Shortstory

Trauma

When Hendrik drove his car into the driveway that evening, he wondered if anyone, in human history, had ever experienced a worse day. The answer that had certainly been so obvious, but obviously not to find Hendrik on his way home. Not only was it bad, it had been a dreadful day. It also seemed to last ten times as long as any other terrible day before, in the history of bad days.

Hendrik was an assistant doctor at the city hospital and today, on November 14th, 2017, one accident chased the next. The emergency room had been crowded for weeks. Nurses ran around wildly, to assist the nearest assistant doc, wondering who the primary professional was in fact. Bunny was different. Hendrik remembered seeing her name on the board for the first time in the hallway and imaged a blond call girl with rabbit ears. In fact, she was blond but not the „doll“-type, rather the athletic type. For sure, she was exactly Hendrik’s type. She hurried down the hallway like an angel, blinking sweetly at him as he looked up from the patient file.
A smile crossed his face and the moment passed as quickly as he had come.

„A horrible accident in the city center,“ roared a nurse who had just smashed the phone down. „A train has derailed, hundreds are injured and certainly half of them are on their way to us, get ready colleagues,“ roared the chief Dr. Lanz energetically. Exactly from the moment in which the emergency doors of the emergency room had opened and the first injured were pushed in by the paramedics, time seemed to stand still. The minutes crawled by in slow motion.

The success rate of treatments was on a 30/70 ratio. Unfortunately, it was only 30%, for the survivors. Heavy skull fractures and internal injuries were the number one opponent on this game-day for Hendrik’s team.
Despair and helplessness floated in the air. Family members and friends of the injured cried in the waiting areas. Some prayed.
„We are not done, there are more. Go, and wait for the arrivals outside! “ Dr. Lanz yelled right into the crowd of busy nurses and doctors. Hendrik took off and ran outside.
Feeling like a hero trapped in a bad horror movie, as the sliding doors opened and he stepped into the courtyard that was flooded by bright sunlight.
There she stood, Bunny. Bending over a patient who was obviously scared and in panic, she stroked the young woman’s arm as the paramedics began to move slowly towards the emergency room doors.

As slowly as the time crawled before, now fast, with willful force, the next moments lined up. With screeching tires, an ambulance drove into the yard, apparently out of control; he slammed into the group people, including Bunny.
Everything happened so fast, so loud, it shook the ground on which they stood.
Parts of the car flew through the air. Hendrik immediately ran to the car, or what was left of it, once it came to a stop.
His heart was beating loud, cold sweat running down his spine.
Could he still save her?
After reaching the accident site, Hendrik realized that the chances of saving them were less than small. For all involved.
From the driver’s seat of the second ambulance, which had caused the accident, he heard soft whining. He set out to help the driver first.
While caring for the injured man, he saw how more and more doctors arrived on the scene of the accident. There was no rush. A bad sign.

„We have to inform the families. Who’s going to do that? „Said the chief.
Hendrik was leaning against the door of the treatment room. Frozen. He could not move. It felt like he was paralyzed.
„They are all dead,“ he whispered to himself.
„Hendrik, go home. It was a horrible day. A long shift too, boy. „Dr. Lanz pulled him out of his trance.

A little later, Hendrik was sitting on the cold floor of his bathroom.
It was as if he wanted to punish himself for what he had been unable to do: to save them. All. Especially Bunny.

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Come on board

It was the day she met him that her conviction swayed like a fishing boat that should not have been sailing anymore.
There he stood, with his self-assured smile and those sparkling eyes.
Their reflection that they were throwing back was different from what they were accustomed to. He was dominant, that fellow, and before any other man who had encountered her with such behavior, she had said what she thought of it: nothing at all.

She was not a woman who liked to be led. She herself was a leader. Born to be one, encouraged and educated. Her word had always been the first and the last. Much more important: decisive. To some people she seemed arrogant and the older she became, the less disturbed she was by that fact.

When he grabbed her hand and did not let go, she felt different. Could it be his strength, the way he spoke, all he did, that she intimidated? You!
No. She was impressed. Not in a way that you already knew. This feeling sat deeper inside her. As if it had slumbered, only to be brought to life by his presence.
Like a book, he read her, not be afraid to read it from his. As often as she liked. Every chapter, even those which frightened her, and send cold shivers down her spine.

She did not feel like a new person, much more like the one she had always been.
Her own strength doubled, she felt bigger than ever before.
Everything about her, which she did not appreciate, was reversed, relativized by his love.
Admiration she knew. It had been brought up by men whose fighting spirit was so remarkable that it was no different from paying tribute to them all their lives.
Had these sails been in rough sea, she now recognized:
Here in front of her stood her captain.

As he grabbed her hand, a storm raged. Before them lay the sea, wild and impetuous.
Times without strong waves were not in sight and yet they knew their goal:
„Land in sight!“
His arms held her tightly as she closed her eyes.
For an infinite moment she stood there and knew there would be countless coming.
It was this day when a leader found her leader.

„Welcome on board, my love,“ he said, and even in the darkness of the sea, she could see.

 

Komm‘ an Bord

Es war an dem Tag, als sie ihn traf, als ihre Überzeugung schwankte wie ein Fischerboot, das schon lange nicht mehr zur See hätte fahren sollen.
Dort stand er, mit seinem selbstsicheren Lächeln und seinen funkelnden Augen.
Ihr Spiegelbild, das sie zurückwarfen, war ein anderes, als sie es gewohnt war.
Dominant war er, dieser Kerl, und jedem anderen Menschen zuvor, der ihr mit solch einer Art begegnet war, hatte sie gesagt, was sie davon hielt: Überhaupt nichts.

Sie war keine Frau die sich gerne führen ließ. Sie selbst war ein Anführer. Geboren, einer zu sein, dazu ermutigt und erzogen. Ihr Wort war stets das erste und das letzte gewesen. Viel wichtiger: Das maßgebliche. Auf manche ihrer Mitmenschen wirkte sie arrogant, und je älter sie wurde, desto weniger störte es sie. Sollten die anderen doch denken, was sie wollten. Schließlich war es ihre Meinung über die Reflexion ihrer selbst, das, was sie ausmachte, die zählte.

Als er ihre Hand ergriff und nicht mehr losließ, fühlte sie sich anders. Könnte es seine Stärke sein, die Art wie er sprach, alles was er tat, das sie einschüchterte? Sie!
Nein. Sie war beeindruckt. Nicht auf eine Art, die ihr bereits bekannt war. Dieses Gefühl saß tiefer in ihr drin. Als hätte es geschlummert, nur um durch seine Anwesenheit zum Leben erweckt zu werden.
Wie ein Buch las er sie, nicht befangen, ihr aus seinem vorzulesen. So oft sie wollte. Jedes Kapitel, auch jene, die sie erschreckten, ihr kalte Schauer über den Rücken jagten.

Sie fühlte sich nicht wie ein neuer Mensch, viel mehr wie jener, der sie immer gewesen war. Ihre eigene Stärke verdoppelt, fühlte sie sich größer als jemals zuvor.
Alles an ihr selbst, was sie nicht schätzte, wurde umgekehrt, durch seine Liebe relativiert.
Bewunderung kannte sie. War sie von Männern erzogen worden, deren Kampfgeist so beachtlich war, dass sie nicht anders konnte, als ihnen ihr Leben lang Tribut zu zollen.
Waren diese Ihre Segel in rauer See gewesen, erkannte sie jetzt:
Hier vor ihr stand ihr Kapitän.

Als er ihre Hand fester griff, tobte ein Sturm. Vor ihnen lag das Meer, wild und ungestüm. Zeiten ohne starken Wellengang waren nicht in Sicht und dennoch kannten sie ihr Ziel:
„Land in Sicht!“
Seine Arme hielten sie fest umschlungen, als sie die Augen schloss.
Für einen unendlichen Moment stand sie so da und wusste, es würden noch unzählige kommen.
Es war dieser Tag, als ein Anführer seinen Anführer fand.

„Willkommen an Board, Liebste“, sagte er und selbst in der Dunkelheit der See, konnte sie sehen.

Halloween: A question of perspective

Anastasia was not a ghost for long yet, just 134 years, 6 months and 4 days.
Lost in thought, she sat on one of the gravestones and unwound.

„Of course, that makes sense, as I do no longer have a body! So it’s pretty easy to unwind. How funny you are, you great story-teller! Almost made me laugh. Almost.
Have you ever thought of applying with your witty dialogues at a comedy show?“

She jumped up, angered. She hovered. I mean, she dematerialized …

„STOP! So, honestly, I tell my story myself, you idiot!
Dear listeners, my name is Anastasia. At least this was my human name.
When I awoke, after I had died, I realized that I no longer had a reflection.
This and my death were the worst things that have ever happened to me. I liked my appearance very much, until an ugly disease, whose name I did not know, took me away. Everything went very fast. Some, namely, my evil stepmother and my step-sister, didn’t think it was fast enough. Not only were they both evil people, they were also ugly looking. Ha!
I tell you, this is gratifying. Many people I have known, had great beauty on the outside. However, their inside, uh oh, very bad rating. I tell you.
In any case, I would still like to say so much before our narrator may continue to bore you: Life as a ghost is boring as hell! Yeah, you hear me right. Hell is super boring, too. Been there for a few.
It used to be quite interesting to scare humans up here, but this got lame nowadays. As for the great global “creep-hype”, especially today on Halloween, these people are not to be frightened by anything anymore!
SO BORING!
So now leave me alone and check out the cemetery. My show- time is over. It’s not like I have an eternity, you know.“

„Hey, are you a real ghost?“ Anastasia got tapped on the shoulder.
A loud scream escaped her. Not the girl she got tapped by, but Anastasia:
„Huaaaaaah! You can see me, little girl? „She asked.
„Yes, clearly,“ the child said, shrugging.
„That is incredible. You should not be able to see me at all“, the ghost woman replied in astonishment.
„Do I really have to explain everything to you ghosts? Today is HALLOWEEN. The night in which the world of the dead coincides with the world of the living. It’s crystal clear, why I can see you“, the kid said, rolling her eyes.

„You frightened me, child! Go and get some sweets from the neighbors, who only distribute sweets, so that their spoiled children get something from your parents in return “
„Yes, you are probably right. There is neither trick nor treating here as I see.  More like plague or cholera”, hissed the girl.
Just as Anastasia wanted to congratulate the girl for her sharp reply, she was gone. Nowhere to be seen. As if she had disappeared into thin air.
‚Can humans disappear so quickly? Pest or cholera, ha, that’s a good one, ’she mused.

„These people and their silly Halloween. That’s so really exhausting. For real horror wears skeletal costumes in children’s size, „she snapped annoyed by the whole scenery.
Then hovered. Yes, because this is what ghosts do.

Wait

Stop waiting for the special moment,
the magic, the enlightenment.

Stop waiting for the big, true love,
good things are often closer than you may think.

Stop waiting for perfection,
it’s nothing more than a fairy tale.

Stop waiting for luck and happiness,
be happy, right here, right now.

Stop waiting for the sparkling idea,
go ahead, find some inspiration.

Stop waiting for the phone to ring,
take it, dial, take action.

Stop waiting for tomorrow, today,
here and now is the day.

Stop waiting, you may miss something.
Stop waiting, time is running out.
Stop waiting, for everything to fall into place.
Live now!

While these suggestions are not wrong,
they are not completely right either:

The one who’s believing in magic is ready to wait for it.
True, big and never-ending love, is sometimes not easy to find.Perfection, not to wait but to strive for.
Luck and happiness right here and now, but not as change for the price of the real thing.
Found inspiration could be the route to the great idea.
The call you are waiting for, maybe it needs a bit more time.
Today is one of your days, but tomorrow could be the “day of days”.

Wait.
The one who’s able to wait, because he wants to, is unbreakable.

Thankful

„She gave her all for me. I cannot leave her hanging all alone”, Klara told herself while
taking her shoes and jacket off. She just got back home from visiting her grandma.
Right there, on her little table in the hallway, the postcard her parents sent her was sitting.
This one was from Malta, it was one of many.

Klara’s dad was a successful international correspondent for a well-known online magazine.
One of the most famous in Europe. A few years ago, he changed his job from being a senior editor in Berlin, for this big chance. Her mother and him, left just weeks after he made that decision. Back in during time, Klara was still studying art-history at the university. She got her degree and started to work in a local art gallery. While loving her job, other than work, there was not much holding her in Berlin but, there was Grandma. She already had been care-dependent before her parents left. They took care of everything and, that’s why she had the luxury of having a private nurse living with her. Still, there was something missing: Family.

More than once, her parents asked her to pull up stakes and leave to be with them.
The magazine her dad worked for, offered Klara a job as a columnist, for a weekly art feature. She could travel the world and explore the local art, together with her parents.
Indeed, the task of writing something profound every week scared her a little but then again, she was sure she could succeed. Each time when she left to see her grandma, Klara told her herself, that she’d talk to her about it. She never had the heart to do so.
Too heavy, the guilt arising in her heart. The guilty feeling of leaving her alone.
The loneliness she’d probably fall into.

Not only once, she came home in anger. Not like her grandmother ever said anything that made her mad, but because, Klara, was such a coward. She was simply not able to make the words leave her lips. Also, she was mad at her parents. They were just doing whatever their own plan was about, being closer related to grandma than she was.
For sure, they took good care of her. From afar.

The next morning, Klara glanced the last time onto the postcard her parents had sent while taking her jacket. On her way to the subway, she built up her speech in her mind: “Grandma, I love you, but I don’t want to waste that opportunity”,
“Please don’t cry. I will come to visit as often as possible”,
“I hesitated for so long, but now I’ve made my choice”.
Just as she turned the key in the lock of her grandma’s door, her heart was beating heavily. Anne-Marie, the nurse of her grandma was waiting for her. Ready to take her jacket.
“Go inside, Klara. She’s waiting already”, Anne-Marie said, in a happy tone.
Klara walked through the big, white folding doors into the living room of the old lady, who was sitting in her wheelchair, facing the big window.
“My baby, I’m so happy you are here”, she said, with an angelic smile on her face.
Autumn leaves were dancing in the wind outside.
“I, I am so happy to see you, too, Grandma”, Klara said. Almost pushing the words out.
How the heck could she even think about that? Exactly, she could not.

Gratitude is sometimes a bond, but often a chain.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing – part 3

Darkness turned into light.
My limbs, still hurting,
but full of grace, I took the misery.

Voices have been heard,
just like music, but one was special.
Beautiful, soft and close.

A hand, on mine,
I recognized this feeling.
This was the hand that held me for so long.

The storm was over,
the torturing nothing through the ages,
towards a better era.

Love that hit me,
covering all the pain.
Love, that I gave, erasing all my misery.

Still, blurred my sight,
little by little coming back to me,
dripping like soft rain.

The eyes I looked into,
the face I saw right in front of me,
I felt as I knew it, saw it before,
as I’ve lived this moment already.

Tears were running down the face,
just as it was back then,
exactly like this. Being robbed of this memory all my life,
I knew for sure, I’ve lived it before.

“My child”, she said.
“Mama”, I wanted to say, but my voice wasn’t ready.
“My darling, I knew you’d make it through this”,
“Mama, I love you”, my lips shaped voiceless.

A new beginning.
Not a new life, but mine.
Yet, it starts over again, weak and small.
The scene almost alike, full of hope.

The light, stronger than darkness.
Saved from an ocean of nothing.
It was hope that triumphed,
at last, it didn’t die.

Nothing – part 2

The pain burning down my chest and I couldn’t be happier.
Here it is, a real feeling, I burn!
Each and every breath I take, the pain unbearable.
It’s raising up into my head, I can feel it, throb and vibrate.
My limbs rip, the pain doesn’t stop.
Filling my lungs with oxygen again. More powerful, the flames in my chest.
The twitching of my arms, I can’t control.
Any agony, better than the nothing I was in.
Bedded in physical misery, my memory comes back.
Just like a thunderclap.
A day on the beach, windy and cloudy. Sand under my feet, my route leading me along the beach as dark clouds set in to stay. They turn pitch black while the storm doubles its speed. I wanted to return, should have done that earlier for sure.
I turn on my heel, telling myself I should walk faster.
The world seemed to end. Looking over the waves of the wild ocean, it was like I heard someone scream.

I scanned the waves, my sight blurred by rain and sand, lashing in my face.
There I saw it, right in front of me, but miles away.
Almost I didn’t recognize, there was someone drowning. In a heartbeat, I turned around: “Help! We need help!“, I shouted out loud.
The beach earlier crowded with people, was empty now. There was not a single soul out there. I need to save this person! As I stumbled in the direction to the ocean, I slipped out of my shoes and jacket. „I’m coming to save you!“, I yelled. Arrived in the cold water, I realized how troublesome this rescue will become. Not as easy as I imagined. I pushed all my powers into my arms and legs while swimming. Never ending the time seemed while I was getting closer to my goal. I gulped way too much water, coughing and shaken from that, I still pushed through.
When I reached her, I noticed that it was a young woman, not screaming any longer.
She was floating in the high waves that surrounded us.
Was I too late? At my first try to grab her, I felt the heaviness of her body. How should I rescue her and myself? I wrapped both my arms around her shoulders, while I backstroke. Captured by the next powerful wave, I felt the water filling up my lungs.
I held her close, strongly pressing her onto my body.
Underwater, I opened my eyes. The perspective pitch black for us, in every sense.
Here it goes, my memory, floating away. Nothing up from this point.
Did my existence end right here?

The pain of breathing most likely just a phantasm, I gave it another chance.
Focusing on nothing but that, I let the memory fade. Far away.
The pain came back, burning like straight from hell. Running through my eyes, just like salty water.
When it seemed, as any minute of misery would be my end for sure, I pushed further.
Another breath.

Nothing – part 1

Nothing

Isn’t it like your eyes get used to the darkness?
Well, right now, in this moment that lasts countless times, I cannot confirm that.All I see is black. „Am I still alive?“ I ask myself.
There’s no sound, that could reach my ears. Nothing. Literally, you could hear a pin falling. Every breeze you could feel if there was any. Absolute silence, darkness. I wouldn’t call this pure bleakness. Rather, I would say, it’s a perfect nothing. Besides my memories, there’s nothing and even that is just finding its way to me like drippy rain.

A Thousand tries I’ve tried to move. My body, if still alive, doesn’t obey. My limbs I cannot feel. Maybe I was buried alive? The definition of „alive“ seems complicated in the “here and now”. Did I just end being? All of a sudden, without any warning.
I wasn’t sick, wasn’t I? My memory is just coming back in tiny fractions.
No, I wasn’t sick but am I right now?
An accident, maybe? No, but I wasn’t sure about that.
Did I ever exist at all? Yes, I did even live. Happily.
Is this my end? Maybe. Maybe I missed the end just as the beginning.

As for all efforts, I put in since being in this state, there’s one I never risked: Breathing.
It never came to my mind, to give it a try and just take a deep breath.
To hope my lungs would fill with oxygen, making magic happen and end this
miserable state for a new beginning. What could I possibly lose? Besides this nothing, I was floating in.

Would the realization that there are no more breaths for me, make me sad? Feeling sadder than right now wouldn’t be possible anyway.
I needed to give it a try. Take the risk.
More tiny fractures were forming in my memory.
I felt like I tasted salt on my tongue.
Was this my brain, playing me to relieve the ultimate goodbye? I feel the wind, not a soft breeze but a powerful storm.
It feels just like the storm was throwing sharp shivers, they cut my face.
The whistle of the storm, rushing through my ears. I want to cover them, my limbs don’t obey.
They refuse to serve me still. The memory is fading. Taken away by the storm.
Not little by little but with one giant blow. It’s gone. All that remains is darkness and torturing silence. I need to breathe if I can.
How many days and hours I did hesitate, is impossible to tell.
The theory of time, no longer entangled with me. Not reachable.
Now as I am ready, I ask myself if you could ever forget how to breathe.
You’ve waited too long, missed your chance?
All power I can raise, I need to combine. There’s just no other way and so I say to myself: “Breathe, start breathing now!”

Silence.
Then a whiz.
What now?

Been lucky?

As multi functional as the definition of „luck “, as big the range of ways to find it.
Maybe it’s waiting for you, at the end of the way. Watch out. Look around.
Possibly, it’s right around the corner. Just in that place, where you wouldn’t have expected it to be.
Watch out!

There’s so much you can do, to find luck. Don’t just follow the route, go other ways, too. Range the woods wade through waters and high grass. Be ready, to find you luck. What is it you are looking for? Are you aware of what you are searching? Don’t give up.

Are you witnessing when others are happy? Is it the same thing, you are looking for?
They’re smiling, having a good time. It seems whatever they were looking for, they got it.
Do you ask yourself, why you’re still in search of it?
Have you just not been lucky?

Maybe you’ve had luck in your hands, but dropped it?
Just left it there, near the path. Halfway to your big dream.
I wish you could keep that little piece of luck.
Not just obsessively pursuing the ultimate.
That you can hold this small piece of luck in your hands, unforgotten your big goal,
but able to reward this little breeze of luck.
Don’t just get lucky, get ready to feel fortunate, too.