Tag Archives: abduction

Tourist Mine

“And for those of you with children – please keep them close, okay?” He glanced towards Ann. “Believe me, you don’t want to lose her down there.”

“No,” I said, “of course not.”

“That’s what I hoped to hear!” The guide winked.

On the way down Ann held my hand tightly. Except for the one light bulb right above our heads the world seemed to be made of metal bars and the dark stone of the shaft.

Not five minutes later we stood at the entrance to a vast cave that seemed to be a world of its own; heaps of stones appeared like small hills, in between them reflections revealed ponds of different sizes.

“Imagine what this kid must have felt like, when he crawled in here to discover all this?” The guide waved his hands around while he spoke. “There’s a rumor that he was fleeing from his abusive father or something of the kind, but probably he was just fooling around like children do. He must have come in somewhere near the top of the cave and then falls down right into the middle of this planet!”

He pointed to two points near the far end of the chamber. Continue reading

Yes, it was me.

[Trigger warning… for all parents]

Kat, why? Just why?

You could have told me. I loved you; I would have understood. At any point – I would have understood it and I would have accepted you, but not like this.

Yes, it was me.

You know how much we wanted her. She was ours; our love, our hope, our everything. After all these years of trying, she would have been our love – but it’s okay. This wasn’t your fault. I forgive you, I know you didn’t want to do it. I know you didn’t mean to. You just loved her too much. It could have been me too; me too.

You were the best mother in the world, and you knew it. No mother can feel as much love as you felt. That’s why it was so hard. And I know how much you wanted her; how much you wanted to protect her. She was too pale and the doctor said she was sick and that she would need constant care and that we had to call if she would cough or have trouble breathing or if she would spasm or something along that line.

Really, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have allowed you to stay alone with her for so long. No one can stay awake for that long. I knew you told me to stay away and that you were okay and that a mother should watch her child and that I would never be able to calm her down like you did, but you could at least have allowed me to try.

Why didn’t you allow me to try?

And why did you not tell me when it happened?

I was hurt, you know? I was hurt that you didn’t allow me to touch her anymore. I understood, because of what the doctor said about her immune system, but I too wanted to touch her. But you could have told me back then, when I knocked on the door on the second day, rather than to just scream at me to go away. Continue reading

Bessie

Trigger warning: self-harm; harm to animals.


She was two months old when I got her. And just four months when he took her.

Soft, long, golden fur. A tongue that was always hanging out and dripping with saliva. She loved to lick my face. She loved to cuddle up to me at night. And I loved all that about her.

I got her because I was lonely and lost in a way that no human companion wants to fix. But from the day I picked her up I didn’t feel alone anymore. I have two dogs now, one sweeter than the other, but I still thank Bessie for saving me.

I lost her the fourth of April. We were out of the city so that she could run without leash and Bessie loved running after the frisbee and I took the chance to practice a few commands with her.

“Fetch!”

She ran.

“Heel!”

She came.

“Sit!”

Bessie rolled down onto the floor with her belly up and what seemed like a grin on her face.

That belly rub was the last time that I ever touched her. Continue reading

Five Days. Five Nights.

Noah J. was so kind to narrate this story. You can listen and read along:

This story was also translated to Polish.


The first four days Lachlan had been excited. The fifth day, that Friday that he came back from primary school with dirt on his knees, he was not excited. He was euphoric.

I was in my office, writing the final formulaic words of another research proposal.

“Daaad!”

“Hey!”

“Dad! Dad! Dad!”

“Oh wow, someone is happy. Enjoyed school?”

“School is awesome!”

“That’s great!”

“And I have loads of friends!”

“Of course you do.”

“Look!”

He stretched his small, dirty hand towards me.

“You cut yourself?”

“No.”

“That looks like a cut.”

“It’s a talesman.” Continue reading

Blue Water

Warning: potential trigger



There were three of us. One was from Kinshasa, Congo, like me, but we just met in that city of sand. The other was from Sudan, but don’t ask me whether it was the North or the South, I doubt even he knew which part.

It took me twelve weeks to get enough money to pay for the car – sometimes begging, sometimes selling refilled water bottles to the few tourists. One of them even came back, shouting at me. I think he wanted me to give his money back. Maybe there was some sand in the water or something of that sort. He gave up after a while, when I shrugged and shook my head.

Twelve weeks and I had enough. I suddenly felt as if everything was possible. It took me nearly a year to get to Egypt. I had never even heard that name before I reached the border, all I had been told was to keep going North.

North is safety. North is wealth. You can live there, that’s what we were told. We saw those pictures, in the magazines and on big posters and drawings on the walls. People in pools. We knew they had water, but how did they get their water blue? I never understood. All I knew is that I wanted to go there; that I couldn’t watch anymore while my own mother kept ploughing the hard, red soil with a plough even more broken than her back. Continue reading

Last Kiss

Laura wore jeans shorts and a light green sleeveless shirt. She smiled while she climbed into the car. She gave me a kiss on the cheek when the engine started. I think that was the last kiss she ever gave me.

We had planned our trip for several weeks. The trip of all trips.

You won’t understand this if you’ve never been to a desert or a remote mountain. The sky, for most of us, is just a black or blue-ish carpet with a few white spots. But if you ever spend a night in the desert, away from all the “light smog” of the cities and cars and street lamps and even the petrol stations – then you know what the sky looks like: A beautiful pattern of white and yellow and even pink dots, uncountably many of them, spread in waves and patterns on an ocean of deep blue.

I screamed a “Yee-ha!” when we finally left the road. The landscape around us was already dry and beige, but there were still dots of green and the occasional red or yellow. The vehicle stumbled over heaps of hard and dry sand, further and further into the dead countryside; between carcasses of old cactuses and nothing but stones. Continue reading