#1 – the lion roars

PART 1  - LIQUID PEACE
Part 2 - PATIENT PAPER

The gutter dripped and the rain drops rapped hard on the window. My eyes were already open. The bedsheets felt cold and damp. The shutters 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.

My mind was stuck in ruminating mode. There was no point in trying to sleep. Heavy rainstorm washed over the town. So thirsty… I tried to breathe. The merry-go-round in my head kept me replaying the last two weeks, pining me to decisions, yanking me back and forth between faces and screams and tears. Decisions that were not my wisest… 

Wasn’t enough. 

I thought of the woman with begging eyes. She came into the ER, during my shift. She had fever, and severe abdominal pain. I guessed her secret right away. Her deep ocean green eyes betrayed her, I could read in them. Everyone could…  That she had attempted  abortion. Bleeding and in pain, she got down on her knees and pleaded. Immediately I got her a bed, and called a trustworthy gynecologist I knew. I trusted him to keep his mouth shut. I trusted that a human life was more important to him than law.

I was wrong.

Nevertheless, I started her on antibiotics and enough painkillers. I refused to make a blood test. If it was positive, she’d go to jail. Maybe she would anyway… If she’d survive, that is… I had Rose, the head nurse, look after her.

I cannot just watch and wait for her to die, that’s what I told her, and that’s what I told the head medic.

He stopped all medication. That bigoted windbag stopped ALL of her medication and I got sent home for a month. Rose tried to calm me down, but by God – I… I.

The oxygen left the room. Two days ago, Rose called. The woman with the begging eyes died. My skin felt dry and hot, like a heat blanket over a snowman.

There was this nagging icy feeling wrenching my guts, that I just couldn’t shrug off. I could use some peace for once – some sleep, or unconsciousness. I could use some liquid peace… I thought of the empty liquor bottles lined up in the kitchen. Vodka was sometimes your only friend. It was a reliable friend. Brushing over my  burning face, my forehead was sticky with sweat.

The phone rang. The sinking feeling sank deeper.

I got up. The cold floor burned  under my soles. I went to the hallway to pick it up, but my hand hovered above it.

Important? Work? Catastrophe? Which is it?

I asked myself. It did nothing to buffer the leaden dread sitting on my chest.

I grabbed the phone. “‘llo?”

“Comrade Hoia?” The stern voice on the end of the line felt like a brick wall I was about to smack into.

“Yes,” I swallowed. ”Who is this?” The man didn’t answer. Statics filled my head. This was a catastrophe, I decided. I heard a pen scratch on paper.

“I’ve got a young man here, a Hungarian Jew. He says, he knows you, comrade.”

Benny… What have you done this time?

Was this police or worse? Securitate? “His name is Benjamin Ekes,” yawned the man.

“Yes.” I croaked. “I know him.” My throat was stinging, I couldn’t suppress a cough. I heard a faint echo of myself coughing. They were recording the call. Securitate it was. My heart knotted.

A big drink, I rubbed my lips, a whole bottle.

“Do you, comrade Hoia?” He paused amused. “Then come and pick him up. Police station.” The man hung up.

“On my way.” I said, listening to the disconnected tone in the line. With every heartbeat it grew louder and louder. I stood in the darkness.

Pull yourself together.

I needed to get going. Who knows what they did to Benny. I grabbed some clothes and spares for Benny, gauze and disinfectant. On a second thought, I called the ER at the polyclinic I work, and had Rose on the phone. At least, some silver lining. She understood immediately what was going on. She said, she’d  had the scrubs ready, if needed. God bless good old Rose, the smartest nurse I ever worked with.

Two minutes later I was on the deserted main road, heading downtown. The rain came down in curtains. My car seemed to be the only one in the whole wide world. I lit a cigarette, and thought of all the peaceful people who could actually sleep. In their beds.

Benny needed me.

And I? I needed a drink, and a month worth of sleep.

 

Jede Regierung lügt

Marie's TV-Kritik

In der Arte-Mediathek gibt es noch bis zum 16. Februar die kanadische Doku Jede Regierung lügt, die von Oliver Stone und Jeff Cohen produziert wurde. Die lohnt es sich auf jeden Fall ansehen, schon weil Lügen-Präsident Donald Trump darin entsprechend eingeordnet wird – er erscheint derzeit zwar als besonders drastischer Fall, aber das dürfte eher auf das extrem ungeschickte Agieren seiner Sprecher zurückzuführen sein. Noch hat er sein Land nicht in einen Krieg gelogen, wie so mancher US-Präsident zuvor. Und, da sollte man sich nichts vormachen, auch ein Barack Obama und eine Hillary Clinton lügen sich und den anderen ständig etwas vor, nur tun sie das geschickter und nicht so offensichtlich wie der Donald das mit seinen Kinderlügen tut. Er muss halt immer den größten und längsten haben – im Grunde müsste man froh sein, dass er sich an solchen Nichtigkeiten abarbeitet, da wäre sehr viel Schlimmeres denkbar. Ansonsten…

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premium gold valentine’s day package

This is the first draft for a submission. ’bout 300 words, sci-fi, the spirit of Valentine’s Day should be present. But…well, I dunno. Any thoughts?

1) Test customer

„I’m not made to understand. Natsume. Kun. I’m made to be in love with.“ She giggles with her mellow voice.

„This is true.“ Sweet dialogue design. Five stars. I note on the life review feed. My follower number jumps above 50 k. Nice! I sip my drink. The rich dark scent of warm cocoa floods my palate, texture delightfully creamy. Hot chocolate. Like, no- better heart. Four stars. Her voice hub designer is an artist. Voice hub design: five stars. I bet she could purr me to satisfaction. A very pleasant picture of the Valentine Goddess. 

The waitress, dressed as a maiden, brings us a piece of  strawberry velvet cake, made to look like a cartoon heart. „I’m sorry to have kept you. The love special, for our lovers.  Best wishes from the staff at Valentine Goddess Maiden Cafe Ueno.“ She chirps heartwarmingly and bows. They should cut the adds. After all, this is just a Cafe with companion androids.

„This is my favorite! How did you know?“ My Valentine Goddess asks with astonishment. Her surprise is programmed with brows shooting up, bright flashy smile, wet glistening in her dark blue eyes. Facial expressions pretty basic, a bit overdone. They call this high facial expression mode. 

„It’s my favorite too.“ I beam at her. She gasps.

„No way! This is fate! We are made for each other!“ A bit pathetic, but men will go crazy. It’d be charming if she could eat though… I look at the display of my mobile. Fifteen minutes left with my Valentine Goddess.

At the base of my iView screen in my glasses, my bank account shows a fat plus of 70 000 Yen. Not bad for ten minutes work.

Roadtrip

“Rise and shine, honey.” Urs says, eye locked on the road. One hand on the wheel, the other gently patting the leather jacket Red uses as blanket. He yawns and lets in some fresh air. She stretches in the passenger seat, and throws a brief look behind them. On the back seat, Cornelius is sprawled out, softly breathing in the rhythm of a sleepwalking horse.

They are nearly over the mountains by now, the rain has stopped. The engine hums, as if was a part of the nature on the other side of the windshield. Bright yellow glows at the edge of the grey clouds. The sun is breaking through.

„Five more minutes.“ She leans over to his side using his impressive shoulder as pillow. “Will you keep that dust on your jaw?” Red peaks at him from her sleep drunken blue eyes. The clouds run before them on the road.

“Doesn’t make me look distinguished?” He asks her kissing the top of her head.

She shakes her crimson locks as answer. “You look like an old grumpy pirate… Especially with that eyepatch and bandana. Mhhm  you look like a grizzly bear. I’ll call you Grizzly. My teddy bear.”

Urs strokes his beard. “Don’t you like it? One word, an it’s gone.” He caresses her cheek, as if she was a baby bird. “Red? Let’s not scare them, this time. Be a nice girl. If we look like freaks, we don’t need to act like freaks.” Urs throws her a mischievous grin.

She smiles her brightest smile. “Imma be a good girl, if you give me something good,“ she purses her lips, fingers tugging at his jeans. „Something really, really good?“

“Oh hell no! Stop that! Stop your cooing. I won’t wake up to you two having another quickie. Again.” Cornelius annoyed voice breaks the expectant silence int he front section of the car. „You guys are like a couple of cats in heat. Ugh. Is there any coffee left?“ He asks pushing himself unto one elbow. Red glances at him, but he doesn’t notice her sympathetic face. „I feel like a moose ran me over and you took me and crammed me into the trunk with a big band…“ Cornelius rubs over his face. He looks pale, miserable, with dark circles under his burning eyes.

„What’s wrong? Don’t you remember?“ Red asks. „Warned ya! Don’t drink the nasty unlabeled stuff!“ She pulls a grimace.

The road meanders and climbs to the top. And the engine growls and whines, as Urs changes gears and floors the accelerator. „I think I’m gonna be sick. Stop the car.“

Outside, the mountains part and the wood pulls up its skirt. Little houses loom in the misty morning light, far away, at the end of the now opening valley.

The windshield’s dirty.

bad blood

One cold night the full moon’s blaze burns

The children tremble and pray, taking turns

The sky bursts its heartbeat into buzz’n thunder

Black turning into whistling metal, going under

My sweet baby, there’s only blood for your baptize

ready for bed, after the noise and havoc slowly dies

Stay in your cellars, a howling beast is out tonight

It’s something beautiful, deadly and cruelly bright

The night shivers with autumn stars

Highways packed with abandoned cars

Dark and deep silence solidifies into absence

shifting days and nights back into balance

Wishful thinking, being covered in leafs and  mud

Meat and saliva, sweet baby, this is bad blood

Poem by my weird grandma

WHERE

(this is a part of an ongoing project, inspired by my weird and stubborn grandma)

Where were you, when I turned to stone?

when I froze, white and empty to the bone

No angel led me on my path to the throne

Now I’m queen of  pain, so leave me alone

 

Where were you, when I burned to ash?

I couldn’t stop, bleeding out in a flash

An angel led me to my bed in the trash

I called it home, my never healing gash

 

Where were you when I changed my hiccuping heart?

scavenging for happy memories, tearing time apart

A word led my blackened wings to an unwanted start

And the angel turned his back, fearing this part

 

Where were you,  when I had nowhere to turn?

when I survived those I trusted, happy to burn

to light the way into the blue, dashed and stern

how to  drown in midnights, I’m about to learn