks him into the privates with her knee and tears herself free, while Stig is doubling up with pain.  Alexandra starts to shout „help, murder“, while Karsten continues his lament. All this commotion attracts more neighbours, some of them doormen in the red light area, who throw themselves on Stig. Somebody calls the police. Stig is arrested, and Karsten and Alexandra are also requested to follow the police officers to the station to give their statements.
Before they are led into separate interrogation rooms, Alexandra manages to whisper to Karsten „my hero, tonight I will reward you“. This triggers another lament about the sinful state of mankind. The policeman, who is supposed to interrogate Karsten, is tearing his hair …

 

The promise (short story)

Die deutsche Originalversion findet ihr HIER.

The cozy gentleman and I are nearing the seventies, so from time to time we have to face facts. We made our will, including the method with which we wish to be buried, and will try to make things easy for our survivors. The story came up, when we discussed certain probabilities and how we wanted to deal with it.

2015-08-20 09.36.43 PromiseVersprechen

THE PROMISE

My husband and I had passed the 80th year, and life began to get increasingly troublesome: little ailments, pains, stiffness of the joints, etc. etc. Then my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

We had made a deal: no active help to die, but no artificial prolongation of life either. The healthier one would take care of the other one until he or she died.

I dissolved our household and sold, gave away, passed on to family members all our belongings and valuables. Then I found us a little disused farm in the north of Sweden near Haparanda, where nobody wants to live, close to the border to Finland.

There we pitched our tent in the summer of 2003. This is to be understood figuratively, as there stood a beautiful, cozy little wooden cottage, painted Swedish red with white edges. There was no running water and electricity in the house, of course, but it had a large iron oven, an old kitchen stove fired with wood, and a diesel generator for lights. What more would one need? A drawing well was right in front of the house. A young man from Haparanda helped us with the firewood. The long, dark winters were hard, but I was determined to hold out.

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My husband went from bad to worse, until he did not recognize me anymore. It was a difficult time. One night in August 2006 he peacefully died in his sleep. I had had so many years to get used to this moment, but it still hit me hard. I was like paralyzed. What now? I would have liked to go together with him, to protect him from the inconveniences on the other side. He was an easy victim for pretty images that would lure him away from the actual path. Anyway, it obviously was not meant to be. I did not feel like I was near death either.

I could not bear to be in the house and decided to go into the woods. There I sat down at a little brook, leaning against a tree and started to get drowsy. After a while, I did not know how long I had slept, I woke up and saw a wolf standing in front of me looking at me intensely. I extended my arms and called: “Friend, help me to the other side!”

The wolf just looked at me and laid down across my legs to sleep. An irrepressible laughter rose up in me, and I would have liked to let it out, but I did not wish to disturb the wolf, which was lying there so peacefully. So I suppressed the laughter only just and accepted this weird situation. I even fell asleep again. Maybe it was all a dream?

Here the story could have ended.

But reality was different. I woke up from a gun shot. I felt a tremor going through the wolf and just thought: “Oh, no!”

There were three men. One of them had taken the shot. “Are you injured?” they called. I was furious and shouted at them: ”Have you lost your mind? Do you always have to spoil everything that is beautiful?”

They looked at me, uncomprehending, as in their eyes they had just saved my life. I bowed over the wolf and burst into uncontrollable sobs.

Wolf, Predators, Wildlife, Winter
(Foto: Pixabay)

Das Kakao-Mysterium … The cocoa mystery

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Seltsame Dinge geschehen in unserem kleinen, fast idyllischen Dörfchen. Neulich kam ich von einem Treffen mit meiner hundekundigen Freundin zurück und fand ein schlimmes Chaos in der Küche vor.  „Was in aller Welt ist denn hier passiert?“ fragte ich meinen Mann.

… Strange things are going on in our small, almost idyllic village. Not long ago I came back home from a meeting with my dog expert friend and found a terrible chaos in the kitchen. „What on earth has happened here?“ I asked my husband.

Er sah mich mit unschuldigen Hundeaugen an und erzählte mir die schreckliche Geschichte, wie es an der Tür geklingelt hätte, er aufgemacht hätte, da drei Männer in der Tür gestanden hätten, in die Wohnung eingedrungen wären, ihn an einem Stuhl festgebunden hätten, dann ganz viel Kakao gemacht hätten, den ausgetrunken hätten (ohne ihm etwas abzugeben, wohlgemerkt, was Tortur gleichkam), sie ihn dann wieder losgebunden hätten und verschwunden wären, ohne aufzuräumen.

… He looked at me with innocent puppy eyes and told be the terrible story, how the doorbell went, he opened, how three men stood in the door and then intruded into the house, how they bound him to a chair and then made a lot of cocoa and drunk it (without offering any to him, mind you, which equaled torture), how they freed him again and disappeared without cleaning up.

Ich habe natürlich gleich in der lokalen Facebook-Gruppe und in der Lokalzeitung vor diesen drei Männern gewarnt. Sie laufen inzwischen unter dem Namen „Kakao-Sadisten“.        😀  😀  😀

… I have, of course, immediately warned everybody in the local facebook group and the local papers of these three men. By now they go under the name „the cocoa sadists“.              😀  😀  😀