Tag Archives: car

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

Caught in the Web

Noah J. kindly narrated this story. Listen, read, or both:


My parents gave me the car on the 8th of March. My birthday. I remember running my hand around the car. When I finally grabbed the door handle I felt the silky touch of a spiderweb on my fingers. That day I just threw it out.

The red color was partially peeling off, there was a crack in the back window and dents on all four sides. But it drove and on the inside the car looked well maintained. My parents had even asked a mechanic to check it out – he changed the oil and then sent them on their way. On the way to me.

Of course there was an agenda that came with the car. It was a sign that I was old enough, that I had to take care of something and organize my own life. It was an aid – a chance to find work outside our suburb.

That night I took Catriona for a ride. That night, sitting in the car with burgers and softdrinks stored between our legs, we had our first kiss.

She had to be home by 11. I dropped her off and brought the car home. It was freezing when I finally slammed the door shut and hushed inside. Continue reading

The Red Orb

That night Sadie stayed so close to my legs that the leash was hanging through. She was walking slowly with careful steps. She looked tense and her tail and ears were upright.

When I first saw the red light it looked like a distant firefly. I saw it at the end of the street, a bright spot framed by two of the large trees that towered the sides of the road. It seemed to be far down the road, that red light, but it followed a fast up and down motion.

Sadie froze. Her eyes fixated on the light. Her legs buried stiffly into the ground.

I was wondering whether she just saw what I saw or whether there was more, something that I didn’t see or hear. I listened to the silence and stared, just like her. She bared her teeth.

The light grew larger. I remember thinking that it was weird that it did not seem to illuminate anything around it. It was passing right between trees and parked cars but the bright red did not reflect on them. Continue reading

The Yellow House

This is a fictionalized account of real events. The link to the real events is at the bottom of this story. I apologize if anyone is offended or hurt by this account – I mean it to cause attention for the issue, not to harm those involved.


It was 1998. A Saturday. 3am. An overdose of caffeine kept me awake. My legs shivered as I stood at the window with my eyes onto the street. I stood only half in the window, my head slanted towards the side. I hoped the darkness of my room would keep me hidden.

It was not the first time that I watched the street. My eyes were on the yellow house with the basement window that was never light during the day but always lit at night.

A car stopped. A badly done white paintjob, the left rear light was broken. Two men got out. Between them staggered a woman. Drunk? Drugged? I never knew. Continue reading