Nothing

Nothing

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The metro reeks of sweat and wet dog.

Her expression is empty.

It always is. Holding that old crutch of hers, she walks. She walks slowly, and looks miserable too. But that isn’t hard with those exposed, burnt and broken legs of hers.

“A cripple has nothing to lose,” her father says so, before burning her. He says it, before he breaks her ankle and knee. First her right leg, then the left. 

She stretches out a hand, hovering in front of her, like a small cloud over a desert; white and calm, waiting to dissolve into the blue of space. She doesn’t look at the faces. People are easily annoyed. No eye contact. That’s the rule. 

There is nothing to see. She tells herself. Although… There is something worth looking at, maybe even staring at.

She feels the eyes stabbing at her. It makes her want to puke, right on the shoes of everyone. She has seen it, so many times – the thing she refuses to acknowledge: disgust, and pity. What a hateful thing to show her!

The pang of regret she can handle, maybe the glow of relief in their eyes too… Truly. She hates the naked gladness. They do not have to share her fate… Their ease, when she hobbles away.

There is nothing to see. No bother, she won’t look. She breathes.  

In.  

Out.

Three seconds.

After that, she turns to the next person. Still begging with her free hand. Repeating, carefully pronounced: “Danke schön,” and the pleading, “Bitte. Hilfe,” the best she can. She concentrates to pronounce the german words in the proper order. No slurring, no biting off syllables. The metro shakes violently, throwing her off balance.

A big hand grabs her under her armpit. She dares not move. It pulls her up. She dares not look. The grip tightens. It’s her guard, pulling her to her feet. A fat man, smelling of onion, beer and cigarettes, who can beat her to death, without remorse. 

In fact, he guards the money, not her. He leans on one of her crutches. He scratches his back with it, beats stray dogs and homeless people, beats her too. Tool and weapon.

The only good thing about being a cripple, not one man bothers her in bed. The only thing she thanks her father for. Men are disgusted by her looks. No one touches her burnt lower back, her burnt and bent legs.

They look away.

Everybody does.

Even she looks away.

Home floats back into her head. Dreams of her family occur from time to time. Mum and her little brothers dig into the familiar pain. Her knees and ankles wobble. She’s back in the hut. The stench of the abandoned dump is everywhere. Mum makes a fire and white smoke billows in. She sits in her cracked plastic chair, at the mouth of the hut. Her legs hide under a winter coat. She peels potatoes, and her brothers shout and scream. They hit each other with sticks, pretending they wield swords. 

This is where the dream takes a bad turn.

Father comes home, and he is not alone. A shiny white Hummer rolls into view, golden hub caps blinding. Father, uncle and a stranger. Mum is somewhere behind the hut, or climbing the dump for scraps. The pot bellied stranger has a golden watch on his wrist. He smiles a lot. No, that is not a smile. He bares his teeth. The men talk and laugh. 

“You don’t need to peel those potatoes anymore,” the stranger says warmly. “We are going on an adventure now!” He is the only one sober.

Mum’s voice is behind the hut, low and urgent. Father screams. “Know your place!” A loud slap. “Bitch!” Sobbing.

“You know.” The stranger squats down beside her. “You are a smart girl. If you come with me, you will make money. A lot of money. More than you can imagine. You can do with it, what you want. Maybe send it home? To your mother? So she doesn’t have to work so hard.” The stranger’s eyes lock on hers.

She nods.

Mum needs help. He’s right. In her state, the best she can do, is to go with the man. Earning money. What a dream!  He even helps her into his car, buckles her up. Then she turns around to look back. She wants to wave mum good-bye. She’s not there. At the entrance of their hut, father and uncle smile and wave at her.

Earning money… What a nightmare!

Next week, she turns fourteen. If police shows up… Jail waits for her. But that’s not important.  

After all, cripple has nothing to lose.


Image: A public display  of Shame: Prague’s beggars, by Miriam Rosseau

The Lunatic And The Moon

The Lunatic And The Moon
*
I submerge in the silvery flood
of the dark whisper in my blood
past’s poison floats to the surface
full in shape, the moon rises too
midst the sclera of midnight blue –
“Observing, my dear! Observing
your fate and redemption…”
*
All those tiny human things
I wished to lose, not to suffer,
not to hunger, nor to feel pain.
I´d give you my love, my hate,
my body, my pain, my thoughts,
my everything, just to be free.
-Free from my humanity.
*
She quietly observes, maybe pondering.
The enormous eye rests on a rooftop,
blinks eventually. Once… Twice…
“As you wish, my love.”
Night’s cold I don’t feel anymore
Power surges through my bones
Rises like water over volcanic stones.
*
Wounds on my skin all healed,
my soul’s grim just a bad dream.
Only hunger keeps me company.
I lick my muzzle starvingly,
scratch my ear, with a paw-
„WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”
But my scream’s just a howl…*

med bay snippets #2

The soft purring of the monitoring alarm on my watch wakes me, by vibrating. I’m up…

I tell the watch and it recognizes my voice. The command kills the alarm.

Sleeping at the med bay is seldom a good idea, and sleeping at a working station – uh, table – is downright irresponsible. I rub my face into some kind of wakefulness and wish I could rub my back into a painless state. Continue reading “med bay snippets #2”

the lion roars (1)

the lion roars (1)
Part 2 - PATIENT PAPER

 

PART 1

LIQUID PEACE

The gutter dripped and the rain drops rapped hard on the kitchen window. My eyes were already open. The bedsheets felt cold and damp. The shutters in the living room rattled with the wind gusts.  I’ve been staring at the dark ceiling for nearly three hours. I sat up. Sleep was busy somewhere else.

Another rotten night. Continue reading “the lion roars (1)”

holy shit, free opening sentences

  1. “Now that’s afterlife,” the ferryman pointed out amused with his clicking teeth, “you really are a busy body.”
  2. I feel like I should say something clever, or sassy, but I am cold and need my clothes back. Please?
  3. My right formed a pretended gun and fired: BANG, BANG – was I surprised when I hit the target…
  4. “What’s the matter sweetheart, never taken a shortcut before?”
  5. “I’m on the highway to hell,” I blared on performing CPR.
  6. My daughter Emily loves pancakes with chocolate chips and bananas, but this Emily at the table is all wrong, and she won’t let me go.
  7. “Not that you could ever use it, but that’s the secret of creation,” Lucifer nudged gently the leaves of the potted daisies.
  8. “I’ve been thinking,” she cut the foxglove flowers into fine stripes and put them into the teapot, “maybe you need a long nice holiday, darling.”
  9. “That ridiculous excuse of a human being was the god of locks,” Paine shook his head in disbelief.
  10. “Now everybody, repeat,” I stood at the speaker’s desk, pausing for effect, “I AM FREE!
  11. “Yeah, I’d go for a big, hairy ‘n all teeth sidekick,” Lev wrung his fist with a fit of elation, as the goblin nodded approvingly.-producing a huge slobbery pug in the size of a pony…
  12. I heard him snicker over his “Ladies first”, so I threw a chair at his face, that’ll teach him.
  13. “Why are you shooting at me?”
  14. I shared a bunk with a quiet man, a huge afro-american cyborg, with the average of ten words and two facial expression a week.
  15. The tall shadow of Lieutenant Rizzo appeared in the doorway, bubbling drunken zombie words, „sowhyamupnwhuusresponsble?”
  16. I lowered the stethoscope and the heavy door swung open.
  17. The pink tutu bounced up and down as the little girl ran away from my yard, screaming for her mommy.
  18. “Less talking, more running,” Ivanov grunted, cranking the control lever on the emergency life support system.
  19. Adam smirked, floored the gas pedal, and the car skid around the corner.
  20. The tiger yawned, looked at me pitifully, folded his paws and studied my CV, not trying to hide his boredom.
  21. Sleipnir dipped over the event horizon, and started broadcasting “I got you Babe” over all emergency channels.
  22. “Fuck off, grasshopper,” the monks sucked his teeth and let his arrow fly.
  23. “Don’t know, whose dream is this anyway,” the monkey asked, “I’m bored already!”
  24. “Sorry,” I managed a confused face, “I don’t speak bullshit.”

  25.  “Well?” The Spanish Inquisitor leaned forward expectantly, quill ready to note my unspeakable sins. He will be flabbergasted!
  26. The Yellow Emperor glanced into the mirror and smirked, taking over the realm of humans was easier than he thought. “All that Selfie-business is playing nicely into his hands.”

the daydream I can’t shake off

The love of my life is fickle.

With every move, with every turn, time brings me further away from my love, but its sweet image nearer to my heart.

It trickles between my fingers, running away.

A hologram of happiness, desire and pain. A flickering glimpse onto something like inner peace, a delusion pinched from a clouded dream.

There is that tiny space, where I belong.

Only a spec on the map of reality.

In those nights and dawns, spent in the silence of that milky yellowish grey of the sky, my love becomes more vivid than anything around me. Or anything inside me…

I keep imagining that I’m on a space station in orbit, and look down on that filthy place I call home. A wonderful and terrifying place I origin from. Itself equally an enigma, truthfully lied, made up and real, beautiful and ugly.

I am ashamed and proud. Even that contradiction is heartfelt and true to me. Equally me, equally not me…

thoughts on shuffle

IMG_3447There are places, which make me stop and think for a while. 

I’ll be more precise.

The feeling they give me, makes me stop. Suddenly I have not enough breath in my lungs and my feet stretch to touch the core of the planet. A weird kind of buzzing fills the space between my ears…

I’ve been here before, haven’t I?

And then I’m empty. It is some kind of blankness. A cold sensation in my stomach. I start to doubt that I’m hermetically locked into my skin. For a moment I’m sure there is a hole somewhere. Something ripped through me, and I didn’t notice. I’m leaking. Or maybe the world is seeping into me. I know it will squeeze me into my every pore, into every wrinkle of my being, pushing me to the outer rim of what uses to me be…

Movement stops.

I fall.

At least, I think it is some kind of falling sensation. A random plummeting to the ground. Downward sucking notion, but without the wet kissing thud at the end. Without hitting any surfaces, without the crashing and breaking, without the impact… Just falling. 

In those moment – I have hope. Hope to find my purpose, my place in the world I inhabit. The hunch I need to grasp the meaning behind all this…being-human thing. It is almost a fully formed thought, a nearly recognized feeling.

I have been here before, haven’t I? 

Isn’t it ironic? I can’t seem to realize it…