I love writing but never have much time for it although I have managed to publish a few pieces. My writing is very visual, more like screen plays than novels. I will post some earlier works soon and let me know what you think:). Here is a an unpublished recent short story for starters I also write a regular blog for an EXPAT site (http://www.expatfocus.com/columnists) More info about me:http://about.me/christinemorgan/#
Turning a Blind Eye o the Sun
She shouldn’t have been there.
She was aware of more bodies now. If she stretched her legs slightly she touched some alien limb so she held herself tight in the foetal position, her hands joined in prayer under her jaw and cheek to lessen the impact of the constant shuddering from the van’s steely floor. She closed her eyes and tried to work out again why she had let this happen. If they hadn’t gone she would have been be safe at home.
One weekend of every month papa would go to Slovakia on business. On those Saturday mornings he would get up and prepare a big stew. Then, after a late breakfast, they would pick up her friend Vania, who was allowed to come and stay for the night. She cherished those weekends. Vania would sneak old items of her mother’s make up and nail varnish into her bag and they would take turns making each other up, pinning up their hair, practicing pouts. They were free to play loud music, dancing into the small hours, gyrating their hips in front of their favourite you tube clips. When they eventually flopped into bed they would chatter on and on, snacking on the sticky cakes and chocolates her father had left for them. The stew was invariably tipped away. She didn’t have a mother so Vania´s bag of trinkets would become her monthly treasure trove of headscarves and earrings, tiny handbags, gloves. Last Saturday Vania had brought two pairs of amazingly high-heeled shoes.
“We are going out, Ana”, she had said.
Her heart had thumped at the thought. “But what about papa?”
“He won’t know. No one will know,” Vania insisted.
It had been a game at first, a dress rehearsal. Yet looking in the mirror she had caught a glimpse of an older Vania that troubled her.
Vania knew where the club was. It was easy. And she had money too. It had all been thought through. Trailing diaphanous scarves and adornments they tottered to the entrance. There was a small queue. Ana tried to keep her head down but Vania strutted up to the doorman and smiled coquettishly.
“Evening gorgeous” he said, then glanced at Ana.
“ Oh dear” he said laughing, “I don’t think your friend is up to this. Sorry ladies “
And that was that. A group had arrived and pushed in front of them. Vania was defeated. She was starting to crumble but only Ana noticed. Grabbing Ana’s hand she swirled her hair just as they had practiced so many times at home and pulled her away, saying come on I know a short cut.
It was hard to argue when Vania was smote. Vania led Ana round the side of the building. The club must have been some sort of old warehouse initially because it was smack in the middle of an abandoned industrial site. The alley that they were heading to was lined on one side by a high brick wall topped with netting beyond which loomed a tall crumbling factory. On the other side was a sturdy fence blocking off various low metal rundown storage units. The lighting was poor and Ana shivered.
“Let’s go back the other way,” she said. But Vania told her it was fine.
“Trust me at the end of this is a small road and then we are almost at the main road,” she argued. “If we go back the other way we’ll have to walk for ages to get round.”
Ana thought about how far they had walked from the bus. It had been endless but somehow, in the thrill of being out, it hadn’t mattered. Now she suddenly felt cold and Vania ‘s idea sounded tempting. They linked arms and walked bravely down the alleyway.
It was then, when they were about a third of the way down, that Ana became aware of someone following them. She glanced back and saw two figures, male undoubtedly, at the beginning of the alleyway.
“Run,” she shouted yanking Vania´s arm.
But it was too difficult in the stupid shoes. She felt Vania buckle behind her. If she stopped now she thought they would both be lost. She had to get to the end of the alleyway and to the main road to get help. She daren’t look back. Her adrenalin pushed her forward. Then she saw them, two more in front of her blocking the end of the alley way. She kicked off the shoes, urged herself forward, running towards the men who were waiting, unperturbed. And without knowing how it happened she hurtled the shoes into their faces and in the spilt second of their reaction she dove between them into the road. Left or right? She thought she heard traffic to the right. The road looked deserted. It curved slightly. She knew they were behind. If she could just get round the bend.
The van was parked there, after the bend. The back doors were open and another two men were standing on either side expectantly. An arm grabbed her from behind and a cloth with something damp and sweet smelling was held over her nose and mouth.
The cold hit her from the open doors. How long had she been out? Her head was sore. Groggily she stepped outside following another girl, her eyes adjusting to the light. All she could see were dusty mountains, barren and endless. Her limbs ached, her head throbbed. There were five of them, two girls huddling together looked like sisters. No one spoke. There was no Vania.
A burly man in his forties gave one of the sisters some plastic cups and gruffly motioned her to pass them round while he undid a plastic bottle containing a cloudy liquid. He poured each one a cup full and gestured, putting an empty cup to his lips.
”Good, good “he said in a strange accent, grinning.
She had been aware of a noise on the other side of the van and another man appeared now, younger, swarthy, unkempt dragging a cut off plastic drum full of water. He squinted at them sideways as he handed out pieces of toilet paper. One girl trembling, her arms covered in tattoos, scrambled to the side with the paper, hitched up her dress and defecated right there. But Ana was looking beyond her at the steep track spiralling down the bare mountain side and the layers of scree on either side. They weren’t tied up and they were five against two. She could make a run for it but where could she hide? The sides of the rough road were exposed and sheer. How could she scurry up them without disturbing rocks and rubble? At least you would be alive she thought. If she could just last out there till it got dark. What was awaiting her once they got to the top of this mountain? She was incredibly thirsty so she drank the liquid. It had a bitter-sweet taste like some kind of herbal aspirin. Then she filled her cup from the drum and walked timorously behind the two men who were smoking at a short distance. Se carried on round the van away from the others. She surveyed the deserted landscape. They would have flashlights of course and they would scour the mountainside, even in the dark, till they found her. Suddenly she felt weary. An overwhelming exhaustion sapped all her strength. She felt bled dry of energy. Painstakingly she used the side of the van to ease herself round to the back door. She was the last one. The burly man pushed her forward into the darkness and slammed the doors.
When the doors opened this time she felt a wave of relief. She had been awake a while trying not to move too much, her legs and arms bruised and cramped. Her head ached from the constant bumping but she had been too cold to take her coat off and use it as a pillow. There was a sour smell of urine and body odour that she feared she might have contributed to. At least one more person was awake because there was a low sobbing from the corner. She kept going over and over what had happened. Initially, when she had woken up, she thought that somehow she had escaped and she was on the side of the mountain. But the van had lurched into motion and she had instantly remembered. She hadn’t escaped. She shouldn’t have been there.
It was night-time and they were in some sort or town or city. There was the thin swarthy man, helping them out this time as if they were veteran soldiers back from the war. She tried to count the huddle. Eight, nine? When had the others got in? She was unsteady on her feet and instinctively put her hand out to lean on one of the new girls. The girl flinched and glowered at her but made no move to remove it. The van was parked at the side of a road, which undercut some kind of bypass. She could hear the occasional traffic. The burly man was opening the door to a shabby dilapidated building while the swarthy one stood sentry.
Across the road there was a timeworn café with some tables outside. There were a group of young people sitting at one of them, drinking and talking. They looked like students a few years older than her, maybe sixteen, seventeen. One of them looked over and made some comment so that a couple of others looked across as well, then quickly returned to their conversation, indifferent. They registered no surprise at seeing her motley crew bunched together on the side walk at this late hour. Was it a regular sight? She looked up at the sign above the entrance “Café Papagaio”. It was a language she didn’t recognise. She repeated the letters over in her head, searching for their meaning.
“Papa,” she gasped and the tears flooded forth.
1 comment (click to read and post)
You don't have to sign up to Koobug - you can read all of the content on the site. However, if you'd like to comment or recommend books and posts, you'll need an account.
It's completely free to use, whether you are an author or reader.
All we need from you is your email address, which we'll use to send you an access link. You can then click on the link and choose your password and profile picture.
We will not disclose your email address to anyone else, or use it to send you spam.
Enter your email address into the box, and a password if you have one. If this is your first time here, or you can't remember your password, leave the box blank; we'll email you a temporary key.