Usually it’s just a number. I read it. I skip past. Fourteen per cent. Now things are different. Now I think “What if my daughter was one of them?” Seven billion people and fourteen per cent of them hunger. And I sit here, well-fed, stare at a screen and feel a tug inside my throat; a surreal tug, one that’s not there and not true. But one that takes my breath and twists my stomach. A tug that says “What if my daughter was one of them?”
A pencil. Still. All around a glossy, relective yellow, only the tip and end the roughness of pressed wood. The tip fine and pointed.
Not true. I must have overlooked it. Maybe my younger brother, when he came. But not a toy rocket or stick soldiers with far too big weapons.
Three oval shapes, pointy at the ends.
I turned away from the desk, back to the boxes that still craved emptying. Stacks of files that long should have found their place in shelves. For weeks the room was more storage than office.
Files slammed in shelves, slipped, were pushed up by my hands, then held in place by more files.
I breathed heavy, more heavily than I should have breathed after half a box. I looked at the empty shelves. Should have wiped them first. Should have vacuumed behind them.
I turned around.
The pencil, rolling. The oval shapes – thick black spots in their centers. Continue reading
The scent woke me up. Gentle, warm, soft, arousing. Almond. Almond and something else, a fruit or a flower.
A glimmer of light came from under the door.
I was nervous, then confused. Somebody was in my apartment, but why that smell? Why such an erotic scent?
Quietly I pulled the jeans over my stiff legs. The scent was slowly fading away. I picked the broom from behind my wardrobe and tiptoed to the door. The door handle moved without a noise. The door opened, I stepped outside. The corridor was dark, only a glimmer of light came from the kitchen.
I slowly moved there and froze.
A woman. A thick but translucent white. Her eyes on the empty space in front of me. Screaming without a sound. A black hole opened in her stomach. Her face slowly deformed. She fell. The moment her body touched the ground she was gone. Continue reading