Tag Archives: police

Storm

That’s how my memory starts.

Me, shivering and sitting on my hands, clenching my butt cheecks together, and staring past my grandma, who smiles at me, towards the window. There is a storm outside and I’m watching the dark clouds and the lightning and the rain hammering against the window and I would rather be outside.

Grandma smiles. She says „It’s okay, we can call the police soon.“ When she finishes speaking her lips are just flat, dry, gray pancakes pressed on one another and I look away from her, back down to the wet, black, moving mass on the ground.

A heap of dirty laundry, but moving every few seconds.

I was 3 when dad went to the shelter with me. Some of it I remember, some of it he told me afterwards. Dad tried to get me to pick a cat, but I walked right by the cats towards the dogs. Some were pushing against the metal bars, others just sat in the corners of their kennels and then there was that dog, some pitbull breed, and I put my hand through the metal bars and before dad could pull me away the dog had his head pressed against my hand and I must have giggled like rarely before or after.

So we got Vitaliy. Continue reading

Nola

Stijn scrambled out of his room into the living room and then behind the couch that I was sitting on. I noticed he had something in his hand when he came in, but he’s five now and I thought that it wouldn’t be anything dangerous. I heard him playing and laughing behind me while some soap opera played on.

“Don’t move,” he said.

That made me curious. I just wanted to see what he was playing with.

I leaned over the back of the sofa and he was sitting there with something white in his hand. It took me a moment to understand what was in front of him on the carpet; that there were the bones of a complete human leg and that he was just putting the last toe in place. 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

They wanted him to be a good Christian

They wanted him to be a good Christian and it’s my fault that they failed.

It’s my fault that they are dead.

The suicide was obvious, the evidence clear. But the police never figured out his motives.

I know the motives.

I know the meaning of his scribbled message, the message that no fourteen year old should leave before he pushes a shotgun against his head.

“Save yourselves now. Join us in heaven before it is too late.”

The police thought he had gone insane; that he had brought them down into the bunker and that he shot them there for a personal reason that only seems significant for a fourteen year old. Maybe bullying or parental pressure or a punishment he thought unfair.

But all they wanted was to make him a good Christian. 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

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”

He stared straight into my eyes.

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”

“Of whom?”

“How do I know what you are?”

“I’m trying to help you,” I said.

“Oh, fuck you. I know you aren’t. You are trying to figure me out. How many of us do you keep here?”

“Most are here only for a few weeks.”

“Stop stalling. How many?

“There are several hundred patients on the closed wards.”

Nick groaned.

“Several hundred! I knew it!” Continue reading