Donnerstag, 27. Mai 2010

At least the cake is good

They could have avoided it all. They chose to end their lives like this.

Calm settles over me as I look around the tiny chapel. The walls are mostly clean. A few splatters of blood and some blobs of brain near the altar, but apart from that - cleaning shouldn't take too long. If they discover it soon, that is. As far as I know, hardly anyone ever comes here. It's the reason why they chose this place, after all. They would have been gone by the time somebody noticed, god knows where.

Sandra knew exactly how I felt about her relationship with Brian. She shouldn't have told me. Her happiness made me sick. She had to know I was in love with him myself.

"It's a secret, but we need your help!"

I said yes and did everything they asked. And on that special day, I showed up and caved in their stupid, love-filled balloon heads. You could say, I burst the bubbles. Two hearty swings with the axe, that's everything it took. I am a farm girl, after all. I know how to work.

Sandra's dress doesn't look too good with all the blood. I know, it's a tradition, but white simply isn't the right color for every woman. It has made her look pale, and her hair is a mess. His head has dissolved, he's responsible, you could say, for getting brain all over the church. Maybe I overreacted a little?

I turn around, I don't want to look at them anymore. I guess I will have to leave. Too bad I haven't prepared anything. I will have to take their car and hope that Sandra's clothes fit me. And I should eat something before I leave, it's going to be a long night.

Something catches my eye. The wedding cake. Not too big, it was meant for only two people - or three, if they intended to share with the late preacher. Strawberry rum chocolate, my favorite.

Donnerstag, 20. Mai 2010

Brilliant thieves

"So, you're saying you're a thief?" The guy empties his glass. "I think you're a liar."

They've been sitting at the counter for more than an hour, and k´no one knows who started talking. Their lives are of no importance, neither are their plans for tomorrow. The air is heavy with smoke and the smell of spilled glasses. It will take a lot of hot water to get that stench off their hair and skin.

She smiles. "If you think so. I'm leaving now." She shrugs, grabs her purse and prepares to leave. "Of course, you could come along and see for yourself." He's really hot, and about the only thing she still needs tonight. Everything else - splendid. That's the word for it.

And he follows her. A few steps behind, as if they don't know each other. She makes her way towards the market place, with all its bars and cafés and restaurants, the place that never rests. Bustling with life. His eyes are on her back, she feels the gaze like a line of wet heat up and down her spine. She knows this might be the beginning of something marvellous.

A guy bumps into her. He's, like, fifty-ish, losing his hair faster than it can turn gray, trying to comb it over the bald spot in this ridiculous post-war fashion. The woman next to him is tiny and fragile, She may be younger than him or twenty years older. Hard to tell. She clings to his arm as he mutters excuses.

"Don't worry", she smiles reassuringly and puts on her calming, innocent face. What do they think she's going to do, beat them to pulp? My, she's just a little girl! She has to force back a giggle.

After the couple has resumed their way - back to their hotel, possibly - the guy catches up with her. "Let me see what you got. His wallet?" He seems excited. She knew he would go for this sort of thing, with his expensive, ragged jeans that he bought looking exactly like this and the worn leather jacket that may have belonged to an uncle or elder brother, and the hunger in his eyes for something - more...

"What would I do with his wallet? I've got something even better."

"A watch? Car keys?"

"Nope." Instead of telling, she opens her left hand just a little bit, and he can see something sparkling. No jewel has ever had that shine.

"What is that?"

"The old man's essence. Energy. His life, if you want. And I know just what to do with it. Want a bit?" She touches him gently with her right hand, fingers trailing from chest over stomach, down... he swallows, and the hunger she can see in his eyes has to hurt... and she knows she has been successful tonight. A life and a soul, and maybe a heart as well.

Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010

This is not a story...

... but since I am so very happy with the dress I ordered a few weeks back, I thought I'd give you the oportunity to head over to my every-day-life German blog, where chances are you won't understand a thing I say, but can still admire the beautiful cherry dress that not even my presence can dishonor. (The first picture is of me on a usual Sunday morning before I've had my coffee. And yes, the BF loves me nevertheless. (^v^) )

LINK

Donnerstag, 13. Mai 2010

Special magic

Everything has been prepared for a peaceful Friday night at home when the doorbell rings. A look in the mirror - everything okay? Yes, perfect - and I open the door. I half know what to expect.

Andrew. Obviously in despair, and possibly drunk. My best friend since kindergarten. He looks at me with puffy eyes and says, "Nataly left me."

"What??!" I am surprised. I didn't think it would come this fast. His highschool sweetheart, beautiful Nataly. It always seemed they were meant to be together. But we all know that destiny can be a mean bitch, sometimes. I gather my thoughts, "Come inside, tell me what happened."

In the cupboard there are several bottles of wine, and I grab two glasses. "Sit down, have some of this. And now tell me."

Andrew, it seems, isn't listening. He has taken his wallet out of his jacket and looks at an old picture. The woman is beautiful, curly blond hair, radiant smile, violet-coloured eyes. I've only met Nataly a few weeks ago, and she is still as gorgeous. No surprise Andrew fell for her. It hurts me to see him in this stage.

At first I don't understand what he says.

"Repeat please?"

"She has been sleeping with the guy who sold our old house."

"I am so sorry to hear it! What are you going to do now?"

"Don't know. I was hoping I could crush on your sofa."

"You get the bed. And tomorrow we'll figure everything out. Come here", and I lean in to embrace him, but my elbow connects with the wine glass in his hand, and a gush of the good red one spills down his white shirt.

He puts the glass down and grabs for some napkins, "Shit, that's my best shirt!"

"Don't worry, I'll get a towel and some salt", I assure him and hurry out of the living room. "Get off that shirt, we'll get the stain out in no time."

I grab a clean towel from the kitchen and go into my reading room. That's the last place where I used salt. It's a tiny room, more a closet with a window, and the walls can't be seen because of the book shelves. I had them made especially for this room, and they touch the ceiling. In the middle of the room, there is a small coffee table, covered with a piece of vibrant red cloth. Two red candles are sitting in the middle, on the left and right side of a heart-shaped piece of glass. The table is covered in fresh rose leaves, which perfume the air with a sweet scent.

There's the salt, as I remembered. I used it to draw a circle on the ground. It's surprisingly easy to clean salt out of a carpet, easier than sand, and I like the idea of a purifying circle for my rituals.

Standing in the door frame, salt in hand, I look at the table once more. In front of the candles, there are two pictures lying on the cloth. One is of Nataly, the same Andrew has in his wallet, the other one is ripped out of a newspaper. The headline said, "Real Estate Manager Wins Hay Lottery".

I put the salt down and light some more incense. Would be a shame to let everything go to waste now. Then I return to help the now shirtless Andrew with the wine stain.

He is thoroughly shaken. "I always thought, the... the only thing that could come between Nataly and... me would be an evil spell or sssomething." His words are becoming slurry.

I put my arm around him and snuggle closer. Just good friends comforting each other on a Friday night, with two bottles of wine. It's completely innocent. After all, everybody knows that witches don't exist, right?

Freitag, 7. Mai 2010

Books on Camel Backs

The buzzing of the flies was the only sound heard in the small hut. It was hot, and a dusty breeze brought the smell of goat dung and someone cooking rice and spicy roots.

Nafasi looked down at Kanzi's weak frame. Her baby girl. She remembered exactly what it had been like - her first child after years of marriage, and when she held the tiny bundle in her arms, she had already suspected it would be her only child. She had loved her nevertheless. Rajabu had been angry with her for not giving him an heir, but their life had been peaceful. She had watched Kanzi grow up, play, learn, work, go away and marry. Then the great famine had come, and Kanzi was pregnant. The outcome had been inevitable.

Nafasi tried to remember only the good times. Her dark skin stretched tight across her bones. She had always been a strong woman, and the years had imprinted the stories of her working years on her frame. Their life had been hard, filled with need rather than gratitude, and between hard work and the short hours of sleep there had been little else.

One day kept floating to the surface of Nafasi's memory. The library camels had come to the tiny local school, and Kanzi had sneaked away from their goats. She had always been a curious little girl. A stranger read stories to the children, and two goats had run away in the mean time. At night, after Rajabu's anger had receded, Kanzi declared, "I want to go to school."

Nafasi had been busy preparing dinner. "You can't go to school. I need your help."

"But I want to read?"

"What good is reading, anyway? You would only get distracted, forget your work."

"You know I wouldn't. I would learn and become rich."

"Women don't become rich. And men don't like smart women. It's better if you stay at home." Nafasi looked over her shoulder to make sure Rajabu hadn't heard a word of their conversation. He would only get more upset.

Kanzi was stubborn. Nafasi tried to reason with her, but the girl would not let go of her dream. "I want to read. I want to learn" was all she would say.

"Wouldn't you rather want a new dress? I could get cloth and make you one."

"I want to read."

"Come on. Wouldn't you want to go to the cinema when we come to the next big town?"

"No, I want to read." Kanzi stomped her little feet on the ground. Red dust covered her thin legs.

Nafasi hesitated. "Well..." She had saved money for a long time to be able to buy this. Rajabu loved sweets, and she had hoped to surprise him one day, when his mood was especially dark. Now she had to change her plans. "What do you want more - books or chocolate?"

Kanzi's eyes grew huge. "You don't have chocolate."

"I do, and it's yours. If you promise to stop with these stupid ideas."

Later that night, Kanzi sat in a corner of their hut, licking the last bits of chocolate from cheap tin-foil. Of course the chocolate had molten several times since Nafasi had bought it, and dust had crept into the foil. Nevertheless it was a rare treat. And Kanzi was a girl of honor, she never mentioned her desire to read again.

A tear slid down Nafasi's wrinkled cheek. She remembered her little girl, and how proud she had been that day that her daughter would take her responsibilities and forgo her own foolish dreams. She couldn't help but wonder whether things might have been different.

Mittwoch, 5. Mai 2010

Chances

When I returned to my locker after swimming my 60 lengths, my stuff was gone. Imagine my surprise - I fumbled to get the yellow plastic bracelet with the key off my arm, put the key in the lock, unlocked... and none of my stuff was there.

This doesn't mean that the locker was empty. The stuff inside simply didn't belong to me. I checked the numbers on bracelet and locker. You never know, sometimes a key fits several locks at a place. I mean, the number of key variations is limited, no? They matched. And now that I thought of it, I remembered that I had put my clothes here. There were the letters someone had scratched into the cheap plastic surface of the door. A.M. - I wondered what that was supposed to mean?

I started freezing. No surprise there, I was dripping wet and wrapped only in a damp towel, with my hair clinging to my back like black water snakes.

Tentatively, I took the clothes out of the locker. They were my size. Didn't even look too bad. What could I do? I took them to a changing cubicle and started to dress. After all, I couldn't run around in my bikini all the time. Outside, it was cold, and it was a long way to my hotel. Maybe I could talk to somebody on my way out, leave my phone number, and wait till they sorted everything out. All I wanted to do was fall into my bed. Oh wait, my phone was in my purse. Which had disappeared.

Which brought me to the next problem - no hotel keys. The closes fit a little loosely over my boobs, but I didn't look exactly like a scarecrow. I even found a tiny hairbrush in the purse. My lucky day, obviously, at least I got to borrow woman's clothes. Rummaging through a foreigner's stuff also left me with a wallet, complete with ID and a set of keys with an address tag.

The pool attendant didn't understand a word I was saying. No surprise there, since I don't speak Japanese. And he pretended not to know any English. He only looked at me, smiled and raised his hands in this "I'm innocent" way. What could I do? I left.

Outside, I grabbed a cab, conveniently parked right outside the building, and stopped. Where would I go? To my hotel, trying to explain the whole weird situation to someone who didn't speak my language? A coffee shop?

The driver looked at me expectantly. I told him to drive me to my hotel. As soon as I had everything sorted out, I would return the money to the person's wallet. My thoughts raced ahead. What to do next? Call my bank, cancel my cards. Fill out loads of paperwork for new ID, passport and everything. Maybe my mobile company could trace my phone? Naw, they'd probably decline and tell me it was impossible.

To distract myself from all the problems awaiting me, I took a closer look at the ID card I had found in the purse. The stranger looked slightly like me - or I like her - only with shorter hair and glasses. Okay, her jawline was a little bit more delicate than mine, but - no one would notice. A strange thought crossed my mind. I shook my head, but it wouldn't disappear. And - why not?

"I changed my mind", I told the taxi driver and showed him the address tag. "Take me there, please." Then I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes.

From that moment, things only got worse.