“Sir! Someone has put a scratch mark with a pen, behind your shirt.” Exclaimed one of my colleagues. I had just got up from my desk and was moving towards the coffee machine. “Shit” I thought, “who could have done it?” “We’re waiting from a long time” The elder one quipped. “We’re hungry as hell, what took you guys so long?”
I changed my trajectory and veered towards the washroom. I could hear a few giggles behind me. I entered the washroom. Luckily it was empty; I stood in front of the mirror. “Do I really look that stupid” I said this aloud, then remembered someone could be sitting inside the toilet. I turned and slowly looked around; fortunately all the three cubicles were empty. Heaving a sigh of relief I turned my back and looked at the reflection in the mirror. “Damn” I cursed, I couldn’t see a thing. Feeling depressed I moved out of the wash room.
This short story is only available in German.
Read the German version here!
I dragged myself down the lane, one hand clamped onto a fence. Splinters cut me, every breath stung, but I walked on. My rifle rubbed against my shoulder, its bayonet pointed in sharp defiance upward. I could hardly see for the rain.
The message rested in my pocket, heavy with the weight of responsibility. But I walked on.
Black shapes swooped and tumbled across my exhausted vision. I kept rubbing my eyes. Rain splashed into my skull, soothing my hair. The only thing that I could wash myself with now was rain. I held my arms open, the sudden onslaught of the downpour a glorious series of sensations against my skin. I opened my mouth to let the water trickle down my throat. It was bitter, strangely bitter…
Before the past we had a world, it was not great, just good. At the time of the ruining I was a child, as was my sister and elder brother, my parents were good people, our relatives and friends were good, most were. We worked, studied, learnt, improved, played, loved, hated, fought, made peace, it was a world.
We studied arithmetic, sciences, history, language, art, we did sports; my brother was about to study medicine. Mother was a vehicle designer, and bitter energy was never taken seriously beyond profit, father worked in urban planning. At week-ends we’d visit the countryside, go to the cinema, play in the parks, have picnics and parties with neighbours and friends.
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