They kicked the front door in, screaming for me to get down.
Only when one of the officers turned me over and pulled my arms behind my back, only then, with my face shoved into the pillow, did I feel the massive headache.
They were pulling me out of our studio and when we were on the stairs I finally woke up enough to turn and shout for Reana to wait, that I would come back, that it must all be some mistake. In about the same moment an officer said that it was no mistake while I realized that Reana wasn’t in the room.
I’m trying to reconstruct it all, I tried in those four hours of questioning, and I’m still trying. But there’s nothing to reconstruct. But there’s nothing in my mind to reconstruct. We were on the couch, watching TV and waiting for the fireworks shows. She was cuddled up against my chest and had a blanket wrapped over her feet. We were speaking the countdown together with the announcer on TV. There were the first fireworks. We raised our champagne glasses – and then all is just blank. Or maybe rather black. It’s a black curtain that’s blocking me from my own memories.
I didn’t drink any alcohol before midnight. I don’t even remember drinking the champagne, but they still found a blood alcohol level of 0.2 % – in my body, not in hers. Continue reading →
And I smile, because if the most correct thing in the world looks wrong the only thing you can do is to smile.
Bessie runs further, straight ahead into the fields, as if she is hunting something.
I shout her name, but, really, I don’t care.
Bessie is somewhere in the wet mud, but I can only look up, at the wrong Orion.
Orion has seven stars. Three in a line diagonally from the horizon and a very vivid square of four stars is arranged around those three, locking those three into an imaginary square.
But Bessie runs somewhere in the mud and all I can look at is the wrong Orion, the Orion with four stars in the center. And the fourth star, every time I raise my head against the cold, looks wrong. Continue reading →
We were watching TV. I remember it was a Christmas special, two Indiana Jones movies and then something only for the adults. Lisa didn’t like Indy and the Nazis and when the screen turned black she laughed, at first.
Dad looked for a torch to go downstairs into the pitch-black basement. Mom found candles somewhere and put them up on the dinner table, but every time she turned around they went out again. Lisa and I just huddled on the couch and watched the snow outside.
Dad found the torch. He went downstairs, guided by that strangely round light of the torch. A flickering light.
“This thing is broken,” he said, while taking careful steps with every flicker.
A quick glance under the desk. Throw the wardrobe open. Push clothes aside to make sure there is no one inside. Close the wardrobe. Step into the middle of the room. Breathe. Quickly bend and kneel forward, your hands on the ground, ready to push you back up as fast as possible. Check under the bed.
No one there. As every night.
Get back up. Walk towards the light switch. Look around the room another time, the eyes resting for a few seconds on each window. Second floor, but who knows what can climb that high?
Nothing suspicious. Mentally pace the room – two steps, then the jump.
Flip the switch. Large step with the right, large step with the left, then a quick jump to escape any possible hands.
Climb under the covers. Cocoon yourself. Try to sleep. Try not to have nightmares. Continue reading →
It was pulling her hair and she scratched her head, but she didn’t look. She didn’t believe me when I told her. I’m sorry, I really am. She just would have needed to look and it would have gone away. I didn’t want to hurt her, okay?
I need to get out. It can get in here. It always comes in when I look away. I need to look or it will come close. It can’t get close.
WHY WON’T YOU LET ME OUT?
Doc, PLEASE LEAVE THE LIGHT ON. Why do you always turn it off? I know you say this is just for me as therapy and secret, but I know you will read it. I know you will. Please, please, PLEASE leave the lights on, okay? Continue reading →
Everyone I ever talked to about it, they all knew the Barnam House. Most don’t remember where or when, but they heard talk about it or saw the pictures or watched the documentary. And when I describe it, the large white doors, the high walls, the walls with flaking blue paint and the yard outside, always immaculate except for that one, longish patch of dead plants – then they remember. They see the picture again.
I bet right now you can see it. The old trees slowly moving with the wind, the wind whistling and howling past, and of course that one top window shutter that keeps opening and closing, opening and closing, but not in the same pattern as the trees move or the wind whistles.
The Barnam House. There are different stories about it. Some say the Barnams simply left, from one day to the other. There was something they feared and so they left without ever telling anyone. That’s why, if you look through the shutters and you’re lucky enough to have enough light, you can see that there are still plates on the dinner table. Continue reading →