Tag Archives: street

Number 31

One year ago I lost my best friend.

Heart attack, they said.

And that he screamed for help.

One year ago I received this email.

Robert would have wanted you to read it.

I wish you would have called.

I miss you, Rob.


My friends, I really hope you get this. I hope that this is all just some sort of bout of insanity, but if not, if something happens to me or if you don’t hear from me by tomorrow, I want you to go to the police and show them this email. Tell them that they were wrong. And please, if you can, forward this email to as many people as possible.

This is not a joke; at least I really think it isn’t. I’m not pranking you; I swear to everything I hold dear that this is not a prank. If you get this email I thought about calling you, but I hope that this is all over in the morning. I hope that this is just something special about this night. And if it is, please forget about it or make fun of me; I don’t even care.

I’m sitting in the Walker’s joint near the motorway, the one that’s open all night and busy all night, because the last thing I want to be is back on the street. 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

“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

The Pure Wolf

“There’s a wolf inside you,” that’s what Steve always said.

He had an animal for all of us. The small kid with the bad vision, he had a secret badger at his core. The blonde that never wore anything but a ponytail was secretly a snake. Steve himself, with his quick and snappy punches was a scorpion. And I, I was a wolf.

There was something true about his animals, I can’t deny that. The more hours I spent in his lessons the more I saw the animal in each of us. The way the blonde moved quickly from side to side; the way the bespeckled kid was slow to attack but vicious and unstoppable when he was close – it was all there.

I liked being a wolf. Steve said it was a bad animal to be.

“Wolves need their pack,” he always said. “You should never hunt alone.”

First my parents had signed me up for wing chun classes. They said that they wanted me to exercise more. In reality they wanted me to gain self-confidence, but that’s not something you tell your child. 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

He Wanted My Child

Mr Beers. Three months ago I first noticed him standing at his second floor window. His silhouette was clearly visible, framed by the brightly lit room. He stood there and for a reason I didn’t know yet his presence made my toes tingle with cold.

During the day his house looked like any of the others. A white three story house with a white three foot fence and a silver mailbox. Some of the paint had peeled off. One solitary tree stood in the unkempt front yard. He lived alone. There were never visitors.

We didn’t say hello when we moved in. Thinking back I can’t remember a single time when I saw Mr Beers on the street. The only times we talked were with me on the street and him in his front yard. He always stood close to the dark brown trunk of the tree and he always held some sort of tool – a shovel, a rake and sometimes a small saw. But I never saw him use it. He always just stood there with the tool in his hand, as if for a rest. Continue reading