Fiction: From the fairy tale of fear

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She can’t breathe. Crawling to get some air. A rope is wrapped around her throat. She’s trying to break from it. With every breath she feels the narrowness. The pulse stops as the rope tightens. Millions of insects crawling and spreading all over her body. As he slowly strokes her shoulder, each of her limbs shrugs.

Electrocution. Small but strong. A little hammering. When she closes her eyes, she sees fireworks. Bright, rich colors. She can even feel the heat. She’s numb, paralyzed. When the eyes cross, she feels a hot and cold feeling rushing through her at the same time.

He says: “I give you freedom”, and raises it high above the expanse of the city. She loses her balance, the ground is gone. Weightlessness. High above – above her the sky, below her the whole world. She’s floating. He gives her bliss. Perfection.

Deep down awaits the swamp of fears and doubt that lures them to him. Delicate whispers, the temptation to jump is great. She’s this close. Just one step. Just one small step, she thinks. She’s dropping. Falls. Lose your footing. Dragged into the depths. Getting further and further away from him. Sinks further and further into the swamp.

She forgets the feeling of space and time. Lost consciousness, orientation, self. Everything’s spinning. The image is blurred. Now it’s just a rough shadow in the distance. What remains is memory. The memory of yesterday and the thoughts of tomorrow.

She sees a huge fishing net gradually spreading around him, getting tighter and tighter and tighter. Looks like the tight ropes and knots are getting tighter and tighter. Looks like he’s trying to get through to her. But he gets caught up in it. The colors fade and uniform silhouettes and patterns are formed.

She calls and screams for him, but she will never reach him. Darkness. Deep black waves are approaching and moving away from her. Waves of despair, injury and betrayal. She is almost drowned, crushed by their screams, their laughter. They mix and become duller to a uniform noise.

Strong wind pushes her down and a strange feeling of dizziness runs through her. She falls deeper and deeper. Above her the water surface, infinite. No beginning, no end. She sees the lights shining through slightly from above. You’re so far from her. The wind is taking shape. An old man’s rigid expression. Folded and marked by life.

He speaks to her in a language she has never heard before. She doesn’t understand. He’s mumbling to himself. Starts singing. Loud and louder and louder until it becomes unbearable. She reaches for him, but he dissolves and becomes dark smoke. Then he shows up again, pulls her hair. Take them off one by one as if they were thin blades of grass.

His eyes are widening. His gaze becomes more piercing. She wants to go upstairs, wants to see him again. Wants freedom. The higher it wants, the greater the distance to the surface. With every movement it only approaches the abyss again. She can neither climb nor swim. Neither run nor jump. She can’t take any more. Your arms are wearing off.

She feels her fingertips slowly decomposing in the water. She tries to scream, but all you hear is a faint, faint whisper. The louder she roars, the more incomprehensible and quieter her sounds become. Roots protrude from the ground and the branches slowly nestle around her legs. Like arms grab, pull, they drag them into the depths.

He wonders why she jumped. She becomes one with the dark water, with the shadow, transparent like a shell. Strange in the fog. I wonder how deep it is. When she opens her eyes, he opens the curtains. Quietly, so she won’t wake up. It’s early, the sky is clear. Any moment the sun will shine in.

He sits at the window and spins a cigarette. She loves to see how deep and concentrated he is. He asks, “Did you have bad dreams?” and smiles at her. He puts the cigarette away and approaches it. He sits down at the edge of the bed and strokes her gently. He looks so lovingly that words are superfluous at this moment. Then he kisses her on the forehead.

Millions of insects are spreading all over her body. Spray sparks. What was yesterday remains yesterday – what will come tomorrow, she will see tomorrow. That’s today. This is now.

M.

Read this article in German!

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