Tag Archives: doors


It’s not that I’m ugly. People don’t turn around and gag when they see me. The problem is that they don’t smile either. And if there’s one thing every woman learns far too young it’s that everything is about looks. Only it isn’t.

I tried clubbing, house parties, online dating – hell, even book clubs. We exchanged glances, introductions, nice words – but no matter what I tried, it never went further than that. Men always seemed to run away from me. I thought it was my looks – make up, push up, perfect pants and a shirt or dress with a cleavage so deep that I thought my nipples might jump out – and yet, nothing.

I was online, searching for operations to fix all the flaws in my face and body. There was an ad on top of one of these websites, blinking fast in red and orange with large black text:

“Be attractive. No operations. No effort. Guaranteed effect.” Continue reading

The Knife is Still in My Lap

I sit here shivering with my back against the wall. The knife is still in my lap. I can’t even leave this room. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

It was all because I flunked school. Fuck school. Lock kids into a tiny and smelly room in the best time of their life. And then make sure every small mistake determines their future. A gray and brown building filled with incompetent teachers and kids so horribly raised that not just them but also their parents deserve a good spanking.

That’s why I flunked. I couldn’t go there. I couldn’t stand the incompetence and the boring, dull, dragging hours on broken chairs. I felt my heart clench whenever I just so much as looked at the front door. So I didn’t go. And look where that got me. Continue reading

Far Too Happy

I loved her more than anything in the world and the wedding was rapidly approaching. Bianca wanted to organize everything with only her maid of honor and I was happy that I didn’t have to bother with any of the preparations.

We had been engaged for nearly two years and when we finally decided to finally get married Bianca was excited. We set the date and together we chose the location – a small but incredibly picturesque church set a few minutes drive into the forest near Bianca’s home village. Bianca had spent many of her childhood Sundays in that church dreaming about her wedding.

The church’s community had dried out and most of the Sunday services were now only visited by twenty or thirty people. The old priest stood at the altar and spoke so slowly that I felt an angry twitch in my fingers; I wanted to shake him; I wanted to scream at him to finish his sermon.

But Bianca seemed to love it. She stared at the priest with unmoving eyes and a wide smile while my eyes moved along the church’s high walls and ceilings.

From that day on, despite the nearly two hour ride, Bianca visited the church every week. Up until then she had not even been religious – but something about the priest fascinated her. Continue reading

Job Center

She told me to take the small lift, the one around the corner. I think that’s where it all went wrong.

I lost my job six months ago. I sent out hundreds, literally hundreds, of applications. I got two phone interviews – and the rest either didn’t reply or sent the type of response seems to have been made specifically to crush your soul:

We had an unusually high amount of applicants and sadly cannot consider your application at this time. The high amount of applications sadly prevents us from giving detailed feedback on your application. We wish you best of luck…

Else I would never have gone there. I want to get a job. There are a few lazy slobs, but I’m not one of them. I’m not bumming around and hoping for hand-outs. Like most other unemployed I’m just an honest guy that fell on hard times. It shouldn’t be like that, it shouldn’t be a walk of shame just to go to a government-funded agency that helps you to get a job. Still I went early in the morning to make sure that no friends would see me on the street. Continue reading

Scent of a Woman

That Friday morning I woke up, noticed the bright sunlight and silently cursed. I rolled over to sit up; an orchestra of pain receptors started screaming in my head. This time I cursed loudly.

It took me a solid five minutes to sit up and another three to pick my phone off the floor. The room was spinning around me.

“Why the hell aren’t you in your office?” Asked the high-pitched voice.

“I’m sick.” I said. “And I overslept.”

“Another f-ing game?” Asked Laney.

Her voice made my headache worse.

“Yeah.” I said. “Another game.”

“Get your act together.” She said. “Or you’re out.”

“Okay.” I said.

“I’ll count this as a holiday.” She said. “Consider that a favor.”

“Okay.” I said.

She ended the call; I fell back into my bed.

I woke up at 2pm; my head felt as if it was back on my shoulders but somewhat larger than before.

I slowly got up, checked my phone, dismissed Laney’s missed calls and stumbled towards the bathroom. The floor felt under my feet as if it wasn’t properly solid.

I stood in the shower and let the water run down my body and in my mouth. Hydration, I thought, that’s what my brain wants.

On the way out of the shower I wiped the steam off the mirror.

“Fuck.” I said.

There was a long, red mark on my chest. I felt the swollen skin, the thin line that went straight across my chest.

Breakfast was more important; I suppose technically it was rather lunch than breakfast. Either way, fried eggs, bread and milk solve all problems.

I only reached Will at the third try.

“Dude.” He said. “You were so wasted.”

“I can feel that.” I said.

Will laughed.

“You remember anything?” He asked.

“Nope.” I said. “What the hell did I do?”

“Thought so,” Will said. “You went crazy.”

“Why?” I asked.

“We won.”

“No, what did I do?”

“You really don’t remember?” Will asked.

“No.” I said.

“Dude, you danced on the street.”

“Oh.” I said.

“Like a waltz or something.”

Some images came back in my head. We totally destroyed the visiting team. I paid for a round of beers. Someone told me to take a cab. And then: dancing.

“Oh.” I said.

“I tried to stop you.” Will said.

“Thanks.” I said.

During the rest of the day a few more fragments of my memory came back. I didn’t remember falling, but I did remember seeing the man in the middle of the road.

“Look.” I said. “He’s dancing.”

“Who?” Asked Will.

“The guy on the road.” I said.

Will just laughed.

“He looks lonely.” I said.

“You are crazy.” Will said.

I danced with him. That’s what I did. I walked or rather staggered towards him; I didn’t even speak, and neither did he.

The dancer smiled at me and grabbed my hands. He led me in circles; spinning around.

“You are the woman.” Laughed Will somewhere behind me. “You are the woman.”

And I was. The man was leading me. But in that moment, maybe it was the alcohol – I didn’t mind.

I remember a sweet smell in the air – and then the man suddenly spun me backwards and left. I tumbled to the floor.

An awesome night my aching brain told itself while I was zapping through daytime TV. I fucking waltzed with a man.

Saturday I slept long and still felt tired, but the headache was gone and the red mark on my chest had nearly disappeared. At night Will gave me a call to go for another drink, but I wasn’t ready for that. Instead I checked my email for “urgent” emails from Laney. There were three; I worked through two of them and sent Laney my reply.Better get the boss in a good mood for Monday. I thought.

That Saturday night, while drowning my eyes in a sea of pixels, I heard movement outside. ‘Heard’ might be the wrong word; I don’t remember hearing something specific. I just had the feeling that there was something, a sudden urge to glance through the kitchen window.

“Wow.” I said out loud. “What the fuck?”

Right in the middle of the road was a man with a pale face and a black suit. His dark brown or black hair was neatly combed to one side and it seemed to reflect the streetlight.

He was dancing, slowly, alone, in circles. His hands were stretched forward, one at waist level, one at shoulder level, as if he was leading a partner across the dance floor.

I stared for a moment, then quickly stepped away from the window.

Will picked up after the second ring.

“What’s up?” He asked. I heard loud music and talking in the background.

“That guy is here.” I said.


“That guy is here. The one I danced with. He’s right in the middle of the street and dancing again.”

Will laughed.

“How drunk are you?” He asked.

“Not at all.” I said.

“Sure.” Will said. “Get drunk alone then; I gotta go.”

“Wait!” I said – but Will had already hung up.

When I stepped back in the kitchen and carefully glanced out of the window the street was empty.

Just for a moment I thought I smelled a sweet scent, like a flowery women’s perfume.

I didn’t drink that night. I checked all doors and windows, and when my paranoia got too strong even searched the house. The doors were all locked. I was alone.

I slept late; still I woke up around 9am.

First I felt the pain, a burning sensation on my chest. When I tried to scratch it the pain got worse; I felt something sticky and wet. I pulled my hand away. The second thing I noticed was the blood on my hand and shirt.

What the hell? I thought.

In the bathroom I smelled a faint perfume again; as if a girl spent the night and left in the early hours of the morning. Did I check the bathroom?

This time the mark on my chest was not just a scratch; it looked like a thin cut. With the fading mark from two days before the cut formed a large ‘X’ on my chest.

What the hell did I do? I thought.

After applying disinfectant and roughly plastering the worst parts I again slowly searched the house. Doors and windows were still locked – and I was alone.

The day looked as if it would be relaxing; no one had time to meet up and so I planned to read throughout the day. Instead I ended up playing games. Just one more turn. I thought while I pressed the ‘End round’ button. I must have thought that at least 200 times, at the end of each of the latter 200 of the 250 rounds I played.

It was already 11pm when I finally stopped and a headache greeted me the moment I closed my laptop.

What am I doing with my life? I thought.

The dark outside felt threatening. I hadn’t left the house, still I felt the urge to check all doors and windows. The doors and living room windows were all perfectly locked.

When I got to the kitchen window I froze, then quickly ducked behind the counter. He was out there again, dancing this time right in front of my driveway.

I was too scared to move from the counter. I grabbed a knife. Every few minutes I glanced outside to check whether he was still there.

The man didn’t seem to look at me or even the window. He just danced, with himself and for himself, but with his hands holding and leading an imaginary partner.

After about eight or nine minutes he was gone. When I glanced outside I thought I saw him running in the distance – but it looked more like someone else.

When I walked out of the kitchen, the knife still clutched in my hand, I smelled the flowers again. Sweet, fruity flowers; definitely a women’s perfume. This time the smell was intense, as if the lady would stand right around the corner to the front door.

I took two steps back, slowly looked around the room. I held the knife with both hands to stop the shaking; it didn’t help.

Step by step I made my way around the corner. Every moment I was expecting some woman to lunge towards me. Cold sweat ran down my neck when I took the last, small steps.

The area behind the front door was empty.

I searched the house, every single corner where a person could possibly hide. It took me nearly an hour. There was nobody.

I moved my drawer cabinet behind the bedroom door and placed an old lamp at the edge of the cabinet so that even the slightest movement would make it fall.

My sleep was shallow; I felt hot and cold at the same time, my legs were restless. In my dreams I saw the man, dancing on the street; then suddenly his face close up in front of mine.

The lamp’s crashing on the floor woke me up; I grabbed the knife from my bedside table and pushed myself backwards against the wall.

The room was empty; no sound outside.

I waited about thirty seconds, carefully looking around the room; then I jumped out of bed, threw myself on the floor and looked under the bed.

Nothing except dust.

I placed more objects on the cabinet and stacked a few old weights in front of it.

I felt dead tired; still it took me even longer to fall asleep. But at last I slept and I slept deep and sound.

I dreamt of carving furniture. I was using a metal tool to carve patterns into a soft piece of wood. I was carving a message.

Then, in my dream, I smelt a sweet, flowery perfume.

I woke up. A woman’s face was right above mine.

I screamed and hit at her; she jumped backwards; I threw the blanket towards her and grabbed the knife.

By the time the blanket fell on the floor she was gone.

My eyes had been off her pale face for less than a second.

The drawer cabinet was still as I had arranged it; the balanced objects still on top.

My chest hurt; I felt a few drops of warm blood running over my skin.

The scent of her perfume still lingered in the air.

I didn’t sleep anymore that night. The scent slowly faded, but the cuts on my chest remained and kept hurting.

I let Laney’s calls go to voicemail.

This time the woman had made several small cuts, right above the previous ones. I only managed to read it about 11am, when I dared to push the fake protection of the cabinet aside and leave the room.

The cuts in my chest formed letters and words.

“He is mine.”

I stayed inside for the whole week. I didn’t even look out of the windows; actually I was very careful not to even get close to the windows or doors.

Laney didn’t accept my excuses. I offered to work from home and give up my holidays. On Wednesday I was fired.

But I didn’t care about that. I didn’t even think about it. I spent my days online and my nights with a knife, sitting in my bed with my back against the wall.

Monday and Tuesday night went okay. Wednesday I ordered a food delivery for Thursday.

Thursday night the food arrived; I heard the truck stopping and the heavy doors being opened and slammed shut. The young man rang the doorbell. I let him ring the doorbell twice before I slowly opened, my bathrobe tightly wrapped around my body.

“Hey.” Said the young man.

“Hey.” I said.

“You ordered food?” He asked.

“Yeah.” I said.

He pushed my credit card in the card reader.

The display said “Don’t remove card.”

“Usually doesn’t take so long.” The young man said.

“That’s okay.” I said.

For just a moment I had the feeling that I saw a man in a black suit in the distance.

“Any second now.” Said the young man.

The machine whirred.

The man in the distance came closer.

“Do you see someone, over there?” I asked.

He turned and looked.

“Sure.” Said the young man.

He took a step back and shook the card reader.

“Transaction failed.” He read off the display.

The young man pulled my card out of the reader and pushed it back inside.

The man in the distance was moving slowly from side to side; as if he was dancing.

“Seems to work now.” Said the young man.

The machine whirred, then spat out a piece of paper.

“Sign here.” He said.

I ripped the pen and paper out of his hand and signed with a shaking hand.

“You okay?” The young man asked.

“I just need to get back inside.” I said.

He laughed.

“Ah, I get it.” He said.


“The bathrobe,” he said. “You have a lady waiting in there.”

He handed my credit card back to me and picked the cardboard box up.

“Not really.” I said.

The young man laughed.

The man in the distance was close enough that I recognized his suit and his swinging movements and his raised arms.

“Don’t be shy.” The young man said. “I can smell her perfume.”

I didn’t smell anything.

I ripped the box from his hand.

“Drive fast!” I said.

I slammed the door shut in the young man’s face.

“Rude.” Said the young man.

A moment later I heard his footsteps shuffling away.

He walks too slow. I thought to myself.

I heard him laughing again.

“Hi.” He said to someone else. “A nice day for a dance, isn’t it?”

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

Large Teeth

It has now been exactly a year. I was longing for today like no day before. Finally I can speak. Still I am not allowed to mention the ‘where’. “It could cause a panic”, they said. But I need to warn you. I just need to get this message out.

I got the call at 4 am. By 6 am I sat in the plane. The interpreter met me at the airport, a young blonde woman that called herself Jules. She led me through a small side door, past the border control.

A black jeep picked us up at the side-entrance. Two far-too-quiet men with short military haircuts and hard faces sat in the front, Jules made me enter the car in the back, then sat next to me. The two back windows were covered with a black foil that made me wonder whether its purpose was to prevent others from looking in or to prevent me from looking out. Jules made small talk about the weather that I could not see and recent political events that I did not know about. Continue reading