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Story #363

One dark autumn evening an orange fox with white spots around his eyes and a long orange tail with a white spot on his tail tip was on his way from a friend and he had to go through the dark dark forest. He went to the forest and looked in the dark dark woods. He was so scared that his knees were shaking. He slowly walked in the forest with his tears running down his cheek. It had started to rain and soon it started to thunder and lightning. He was now running, he had to come home now. He ran so fast that he tripped a few times. He fell and fell but he got up again, he got abrasions, but he didn’t care. He had run for what felt like an eternity. He looked up and at last he saw the end of the forest. He took all the power he had and ran out of the forest. At last he was out of the woods, now he’s going home to his fox family.

Tindra, Sweden

9 December, 2018

Story #362

As I grow older, I realise that I’ve become more forgetful on the little details of life that I used to hold onto dearly. It’s as if I’ve come to care less about things. To care less about the people around me. Thinking deeper into it, I don’t think it’s because that I care less. But because I’ve just learn to protect myself. And honestly speaking, that’s not exactly a bad thing. However, I miss a certain part of me. That part of me that is raw and creative and able to write deep down from the heart. So, I’ll try. To find that part of me. Again.

Ann Yeo, Selangor, Malaysia

7 December, 2018

Story #361

Tomten satsar allt han har
Rudolf, fickludd och en kaviar
Nisse brister ut i skratt
tror att tomte har fått fnatt
grubblar, surrar och stirrar stint
tomten har gått på hans fint!

Knutsson, Karlstad, Sweden

24 December, 2018

Story #360

the rabbit always ate lunch alone in fear of the fox. the fox the next day saw him eating alone.the fox joined him, and then the rabbit started to realise just because he had the tough look didnt mean he never had a hear in the first place.

anonymous

3 April, 2018

Story #359

When I was a kid in first grade my teacher had a system for when the class would get unruly.  She would scream out “Everybody Freeze!” in which the entire class had to freeze in place until she said it was OK to move again.  One day I went up tot he teacher to asked to be excused to go to the bathroom, on the way she said “Everybody Freeze!”.  I stood there wiggling and begged her if I could talk to her and she said no.  There in my tracks I pied in my pants, with it running down onto the floor.  I was supremely embarrassed.  In my later years I wonder how the teacher felt.

– Steve, Oakland, CA

22 March, 2018

Story #358

once upon a time there was a red fox coming to school for the first day. There was no place left to sit but the one next to the angry goat. She went to the goat and ask, frustrated, can I sit next to you? The goat was looking at her angrily and said yeah.

It is now more than 15 years, They still remain friends.

The goat wants to say that, happy birthday my dear friend. Wish you always have strawberry ice creams and chocolate, to enjoy every second of your days.

– Par, Edmonton, Alberta

15 March, 2018

Story #357

It was a cold night in January 1982.. We had been waiting and waiting for the train, soon we understod the train was never coming. We sat down on a cold bench at the station, I picked up my book and started reeading.. My friend look over and asked me

– Do you always read? She said.

– I always do, it keeps my mind of reality.. I said back.

– Reality? Just live life. Soon enough it’s all gone and then you have waisted your life at just wainting and wondering. She said with a straight face.

Far away we could hear a train, it sounded like it was about to breake soon. My friend looked at the direction we heard the broken train, she picked up her bag and walked to the end of the platform. I put down my book in my bag and just looked into blank space.

– Let’s go, the train is here! My friend said and shaked me.

– Oh yes of course I said and was putting my book in my bag while walking.

I went into the train and followed my friend, we sat down on a 2-seat bench and I was just about to pull out my book when my friend hold my hand and said:

– Don’t.. Please, you don’t need your book. You have me! Be social, I know what has happend, you don’t need to run away from it.
I put down my book slowy into my bag again and looked tat her..

– Did I ever do something wrong? I said while looking at the ground.

– You never did.. It’s okay, I’m here for you. That was her last sentence before the train crashed. We live in heaven now, and it’s so much better here..

– Tilde Molén, Nordmaling

25 February, 2018

Story #356

I am 16 years old. Go to a high school full of people who judge me for everything. Yet I have a talent and that talent is sketching anything by looking at it. People noticed it in the beginning of the year but I shown too much. At one point, I made a few friends. They were not the best, but one stood out more.  Whenever she wasn’t there, I just draw and stay silent or read Manga for a little. Sometimes people say I’m creepy or I look scary. I’ve gotten this from too many people for so long, it’s almost a compliment. This compliment shows that some people rely too much on the surface and become cowards to even meet you first hand with a simple hello.

– Kaylena, Philadelphia

10 February, 2018

Story #355

Hi I’m Sam. I wish I was dead but I don’t want to die, and here’s why.

One time, my roommates jumped down my throat about the apartment not being clean. I was in such a depressed state of mind, I thought about taking the kitchen knife I was holding and slashing down my forearm, spraying blood everywhere. In my mind I used my last breath to laugh and ask how about you clean us this.

Gross right? These thoughts often run threw my head, yet all they do is just stay there. I don’t want to die, I just want this pain, these thoughts to stop. Here let me rewind a little.

I’ve always had lived with my mother. The psychopathic bitch who gave birth to me. I didnt get meet my father till I was 18. The man who took his place in my childhood (at 8 years old) was wonderful until the day he snapped. I spent the next 11 years being verbally, physically and emotionally abused. I was told on a daily bases it would have been better if I was never born, that I was a whore and stupid and never would amount to nothing, watching my mother hold a knife to her chest saying she was going to kill me and her. My “dad” turned my mother and my little sister against me, i wasn’t “part of the family” anymore. I had nobody. I cooked my own meals. I was left out of Christmas family photos. When I went in the living room to watch TV with them, he turned it off. He told me that I made his life hell by being alive so he was going to make every second of mine hell. I spent my entire childhood being told I was nothing, worthless, by my own family, by everyone I was ever around. I seeked “god” and found nothing. I was udder alone.

At 15 I rebelled. I lost my virginity, I smoked pot, I drank, anything I could do to pissed my parents off. Though I myself defeated my own purpose. I did it all in secret. I kept up my perfect grades and sports, everything. I just wanted them to be proud of me, notice me, love me like they did my little sister. But I was never good enough. I started giving myself to any and everyone. I let myself be raped and hurt. Anything to feel something right? Pain is better than nothing at all.

I started self harming. It made me feel actual physical pain and let me focus on getting myself out of my head. I did it more and more. Over and over again. But unlike most, I cut on my thigh. I didn’t want them to be seen. I didn’t want anyone to know the pain I was going threw. I didn’t want to be noticed. All the while my brain was screaming for help… No one noticed a thing.

My senior year and the year that followed is what changed me, for both the better and the worse. That year I found out my “dad” had been molesting my little sister. She got taken away and given to the custody of my aunt. And I chose to stay. I guess part of me thought with her gone, maybe now they would love me. I was wrong. They blamed her being taken on me. It was my fault. I did it. Christmas that year we didn’t even put up a tree. My “dad” spent all of Christmas trying to take different shelters to take me. He tried everything to get rid of me but nothing worked.

I fell in love with a guy my senior year. We all know how it goes. I was crazy in love with him and he just wanted my body. Yet I was continuously stupid enough to believe he loved me. He fucked with my head, kept telling me it was to complicated, that we couldn’t be together. I graduated thinking it was my freedom from him, I wouldn’t have to see him anymore. I was finally free from his web.

A week after I graduated, I finally decided to leave. I knew my “dad” wasn’t going to let go to college because he didn’t believe women deserved an education. He believed that all women should be doing “wifely duties” like cooking, cleaning and having children. I had had enough. I asked my mom to borrow her phone and I called a friend asking them to come and get me. I packed 3 tshirts and a pair of underwear and walked out the backdoor. The only thing my mother was worried about was where her phone was.

I spent the next 2 months moving between friends houses. The 4th of July came around and guess what? I saw the guy I was in love with senior year. I kept telling myself I was over him, but when I saw him again… there was not doubt that my feelings had never changed. I took down his new phone number and started talking to him again. A few days later I was moved in with him and his parents and was beyond happy. He was finally mine and I had a family who loved me. I soon found I was pregnant and we were all beyond excited. My life was beyond perfect.

Soon it was my birthday, I was able to go a state away and visit my biological father and his family for the first time. I remember being so nervous I hid in the bathtub with a bucket on my head. My life just getting better and better. While with my father I had no way to message my boyfriend, so when the nleeding and the excruciating pain started I had no way of letting him know. I didn’t want my family to know I was pregnant so I hid it from them knowing they would shame me for it, talking it off as just super bad cramps. I knew something wasn’t right, and I had no other option than to suffer alone. I knew I had misscarried.

When I got back to my boyfriends place I explained everything that was happened and he cried. An hour after me getting there his father pulled me aside and told me that I had to leave. It was either me leave or they all got kicked out. Apparently the landlord were friends of my “dads” and heard from them I was nothing my a “lying, stealing whore” and they didn’t want me there. I begged to stay just that night, but I was told I had one hour to get what I could and leave. My perfect life… gone.

I spent the next 3 weeks curled up in a ball in my best friends bed. I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink anything. I kept text and calling my boyfriend, yet he never answered me. It was obvious. I’m damaged goods. I miscarried. Who wants someone who can’t even give them children. Who would want someone fucked up like me?

Have you ever felt you’re soul shatter? It’s deeper than just you’re heart breaking. I can’t really explain it, but promise me it hurt like fucking hell. I laid there, basically a zombie, and all I did was stare at walls and stay constantly stoned. It’s the only thing that kept me “sane”. At the end of those 3 weeks was my first day of college. I picked my self up, showered, and gathered my shit. I’m a fighter. I may be a fuck up but I’ll be damned if I’m a quitter. I HAD to prove my “dad” and everyone else wrong. I WILL make make it….somehow.

Those three weeks changed me. My depression got worse. I “taught” myself how to completely shut off all emotions. My depression controls me. I’m drowning in myself. These thoughts, their vines twisting and tying themselves around me. They control me. This time I didn’t sit back quietly and let everyone believe I was okay. This time I screamed out, literally begging someone, anyone to help me. Some people tried to helped, I tried dating again. And still nothing.

Over a year has passed. I should be holding my 6 month old baby in my arms, sitting beside the person I loved more than any other, but I’m not. I’m alone, it’s 4am and I’m bawling so badly I can barely type. Why does my body hate me so much it killed my own child. Why am I this way. Why are these thoughts still here? These thoughts telling me to just go outside and walk until I pass out and pray I freeze to death. These thoughts telling me to “go take a shower” and slide that shiny steel across my skin, just to see if I can feel it, and if not keep cutting deeper until I do.

This is only part of my story. Part of what goes on up inside this crazy mind of mine. This, this is not me. I am not my depression, but my depression is me. Someday I will find my purpose for being alive, I don’t know how, or when or anything. But this is not my end.

Hi, I’m Sam. I wish I was dead, but don’t want to die.

Now do you see why?

– Samantha, Lawton

24 January, 2018

Story #354

A steaming teacup perched on the arm of her pillow laden chair, filled to the brim with oolong tea. She reached over, taking a sip. The tea immediately fogged up her glasses, momentarily blinding her. She took them off and peered around her, the living room now a blur of bright colours, and for once, she was happy.

– Demetrius Shackbolt, Leichenstien

30 December, 2017

Story #353

Vanessa’s stiletto’s clicked against the marble floor as she walked across the lobby towards the front desk. A man looked up, smiling warmly

‘Ah, Miss Bouvoi, out for the evening?”

She began to speak, but then turned as a black jaguar pulled up at the hotel’s entrance. She ran out onto the footpath, her tight black dress clinging to her curves,  and climbed into the car.

“Hi, Jerry, right?”

“Yes, and you must be Vanessa. The notification says you want to go to 39 Grove Street, but, lets be honest, I’ve got better plans.”

“um, noo… let’s just go to 39 grove.”

“Is that really what you think i’m going to let happen?” he said.

He stroked his fingers up her thigh.  Then, pressed his foot down on the accelerator. She reached frantically for the door, but he pressed down harder on the pedal, leaving her know option but remain in the car. Sweat pricked her forehead , That was when she saw her.

Standing on the side of the road, the girl she had met last night at the bar; tonight,wearing a tight leather dress that accentuated the curve of her breasts. She got out, ignoring the cries of dismay emanating from within the car. She ran past rows of stopped cars, and then paused, taking a moment to compose herself, before gently tapping the girl on her left shoulder.

– Aliisa Hard, hrasgaard

19 November, 2017

Story #352

One sweltering summer day in Boston, an ice cream cone made an impromptu decision that would forever change her fate. Just as the employee was about to place her into the hand of a hungry 3-year-old boy, she thrust herself upward and out of the man’s grip.

“What the …? ” the employee said, scratching his head in confusion. “That ice cream cone just jumped right out of my hand!”

The ice cream cone, having some innate athletic ability, managed to complete a perfect tumblesault in the air and landed, unharmed, in the grass. She dusted some loose rainbow sprinkles off of her cone, and quickly ran off before the employee could scoop her back up.

“I’m free!” She thought happily. “I can do anything I want to! Maybe I’ll go to the zoo.” She took off running down the street, but stopped dead in her tracks when she realized she was starting to melt.

She quickly ducked under the cool shade of a tree and sat there for a while, thinking of what to do next.

“I refuse to melt!” She said emphatically. “I am an ice cream cone, yes, but I will not melt, no matter how hot the day may be.”

– Erin Balsa, Hingham, Massachusetts USA

18 November, 2017

Story #351

In all my life, I never expected to be diagnosed with cancer. I ate and live a healthy life, until April 2017 when I heard the word,”you have cancer.” Not just breast cancer, an aggressive and rare form of it. Now, I’m between feeling somewhat normal and feeling like I want to die! Then I thank God I’m alive…for myself, my family and most of all, my granddaughter. I love each day as if it were my last, doing everything I can to do something nice for someone. I live life. I enjoy it and thank the Lord above for giving me life in this beautiful world that despite everything that can go wrong and is wrong…I see joy and happiness and they are enough.

– Lily Mondragon, Corpus Christi

18 November, 2017

Story #350

Det var en gång en man som hette Clas. En solig dag gick clas ut till bondgården. På bondgården hitta clas gris som kostar 50kr. Clas köpte grisen. Clas tog grisen hem till clas, sen byggde clas en liten hage till grisen. Grisen blev nöjd med sin hage. Clas körde sin fyrhjuling till bondgården och köpte mycket grismat, sen körde clas hem och gav grisen lite kvällsmat. Sen gick Clas in i huset och lade sig i sin säng. Slut

– Clas, Kil

18 November, 2017

Story #349

Hi, my name is Kendon and I am an INFP male suffering with… Well a lot of things. Hear me out, yeah?

I’d say the most prominent suffrage I have has to be depression. The reason is very… Elaborate to say the least. I’d like to say it all happened when I was about 6 years old, so roughly 13 years ago. Young boy, able to walk, talk, dress himself somewhat well enough, feed himself if necessary.

That’s when I started to realize my dad was abusive. VERY much so. Not to mention a deathly toxic alcoholic. He beat me, my mom, and my sister every chance he got and that… Man enjoyed every second. He centered around me and my mom more so. He said my sister wasn’t his and he shouldn’t, and I quote, “Give a shit about some little skank that came from her whore of a mother.” Day in and day out, beating after beating. Belts, knives, kitchen utensils, tree branches. Anything he could get his hand on and lift with some ease, he used to make my mom and I’s life hell.

One day really sticks out for me. I remember the date perfectly. August 9th, 2004. The day he not only threatened to kill every one in the house, himself included, but he also beat me worse than before. He cut me up, beat me down to pulp almost, hung me by my wrists from the banister of the stairs. I can still feel the rope sometimes, digging into my wrists and twisting up the skin, shredding what skin was left.

He got my face pretty good, still a few scars left, and its 13 years later… This continued for three years. Daily. Every time I turned around, I thought that today was the day I die to this man.

Three years later, mom finally got the courage to take action against him and get the divorce. Some kids are sad and THAT causes their depression. Not for me. Thats a breath of fresh air. Oxygen in my lungs. Finally, I could breathe and not be afraid for my life every second of every day.

That was very short lived once we got to her mother’s house.

My grandmother. I wouldn’t even call her that. Much like my father is referred to as sperm donor, she is my mom’s mother. I haven’t called her grandma in a good long while.

However, behind my mother’s back, the abuse continued. A little… Softer than my sperm donor, but still. A new means of torture was introduced. Burning. She’d light a candle, one without a container, just candle, and put it out against my skin. She’d sometimes just hold the lighter to my skin, lit or so heated to the point where it imprinted. She’d purposefully close my body parts in doors and cabinets. Anything with a handle and hinges really. She pushed me into a lawnmower and made me burn a majority of my arm on the engine. It was the usual otherwise, savage beatings behind people’s backs, forcing me worse if I told anybody. To this day, this moment, I have told nobody. Nobody except whoever reads this. On top of everything my grandmother did, I was still forced to go and see my dad every so often. So it was abuse from both parties still. For three more years it continued. Worse yet.

It wasn’t but a year later that I tried ending it… My first suicide attempt. July 19th, 2008. I was 10 and I tried to take a variety of my grandmother’s pills, just to see what would happen. If it would truly end it all… It failed, of course. Attempts after that seemed endless… Cutting myself, threatening to blow my brains out, wanting to leap off my roof or higher, holding my breath till I passed out. Every way you thought of to end it, I undoubtedly tried it.Especially cutting… There’ll be days where I still do it. A few here, a few there. If the days are bad enough though…. I can’t keep track of how many there are. My grandmother and father weren’t the only reason I wanted to do that.

Say hello to the ugliest face of the abuse world… Rape… June 17th, 2009. We went camping with my uncle Ron and his sons, Matthew and Jt. It was them three, me, my mom, my grandmother, and my cousin Brayden. Every one went to sleep, I thought I’d get a good night’s rest…

My tent was broke into, the four of them looming over me… Each taking their turn making that night the one I would dread for years to come… I still do… I’ve only told one other person and even then it wasn’t the whole truth… I couldn’t tell her all of it… I didn’t want to believe it even happened. They tossed me around, different positions, different sizes being pushed where they weren’t supposed to be… Me wishing nothing but for them to kill me afterward. Cover it up as an animal attack or something… That continued for another year behind everybody’s back.

I was 12 when we left my grandmother’s. My mom being able to afford her own place and finding a new man. So that ended contact with my father and that side of the family altogether. That was whenever it was memories finally catching up with an older me.

And the suicide attempts continued. Years of sitting in my room crying myself to sleep. My eyes feeling like they were bleeding cause I never slept. Everytime I closed my eyes all I saw was them looming over me or my father getting ready to beat me or even my grandmother ready to burn me at a moments notice… I had nightmares instead of dreams. Wishes for death instead of praise for life. Wanting it to be over, the pain to stop… Yet too scared to try anymore. The last attempt was a handful a pills and they didn’t even make it to my mouth. I crushed them in my hand, slinging them across the bathroom and screaming, crying out for help and begging for the pain to just go away…

I would continue this story with the various heartbreaks. Girlfriends and small flings that… Really don’t mean much to me, save for two people. But I feel like its not necessary. Some was more physical abuse. Others mental. Most or all emotional, save for the two. Those two wouldn’t have dared lay a finger on me. They cared too much yet… It was the wrong time. We wouldn’t have worked at that time and it made me hopeful for the future for once… That someday, I’d be able to feel that happiness again. On top of sleepless nights, demons screaming at me and telling me i was worthless and I should’ve pulled the trigger or made sure the noose was tighter. Something… It all seemed essentially worthless. Life.. seemed worthless. As if there was nothing there for me anymore. I was hoping that when I got out my parents house that… That’d be it. That would be the time I’d do it… To truly end it all…

It was after I graduated that everything began to change… For the better seemingly… I was scared, jumping into good things and then, after awhile, ruining them… I was so scared that I took no precaution. It was entirely new to me. I felt happiness, truly. I felt it and took it for granted at the same time…

Only then did I realize that happiness doesn’t truly come from one select person. Granted, that one person, no matter the circumstance or relationship between the two of you, will be such a large influence on your life that you want to never let go of them. They’ll make you stupendously happy… However, happiness… Its two vastly different forms.

One, from friends. The truest of friends who are with you no matter the circumstance. The ones that, even through hell and high water, through the hardships you go through or put them through, they have your back no matter what.

The second, and this one took me A WHILE to realize, is from yourself. This one wasn’t fully introduced until here recently. But you can never be truly happy until you quell what demons reside in you and come to terms with your past. Its called the past for a reason… You need to leave it where it lies and continue on with your life. Learn from it and continue to live! Take life in strides rather than steps

Take life in and simply experience it! Breathe in every last atom of Oxygen. See every last inch of Earth. Touch the sky and pierce the heavens! Take life by storm!

Show it that you can’t be stopped, no matter how close you were before…

Show it that… No matter what happened… No matter the pain, the trials, the tribulations… You can make it out. You can make it and be better than you ever were. Better than you ever thought you could be.

You just gotta show it who’s boss is all.

My name, once more, is Kendon. And I hope my story can help some people. No matter how minuscule it may seem. Keep smiling, lovelies. It gets better, I promise.

– Kendon, Lawton

21 October, 2017

Story #348 – Today’s accident

There he is again, he is everywhere, Today, on all our streets and in every window, at the top of every taller building, looking only halfway down. He is wearing his furniture buttoned up, creased and polished, opening his mouth in creaks, light and food inside, darkness when it closes. Today, his hair smells too fresh, he has just vacuumed it. He’s drawn the curtains across his eyes, always seems to be sleeping, while his brain glows out of its blue glass case, muted. His desires are framed upon his walls, all the resolutions and obsessions, brand names and faces like magnets slipping and sliding. He takes what he wants, stabbing with his fork fingers, collecting with his spoon palms. He breathes in and out without a thought, he accepts everything.

He crosses a road he has crossed many times but collapses before he is on the opposite side. A truck quivers loudly to a stop before his flailing, limpid parts. There are some worried passersby who are worried enough to pause and turn toward the disheveled body. Some come close. Some come closer. There must have been a tornado here, and it has passed through, dropping this house into many pieces. Everyone laughs at the broken house, the bathtub standing embarrassed in the midst of this perfectly designed destruction, growing cracks and filled with fresh dust. The truck driver is relieved, he is laughing with everyone.

There was nothing inside to begin with, just a box to fit into. Everyone knew that, it’s so familiar, so ordinary.

– Suchi Rudra, Texas

17 September, 2017

Story #347

Gary Radiomac was quite the man. His black mullet, aviator glasses, and manly jawline were all classic trademarks. As for clothes- well, Gary liked to change things up a bit. Sometimes, he would wear his blue and white shirt with white bell-bottoms, accompanied by classic loafers. But when Gary was feeling particularly funky, he would put on his golden jumpsuit and platform shoes, close his office door and blast the full Saturday Night Fever soundtrack for all to hear. Sometimes, his assistant Carol would tell him to keep the volume down, because of a meeting outside. Ha. Gary didn’t listen her. He was the boss, man. Editor of The Daily Man Newspaper since 72´, the year of his birth, nobody told him what to do. He was king. Oh yeah.

– Gary Gerry Radiomac, Perth

10 September, 2017

Story #346

I am a INTJ male who is currently suffering ego death.

I am realizing that the world around me is fabricated, shattered and torn whole by the loss of my vestige. She left me after 3 years of complete dedication. It has been a month, and my mind is still reeling from the fact I can’t fall asleep next to her again, nor share a laugh, hold her hand, touch feet as we sleep..

Here is my entirety. I am a compulsive liar, so I will tell you fact about me firstly, then elaborate so that way I am avoiding lying to you.

I am 21 Years old. I was born in Concord, NC in 1996, to C. P. and an unknown father. I grew up under the name of Price for 2 years, as my father was abusive, controlling and a drug addict. After several attempts on my mothers life and mine, she fled under witness protection to Kentucky. After a few years, My step-father entered the picture. At the age of six, I had already experienced Alcohol, Homosexual rape, loneliness, and loss. It seems tiny, comparitively in my mind, but I had to watch my childhood pet be put down, and buried. That was my first loss.

In 2004, I moved to Fort Sill, OK. Here I reside currently, and this is where my story takes a darker turn. My life was shook as my parents were still in their 20’s and partying. Booze was an all-time factor in my life, and to this day I can remember the sounds of soldiers fighting outside my window, the sound of glass breaking, and wondering if someone was going to come into my room and hurt me at 2 in the morning.

They did their best to raise me, put me on a pedestal. I came into my academic talents early at this point, throwing myself into school and achieved the top scores of my class, almost exclusively Sciences. I was put in the G&T program, and later advanced to MENSA, and International MENSA.  My parents never let this bar down, and held me to achieving my best, although my talents only went so far.

In 2006, Mother had a breast reduction done by Dr. Nuveen, as per back problems. After 5 grueling days in the living room, we discovered massive internal bleeding. He had left a Artery in the back open, and leaking into her chest cavity. This condition developed into something worse, and due to my childhood knowledge, I to to this day don’t remember what it is. She ended up dying on the table, for a recorded time of 1 Minute, 45 seconds. I was sitting outside the room when this happened. I heard the flatline, and I ran into the bathroom. Too weak to express my anger, too strong to crumple. I sat in that room screaming anguish. I knew what that sound meant, but she came back. I plead with a god I didn’t and don’t believe in then. I’ve only ever done it 3 times in my life. This was the first and only time it was about my mother.

Later, after a troubled high school, drugs, amateur crime, depression and self harm, I developed into the man I am today, who somewhat collectively gathered himself. I moved out at the age of 17, graduated at 18, and got my own place with a roommate in 2014.

2014 was possibly the worst year for me, save for one thing. I met this girl, named Andrea K. We began dating through my friend Dean, who was her cousin. During 8th grade, I flirted with her and then fell asleep and my friend got nudes and spread  them, sadly, so she hated me throughout high school. I got her to listen to my story, and she forgave me. Not the last time that would happen..

Either way, after sacrificing special time with my family and loved ones, my Grandmother passed away at 6:55 in the morning on Nov 4. She was the one who was there when my parents were. She showed me what compassion, knowledge, and what listening can do for someone. She showed me how considering other’s thoughts mattered, and how wise it was to try to understand, even if you don’t want to.

My world crumpled in 2014. She was with me until April 3, 2015. In December I hurt her badly, I broke her little heart. She was weak, and I knew it, and still, the one rule she had was I don’t masturbate. Which, I find biologically necessary but still, I lied to her every day about it.

She left me, and I wanted her back. The want drove my inner self to the walls. I cracked in May, on the 16th, her birthday, and went suicidal. I sliced my wrists 159 times on each arm, up and down for results kids, sideways for punishment. Punishment for my sins. I spent a week faking happiness and rightfulness to my Therapists, who gave me pills to make me robotic, but couldn’t break my inner walls, so I continued my depression. After getting out, it took 2 days for me to start slicing myself again. The anxiety and sin built up underneath my skin caused me to bleed it out. I lost count halfway through the tears, and frenzied myself. I was admitted again, and got out June 6th, 2015 again, and moved into my friends Blakes after finding solace in my parents. 3 months later, they left, and I swallowed close to 1.5 grams of pills. The lethal dose for Trazodone is close to .4. I remember eating those pills out of my puke, wanting to die so badly. I ate every single one, and passed the fuck out. The next day I woke up, puked three times, then went back to sleep, unable to walk. The second day, I woke up and my eyes wouldn’t follow where my brain was telling them to go. I thought I was suffering my sacrifice of not being able to man up and end it. I was going to die a slow death. I remember a golden light telling me to wake up, so I did. I got back up. A couple of days later she texted me again. It started out slow, and I loved it. I had my precious back. My entire world. My galaxy. I do not exist without her in the center..

For that reason, when we got back together Sept. 16, 2015, I dedicated every piece of myself to this girl. Even if I lust for another, I never chase. Even if I look, I do not touch. I can want, but know I shall never have. For the solution to all was her. I found happiness, solitude, gratefulness, a reason to wake up, in her.

We fought quite a lot. I won’t lie, it’s mostly my fault, since I ruined her sense of trust and love, however I will say I took her happiness, I was, am, a selfish person. I make rash decisions, and the internal part of my mind only cares about this vessel of my body wants.

We both found dedication and love in eachother though. I wanted nothing more than waking up next to her every day, and everyday so far this month, as of July 9th, 2017, I have been without.

I sacrificed my parents moving to Maryland in 2015, when we weren’t together, for her. I sacrificed time with my grandmother, for her. I asked her to marry me, for her. I worked, got up, despite my self hate, my desire to lie down and die, to give up every day. She means the world to me, and now that we’re apart, I have lost my drive. I have no desirable skills. I have no wants, no needs, nothing that people want or need, excluding my ability to DM in D&D, that’s the only want. People like me because I get good at my passions. That’s it.

So here I am, again for a third time in my life, suffering loss. It is a feeling I hate. I have a loss of purpose, a loss for reason to sustain myself. I feel like wasting away. To commit suicide, and leave this nonpeaceful life away from me. I do not want to want her and she spurn me, to find another man.

It hurts man.
I’m broken. I have no will anymore. No drive. No purpose. I am ready to give up.
The only reason why I’m venting is to last long enough to visit my family, and on Oct. 4th, when I get back home, I’m going to do it. I’ll have seen my little brother, my mother, my father. I’ll have given him a memory to hold onto, to happiness, and to have held my mother like she held me when I was scared as a child. I’ll have shook my fathers hand as a man.

As a human being, I am stepping over the cliff soon. I cannot wait to fall, and see where I land.

Thank you for listening. You don’t have to draw me a picture.

– Zack, Lawton

8 September, 2017

Story #345

Chrysanthemum was not a particularly nice cat, despite her mother’s best attempts at raising her. She would scratch and hiss and just generally be unpleasant to be around. The only person who actually liked her was the sweet little kitten that lived next door. Her name was Pansy and she would follow Chrysanthemum around from dawn to dusk, mewing quietly. This annoyed Chrysanthemum greatly, but she put up with Pansy for some unknown reason, allowing her to go everywhere with her. One day, Pansy brought some friends with her. Their names were Basil, Clover and Daffodil, and they too followed Chrysanthemum around all day. Slowly this group grew and grew, until there were nearly fifty kittens following Chrysanthemum around as she went about her business. It was quite a sight to see as she stalked down the street, her band of followers skipping happily behind her. One day they didn’t show up. Puzzled and slightly worried, Chrysanthemum knocked on Pansy door, learning from her mother that today was there first day of school. Chrysanthemum was heartbroken. For days she barricaded herself in her house, refusing to leave for anyone or anything. Eventually she decided what she had to do. She did not leave her house for many more months, and the noise coming from it allowed nobody on her street to get a wink of sleep. Finally, she emerged, revealing what she had been tirelessly working on. A school!

– Coffee M. Ug, Cairo

30 August, 2017

Story #344

Around two years ago, My father passed away. I felt so sad. I go to tell him. I hope he can give me some support from his heart. But nothing. That time, I think about whether our relationship is close or not. Maybe he worried to date me or text me during that time. Our connection was changed. Now, we still text each other as blessing on some festival or birthday, but we won’t invite to meet again. I don’t know the ending of our relationship, but I know he will not disappear in my heart. T.T

– Mey, Hong Kong

30 August, 2017

Story #343

All my relatives aren’t all the same but Mara surely is one of a kind. Hard on the outside but soft on the inside, she’s a hard cookie to crack but that’s just one of the reasons why she’s my favourite relative.

Mara’s eyes are the color of dark cocoa edged with a deep forest-green, mixed, from her Samoan and German heritage. When you stare into her eyes, you can feel the warmth of the brown and the seductive green specks dancing around the edges. Her long luscious auburn waves cascade down her back flowing in the air like a butterfly’s drifting wings. With her ripped jeans and Comic t’s, her hipster urban style always makes her look like a rebellious rockstar. She’s like a skyscraper towering over me. A big teddy bear I know I can count on for a warm loving hug.

“ You can’t give up now. Come on Mu! You got this. Keep going. You’re almost there! I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it.”

The encouraging and motivating sound of Mara’s voice always cheering me on for everything I do. For my netball and touch games, speeches, receiving awards and so on. Encouragement, just one of her many qualities. There’s never a dull moment with Mara either. She always seems to make a boring situation into something boisterous and competitive!

I remember when we were all in the car once and we had just got told off for being too loud and had to be quiet. Mara saw that my brother and I were really bored so she whispered to us and said “ let’s see who can keep a straight face. Who ever makes a sound their out. Okay?” Trying to hold everything in, we all blurted out, laughing!

Besides her encouraging and fun personality, I know I can always talk to Mara when I have problems. She always knows when I’m okay or if I’m not which makes me feel secure to know that I can always trust her. She always sees the bright side of a situation that seems so hopeless.

Mara’s more than a relative, she’s like a big sister to me, my best friend that I know I can always count on. She’s taught and helped me so much that I can’t even explain in words how much she means to me.

I know all relatives are different but Mara surely is one of a kind.

– Filemu, Auckland

9 August, 2017

Story #342

One time I was in bed and heard a knock at my door at my grandparents house. This took place at almost 2:40Am. Every night I stayed and was up on my tablet. The room was dark. The bed frame was backed against the wall and the door was to my right. I never investigated the knocking eversince I saw a figure on their stair way around the same time of opening the door. My grandparents were sleep. The dog was outside. The black cat was in the hallway and it was dark outside with only a copper lit colored light post. I tried to go back to sleep but it got louder to the point I turned the TV on. 5 minutes in, the TV shut off. I left my grandparents lamp on and fell asleep listening to vocaloid music. The next morning I didn’t wake up till 12 in the afternoon. Later that day my mother picked me up to take me home. I told her about what I experienced and she said it was probably a guardian angel trying to speak to me. This meant nothing to me cause I was getting bullied at school by my classmates until she told me she had a fear of the paranormal. For one time when she was little, she woke up around 2am and couldn’t move. She tried to shrug it off and get her mind off of it but was then dragged out of her room and was left sobbing and her family was very confused about the event in her perspective.

Ever since then, I’ve developed a connection with the lost souls that followed me since birth and there were plenty.

– Kaylena, Philadelphia

9 August, 2017

Story #341

You would think that it would take something extraordinary, like a wand or some special phrase, to make magic happen. At least, that’s what I always thought. But she had none of those constrains. The only thing that gave her away was the small flash of excitement in her eyes as she began seeing the world from her fantastical perspective. If you were perceptive enough, and if she deemed you worthy, she would let you peek inside her world where boundaries were defined by the edges of her inventiveness. Surely, it was just a trick of the mind and most of the things she did conjure up were mundane objects like string or sticks. Sometimes, however, she would go beyond, making balls of fire radiating with heat or cuddly animals for us to pet. She would do this from time to time, even in rooms filled with strangers, to show to me that she could, that her willpower and imagination was strong enough to free me from the manacles of the mundane, in only for brief magical a moment.

– Albert Säfström, Stockholm

22 June, 2017

Story #340

The Black Bear Murray was sad. Why was the Black Bear Murray sad? Because he wasn’t scary. Why wasn’t he scary? Because he couldn’t grizzle, he couldn’t roar, he couldn’t be a proper scary bear. Instead he was called the friendly bear. He hated being friendly. Unlike the other Bears, Black Bear Murray didn’t roar, instead… He meowed. Like a kitten. It wasn’t a scary meow, nor was it viscous. It was a small petite meow. Black Bear Murray hated his meow. It made him to different compared to the other bears. But to be honest Black Bear Murray wasn’t just different for his meow. he was also different for the clothes he wore. No other bear wore clothes. Just him. Black Bear Murray loved to wear his yellow gumboots, they were his favorites. He also liked to wear his dark “like the galaxy” purple bucket hat. But there was one item of clothing that he couldn’t resist wearing everywhere and everyday. And that item of clothing was his hot pink, glittery leggings. Those leggings made him feel like a ballerina dancing on the soft, gentle morning breeze. He felt magical in them. But still Black Bear Murray was different. And he did not like it. And he thought to himself “maybe it is truly because of my meow. Oh how will I ever get rid of it”.

– Karmella, Auckland

15 June, 2017

Story #339

For most woman , her life must go through a stage of turning from a girl to a mother. In recent years, more and more woman are engaging in important work in big company. For them ,personal value and self identification begin to be more important than before. So when an educated working women begin as a mother ,she will enter a special period that must stay around the baby all day time and can do nothing as before and she also will lose much time for staying alone and enjoying herself.

Lady M is an very typical example. Before she has children,she is a chief manager of a telecom firm, leading several subordinates,and always go shopping in Mall and having afternoon tea everyday. One afternoon ,she came in my cafe,taking with her little baby. At first ,she order an cheese cake and coffee for herself and milk for baby. Once she sit down to begin her coffee ,the baby began to cry, with the crying louder and louder. She began to be worried and tried to console the baby. But it doesn’t work, the baby began choked and breathed with difficulty. She became helpless and try to calm down the baby but failed ,She hold the baby to home for help. After half an hour, she came back with calm.

She order an cheese cake and coffee again and sit down herself alone . For a while ,she began to weep alone,sitting in the corner. She was so sad that we cant do anything and say anything of comforting words. I understand why she wept. Maybe she just wanted to enjoying a happy afternoon tea herself. But this wish came to nothing. It was disturbed by baby’s crying and choking. She was so helpless at this special period, She can’t go to work as before and also can’t act as a almighty mother. She felt useless of herself .
But even she was in such an awful period,the cafe was an quiet harbour for her,where she can burst into tears and her trapped emotion was released after that afternoon. In front of her family and baby ,she can’t cry suddenly and need to pretend to be strong ,kind,warm. But at here,in the cafe ,even in a short time,she can be herself.

– Freda Wong, Shenzhen

15 June, 2017

Story #338

Simon Romijn , a chemistry teacher from New Zealand, He came to China one year ago. He is really a gentleman, always wearing red suit and orange pants, having a very fashion look. He teaches chemistry at the high school nearby our cafe.

He comes to cafe every Tuesday and Thursday,always sit on the same place and order the same drink—Cappuccino, so I give him a nickname as ”Uncle Cappuccino”. Uncle Cappuccino is very focused on his teaching work which make a very good model for our young people. Even he is fifty years old,He spend all his summer time for preparing his doctor degree of chemistry. Although In china,far away from his hometown, he has a video call with his parents twice every week.(Note, his parents with a high age ,Mother is 88 years old and father is 90 years old ). Every time I can feel the family love between them. They make me feel that family love always exists no matter how old are you and where are you. It is determined by how you express your care and love to your family.

Shane Gardner,a preschool teacher from England,His whole family came to china five years ago. He is that kind of young people having many friends,drink beers,and like music of Bob Dylan. Every two days he will come to cafe for drinking milk tea. Every time he drinks two cup of milk tea, one after another, he always says to me:“Freda, Can I ask one more milk tea?”.so we give him a nickname as ”Brother Milk tea”.

Shane tell me that each time when he drink milk tea, he feels like at home in England. The taste of the milk tea is the same as in hometown. I am moved by this tiny thing that just a drink can provide a amazing psychological comfort to some people, especially when he is far away from home.

I think whether for Simon or Shane ,they come to China ,far from hometown, My cafe Woodiary give them a sheltered bay,where they can have familiar drinks as hometown and can talk with me about common topics, I just do what I should do,but for them ,it may be really a great comfort and help.

– Freda Wong, Shenzhen

15 June, 2017

Story #337

“I had a funeral in my Brain” by Emily Dickinson.

This peom is about a woman who is actually having a funeral in her brain he speaker imagines that a funeral is taking place inside her brain, and she can feel the mourners pacing back and forth.

In the end of the peom they realized that she has just lost her sanity At the end of her fall, or at least the end of the poem, she “Finished knowing.” It makes sense for someone who has lost their power of reason or intelligence to not be able to know things anymore.

– Kirsten Murdaugh, Bamberg

30 April, 2017

Story #336

I’m 22, I’ve climbed a mountain, graduated from university, and started my own business.

I don’t really care for money, all I want in life is to be outdoors, travel the world, write stories about all the people I meet, and drink giant cups of tea.

– Eman, Doha

30 April, 2017

Story #335

When I was about six years old,I was crazy about playing cards,and I was very good at playing it.It’s a very simple game in my hometown.This game’s rule is easy:use your card to hit another’card,if your card make another’s card turn over,then you win.

Once,I played this game with my friend.But she was not good at playing this game,so I won all of her cards just for a while.When the game finished,I had full satisfaction for I won all of her cards.But I saw the deep sadness in her eyes.She asked me to return her cards back so we could play one more game.But I refused her because I was so selfish at that time.

People’s feelings change with the circumstances.I felt very very regret as soon as I recalled this thing.I really what to say sorry to her but I don’t have chance today.

– Tang Hao, Jilin, Songyuan, China

29 April, 2017

Story #334

They say that there used to be a house made of soft grass sitting just on the edge of the woods.   The house was home to a little mouse named Jaboski.  Jaboski was very clever but not clever enough to reinforce his home with stone.  One day, a very strong gust of wind lifted up the little house, Jaboski within, and carried it off into the sky.  Jaboski has been in the clouds ever since.

– Nicole Aydë, Tustin

15 April, 2017

Story #333

One evening, a worker working for the construction site nearby walked into my cafe. When he camehe ride the bicycle. It seemed like he had a long time determination to walk in. He said to me he want to try a cup of coffee of our shop. He looked the menu for 1 minute and say:“please do me an caffe Americano.(Note:cafe Americano is the cheapest one of the coffee in the menu). He determined so quickly that I feel a little conflicted. On one hand,I was worried about caffe Americano too bitter for him and destroyed the good feeling of coffee in his mind. On the other hand, I felt it’s not polite to ask him whether he drunk  coffee often and used to the taste and I think it will make him embarrassed. So I asked him if he like sweet drinks and like coffee with milk. He said yes. So I knew that what is really suited for him is Caramel Latte.

I don’t know it’s the coffee or his good mood that day make him so happy.

After a cup of coffee he became so happy and chatty. He began to tell us a lot about family issues,about his son, about his wife in hometown. He thought although his work take him so much time and tired.But his salary can be paid on time. Afterward, maybe because in such a unfamiliar city he find some familiar feeling and heart-warming feeling that he began to sing folk songs of his hometown. This is really a very touching moment. I feel that a man over his 50 years of his life he get up the courage to walk into a cafe and drink his first cup of coffee.

Maybe most of his life filled with work and support his family and left little time enjoying himself. But that day at this special evening he enjoyed himself and we became close to each other without distance and heart-warming and understanding each other~

– Freda Wong, Shenzhen

10 April, 2017

Story #332

“I think I’ve painted myself into a corner” she said with a nervous smile, looking at the mess around her and at her friend standing by the door at the opposite end of the room. She contemplated her options. She could take a leap of faith, and hope that her friend would want, and be able to, catch her in midair on the other side. She could paint herself out of the room, retracing her steps backward, meticulously erasing every misstep. Or, she could give up, just droop down in the corner, shameful that she’d let her excitement outpace her common sense. Then, once the paint had dried, she could leave and no one, except for her friend standing by the door, would ever know. She counted backward, “Three… two… one…”, then took a deep breath and made her decision.

– Albert, Stockholm

2 April, 2017

Story #331

I am twenty-six years old now.I am a girl.When I was a child, my parents quarreled with each other seriously .I was unable to stop that. Then I would go outside and cried in a corner in the dark .My  father would take me home after the quarrel stopped.But my mother always tried to commit suicide.I was so afraid that I always held her legs when we were sleeping in order to stop she hurting herself. I think it is a sad story. Now I have grown up, but I never forgot the sad and afraid feeling .

– AZURE, Shanghai

18 March, 2017

Story #330

Robin Bell looked wistfully out into the storm, the window pane fractured by beads of water running down the glass. As the kettle started to whistle, he hobbled over to the cupboard and took out his favourite enamel mug, white with orange nasturtiums. With his tea made, he shuffled to the table.

SMALL MAN COUNTS TO A BILLION read the headline of the newspaper. Fairies danced in the flames of the fire, flicking back their heads and laughing. Again, Robin walked to the window. It hadn´t stopped raining since the tenth of July five years ago. He would give anything for a snatch of sun. But that would never be possible.

– Scroch Duliton, Warsaw

16 March, 2017

Story #329

Scurrying along the floor Abby neared her wall but before she could dart into the hole a shrill voice screamed “mouse, mouse” and a huge foot crashed down obscuring her view of the mouse house. Abby scuttled around the humongous foot and to the safety of her little mouse house.

– Anonymous, Aucland

3 March, 2017

Story #328

There it hung, shimmering. Suspended in the air, floating in flux. Kiki stared up at it, her eyes gleaming and her heart full with awe. The city appeared to be solid, but surely that was impossible. The stars twinkled above, their beauty comprimised by the ustounding sight.

– hat attack, Gluttonbergson

11 February, 2017

Story #327

The Real Hobo’s Of Bev Hill
                                                                    Cragen’s Haiku
                                                               My Name Is Cragen
                                                 Watch my show now, home-owners
                                                                 Steps are wonderful
                                                       And now, a short bio of Cragen
Cragen’s a hobo by nature, poet by profession. He lives under a step, above which ladies do yoga every Saturday. He has a beard (dirty brown), wears numerous coats(his favorite’s aubergine and has large pockets), and is proud to say that he has a full head of hair.

– Cragen, Bev (Beverly) Hills

5 February, 2017

Story #326

The first time I was told that I was going to be placed in the Child Care Learning Centre for this course I was really excited because I used to live in east residence and every time I walked past the CCLC I always wondered what it would be like to work in there. After I enrolled, every time I would walk past the CCLC I would tell myself or my friends in a really excited voice that I was going to be working there! I felt like this was an amazing opportunity to learn and practice in the field. I felt like this would give me a chance to learn about my interests and enhance my skills more. This first day I entered the class I was really fascinated with the way the children were so welcoming and incredibly intelligent. I admit it after the first day, when I had to write my very first activity plan, that’s when the anxiety hit me because I had never considered myself to be a very creative person but I really wanted to do well in this course.

– Simran Arora, Guelph

4 February, 2017

Story #325

Once there was a retired Shetland pony called Morsel the Horsel (he was named after some little kids who often visited him.) When he was younger he was a riding pony for kids, he had keep all his riding gear as a memento. Sometimes, just for fun he would try on his gear. One day while he was wearing his saddle little kids came to visit they fed him dandelions through fence. As they left he neighed goodbye.

– Tilly, Aucland

1 February, 2017

Story #324

a flower bed with different kinds of colorful flowers in full detail. each of them has a personality, each a different character. they are all very very beautiful, and people pass by these flowers and try to pick the flower they want. But the thing is, each different flower make up the most amazing flowerbed. And the flower bed is the person i love.

– Jazel Khu, Manila

29 January, 2017

Story #323

Martha didn’t like to be in the wet weather that came with winter. In fact, she couldn’t be in the wet weather. She would dissolve. Martha was literally an old woman made of plaster.
But now, it was summer. The warm, dry heat that suited her body so well was in full flow, the bees were buzzing cheerfully, and Martha was happy. After three seasons of waiting, she could finally go outside again.

Martha left as soon as she got up. Today was a day where she would go to the park. Yes, the park. It was sunny, green, and quiet. Perfect.

She left the house with her leather handbag clasped to her chest. Though it was summer, she was clad heavily in clothing, and wore delicate pink mittens on her frail old hands. She walked briskly, ignoring anyone who stared, until she came to the park. A bench sat just under a cherry tree nearby, as though waiting for her. She sat and sighed. She did not know how long she lay there, eyes closed and legs crossed, but it must have been a good while. Because, eventually, Martha felt a drop of rain fall down on her forehead and run down the bridge of her nose. This was followed by a number of others. Soon, Martha was sitting in a wet park.

She sat up abruptly. In the blink of an eye, she was running down the road, handbag held above her head. She did not stop running until she reached her small, tangerine, little house. Once inside, Martha breathed a sigh of relief. Perhaps going out, even in summer, was a tad too risky.

– Atticus Green, Auckland

21 January, 2017

Story #322

Sometimes I want to be a Vampire with strong strength and strong mental power. I want to have this ability. And the Vampires are very beatiful.

But sometimes I want to be the protagonist in the novel which can change people’s genes . So I can make people free from the difference between life and death.

I have a strong Brain hole, where often have a lot of whimsy. So sometime I think I am very crazy.

– Stella, Shanghai

7 January, 2017

Story #321

Deep within a forest a little turtle began to climb a tree. After hours of effort he reached the top, jumped into the air waving his front legs and crashed to the ground. After recovering, he slowly climbed the tree again, jumped, and fell to the ground. The turtle tried again and again while a couple of birds sitting on a branch watched his sad efforts.

Finally, the female bird turned to her mate.

“Dear,” she chirped, “I think it’s time to tell him he’s adopted.”

– ICE GUO, SHENZHEN.CHINA

4 January, 2017

Story #320

Hebzibar floated in the sky. She had eaten a teacake yesterday. That was a mistake. She should have known that something was not right as soon as she had met the old hag in the forest. She most definitely should have known something was not right when the hag had offered her the suspicious cake, and she HAD known something was not right by the time she had eaten the cake and her feet were not touching the ground.

A life doomed to be spent floating about the sky was not going to be fun.

– Persephone, Copenhagen

6 December, 2016

Story #319

Having a sibling with autism, or any type of special needs opens your eyes to all the hate in the world. It feels as though all the meanest, most idiotic people happen to come into you and your families lives.  And the worst thing is, they can’t help it. They have never experienced it, never loved someone with it. It is their inexperience that is the reason behind their spiteful comments. I am always telling myself this. So many of my friends that I like and respect ask me, unashamedly, why my brother is a ‘ retard’ or ‘stupid’ . He is not stupid, but different, and wonderful in so many ways that ‘normal’ people can never be. People fail to appreciate this, that autism isn’t just negative, but positive too.  I know this is wrong, but I can’t help but think that the person being rude and mean to my brother is the stupid one. People need to stop ignoring and avoiding all the amazing, special people in this world, and start embracing them and their differences.

– Atticus Green, Auckland

6 December, 2016

Story #318

The stars above her twinkled, reflected in the puddle she was sitting in. Her fur was wet and matted , but she didn’t care. Pressing her telescope to her eye, she looked at Venus, Mars and Saturn . . . all so far away.

That night she dreamt of growing wings and flying, up, up, up . . . gliding among the stars.

Teacup, Glasgow

23 November, 2016

Story #317

With all the chaos and gloom behind the scene, we were somehow managing to keep going and we never stopped dreaming of dark pink bougainvillaeas hanging down our pergola. Hard to live in this world, so we made up our own feeding on rainbows and the sound of the sea. The bluest sea…

Gokce, İstanbul, Turkey

6 November, 2016

Story #316

Once there was a mean old lady called ruby who lived In a small old house in America.
Her daily life would consist of sitting in her red leather chair, eating crumbly biscuits and drinking overly hot tea and watching the rugby on her tv. Ruby never had visitors, so her face started to look like a old shrimp. She actually had one living creature in her house it was a cactus sitting on her window ledge. Just sitting here and so was she all her life.

Alice, Auckland

28 August, 2016

Story #315

The flowers blooming around Betty’s cottage reminded her of the field of cornflowers she used to live in. Betty sighed. She had loved that field, but eventually old age caught up with her and she could no longer keep up with the housework. In the end it became so over grown, she was forced to sell it. Betty turned around and headed back up the gravel path towards the house. Pushing open the door, she sighed again. Those were the days.

Freya, Auckland

28 August, 2016

Story #314

I am about to turn 13 years old. My parents split up 2 years ago and now they are fighting for custody over my sister and I. I know what I want. I want to live with my Mum, the person who understands me, who loves me, who looks after me. But how can I say that without hurting my father, the man who doesn’t know me, who loves his girlfriend more than me, who scares me. I am writing this because there is no one I can tell, no one I can go to, and I need to tell someone.

Whenever someone complains about how strict their parents are, or how embarrassing they are, I just want to scream at them “At least they live together! At least you are not stuck in the middle of a constant battle! At least you know that your dad loves you!”

Occasionally it all overwhelms me and I cry. I know that I’m not the only one with split parents, but whenever I see a happy family with two parents at the park, or the museum, or the beach, a jolt of jealousy runs through me, and I resent them and their happiness. Because it just doesn’t seem fair. Why my parents, why my family? Why not theirs? And then I feel ashamed. It’s not their fault my parents don’t love each other. It’s not their fault I come from a split household. It’s not their fault my dad doesn’t want me.

C.A.T, Cristchurch

16 August, 2016

Story #313

Once upon a time there was a little unicorn called Angelica who lived in the land of Shimmervile she adored paining, her mother said she should like more unicorn-y things but Angelica didn’t want to give up painting so she built herself an shed were she could do her art, to make her mother happy she painted it rainbow tow weeks later she sold one of her painting for 1,000 gems and donated it all to charity which made her mother very proud and they lived happily ever after.

Matilda, Auckland

5 August, 2016

Story #312

One  day it me and my sisters wanted to make brownies (we were about 9, 8 and 7  so our mom was outside talking to her friend that was dropping something off so we went outside and asked her if we can make some brownies she said yea and to wait for me we waited about 5 minutes so we were impatient so we read the instructions and we had the right amount of ingredients but we didn’t have the right pan the pan was to big so we thought it would be a good idea to add chocolate syrup to the pan we cooked them and they were alright.

Natali, Lorain

30 June, 2016

Story #311

“But mum do I HAVE to go to school today! It is so rainy, what happens if i get wet and turn into a mermaid!” I said.

“What are you talking about Aaliyah! Its not like your a real mermaid, what have you done to become a mermaid anyway? Uuuuh.” Replied mum.

“Well I may have come across this certain Volcano thing and I found a r to get in so i got in and tripped into a pool and my legs turned into a tail! Pour water on me mum I’m not lying!”

Mum rolled her eyes and poured water on me. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“But when did this happen?”

“Well a few weeks ago.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about it”

“I thought you were going to get mad at me”

“Don’t worry you will always be my Mermaid!”

“Oh thanks mum”

Fateecka Farook, Auckland

28 June, 2016

Story #310

I love you said mom. I love you said Blyer. I love you said Sam. I love you said Daddy.

These toddlers and adults had exhausting, exhilarating, combative, beautiful, loving days that found their way through language barriers, tears, humor and giggles.

It is all worth so much and more. Remind me of this Monday morning. You wont have to she said.

I love you said mommy. How much? Too much to measure.

Hillary Black, New York

15 June, 2016

Story #309

Once upon a time in the winds, in the wilds. and in the snowy feather she was standing there all alone. She had absolutely no idea where to go, If she goes north people are going to murder her, if she goes south burglars looking for her, if she goes west her mum and dad are looking for her and if she goes east her worst enemies are looking for her. Where would she go? Where? The stress was getting worse tiny drops of sweat was twisting down her cheeks. She glared all the people who are coming close to her. From every direction people were coming. She didn’t know what to do, she had two options . WHAM!!! She was gone in a second. Rest In Peace cried everyone!

Vidhi, Auckland

10 June, 2016

Story #308

One rainy day, Otto found a rather delightful teapot in his rubbish dump. It had a turquoise glaze and was covered in tiny cherry blossoms. Delighted, he quickly dug down to his immense burrow, eager to show off his treasure. He burst through a wall, scaring his poor mother half to death, and ruining the vegetable stew that she had been making. Embarrassed, Otto apologized . . . in fact he was so embarrassed he forgot all about his wonderful teapot. He left it on the kitchen table, where his mother found it. She too was delighted by it, and thinking that Otto had been going to surprise her with it, immediately forgave him. And they lived happily ever after!

Freya, Auckland

1 June, 2016

Story #307

N:“I would like to sing a beautiful song for you. So… please don’t eat me.”

I:“Try me.”

N:“Oh Danny boy
The pipes the pipes are calling
From glen to glen
And down the mountain side
The summer’s gone
And all the flowers are falling
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go
And I must bide
————————-
But come ye back
When summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed
And white with snow
‘Tis I’ll be there
In Sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy oh Danny boy
I love you so”

I: “Boring… Just shut up and now your time is up!”

N:“Wait a minute! I’ve prepared a dance for you. here we go!”

I: “Boring!Boring!”

N:“I… I have a… I have a….”

I: “You have nothing special ! Boring! Boring as usual! I’ve let you go. How dare you come to knock on my door again? Don’t you know I am a vicious carnivore?Aren’t you afraid of me?”

N:“I know you might eat me… But I am more afraid of having no chance to tell you that I love you. I just want to make you happy, even if it’s not the way you want it be…”

Nicolefantasy, Beijing

26 April, 2016

Story #306

I’m sorry, but there is no worse look! The sweatshirt with the heart is awful and does not go at all with the skirt and shoes, as to brown bag it goes with nohnitg! It should have been wearing the black skirt with pea with white shirt, remove the horrible gray sweatshirt with this hideous blue heart (it’s a trick to make the gymn, that’s all), the shoes are perfect, I love the heels! He recalls the white of the shirt and the skirt with white polka dots! And take a bag BLACK! Not brown, it’s horrible! I am French, I hope I was clear. And I have a frank temperament I say what I think about.

Choi

15 March, 2016

Story #305

I was sitting on my couch, just thinking of how I totally ruined my entire life by not getting married. I was about to turn 31 next month and my mom pretends that i’m one of her tenants ,  seems like i totally lost my value in that house . The house was becoming strange to me just because I wanted to marry someone i love not the one my parents love.

The other day when I got into an argument with my mom about some minor stuff , i finally decided to end that up right there and leave that house on my parent’s conditions

Remembering the day when  I was 19 , wishing  to marry my prince charming and with just one blink of an eye turned 30, getting ready in my room to marry someone i barely know about. Only thing i care about now is that my parents are satisfied enough and i’m gonna leave that house.

I am so ready to walk down my wedding mandap , i can see the happy faces , A man is standing right in front of me

now, i took my first step in my new house which was not lesser strange. the next morning, when i woke up in a very spooky environment i can hear the voice of my mother-in-law calling me out from the living room, i rushed towards her as she sounded too arrogant. her voice sounded as if she’s gonna kill me right up there. as i expected she instructed me to make food for whole family. disapointingly i headed towards the kitchen and there were many random thoughts scrolling in my mind, “i am not able to recognize myself”, “its just not me”, “i am not  the one who would rather be here, i am lost somewhere”.

the same day i called my mother but she just kept telling me that its the only thing good for me. i am even more frustrated now. i ran out of that strangers house, leaving my husband behind, heading towards a whole new life with just a small sum of money n my pocket. i slammed the door and as i passed the street, i really felt free and seems like i got wings. i realized that now i am living my life and a woman could live without a man, can stand by herself.

Anonymous, New York

14 March, 2016

Story #304

There was once a one-eared cat who liked to buy everything double
He started small and soon enough it become a real treasure
First it was a pair of trousers
He was so delighted
But how can he stop now?
So he bought one pair of jeans and another of cotton
should he stop now? No way! he must match a shirt
Can you guess what came next?
Of course you guessed! he bought another shirt
He could not decide a red or blue
and then he remembered, it’s not even a dilemma
right away he put the two of them in the cart
and because he was right next to the socks
how can he refuse to buy them both?
When he was done shopping, he had a full closet
and then it hit him – I also need a new fridge
He went and bought a small and a large one, just in case!
one minute after he thought: “I want a table too!”
on and on, not stopping shopping
He bought more and more, he was enjoying the moment
Then something wonderful happened
He saw beautiful toys he really, really wanted
Immediately took them and ran to the cashier
The cashier told him politely this you cannot have
You spend too much and there wasn’t any money left
What can he do now? it is the  one thing he really cared for
Sat and wiped and a little light lit
the solution is right here
He sold any item he had
and finally he could have what he really wanted
he was happy to have these two little toys.
He doesn’t have a pair of socks but his heart is full of joy.

Yaarit Stern, Tel Aviv

12 March, 2016

Story #303

Have you ever heard the story of that kind grandpa living in Slovakia?

It was around 50 years ago when he was a young soldier, loving her beautiful bride. It was a war time and he had to leave his girl. He showed a cherry to the girl and said..look i will put the seed in my mouth, it keeps me safe and i will come back soon. He kissed his bride and left, the girl was crying every day.
And he came back from the war safely and had a wonderful life with his wife.
Now after 50 years, he still have the cherry seed, sitting with her wife on chair, remembering all the good years.

Paria, Tehran

5 March, 2016

Story #302 – The Speech

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good time!

I am going to say a few special words about my husband, man, lover and friend. And I have written a note with three words to remember what to say.

The first word is handsome. That was the first thought I had about you when I first say you at Amelie’s party. Then I got a little bit drunk and made out with you later that evening at the night club Jeriko. I didn’t have a clue we were going to end up here.

The second thing I have written is surprise. Already the same weekend after we first met you surprised me by coming to visit me in Stockholm, we met in Malmö where you lived. I was so nervous that I looked up a youth hostel further down the street where you could stay if it didn’t work out. You came and you had bought me three gifts. One book about horoscope, chocolate because all women love that you said and a package of gums with ”let’s make out” written on it. Then you said something I never will forget. You have to remember this is the first time we meet sober. You said: ”Wouldn’t it be more cosier if we took our clothes of?”. And I couldn’t agree more.

The third thing I wrote was listen. We were at the music festival in Roskilde when we had our first fight, just weeks after we met. We didn’t part as friends. And I went home to Stockholm. On Monday a flower shop phoned me up and asked if they could leave some flowers outside my door. Of course I asked who it was from and they wondered if I really wanted to know and I said that I would. It was from you. When I walked home with a colleague and friend later that night I said to him that you probably just sent me three red roses and written something really corny. I wanted you to write something romantic like ”You make me want to be a better man!” from my favourite move ”As good as it gets”, with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. That is romantic! When I got home the flowers was outside my door. I opened the wrap and just as I thought, it was three red roses. And on the card you had written: ”You make me want to be a better man”. I started crying and phoned you at once.
I didn’t even remember that I had told you my favourite movie.

So that’s why I love you, you are handsome, you always surprise me and you listen to what I say. And of course because you make me want to be a better woman.

Cheers!

Mirabelle, Malmö, Sweden

27 February, 2016

Story #301

Cat and Dog were sitting on a hill looking up at the stars on a warm summers evening. There was a gentle breeze and the fresh air filled their lungs with contentment.

They began reminiscing about their long-standing friendship and how they overcame so many adversities through their lives, as well as becoming such great friends in the face of the usual stereotypical naysayers who consistently negated the “strange” bond they shared.

After much deliberation, they both calmly looked at each other and smiled a knowing smile, then they said nothing, and just sat there in silence enjoying the clear night sky, speckled with the most amazingly bright pin pricks of distant stars, and the fresh country air.

Eventually after what seemed like a welcomed eternity of peaceful silence, Cat turned to Dog with a grin stretching from ear to ear and said: “I wish it would rain, really really hard” to which Dog replied, “Yeah, me too.”

They both began laughing hysterically and uncontrollably, so much so that they toppled over on their backs and they just laughed… and laughed…

and laughed, and laughed some more…

Michael, Durban, South Africa

17 February, 2016

Story #300

A girl got a brother from another mother who respected her, loved her and protected her like hell. They were close as no one has to describe problem or feelings in words, just a look was enough for both of them. One asks question and another answers before it was finished. A little argument over the difference of opinion for the working procedures and perspective for life,both wanted business and became partners officially. They succeed and reached the point where they dreamed together but their love lives were not going as expected, their partners disliked their bonding with each other and hence separated for the sake of their future love lives and families. now, they are left with only one relationship that is corporate.

Anonymous, New Delhi

23 January, 2016

Story #299

Forskningsexpeditionen på Botbygårdsvägen ett kämpade sin väg mot Sibirien. Stundvis sjönk de tappra medlemmarna ända upp till midjan i de mjuka kullarna av snö som vinden hade format på det öppna fältet. Himlen var full med snabbt virvlande snöflingor som gjorde sitt bästa för att täcka spåren expeditionen lämnade efter sig. Plötsligt hördes det ett kvävt rop på hjälp. Den största forskaren, Anni, vände sig bakåt och såg på den mellanstora forskaren, Minni. Tillsammans letade de febrilt med blicken efter den tredje, och minsta, medlemmen i expeditionen:

– Teija, vart tog du vägen?!

Trevande följde Anni och Minni sina spår tillbaka. Där borta i snöhögen syntes det en stickad mössa med ett par ilskna ögon under.

– Och hur är det tänkt att man ska vandra till Sibirien, när det är snö ända upp till halsen! Teija var inte glad.

Anni och Minni tog tag i var sin arm på Teija och drog fram sin medforskare. Det utbröt en diskussion om huruvida en seriös sibirienforskare kan vara så kort att hon försvinner i snön. Till sist bestämde Anni sig:

– Vi tar en bättre väg till Sibirien. Om vi vandrar på botten av Det Farliga Diket, går det säkert lättare att komma fram. Anni flinade förtjust när hon kom på:

– Det allra lättaste sättet att komma ner på botten är att rulla ner!

Som en man kastade sig hela expeditionen ner i snön och satte igång att rulla. Snart hamnade de i en sprattlande, skrattande hög längst ner på botten av det stora diket, alldeles framför en mystisk öppning.

– Haa, en hemlig grotta! Anni var entusiastisk.

– Mamma har sagt att det heter dagvattenrör, meddelade Minni:

– När det regnar jättemycket, rinner all vatten från vägen ner i diket, och sedan via röret till havet.

– Men nu regnar det inte, det snöar, hela luften är full med snö! Dessutom är det morgon, då kan det inte komma något dagvatten, sa Anni och kikade nyfiket in i röret:

– Åå, det är ju en tunnel som går under vägen och ända bort till havet! Vi kan fortsätta vår vandring på havsisen. Kom så kryper vi in! Anni såg med lysande ögon på sina medforskare:

– Teija, du kan få krypa in först, så ser vi om du är på väg att försvinna, erbjöd Anni ädelmodigt.

Det var lätt att krypa på den snöfria isen i tunneln. I början var det lite otäckt med mörker, men ögonen vande sig. Dessutom var tunneln rak, man kunde inte krypa vilse på vägen. Forskarna kröp i evigheter, tills det tog stopp:

– Det är bara snö och is här, det går inte komma fram, meddelade Teija besviket. Det var bara att vända tillbaka.

– Hör ni, vad är det som låter, undrade Minni, stannade och lyssnade.

Ett dovt muller hördes ovanför expeditionen. Mullret blev kraftigare och kraftigare för att sedan avta i styrka.

– Å, nej, ropade Anni:

– Det där var plogbilen som åkte på vägen ovanför oss! Snart vänder den och plogar andra halvan av vägen!

Anni och Minni såg förfärat på varandra i mörkret och ropade i munnen på varandra:

– Och då hamnar all snö i diket!

– Vi måste ta oss ut fort!

Flickorna satte fart på sitt krypande. Anni kom fram till öppningen först, kravlade ut, drog Minni efter sig ut, och hörde hur plogbilen närmade sig. Teija kom fram till öppningen – och vände tvärt tillbaka!

Plogbilens strålkastare lyste genom snöyran och mullret blev högre. Anni och Minni högg tag i var sitt ben på Teija och drog ut den villt sprattlande motsträviga minsta forskaren. Andfådda fortsatte Anni och Minni sitt dragande upp ur diket, och längre bort på det öppna fältet.

Plogbilen dundrade förbi och snömassorna rasade ner i diket. Den hemliga tunneln hade försvunnit under enorma drivor av snö.

– Min mössa, jag tappade min mössa in i tunneln! Teija ylade av förtvivlan och ilska.

Det tog en stund att övertyga Teija om fördelarna av att vara ute ur röret utan mössa, mot att vara inne i röret, med mössa, ända fram till våren. Till sist enades expeditionen om att man inte kan fortsätta ända till Sibirien i snöstormen utan mössa. Därtill var det säkert dags för mellanmål:

– Varm svartvinbärssaft och kanelbullar! Vi går hem!

Prolog:
Februarisolen glittrade som tusen diamanter på den snötäckta havsisen. Teija gjorde sitt bästa för att hålla farten upp och lät skidorna följa spåret som papporna på Botbygårdsvägen ett hade gjort på havsviken. Hack i häl följde Anni och Minni efter. Teija tvärstannade utan förvarning. Seriekrocken blev katastrofal:

– Varför stannade du mitt i farten! fräste Anni, spottade ut en munfull med snö, och försökte ta reda på vilka av de hoptrasslade benen, skidorna och stavarna var hennes. Teija försvarade sig:

– Jag såg en räv!

– Höh, en räv är väl inget speciellt, det springer ju rävar över isen hela tiden, muttrade Minni och skakade bort snö från sin halsduk som hon hittade under Annis ena skida.

– Ja men den här räven hade min mössa i munnen!

Teija hade fått ordning på sina armar och ben och satte fart efter räven. Anni och Minni följde efter i sin bästa fart. Solen sken, skidorna swishade och flickorna kom fram till skogsbrynet på andra sidan av havsviken. Räven hade försvunnit in i skogen. Anni lyfte ryggsäcken från sina axlar, plockade fram en termosflaska med varm choklad och en påse med apelsinklyftor.

– Kom Teija, vi sitter på den här fina stenen och äter picknick istället. Rävens ungar blir säkert jätteglada när de får sova på din varma mjuka mössa i kväll.

Saila, Kil

29 December, 2015

Story #298

This year was really great! I had my first backpacking trip with two other best friends. We had so much fun together. For myself, I felt like I was one of the locals during that trip, not as a traveller or a tourist. We also learn many things, the culture, the people, the food.. It was amazing and unforgettable. We were able to “survive” on a limited budget. It’s true that we should travel while we’re young, because we can get and learn many things from travelling.

Anindita, Bandung

29 December, 2015

Story #297

Alex, a 15 year old girl, caught a ride to school in the morning, braving a ride with her half-asleep friend. She had taken the time to curl her long blond hair today because today was important…she had an apology to make. Once she got to school, she shoved everything in her locker and went to find him. The halls were becoming more crowded by the minute – she couldn’t move fast enough. As soon as she found him, she began to lose her nerve. Tall, thin and even more blond than her, she had forgotten how much she enjoyed looking into those blue-green eyes. Of course, she enjoyed those eyes more when they were happy to see her. Today was not one of those days. After trying to apologize (she was just playing when she hit him…she just got out of hand…ugh) and being denied, she was left to try to pull herself together enough to manage class. She frantically began texting her mom…she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t go to class – not today. Not after this morning. But her mom was already at work…stuck 45 minutes away. So she was relegated to writing a story for a guy to illustrate.

– Jennifer Hageman-Culp, Kansas City

16 December, 2015

Story #296

Came the Thursday – came Big Tony
Through the doors with knife and fork
‘Make some room and take my order,
2 hundred hash browns and a whole roast pork’

It started as a novelty idea
to promote our gaff and make some talk
‘Eat the lot and for you it’s free
from snout to tail, a whole roast pork’

At first we thought we had succeeded
In through the doors customers would walk
But that soon ended when we met Big Tony
and he uttered the words ‘Whole. Roast. Pork’
THE PIG

It took 3 hours until he’d finished
’Oh my days. No way’ I’d bawk
But after inspection of the table
nothing remained of the whole roast pork

Now he returns every Thursday
People do come but only gawk
through the window at big Tony
biting the neck of a whole roast pork

– James Brewer, London

13 December, 2015

Story #295

My partner and I used to be a very good friend before we decided to take the relationship to more serious commitment. It’s amazing to have someone who knows you really well, even better than you do. Nonetheless, our path is not always easy. We have to face “the storm” and many obstacles to make things work. I know it’s hard, but I believe we can make it together. We have to.

– Atika, Jakarta

7 December, 2015

Story #294

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was the most lonely girl in the world. Every day she tried to get some new friends but did not succeed. One day a new family came to live in the little girl’s village. The little girl knocked on the door. The door opened slowly and inside she could see a girl in her own age. The little girl asked if she wanted to come out and play. The other girl answered happily: Of course!

After that day the little girl never felt lonely anymore.

The end!

– Vickan, Kalmar

26 October, 2015

Story #293

Once upon a time, two cats lived in a tiny cottage. They were husband and wife. They ate fish together and sang together. They did everything together until, a nasty human came and picked up the female cat. The male watched in horror as he put the female into a TINY cage and walked away. The male followed the human into a humongous place where they called “town”. The human put the female cat into a shop as the male watched kids come and grab the female. STOP PUTTING ANIMALS INTO TINY SPACES!  THEY HAVE LIVES  HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE!

– Shaaee, Male’

5 October, 2015

Story #292

The House of Folklore is a brain child of a girl in her mid twenties on a summer early morning at 2am working in front of her architectural office desk in Hong Kong. Struck upon a philanthropic thought, ‘why am I doing this? Is this job meaningful enough to make it a lifetime career?’

The very next day she was ready to put down her papers and decided to explore what she loved best art and culture. She envisioned a brand where every piece would have a story to tell. She wanted to bring together a team of designers who would be as passionate as she is to bring life to her thoughts. From there grew a team of designers, artists and artisans who passionately work in each of the products and help breathe life into them. The team believes the products that come out of The House of Folklore brand are definitely worthy of being passed on to the next generation and not a mere keepsake.

5 October, 2015

Story #291 – How to catch a shark

I got a letter from my six year old nephew the other day. Amongst other things he asked: “How do you catch a shark?”. Well, we have a couple of options.

Option 1: try to fish it. Which can be a bit tricky since you don’t know for sure what bait to use. I mean, some sharks love pastries, some eat only Mc Donalds and then there’s the occasional vegetarian shark.

Option 2: use a net.

The tricky part here is that you always manage to get a lot of extra stuff in the net in addition to the shark. And no one is happy when the electric eel gets loose in your boat.

Option 3:

Challenge the classic options of fishing and netting your pray and think outside the box!

The tricky part here is that most trapping gear is made for above water use. But if you want to catch a really, really slow shark lasso could work!

The real question is: what would you do with a shark if you finally caught one?

Option 1 would be to keep it in some kind of aquarium. Tricky to find one big enough though.

Option 2: eat it.

Might be tricky because:

1. it’s hard to find a big enough sauce pan.

2. what kind of seasoning goes best with shark? Thyme? Salt? Pepper? How much? Until the shark sneezes twice?

3. the shark might not appreciate it.

Option 3: teach it to do tricks!

Might get boring when the shark has eaten all the audience and won’t fit through the rings anymore. And a shark on a diet is anything but pleasant.

If I’d catch a shark I’d go for it’s heart. If you manage to befriend a shark you’ve made a friend for life. And what a friend! Sharks make the best donuts, never cheat on board games and know where to find every adventure of the sea.

Bring raspberry lemonade, it might help.

5 October, 2015

Story #290

Responsibility. So often lately have I found myself wondering about that word. The true meaning of it. Is it a responsibility to finish things you’ve started? Or is that just something that are expected of you?

Recently I took a test. Myer-Briggs-Type-Indicator. MBTI. It was really accurate. My personality is described as gentle, smart, easy-going and tender. I have the ability to make friends easy and people always can rely on me. And one of my greatest features are starting projects and come up with amazing ideas.

But as we all know, there’s two sides of a coin. The backside of mine is that though I am really good at making good ideas and start projects, I can’t really follow through. I am a great leader, who can distribute an idea or a project between other people to get it done. But if I’m alone in it, then I usually never follow through.

For example, my projectlist (with %-ish completement):

Learning Finnish 2%
Learning Italian 1%
Get my masseuse-training done 90%
Finish my medicine ground course 5%
Make a Link-quilt 95%
Spring/winter/summer/autumn-clean the house 20%
Knit a sweater 80%
Build a bookcase 5%

And it just keeps going…

So.

Instead of finishing all the things above, I start something new. I buy a colouring book for grownups, and refuse to stay inside the lines and paint all over the lines (just because I can). I solve crosswords. Everyday I watch Food Factory on Discovery Science at 5.43 P.M to learn everything I can.

Responsibility. Is it a responsibility to get all these things done?

Or is responsibility the utterly, define, sweet, heart aching love for people? For all the small children of “mine”? Of being a godmother?

I sit and wonder, while I continuing to knit on a babyblanket.

Matilda, Tavelsjö

17 September, 2015

Story #289

Once upon a time there was a sad unicorn named Christy! Christy was sad beacuse she didn’t have any friends, every time she tried to make friends all the others unicorns laughed at her and they screamed bad words to Christy!

In the beginning Christy started crying and ran away but now she’s stronger!

Christy started a group for every single unicorn that felt lonely, like she did. Christy took this group with big arms and together they helped every single unicorn that felt lonely or sad or just needed a friend, just one friend to have on their side! Christy and her friends in the group are happy 🙂 So if you need a friend, just call Christy.

Sarah, Västerås

10 September, 2015

Story #288

Max was getting old.
He had lived a good, long life – even by turtle standards. It had started the same way as all the other turtles he had known: crack out of the egg. Race to the sea. Swim for approximately one hundred and fifty years. Then retire.

He was even sure that he had done his part in keeping the species going over the years, even though he would never really know because turtle-dads never really meet their children. But he had the confidence of his good turtle-intuition that they were all alive out there and generally succeeding in their  sea-turtle adventures and in their sea-turtle lives.

All that remained was for Max the sea-turtle to settle back in his shell, smoke his pipe and float along the current while reflecting on his 150 years of life.

He’d met all kinds of beautiful fish in the brightest colours. He’d tasted every kind of underwater plant that was considered a delicacy in the turtle world.

He had watched in awed silence as collossal whales passed by above his head like ghostly Giants, their shadows causing a temporary night around him.

Some evenings, he swam up to the surface and stretched his neck so that he could watch a blazing sunset on the open blanket of sea around him. Then he would fill his shell with air and float on his back and watch the moon and the stars for a while before swimming back down to his bed.

Yes. He was old now, but he was happy. All that he needed to do was figure out how to pour whiskey into his glass without it floating all over the place, and he would be pretty much complete.

– Adri le Roux, Cape Town

29 August, 2015

Story #287

I’m stuck at the bathroom right next to the Business World Society. There’s a beautiful girl that I know right outside. And they know I’ve been here for over an hour now. They will think that it’s super strange if I just walk out now. I can’t answer the phone either.

What should I do? The battery for my computer has run out as well.

Couldn’t you come by and call the elevator so that it can drown the noise from when I flush the toilet?

Seriously, if you come by and just wait outside and grab the bathroom after me I can tell you that I used the bathroom because I needed a quite place to study. Please can you come by now?

So that you can flush.

Anonymous, Stockholm

29 August, 2015

Story #286

Poppy, a 8-years-old rabbit, lives in the forest alone, cause her father and mother have passed by last year. At first she really can’t accept this crutal fact, until she met Cindy.

Cindy, as old as Poppy, lives alone as she knew the world. That day when Poppy met Cindy, she was crying in a thick growth of grass. Suddenly, she heard a sweet sound.

”Hey, little girl, how’s going? Are you Ok?”

”Ahhhhhhh. . . . ”

Poppy was too scared to do anything but shriek, and then lose her consciousness when she turned her head back, and leaving Cindy with a big mask of tiger on her face behind. Cindy was all in a fluster when she saw Poppy passed out. She done nothing but holding Poppy’s left hand. After 15 minutes, Poppy opended her eyes and saw a pretty girl besides herself.

”Who are you” she said in a weak sound.

“I’m Cindy. I really sorry for what I have done before. I just want to show you a surprise and make you smile.“ Cindy said

Poppy gazed at Cindy and she could find the remorse in Cindy’s eyes.

“That’s OK. I was just too excited“ Poppy said

“aha? Really? and please to meet you. I think we are friends now” Cindy said with a big smile.

“Friends?” Poppy can’t help but crying. In the past 8 years, she never had a friend. No one will stand by her except her parents and no one liked her, as she only has one ear.

“hey, what’s up?” Cindy asked

“Just too excited” Poppy answered and smiled to Cindy.

From that on, Poppy had her first friend of her life. They ate together, slept together and gossiped together. They told each other what had happen to them, included their families, their formerly life and the only one ear of Poppy.

“Before I meet you, I always think that I am the coolest girl in the world. Because I can live alone but happy. I can do everything what I wish to. But when I meet you, I find that I am cooler and happier than before” Cindy says while she is climbing the apple tree

“Cindy, watch out, please. It’s dangerous.” Poppy looks up and says to Cindy.

”I’m happy to hear what you have said, but I will be happier if you can pay more attention to your safety while you are climbing, dear”

Day by day, Poppy live happily with Cindy and she believes that it will be all the time. Until Jack appears.

One sunshine day, when Poppy and Cindy are playing football in the square, one handsome boy catches the ball and said to Cindy, ”

Hi, Cindy. see, I’m back “

Cindy looks at him.

“OMG, Jack. You finally came back. I’ve missed you so much”

And they hug each other.

Poppy, standing behind them. can’t say any word and doesn’t know how to speak out.

And then, Two rabbits turns to three rabbits. But the happiness doesn’t turn to bigger.

Poppy begins to think that Jack and she, which will be better in Cindy’s mind. Why does Jack appear?

Gradually, Poppy’s smile on her face is less and less. She hates to see Cindy and Jack, expecially when they smile. She feels lonely again, and begin to lock herself in the darkness again.

One night, when Poppy woke up in the midnight. She found Cindy was sleeping near herself and looking at herself.

“Cindy?” Poppy said

Cindy held her hands, smiled and said in a soft sound

“Poppy, I have to leave tomorrow. I just want to tell you I love you, and I will be in your side all the time. The world is colorful, please stop locking yourself in your own dark room. Jack is our friends, you can depends on him and I suer you will feel safe when you stay with him. Poppy comes out, join in the world.”

“Please don’t leave me alone, Cindy, please don’t. . . ” Poppy cant say anything but cry. And then she tried her best to open her eyes, she saw nothing. Thank Godness, It was a dream.

In the second day, Poppy woke up early and planed to look for Cindy. When she just came into Cindy’s room, there came out Jack.

“Cindy has gone, Poppy. here is the letter she wrote for you”

After Poppy read the letter, she had burst into tears. The letter told the same as Cindy said in her dream last night. Cindy had gone.

“Why she has to leave me?Could you please tell me reason, Jack ?”

Jack holded her hands, said

”Cindy was a angel from the heaven. Her job is to help the helpless to be strong, help them find their confidence to live. She leaves us, because there is someone else need her. Poppy, be tough. Cindy is confident to you. And she believes that you have the courage to live in the world. ”

Poppy can’t say anything but hug Jack.

“Bye, Cindy. Bye, My cuties angle”

Three rabbits turn to two rabbits, but happiness truns to bigger.

Coco, Beijing

23 August, 2015

Story #285

“If you please– draw me a little prince!”

“what!”

“Draw me a little prince who can tame me!”

“Why?”

“My life is very monotonous. The colors of sunrise and sunset just alike. All tastes of dinners are just alike. All sounds of everything are just alike. I ‘m a little bored. If there is a little prince who tame me,it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall feel the warmth of sunrise and sunset, smell the flavors of every foods. The sounds of him will become music. What’s more, I can sleep peacefully in his hug.”

– +SEVEN, Dong Guan

22 August, 2015

Story #284

Den varma marken ångade efter den snabba sommarskuren, som hade fuktat lite på ytan av de torra markerna på Botbygårdsvägen ett. Syrsorna startade sitt surrande på nytt och vingarna på allehanda flygfä glittrade i solen, när de flyttade sig flitigt från blomma till blomma på mammornas odlingar. Lanthandeln vid skogskanten skulle öppnas snart. Lanthandlaren hade fått hjälp från sina kunder i byggandet. En stor planka ställdes mellan två stenar. Stora kunden hittade runda, fina stenar från stranden, prima potatis! Lilla kunden samlade maskrosblommor i en liten kartong:

– Det här kan vara smör, och så tar vi maskrosbladen som fiskar.

– Ja, och kött måste vi också ha, konstaterade lanthandlaren och tog fram en dyrbarhet; en alldeles riktig fruktkniv. Den hade lanthandlaren och hennes kunder fått, efter en viss tvekan, från sin mamma.

Med kniven i högsta hugg skuttade lanthandlaren fram till närmaste gamla stubbe och började tälja loss bitar av det ruttna trädet.

– Vi har ju vår ko här, jag tar lite kött… och mjölk.

Till sin glädje upptäckte lanthandlaren, att stubben var ihålig och innehöll lite mörkbrunt vatten.
Fast mjölk är ju vitt:

– Hej, den här kossan mjölkar kakao, vad mumsigt!

Under tiden hade lilla kunden upptäckt ett träd fullt med pepparkakor. Några av aspens löv var dekorerade med vita kringelikrokar, som såg ut som kristyr, andra var översållade av små röda bollar, som godis. Lilla kunden pratade fort, för nu var det bråttom:

– Jag måste gå på toa, men ni får plocka pepparkakorna från mitt träd under tiden, om ni vill, meddelade lilla kunden nådigt innan hon skyndsamt sprang hem.

Lanthandlaren och stora kunden var i full färd med att trampa på några röksvampar, som puffade ur sig fantastiskt stora rökmoln. Nu vände de sig mot pepparkaksträdet och fyllde sina famnar med rastlöst darrande, vackert dekorerade löv.

– Men pepparkakor har ju inga skaft, dem får vi knipsa bort, bestämde lanthandlaren, och tillsammans ordnade flickorna pepparkakorna fint på ett stort hästhovslöv.

– Kolla här vad jag har fått! Lilla kunden hade blivit klar med sitt brådskande besök och höll triumferande fram en röd plåtburk med texten JUBILEUMS MOCKA.

– Alldeles riktigt kaffe! Det kan vi sälja i lanthandeln, men då ska jag vara lanthandlaren!

– Okej, men då vill jag vara en prinsessa, som kommer och handlar tårta till sin födelsedag.

Den nya lanthandlaren ställde sig bakom disken och förkunnade bestämt, att hon tar emot endast svarta stenar som betalning.  Att det finns svarta pengar, det hade hon hört på radio. Det utbröt en diskussion om färgen på pengar, ingen av flickorna hade sett svarta pengar. Det var också oklart om prinsessor verkligen gick och handlade sina födelsedagstårtor själva. Ett gräl var nära, när en vänlig röst avbröt flickorna:

– Vilken fin affär ni har, får man köpa något?

En rund, rödkindad gumma stödde sig mot sin käpp och log mot flickorna. Ögonen glittrade bakom glasögonen, när hon lät blicken svepa över varorna i lanthandeln. Från sin förklädesficka rotade gumman fram några mynt:

– Ni säljer händelsevis inte några blommor i den här affären?

Händelsevis hade flickorna plockat en var sin bukett ängsblommor, som de hade placerat vackert i gamla syltburkar på rad på lanthandelns hylla. Gumman fick sina blommor, och flickorna neg djupt som tack, när de tog emot, var och en, en femöring som betalning för blommorna. Gumman hasade försiktigt vidare i sina rödrutiga tofflor, som var dekorerade med röda fluffbollar ovan på foten.

– Här ser ni, att pengar inte är svarta, utbrast stora kunden.

– Såg ni vilka fina tofflor, jag tror att hon var en gammal prinsessa, suckade prinsessan:

– Och hon handlade sina blommor själv, så det så! Prinsessor kan handla själv.

Prinsessan fortsatte att följa den gamla prinsessan med blicken. Sakta närmade denne dörren till ålderdomshemmet.

– Jag hörde på radion, att man måste ställa sig i kö till ålderdomshemmet i tid, för annars dör man, och då är det för sent. Jag hoppas att den gamla prinsessan kommer in, det syns ingen kö nu i alla fall, funderade prinsessan.

Den gamla prinsessan hade kommit fram till dörren. Flickorna höll andan, skulle hon komma in? I det samma råkade flickornas pappa komma gående på Botbygårdsvägen. Han skyndade sig fram till gamla prinsessan, lyfte artigt på hatten och öppnade dörren åt henne. En lättnadens suck undslapp flickorna. Pappa hade räddat den gamla prinsessan, hon skulle inte ställa sig i kö för sent, och dö nu!

– Men, funderade nya lanthandlaren och lutade sig tankfullt mot sin affärsdisk:

– Om de gamla måste  stå i kö, måste de stå där på natten också? Och, och vad händer, om de blir kissnödiga?

Saila, Kil

10 August, 2015

Story #283 – Freckles’ Loving Cloak

One cold winter day, 12-year-old Miss Freckles came into a beautiful cloak while she was having an adventure to the forest.

“I’m not a simple cloak. I can sing. I can think. I can share with you a bed time story every night. Please put me on and let me be your shelter and warm you up.”

“That’s fabulous! How lucky I am to have such a precious gift like you!”

From that day on, Miss Freckles wore the cloak wherever she went. They were together all days and nights and never felt bored with each other. They sang by the rivers and sang to the trees. They cheered each other up when feeling tired climbing the mountains and treading through the field. The cloak tightly hugged Freckles for the whole winter and covered her body carefully when it snowed.

But as time went by, little Freckles gradually grew up. Her arms and legs became longer and her height increased day by day.

One night, after the cloak was giving Freckles a bed time story as usual, he breathed out a long sigh: “I’m afraid that I will no longer fit you, my dear Freckles. You have grown up. And the summer days are coming. You will get sunstroke with me.”

“But I love you, dear cloakie. I don’t want to grow up and lose you. If eating no food can stop me becoming taller, then I’ll do it.”

Freckles refused to eat any food from then on. She became skinny and weak as if a gentle breeze could blow her away. Her cheeks became sunken and her face turned pale. Her steps became more and more slowly and her head became dizzy.

“You must eat or you will die, Freckles. Leave me here and you just keep growing up!” asked the cloak anxiously.

“I would rather die in your arms.. I… I cannot imagine how boring life would be… without you by my side. Nobody else can… sing as beautiful as you, and … Nobody… nobody else can tell such interesting stories as you. You… you are irreplaceable… to me.” Freckles said exhaustedly.

In a scorching summer noon, after Freckles used up her final strength, she suddenly tumbled into the bush and lost her consciousness. Her cloak was scraped by the branches and were tore apart.

“Ouch! My skin!” The cloak yelled.

“Wake up, Freckles! Please! Wake up! The whole world would be dead without you alive! Wake up, my dear!” The cloak soared madly.

Just then, a hunter walked by and found Freckles.

“Poor little skinny girl. Why are you falling here. Drink some water and wake up! I’ll help you take off the ragged cloak so that I can see your wound and you will feel cool.” The hunter hugged her into his arms and gently poured water into her mouth.

Freckles feebly opened her eyes and said, “No… Please, please don’t take my cloakie away.”

“But you are too big for it. You will break it. And it is already ragged.” The hunter explained.

“He won’t be happy without me and in that case, me neither!” Freckle argued.

“Mmm… So how about this. I will take you and the cloak home. My wife can make fantastic needlework. She can fix it perfectly well and wash it clean. I have a baby girl as lovely as you. If you don’t mind, I can save this cloak for her.” said the hunter.

“Will you treat him like I do? He can sing and think. He can tell beautiful stories. He is so special.”

“Yes sure. I promise I will treat it well. But first, you need to take a good rest in my hut and start eating food OK?”

Freckles finally reached on an agreement with the hunter and accepted the fact that she no longer fit her loving cloak. But deep in her mind, she knows that the cloak will always be there, warming her heart and soul.

– nicolefantasy, Beijing

7 August, 2015

Story #282

Ett sällskap av fina fruar var på väg till kaffekalaset på Botbygårdsvägen ett. Fru Rosenmun dukade det lilla röda bordet i Barnkammaren med dockservisen. På serveringsfatet placerade hon bakelser, som hade samma storlek och, faktiskt, samma utseende och smak som russin. Till sin stora förskräckelse märkte hon plötsligt att hon hade glömt skorna!

– Vet ni vad, vi har glömt klackskorna!

Fru Rosenmun slängde sig på magen på golvet och ålade med bestämda tag in under sängen. Därifrån började det snart flyga ut små, fyrkantiga träklossar.

– Här. Fru Rosenmun log förnöjd mot sina medfruar. Vi sätter de här klossarna in i strumpbyxorna, precis under hälen, så har vi förtjusande klackskor, precis som alla fina fruar har.

Fruarna Glansklänning samt Plymhatt klapprade förnämt runt i Barnkammaren i sina nya klackskor. Fru Rosenmun anslöt sig till den glatt slamrande processionen, vickade sina höfter och utropade:

– Aah! Sannerligen! Förtjusande!

– Vad är det som är förtjusande, undrade fru  Glansklänning.

– Jag vet inte, men det är så här fina fruar pratar.

– Men jag vill i alla fall dricka kaffe nu, konstaterade fru Plymhatt och satte sig bestämt på en liten pall vid kaffebordet, och fick snabbt med sig de andra fruarna .

Fru Rosenmun hällde i de små kopparna vackert rosa kaffe, som doftade konstigt nog hallon, och med lillfingrarna förnämt utsträckta smakade fruarna på bakelserna.

– Hör ni flickor, spring ut och lek, solen skiner så fint.

Mamma kikade in i barnkammaren, log mot sina döttrar och gick sedan tillbaka till köket och symaskinen. Tre nya spetsklänningar till midsommarens festligheter var under arbete.

Undrar om en av ärmarna blev fastsydd upp och ner, funderade Mamma, medan fina fruar klapprade med sina klackskor mot hallen.

– Ta på er jackor, det blåser rejält, hojtade Mamma över det jämna surret från symaskinen.

– Aa, det blåser, fru Rosenmun blev glad.

– Då tar vi med oss plastpåsar och lite snöre.

Fina fruar slamrade ner för de tre våningar av stentrappor. De hann knappt glänta på ytterdörren, när den av vindens kraft öppnade sig på vid gavel med en dov duns. Sandrester från gångna vinterns halka virvlade runt vilt på gårdens asfalt. En skata försökte att flyga från fina fruars hustak till taket på ett likadant hus på andra sidan av gården. Vinden pressade skatan ur kurs och med ett illsket krax var den tvungen att nödlanda på gården. Fru Plymhatts hatt flög högt upp i luften och landade sedan mitt i en vattenpöl. Fina fruar band sina plastkassar hårt fast i sina snören. Alla vet ju, att fina fruar rastar sina tama drakar när det är blåsigt. Drakar älskar att flyga i motvind, och snurrade glatt runt i sina koppel när fruarna klapprande anlände till vattenpölen.

– Ska vi rädda den, eller ska vi ha den som vår tama anka?

Fruarnas funderingar blev avbrutna när fru Glansklänningens drake slet sig loss. Den flög med rasande fart mot Botbygårdsvägen, en bilväg! Fruarna ilade efter och med det samma närmade sig en stor sopbil dem! Förskräckta stannade fina fruarna, och med en djup suck brummade den tunga sopbilen förbi dem. Fru Glansklänningens underläpp började darra. Ingenstans kunde de se draken:

– Tänk om den där sopbilen trodde att draken var sopor och tog den med sig!

Fru Rosenmuns drake drog vilt i sitt snöre och drog henne med sig över vägen, mot en björk som växte vid vägkanten. De nyutslagna björklöven frasade roligt i vinden:

– Hej, här har du ju din drake, den har fastnat i det här trädet!

Nu följde en intensiv diskussion om hur drakräddningsoperationen bäst skulle tas om hand. Till sist ställde fru Rosenmun sig stadigt vid björkens stam. Fru Plymhatt lyfte stånkande och pustande fru Glansklänning upp på fru Rosenmuns axlar och därifrån kunde denne nå den nedersta grenen på trädet.

– Jag fick den, hojtade fru Glansklänning förtjust, när hon hade klättrat ända upp till draken.

I det samma bestämde sig fru Plymhatts anka att lämna vattenpölen, och flög med ett blött plask rakt på fru Glansklänningens ansikte. Med ett förvånat rop ramlade denne ner i famnen på fru Plymhatt, som i sin tur rasade ner på fru Rosenmun. Fruarna föll ner på gräsmattan, sprattlade en stund med glada fniss, ställde sig upp och konstaterade med en lättnad: alla hade hållit hårt fast i sina drakars koppel och även hattankan hade hittat tillbaka till huvudet på sin ägarinna. Glatt klapprande kunde fruarna fortsätta sin promenad medan drakarna följde snällt efter dem muntert dansande i vinden.

– Men kära hjärtanens, utbrast Mamma, när hon sorterade tvättkorgens innehåll på kvällen.

Av någon konstig anledning hade varje dotters strumpbyxor hål i båda hälen.

Saila, Kil

5 August, 2015

Story #281

There are lot’s of benefits to being a tern. You get to spend the whole day by the sea and do really cool flying tricks, like hovering in one place and crash diving. And you get to eat yummy fish as fresh as they get.

But there are responsibilities, too. You have to take care when you dish out good luck. If you hit a human with your poop, that means good luck and not everybody deserves the good luck the terns can bring about with their air strikes.

But I know that we do.

One day I was walking along the beach in Fårö admiring the seastacks… and thinking of you. I must have wandered into the feeding ground of the terns. One of them hit me right on the chin! It was a really warm and wet bit of poop with a fishy smell. Yuck!

And that’s when I knew you would be alright.

– Martin Camitz, Stockholm

4 August, 2015

Story #280

she wants to become elegant and slim like its friend—swan, cute like little puppy. Actually,she’s a smart guy, whose score is the first in class. But ,what can we say, people is greedy. she wants more. She knows she should work hard for these. She does sports, reads fashion books. However, she just can’t hold herself, she can’t help eating more food than before, and also laughing loudly, doing some  rude things. She wishes she can be good, which is opposite to the real existent fact.

– Stupid Sheep, HeNan

3 August, 2015

Story #279

It all started in office. Just hi’s and hello’s and then a message on his birthday. He was surprised. After a week we started chatting off. The hats were explosive 😉 . and then on a friendships day. We first made out 🙂 this was August. Things were the same. Until January .. I decided to take it ahead and probe him. I MADE him propose me :p well he is a shy guy. I always need to push him to do things .. We were officially dating.

He decided to tell his parents. But his parents never agreed. Because I come from a lower caste. We both love each other like crazy. But the future is uncertain 🙁

– Anonymous, Pune

2 August, 2015

Story #278

I want to destroy the school! The college is absolutely not like what I expected! I thought every university has swmming pool, the library,and  at least a big auditorium !!! But ,there is nothing! I  hate  myself, who  was lazy and didn’t work hard! I hate…..

OK, I must admit I am a stupid guy, I suffer what I deserve! So, it’s a simple story about a foolish sheep, who has no ability and wants to  break what don’t satisfy her.

Stupid sheep, He Nan

12 July, 2015

Story #277

I was awakened in the middle of the night by a beast which had entered my bedroom.

Through the bars of my crib i could see the pitch black fur against the drakness of the room. The beast was round like a ball, and hairy. It had neither a head nor legs, only a tail, flat and shaped like a leaf, stickning out from the top and slowly waveing back and forth. It was deadly quiet, waiting for me to touch the floor with my feet.

I reached out to touch the tail but at that moment, fear gripped a hold of me. I quickly pulled my hand back and curled up with the blanket over my head. In the morning when I awoke, the beast was gone.

Martin Camitz, Stockholm

12 July, 2015

Story #276

Augustimånen lyser över min trädgård. Jag lyfter upp minstingen mot min axel. Underbart mjuk och följsam är han, där han snusar magen full med modersmjölk. En stor kärlek fyller mitt hjärta, och sedan hoppar hjärtat in i halsgropen! Genom fönstret ser jag någonting stort och grått bland skuggorna under äppelträden.

Kunde det vara en elefant? Jag har läst, att i Sri Lanka dör årligen 50-100 människor i sammandrabbningar med vilda elefanter. Men nu befinner vi oss i Värmland. Jag har inte hört talas om elefantattackerade värmlänningar. Jag har inte hört talas om värmländska elefanter heller.
Kunde det vara ett spöke? Mina barn har någon gång nämnt en grå dam, som är snäll, men lite genomskinlig. Detta har jag avfärdat som barnens livliga fantasier, även om det sägs, att den förra ägarinnan till vårt hus går igen. Hennes stora sorg var att hon inte fick några barn, som kunde ha fått ärva denna vackra, en aning förfallna, men ack så underbara 1800-talsvilla, som har blivit vårt hem.

Den gråa figuren flyttar på sig, brer ut sig på något vis, och genom att stirra ut intensivt kan jag urskilja sju smala ben. Sju ben! Då är det definitivt inte fråga om en barnkär fru från adertonhundratalet. Medan jag letar i minnet efter sjubenta djur delar skuggan på sig. En älgko med två kalvar! Noga visar mamman sina barn hur hon plockar äpplen från våra träd, och hur de små kan kalasa med fallfrukten.

Ta väl hand om dina små, tänker jag. Mina små sover, även minstingen, som nu har rapat färdigt. Jag lägger honom i vaggan, kryper in mellan mina svala lakan, och känner mig nöjd. Jag har också lärt mina barn lite om maten. Imorgon ska vi äta egenbakat bröd till frukost. Till filen blir det blåbär, som så väl sjuåringen, som fyra- och två-åringen har hjälpt mig att plocka ”hemma hos älgen”, i skogen.

Saila, Kil

11 July, 2015

Story #275

Hi~I’m a cup from China. After two years of college life, I found that  the content  of my college course was repeated, defective and not systematic. Then I told my dean my query which is support by most of classmate. We want a answer. However!!!! He said “School just a platform in which you can touch something you want to learn. If you really want to learn deeply, you have to work hard by online courses, training classes or something else. God!!!!!!!! Can’t believe it! That’s why I go to college!!!!!!!!!!!! Now you know why I call myself  a cup. (Cup means a tragedy on network.)

Cup, GuangZhou

11 July, 2015

Story #274

My father’s  cousin’s  grandchildren hav a cousin whose dog know a cat who knows a hedgehog who is adopted by a girl who knows Dylan o’brien and he is so Handsom i have meet him once it was wonderful. He is an aktorand he has Fairly short brown hair, he is kind and he likes the color purple.

Terese Aldén, Västerås

11 July, 2015

Story #273

To be different in the town of Redistuo was to be an outsider, abolished from any place inside the shared opinion of the people and declared unworthy to belong. John was such a shunned man, though his name be plain enough and ambition to contradict small. It was the idea of what he wanted to do that cast him out toward the fraying parts of Redistuo, to a hill billowing above jagged hemlock and pine.

For years, John was one of them, eating their chestnut soup and drinking their mulled wine. He laughed when something was said to be funny and cried when told to be sad. But with every smile or mendacious tear, a part of John disappeared to a place long forbidden, until so much of him existed there it would be impossible to return again. Here he learned to breathe in and out the air of the unknown, as if this was the only way to survive. And maybe it was.

“What do you want?” Five sets of spectacled eyes had asked, squinting behind glares of glass while John fidgeted in a sun-dipped stool, a half-child of shadow and light sitting beneath the largest window of Redistuo Town Hall. Even in his yet-rooted mind he knew they inquired not because they cared but because they needed to gauge how much of a danger he might turn out to be.

“I want to fly,” he’d said – the worst answer of them all – and so was sent to a hill far away.

John didn’t dare visit the flat, pineless town of Redistuo until three years later, on the eleventh hour of the twentieth day in March, which presented itself as clearer and warmer than most. Never mind that it was the last day in winter or that a certain almost-spring sharpness had settled on the land; Redistuo was alive with Friday shoppers and John needed a net.

He walked along a long and narrow stretch of cobblestone named Vintner Alley, staying close to the shade of awninged storefronts and readjusting the hood around his head to remain undetectably alone.

The funny thing about being alone in Redistuo is that people never truly were. There was always someone baking Redistuo breads in a traditional, Redistuo-style oven nearby or a neighbor practicing her Redistuo trumpet to the tune of Redistuo Rhapsody in D minor at a house across the lane.

John, on his distant hill, was in every sense of what it could mean, alone. Strange then that he should find himself entrenched in the frenetic flitters of those he once knew and feel more un-alone than ever.

His name was Hector, just that hard-sounding and bold, and he stood on a ledge spitting something or other onto the sandy banks of the Redistuo River, which rambled easily by this certain section of Vintner Alley that John was passing at the present time.

“Get out.”

Of course the declaration came from Hector. With a man so bleak, pleasantries were vestigial organs of speech. He saw no need for anything but the point.

“I’m in town for a net,” John told him. “In and out. That’s it, I promise.”

“No.”

Hector was tall and burly as you’d expect, covered in coarse, dark hair on every part of him, including the tops of his fingers and the insides of his ears. He was a creature of midnight whiskeys and fat cigars, seldom seen in daylight hours except to occasionally hurl wads of saliva across the riverbank and to watch for outsiders like John, unwelcome visitors who exercised their penchant for perambulation upon the streets of Redistuo with a mind that they should.

There was nothing, when confronted with such complete Hector-ness, for John to do but keep walking across the cobblestones of Vintner Alley to Jacarma Road, which appeared at the next corner and would bring him to the fisherman’s shop.

The owner of the fisherman’s shop was called Mr. Penturian and he ran his store by the principles of order and education. Live bait were separated in large bins by size and usefulness. Fishing poles were lined, one inch apart, against the back wall, wrapped at each grip by a handwritten note describing any peculiarities, advantages or downfalls of that particular model. It is said the five spectacled men who made decisions in Redistuo could never send Mr. Penturian to the hills, though his temperament was saucy and loose, because no one else would know as much about the sport of fishing or its required instruments, and fishing was taught to be a favorite activity for those who were allowed to remain. Some other hobby might have been declared best so Mr. Penturian could disappear, but if the five spectacled men were anything, they were lazy creatures of how it’s always been.

“Have you come for your net?” Mr. Penturian asked John with a confidence that said he knew. Today Mr. Penturian looked elegantly disheveled, a grey fishing vest ill-fitting and slack across his broad but arching shoulders, as if the vest was meditating whether it should settle down or else rise to the occasion and float to warmer seas.

“If you still have it,” John replied.

Mr Penturian said without a doubt that he did, free of cost for the bravest John to leave this Goby fish excuse for a town. “I’d have left years ago if business wasn’t so good.”

A wink or two from Mr. Penturian followed the exchange of a net promised to be sturdy enough to catch even the most experienced man who might attempt to fly.

John left the shop with a wordless wave goodbye, slipping past Hector at guard by the sandy crust of the Redistuo River. Yes, Hector would follow him to the hill but what difference would it really make?

In John’s mind, everything was already mapped out, how his lungs would fill with courage as he climbed to the top, how his legs would gain strength from each upward step, how the town of Redistuo would appear, unimportant and powerless, from John’s grassy crest. He was, on his almighty hill, a crowned prince of pines at the precipice of lasting glory. From this height, those in Redistuo would be but a spectacle of the waning winter day. From this height, Hector’s eyes, gleaming red in the dissolving dawn, would warn of useless threats he could no longer defend.

The sky was deepening to an electric blush, the sun a sputtering band of dark gold on the horizon. John stood against the worthy backdrop, Mr. Penturian’s net already sprawled across a piece of flat land below, and without hesitation or regret, jumped into the airy unknown of all he knew, to a place where he could fly.

Melissa, little word studio

 

11 July, 2015

Story #272 – Muisto

Lapsena asuin maalla, metsän reunassa. Mummo oli tulossa pesemään pyykkiämme. Äidillä oli paljon töitä, koska hän oli kylän paras ompelija. Siihen aikaan pyykki pestiin saunassa, jossa oli suuri pata. Padan alla oli tuli, joka lämmitti kylpyveden. Nyt mummo laittoi siihen pyykin ja omatekoista saippuaa. Kun pyykki oli kiehunut, se nostettiin kahdella kepillä vauvan kylpyammeeseen. Kaivosta nostettiin huuhteluvesi. Pyykkinarut olivat pihan koivuista toiseen vedetty. Suurimmassa koivussa oli narukeinu, jolla pääsi melkein taivaaseen. Olin kerännyt käpyjä, joilla hellalla kiehui keitto mummollekin. Äiti pyysi, että saattelisin mummon omaan kotiinsa. Mummoa pelotti kulkea tietä, joka oli lyhyempi matka, mutta kulki hautausmaan läpi. Minulle tie oli tuttu, olin usein hakenut sitä kautta äidille kermaa kahviin. Olin silloin ehkä 6 tai 7 vuotias. Saatoin mummon kotiinsa asti.

Nelly, Helsinki

 

11 July, 2015

Story #271

Sometimes being different can be the worst thing in the world.

People can be very mean to those who look, or feel, or think different from them.
Growing up, I got bullied for so many of those things that were different about me…No one used the word “different” though.

“Weirdo”; “nerd”, “loser”, “freak”, “gay”…These were just some of the nicknames they gave me growing up.  And those are the nicer ones.

I loved books, much much more than the other kids did (books were a lot nicer company than most people I knew).  I think that’s how I got “nerd”.  It also didn’t help that I have been wearing glasses since I was 8.

As for “weird” and “freak”, I’m pretty sure I got those because of Harry Potter–I used to pretend I was him.  I knew all of the spells in the wizarding world by heart, and more than once, unforgivably, whispered “Avada Kedavra” when some of the meaner bullies got to me.

I don’t even know how they came up with all the other names.

***

Anyway, I wrote this because a few days ago I had the most wonderful dream.

In my dream I was about 15 years older.  I still wore dorky-looking glasses, but my friends (I seemed to have found several good ones) didn’t think I looked dorky at all.  In fact they thought I looked pretty good.

My favorite part, was that in the dream I grew up to be a writer.  I had just released a book, a novel, which was about to become a huge success.  And people were saying that it was one of the best books they have ever read.   They were saying they loved it so much because it was one of a kind.  I just might have it in me to come up with something like that.  After all, I am different.  And sometimes, being different can be the coolest thing in the world.

Martin, Singapore

11 July, 2015

Story #270

Hi! I am a unicorn and i like to fly high over the clouds, i have big white wings and long hair. I am eleven years old and i live in a city who called Aleiancia! In this city we go in shool,shopping and play in the playground. I like shool, it is fun to learn new things and i like to sitt in the classroom and work in our mathbooks! I actually just have one friend in school and she’s name is Rikki! Rikki is a talking banana and we do everything together!  So this was a little story about me, the lonely unicorn.

– Zarah, Västerås

8 July, 2015

Story #269 – Jack & Jill

Jack and Jill live in a children’s book.

They are characters in a nursery rhyme that have been conditioned to act according to the author’s story.

Every time a reader flips to their page, Jack and Jill would automatically be thrown back into acting from the first verse – Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

One cannot imagine how many times both Jack and Jill would have to climb the same hill, carrying the same pail, reaching the same well, to find themselves tumbling down over and over again and hurting the same spot on Jack’s head . Ouch, it really does hurt especially when it had to be repeated for countless times.

When the book is closed, Jack and Jill would take a breather from all the falling and tumbling, and wander off to the other pages to either play hopscotch with Humpty Dumpty, chase ducks in Old MacDonald’s farm or walk Mary and her little lamb to school. But everyone knows when the book is opened. There will be gasps in the air as the sky cracks up to the same scene – a child’s nursery. The characters would scramble back to their own pages, getting ready in their position for action.

A chubby hand would loom over to turn its pages and sometimes, when the reader’s drool dropped on the page, the characters would be drenched, leaving a spot on the page a little crinkled when it dried up.

One day, as Jill was braiding Mary’s hair and Jack was playing cards with Little Miss Muffet, their world shook violently followed by a loud thud. The book was opened. On Jack and Jill’s page. But the sky is not the nursery that they used to see.

The sky was instead filled with very tall trees. The branches were swaying softly and they could see some butterflies and grasshoppers flying and hopping across the sky. They could hear birds chirping and bees buzzing but there were no children to be seen.

“Did our reader drop the book at this strange place by accident?” Jack asked. “I don’t know Jack but I’m scared,” said Jill.

Jack, the braver one decided to explore. He ran up the hill and climbed on top of the well, then stretched his hands as far as he could reach. Something happened. His fingers pierced through their sky and into the other world. A butterfly landed on one of his fingers, then flew away. Both Jack and Jill watched with awe.

Then Jack was the first to speak, “Let’s just get out of here! Out of this book into their world! Then I don’t have to hurt my head ever again”.
Jack pushed himself out of the book and found himself struck with the beauty of a cool green forest.

“So?” Jill broke the silence from below.

“You will have to see this for yourself,” Jack replied with a smile, then stretch his right hand into the book to help pull Jill out of the page.

Teresa Chin, Malaysia

25 June, 2015

Story #268

She is a cat, like many others: tail, ears, fur…except her eyes. She has different eyes, really, one green and the other is brown. She likes coffee with croissant and confiture, France, music. But in fact her heart belongs to her beloved lion and their baby kitty. She is happy.

Natalia, Moscow

24 June, 2015

Story #267 – Obsessed with Batman

People thing I’m an ordinary, lazy teen and like always they have there ninicknames, often Pig-ham. But I’d say I’m more of a Batpig, Batham I mean Batman. In four years they will see I will have completed the  training that will make make me unbelievable, strong, and powerful! … but I ‘ll start tomorrow .

Emily Higham, Stoke-on-Trent

14 June, 2015

Story #266

The little pig decided it was time to try some new things so he went to a yoga class. He tried to do a headstand but his ears got in the way which made him very upset.  Fortunately, Mr.Pig’s friend the Goat, made him feel a little bit better because as he pointed out, he couldn’t even sit down properly and cross his legs…

Nikolina, Edmonton

11 June, 2015

Story #265

There is a dog, his name is Ugo and he is a orange viszla. He can fly with his long ears in the north italian Sky. He also have a good friend, another dog, a female b/w Setter called Palma. They plays all the days in the Sky. They want to explore the word.

Massimo Papaiz, Sesto al Reghena

11 June, 2015

Story #264

I have an ex-boyfriend and we has been apart almost 6 years. We met again at last year. Actually we know we still love each other. But we won’t get together again because some situations. We will meet once a month, and we talk and talk, or see a movie which we also love. He treats me as same as a queen. I feel so happy when we meet. Although we will not to be a couple again, I still love him and so much. I hope he will happy forever and has a complete life. I hope he can have some support or warm feeling when he feels upset.

May, Hong Kong

10 June, 2015

Story #263

A lone pineapple ends it’s arduous journey across a vast and surreal dessert.

It’s quest you ask? Pizza Voyage.

Shaun, London

7 June, 2015

Story #262

I met with my fiancee while we were working. he was a part-time assistant for one of our events. when I first saw him I thought that he was the cutest man that I have ever seen and I felt instantly a warmth in my heart. couple of months later, the day I returned from my annual leave I found him working at our office. from that day on I started waking up happy thinking that I will see him when I go to work:) and 5 months later, on 21st of January 2012 we went together to a small concert of an indie band. after the concert we went to a bar, we closed that bar went to another one and so on:) after the closing of the second or third bar, while we were going down the stairs a little tipsy, he kissed me so softly and gently (he told me afterwards that he was a little worried that I wouldn’t kiss him back:))
during these years I learned from him the meaning of mutual love and respect, relationship, compassion and tenderness.
I became his koala bear -because literally I hang on to him like a koala bear when he comes home:) and he became my bunny because that’s what he looks like when he yawns when he is sleepy:)
last year he proposed and we are getting married on 13th of June!

Dory, Istanbul

7 June, 2015

Story #261

Likt en förrymd tonfisk i konserveringsfabriken sätter jag nu språng mot friheten, i detta fall även kallat soffan & tvn!

Knutsson, Karlstad

Translation:  
Like a Tuna running away from the canning factory I now leap towards freedom, in this case also known as the couch & TV!

1 June, 2015

Story #260

Sene 2000’di ilk tanıştığımızda. O sıra birbirini sevmeyen ve kızgınca bakan iki kişiydik. Ama ne zaman sene 2003 oldu, yaşlar 18’e geldi birbirimize aşık olduk.

Yıllar geçti, aşkımız hiç bitmedi. Tam 11 sene sonra evlendik. Çok güzel bir yuvamız oldu. Evlendikten 1,5 sene sonra da bir kızımız olacak. Adını bile koyduk 🙂 Ece..

Annesi kadar güzel olacak inşallah, babası kadar da zeki.

Ailemiz ve sevgimiz daha da büyüyerek gidiyor..

Burak Aydoğan, Eskişehir

24 May, 2015

Story #259

This is a special one where there are several stories in one picture. All stories written by 12 year olds in Västerås.

A little girl called Jenifer is 7 years old. With  blonde long hair, in her right hand she have brown teddy-bear and in hear left hand she have coupled lemel called Bertil. They are walking down the street, they have gone astray, so they can’t find home. She walk and walk around in circles. After a time she saw  her yellow house behind her. When she come in she meet her mother. The mother is happy. And Jenifers pink dress is dirty, Bertils fur is dirty not yellow as before.

– Isabelle Pettersson

 

A long time ago a unicorn with a big butt ate a cake with chocolate mousse. She named Ingrid and was four years old. It was her birthday and she would have a party. Ingrid called her friends and did tell them they could come to her birthday party. Ingrids BBF Katy (it’s a cat) came the night and gave the unicorn a gift. The gift had pink paper around it with a green bow. Ingrid tore up the present and found a little kitten.

– Evelina Söderström

 

Det var en gång en liten katt som bodde helt ensam i en liten stuga mitt ute i skogen men katten började känna sig ensam. En dag när katten var ute i trädgården så kom en lite liten jätte gullig kattunge. Katten och den lilla kattungen började genast prata med varandra. Dom blev jätte bra vänner och den lilla kattungen fick bo med katten och katten behövde aldrig känna sig ensam igen.
SLUT

– Emil

 

A long long time ago there was a pig called Big fat piggy.
Big fat piggy loves hamburger many times a day he goes to McDonalds, Frasses and Pans!…
One day he met a very fat unicorn with a really big butt, she loves to wiggle with butt.
After two days big fat piggy asked the unicorn: WILL YOU MARRY ME!!

Alex Frunck

 

It was once a little child. He´s name was Alex. One day when Alex played in the forest one little lady came by too say hello. Alex said hello and the lady and Alex become very good friends. another day when Alex played in the forest again the old lady came bay too say hello and Alex said hello. That time the old lady took Alex to his home. Alex was scared but it turned out that it was Alex grandmother and  Alex parents came by and say hello when Alex stayed with his grandmother.
The End

Emil

 

Tihis was two horses who drive a car. This was a big horse who sit in a little car and a small horse drive in a big car. they drive in a tree. Crash! They die!
The next day come a bear and saw the horses and the horses show theys ass.
And the bear say yuk! The horses was spoke. They love a boy who was a cow hes name was Going. The horses going on and fights.

Lovis

 

det var en gång en ko som hette Ida.
Ida var kär i en tjejko som hette oka.
oka och Ida pussades några tusen år senare.
På ett skoldisko. Skoldiskot var jätte kul.
Ida hade jätte långt hår. Oka hade jätte kort hår.
En gång när Ida och oka fick ett barn som var en människa. Människan fick heta Bengt.
En dag förvanlades Bengt till en häst. Ida hade en jätte stor rumpa.

Lova

21 May, 2015

Story #258

Hello, im a pea. A little green pea. I think im the olny pea that talks. I think thats cool. But my friend, ore anti-friends, want to tread on me. I’m like every school kid on middle school mentally, but not on the outside. One day we have a math test. An i get 9 out of 10, my name was wrong. And the rest of my day i was called ”pea brain”. But i never give up. I had a speech yester day. I said that i was the only pea in all time in this school. But of course they show me the most popular guy in the school of all time. A pea…

– Kristoffer Öhrn, Västerås

16 May, 2015

Story #257

We met in the high school. We have been binded by balloons in the sky to go through the countries. We magine to catch the butterflies in the prairie. Donuts and pancakes is our favourite foods. We hope we can see the rainbow together. Our favourites cartoons is “My little pony” and “Gravity falls”. Our favourties song is called: First Time (Lifehouse)

We’re both looking for something
We’ve been afraid to find
It’s easier to be broken
It’s easier to hide

Looking at you, holding my breath
For once in my life, I’m scared to death
I’m taking a chance, letting you inside

I’m feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky under my skin
Like being in love, she said, for the first time
Maybe I’m wrong, I’m feeling right
Wherever I belong with you tonight
Like being in love to feel for the first time

The world that I see inside you
Waiting to come to life
Waking me up to dreaming
Reality in your eyes

Looking at you, holding my breath
For once in my life, I’m scared to death
I’m taking a chance, letting you inside

I’m feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky under my skin
Like being in love, she said, for the first time
Maybe I’m wrong, I’m feeling right
Wherever I belong with you tonight
Like being in love to feel for the first time

We’re crashing
Into the unknown
We’re lost in this
But it feels like home

I’m feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky under my skin
Like being in love, she said, for the first time
Maybe I’m wrong, I’m feeling right
Wherever I belong with you tonight
Like being in love to feel for the first time

Like being in love she said for the first time
Like being in love to feel for the first time

Karen, Hong Kong

 

14 May, 2015

Story #256

Ours is a love story began with the dating request came from my side as a girl .
Anyway i think that i did the best to win his heart lol …
We ‘ve dated for  7 years and married last May.
We had to wait for each other for long years because we were living in different cities in Turkey, anyhow after all troubles and losts we had , we broke up and i’ve never thought that we can get together again in the future.

But i guess Love doesnt listen what it see or what it had.

So one day he send that ” Hi !, Whats up ? ” message and our story continued from the point where we left , with more maturity and joy .

Now we are following our dreams, the dreams we made together.
We’r travelling and doing many extreme sports together.
We are eating and getting fatter and fatter together 🙂
We are plannig to have a sailboat and  go for a world  tour, we will see if we can do 🙂
I’m so happy to follow my heart i know in the future i will be a mermaid and we will live in the oceans with my baby dolphin..

Gizem Divitçioğlu, Istanbul

 

13 May, 2015

Story #255

My name is Zeynep and my mother’s name is Mihriban. I’m 25 years old. My mom is dead and I miss her so much. I think she is a angel now and she is always smiling at me. My computer was stolen so I have only one picture of her. I am so sad. Please, can you make me smile like her ?

Zeynep, Turkey

 

5 May, 2015

Story #254

i have a daughter. we are at bedroom now she is sleeping near me, i’m hungry also sleepy and playing a online game on bed from my laptop and listening music with a thick sound. i don’t have enough light and cannot write any more.

Huma, Istanbul

 

5 May, 2015

Story #253

Helt utan förvarning dyker min fru upp framför mig, mitt i morgonkaffet, och spänner ögonen i mig. Orden sprutar ut ur munnen och jag gör mitt yttersta för att samla in så mycket information som möjligt. När hon fått sitt meddelande deklamerat så förflyktigas hon lika abrupt som vid ankomsten. Kvar lämnades jag helt perplex med skägget i brevlådan. Kommandot, ja inte var det en förfrågan i alla fall, gick under devisen: ”OM DU KAN SKRIVA OM EN BIL SÅ KAN DU SKRIVA OM NÅGOT JAG VILL OCKSÅ”. Och ja, att skriva med versaler känns som det bästa sättet att återge det inträffade såhär i textform.

Jag kliar mig lite fundersamt i huvudet samtidigt som ”det här går ju inte…” formuleras i mina tankar. Men samtidigt, speciellt med tanke på ämnet, vill jag inte vara pretentiös och svika vederbörande. Och kanske även till stor del p.g.a att det är hennes dignitet att styra och ställa…

Vi kan börja med att backa bandet lite och här ser jag en möjlighet att kunna förklara och kanske t.o.m be om ursäkt till alla inblandade. Den senaste tiden har bekantskapskretsen fått uppleva något obskyrt när de inlett konversationer med mig. ”Kan du hjälpa till att flytta nästa vecka?”, ”Hur har du gått tillväga för att få en sådan välutvecklad smile-muskelatur?” och även mindre saker som ”Kan du skjutsa mig till stationen?” är endast ett axplock av exemplen som finns. I bästa fall har man fått någon form av grymtande tillbaks som svar men allt för ofta har det bara gått mig helt förbi.

Så den enda legitima frågan är naturligtvis: Har Leo blivit ett självupptaget svin med ett så stort ego att det inte finns utrymme för någon annan? Mja, det är lite mer komplicerat än så. Det är nämligen så att jag levt i ett rus under en tid. Ett lyckorus. Förklaringen till vad som är upphovet till detta rus för oss tillbaka till det där med skägget i brevlådan. Jag kan inte komma på något ord som känns motiverat att använda. Om jag så fyrade av hela mitt artilleri av lovord så skulle det inte komma i närheten av att göra denna händelse rättvisa.

I det här skedet inser jag att den här texten inte är särskilt progressiv och att jag mest har trasslat in mig i vad som skulle föreställa en ansenlig krönika om en händelse. Jag ser faktiskt ingen annan utväg än att vara helt transparent och gå rakt på sak: Jag och min underbara hustru ska bli föräldrar igen och vår fantastiska dotter ska få ett syskon. En otroligt stor insättning på livskvalitétskontot!

Leo Hägg, Kil

6 July, 2015

Story #252

“All small beasts should have bows in their tails.”

She put down her book and thought it the greatest sentence she’d read all year.

She admired the brain that had constructed it and wondered if her own grey cells were even able to construct anything half as good.

– Oh, if only I was great, she thought and returned to the book. Little did she know that at the same time a small door  creaked open in the back of her mind and out peeked her own small beast. Bow in tail and all.

22 April, 2015

Story #251

Den starka vårsolen kittlade i näsan på tre upptäcktsresande. Det torra gräset vid dikeskanten dammade upp den gångna vinterns dam i ett moln som glittrade i solen, och kittlade, även det, näsorna. Till sist nös upptäcktsresanden, alla tre samtidigt. Det Farliga Diket skilde husen på Botbygårdsvägen ett från fälten där mammorna, och även papporna lite grann, snart skulle börja vända på jorden och så de första fröerna för våren. Upptäcktsresanden, som vandrade längs med dikeskanten, var på väg till Afrika.

– Jag tycker att Afrika finns i Apträdsdjungeln. Aporna bor i Afrika, förkunnade minsta upptäcktsresanden.

– Men Afrika finns inte så nära. Kolla på jordgloben i barnkammaren, får du se, mellersta upptäcktsresanden argumenterade emot.

Samtidigt var det någonting klargult och lätt som fladdrade förbi resanden. Stora upptäcktsresanden ropade ut förtjust:

– Kolla, en citronfjäril! Vi följer efter den. Citronfjärilar bor i citronträd, och citronträd växer i Afrika.
Vårsnurrig i huvudet fladdrade citronfjärilen hit och dit ovanför det torra gräset längs med Det Farliga Diket. Med den milda vårvinden under sina vingar hamnade den till skogskanten, och flög rastlöst mellan stammarna längre och längre in i skogen, som var full med klibbiga klargröna blad, och fräscha dofter.

Efter sig hade den upptäcktsresanden, lika rastlöst fladdrande de med.

Bofinkarna hejade på dem med sin sång, medan upptäcktsresanden kanade sina byxbak fuktiga på mossiga klippor, hoppade med kippande stövlar från sten till sten, och klättrade tappert över fallna granstammar. Citronfjärilen försvann.

– Lätt för den, bara att flyga, och strunta i hur svårt det är här på backen, fnös stora upptäcktsresanden harmset, samtidigt som hon halade upp minsta upptäcktsresanden på tallen, som hade fallit tillsammans med alla granar under den stora vårstormen. Upptäcktsresanden balanserade längs med hela tallstammen, fram och tillbaka, klättrade på den uppåt pekande roten, och upptäckte något som glimmade under den.

Guld! Under den fallna tallens rötter gömde sig stora klumpar av kattguld.

Upptäcktsresanden grävde, släpade och stånkade. Guldet tvättades noggrant i den närliggande bäcken och ställdes på tork i en solfläck på den fallna tallen. Minsta upptäcktsresanden föll i drömmar:

– Man kan säkert köpa hundra kilo godis med en så här stor hög av guld. Jag vill i alla fall ha lakrits, fruktnallar och påskägg av choklad, sådana med en ring inuti.

– Men, tokunge. Det går inte att köpa påskägg, inte ens med guld. Dem får man, konstaterade mellersta upptäcktsresanden och började fundera, huruvida det var påskharen, eller häxan, som delade ut äggen. Stora upptäcktsresanden var säker på att hon hade sett Häxan i Mjölkboden.

– Hon var alldeles krokig, och hade ett blommigt huckle och ett randigt förkläde på sig, och hon tittade på chokladäggen vid godishyllan. Hennes katt väntade utanför, men kvasten hade hon lämnat hemma.

– Åå, vad jag är hungrig, började mellersta upptäcktsresanden precis, när lilla upptäcktsresanden skulle kräva svar på frågan: OM det nu finns chokladägg i Mjölkboden, VARFÖR skulle man då inte kunna köpa dem med guld? Nu ändrade hon sig:

– Jag med, jag är hungrigast i världen, vi går hem och äter.

Tanken på alla läckerheter hade fått dem hungriga. Upptäcktsresanden samlade noggrant ihop all sitt guld och vände sig mot … vart? Det syntes björkstammar, det syntes granstammar och det syntes tallstammar. Det syntes stubbar, stenar, och en bäck. Men åt vilket håll var hemmet? Underläppen på lilla upptäcktsresanden började darra.

– Jag kommer att svälta ihjäl!

– Ingen fara, tröstade stora upptäcktsresanden:

– Man ska krama ett träd och äta vitmossa, om man är vilse i skogen.

Stora upptäcktsresande grabbade tag i en handfull mossa i munnen och satte igång att tugga energiskt för att övertyga sina medresande. Dessa kramade en var sin tall och följde proceduren misstänksamt:

– Vi väntar lite och ser hur det blir med henne, innan vi provar själva.

– Jag tycker att hon har tuggat på i evigheter, vitmossan ska väl sväljas också, om den ska göra någon nytta?

– Du kanske ska ta lite vatten från bäcken, så blir det lättare att svälja, instruerade lilla upptäcktsresanden.

Stora upptäcktsresanden knäböjde intill bäcken, grimaserade, hostade och harklade. Vältuggat vitmossa flöt iväg med bäckens virvlar i rask takt neråt, mot havet. Knallröd i ansiktet hostade stora upptäcktsresanden en stund till, reste sig sedan upp och sade lugnt:

– Vi går hellre hem. Vi följer bäcken. Den slutar i havet, och vid havet ligger Botbygårdsvägen ett.
Med plaskande stövlar vandrade de rika upptäcktsresandena hem. Där väntade några chokladägg på dem. Var det påskharen, eller häxan, som hade lämnat dem?

Saila, Kil

19 April, 2015

Story #250

Ulla Bella gick i den mörka skogen, i den mörka skogen träffade Ulla Bella en talade fågel som var grön och mörksvart. Fågeln var jätte tråkig och Ulla Bella tackade för sig. Ulla Bella gick vidare i skogen och träffade talade kossa som hette Lova. Lova hade jätte dålig humor, hennes skämt var uttråkande.

Ida, Västerås

19 April, 2015

Story #249

Jag träffade en 4-årig tjej i garaget som gick runt ensam och jag stannade till för att fråga om hennes föräldrar och vart hon bodde. Hon ville inte säga något om sina föräldrar så jag pratade och lekte med henne ganska länge och försökte få ut något så att jag kunde hjälpa henne hem. Hon var en väldigt söt, snäll och bestämd flicka, en av de underbaraste människorna jag träffat.

Vi spenderade flera timmar med tillsammans och allt vi egentligen gjorde var att sitta i en trappa och prata och leka. Tiden rann iväg fort och vi hade väldigt kul tillsammans. Efter flera timmar ropade tjejen “Mamma!” när en ung kvinna kom för att gå förbi i trappen till sin lägenhet.

Mamman såg lite chockad ut och svarade inte till dottern och jag nämnde då att jag har spenderat några timmar med hennes dotter för att jag var orolig och hoppades att det gick bra. Till svar får jag “Vad vill du mig?” varpå jag förklarade att jag stött på en liten flicka och jag blev orolig över att hon var ensam ute i flera timmar så jag ville att hon skulle komma hem säkert. Mamman svarade med en ledsen ton att jag skulle följa med upp till lägenheten.

Vi tre gick tillsammans upp till deras lägenhet som var en mycket ljus och färgglad lägenhet med massor av leksaker och annat mysigt.

Jag spenderade en stund till med dottern medan mamman kollade på tv och verkade allmänt ledsen. Jag och dottern lekte kurragömma och när det var min tur att hitta henne letade jag runt överallt i lägenheten utan att finna henne. Tillslut kom mamman och sa till mig med en gråtande röst:

“Du kommer aldrig hitta henne igen, hon har varit död i ett halvår”

Samtidigt som jag fylls med känslor av sorg och svek börjar hela lägenheten mörkna, alla leksaker börjar försvinna och en trist, grå och dammig lägenhet med utslitna och ovårdade möbler är allt jag ser. Allt jag kunde tänka på just den stunden är att jag vill träffa tjejen igen! Jag insåg att jag spenderat flera timmar med ett spöke och det enda jag ville var att kunna se den underbara flickan igen!

Dave, Karlstad

18 April, 2015

Story #248

for long time ago a boy took candy from an old man and give it to a girl he lik and he Think she like him too and thats great so now he takes candy and give it to her every day.
but one day the old man se the boy and he be so angry so he cheated the boy to the candy was the most delicious sweets in the World but really it was so hard that when you ate it got all over his face roared

Terese, Västerås

15 April, 2015

Story #247

Det var ju en solig dag när JB skulle komma hem till faster linda o hon dog när hon hade dött så fick JB alla hennes pengar 50000000000 kr o han behöver aldrig jobba eller gå i skolan i gen. men han ville få ett jobb så han börga om i skolan.

Agnes Westberg Karlander, Västerås

15 April, 2015

Story #246

Me and my husband are friends from summer house. İt took a long time to be lovers, i didn’t want because we were living in different cities. Later we started our relationship, he moved to my city. And then we got married 3,5 years ago. And now we’re expecting a babyboy 🙂 next month he’ll be born 🙂

BEGUM GUNPINAR MERT, Istanbul

13 April, 2015

Story #245

Once upon a time there were many kangaroos . They were the most famous animals in Australia. Sometimes people didn’t kill them, sometimes they dead. They were big, brown and white. They sleep in the day, and they are awake in the night. They are really scared because they hunt them.

Hassan, Västerås

10 April, 2015

Story #244

Malte är en liten pojke på snart tre år. Till sin födelsedag önskar han sig en robot mest av allt och när han ser bilder i barnböcker och i filmer på robotar så skrattar han, blir glad och fascineras. Det är ikoniska robotar med fyrkantiga huvuden, antenner och stora ögon som han gillar. Barnsliga och klassiska. Han låtsas också att hans dockor är robotar. Han gillar även att leka och gömma sig och saker i en koja/en riddarborg i vardagsrummet. Han favoritfärg är svart. Men han gillar också starka färger. Och sin kusin Bella.

Sara Larsson, Malmö

9 April, 2015

Story #243

I wake up and go to the bathroom it was dark i lighted the lamp and i checked my self in the mirror and aaaaaaaaa i have blode in my face and i was so pale.
I wasted and go down.
I eat my breakfast and began to bruch my theeth.
I go up to my room and choosing clothes.

Stina, Västerås

9 April, 2015

Story #242

I woke up and it´s raining outside. This day I´m tired because the summertime has started today. One hour missing me and the night sleep. I`m wondering what this sunday have in his mine? I´m hungry but nobody make my dinner, I´ve to do it by myself:-(
I´m looking out at the nature, it´s still raining.
This evening I´m looking at the TV, nothing else to do.
Bye, Bye.

– Eva Roy, Västerås

9 April, 2015

Story #241

The small little guy open the gate and its sounds like a teacher draw on the blackboard. The guy was scared because he going in to the church in the middle of night and he saw a big easter bunny as shouting like a dog. And the guy just want to run home but he want to look why the easter bunny shouting like a dog so he och towards to the easter bunny and ask him:

– Why you shouting like that?

– Because I hate when I has gravel in my shoes.

– But why don’t  you take them off then.

– Because I can’t have i said.

– Okey sorry if I asked.

And the little guy helped the easter bunny so it’s been a good easter.

– Kappe, Västerås

8 April, 2015

Story #240

Once upon a time there was a boy. The boy wanted to go to the university, but he didn’t know the way, and it became dark, and he went home. When he went home his dad asked him, if he went to the university. He said no. Then his dad told him that he was going to bring him to the university.

– Hussein, Västerås

8 April, 2015

Story #239

A long time ago there was a girl called Alice. She lived in London and was really close to her mirrors. Every day she used all of them. But there was something that was really hitch with one of them. Sometimes you could see a black cat walking behind you. If it really likes you it comes closer to you and cuddle with your legs. BUT!!!!!! Watch out it may will drag you in to themirror and you will stay there until another person comes in. (whispering) And as much as I know Alice is still in there an waiting for (maybe)…………….YOU. ´Cus the mirror still on the market. Maybe the store next to you.

– Josefine, Västerås

8 April, 2015

Story #238

I am working on ships as a captain and my wife never used to stay seperate to eachother. One time i am on the roads to join the ship and it was really hard to leave her behind. When i almost come to the city where i join the ship, my company called me about ship already sailed and there is no chance to catch the ship and i can go back to the home. I was very happy to miss the ship and go back to my wife. I bought a ticket but didn’t say anything to my wife. She was very sad and missed me. I was on my home early morning time and i waited her near to the way which she used to go to work. She was walking and seemed really sleepy. I called at her “hey lady can you help me over there?” She turned back angrily but when she saw me she was very surprised and started to scream and run to me. She jumped on me and I catched her and kiss her.

– Ilkay, Izmir

8 April, 2015

Story #237

Her eyes carried so much pain.

I felt this burning lump in my throat when I saw her wiping away the tears just before they could kiss her pink cheeks like she wanted to stop them from telling the world their story. It burned me inside because I couldn’t do anything to take away her salty sadness. And there may be no one that can replace the happiness taken away from her. But every time if she gets lost in her sorrows, I’ll search for her to comfort her, to catch each of her tears, I would do anything to mend the broken smile of her eyes. Her tears launched a thousand red balloons into the dark sky, one for each drop of sadness, to remind her she’ll never be alone. #RedBalloon

Michael Oigreso, Paramaribo

7 April, 2015

Story #236

She was a happy lonely girl
Sitting next to curly hair
She saw her lovely pinned bag
Remember her old time back
Now it’s around 6 years that
They are like best budd and sister that
Spend together every day
Even though they are far away
She wishes the best year for her
Her little sister, curly hair
I wish you laugh the whole year
See your tears of joy every day

Par, Sheffield

4 April, 2015

Story #235 – Andy’s Adventure: The War of Cells

A boy named Andy went out to play in winter. He played and sweated, so he took off his clothes. Without notice, some flu germs sneaked in his nose. Andy sneezed and his body warriors started to drive the germs out. But the germs were many and they went into Andy’s blood vein. A fierce war began. A guard cell first woke up, blowed his horn, and called many white blood cells to gather. The white blood cells marched to the warring field and crossed fire with flu germs. Our great commander Andy, saw his temperature going up, knew the war began and asked for help, he brought many weapons to recue.

Myriads of red blood cells, cute as they are, ran through the blood veins to the front. They carried with them the most powerful weapons and gave them to the white bloodcell warriors, see what they are!

They carried warm water for white soldiers to drown the germs.

They carried medicine for soldiers to use as bombs. Boooom.

They carried food, vegetables, fruits, and they are all marvelous weapons!

The warrior turned off the light so they could fight in dark, thus Andy had a good sleep while they fought.

They fought for one day, two days, three days and on the seventh day, the war ended! Andy felt great again, and he drank a large bottle of warm water to wash the corpses away. Hail to Andy the great commander!

30 March, 2015

Story #234

Tre prinsessor satt på dikeskanten vid Botbygårdsvägen ett, och flätade guldgula kronor av maskrosor.

– Hör ni? frågade storprinsessan. Alla tre stannade i sitt arbete och lyssnade. Ingenting hördes. Fåglarna hade tystnat, inga löv prasslade i träden, hela den varma sommarluften stod still. Plötsligt bröts tystnaden av ett kraftigt muller som fick prinsessornas kroppar att vibrera. Åskan var på väg över havet.

Med ögon lysande av spänning skuttade prinsessorna hem, när vinden vaknade och de första tunga regndropparna föll mot marken. Från det stora vardagsrumsfönstret hade prinsessorna fri utsikt mot det skummande havet och de svartblåa molnen som producerade magnifika blixtar. Plåttaket ovanför prinsessornas huvud smattrade öronbedövande, när åskan slängde ner en hagelskur.

Lika fort som den kom försvann åskan, och lämnade efter sig på gården vattenpölar fyllda med stora vita kulor av is. Förtjust vadade prinsessorna barfota bland de vackra pärlorna, som gav ifrån sig ett svagt klirrande när de stötte mot varandra. Storprinsessan utbrast:

– Hela slottssalen full med dyrbara pärlor! Undrar om det är lika mycket pärlor på taket, så mycket som det lät förut.

Som en prinsessa skyndade prinsessorna sig mot stegen, som ledde hela vägen upp till taket på det tre våningar höga huset. På vintern var stegen farlig, man kunde fastna på den med tungan. De visste prinsessorna, var och en av dem, av egen erfarenhet. Nu på sommaren var det inte farligt att klättra, eller var det det?  Väl högst uppe på stegen, alldeles vid taket, började storprinsessan tveka. Hennes medprinsessor hängde på stegens pinnar tätt i hälarna på henne.

– Fort ner därifrån rackarungar! Och se till att ni inte ramlar, annars plattar jag till er, när ni kommer ner!

O nej, det var Sotaren! Med ens kom prinsessorna på, att stegen egentligen inte var för barn, utan helt och hållet Sotarens egendom. Det snabbaste de kunde klättrade prinsessorna ner, undvek att ramla, och ställde sig sedan beundrande en bit ifrån. Sotaren klättrade vigt upp på taket, tog sig fram till den stora skorstenen som släppte ut all rök från värmepannan nere i källaren.

– Nu brinner det väl ingen eld i den stora ugnen där vi eldar skräp, funderade storprinsessan.

– Nej, för då skulle Sotaren bli alldeles bränd. Som den sista plåten pepparkakor, som vi glömde i ugnen i julas, fortsatte mellanprinsessan.

– Fast han är ju ganska svart, så lite bränd är han nog, konstaterade lillaprinsessan.

Beundrande stirrade prinsessorna på den modiga, lite brända Sotaren när någonting lika svart, fast mindre, krävde deras uppmärksamhet. En svart katt promenerade nonchalant över gräsmattan, mot skogen.

– Det där ser ut som vår katt, tyckte mellanprinsessan.

– Men Mauen är ju hemma, hon får ju inte gå ut utan koppel, tyckte storprinsessan.

– Mauen, kom Mauen, lockade lillaprinsessan. Katten stannade, tittade på prinsessorna, och fortsatte sedan mot skogen. Prinsessorna bestämde att omringa sitt byte, och efter hopp och skutt, skratt och ramlande i mjuka gräset var katten fast. Resolut bars katten hem, upp till tredje våningen, och mycket riktigt gick det inte att hitta någon annan katt där inne.

– Mauen har säkert suttit där i det öppna badrumsfönstret och tittat på oss, och vinden har stängt fönstret, funderade storprinsessan.

– Och puttat ut Mauen! Stackars Mauen, har du ont någonstans?

Prinsessorna undersökte sin katt noggrant, men kunde inte hitta något annat fel på den, än att den inte kunde stänga munnen ordentligt.

– Det ser ut som om den grimaserar åt oss, tyckte storprinsessan.

– Jag tror att Sotaren har någon gång ramlat ner från taket och slagit hakan, precis som Mauen, konstaterade lillaprinsessan fundersamt. De andra prinsessorna tittade förvånat på den minsta.

– Varför tror du det?

– Jo, när han var arg på oss förut, grimaserade han precis som Mauen gör nu.

– Saila, Kil

30 March, 2015

Story #233

They were mocking and laughing. All of the seven colors were gathered around him, as if they were making a circle of loneliness, achiness and bitterness for him. He could barely retort back with a handful of unequivocal answers, the poor miserable White. A tornado of reproach was swirling around him. ” You are nothing!” Indigo nettled poor White. All of the seven colors of rainbow were assuaging themselves with the thought of their transitory striking beauty. They were proud of being a leading part of generating the dazzling rainbow collaboratively and pave the way for reconciliation with the proud sun and the intransigent rain which always were incongruous enemies. They were delighted of having power to embellish the nature of God. Yet, they knew nothing about the White. Maybe white was not a color, but he was the manifestation of the presence of all colors. They didn’t know. They all had a white deep down in their hearts. They were all born to be a white. Yet, they didn’t know…

– ZizO, Tehran

30 March, 2015

Story #232

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who you are. But one things for sure  there’s no turning back.

I sit on a tree trunk in the middle of some sort of forest. I have no Idea how I got here. There’s a rotten sign to my right written in a language I can’t quite work out. I’ve been here before. I’m sure of it.

I try to think but my mind just goes blank. Blank…

That’s it! Blankwood forest in Canada.

I scramble to my feet and start to run. I don’t know where I’m running to but running feels good. All of a sudden I coldie into what seems like an invisable wall. I try to run in a different direction but I am once again stopped by this force field.

Before I can even start to gather my thoughts it all goes blank…

Blank.

Ash, Glasgow

27 March, 2015

Story #231 – To Outsmart A Fox

We are in close proximity
I am flustered and awkward
Body turns to ice.
Frozen.
I am diminished and shy
Maintain composure.
“Exude fake confidence. Exude fake confidence!” I remind myself.
Slowly approaching now
Losing my vocabulary
Think, think, think!
Something witty
Something clever
My tongue is convulsing now
I wish the cat would grab it
The chance is gone
Return to the cave
You, the lynx
Seer of my soul.
I, the fox
Not elusive anymore.

Jessica, Charlotte

23 March, 2015

Story #230

I don’t know when it happened that i have a few true friends.
But i’m not discouraged, i thought if i loved my life, someone could found me.
I’m a girl who love drawing and calligraphy and i would like stay by myself.
I usually  looking at the stars,  i believe a star will found me.

Teresa, Foshan Cantonese, China

23 March, 2015

Story #229

Rapport – “Invasionen i Garaget”

Har nu invaderat Forsens hem efter att ha blivit förrådd av min tidigare käre farbror för att han skulle få sig ett schu’uv.

Jag har därav också vid ett tillfälle sedan jag kom hem till Forsen även invaderat min käre väns finglas “Den okände Soldaten” med min kära mun för att alstra cannabiosus rökous. Jag har även stulit av denne käre mans vattenkälla, suttit i hans soffa och brukat mannens toalett samt handfat vid ett separat tillfälle. Det var inte till min avsikt att invadera fine herr Fors och vandalisera de föremål som befinner sig på platsen i fråga. Nu inväntes fördelaktivt arresterande samt rättegång och dom på ett och samma tillfälle. Straffet må bli hårt medan även rättvis för brottet som skett.

23 March, 2015

Story #228

We are friends till we were 11 years old…  Now we are 29… We were classmates for 7 years… At the end of the high school we finished our friendship… After 4 years I saw him in my dream and found him…  We were lovers for 4 years…  Also we had an orange cat named Leon… When we broke up I took Leon and looked after for 4 years…  One day Leon died and I send message to him about Leon…  After this message we came together after 4 years…  Now we engaged and live together…  We will marry soon…

Gunes ekin asci, Istanbul

20 March, 2015

Story #227

She could not wait to escape the suburbia.

She took her light silver laptop sitting apoun her messy desk, Filled with crumbled up papers and used bras. She placed it in her bag, then slumping the bag over her shoulder, and left her room. As she closed the door gently as possible, she stepped down the halway as to not awake anyone else in the house. The house that was surounded by plenty others like it in a crouded suburb. She walked downstairs and out the door, into what was at least to her the outside, lit by the sun via the moon. She began running for it. She ran for who knows.

She could not wait to escape the suburbia.

Mercer, Portland

20 March, 2015

Story #226

En tjej som blir till en vuxen utan att veta vad hon ska göra mitt sitt liv och har haft en massa förväntningar på sig själv och blir enkelt besviken och omotiverad. På det senaste året av det unga vuxenlivet så har hon hittat sig själv mer och mer, men kan fortfarande känna en osäkerhet i sig själv. Hon hoppas att hon får ett tecken om att hon går på den rätta vägen och att i slutändan, inte göra sig själv eller någon annan besviken.

Aida, Uppsala/Stockholm

19 March, 2015

Story #225

One day 13 year old me got lost in the middle of a huge forest in the middle of northern Scotland  with nothing but a jack Russell named scruff and a compass. I managed to find a broken hut in which I slept in overnight. It eventually took me and scruff 8 hours to get back to where we started.

Shona, Glasgow

18 March, 2015

Story #224

beggar

Flying in every scene that is lying on the pavement of the street musics which pass one by one in the mind interrupting every other time by the sound of “ dingggggg “ and then a scene or a song belongs to someone else , don’t know how to react , be happy because he doesn’t have to pass another day thirsty of food or sad of loosing other adventure in a masterpiece , His only comrade now is a ply of tissue which sooner or later will farewell him and hands to hands of wind will abandon  him . a couple of imaginary miles over there an empty cup of tea left alone once  filed with the warmness of hope but now longing for another cheers , so he rather putting his body just there  , let the passersby think he is there but he is playing the Romeo he is falling in love with Juliet and then he will die for this love or maybe he is playing a song so pleasing to ears which silence of street can just describe it.

…………………………………. dingggggg ” Romeo is gone ”

Hamed, Tehran

17 March, 2015

Story #223

i follow. your shadow.

IN THE DARK. I AM LOST.

FIND THE STRANGERS,

shelter them.

Give me food. Let me in.

darkness of light, I fli mi kite.

in (space) i find

a different/kind.

do not describe what you can’t feel.

I describe. the un.real

OFFENSIVELY -taken-

Stirred up and shaken.

YOU’RE GONE FOR GOOD.

GIVE ME MORE FOOD.

 

take care caretaker.

leave me bare undertaker.

This world we will leave

in sorrow dismay.

As I find more emotions to put

UP FOR DISPLAY.

17 March, 2015

Story #222

Days went by. She still had not believed it. But she could deeply feel her heart cracking. She could feel a hole, the size of her melancholia, being shaped in her heart. She had not yet believed what he had turned into, what he had done to her. But she had forgiven him, long long ago. She even missed him. A day wouldn’t go by for her, without thinking of him for hours. She went over every single memory, good or bad. She relived every moment of their old times with every little part of her soul.

“What happened?” She would ask herself, “When did it all began?” she would ask herself, not believing it yet. She dreams of him all night long. “Where is he now? Who is he sharing himself with? How can he be smiling without me?” She asks those photos, Ah! Those photos.

She still cannot believe it, yet she is still so hopeful. She has faith in him. “He would come back” she thinks, “He will realize who he really is. He will realize they don’t deserve even one moment of him. He will come  back and make up for everything. He will come back, running to me, to hold me like when I was a baby. His baby girl. His cherry loving baby girl. He will come back and stare at me like he used to”. “He will come back” she repeats like a mantra. “He will come back”, she believes with every bit of her being,

“He will come back.”

Helia, Calgary, AB, Canada

15 March, 2015

Story #221

She was studying in her room when he texted his first words to her: “Hello, I’m a friend of your best friend, I study at law school, my name is Sefa by the way.”

Three days later they met for a coffee and their own little adventure began.

“The colour of you hair is like the trees in autumn (different shades of brown and yellow)” he said to her.

She smiled and kissed him, thankful for their love.

Now, they’ve been together for 11 months. They spend time mostly at home, watching, eating, sleeping and loving each other. She knows that she has the greatest man and she wants to make something special for him, to thank for the love that he has for her and show her love for him. ”

– Emine Yilmaz, Istanbul

15 March, 2015

Story #220

It was dark and cold.
Sometimes it got sunny.
But sun was not always there.
I was a silent girl.

…And silently, I found you.
I shouted for a camera. To teach children about photography.
You had an old second-hand camera (that never worked).
But you raised your hand.
Anyways.

We found each other. In the most perfect sense.
We bounded so quickly, so deeply. We bounded miraclely.
We decided to spend the rest of our life with each other.

Oh.
What an amazing decision.
We stand by a window that opens to the hugest forest.
We stand, holding hands.
Sun pour down on our face. Like honey.

It will never be cold again.
World is shining with love.
Our love.

– Setareh, Tehran

13 March, 2015

Story #219

Started in valentine day, I gave her a lollipop candy. I think i have a feeling for her. Her smile totally made my day. But I dont know there’s a chance or not to get her heart, let the time answer it.

– Pambayun Yoga Bagus, Bandung, Indonesia

11 March, 2015

Story #218

Dörren till barnkammaren på Botbygårdsvägen ett knarrade när storasyster gläntade på den.

– Vart ska du, jag vill med, viskade mellansyster. Lillasyster vaknade, ett rufsigt huvud stack fram under täcken:

– Är det morgon nu? Jag kommer med!

Beslutsamt grävde lillasyster sig fram genom ett virrvarr av täcken. Tillsammans smög systrarna genom vardagsrummet och hallen till köket. Rejäl Frukost. Barn behöver en Rejäl Frukost för att orka, hade Mamma lärt dem.

– Jag tycker att puffar är en Rejäl Frukost, bestämde mellansyster.

– Men är det Veckoslutet nu? Puffar äts ju bara på Veckoslutet, undrade lillasyster. Storasyster funderade ett tag.

– Ja, det är Veckoslutet nu, föräldrar sover länge på Veckoslutet.

Storasyster drog fram stolen och ställde den framför köksskåpet, klättrade upp på den, ställde sig på tårna och lirkade ner paketet med puffarna från översta hyllan. Det utbröt en kort diskussion om huruvida det var även en Bastudag idag, och är det möjligt att dricka Bastudrickan redan på morgonen, före bastun. Flickorna bestämde, att det gick bra att dela på en flaska Appelsindricka. Beslutet följdes av en mycket noggrann procedur; storasyster hällde dricka i tre lika stora glas, försiktigt, lite i taget, så att alla skulle få lika mycket. Lillasyster fick välja glas först och storasyster sist. Alla var nöjda, och tyckte att de hade fått glaset med mest dricka i.

Stämningen var glad när flickorna njöt av sin frukost, och bytte sedan nattlinnen mot lätta sommarklänningar. I hallen uppstod ett problem. Ingen av systrarna var speciellt duktig på att knyta skor. Gemensamt bestämde de att gå ut barfota.

– Skorna är en onödig uppfinning på sommaren, tyckte storasyster och öppnade beslutsamt ytterdörren. Stentrapporna som ledde dem tre våningar ner till gården kändes lena under de bara fötterna, när flickorna tumlade ut.

– Kolla här, det går att göra spår på gräsmattan! Glatt drog lillasyster sina fötter genom det daggvåta gräset.  Ett tag skapade systrarna kringelikrokiga stigar på gräsmattan innan de riktade sina steg mot skogskanten, där det växte yviga buskar av vildhallon.

– Jag vet! Vi gör en frukostfest på Slottet vid den Platta Stenen. En prinsessornas frukost, log storasyster.

Ivrigt satte prinsessorna i gång med arbetet. Frukosten dukades fram på den flata stenen vid skogskanten: Hallonen och blåbären som hittades i skogens skafferi placerades varsamt i skålar hopflätade av lönnlöv. Ett stort löv från hästhov fick tjänstgöra som fat för smultron och harsyra. Storasyster och lillasyster samlade ihop dagg från daggkåporna i bägare gjorda av blåklockor, medan mellansyster skuttade iväg till Mammas grönsaksland. Där hittade hon både sallad och ärtor, samt morötter som hon tvättade noggrant vid havets strand.

Festfrukosten var färdig, men först behövdes det blommor till prinsessornas hår. Alla vet, att prinsessor är fina redan vid frukost. Blommorna hade en benägenhet att ramla ner från storaprinsessans och mellanprinsessans hår, medan de satt fast fint i lillaprinsessans virrvarr till frisyr.

– Vi gör en trollfrukost istället, bestämde sig storaprinsessan, rufsade till sitt hår, och fick blommorna att stanna fint på sin plats.

Ackompanjerad av sång och skratt njöt trollen av sin frukost, och ställde sedan till med en vild dans i skogen; Mellan tallarnas ståtliga stammar, över stubbar och sten, genom täta dungar av små granar studsade trollen medan mossan sviktade mjukt under deras fötter. Svettiga stannade trollflickorna vid den Stora Stenen; Vad skönt det skulle vara med en simtur! Stortrollet ledde sin skara av troll mot hemmet.

– God morgon mina gullungar, hälsade Mamma glatt, när trollen dundrade in, för att hämta sina baddräkter och handdukar.

– Frukosten är klar.

– Vad då frukosten? Vi har redan ätit frukost två gånger.

Trollen var förbluffade. Stortrollet tittade på gökuret som tickade hemtrevligt på köksväggen, och förkunnade sedan vist:

– Klockan är ju redan halv tolv, det är dags för lunch nu.

Mamma tittade på sina små troll och log:

– Eller så är klockan sex, om man tittar riktigt noga.

Saila, Kil

11 March, 2015

Story #217

One time I ate dirt. I liked it. I feel healthy, kind of.
This other time I ate an egg. I felt more like a dino.
Next I think I will eat ceramic. Will I feel shiny? Who knows.

Why do I do these things? Because science. Science needs me and I need science. The need is more of a partnership though. Where we grow with each other, not because of each other.

Alexis Hebert, Kirkland

11 March, 2015

Story #216

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in China, as my parents drew up their divorce and  fought about who didn’t want me or who didn’t want me more than the other.

I didn’t mind at all not being wanted by my parents because I enjoyed spending time with my grandparents so much. My grandmother is the kindest person I know, whom I love more than anyone else on this Earth. She is the most wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother with endless admiration and love from all those she surrounds herself with. My grandfather was a stern  and strict man that was often cold and un-animated towards his family. Having been a soldier for most of his life, he had strict morals and believed that strength was the greatest trait a person could possess.

With all the memories that I shared with my grandparents the ones I remembered the most vividly involved me sitting on my grandma’s lap listening to the stories that my grandfather created. His stories were often ridiculous but the more ridiculous they were the more they caught my attention.

Once he told me a story about little people that lived in the clouds and planned to cause mischief upon me when I fell asleep, I was so afraid I barricaded myself with my army of stuffed animals

Even as a young lady about to graduate from university I still sleep guarded by the Royal Plushie Defense Force.

Teresa Lu, Blacksburg

11 March, 2015

Story #215

Ensi kertaa tavatessamme liitelit suoraan sydämeeni. Tulit kuin satukirjasta karannut touhukas keiju, avasit  käsilaukkusi, vedit reippaalla otteella esille kaikkein tärkeimmät: puolialastoman barbin, patalapun ja kissanlelun.  Sitten napsautit laukkusi kiinni, katsoit suoraan silmiini ja sanoit: “nyt leikitään”. Ja minä olin myyty, tulvillaan pakahduttavaa onnea ja ihmetystä siitä, miten neljävuotiaalla on noin mahtava lumovoima.

Eliisa Lehtomäki, Vantaa

8 March, 2015

Story #214

I am a graphic designer and photographer from New Delhi, India.
My story is that I have a crazy OCD when it comes to my work. A tiny dot extra and I will redo the whole thing. But my life and space is messy and chaotic. Pretty much how i like it.

An inclination towards art in my school wasn’t seen as something viable or appreciative. My dedication for graphics was often seen as absurd and not focused. Thanks to a bunch of crazy and cool parents I am still doing what I love the most!

Mana, New Delhi

7 March, 2015

Story #213

The roar of the waves, light breeze in hair, poppies, fields of blooming poppies around, old wooden bridge leading to the sea.

– Let’s take a sit?

– Okay

Hand in hand, heart to heart, two are looking in the same direction.

– Let’s get old together?

– Okay

The whisper of the waves. The ring goes from his pocket on her finger…

Two have been still looking in the same direction – at their pretty baby girl. And they go all the way hand in hand, heart to heart.

Evgenia, Moscow

6 March, 2015

Story #212

Once, In a town that does not matter, in a city that does not matter, in a state in a world that does not matter, there was a man with a blog. He never left his house and he never had to. His home had enough strange things happening in it to fuel a blog for years. One time, A black tentacle with no light on it covered his face for a month, but to him it was a year. Once his mattress went on vacation, only to come back at the end of the weekend. Once he fell in love. once his coffe grew hair and eyeballs. He reported all of these things from his chair in his room, lit only by the white and black text emited from his computer screen, to whoever would be willing to listen to it. He lived alone, and for some reason, food still apeared in his house. same with electricity to power his computer and air. He never saw anyone. Or anything. Except for the two houses visible outside his window.  He could remember them perfectly. Just two houses, sitting there. He had no clue how they or he or anything got there, and had no memories of being a child or growing up or ever seeing a human but himself in the mirrors.

Mercer, Portland

3 March, 2015

Story #211

We are two girls, very best friends since high school. We love stories; reading and writing it, we love day dreaming, we love playing with kids, we love laughing, singing , dancing and knitting. We love making the world a better place.

We are story tellers; whenever we get time, we round up our kids (there are more than five) get a book of their choice and read out loud;while some of the kids lie down, the other stare at the ceiling, the other close the eyes.

We believe every minute, every second, worth living.

Gita, Teheran, Iran

2 March, 2015

Story #210

Our first date.
After four glasses of wine.
A walk to a restaurant.
We ordered food and more wine.
Talked about everything and nothing.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
Each side of the table.
We stretched out.
Distance decreased.
Butterflies in the stomach.
Our first kiss.

Denise, Stockholm

2 March, 2015

Story #209

Day two of the siege. I t started early today  I could hear something coming from the back of the room. My sweaty  finger pressed mute on the television.  My heart beat became irregular violently dancing against my clammy chest. The room was in complete silence and then it started again. My mouth was dry and my body felt very light. The rustling became more frantic almost furious. The enemy whizzed past me with great speed, its tiny beady brown eyes staring defiantly into mine its worm like tail waving almost triumphantly at me. Screams like a banshee wailing could be heard all over the house now. Pull yourself together. It ran in the direction of the washing machine. Bad move I thought.. Pride comes before a fall I muttered .A host of ammunition lay waiting.  Its little worm tail lay lifeless on the trap. Ha gotcha.

Laura, Cork, Ireland

2 March, 2015

Story #208 – Välkommen in i värmen

 AKT 1

”Om någon bara rörde din hand
skulle gråten bryta fram
men ingen är intresserad av
en främling i ett främmande land”

I Solna, där jag bor, är kallblåsten rå och trottoaren hal som en tvålskål. Klockan är åtta och solen har ännu inte stigit upp. Några få mörka skuggor rör sig på gatorna, en man som rastar hunden, en ung kvinna som drar i en stor resväska. Vid perrongen stirrar trötta blickar in i reklamskyltarna. Det är julaftonsmorgon.

45 minuter senare är jag i Stockholmsförorten Rågsved. Himlen är inte längre mörk och det lilla hästskoformade betongcentrumet är nyvaket. Längs med fasaden står en butiksägare i full flärd att lyfta upp rullgallret till sin affär. På väg över torget får jag sällskap av en handfull muntra själar, inga bistra stenansikten utan sådana med förväntansfulla och snälla ögon. De är alla volontärer som ska jobba ideellt idag, ett tjugotal personer som ska mätta femhundra hungriga magar med julmat och förhoppningsvis värma några hjärtan på köpet.

Alla samlas i kaféet inne i Nya Rågsveds folkets hus. Det är en potpurri av människor, gamla och unga, fattiga och (nåja) medelklass. En säljer toalettartiklar, en annan är kundsupport på ett it-företag och en tredje utbildar sig till undersköterska. Någon undrar varför ordet ”Nya” ligger före Rågsveds folkets hus, och får svaret av föreståndaren att föreningen gick i konkurs för sju år sedan och när den omstartades ville de göra som Moderaterna. För det har ju gått bra. Alla skrattar.

Man märker att många här är rutinerade och har gjort detta länge, medan andra, inklusive undertecknad, är här för första gången. Stämningen är god när genomgången börjar. Folk har försett sig av kaffetermosarna och smörgåsbordet som dukats fram. Det blir ett kort informationsmöte, ansvariga för olika delar av verksamheten presenteras. Källarmästaren hälsar glatt alla välkomna. Några har inte dykt upp, men i Stockholm är det eftertraktat att volontärarbeta. Vill man jobba på julen bör man söka redan i oktober-november. Så föreningen har en reservlista med namn att ringa i sista minuten. Själv sökte jag två veckor innan jul och fick en plats. Nu får jag veta varför. För första gången på över 30 år ska julfesten ha en tomte, och det är den rollen jag ska axla. Ingen annan ville göra det. Mötet avslutas med att en äldre dam utropar på bred finlandssvenska ”här kan vi inte stå hela dagen, nu måste vi ut i köket och förbereda”.

Min ursprungliga plan, att fråga runt varför folk är här och arbetar, går genast i stöpet. Alla hugger tag i sina arbetsuppgifter, det är en känsla av ”ännu en dag på jobbet”, ingen försöker framhäva sig själv och sina medmänskliga ambitioner. Själv är jag mest tacksam över att få vara här. Alternativet hade varit att genomlida en julafton utan min dotter, en sorg och ångest jag gärna slipper. Att få fylla en funktion, göra någonting som håller tankarna på annat håll, har bara varit en gåva.

Alla är stressade. Klockan halv tolv anländer de första gästerna. Ägg ska delas, klappar bäras ner till entrén, maten värmas och dukas fram, lekrummet dekoreras och förberedas med vattenfärger och ett bordshockeyspel. Tiden rinner iväg. En spelman sätter sig utanför ingången till matsalen och börjar plinka på en nyckelharpa. Till dessa toner anländer en karavan av rullstolsburna åldringar. De puttas framåt av sköterskor från världens alla hörn och ett kort ögonblick funderar jag över svenskar, svenskhet och nationer och annat nationalistiskt trams som Sverigedemokrater yttrat de sista veckorna. Sällan har känslan av tillhörighet och gemenskap varit så stark som nu. På scenen står en gospelkör och sjunger om julen och Jesus Kristus.

En stund senare rasslar fler hungriga in. Ensamma gummor och gubbar, barnfamiljer, unga och härjade. Alla är välkomna in i värmen, så länge du inte är drogpåverkad eller har med dig alkohol eller narkotika. För ”musketörerna”, det vill säga narkomanerna, finns rester att hämta när de sista gästerna lämnat bygget. Matvärdarna ser till att ingen behöver sitta ensam och äta, att alla åtminstone får höra ”god jul” och ”hoppas att det smakar”. På vägen ut väntar klappar märkta med ettor och nollor. Ettor är till vuxna kvinnor och nollor till vuxna män. Barnens paket delas ut av jultomten klockan två.

Tillsammans med tre andra volontärer hinner jag slänga i mig en tallrik med dopp i grytan, kalvsylta, kokta ägg, sill och potatis innan det är dags för min huvuduppgift. Försiktigt bär jag tomtedräkten under armen och smyger ut genom lekrummets nödutgång. Medan jag byter om hör jag hur sorlet stegrar. De två kvinnor som ska assistera mig eldar på barnens förväntningar. ”När ska tomten komma egentligen?”, frågar de ledande. Till slut knackar jag hårt på dörren. ”Vem kan det vara?” Jag ser handtaget trevande sjunka ner och på andra sidan står en liten kille med ögon runda som tefat. ”Det är tomten!”

När alla barnen fått sina julklappar och blivit fotograferade ihop med mig av leende föräldrar börjar några kvicktänkta ungar att ställa frågor.

”Du är inte den riktiga tomten, va?”

”Jo, det är jag. Jag är med i tomtefacket.”

”Vart bor du då?”

”På Nordpolen.”

”Men vart har du släden?”

”Det är bara rika tomtar som åker släde, jag åker tunnelbana som alla andra.”

”Varför har du ett snöre bakom skägget?”

”Det ska vara så, jag är född sån här.”

Jag tror inte att jag lurade någon. De är alldeles för smarta. Skägget åker av och jag går in till julklappsrummet. Här finns massor av paket kvar. Ryktet om gratis presenter har spridits i Rågsved och människor strömmar in. I början går det bra. Alla vuxna och barn får julklappar att ta med sig hem. Men snart har de vuxnas paket tagit slut. Det är inte jätteallvarligt, många är föräldrar som främst vill göra sina barn glada. Sedan händer det oundvikliga – även barnens paket sinar. Jag måste stirra in i desperata mammors ögon och säga ”tyvärr, vi har inga paket att ge din 8-åriga dotter och 10-årige son.” Det är en blick man helst slipper möta. Att se insikten sjunka in, förhoppningen grusas och gå över till hopplöshet. ”Tack ändå, god jul”, säger en kvinna och går iväg med tunga steg. Mitt bröst värker.

Dagen är över. Musketörerna har fått sin mat, vi städar och plockar undan. Det råder blandade känslor. ”Nästa år måste vi organisera julklappsutdelningen bättre, jag såg många ledsna människor som gick härifrån tomhänta”, säger någon. ”Nu tycker jag att vi gläds åt det goda vi gjorde idag, och lär oss av misstagen till nästa år”, säger en annan. På tunnelbanan in till stan är vi några volontärer som pratar om våra kvällsplaner. De flesta ska hem och lägga sig på soffan. Jag får förvånade blickar när jag säger att min kväll bara börjat. Nu ska jag ut på krogen och försöka prata med främlingar. Skeptiska önskar de mig lycka till när jag kliver av vid Medborgarplatsen.

AKT 2

”Det är en natt för självrannsakan
och för självbedrägeri
på en bortglömd krog vid världens ände
kan du känna dig fri”

Vacker och melankolisk. Ungefär så har min fantasi om denna julaftonsnatt sett ut – som scenen där Karl-Bertil Jonsson kliver in på ölkaféet med de sorgsnaste diversearbetarna. Riktigt så är inte verkligheten. I stället hamnar jag på Malmen med amerikanska och tyska turister. Kvarnen är stängd och jag frågar bartendern vilka andra ställen som har öppet. Han svarar Stampen, jazzpuben i Gamla stan. Gott så. Med en öl i kroppen promenerar jag längs ett öde Götgatan, inte ens tiggarna är ute i kylan. Nere i Gamla stan stöter jag på en ung norrlänning i militäruniform som ser förvirrad ut. ”God jul”, säger jag. Han frågar om jag vet någon butik som är öppen. Seven-Eleven, Konsum och kiosken nere i tunnelbanan är stängda och han måste ha snus. Tyvärr, svarar jag och önskar honom lycka till. ”Äh, nog klarar jag mig ändå”, svarar han uppgivet och vinkar hejdå. Klockan är sex och Stampen öppnar inte förrän nio, visar det sig. Lyckligtvis håller en irländsk pub på Stora nygatan öppet. Bartendern och kocken spelar backgammon i ett hörn, medan tre äldre herrar och en medelålders kvinna sitter sida vid sida längs med bardisken. Alla tycks känna varandra. Kvinnan skämtar om att Gudrun Schyman borde titta förbi och vara tomte. ”Fi är bra, dem borde ni lyssna på”.

Jag slår mig ner bredvid. Bartendern misstar mig för amerikan och börjar prata engelska. Jag misstar honom för britt och svarar på engelska. ”One zlato please”. Sedan vänder jag mig till herrarna på min sida, i runda slängor 70 år, och frågar om de ätit julbord i dag. ”Nej, för fan” svarar den i keps som sitter närmast. ”Julen är bara otyg. Men sill, det åt jag faktiskt till lunch”. Den andra mannen, en vithårig skäggig figur i tjusig kostym, har en tomteluva framför sig. ”Har du varit tomte idag?”, försöker jag. ”Den där”, svarar han. ”Nej, det är en vanlig mössa”. Han tar på sig luvan. ”Visst är den fin, min mössa?”. Insikten landar att jag måste ha klivit in på Zekes bar i Arne Anka. Än tydligare blir det när storbildsteven visar dokumentären om den verkliga tjuren Ferdinand.

”Jag minns en tjurfäktning i Pamplona”, säger mannen i kostym. ”Tjuren dundrade rakt in i väggen och bröt av hornen. Det räddade livet på honom. De fick ta in en extratjur i stället”. Kvinnan, vars hela uppenbarelse utstrålar konstnär, hoppar in i samtalet. ”Extratjurarna är ofta de mest aggressiva. Dem ska man passa sig för.” I stället för att föreläsa om djurplågeri för mina nyvunna vänner undrar jag hur länge en tjurfäktning varar. ”Det tar en hel dag”, svarar mannen i kostym och kvinnan fyller i: ”Sex till åtta tjurar brukar gå åt”.

På teven visas svartvita bilder på militärer och plötsligt har ämnet bytts till första världskriget. ”De sköt alltid i två skurar med kulsprutorna. I den första sköt de av benen på hästarna i kavalleriet som kom inridandes. Och i den andra sköt de ihjäl soldaterna som försökte resa sig upp”. En annan noterar att i dag, på julafton, är det exakt hundra år sedan ”Julfreden”, det legendariska vapenstilleståndet när brittiska och tyska soldater släppte sina gevär och umgicks i stället. ”Till och med grodorna och tyskarna var vänner då, och de hatade varandra ännu mer.”

Med kort varsel tackar de båda herrarna för sig och ger sig ut i vinterkylan. ”Nu ska jag hem och knoppa”, säger mannen i keps. ”Här har jag suttit sedan klockan tre”. In kommer en annan filur och slår sig ner bredvid mig. Han beställer en starköl och en fyra Jameson. ”Hej”, säger jag. ”Kommer du ifrån julbordet?” Han tittar glatt på mig och svarar ja, det stämmer. Hans hustru, en gammal polis som är nio år äldre än han, bor på ett äldreboende och de bjöd på julbord idag. Senare får jag veta vilken hårding hon var som ung. ”Vi satt på Pelikan och då kom några skinnvästar in. Hon var den enda som vågade gå fram och be dem gå ut. Och det gjorde dom!”.

Bartendern har slagit på en repris av en Champions league-match. Klockan är snart sju och jag ber honom byta till Karl-Bertil på ettan. Han låtsas inte höra men kocken tar mitt parti. Teven är tyst så vi försöker citera Tage Danielssons berättar-röst ur minnet. Det går sådär. Mannen med polishustrun berättar att han liknade Karl-Bertil som ung. ”På den tiden var mitt hår rött och krulligt. En liten flicka kom fram till mig i mataffären och skrek att där står Karl-Bertil Jonsson. Då stack jag till henne en tjuga.”

En hipsterkille i mustasch och jeansjacka kliver in och köper en IPA på flaska. Han ser ensam ut i sitt hörn vid fönstret, så jag frågar om han inte vill sitta hos oss istället. Det vill han, hälsar han med ett stort leende. In kommer också en tatuerad kille från Östermalm först känns läskig men som visar sig vara supertrevlig. Till sist anländer även min 21-årige lillebror. ”Two more Zlato och två fyror Jameson, tack” säger jag till bartendern.

Vi kommer in på ämnet kärlek och gubbarna minns det ljuva 70-talet. ”Då var det Göta Gök som gällde. Och sedan besök hos Kuk Bengtsson på Götgatan. Det var en gammal stofil med stetoskop som hade en dunderkur. En spruta i rumpan och gonorrén var botad på två dagar.” En annan herre längre bort blandar sig i samtalet och tillägger: ”På 80-talet, när aids kom till Sverige, gick myndigheterna ut på krogarna och informerade. De höll föreläsningar för oss som satt och drack. Det tyckte jag var väldigt bra.” Min bror och jag gör oss redo att gå vidare till Stampen. Utanför tar Östermalmskillen farväl av oss med orden ”säg för fan inte god fortsättning nu, jag hatar julen”. Vi önskar honom ett gott nytt år.

Inne i Stampen är det fortfarande folktomt. I andra sidan av baren sitter två män som ser ut som Mats Knutson och Lars Danielsson. Inspirerad av snacket om gamla tider försöker jag att beställa in en Gröna hissen. Ingredienserna saknas tyvärr, och istället får brorsan och jag en varsin Margarita med en uppochnervänd Corona nerkörd i glaset. Basisten till live-bandet hämtar en bärs i baren och säger: ”I wish I had such a cool big brother who pays for my drinks. My brother always force me to pay ’cause I’m the little one.” Människor strömmar in, och när jazzbandet kickar igång är lokalen halvfull. Vi pratar om olycklig kärlek. Min bror är full och lättar på sitt hjärta. Tårar kommer och vi kramar varandra. Medan han går på toaletten beställer jag in två jäger-shots. Ett dåligt beslut skulle det visa sig. Mitt i ett sexigt saxofonsolo behöver min bror kräkas men hinner varken ut eller på toaletten.

I taxin på väg hem försöker jag att summera dagen i mitt huvud, men det är svårt. För många intryck, för många människor och samtal. Men en sak vet jag. I dag har varit en av mina bästa jular någonsin.

”Men det är som om vinet lyste
av en inre fluorescens
det är soluppgången som närmar sig
det är livets existens”*

– Jonas Lundmark, Stockholm

* Text från Kjell Höglunds ”Brustna drömmars boulevard”.

28 February, 2015

Story #207

Circle opened the window one beautiful morning, and rolled over yawning loudly.
Outside he spotted his two best friends Rhombus and Trapeze who were already playing in the backyard.

“I’m going out!” he said to his Triangle mom, who had just made the most appetizing breakfast for him and his little brother – Square.

As he joined his friends, Rhombus was climbing to the top of Trapeze’s flattened head and sliding down his wide thighs.

“Circle! It is great that you are finally here!” trapeze seemed pleased for he was a bit bored with the game.

“Oh, yes!” said Rhombus:” now we can swing!”

Trapeze sighed but tipped over his head and helped his friends climb on top of him. So they swung up-and-down for a while and Circle regretted the great breakfast he had eaten.

“How would you like to build a tower?!” suggested Trapeze tiredly.

“I’ll be the first!” Circle called quickly, and stood at the center of the playground.

Trapeze leaped over Circle:” don’t move!” he shouted:” or I will fall down!”

Circle blew out all the air he inhaled at once.

“I am not moving!” he screamed, trying unsuccessfully to maintain balance.

“Yes, you are!” Trapeze whined as he hit the ground.

He stood up and rubbed his knees.

“It’s my turn now” he said quietly.

Circle watched his friends as they built a tall and stable tower.

“It’s your turn now” cried Rhombus from the top.

Circle jumped in one place just to get used to the height, and then hopped… He didn’t even manage to think:” I’m falling…” and he was already bumped on to the pavement.

“Are you all right?” Trapeze asked with deep concern as Circle pulled his tears back into his throat.

“I’m fine” he said: “I’m just… I don’t think I fit in this game”.

“Lets play ball?!” suggested Rhombus and squinted at Circle who seemed a little unhappy with the idea.

“The pavement is too solid and the yard is filled with thorns” he tried to argue:

“And besides, why do I always have to be the ball?”

“That’s the way it is” said Rhombus pulling his shoulders and passed circle to Trapeze who dribbled and gored Circle with his sharp forehead.

“Ouch!” Circle rubbed his hurt cheek.

“Sorry” said Rhombus.

As Circle stepped home Triangle -mom asked:” did you play ball again?” but he said nothing and Triangle-mom just bandaged the scratch.

And so, very sad and bandaged, Circle lay in his bed heavily, and started to think painful pointy thoughts.

“I am so different” he thought:

“I don’t have sides at all, I am round and I have no corners. I don’t resemble anybody I know, surly not dad”…

In his mind he could see his Rectangle-dad in his upright posture and his confident walk.

Triangle-mom entered his room.

“Are you asleep?” she asked and Circle mumbled:” only just a bit…” Then he stretched for a good-night kiss.

“What would you say about a trip tomorrow?” she asked and kissed his bruised cheek.

“Yyyeeeessssss!” cried Circle happily, completely forgetting he was actually sad.

It is morning.

“Circle! Square! Breakfast!” called Triangle-mom.

Circle didn’t feel like getting out of bed.

“Circle! We are waiting for you!” he heard rectangle-dad’s voice calling him, the chairs squeak cheerfully and the forks rattle.

“We are going on a trip today!” he remembered and jumped out of bed.

“Where are we going?” he asked as he squeezed some scrambled egg to his mouth.

“To wherever we would like to go, and back” answered Triangle-mom.

The family car was fully-loaded with all the equipment they could pile up on it, and they didn’t forget their hats either.

But very soon Rectangle-dad found out that one of the wheel-tires was flat.

“We can’t go anywhere today” Triangle-mom said as she pointed at the flat wheel, while Square’s small face wrinkled with disappointment.

But Circle had had an idea. He closed his eyes and counted to three. Then he suggested:” what if I replaced the flat wheel?!”

Rectangle-dad immediately said:”What a great idea!”

And so they were on their way…

They stopped when they arrived at the beach.
Triangle-mom stretched a big blanket on the white warm sand, and Circle leaned on his back next to her watching the clouds changing their shapes.
A big black cloud descended for a rest just over the family’s heads.
The shore suddenly seemed very dark and the air became colder.

“Lets go home” Triangle-mom folded the big blanket as quadrangular tears flooded little-Square’s eyes.
But Circle had another idea…

“What if I climbed up that black cloud and replace the sun for a short while?”

“That is a great idea, son…!” Triangle-mom smiled at him:

“Just be careful up there, so you don’t fall!”

Little Square’s eyes twinkled with joy and pride: He hugged Circle warmly: “you are the best Circle-brother in the whole world!”

Circle felt a strange sense of warmth flowing through his rounded body even before he started climbing the cloud, to replace the sun.

Circle climbed up the cloud and watched his family from above:
Rectangle-dad was swimming, Triangle-mom was tanning and little Square brother was building a castle in the sand and decorating it with shells.

“This is wonderful” Circle thought to himself and softly fell asleep…

As he woke up the sky was colored in orange, and his feet gently touched the water.

Very carefully he got off of the cloud.

– Nava Libman

28 February, 2015

Story #206

a grandmother is taking care of her grandson. His mom is in the hospital giving birth to another baby. A package arrives, and it is a superhero outfit from his aunt. He tries it on but it’s a little bit too small. But he loves it. His grandmother tells him he should change it, that they should return it because it’s too small. But he refuses to take it off. She says it’s too small, but he says it’s ok!

– Avi Megiddo, Seoul, South Korea

27 February, 2015

Story #205

In deep water a girl was sitting, almost by herself, not daring to open her mouth, for fear of  swallowing water. Still she was trying to communicate with a few passing seahorses. Long minutes went by with her in this kind of discomfort, since the body language was seem not to be understood by the seahorses. And all that time she did not notice that she was not at all threatened by danger of choking, due to the gills that opened wide on her cheeks. A sudden grasping let an uncontrolled scream, swallowed  as a dim distant echo, immediately making the girl notice of her ability of underwater breathing.

– Mori, Kyoto

25 February, 2015

Story #204

Can you draw an illustration about this girl who is madly in love with this guy who she is waiting to know if he feels the madness too? I know it’s typical. But would love it.  There is this quote by Hafiz that says it’s like your heart and mine has been friends before us.

Zeyana Haniffa, Colombo

22 February, 2015

Story #203

Maybe when she’d grow up she’ll know she can survive anything. Someday she could look back and admire how far she’s come and her own strength. Maybe she’ll even be a role model or help others overcome their obstacles. She could be someone people look up to and want to be around. But that’s all in the future. And to get to that future she first has to get past her present.

In the present she is sitting on the ledge, way up high, looking down. It’s dark inside, feels like there’s nothing to come back to. She doesn’t belong. She’s been sitting there for over 3 hours now. Waiting for something to happen. Nothing had happened. Nothing is going to happen. She’s getting cold. In a little while she could come inside, turn on the lights, and sigh. She could take another one of those pills that make her sleep for 16 hours straight. She could wake up tomorrow and try again. She could find herself on the ledge again. But, again, that’s in the future. In the present she is sitting on the ledge, way up high, looking down. She hesitates, unsure.

She jumps.

Sam, Tel Aviv

22 February, 2015

Story #202

I am the accidental author. I’ve always been fascinated with technology. So, when the Internet was very young … around 1996 … as a hobby, I wrote a book about the Internet. I printed about 7,000 copies. I didn’t think they would sell very well. However, I was very wrong. Over a seven year period, I was pleasantly surprised that I sold over 3-million copies.

Due to the success of the books, many interesting things happened. I started to do many speaking engagements and even though I had never been on TV, I became a regular on television. Over time, all the excitement about the book series died down. It was a fun run.

But, a few months ago, I was contacted about writing another Internet book. So, I started doing research to see if I thought it was a good idea. After about a week of research, I discovered that there were thousands of gems on the Internet that most people do not know about. In a few months, I had enough content to come out with a new book.

We struggled over the title and the cover too. Alas, we came up with a name that identified the content of the book: ​Buried Treasures of the Web. And, we found someone who could interpret our suggestions into an outstanding cover.

We just released the book. While we do expect to sell many books, I’m not sure if we will top the 3-million we sold in the last go-round.

Ken Leebow​

20 February, 2015

Story #201

Små grodorna runt midsommarstången hade värmt i kylan.

Ray, Göteborg

19 February, 2015

Story #200

When I first met him, he was just a random guy.
The second time I fell in love with him.
Every time I saw him my heart exploded in my chest.
We dated for a while; everything was so perfect.
He cheated on me, and we broke up.
We don’t even talk anymore.
We live, now, 6382 km from each other.
I still love him.

Stella, Stockholm

19 February, 2015

Story #199 – The Party Perils of Perry the Panda

A party for all, a birthday for one. Poor Perry the panda did not have much fun. A Facebook invite to all of his friends, to take place outside to play games with no end.

He put all the lantern balloons in their place and set down the drink cups, the forks and the plates. But after his planning and scheming was done, it seemed that no one even bothered to come.

“Of course it’s uncool to show up on time. Perhaps they’re in traffic or trapped in a mine!” “They should be here soon!” said the cheery eyed lad. But two hours of waiting made this panda real sad.

And with disappointment, no more full with hope. Toward his apartment our poor Perry moped. He walked the trip home, with a tear in his eye. He opened his door and was met with SURPRISE!!

His roommates, his father, his mother and friends popped up out of hiding with very large grins. With presents and flowers, some real and some fake, streamers and ice cream and a big bamboo cake.

Excited and happy our Perry was stunned. He couldn’t imagine a party more fun. Though having a blast he just had to know, why to his planned party his friends did not go.

Confused by his story, their ears they did lend. He told of his party that lacked all his friends. He thought of the invite, but before he could end, it seemed our friend Perry forgot to click “Send”.

Perry the panda and pals partied late. They drank all the punch and finished the cake. A birthday success that started out sad. Now known as the best birthday he ever had.

– Logan Riley, San Francisco

14 February, 2015

Story #198

I’m deaf. All my life, I had nightmares about falling into the void from any building. But, since fourteen years, inexplicably, I have dreams about flying to heaven. I dream that I can fly among the clouds like Superman, and I can feel the air on my face. And I can see the earth below while I’m flying.

I can feel a sense of peace while I am flying. Still don’t know why I’m having these dreams, but one thing is certain: I lost my fear of heights thanks to dreams.

I hope someday I can be able to fly and touch these beautiful clouds. Dreaming is beautiful. 🙂

Ender, Monterrey, Mexico

14 February, 2015

Story #197

My mother likes to recount this story alot.

When my younger sister and I were just toddlers, my mom took us to a playground. She was watching my sister play in the sandbox when all of a sudden, another little boy walked over and snatched my sister’s sand bucket from her. Before my mom could even get to her feet, I had already marched over to the little boy to talk to him myself. A minute later and I was proudly carrying the bucket back to my sister. Who went on playing as if nothing had interrupted the construction of her castle.

My little sister can be a bit of a pacifist and a pest, but she’s also my best friend.

– Cynthia, Ithaca

14 February, 2015

Story #196

at first
we were both in it together
teetering on the edge,
and you wanted to pull back, you were scared
but in the end, we took that terrifying, exhilarating leap together
falling down a seemingly endless chasm
full of possibilities
side by side
and im sorry that i had a moment of weakness
sorry that i looked back up at the sky
sorry that i opened that parachute and slowed myself down but in the end i still chose to cut the strings and keep falling with you
and always always always we had each other in our sights
each blurry terrifyingly dizzy moment of free fall
and then all of a sudden i couldn’t see you
couldn’t hear you
wasn’t sure if you were still with me
and then i saw that you grabbed that ledge and held on tight

leaving me

to hit bottom

alone

Cynthia, Vienna

9 February, 2015

Story #195

So I was on a cross country flight last night, and saw a first, for me at least. This dude has rolled out a miniature painting studio and is painting up a storm. His plastic palette was in his right hand in the air and his left holding the brush. Always one to support the arts community, I felt a tad guilty when I bumped his arm. 🙂

Amy Stevens, Lafayette

3 February, 2015

Story #194

“Why are you doing it?” he said. “It obviously isn’t making you happy.”

“But sometimes it does,” she thought. “Sometimes it makes me feel special, alive, needed, like I’m part of something, like everyone else. And those times, those brief moments in time, they make it all worth it.”

“I don’t know,” she answered.

– Raquelita, UK

2 February, 2015

Story #193

My two sisters and I have birthdays within one week of each other.  This year I reconnected with my younger sister whom I had not seen in 20 years.  We all went on a vacation together.  M little sister wanted a picture of the three of us for a memory.  We were at a lake on an empty dock and there were no other people around.  Amazingly, a woman came walking up to us from somewhere we did not notice and asked if we wanted her to take our picture.  We were overjoyed and said yes, of course.

For Christmas I received that picture in a frame that says Sisters.  It is my miracle reminder of the power of love and the beauty all around us.

1 February, 2015

Story #192

Two butterflies play in a garden. Flutter and swirling in a wild dance. The first butterfly, smaller than the other, reaching higher and higher, till the other don’t reach. Disappointed the other searches for a new friend, finds a ball and playful runs the other way. The first butterfly slowly flies to the next garden in search for the prettiest tree, while the papillon, the butterfly-dog, continues to play with her ball…

– Johanna
Jokkmokk, Sweden

1 February, 2015

Story #191

Raha is 9 her brother is 3, they love each other play together, they like to sing and dance and eating cake.they are so happy even when they fight they make peace so quickly afterwards. Raha likes to pretend she’s a princess, her brother loves playing with ball and bowling.

28 January, 2015

Story #190

Once upon in ‘The Land of W’,  a Skull-spider was walking down a street.  The Skull-spider bumped into a Balkabear.  Baklabears hate physical contact, and this Baklabear was carrying a hot drink that spilled all over him.  “Kismah!” shouted the Baklabear, in his native language, Balkavese. “Ju teshnak yoi reuto!” The Skull-spider backed away slowly, knowing that and angry Baklabear is not a thing you want to hang around. The Baklabear charged at the poor Skull-spider.  A passing Kappa noticed the struggle, and used his magic Kappa powers to set back time.  Then, the Kappa lifted the Skull-spider in the air right before the Skull-spider bumped into the Baklabear.  After the Balkabear passed, the Kappa put the Skull-spider down, and all was well in ‘The Land of W’.

28 January, 2015

Story #189 – One Tiny Thing

It’s frightening,
How someone can be so happy; yet so frail.
One tiny thing can literally push them off the edge.
Next thing you know,
They’re tumbling down a never ending downward spiral.
Straight into the rabbit hole they go.
Only they aren’t Alice, they can’t get out.
It never ends well.

~G. Emmanuelli

27 January, 2015

Story #188

This is a story written by a group of 3 year olds from Silicon Valley

One Fall night on a dark street, there was a spooky house.  Someone was walking inside the spooky house with their dog.  Another family went into the spooky house and their baby started to cry. The baby cried because there was a ghost, so mommy and daddy helped the baby by giving the baby some milk.  The family inside the spooky house went outside to climb the mountain because the baby’s blanket was at the edge of the mountain.  Then the family went back down the mountain to go back inside the house. The baby went back to sleep with its blankie.  After the baby went to sleep, the mom and dad worked at home and the sister went to bed, too.  Mom and dad worked on a computer and send emails to people and the ghost.  It said, “No ghost coming inside the house.”  Then, the ghost was sad when he read the email because he liked to visit the family.   And then, the ghost was really really really sad because he liked to visit the house because he was nice ghost. The ghost send the family a message, and it said, “Come to my house, there’s something I want you to see.” So, the next day, the family went to the ghost’s house to see his new toy.  The end.

20 January, 2015

Story #187 – Teacher’s Last Day

“At the base of the shaft here is where the penis will fall off.” The teacher points to the described area on his own exposed penis. “That is, of course, after the foreskin rots away.” He stretches his foreskin to show the class. “So that is why you don’t ever want to have sex.” The teacher adjusts his glasses. “Any questions?” The classroom is empty. The teacher fixes his stare upon the ground and whispers, “right” in a despairing breath. He walks to the door, takes one last look at the classroom, heaves a doleful sigh, and flicks the light off. He walks down the hallway quivering as the memories of the year hit him. His steps grow heavier and slower as he approaches the exit. He exhales another grand sigh as he stands at the exit. This year’s graduating class is the best he has ever seen. He opens the door. He lights his last cigarette as he walks out of the school. He comes to his car and smiles. A student key’d his car and gratified “fuck you poop brainz” on his windshield. “Those mischievous kids,” runs through his mind. He cannot force down his smile. He walks down to the market, puffing the last of his cigarette as he enters the door. He goes to the counter and asks for a pack of cigarettes. The clerk says, “I’m sorry buddy, I can’t help you.” Taken aback, the teacher takes a moment to regain his senses. “What was that?” “I said that I can’t help you.” The teacher pauses for a moment, a confused look invades his face. He begins to tentatively thumb through his wallet for his license. “No, I can tell that you’re old enough to buy cigarettes. I can’t sell you anything because you walked into my store with your stinky, old cock out.” Embarrassed the teacher quickly stuffs his penis back into his pants. “Oh, geeze, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I just came from sex ed. I teach it and, um, to model it for the kids, I, well, ummm, I show the kids my phallus.” The clerk raises an eyebrow. “You’re cock looked pretty well intact.” The clerk chuckles. A kid yells out, “yeah, nice dick, virgin!” The teacher’s face flushes with embarrassment. The clerk unbuckles his pants and exposes a large, purple scab between his legs, festering with infection. The kid and the teacher look on with amazement. The kid runs his fingers around where the clerk’s penis once was. “Wow.”

– Matt Lutz

20 January, 2015

Story #186

I think it has been long forgotten,
Those fine tendrils
Of Vaporous contrails
I kept blindly chasing after.

And when I saw that similar face again
A blowing wind took me
Back to the same dream
Drifting past the nimbus overhang

Through the stratosphere
With a certain celerity
Though, we never could judge where
Or what we were.

Back now, in the smogged city fog
I peer past my red umbrella
To examine what there never was, a musty breeze, gliding eyes to meet.

I can see it,
That pure glance of awkward awe. Stifled breath.
Fathoming deeper,
puddles in puddles eclipse overcast clouds.

The concrete landscape
Too suddenly turns penetrating
Shivering dampness
Seeks through the tilt of your head.

Your overturned smile scorns
But I am immune
And I soundly return one of my own
Of only smoky exhaust.

Ignorance, turning to your other
Slowly backing away, taking flight into the stream
Another fading contrail
Collapses into the setting slumber.

19 January, 2015

Story #185 – Sweet dreams

Adrian was running again. From both sides of the path he could feel the heat of burning rock, and with each step he could see that he was just out of reach of the hands that tried to grab at his feet. If he slowed down or lost his footing then they would have him. Fear gripped his heart with every footfall as he dared not to look behind him in order to see what was coming. And then it happened. Adrian tripped and fell. He screamed as unseen hands clamped around his legs and began to pull him down, and as he looked up through blurred vision caused by heat and sweat he could just make out someone walking towards him, and with one final scream, Adrian woke up.

For as long a he could remember Adrian had been suffering from bad dreams. They ranged from mildly unpleasant to violent nightmares and it was a result of these nocturnal torturing that he now found himself sitting in the waiting room of the offices of ‘Sweet Dreams Inc’ with a clipboard in one hand a pen in the other. ‘Pleasant Dreams’ was the heading of the questionnaire he was now filling in before his consultation with the president of Sweet Dreams Inc, Ms. Alicia D’Ville, and pleasant dreams was all that he longed for. The price had been a bit of a put off at the start to be honest, but he had to do something to rid himself of this constant torture. He had become painfully thin having been wracked by the demons that visited his unconscious mind night after night, and been unable to hold down a job for the past five years as he never seemed to have the energy to put a real effort into his work – he was just so tired all the time. The questionnaire was long but
simple enough and only took fifteen minutes to finish, and having completed it he took it over to the young woman at reception. She was sleek, sexy and judging by the size of her mainframe housings, very man made. It was as if someone was pointing out the very obvious male joke of where intelligent women supposedly kept their brains – from his field of view Adrian figured that she must have been a genius.

‘Thank you Mr. Moorehouse, please take a seat and Ms D’Ville will be with you shortly’ she smiled a digital smile, one that had been calculated to be warm, inviting and comforting at the same time of which Adrian returned as he took his seat once more. He picked up one of the promotional magazines that had been left of the small table in front of him and read all about the groundbreaking technology that Sweet Dreams Inc had developed to ensure that their clients get the best nights sleep possible and rid them of their nightmares – forever. Adrian was so lost in his thoughts of a possible life without the nightmares that he didn’t hear the receptionist walk over to him and started slightly at her voice.

‘If you are ready Mr. Moorehouse, Ms. D’Ville will see you now’

‘Oh, Thank you Miss -?’

‘You may call me Alexis Mr. Moorehouse’

‘Thank you Alexis’

As he was being escorted to the main office of the infamous Ms D’Ville Adrian felt the need to engage in conversation with the android.

‘So tell me Alexis, do machines dream?’

‘Only of electric sheep sir’ replied Alexis as she carried on leading the way without turning to face Adrian. He got the distinct feeling that he was being mocked in some way. He smiled to himself.

‘Was that a joke?’ he said and added a small laugh at the end just to convey an air of light heartiness. He felt awkward in her presence – he knew she wasn’t real, but it didn’t seem to matter. Alexis stopped at the main door that led to Ms D’Villes office and turned to Adrian and opened the door for him.

‘I was not programmed with a sense of humour that I am aware of sir’ she said, and winked at him as he went in. ‘Good luck’ she added.

‘Mr. Moorehouse – or may I call you Adrian?’ came the greeting from Ms Alicia D’Ville, CEO of Sweet Dreams Inc and creator of the revolutionary new treatment for dream anxiety disorder. She stood from behind her desk and walked across the room with her hand held out in order to shake his. Adrian looked back at the retreating Alexis and then back to Ms D’Ville.

‘I know’ she said at his questioning look ‘please excuse my narcissism – but I find I can bounce ideas around better if I have a like mind to do so, and what better like mind than your own, don’t you agree?’

‘I guess’ said Adrian weakly’

‘Please, please come in and sit down. Can I get you a drink? Tea, Coffee, something stronger maybe? ‘

Adrian was still reeling a little at the apparent need of Ms D’Ville to clone herself anamatronically so to speak that he declined the offer of refreshments, although he could have really used a stiff drink about now. Ms D’Ville pulled her chair from behind her desk and sat opposite Adrian, and as she adjusted herself to a more comfortable position he took the time to appraise her somewhat. She was short and a little plump. Not overweight but heavier than what you would expect from most women in power these days. The media usually sets the guidelines for the physical structure of most businesswomen as being tall, fit people who habitually seem to power dress in order to compete in a predominantly male dominated world. Ms D’Ville seemed to conform to no such stereotype. Her red curly hair stopped just past her shoulders and was complemented by bright green eyes that shone out as if backlit from within her skull. Around her waist was a red silk-like corset that endeavoure
d to create a waist that she did not normally have whilst pushing up two other part that she most definitely did have, with the previously suggested cleavage demanding the attention of a terrible fall for all those that dared to come too close. The Corset strained at creaked with every movement Ms D’Ville made as it struggled to contain the very things that it had been designed to show off. Her skirt was another story, and a very short one at that. She crossed her legs thus creating a whole new challenge for the alleged skirt.

‘Now’ she smiled ‘how can I help you today?’ Adrian composed himself.

‘I have been plagued by bad dreams for as long as I can remember. Some of them are just the usual, you know, falling and the like, but more often than not they are full-blown nightmares’

‘You poor thing’ said Ms D’Ville as she tilted her head to one side in sympathy, and reaching forward she placed her hand on his knee. ‘Please continue’ she said with a smile. Adrian endeavoured to continue whilst all the time having Ms. D’Villes comforting hand strongly in the forefront of his mind.

‘I am getting to the stage where I am afraid to sleep. It is as if something is in here with me’ he tapped the side of his head as if to add illustration to his last comment. Ms. D’Ville removed her hand and reached over to her desk picking up a pen and a notepad. ‘Do you mind if I take notes? She asked ‘Feel free’ ‘I’m old school’ she said and held up the pen as if producing evidence for her defence ‘contrary to you know who’ she smiled whilst gesturing her head towards the door and the outer office that contained her cybernetic doppelgänger. Adrian smiled back as he felt himself warming to this strangely over the top woman.

‘So, the ‘someone else’ in your dreams with you? Do you think it is someone you may know?’ Adrian thought about this

‘Well now you mention it she does seem familiar’ ‘She?’

‘Actually – yes, it does seem to be a feeling of a woman’

‘Could you tell me what she looks like?’

‘No, as I said, it is more of feeling rather than an actual person. Almost’ he added as a re-think ‘as if she is watching what is happening rather than taking part, does that make sense?’ Ms. D’Ville stood up and repositioned herself on the edge of her desk. She looked deep in thought for a while as if trying to put pieces of a puzzle together. She turned to Adrian with a concerned look on her face.

‘Is everything okay?’ he asked

‘I have heard this before’ she said ‘the feeling of a person looking in at your dreams’

Adrian raised his eyebrows ‘you have? Is that good’

‘I am sorry to say that it’s not. The nightmares that seem to have an outside viewer are known as intrusive dreams’

‘I see’ said Adrian – who didn’t ‘and is that bad?’

Ms D’Ville removed herself from the corner of her desk and adjusted the skirt that did not deserve the name. ‘Well’ she said ‘the treatment we offer is designed to suppress the nightmare and to create an air of calm so that our clients can get a good nights sleep. We install a false day with memories designed to fool the brain into believing that it has had a great day which in turn creates endorphins leading to’ she gestured towards the logo that adored the wall behind her desk ‘Sweet Dreams’

Adrian looked at the logo and then back to Ms D’Ville. She really was very captivating he thought. She had a way, almost of jangling your senses like the sound of breaking glass. Shocking, but pleasing at the same time. ‘I am guessing by the tone of your voice that this is something that will not work with someone who has the ‘Intrusive Dreams’ that you mentioned’

‘I am afraid not. You see the false memory is always overwritten by this third person and the only way we can counteract this it is to have a second memory implanted which contradicts the first’ Adrian sat for a while in silence ‘So you can’t help me’ he said softly. It was a statement rather than a question. Alicia D’Ville walked behind Adrian and put her hands on his shoulders.

‘Mr. Moorehouse, I can indeed help you, but you have to agree to something rather unusual’ Adrian turned in his chair in order to face her. ‘Unusual in what way?’ he asked Ms D’Ville walked over to the door and after turning the lock made her way back to her desk. She reached underneath one of the drawers and felt for a small indentation by the lock. When she found it she pressed until she heard a faint click. A small panel opened up on the surface of the desk from which a blue box was pushed up from within. The box was removed and handed to Adrian. He looked up at Ms D’Ville who in turn gestured to the box. ‘Open it’ she said Adrian opened the box and saw inside a small glass tube of blue liquid.

‘It’s a little ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I know’ she smiled Adrian looked back at her with confusion on his face.

‘Eat me, Drink me? – only this time it is only drink me’

‘What does it do?’ Ms D’Ville went back to sitting on the edge of her desk and made herself comfortable.

‘Well’ she said ‘Where as, normally, we can introduce a false day into you mind, this little miracle removes the need for you to dream at all’ Adrian smiled and offered the drink back to Alicia.

‘I have had dream suppressants before and I am afraid that they do not work on me. For some reason the nightmares just break through’

Alicia put her hand up. ‘It’s not a suppressant Mr. Moorehouse; it is much, much more. It removes your need to sleep. You see we all need sleep in order for us to dream. This, as you know, lets us vent whatever stresses and strains that the day and indeed life throws at us. For you this is proving to be quite harmful as the day has no say on your dream as the intrusiveness proves’

Adrian looked closer at the liquid ‘so what you are saying is that, if I drink this I will never go to sleep again’ In response to Ms D’Villes eyebrows raising Adrian added, ‘so how do I get the rest I need?’ ‘You just have to rest – sit down and watch a movie, read a book, whatever you do to relax and lets face it your current REM state is not causing you to get any rest at all’

‘That’s true, I seem to wake up a lot more tired than when I went to bed’

‘Your body will use this time to get back the energy it needs. You may feel the need to eat more and you definitely need to keep yourself hydrated, but other than that there are no side effects that we know of. You will never dream again’ Adrian took a little time to think about and to examine the liquid again before he made his decision. ‘How much?’ he asked

‘Well’, said Ms D’Ville swinging herself down from her desk, ‘that’s the unusual thing I was talking about. You see; you will be the first to take it. We have done all the trials but we have never tested it on humans’

‘So I will be a guinea pig?’

‘Yep. So on that basis it’s a freebee. We will monitor you for the first year and after that it can be deemed safe for others who have your unique condition, so to speak’ Adrian smiled and went to open the stopper of the glass tube only to be stopped by Ms D’Ville placing her hand over the top.

‘First things first. I will have to get you to sign this small waver, you know just to say that if there are unforeseen side effects due to this being a trial and all, then you cannot sue us – or me come to think of it. It forms part of the basic contract that will state that you will never dream or sleep again’ Adrian stared at her for a few seconds as if lost in his own world. ‘I would like to say that I will sleep on it’ he said after a while ‘but quite frankly I don’t think I ever want to sleep again. Where do I sign?’

Adrian was running again. From both sides of the path he could feel the heat of burning rock and with each step he could see that he was just out of reach of the hands that tried to grab at his feet. If he slowed down or lost his footing then they would have him. Fear gripped his heart with every footfall as he dared not to look behind him in order to see what was coming. And then it happened. Adrian tripped and fell. He screamed as unseen hands clamped around his legs and began to pull him down and as he looked up through blurred vision caused by heat and sweat he could just make out someone walking towards him, and with a scream Adrian found that he could not wake up. The figure got closer and after a while came into focus. He gripped the ground, digging his fingers into the pathway in an attempt to keep the unseen hands from pulling him down. He strained to look up past the stiletto-clad feet in front of him and up into the face of the smiling Ms Alicia D’Ville. ‘You l
ied to me’ he screamed ‘I signed a contract that said I would never sleep again. I drank the potion, why can’t I wake up?’ As tears of frustration and pain ran down his cheeks, and as his fingers bleed and frayed against the attempts of his captors Ms D’Ville bent at the knees in order to get closer to him and to whisper in his ear. Her breath was sweet but it had the stench of death. ‘You are awake my lovely’ she purred, ‘this was never the dream’

18 January, 2015

Story #184

Max showered, put the coffee on and fried up some bacon and eggs. He was out of bread so he used bagels. Which reminded him. Monica was Jewish.

“Hey Monica, you’re not a proper Jew are you?” he called out. “You eat bacon, right?” The shower curtain flew open.

“Of course I’m a ‘proper’ Jew. I eat Gafilte fish out of choice.”

“Right. So you don’t want the bacon?”

“I want the bacon. No. I need the bacon. Nobody can be Jewish with a hangover like this.”

The coffee was strong, and Max was feeling slightly more alive. He’d already finished his bagel and was now watching Monica, the Jew, wearing his dressing gown and tucking into her bacon bagel with relish.

“So,” she said, her mouth half full. “What do you actually do with your days?”

“Depends on the day.”

“Today, for instance. What are you going to do today?”

“Today, I have a deadline. But I think I’ll go to the track.”

“Great. I love horses. I’ll come.”

Max finished off his coffee, took a deep breath and leaned back in his chair.

“It’s not like ladies day. You don’t get to wear a hat and flaunt about drinking champagne.”

“Yeah, I know,” she said, stuffing the last of the bagel into her mouth.

“Don’t worry. I’m good luck.”

They got in Max’s beat up Toyota Corolla and set off. He’d lent Monica his spare pair of binoculars, and she hung them round her neck. “We’re gonna be rich,” she said, turning the radio on to some breezy pop tune.

He drove slowly, taking the shortcut through the university, heading down Cleveland street and out on to the parade.

Monica wound down the window and gazed through the binoculars at the office workers on their lunch breaks. Black and white specks jutting out of the sparse greenery.

There were plenty of spaces in the parking lot, so he pulled into one right near the track.

They’d just missed the finish of the first race, so Max headed to the bar and got them both a beer. They sat in the stands, and Max set about studying the form guide.

In the second race they had $10 on the nose with Alfie at $7.80, who bolted in down the straight. They bought more beer and some nuts with the winnings.

In the next two they were second with Nightwatchmen and fourth with Magdalene. Both win bets. They were still $58 up, and consoled themselves with another beer.

“Lady luck’s turning our way,” said Monica. “I can feel it.”

Next up they put $20 each way on Cornelius, who Max said was a sure thing. Cornelius was last out the gate by a long shot and never recovered. It was as if the horse had been drugged.

Counting the beer money, they were in the red. So they bought another beer.

Monica didn’t seem to mind losing, so Max let her have final say over the next pick. He couldn’t decide between Sam I Am, who was the superior horse, but carried the heavier weight, and Timbuktu, on lesser weight but a roughie. He didn’t even consider the other horses. Monica chose Timbuktu, and they put $20 each way.

Timbuktu had a decent gate, and got out well. The jockey kept her out of trouble at the first turn and she sat comfortably in the middle of the field. On the second she was getting bailed up, and needed some luck.

Coming into the final turn, there was contact on the outside and Sam I Am bolted out front in the clear. But the contact had opened things up for Timbuktu and on the straight the jockey brought the whip down hard, and Timbuktu kicked through the gap.

Monica leapt out of her seat, spilling beer down her front. It was looking like Sam I Am had shown too soon. Timbuktu was catching fast. They both screamed as the horses bore down on the post. It was close, but Sam I Am held on.

They sat back down in their seats, Monica putting her head in her hands.

“Stupid fucking horse,” she said.

“Lucky we bet both ways then.”

“We still won?” she said, looking up.

“Sort of. It’s like betting on the almost winner.”

“I could really get into this,” she said. She headed off to the bar, coming back with two more beers.

There were two races left in the day, and now they were thoroughly drunk.

They pooled their remaining money together, which amounted to a few notes and a handful of change, which Max saved for future beer provisions.

Max didn’t even bother looking at the card for the race.

“I have a feeling,” he said. “Come on.” He led them down to the parade paddock to watch the horses being presented.

“Look at that one,” said Monica, pointing at a sleek black stallion. “I bet he’s the favourite.”

“I hate the favourite,” said Max.

A grey flecked horse was led past them by its trainer, dressed in a plain grey suit.

“Jesus,” said Max, a little too loudly. “Look at how fat that trainer is.”

“I think he weighs more than horse. He must eat all of its food.”

“The bastard,” said Max.

Monica grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly.

“We must bet all our money on that horse. In solidarity of its sufferance.”

Max nodded solemnly. At the nearest bookie he placed their cash in the assistants hand and said, “All our money on that grey horse with the fat trainer.”

The assistant tipped his hat. “Lunatic?”

“Who you calling a lunatic?”

Monica giggled. The assistant’s lips curled. “The horse. That’s its name.”

“Oh,” said Max, squinting up at the board of odds. There it was scrawled in chalk for the world to see. Lunatic.

“Jesus. It’s twenty to one,” he said.

“Perfect,” said Monica. “We’re gonna be rich.”

The bookie handed over the ticket, and they headed over to the finish line to get a good spot.

“Wait here,” said Max. When he came back with two more beers the fat trainer was standing next to Monica.

“Max,” she said, doing an impression of a sober person. “This is Albie. Or is it Albert?”

“Don’t care,” said the trainer, thrusting a sweaty paw at Max.

“Albie was just telling me that we’re in with a shot.”

They both looked at the trainer. A broad smile tore across his face, the sheer extremity of it tying his double chin in knots.

“I’m not gonna lie to you kids,” he said. “Lunatic’s about as rough as they get. It’s good odds though, right?”

“Unless it loses,” said Max. “If it loses, it’s shit odds.”

“Well, that’s the truth there lad,” he said. “But they say every horse has its day.”

“Isn’t it ‘every dog has its day’?” said Monica.

“We’re about to find out,” said Albie, navigating his considerable frame to face the track with a series of curt steps.

The starting gates cracked open and out jumped the horses. Lunatic sat in fifth coming up to the first turn.

As the horses trampled past, Monica flung her arms in the air, screamed “Lunatic”, and splashed beer on the grass.

Coming up to the final corner it was anyone’s race. Then the black stallion they’d spotted in the paddock took off coming into the straight.

“That thing has a fucking jetpack,” said Max.

“That’ll be the favourite,” shouted Albie.

Lunatic looked to be in a race. Then the favourite hung up. It was like it had run into a ditch. The group quickly swallowed him up, spat him out and pounded towards the line as one.

Max put his hands over his eyes and Monica dropped the rest of her drink as Lunatic thrust his neck out and leaned over the line first. A winner by a nose.

“We’re fucking loaded,” yelled Monica.

She jumped on Max, but he put her down. He was watching Albie, who was watching the course intently. His tiny eyes were flicking from horse to horse.

“That favourite pulled up on purpose, didn’t it?”

Albie kept his eyed fixed on the track, his chest heaving.

“We just bet on a rigged race. No bookie’s gonna pay that.”

A gunshot rang from the paddock behind the track.

“Ah, sure they will,” said Albie, exhaling loudly. “Now there ain’t no favourite.”

——————————————————————————————————————

They hopped into the limousine, Monica diving straight for the mini bar.

“Where to, sir?”

“Somewhere extravagant,” said Max.

“Somewhere with lobster,” said Monica.

“I think I know the place,” said the driver.

“Lobster?” said Max.

“Look what happened when I ate bacon,” said Monica, popping the cork on the champagne.

11 January, 2015

Story #183

Once upon a time there was a skinny, dark haired, girl who grew up very unhappy.  Her family didn’t love her and they treated her badly.  No matter what she did it wasn’t good enough.  They didn’t give her hugs, and praise.  They didn’t make her laugh or feel special.  She had a skinny, light haired middle sister and a skinny, dark haired little sister.  She tried to protect them as if she were their mother and father.

She grew up to be someone who liked to make people happy so they wouldn’t feel like she did inside.  She made them feel loved, made them laugh, made them feel special, especially her sisters.

One day she met her dark haired knight in shining armor.  He had a loving family who made her understand what a family should be.  He made her very happy, made her laugh a lot, and made her feel as if she were the most special person in the world.

They got married but after lots of tries they couldn’t have their own dark haired children.  This upset them very much until they realized that they could love each other, make others feel loved, make others laugh, and make others feel special.

Once they realized this hey lived HAPPILY ever after.

10 January, 2015

Story #182

My dear,
I don’t know where to start, or what I’m going to tell. I’m drowning, maybe.

I tried something, to step over this fucking sad day, this damned celebration. And I reached the line. One line to end this burden. One line leads to another side, I don’t know it’s brighter or not, but it’s different and that’s enough for me.

I failed.

Her hands and mine, they just don’t fit. Tasteless kiss and frozen arms.  Even when she tried to hug me tight or squeezed her lovely face on my chest, my inside was so quiet. I felt nothing, except my own heartbeat, that fucking “thump-thump-thump” sound I heard everyday, not that “boom-boom-boom-OMFG-I’m-gonna-die-in-joy” I expected. Like a beast bites a meat, and then realize he wasn’t even hungry, he just missed the feeling, the taste flow through his tongue.
I was starved for love. Your love.

So I left, like a friend who just paid her a visit, before I became that stranger guy, who came then teared her heart apart with those “We should break-up” words. I hate break-up. I always do.

I’m not sad, just mad, but I don’t feel any pressures. There were lines I didn’t dare to cross, and there were lines I wouldn’t let myself to do so.

You know, I changed my hair, buy some new clothes, put my mind on things I love, pretend to be busy like everyone. Sure, everyone is busy, you are busy,… but not me. I’m only busy thinking about you and how to get rid of you and the ghost of our dead memories… But I can’t, even if it breaks me.

My burden is not you, is not how to forget, but the illusions I created, the burning desires to find someone,something to fill in the hole you left. It was me, all the time: I always poison beautiful things.

This Christmas, I’ll send you no gift, no wish.
I know you won’t notice that.
I know, on the other side of Earth, you are busy enjoying every minute of your life.
And I know, that night, and many other nights we had, it’s all past now.

Farewell, black socks and red scarf.
The one I used to call “mine”.

7 January, 2015

Story #181

I have two little boys who miss their Daddy. Luke has been in San Francisco for work for one week, and both our boys have little broken hearts. It is the saddest thing you ever did see. As soon as we got home from the airport after dropping him off I worked out how many hours it would be till he was home again. I texted it to Luke and he texted me back to say his flight hadn’t even left yet (his flight was delayed)! Cue stomach drop. Yikes. But this story isn’t about me, it’s about his sad little sons.

Eli knew something wasn’t right straight away. The first night Luke was away he woke up heaps more times than usual, and that combined with a wake up call of 4:45am made for a pretty sad Mummy. I cried that morning. I begged God to miraculously teleport Luke home, but he didn’t, and we continued on with our (very early) day.

Eli, since then, has been as clingy as he ever has been. And whiny too. It’s one thing to have a clingy baby, but it’s another thing entirely if he won’t be put down AND he just cries in your ear. He doesn’t really want ME, but I’m the best he’s got. I tell you what, I have never been in this position in my parenting life before (I am always the wanted one!!), and it’s not very nice. It’s frustrating, and I’m sure frustrating for him as well.

The next few nights I lost count after 12 wake ups. TWELVE. FFS. I felt like every time I got back to sleep he was awake again. And you know what he didn’t want? Mum. You know what he didn’t want? Boob. You know what he didn’t want? To be by himself. You know what he didn’t want? To be with anyone. After a few days of this I thought he must be really sick. He was teething a little, but it never usually bothers him THIS much. I had exhausted all my options for situations, scenarios and medications, and then one morning as I was talking to a friend it dawned on me as it spilled out of my mouth that he misses Luke.

You see, Eli wakes up at 4:45am every morning. And every morning by 4:50am Luke is dressed and driving down the driveway with Eli in the car with him. They spend just over two hours together and come back home at 7:30am at which time Lior & I wake up (sometimes Lior wakes me up at 6:30 or 7). I totally did not account for this time Luke & Eli spend together EVERY SINGLE DAY. I didn’t think about the big shift in his routine, and the complete lack of one on one time with Luke, or even any parent. Truth be told, I just expected Eli to not even notice Luke was gone. I put him in the baby box. He hasn’t really noticed on any of the 3 other trips Luke has been on in the last 6 months. But Eli isn’t really a baby anymore.

As soon as I realised that he missed Luke, my heart was changed, and instead of feeling so down and overwhelmed about being on my own and having two little kids to look after, I started to feel really sorry for him, and prayed for God’s shalom to rest on him and that in the night I would be enough for him, just till Luke gets home. And I started to really mellow, and those bits of me that were all tight started to relax, and I guess Eli picked up that I was a bit more relaxed, and thankfully he’s had a few good nights. He still wakes up ridiculously early, but I’ve just resigned myself to going to bed at 7:30pm or8:30pm when the boys do in order to survive the day. I am behind now in all my projects, but that’s just the way it has to be for now.

And that leads me to Lior…

Lior did not seem to mind the first two days that Luke was gone. He spoke to Daddy on FaceTime and was happy tell his stories. We talked about Daddy a lot. He was okay. But after a few days he started to have major tantrums and melt downs about nothing things. Just things where he wasn’t getting his own way. And this is my son who when you ask him to do… anything, he says “Yes Mum” or “Yes Dad”, and he ACTUALLY DOES IT. Luke trained him to do this. It’s amazing. Anyway, he was getting a bit crazy. Violent even, and I was starting to get a bit worried, because, holy hell, why is my kid going psycho?! And everything was a big deal now, and he was walking around the house saying “I crying mum. I sad”, and because he couldn’t tell me WHY he was sad or crying (he wasn’t crying), I just assumed he was being silly or talking about it lots because he’s just learnt about it.

It was around this time that I made the discovery about Eli missing Luke, and a couple of hours later Lior had a tantrum I just looked at him and realised, “Oh. You’re missing your Daddy too”. I thought about it, and Lior had not talked about Luke for days. Actually, he completely avoided talking about him. He wouldn’t even say “Dad” or “Jor-El” (the super-hero name Lior assigned his father). He would repeat every word I say if I asked him to, but would not say Dad.

Today in the car Lior & I had a little talk. It went like this:

Lior: (after having a major spack attack in the car park of the pool where we’d been playing (happily!) that afternoon) “I sad!”
Mum: “I’m sorry to hear that Lior. What’s making you sad?”
Lior: “I no like you”.
Mum: “Great. Okay. Well lots hop in the car”. (in my head I am thinking, oh Frack this is escalating pretty badly. Must try to get him to talk about this).

We start driving home.

Mum: Lior, do you miss Daddy?”
Lior: Yes.
Mum: Do you want to give him a cuddle?
Lior: Yes.
Mum: I miss Daddy too.
Lior: No.
Mum: 😐
Lior: I miss Daddy! No Mummy!
Mum: We can both miss Daddy Lior. Do you know, when I miss Daddy I like to talk to him on the phone?! Do you like to talk to Daddy on the phone?
Lior: No.
Mum: (to try and find out if he really doesn’t like talking to Luke on the phone of if he’s just being contrary) Does talking on the phone to Dad make you feel sad?
Lior: Yes (shows me a sad face). I cry.
Mum: Does talking to Dad make you happy?
Lior: No. Sad.

It was around this time that Luke actually called, so I pulled over to answer the call (actually, to order pizza, and then he happened to call while I was pulled over. Haha). I told Luke all about this, and I checked with Lior that he really didn’t want to talk to Dad because he was right here, and he definitely didn’t.

Luke said to tell Lior that he loved him. I did. Luke said to tell Lior that he can’t wait to give him a big hug. I did. Then Luke asked me to tell him another thing (I forget now. whoops!), but I didn’t. I looked back at Lior and saw his little eyes full of tears, and realised that talking about Luke at all, even good and happy things, really was making him super sad. My heart broke! My poor little mister, missing his Daddy so much.

So here I am with two broken hearted little boys, and 5 more sleeps until Luke gets home.

EPILOGUE

Is there anything better than being reunited with the person you love?

If there is it’s this: seeing two people you love, who have missed each other most of all, reunited at last. To see father & sons cling to each other after time apart is just… magic.

The moment I saw Luke walk through the airport doors my stomach leapt up into my mouth and I held back tears. Sometimes you just trundle along through life so much that it’s not until you see the person again that you really let it go and feel that swell of emotion. I imagine that this is partly how Lior felt. I told him Daddy was coming through the doors and he stood up and walked towards them slowly. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Luke come through the doors & I felt like the moment dragged on forever. When Luke shouted “Lior!” he rushed over to his Daddy and gave him the biggest hug. They both did – tears swelling in Luke’s eyes.

And of course we all hugged and kissed and smiled and breathed that sigh of relief that once again we were all together and things were as they should be. It was like the fog that had filled my mind the last two weeks was lifted and now I could see better because he was here by my side. Living life together.

6 January, 2015

Story #180

From the high mountains of a very mountainous region, a river flowed through their earthy branches. The rain fed the strength of the aquiferous  into the sea were it rested waiting for the sun to take each of the water drops that made the nature call him ‘Ocean’.

The clouds weren’t being as friendly as the ocean would wish and in its cold body, two drops of – once upon a time ‘sweet water’ – were freeeeezing their molecules off.

The male drop of sea water noticed that the female drop of sea water had more cold than him and so he offered to share his place beneath an algae to get her warm.  Both drops, as well as all the zillions of other drops of sea-water dreamt at the expectations of a clear morning were the sun be able to evaporate them into the sky.

While resting in the algae cave of the male drop of sea water, the female drop of sea water suddenly imagined them being together as two beautiful snowflakes swaying from tree to tree in the winter forest, however, even tough the male drop of sea water also felt calm and peace resting close to her, he knew that when the sun came, the wind would separate them into different currents – because that’s what the wind does – he thought.

The sun finally came and under its heat the drops waited until a sun-ray light them into vapor. She drop of sea-water kissed his love good-bye wishing to meet him on the future while. He drop of sea-water tried to grab her but he was already vanishing into the clouds.

The wind blew separating them as expected and both drops of sea water travelled the world by their own with nature condensing and evaporating their bodies  again and again.

The drops of sea water that once slept together under the green hood of the sea algae experimented all kinds of transformations during their trips. They were clean water, water in cans, water in plastic bottles, water in licor, water in mouths of all kinds of living organisms. During the autumn of their lifes they satisfied the thirst of jungle trees, forest trees, beach palms and desert bushes until the winter came.

He drop of water jumping from tree-cup to tree-cup as a shiny snow-flake noticed a perfectly polished snow-flake at the top of the farest pine and with the help of the breeze, approached the transparent ice-star from the back. The heart of She snow-flake began beating as a water pump because she knew…

5 January, 2015

Story #179

I was never really a popular girl. When i was 12, i had a really small class ( 5 boys and 4 girls including me), i had only one friend and she was a backstabber too. They made me feel useless and too poor to even live. My dad left us when i was just 6, he left me, my mom and my 2 brothers. One of my brothers is now an alcoholic.  I was only 14 when i was diagnosed with depression.

When i got 15 i changed schools. This one was even worse than the last one. They were all rich ass people. No one understood that my mom had to have 2 jobs just to keep a roof over our head. (Thank god schools are free in Estonia). A year later i met a girl, who was just like me. She had 2 brothers and lonely mom too. We are best friends now. She is just amazing. I’m 18 now, i have to work after school to earn my money and help my mom. I have no friends other than Her and few of my “internet pals”. People still stay away from me ’cause i don’t have as much money as they do and i can’t wear new outfit everyday. I’m too quiet ’cause i’m afraid to get judged. I have no idea how to end this letter haha. Thank you for reading my story.

– Kaisa, Estonia

4 January, 2015

Story #178

Within an hour of my son James’ birth the nurses suggested that I change his diaper. How they knew it was full is still a mystery.

I told the nurses that maybe I should watch them do it — it wasn’t that I didn’t want to change his diaper but this was my first interaction with a newborn, James was tiny, and I’m not the most dexterous person.

Somehow I relented and leaned into the bassinet and removed James’ diaper. Before I could move back to get the new diaper James proceeded to pee all over me.

We are coming up soon on the seven year anniversary of that wonderful moment and James loves hearing the story of how he peed on his daddy only an hour after being born. I do, too.

3 January, 2015

Story #177

New York City is a place of juxtaposition, of opposites, of balance.

New York City is a place with hundreds of streets lined with sticker carcasses, half smeared graffiti, and molding trash just as there are streets with spotless glass windows, 55′ video screens, and boutiques that sell poor quality clothing with insanely high markups because there are people rich enough to buy them.

New York City is a place where actors and actresses, late night show hosts, and big shot CEOs can find fame and acclaim yet hide in the corner speakeasy on Monday night where no one will bombard them with questions or requests for just one photograph or signature that when added together becomes hours, then days, in their lifetime that they never get back. It is also a place where a popular, well-to-do, student council president straight out of college can find anonymity and seclusion, because suddenly their accomplishments and material possessions are a dime a dozen or pale in comparison to that of a tenant in the nearby Trump apartment building.

New York City is a place where you can step into a restaurant and be expected to pay hundreds of dollars for an entree and a drink – because they have floating candles, a fountain, waiters who will lay cloth napkins on your lap, five different options of sparkling water, and salmon that is moist but has a perfectly crunchy skin. Then you turn the corner and you can be just as satisfied with chicken over rice from a Halal cart manned by a middle eastern man that works too long hours for too little money – if you can relish the taste and quantity without thinking about how it’s made, and who really knows or cares.

New York City is a place where you are among millions of people, each with a different background, story, and challenges more vibrant and complex than your own. You are surrounded by so many people, people who may converse with you, call out to you, even compliment you. And despite this, you can feel completely alone.

New York City is a place where it’s okay to step onto the subway still wearing that costume you made for a parade – medium sized seashells that barely cover your C cup breasts but still suffice as clothing and make you conservative because it’s technically legal to go topless. But it is also the place where wall street analysts put on starched collars and fitted blazers for 18 hour work days until they wear holes through their shirt where their elbows are rubbing against their desk.

New York City is a place where grand stone cathedrals under construction stand next to newly designed buildings that have windows in strange places and slanted sides that don’t make sense. “It’s aesthetics” the design student says, but the woman in her fifties – she prefers the old world architecture of the beige and mint green Brooklyn City hall buildings.

New York City is a place where you can sit at the same spot in any of the scattered parks throughout the city and see the same people – the guy with a flock of pigeons – all of whom he knows by name, the girl with brightly colored tights performing with two hula hoops, the slightly cheeky guy that plays the grand piano, the men with giant sticks connected by dirty rope and buckets of soap water to delight the children with bubbles, the break dancers that yell too much and don’t dance enough, and the sex offender carrying the free hugs sign who will charge you if you take a photo with him. It is also a place where you can sit in the same spot and see people from fifteen different countries in one afternoon, people you’ve never seen before, only get to see for a moment, and will never see again.

New York City is a place where impatient bikers will aggressively ring their bell and yell “bike lane” at the top of lungs for people to move aside, where cars are constantly honking at each other as if that will make the traffic move faster and people drive smarter, but in reality only helps to relieve the pent up frustration of moving towards their destination at a slow pace. It is also a place where strolling tourists stop to take a photo of nearby attractions every two seconds, capturing every skyline and piece of art at a rapid pace, as if their photo will be better than the millions of versions taken by every other tourist that stood at that same exact place and took the same photo.

New York City is a place where skyscrapers loom well above our heads and below us an intricate subway system that weaves throughout the city streets. The undergrounds, alleyways, street corners, and vacant lots are active and alive with dark secrets and people that live on the fringe. One block away, a gathering of startup founders are popping champagne on a rooftop bar with strings of lights illuminating their celebratory faces.

They say that in New York City, if you want it, you can find it. I found a lot more than I meant to, and not just the things I expected to find.

I found in myself a sense of adventure, a willingness to put myself in unknown situations, and an ability to stay afloat regardless of where I am or what I’m doing.

I found in my friends a refreshing sense of curiosity, incredible compassion, and ideas and dreams that push the boundaries of social confines.

And I found in the humans of New York the seeds of hope, dreams of love, quests for power, cries for help, insatiable appetites for change – raw and vulnerable voices of emotion that resonates inside all of us.

If New York City was a part of me, it would be the soul.

2 January, 2015

Story #176

There once was a lonely penguin that everyone picked on and called mean names. It made the penguin very sad. He was walking home one day after a particularly mean bullying session when he stumbled upon a bag of candy. This bag of candy was not ordinary however, it was labeled with a tag that said “Magic Candy” and in tiny print it stated “caution, extreme powers contained inside, use at your own risk”. Unfortunately the penguin was only ever taught to read normal sized print, and therefore could not read the tiny print. He ate the candy all up and started walking away when he started to rumble and bumble, and suddenly he was taller than all of the buildings in town. It only took a second for him to realize what had happened, and the only thought that went through his head was “Those bullies will respect me now”. The horrors that happened in that town when the “little” penguin got his revenge could never be undone, and the husk of the formerly glorious city is all that remains  today. No one has seen the “little” penguin since.

 

29 December, 2014

Story #175

As a comedian I toured through the most romantic cities in the world:  Rome, Paris, Barcelona & NYC. I was on an adventure to understand modern romance. I learned doing the the cliche’ things don’t really matter.

Lighting candles is nice, but the effort to create ambiance is nicer
Drinking wine is fun, but going on and adventure to find the best wine is more fun.
Going to a nice dinner is always great, but making a nice dinner is thoughtful.

I learned along the way that the effort to be romantic is more romantic than the outcome.
The single thing to take away is that action always means more than talk.

28 December, 2014

Story #174

I met a young person by the name of “Pickle” and she lives with her mom, her sister, and her dog Phina. She’s a great lego builder, couch football player, dance party-er, and good all around kid. She’s patiently waiting for Christmas and all the wonder it might bring.

 

27 December, 2014

Story #173

Invånarna på snöslottet på Botbygårdsvägen 1 var samlade i den stora salen. Bekvämt satt de lutade mot slottets väggar, benen noga ihopdragna, så de inte skulle nudda det levande ljuset som lyste klart i mitten av slottssalen. Det hade snöat ända från den dagen man fick börja öppna luckor i julkalendern som hängde på köksväggen där hemma. Farbror Tilles, gårdskarlen, hade flera gånger fått beställa en traktor, som samlade all snö från gården till en underbar, enorm hög vid gungorna.

Slottsfruarna hade slitit hårt, grävt tunnlar som ingång till en stor sal, och ett litet kök, för det hade man väl även på slottet. Presidenten hade i alla fall ett kök, där det lagades fin mat. Det hade slottsfruarna sett på tv, då det årliga nationaldagsfirandet på Presidentens slott visades. Det som var roligast på nationaldagen var, att då bakades det pepparkakor. Efter att papporna hade sjungit nationalsången när farbror Tilles hissade flaggan där ute på gården, var det dags att kavla och grädda hundratals pepparkakor.  De skulle ju räcka ända fram till jul, och fem om dagen fick bagarna äta, varje dag .

Nu satt slottsfruarna och tittade tankfullt på det levande ljuset. Dagens pepparkakor hade blivit utsmugglade, och spred en underbar doft av kryddpeppar, nejlika, ingefära och kanel i slottssalen. I morgon skulle det vara julafton. Papporna bar in julgranar, åkte runt och delade ut paket till släkt och vänner, medan mammorna hade skinkan i ugnen, letade fram julgranspynt och prasslade med julklappspapper. Slottsfruarna var beordrade av sin mamma att stanna ute, fast det redan var mörkt. De hade fått lite överblivet granris att dekorera slottet med, och största slottsfrun hade till och med hittat en glittrande stjärna, bara lite trasig, att hänga på riset.

Största slottsfrun suckade:

– Det blir nog inga julklappar imorgon.

– För att vi har tänt levande ljus utan en vuxen i närheten? frågade minsta slottsfrun och dåligt samvete lyste ur hennes ögon.

– Eller för att vi har grävt snötunnel med tak, fast mamma har sagt att det är farligt, konstaterade mellersta slottsfrun skuldmedvetet.

– Ja, och så hade vi sönder pulkan, sa största slottsfrun och skämdes, men fortsatte sedan lite harmset:

– Vi åkte ju bara lite på den grusade gångbanan, det borde pulkorna tåla! Fast det är klart, vi åkte även ner från den stora stenen för att flyga lite.

– När vi krockade med stubben i skogen, satt vi ju alla i pulkan, och det knakade jättemycket, mindes mellersta slottsfrun, och då kom minsta slottsfrun på hur pulkan lät när den blev använd som en bro över Farliga Diket…

Julaftonen var årets längsta dag. Slottsfruarna hann klä granen, smyga på en vilsen tomte som passerade snöslottet, bada julbastu med bastukvasten som hade legat i frysen sedan midsommar, och klä på sig  sina röda sammetsklänningar och vita strumpbyxor, som korvade sig vid knäna. De vuxna åt i all evighet, även kaffe skulle de ha innan det var dags för Tomten. En lättnadens suck slapp ur slottsfruarna när Tomten kom, och hade faktiskt en enorm säck med sig. Det skulle bli julklappar ändå! Var och en av slottsfruarna fick en mössa, vantar, och spännande böcker. Den bästa julklappen var dock gemensam för alla tre: en ny pulka! Och tänk, den förståndiga tomten hade ordnat så, att pulkan var försedd med metallförstärkta medar. Slottsfruarna var redo för nya äventyr.

22 December, 2014

Story #172

Efter en lång dag på jobbet med sen hemkomst såg jag fram emot en god natts sömn. Fem minuter efter att jag lagt mig tillrätta i sängen uppdagas det att min dotter har andra planer. Hon kryper upp till mig och har bestämt sig för att denna natt är ett utmärkt tillfälle att illustrera hur en centrifug fungerar. Jag får anta att jag framstod som väldigt trög och att hon var noga med att försäkra sig om att hennes budskap framgick, det var ingen snabbkurs om jag ska utrycka mig subtilt.

Tillslut gick solen upp, ok det var att överdriva i detta gråa decemberrusk, jag håller mig till att klockan var sju. Nu stod jag inför ett val: antingen gråter jag ut och söker empati eller så sveper jag kanna med  kaffe och river av ett gympass. Jag kände mig minst sagt ambivalent inför uppgiften men efter en blick i spegeln beslöt jag mig för att välja alternativ två. Nu ligger jag här i soffan, lätt illamående och med en obskyr känsla i hela kroppen och undrar ifall det inte hade varit bättre att försöka samla lite martyrpoäng istället…

16 December, 2014

Story #171

Från gården på Botbygårdsvägen 1 ledde det en brant backe ner till soptunnorna. Det var vår i luften, men fortfarande vinter, med en massa snö, på marken. En märklig del av Vinter- OS pågick för fullt i Soptunnebacken. Först hade deltagarna trampat ner all snö på backen till en hård yta. Därefter användes det byxbakar till att polera ytan glansig och fin. När den största poleraren hade fått hål på byxorna togs ett beslut att fortsätta arbetet med vantarna. Efter idogt polerande blev backen klar för de Olympiska Spelen.

Störtloppet med inslag av isdans kunde börja. Den största isdanserskan stod och kanade med sina vinterskor halva backen ner, och hann till och med göra en piruett, innan hon ramlade. Den mellersta isdanserskan tog sats och störtade nerför backen. Hon stod halva vägen, gjorde en volt och kanade liggandes ner resten av den hala banan. Den minsta isdanserskan satsade på störtlopp på alla fyra. I faslig fart kanade hon ner, och blev sedan liggande still på mage i slutet av backen.

Alla deltagare på de Olympiska Spelen rusade ner. Den största isdanserskan frågade oroligt:

– Hur gick det, lever du?

– Så klart jag gör! Den minsta isdanserskan vände sig på rygg, skrattade, och sa:

– Det var ju en KONSTPAUS. Fattar ni väl.

I det samma kom tant Maja runt hörnet uppe på gården. Städrocken flaxade runt de strumpbyxeklädda benen när tant Maja trippade fram i sina tofflor. Sedan satte hon fart. Med en soppåse i vardera handen kanade hon nerför OS-banan, tappade en toffel halvvägs, fortsatte att kana stående på ett ben, och omfamnade hårt en tillmötesgående soptunna i slutet av banan, medan soporna flög glatt åt alla håll!

– Hon vann, helt klart, muttrade den största isdanserskan snopet.

Samma kväll samlades papporna på Botbygårdsvägen 1 med sina spadar på gården. OS-tävlanden fick klä sig varmt och gå ut, fast det var mörkt och minusgrader och dessutom egentligen läggdags. Papporna hade jobbat hårt, och fått hjälp av farbror Tilles, gårdskarlen, med vattenslangen. En lång isbana med höga kanter slingrade sig från gården ut till fälten där mammorna odlade blommor och grönsaker på sommaren. Papporna puttade på de barnfyllda pulkorna så de åkte i en hiskelig fart ner till mammorna, som bjöd på varm saft, snöt små näsor och övervakade åkandet, så ingen skulle bränna sig på facklorna, som kantade hela den långa, härliga isbanan. Det var de bästa Olympiska Spelen någonsin!

14 December, 2014

Story #170

The man, standing on the porch of his desolated house, stirs into to warm sunset with red eyes. He rolls down his sleeve and grabs the soft pack of Lucky Strikes, knocks the pack to his knee to loosen a smoke, sucks it in his mouth and blaze it. He is now an unleashed beast ready to hunt down his prey, the two men in checkered suits who murdered his wife and his two daughters. With a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun, he hops on his Harley and drives towards a mad future.

13 December, 2014

Story #169 – Mystery on Maple Lane – Chapter three: What lurks inside

So the children tiptoed over to the back door, where they dared to turn the knob. The house released a loud creeeaaak.

At least inside, Lily and Sam’s parents would be around to protect them.

Besides, there was no girl in a nightgown, nor were there any other strange things lurking upstairs.

Right?

Their mother, the kids imagined, would be busy emptying boxes and making their new house feel like home.

And their father was surely in the kitchen, preparing a delicious welcome supper.

But when Lily and Sam stepped inside the old wooden house, there was neither a person nor a box in sight.

“Mom!” called Sam.

“Dad!” cried Lily.

It was as though the Lynch family had never even moved into the old house at the end of Maple Lane.

Where could Sam and Lily’s parents possibly be?

There was no way they were outside. It had gotten dark very quickly, and a heavy fog lingered about the house.

Sam stepped into the kitchen and uttered a sharp cry.

“What is it?” asked Lily, running over to her brother.

“It smells like there’s a cake baking in here,” he whimpered, his lower lip trembling.

Lily took a deep breath in and detected chocolate. In the otherwise cool house, a gust of warm air wafted from the oven.

“The girl in the nightgown!” she shrieked. “She must have made it!”

Sam met his sister’s gaze, his eyes as wide as the full moon outside.

“What if she’s got Mom and Dad?”

The Lynch kids didn’t know what to do.

They weren’t allowed outside after sundown without adult supervision.

And besides, it wasn’t safe out there. As Mrs. Lynch had said, there were no neighbors around for miles and miles.

So Sam and Lily had no choice but to stay in the house and hope for their parents’ safe return.

But before they could solve the mystery, footsteps sounded on the second floor. Lily and Sam clutched each other tight.

The ghosts―they were coming!

Then came the voices, which the children heard through the ventilation.

“I’m so hungry,” moaned one of the spirits from upstairs.

But what happened next changed everything.

“The cake will be ready soon,” announced their mother’s voice through the ventilator.

“And the kids will be home in any minute,” declared their father.

Confused, the Lynch kids bolted upstairs. They had to make sure their parents were okay. Lily and Sam held their breath as they prepared to face the ghost girl in the nightgown.

“Surprise!”

The lights flickered on, and Mr. and Mrs. Lynch stood smiling, surrounded by the kids’ aunts and uncles and cousins.

Never in their lives had Sam and Lily felt so relieved.

“It’s a housewarming party,” explained Mr. Lynch, giving each of his children a squeeze on the shoulder.

“We wanted to surprise you,” added the kids’ mother. “We invited the whole family.”

And there, dressed in a white nightgown, was their little cousin Jenna.

“We hid upstairs while you were playing outside,” she said.

“Now who’s ready for cake?” asked Mrs. Lynch.

“Me!”

“I am!”

So the Lynches, along with all their aunts and uncles and cousins, made their way downstairs.

After it cooled, Mr. Lynch frosted and sliced the chocolate cake. Then he served it to his family.

That was when the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” said Mrs. Lynch. “I wonder who that could possibly be.”

Outside stood a scarecrow with black button eyes.

9 December, 2014

Story #168 – Mystery on Maple Lane – Chapter two: Backyard mysteries

“I miss our apartment in the city,” said Sam, as he and Lily walked out into the crisp autumn air. Leaves of all colors fluttered to the ground from the trees.

Lily gasped.

“Look!” she cried, pointing to a second-story window. Lily grabbed her brother’s hand and squeezed it tight.

“What is it?” asked Sam.

Lily pointed. Through the glass, the Lynch kids saw the pale face of a young girl. She was dressed in an old nightgown.

Who could it possibly be?

But within a few seconds, through the falling leaves, the girl had vanished.

“Maybe we imagined it,” muttered Sam.

Lily stayed silent.

How could she and her brother both have imagined the same thing?

“Let’s get out of here,” said Lily, who still clutched her twin brother’s hand. She tugged him along the path that led into the woods.

There the kids began contemplating their Halloween costumes, since October 31st was only three weeks away.

“I want to be a vampire this year,” announced Sam. “Either that or a ghost.”

Lily frowned at her brother.

“Those are too scary,” she said. “I think I’ll be a cat.”

A few minutes later, the Lynch kids came to a clearing in the woods. Lily was admiring the open field when she jumped in shock.

“Scaredy-cat,” taunted Sam. “It’s just a scarecrow. It’s not real.”

Or was it?

There was a wicked gleam in the scarecrow’s eyes. He wore a straw hat atop his potato sack face.

“I guess you’re right,” whispered Lily. To distract herself from the scarecrow, she scooped an orange maple leaf from the ground and traced it with her pinky finger.

“Come on,” called Sam, beckoning to his sister.

He wanted to keep moving. The truth is that Sam thought he’d seen the just-a-scarecrow blink its black button eyes.

So the Lynch twins left the clearing and made their way back into the forest. The twigs above their heads reached down like bony fingers.

Once Sam and Lily came across the graveyard, right in the middle of the woods, all it took was a single look to get them running in the opposite direction.

They bolted down the path toward the clearing.

And then the Lynch twins rushed past the scarecrow back into the forest.

Sam and Lily darted through the trees and finally, panting, they found themselves in their new backyard.

Lily dared to examine the second-story window.

Sam followed his sister’s gaze. He saw a strange figure hovering by glass. It certainly didn’t look like either of his parents!

Like the girl in the nightgown, the strange figure disappeared after a few moments.

“We can’t go in there,” Lily warned her brother.

Sam shook his head.

“Well, we can’t stay out here, either.”

8 December, 2014

Story #167 – Mystery on Maple Lane – Chapter one: The old wooden house

When the car pulled into the driveway, Lily didn’t like the look of her family’s new home.

“It’s falling apart,” she said of the house on Maple Lane.

“And where are our neighbors?” chimed in her brother Sam.

It was true. Darkness surrounded the house, and the lawn hadn’t been mowed in months. Plus some of the windows were covered in a thick layer of dust.

“The property is six acres,” explained their father, Mr. Lynch. “It’s a big lot.”

Mrs. Lynch turned to her children.

“There are no people for miles and miles,” she added.

But the Lynch kids would soon find out the truth.

They weren’t alone in their new house.

Once the movers had carried all the boxes inside, the Lynch parents got to work.

“Daddy’s going to the store to pick up ingredients for dinner,” said Mrs. Lynch, “and I’m going to start unpacking.”

“Can I help?” asked Lily. She hugged her mother around the knees.

A strange feeling was brewing in her stomach, and she didn’t want to be alone.

Something wasn’t right with the old wooden house. Lily just knew it.

“That’s okay, Sweetie,” replied Mrs. Lynch. She unpeeled her daughter’s arms from around her legs and tore open a box labeled Kitchen Items. Then she started digging through stacks of pots and pans, plates, and handfuls of silverware.

Mrs. Lynch glanced at her children. Sam was sitting in an armchair, playing games on his mother’s iPhone. Lily stood beside him, looking on.

“Why don’t you two run along outside and explore?” she suggested. “There’s a fantastic forest right in the backyard.”

Sam flicked his thumbs against the touchscreen phone. He hadn’t heard a word.

“Samuel!” called Mrs. Lynch. “Please go outside with your sister. Leave that technology behind and go enjoy nature. The fresh air will do you good.”

The knot of dread tightened in Lily’s gut.

“Mom,” she began, fixing her gaze on the damp wooden floor. “Why are there footprints in the house if we just moved in?”

Then she examined her brother.

“And how come someone left their old furniture in here?”

“The old owners weren’t able to take everything with them,” explained Mrs. Lynch. “And as for the footprints, they’re probably from your father’s muddy shoes. Now go on and play outside.”

But if the old owners had wanted to leave couches and tables and chairs, then why were they in such bad shape? On the dining room table, chunks of wood had begun to rot, and Lily noticed that stuffing was spilling from one of the sofas like a dog foaming at the mouth.

To be continued …

7 December, 2014

Story #166

It was a rainy monday morning.

“You! I dreamed of you”, she said. I can remember I just smiled back at her, we both knew how wrong it was, but I could tell by the way she looked at me it was just right enough to be a pleasant dream.

I remember it all ’cause I often think about that morning, about how our ‘once upon a time’ began.

5 December, 2014

Story #165

I’m so proud to call him mine, for he is endlessly beautiful, deep and pure. Having found the key to my heart I gifted him this present. As if it is the most important thing in the world I elevate this ceremony into the realm of spirituality. I roam my spirit and look for memories of love – coming back from this reflecting I weave all fragments into a new whole, into a story I live and breathe life into.

I call him my baby because I’ll try to love him unconditionally, like a mom loves and naturally nourishes her offspring; in the same way I want to tend to his needs, want to fulfill his wishes. His wish is for him to know love, and I show him what it feels like to be loved by a certain special person – he in turn teaches me the joy of giving myself over to another. To retreat from this battlefield and to come home to this safe and secure embrace we offer each other – in this lies fulfillment. I was happy, but he makes me feel euphoria I had forgotten about a long time ago. It completes me.

As we are all screaming for and dreaming about something I feel I am on to something. We think we long to feel loved, however, what we really feel is the need to love. We wish for to indulge ourselves in the pleasure if embracing all there is to embrace about another, to get to know every nook and cranny of their reflective and stunning psyche. Frankly, his psyche stunned me, and now all I can do is watch in awe as our story unfolds itself. It may be long, it may be short, but one thing is for sure: it will stay with me forever, having changed me I shall never forget this revelation.

If the one exists… He is probably it. As close as I’ll ever come to finding the one; having found him I feel I can finally release all this love I have been waiting to let go of, have been wanting to share. And him accepting these feelings of true affection is like a unique gift to me, inspiring me beyond imagination, touching me and lifting me up into an imaginairy realm for us both to exist in – our world is to be created; for love shall procreate, if not in material sense then always in spiritual sense – to be a lover is to embrace what is. For how can I expect to be loved without being a lover?

I was listening to this particular song before and suddenly I felt like I was about to cry. I was feeling something I hadn’t felt in a long time, and it made me remember everything about that feeling. I have been severely ill and was deemed lost. I had to take these numbing pills. I was so depressed that I barely felt anything anymore. There was just this constant death wish. Now, there is a completely different wish, I seem to have crossed to the other side so to speak.. There is a wish to love and to nourish instead of to destroy. It makes me feel complete, knowing there is a future for me – a future that can be brighter than I ever thought it would be. So I expose my naked body – I accept it, knowing it is accepted by him whom I love.

24 November, 2014

Story #164

Beatrice finally got her big girl bed. She was excited but scared. Beatrice missed the comfort of her crib and didn’t want to spend the night sleeping in the open bed. She tried. She cried. And then her mom and dad made her a deal. “If you sleep in your new bed for five straight nights we will buy you that life-size Cookie Monster you’ve had your eye on,” tbey told her. And Beatrice slept in her new bed for five straight nights. And on the sixth night she shared her bed with Cookie Monster.

20 November, 2014

Story #163 – Limerick a la Österhof!

En glad liten skara från Hänt
får texter och bilder på pränt
men enligt en läcka
de tar sig en bläcka
när sidor till tryck de har sänt

17 November, 2014

Story #162 – Brand New Boy

Excuse me love I’ve got something to tell you,
And it’s been bothering me for quite some time,
Don’t think that I don’t know what it is you do,
I know you’ve been looking me up, and want to be mine,
But it’s not enough to bat your eyelids,
Or look pretty sitting in silence,
Because you’ve got this reputation, and it falls before you,

You want a gentleman sure,
But I’m glad that I slept on the floor,
And you can’t be treated lady-like,
When you’ve got a brand new boy, every other night,

Excuse me darling I believe this is important,
I wouldn’t put it passed you to kneel in front of a line,
This is your life’s work, and it’s not distorted,
I’m trying to polish it a little, by making it rhyme,
And it’s not enough to sit there begging,
Or wishing for the perfect wedding,
Because you’ve got this reputation, and it really needs sortin’,

You want a gentleman sure,
But I’m glad that I slept on the floor,
And you can’t be treated lady-like,
When you’ve got a brand new boy, every other night,

I just wanted to let you know that just before,
Before you ever thought that there could be something more,
And I’m sorry to say your lips are tragedy,
A career as a poster-girl for sodomy,
You’ve got a reputation and a really dirty name,
I think it’s picture perfect so I’ll put it in a frame,
You’re a walking disaster, a walking disaster,
Please excuse my laughter,

You want a gentleman sure,
But I’m glad that I slept on the floor,
And you can’t be treated lady like,
When you’ve got yourself a brand new boy, every other night.

16 November, 2014

Story #161

Det var en gång en clementin och ett äpple. En dag gick dom i en vulkantunnel. Varje gång dom gick genom tunneln hamnade dom bak i tiden. När dom kom ut gick dom till där det snöade och där fans ett badhus där många människor badade. Där var det en vatten rutschkana. I den rutschkanan fanns vatten så man åkte jätte fort. Dom Cyklade ifrån badhuset till ett hus. Huset rasade direkt när dom kom. Så clementinen och äpplet blöder lite. Så då fick dom gå till doktorn. Doktorn lagade blodet.
Snipp snapp snut så var sagan slut.

CLAS 5ÅR

11 November, 2014

Story #160

A slender young woman with long black hair sitting in a comfy orange chair reading a book alone in a room at night one day builds up the courage to leave her room and go to town one night where she then meets a whimsical musician with dark hair and black glasses that plays guitar  that inspires her to leave her comfy couch and orange chair by inspiring her to see the world with him.

9 November, 2014

Story #159

Bergsbestigarna från Botbygårdsvägen 1 stod inför en svår uppgift. Rakt från trottoaren på Botbygårdsvägen tornade den branta Nalleklippan upp. Den svåraste vägen till Skvallerbackens höga granar var via Nalleklippan. Den minsta bergsbestigaren hade kunnat springa runt till stigen som ledde till Skvallerbacken, men självklart skulle även hon få vara med på äventyret.

Jag placerade min fot i ett litet hack på klippan. Händerna trevade efter små sprickor, och försiktigt flyttade jag mig uppåt. Efter ett tag hörde jag den mellersta bergsbestigarens flåsande andetag under mig. Jag halade mig upp på den lena släta ytan uppe på Nalleklippan, vände mig om och hjälpte upp min efterföljare.

– Men jag då?

Minsta bergsbestigaren hade förtvivlan i rösten. Hennes korta ben nådde inte upp till det första lilla hacket. Det var bara att klättra ner igen, man lämnar inte sin kompis. Väl nere lyfte vi resolut den minsta bergbestigaren under armar och ben, puttade och baxade tills hon kom i rätt klätterposition. Hon klättrade. Nära toppen tog det stopp.

– Jag når inte över kanten!

-Jo då, försök!

– Jag kommer att ramla!

– Det får du inte, då blir du platt som en pankaka.

Det rådde viss oro bland de bergsbestigarna som stod där nere på den hårda asfalten. Mamma skulle inte vara glad om vi kom hem med en trasig lillasyster.

– Jag kommer och hjälper dig! Håll i!

Blixtsnabbt sprang jag upp till Skvallerbacken via stigen och kröp fram till den branta kanten på Nalleklippan. Jag räckte ner min hand och fick tag i armen på den minsta bergsbestigaren. Jag drog, hon klättrade, och upp kom hon!

– Sitt still, rör inte en fena! Vi kommer snart.

Fort sprang jag stigen ner medan den mellersta bergsbestigaren redan klättrade uppåt. Naturligtvis skulle även jag ta den rätta vägen upp.

5 November, 2014

Story #158

Jo and I were at the Cafe . Both enjoying a hot chocolate and a macaron, seated behind us were another family enjoying their time too, baby in pram Mum and Dad having a drink.

Then another patron made his way past them, up jumps the dad furious! I mean angry! I gotta say it, he was down right ticked that this 20 something pushed past them thus endangering their child, and I think you can appreciate that he let the trendy young blighter know it too.

“Little sensitive I thought” But it was now the time I needed to make the same journey, so I gave the pram a wide berth, and out of curiosity I shot a look over to see this darling Cherub that required such care, but the delightful progeny wasn’t even in the pram!

5 November, 2014

Story #157

Det hade snöat hela dagen, men mot kvällen blev det kallare, och nordanvinden drev bort molnen. Jag vadade i knähög snö över det öppna fältet där mammorna från Botbygårdsvägen 1 odlade sina grönsaker på sommaren. Det kalla månljuset fick snön att glittra som diamanter. Skogen framför mig kastade långa rastlösa skuggor över fältet, och över det lilla kapellet, som stod med lysande färggranna fönster vid skogskanten.

Varför lyste det i kapellet? Nyfiket smög jag närmare. Det hördes vacker musik. Jag gläntade försiktigt på den tunga dörren, och slank in i ljus och värme från hundratals levande ljus. En pojke med guldiga lockar och lysande, himmelsblå ögon stod längst fram vid altaret och sjöng så vackert, att jag inte kunde annat än sätta mig där på bänken närmast dörren. Pojken sjöng på ett främmande språk, men sången handlade om Maria, det hörde jag.

Hela tiden strömmade det in mer folk. En man och en kvinna höll varandra i handen och gled tyst fram för att sätta sig så nära sångaren som möjligt. En ung kvinna med långt hår och fotsid klänning stannade intill mig, lät sin blick glida över församlingen och suckade sedan djupt innan hon tog sin plats i den främsta bänkraden.

-Allida! Min älskade Allida!

En gammal man med brinnande ögon stod bredvid mig och viskade det främmande namnet en gång till, innan han flyttade sig snabbt till den unga kvinnan längst fram och kramade henne länge.

Den vackra sången hade nu övergått till något glatt. De klara tonerna pärlade upp mot kapellets mosaikfönster. Små och stora barn gled in. Jag undrade varför de inte hade någon vuxen med sig. Ett av barnen skrattade till, viskade:

-Mormor och Morfar, och sprang sedan till den unga kvinnan och gamla mannen, som hade kramats tidigare.

– Det är inte tillåtet för dig att vara här än!

Jag hörde en mörk röst, kände hur jag lyftes upp, den tunga ytterdörren öppnade sig, och innan jag hann fatta vad som hände stod jag utanför kapellet igen. Månen lyste över den ödsliga parkeringsplatsen på vänster sida om kapellet. Till höger om mig hade jag den snötyngda skogen, och framför mig glittrade det öppna fältet vitt. Jag lät blicken svepa över alltihopa en gång till.

Mina egna spår var de enda som syntes i snön.

5 November, 2014

Story #156

Colin fyller två år idag. Han har som vanligt på sig sin blå keps. Dagen firas med tårta med två ljus i. Hans vän, schäferrn Dida, kommer på besök och hans föräldrar busar extra mycket med Colin just denna dag. Han skrattar tills han kiknar.

1 November, 2014

Story #155

Right as he put the last piece of the puzzle in place, he realised what he had been making all along was a mirror. He looked at his patchy beard and lined face, happy with the stories that his wrinkles told. It told of many children, a challenging wife, a long and rewarding life. He settled comfortably in his chair, ready for the end of the story.

1 November, 2014

Story #154

Det var en gång ett spöke med en katt. Dom åt ett pepparkakshus och det bodde en häxa i det. Det var ett jätte stort hus, det var gjort av pepparkakor. Spöket och katten blev fångade av häxan. Häxan gick med spöket och katten till ett fängelse i en vulkan. Sen trillade dom i vulkanen. Fast det gjorde dom inte, dom sprang iväg och häxan ramlade i vulkanen och brann upp.  Sen gav ankan dom ett pris.
Häxan hamnade i en lastbil och körde spöket och katten till vulkanen igen. Då fick dom diamanter.
Dom klarade sig men häxan hamnade högt upp i ett träd, och ramlade ner och slog sig.
Snipp snapp snut så var sagan slut!

CLAS 5ÅR

25 October, 2014

Story #153

Rain, rain, rain. It seems never ending. Wind, thunder and lightning. Ohhhhh, tornado warning! Hide, hide, hide!! Leaves flying, branches breaking, rain making torrents of creeks poring through the road. Listening to the wind whistling through the house, surprised it finds so many places to whistle through.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. Time will pass and so will the storm. Until then, no quiet and solitude of birds chirping, bees humming and the quiet rustle of squirrels in the trees.
A good day to snuggle in front of a fire, blanket and book on hand.
Oh where is my quiet to sit and watch life pass me by?

Oh where is the blue sky and the quiet for my morning coffee?

19 October, 2014

Story #152

Rasa Thorn
was never born.
Her life was a
so longed one.

Her father,
full of dedication,
never found
her time.

Her mother
simply can’t recall
a girl, a love
sublime.

Lady-in-waiting
forgotten, foregone.
May be next time,
Rasa Thorn.

13 October, 2014

Story #151

Holy friend I thought to myself, what will I do about this whole situation, it’s way too dangerous to stay but what will everyone else think? We, leaving this settlement while everyone else believes we have lied this whole time. But we didn’t die, did we? It’s the question my son poses me all the time, I don’t know why or how he would come to know this information, it should have been guarded by very few composed men.

My son, is my biggest creation of all time, it’s why they are so afraid because somewhere deep down, everyone knows he’s not human, he’s however too well created that he is a human by normal standards, just not concieved in the same way. He is what some would call a labrat of sorts.

Everything spins out and no one understands anything, what is happening and more importantly, why is it happening. Could everything just be layered into different universes or is it all by chance it rised from the nothingness or that of the big bang. What we do know is that we exist in a single timeline that has yet to be touched by any other entity or reality. Everything that is, is because of our behaviour, our choices and so on. Need I tell you what will happen if we do nothing, just idling, waiting for it to end. That would be the destructiveness that ends us all, leaving nothing but smithereens.

It kinda started with the gnak of the month, which later changed to days in which we feel confided in ourselved, but what were we to do else, ignore it? Ignoring humanity will slay us all, in the end, nature always wins. And if we don’t stop it fast, nature will show what we did wrong. Never to take it as a threat, we have already doomed ourselves by doing nothing but let sin control us, so ask yourself, was it really worth it, was it?

13 October, 2014

Story #150

I’m 11 and I live in Michigan about a year ago a nice mom from ohio who has a girl my age began sending me clothes after my aunt has mentioned that I could use them. I then began to email and FaceTime with the girl and we became instant friends I was then able to make the trip to Ohio and we had the best time! We had a sleepover and went to the store and tried on Halloween masks! I just know I made a friend for life

13 October, 2014

Story #149

Trädklättrarna från Botbygårdsvägen 1 stirrade forskande på Skvallerbackens höga granar. Till sist enades de om ett praktfullt exemplar med täta grenar. Den minsta trädklättraren fick börja:

– Då kan vi putta på dig uppåt, och fånga dig om du ramlar.

Snart följde vi andra efter. Det doftade starkt och friskt inne i granen. Tjocka rännilar av kåda rann längs med stammen och klibbade roligt under fingrarna. Minsta trädklättraren hade nått toppen av granen, och spanade ivrigt mot havet:

– Jag ser ända bort till Sverige!

Vi andra fick bråttom komma upp och få oss en skymt av det underbara landet där både Pippi Långstrump och Emil i Lönneberga bodde. Det blev trångt, men var värt besväret. Bortom havet som glittrade i aprilsolen kunde vi skymta en smal remsa land, det var säkert Sverige. Där på toppen av granen kunde jag skryta med mina kunskaper i svenskarnas annorlunda språk.

– GOFTÅN säger man på kvällen. Vill man räkna, så säger man ELVA, TOLVA, LÅPPAKORVA.

Det hördes ivriga övningar i svenska språket medan vi klättrade ner. Plötsligt avbröts de av ett hjärtskärande skrik! Alla hade vi hår som räckte långt ner på ryggen. På morgonen gjorde mamma prydliga flätor på sina döttrar, men så här på eftermiddagen hade gummisnoddarna med en plastboll i vardera änden försvunnit i fickan och håret svallade fritt på oss alla. Nu hade mellersta trädklättraren fastnat i kådan med sitt hår. Jag funderade:

– Vi skulle behöva en sax. Kommer ni ihåg när jag tappade mitt tuggade tuggummi på vår katt? Då fick jag klippa loss det med nagelsaxen och hoppas att mamma inte märkte något.

– Ni får inte klippa bort mitt hår!

– Men om jag ramlar på dig, då slits du loss från kådan.

Hjälpsamt släppte den minsta trädklättraren taget och ramlade.

Barren stack oss prickiga, grenarna gav oss blåmärken, och ner tumlade vi i en hög. Försiktigt satte vi oss upp under granen, stirrade tyst på varandra, slängde oss sedan raklånga i den mjuka mossan och gapskrattade. Vilket äventyr!

Den våren kunde en liten rödhake inreda sitt bo med tovor av ljust, brunt, och rödbrunt hår, som den hittade fastkletat i kådan på sin hemgran.

13 October, 2014

Story #148

it have been 4 years that i’d love him, it’s not easy to make me love him, but he never give up to show me and make me believe that he was my soulmate. he doesn’t look like my prince imagination, but he always know what i need, and what i’ve to be for my own. i never want to compare him with my dad, but i can say that he was a man that i loved after my dad. i hope that 4 years later we can be a great couple for our future – marry and become parents

love for me just like shoes – have right and left, have fate from God to move, no matter anywhere, we know that we have each other, complement each other, no matter who’s on the front or behind.

9 October, 2014

Story #147 – The kitsungi girl

Shattered
Every one walked by
Nobody dared notice
Then he saw the shattered pieces
Picked up every shard
Started putting it together
To him broken meant possibility
Possibility of beauty
Broken has a story
Putting together makes it whole
Lines and cracks
Memories
Stories
Because being broken
and then
being put together
Highlighted flaws
shining golden
Is what makes broken
Beautiful

9 October, 2014

Story #146

The first time I met him, he was so quiet never thought that he would kiss my heart, suddenly he reels me in the sweetest way. I’m so enamored by him. I hope he gets to feel this. I don’t care what the rest do because when we’re alone, it’s beautiful makes me won’t to leave him. When I was lost and so in need he opened up his heart. When I needed him to comfort me he opened up his arms. I couldn’t face another day he said don’t be afraid. Thanks God i found him.

5 October, 2014

Story #145

One day a black cat came to live with my grandparents. My grandfather named him Muhammad, after his favourite boxer, Muhammad Ali. My grandmother refused to call the cat Muhammad, and called him Puss instead. I wanted to call him by his proper name but felt embarrassed calling out “Muhammad, Muhammmaaaad, dinner” out the door of their little house. So I called him Puss too

5 October, 2014

Story #144

This is a story about a boy meeting his destiny girl in one london rainy night. Despite the fact that he doesnt know how would the girl react, he was brave enough to step up and talk to that girl and ask for her number.

All story has two sides. For the girl, she did not think much of that boy, however, she still got into a polite conversation with him while she was avoiding the rain under the shelter.

Will the conversation start anything special between the two?

5 October, 2014

Story #143

!Be aware of the dragon! That’s not a very inviting welcoming sign, is it? but the law says:
“If one keeps a draconem (dragon) as a pet, one is obligated to clarify this with a sign on the door”. I think it’s kinda silly but it doesn’t bother me.

He is the kindest you’ll ever meet and wouldn’t do nobody harm, except for a few flies occasionally , they freak him out. My friends love him too, even though it took them some getting used to him. When he first moved in they asked me what I was thinking, and I didn’t really have any other answer than that I’ve never been a cat or a dog person.

Now I know that I’m definitely a dragon person and I’ve found that it’s also extremely handy to have a serpent friend with wings and a breath of fire. He will fly me to my job and back, help me with the cooking and heat up the house.

Sometimes on the weekends we fly away to the big tree by the sea where we chill out while I read him his favorite book about a mean, greedy dragon who lives in the mountains.
He laughs so hard that flames are coming out of his nose. At first I couldn’t understand what was so funny about a mean dragon, but now I think he laughs at the silly idea that a dragon could ever be mean and greedy. Dragons have an odd sense of humor.

But he is right though, dragons are the kindest and he is the best!

5 October, 2014

Story #142

Okay so college degrees are a pretty important deal now a days but all I really want to do is draw, paint, cut, paste, invent and construct. And to dress as fancy as I can. Where can I find a Job like this plus being my own boss? Mean while I’ll keep making new cozy places in my room to be at, while I draw myself my new doodle friend. Rub my cheek against my delicious scarf, try on many dresses and use a very extravagant one to do some grocery shopping (with a wide brim hat, it is a must on my head).

5 October, 2014

Story #141

My sister is an accomplished geneticist whom I’ve always raced to keep up with. She was never particularly inclined towards pets. She saw me become involved in high volume spay and neuter clinics and learned all she needed to in order to humanely reduce the population of feral cats in her neighborhood. All sick cats were treated, they were given warm nooks to hide in during the winter, and she paid for every single one of them to get neutered. Now she’s leaving her community but she will leave the ferals in good hands. Her neighbors have taken over the task of caring for them and are making sure all are fed, safe, and fixed. She now has 6 cats. I’ll take the blame for that 🙂

5 October, 2014

Story #140

I had sadly fell on hard times so i had to up root my kids grom our home and their schools to move in with my parents to get back on my feet.

Due to the distance between us in the past my kids didn’t know my kids well and it was a rough adjustment at first especially with me working a lot to try to get back to an independent status but some time has passed and my heart feels fuller than ever to my 3 kiddos and my parents interact. My parents get them off the bus after school read stories cuddle and my parents have even made some doctor trips with my youngest when i wasn’t able! I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and the reason i was sent down this rocky road was for my parents and kids to create this beautiful relationship!

5 October, 2014

Story #139

The story is about a dying platypus that wonder in the jungle searching some food. After a while, he saw a dead poop in the middle of the road in the jungle. He been wondering about what in the world has happen that can make the poop die and drying up.
Since he was the one that found the poop, he dig a hole and then make a necessarily and proper burial for the poop.

1 October, 2014

Story #138

I had a meeting with my college friends and discuss about some project we had. Well there I bored and read a book owned by my friend from different major. The book is actually a mechanical handbook and I interested in its study. And I began to think, what if I go to Mechanical Engineering instead of Informatic? College must be easier because I have known the theory and essential of the mechanical studies before senior high school. But well fate has been decided isn’t it?

1 October, 2014

Story #137

This is a story about a girl and her father. Years ago they used to play. He used to laugh when She ran away. But when she fell and hurt her knee. He would run to comfort her.

Time has gone so fast, and the girl already gone to college, she barely got home to see her father and her family. One day, there’s a phone call that told the girl to quickly go home. There he is, sleeping, safe and sound, surrounded by all of the family member. But he never woke up, not even once. He’s in a better place now. The girl lean forward in the meadow where they used to play, she talk to herself, “I wish I could’ve run faster”, and she began to fall asleep.

29 September, 2014

Story #136

My blue Tonkinese cat Linus has 3 homes. He eats, sleeps and snuggles at mine, asks for more cuddles at the neighbours but hangs most of the day with The Blind Man in the derelict house behind. He also goes ‘crazy horse’. He is lovely as pie, sweet as an angel and then he turns into a monster. His eyes pop and his tail swings madly. No forearm is safe.

28 September, 2014

Story #135

Wenever I see a kingfisher I say “Hi Flossy”.

You see Flossy was my cat and we had a very special relationship. In fact she once had kittens on the pillow next my head. That’s special. Eventually she left us for the great litter tray in the sky. The very next day a kingfisher came and perched in the branch where Flossy used to sit. It came back every day for weeks. So Flossy became a kingfisher and I always say “Hi!”

28 September, 2014

Story #134

My worries about this world leave me a little drained – and so I pray to God to help me ease the pain. I hope my prayers are answered – cuz we don’t have much time left – I do so wish we could appreciate the now and not the then. If we could love each other the way that Stevie said then perhaps we’d live on higher ground in bliss with homemade bread!

28 September, 2014

Story #133

A true story. A little girl asks her Dad where she came from. He replied: “Your Mother and I were walking on this very beach. The sky looked like candyfloss and the sand was soft, like butter, under our toes. Far out at sea we could see something floating, floating towards the shore. It was a tiny little boat. Its sail was a handkerchief. It came to shore. We looked inside. And there you were. So we picked you up and took you home. The little boat sailed away , but it came back later with your little brother, and then with your littler brother and sister. We stopped going to the beach for a while after that. “

28 September, 2014

Story #132

My wife is a veterinary student who is in the final sprint of her 5-year training. Her original dream job was to work in a city clinic, to make puppies and kittens feel better, but she has discovered a love of large animals – particularly alpaca. By this time next year, we might be in Mongolia to work on colicky yaks or Peru to help dyspeptic llamas. I’m excited.

27 September, 2014

Story #131

I once knew this kid in England. He was lonely and we lived quite a way out from the closest village. It was an idyllic British country lane, and we would play games like tag and go home stay home. The only problem was that I couldn’t stand him. He had the most unquenchable appetite for victory. This was far more important to him than my feelings or my enjoyment of the game. He was built for victory, from head to toe. He had muscles like a man, bulging out of his 11 year old body like a seasoned pro athlete. He loved this. He would flaunt to me. He had me physically outgunned in every department and somehow never got bored of demonstrating it. The strange thing was, in the evenings, after we’d had our inevitable spat, he would profess his love for our friendship. He would state that he was so lonely and that he was so glad he had someone his own age to talk to. When I told him that my family was moving back to New Zealand he became very upset. I remembered deliberately luring him into stinging nettles. I took any victory I could. He brought out the instinct in me of fleeing a predator. When I ran from him it was like life or death. He was physically dangerous. The memories are hazy now that I am 23. He was a hurdle in my life that seems too strange to be true, now that I think about it. I came out as gay. I am terrified. The memory of him, which haunted me for years after, is now a comfort. Now that I look back, I had a crush on him at the time. I’m gay, and perhaps I always was. I must thank this kid for the clarification. Luke – if you’re out there, dead, alive, drugged up or in prison, happy with a girlfriend or boyfriend, married, father maybe – I thank you.

27 September, 2014

Story #130

Once upon a time, there were two ducks who lived on a farm. They were pretty little white ducks and they liked to waddle around and then sleep in front of the door of the house. One day they decided to have an adventure and waddled off to preschool with the little boy who lived in the house. Everyone loved the ducks and patted them and said how pretty they were. At the end of the day, the ducks waddled home with the little boy and went to sleep and dream in front of the door, having had the best day ever.

26 September, 2014

Story #129

Nothing could have prepared us for how amazing it would be
To combine the best of both of us and start a family,
Our precious little bundle- you grow more special every day
You make life so much better, in each and every way,
You’re our perfect little lady, our muffin, our sweet pea
You fill our lives with magic, we’re just as happy as can be,
Every day is so exciting- just watching you change and grow
Isabelle you’re amazing, we just wanted you to know.

26 September, 2014

Story #128

I baked some fantastical awesome cool bread today, it was made from some very old classic robust stale sourdough bread that by metamorphism turned into bread crumbs. It is lighter and tastier than it’s predecessor was. But alas, now it is gone far before it’s time was at hand, such is life I suppose for those who’s light shine brighter than the rest.

24 September, 2014

Story #127

She was a little girl who loved to draw girly things. Hearts, stars, and diamonds were her favorite to draw. All of her friends loved art and color just as much as she did. They always wore whimsical, colorful clothing and drew pictures together.

She wanted to surround herself with beautiful, magical things and people every day! Even if something was scary, she would always see something lovely in it.

She hoped there were many more people like her in the world and she promised herself she would never change as she grew up.

24 September, 2014

Story #126

We are 5 (4 female & 1 male) workers who spends almost every waking moment together in the palace waiting for the fat evil king to give us chores to do. We spent most of our free time sitting around joking about each in between menial chores, until the evening when a selected few among us would have to prepare his dinner. We have to cater to his every whim regardless of time, and such is the sad story of five palace workers.

23 September, 2014

Story #125

I was laying in bed, holding my stomach because it hurt and then my husband walked in. He asked what was wrong and I just blurted out.. I’m pregnant. He was so happy and he could not stop smiling. Then my mom came over and we bought a cake that said I’m pregnant on it. Me and my husband gave it to her and she just gasped.

23 September, 2014

Story #124

I’m a twenty year old girl who’s been traveling the world. I’ve lived in the midwest, I’ve travelled the US, I’ve visited Brazil and I’ve been all over Europe. Nowadays I live in England. Still, there’s no place like my home town. Finally I am back in sunny Lisbon. And I hadn’t realized just how much I missed my old friends, the language, the beach, my house, this light, these streets, the familiarity of everything here… It seems I’ve been so far only to realize how much I love home.

21 September, 2014

Story #123

I don’t want to fall in love. Love scares me. I adore rom coms, but in real life, the thought of love and relationships genuinely makes me feel sick! But if I ever want to fall in love, I want it to be to Hozier’s ‘From Eden’. And I want my heart broken to Garden City Movement’s ‘Move On’. Because someone always gets their heart broken. And if I ever fall in love, it will probably be mine.

21 September, 2014

Story #122

Two Chihuahuas enjoying their tea tasting . Both brothers who like to ruff play but at supper they eat their meals proper . Saying this and that they have a great laugh when mum asks how is supper the little says “do you have any wee chips for me wee little fish.” After dinner they cleaned up there plates one at a time here mum all done. Off they go for a game of who is the hound and who is the fox .

21 September, 2014

Story #121

It was my birthday, I was turning seven I believe. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm and a nice breeze. Family and friends had gathered for me but probably most for the cakes. I received lots of breathtaking presents, everything unique in its own way but most importantly and my favorite one was the rainbow patterned vans. I was as happy as I could be, had never been happier about a pair of shoes, running around for hours afterwards.
The cakes, amazing as always when mother creates them, no one is left hungry.
Some time after hell erupts from underneath clenching my body, psychologically breaking me, we could also call it first day of school. I walk in proud of myself and everything I am. I’m shy, small and don’t really know that many people. The second everyone sees my shoes I’m put in the ground by everyone’s words, one of the worst days of my life. That day I never put those shoes back on.

21 September, 2014

Story #120

Two girls get married. Their two lovely children (a teenage boy and an eleven year-old girl) are the best man and the maid of honor at the wedding ceremony. Both children make a lovely toast at the reception afterwards.
The brides’ friends and family all attend and everyone has an amazing time.

They all live happily every after and are delighted that they can be a family at last.

21 September, 2014

Story #119

Bastun var färdigvärmd för kvällens första familj på Botbygårdsvägen 1. Av de femtiotal familjer som bodde i huset fick alla som ville en var sin timme, en kväll i veckan, i den stora bastun i husets källarvåning. Eftersom detta var i Finland, där alla fick lära sig bastubadandets ädla konst redan i sin mammas mage, var det naturligtvis alla familjer, som utnyttjade bastun. Vår familj hade tiden på onsdagskvällar, mellan fem och sex.

Jag och mina systrar stod startklara i hallen, iklädda i varsin färgglad badrock i frotté. Mamma hade designad och sytt rockarna, de var utrustade med stor huva där bak, och en praktisk dragkedja, samt stora fickor där fram. I fickorna hade vi våra Barbie-dockor, för tillfället klädda i små badrockar av samma tyg som våra egna. Så fort mamma hade gett klartecken rusade vi ut ur lägenheten, nerför trapporna, ända ner till källargången. En lång, mörk korridor, kantad med smala dörrar till varje lägenhets förvaringsutrymmen, ledde till tvättstugan och bastun. Allehanda rör, en del smala, andra tjocka, ringlade sig fram längs med korridortaket och gav ifrån sig mystiska gurglanden.

På grund av mörkret var det svårt att se de farliga luckorna på golvet i korridoren. Alla barnen på Botbygårdsvägen 1 visste, att det bodde grymma, eldsprutande drakar under luckorna. Det räckte att nudda på luckan, så skulle den öppna sig, och släppa ner det stackars offret till drakens bo i Underjorden. Här gällde det att springa fort, och hoppa rätt. Tofflorna klapprade mot det hårda cementgolvet när vi sprang!

Jag hann först till bastudörren. I det samma hördes ett hjärtskärande skrik från minsta bastubaderskan! Hade hon blivit offer för drakarna? Jag vände mig om och fick se båda mina systrar stå paralyserade vid en av luckorna. På luckan låg minsta bastubaderskans Barbie!

– Hon kommer att dö!

Mina systrar ylade i kör medan jag sprang tillbaka till dem. Uppenbarligen var dockan så lätt, att luckan inte öppnade sig. Nu gällde det att agera fort, innan draken fick vittring om sitt byte och rusade upp genom luckan! Jag tog ett rejält tag på minsta bastubaderskans morgonrock. Min andra syster grabbade sina händer fulla med min badrock. Vi spjärnade emot med våra fötter allt vad vi orkade medan minsta bastubaderskan böjde sig försiktigt ner mot luckan.

Vi lyckades! Barbien blev räddad från sitt hemska öde. Snart satt vi, och Barbiedockorna, i bastuns ljuva värme och med en gång fylldes bastun av glad diskussion om huruvida drakar tycker om barbiekött, och om drakarnas eld var varmare än elden under det gamla gaseldade bastuaggregatet som hummade där vid bastulavarna.

21 September, 2014

Story #118

Det var en gång en gris som heter Petter, och en annan som heter Socker. Den låter såhär: grymt gymt. Och sen den andra heter Sand och tio vänner. Av dom tio vännerna var den sista grisen tre år och den andra grisen var fyra år, och andra grisen var fem år, och den andra grisen var sex år..: grymt grymt, en som var sju år, och en var åtta år, och en var nio år, sen var en tio, den andra är nittio år och en tjugoen år.

Dom var och tittade på bio, och medan dom tittade på bio såg dom en katt. När katten tog av sig var den en gris. En jätteliten gris som var ett år. Och sen var den aldrig rädd. Den var modigast av alla.
SLUT

/ CLAS FEM ÅR

18 September, 2014

Story #117

This is the story of a girl who doesn’t know what love means, really. She walks around and tries to love but oftens runs away instead. She stays quiet and hides just in case someone wants to love her. This is the secret story of this girl, hiding and loving and running. Today she draws, cooks, and paints to know she is not alone. she draws letters and words of affection, because she knows it but cannot hold it near. she cooks for one, paints furniture for one. Yet love surrounds her and works its climbing fingers into her heart.

17 September, 2014

Story #116

My two boys are twins and aged 24 leaving for Canada soon, going to miss them. Both have tattoos of mum and dad on their arms.

16 September, 2014

Story #115

This is a story about a young boy and his cello. Years ago on his birthday he was given a cello as a present by his grandfather. Among the other presents, that was the only thing that captivated his heart. At that time he was far more smaller than the cello, so he couldn’t play it. He waited and waited. He often brought the cello to pose with him in front of the mirror. It was still too big for him.
Years had passed until today when he is finally big enough to hold the cello and play his first song.

16 September, 2014

Story #114

She laughs, spends time with people – she thinks she is happy. Thinking more and more negative thoughts, constant internal critisicm dominates her mind – she can’t escape. She is sad all the time. She writes about her sadness, her fear, her feelings of pointlessness about life, her feelings of helplessness and failure.

She doesn’t know she is depressed.

She won’t know she was until she feels better. She still doesn’t know for sure if she was. But she’s always on the edge of getting bad again.

She doesn’t want to get bad again.

15 September, 2014

Story #113

I have 3weeks more to starting my new semester in university, I have nothing to do at home. Bored. Trying yo be productive but can’t. The laziness is just too high.

14 September, 2014

Story #112

I discovered a pair of socks in a drawer. I’ve never seen them before. I have no memory of buying them. However, they are the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn. After a few weeks of wearing them they have since disappeared. I searched everywhere for them but they seem to have vanished. I know they’re out there, somewhere, making someone else’s feet happy. I miss them.

14 September, 2014

Story #111

We’ll I have been going fine with my two best friends until I said the wrong thing so now I have no friends and I get bullied, the only spot were I don’t feel so depressed is when I’m graffiting.

14 September, 2014

Story #110

We moved from romania to England, London in 2012 when we got a contract to work on Westfield Stratford Mall during the Olympics and Paralympic. I was dreaming about relocating here since forever, we have a white small Bichon Frisse a baby due in February next year, we are happy and in love more than we was 9 yrs ago when we meet. We share a 2 bedroom flat with 2 of my friends (a nurse Adriana and a barber named Liviu). 2 happy couples sharing the same daydream “London” . I’m dancing and doing photography, she’s a hairstylist and a mummy to be and our dog it’s just our dog doing doggy stuffs.

14 September, 2014

Story #109

My story is about a kid growing up in Trenton ,nj that cant escape the violent ghettos that surround him. Where this story takes place the negative outweighs the positives and nothing is second guessed. Well this kid was always picked on and could never find a way to fit in so he chose to do music to free himself from being the laugh for peoples day. Everyday walking home he would be in fear of being shot because of the high crime rate in his city.

His parents were great but father never really taught him nothing in order for him to be strong and stand tall for himself. He always felt like nobody felt his pain from all the jokes to being bullied so one night he ran into the middle of his street and asked god to send him angels and that’s exactly what he did.

11 September, 2014

Story #108

The yellow vigilante is a curious girl living in Beirut. She runs a style journal on effortless chic; wearing clothes that are the best representation of who you are.

Celebrating natural beauty in all shapes and forms (acts of love, acts of care, flora and fauna natural colors and shapes, etc.)

8 September, 2014

Story #107

Parents are constantly talking to the baby who’s still a fetus in mommy’s belly, and one day the baby opens it’s mouth and says: what’s that noise outside?!

8 September, 2014

Story #106

There was a boy who always lives to fulfill the dream of his parents. When the boy began to growing up, popped the question in his mind.

‘What about my dream?’ he said.

7 September, 2014

Story #105 – Rose’s Peculiar Adventure

One sunny afternoon, a 15 year old girl named Rose Parker sat outside on her porch, allowing the sun to absorb into her already lightly tanned skin.

It was a normal Friday for Rose. Up-school-lunch-more school-home. Nothing to differentiate it from any other Friday that she was aware of.

The only difference would be the almost foreign concept to her friends (or ex friends now). She was happy. A few months beforehand, Rose’s parents had been in a fatal car accident when on the way to pick her up from a friends birthday celebrations that involved their car colliding with a truck. Her grandmother, being her only close relative, took her in and cared for her as she did for her own daughter-Rose’s mum.

The sun was shining and the world seemed to be at peace again, so why shouldn’t she do the same? Rose was just reaching to have a sip of her grandmother’s homemade glass if cool, refreshing Lemonade when a most peculiar thing happened. A small hand reached out and swatted away her own, fairly larger hand.

Rose sprang to her feet in pure alarm, as one would if ever faced with similar circumstances.She started to frantically search for the owner of this ‘hand’ – if you’d even call it that – but with no luck.

Maybe I was imagining things? She thought.

Suddenly, a bright flash followed by lilac mist appears.Again, Rose is startled, yet this time joint by fear and terror, for standing in fronting her was a dwarf-like creature.
It had pale blue skin and glowing amber eyes with Strawberry-Blonde hair and was wearing a lace-up blouse with a waistcoat that couldn’t possibly fasten no matter how hard you were to try (this was not only due to the lack of buttons that the garment possessed, but the sheer size of this small creature was severely out of proportion with its waist size).

“W-who are y-you?” Rose inquired whilst recovering from the newly formed shock.

“I’m Corvendahl,” replied the creature in a thick Scottish accent of its own.

“W-who?”

“Cor-ven-dahl,” he said rather bluntly, “and you’re Rose, come on then, lass.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you!” Rose spat.

“Oh yes you are, missy.” And with that, he swiftly took hold of her hand.

Rose started to feel dizzy.Whats happening? Was her last thought before falling into a deep slumber.
*** Corvendahl was – as Rose expected – a Dwarf, yet different, in a way. Moments before he had teleported to the planet earth from his home planet, Unitopia, he had a run-in with a pixie – one he was particularly fond of, indeed. He was looking for adventure and he sorely expected that this ‘human’ would give him that, and more. He had taken a fancying to a certain pixie, Lillian. To his friends, he was crazy to do so, but he didn’t care. He knew that Lillian’s reputation was to always up for an adventure and to never turn one down when given the chance. That, however was a rumour. Lillian would much rather stay in her expensive FlowerPotHouse1.5 listening to the sound of The Beatles outside.

Finding that out wasn’t easy for poor Corvendahl, – that the beautiful pixie whom he liked had her heart dedicated to 4 hairy, cobweb-box playing, insects. As an act of rage and mischief he stole the innocent pixie’s wand which leads us to how he was different and how he found the human who could quite possibly lead him to adventure, or quite possibly lead him to harm.

This, he didn’t know, nor did it cross his mind even once.

7 September, 2014

Story #104

I’m elise from Shanghai! I just graduated from campus! I feel nothing interesting in my life. I want a colorful life but it seems very hard to change my life. I want to explore the world but don’ t have time and money. My life is so boring! I wanna change!!!!

4 September, 2014

Story #103

You see them come.
The Heralds of the Morning.
They come with their sticks.
They come with their powder.
But you’d never have thought,
They’d make your life louder…
Their machines hum.
And soon you are mourning.
There’s buildings of bricks.
Look out for the prowler.
And now that you’re taught,
They can call you the fouler…

4 September, 2014

Story #102

When I need support by people around me and I cant find them. I just cry and always keep my sadness by my self.

4 September, 2014

Story #101

cause im a girl and cant do anything. just wanna be as screet admirer of by someone who i love about 4 years. “we only can waiting” as girl usually said if they feel like what i feel it

4 September, 2014

Story #100

I had a dream once in which my overweight English teacher (who had the facial hair reminiscent to a member of a ska band) was lolloping down the corridor, then suddenly turned into a triceratops and proceeded to eat the students.

4 September, 2014

Story #99

me and my girlfriend have been together since 9 months. before we were in a relationship, we used to hop in my car and travel around the city just to listen music in the car. one day, we travelled the city listening music again and then arrived her house. then suddenly our favourite song started (arctic monkeys – 505), then we decided to pass her house and continue travelling until the song ended. but we didnt realise that we were running out of gas. but we barely made it to the gas station when it passed 1 hour after the song started. we were so excited, lovely, had so much fun.

1 September, 2014

Story #98

My story is of a young girl who was far away at university studying anthropology. While she enjoyed it, she felt that she had lost touch the creative outlets that had been more greatly present during her childhood. She had always loved art. And candy. One day, she realised that her phone was her connection to the wider world community, outside her own life. So she decided that she wanted to provide a way of beautifying this special item. So she began mixing various products (clay, gloss and beads) and a few months on, she began to customise phone cases for each individual request, taking into account their personality and their passions.

31 August, 2014

Story #97

My story is about a corporate savvy who’s sick of his daily routine. He wakes up every morning at the exact same time, do the same tasks over and over again, and goes home exhausted. He wonders whether this is a kind of life he’s wishing for.

31 August, 2014

Story #96

Year 1

Her: Don’t you think it’s weird that we’re acting like a couple when we’re not really one?
Him: Ours is a relationship of convenience.
Her: I’m just a substitute for her, aren’t I?
Him: It sounds bad when you say it like that.

She ceases contact with him by the end of the year, only engaging in the cordial exchange of pleasantries, where necessary.

Year 4

Him: Before we go any further with this dinner, I… I just wanted to apologise.
Her: For?
Him: For everything I said and did in the past.
Her: What… took you so long?
Him: I did a lot of thinking when I was training overseas… and well, it’s always difficult to apologise to someone you know you’ve let down.
Her: If you should know, I never held it against you.

Before they bid farewell that evening, she hugs him, only to see a look of genuine surprise on his face after she pulls away.

“Thank you,” she says.

Year 5

Her: I’ve realised that you’ve not been asking me out of late.
Him: Well, I don’t see the need to.
Her: Should I be concerned?
Him: Actually… I think this isn’t working out. It’s probably me – I can’t do relationships. And I think there’s a disparity in our feelings for each other.
Her: I understand. So… what exactly do you feel for me?
Him: I don’t know. But I think… I’m fond of you.

She’s heartbroken.

But she knows that his heart and soul belong in the skies – they were never hers to keep.

Year 8

Her: So, have you reconsidered us as a possibility again?
Him: Yes I have. But it wouldn’t be fair to you.
Her: How so?
Him: I know you like me a lot more than I do you. And if we were to get together, it would possibly be a one-way street. That’d be unfair to you.
Her: You know, at times I suspect that my residual affection for you is stopping me from getting into other relationships – well, not that there are any in sight, to begin with.
Him: Oh dear.

She’d always known that her affection for him could never be reciprocated in the same manner.
But she secretly hoped for a miracle. That he might come around some day.

Year 9

Her: Brilliant. The professor thinks we’re an item.
Him: Tell her it’s an occupational hazard.
Her: It must be the awesome chemistry we emanate.
Him: More like bickering, haha.

It’s taken her long enough to come to terms with the fact that they’re better off as friends. She’s seen him at his most unkempt; he’s seen her sans make-up; they crack crude jokes and engage in easy banter – he was never so comfortable with her when they were (quasi) romantically involved.

And so. She finds herself, falling yet again.

31 August, 2014

Story #95

Det var länge sedan jag såg stjärnhimlen på riktigt. Jag kan minnas två gånger som jag verkligen insupit rymdes oändlighet och stjärnornas gränslösa skönhet.

Första gången var efter en födelsedagsfest på en liten ö ute i en norsk fjord. Ön hade ingen elektricitet och ingen bebyggelse sånär som på ett litet hus. Efter middagen samlades vi i stugans enda rum till skenet av levande ljus. Tre män ställde sig upp och började sjunga i kör. Det här var inte dina brölande öldrickare, deras stämmor kompletterade varandra och gjorde så att luften i rummet började vibrera. Männen avlöstes av en jojkare som sjöng som om hennes röst skulle ha kunnat flytta på berg. Det var en magisk kväll.

Efter sången lämnade jag huset för att hitta en plats att sova. Nere vid stranden stod en stor studsmatta uppställd. Jag hämtade min sovsäck och kudde och kravlade upp på studsmattan. Det var först när jag la mig ner som jag insåg att det mest magiska funnits ovanför mig hela den här tiden. Jag kunde höra det rogivande kluckandet från vågorna som sakta slog in på stranden några meter bort men det var så mörkt att jag omöjligt kunde se förbi vattnet till fjordstranden på andra sidan. Jag slappnade av och bara tittade upp. Stjärnhimlen sträckte sig som ett enormt draperi över hela mitt synfält. Det var tusen och åter tusen himlakroppar. Det var sagolikt.

Den andra gången som stjärnhimlen fängslade mig befann jag mig på en stor segelbåt utanför Turkiets kust. Det var så varmt, även på natten, att jag tagit med mig en dyna och lagt mig på fördäck. Vi var långt från civilisationen och det var verkligen kolsvart sånär som på ljuset från stjärnorna. Jag har aldrig sett så många stjärnor på en och samma gång. Och jag har aldrig känt mig så liten.

Det slog mig att alla jag älskar, alla jag känner och alla som jag någonsin hört talas om, ja, alla människor som någonsin funnits har left under den här stjärnhimlen. Min farfar som jag aldrig han träffa, hans föräldrar och farföräldrar. Djingis Khan, Alexander den store och Lucy.

Det slog mig också att varje prick på den himlen antingen var en stjärna eller en hel galax, och att varje stjärna hade potential att ha planeter i omloppsbana. Jag är en försvinnande liten människa på en försvinnande liten planet i ett litet hörn av en liten galax. Jag kände mig liten, inte bara fysiskt utan också ur ett tidsperspektiv. Hur länge har jag levt när allt kommer omkring? Försvinnande kort tid. Om någon skulle blinka så skulle de missa hela min existens.

Men trots det – trots hur osannolikt det är att jag ens finns, trots hur enkelt det skulle vara att inte ens veta om att jag finns eller har funnits – trots det finns jag. Jag är här. Jag lever mitt liv under samma himmel som alla andra människor och levande varelser i världens historia. Det känns magiskt och det är vad jag tänker på när jag tittar upp på stjärnhimlen.

31 August, 2014

Story #94

There was a little girl with enemies all around …they hated her and abused her …but they could not do anything to her because she had wings.

28 August, 2014

Story #93

A really great thing happened to me a year ago. I decided to follow my dreams and start my own business in a very unique way. I was on a business skiing trip in Villars-sur-Ollon, a truly beautiful and serene place. As we sat there listening to yet another presentation, I started to think about my idols, Meg Whitman, Leila Janah and Indra Nooyi and how they were at the top of their game. After the presentation I decided I would add one more to that list, me. So I quit. A month from now, we will be launching ormary.com. To following dreams!

26 August, 2014

Story #92

Today I get doubt over and over again to continue or not the progress to get my heart crushed. Her friend said she want to open her heart after break up. But I’m confused where I want to start cause so far as I observe she’s give’n a cold response 🙁

26 August, 2014

Story #91

Jag drog ut den sista plåten med kanelbullar ur ugnen. Lite då och då hördes det ett svagt mummel från telefonkammaren. Det var Bruno som hade skyndat sig till att svara på den gråa bakelittelefonen, med nummerskiva, som stod på telefonbordet. Det var min mamma som hade virkat den vackra spetsduken som vi alltid hade under telefonen.

Jag öppnade köksfönstret på glänt för att släppa lite av försommarens svalka in i köket, och, för all del, för att släppa ut den hemtrevliga bulldoften till villaområdet vi bodde på. Pilfinkar, blåmesar och talgoxar hoppade glatt utanför fönstret, under häcken, där det fortfarande fanns gott om spår efter vinterns matning.

– Då säger vi så, mormor blir säkert glad!
Bruno hade höjt rösten, så som man ofta gör, när man ska avsluta telefonsamtalet.

– Åå, vad jag älskar dig, och dina bullar, Kerstin!
Bruno kom in i köket, och hans ord skickade varma vågor till mitt hjärta. Jag kanske har fått sådana där vallningar i mitt hjärta, tänkte jag, gav Bruno en kram, och placerade honom vid köksbordet.

– Sätt dig här, så kokar jag lite kaffe. Vem var det som ringde?

Bruno tittade snopet på mig:
– Jag kommer inte ihåg.

I det samma flög en mörk skugga förbi fönstret.

– Kära hjärtanens, det var säkert en hök som swishade förbi!
Jag skyndade mig till fönstret för att se om småfåglarna hade klarat sig. Bruno sken upp:
– Swishade! Just det, det var Sandra som ringde! Hon skulle bara swisha över till Johan, och sedan komma hit för elvakaffe.

– Vad trevligt! Men vad skulle hon swisha med? Har hon och Johan nu köpt en sådan där sportbil de drömde om, en … en sådan där Vessla? Tänk att de här sportbilarna alltid ska heta som djur.

Bruno fick något drömmande i blicken:
– Kommer du ihåg när vi fick låna kusin Alberts Jaguar? Det var allt en bil, det!
Sandra ställde sin cykel mot mormors och morfars röda hus. Än så länge fick både Johan och hon cykla, miljömedvetna som de var, men en dag skulle de ha sparat ihop till en Tesla. Snabbt och smidigt swishade de över alla sina extrapengar till det gemensamma bilkontot. Drömmen skulle bli sann inom några år. Sandra andades djupt, och kände hur doften av häggen som stod vid porten blandades med ljuva aromer från kanelbullar och nykokt kaffe.

25 August, 2014

Story #90

The Bird of Paradise came a long journey to met her Swedish friend, The Moose. They made an appointment in a Tree Café underneath the forest ocean. Birdy ordered a cup of teaffee (tea in a coffee) while Mooshy had a very tall glass filled of bubbly banana smoothie (with umbrella). They had an interesting conversation about the future and couldn’t wait for Mooshy’s plan to visit Indonesia.

22 August, 2014

Story #89

Me and my boyfriend we have been together for 9 months. Our relationship began on a swing at night. The star was on the sky. We layed down on the swing and catch my hands, kiss my cheek.

22 August, 2014

Story #88

raging inside of me, the monster made is free
i held her back but now, you sent her raging out
kissed me? out of luck… And the clock has struck
she wants a taste or tear, leaving you to gasp for air

She’s faster than you think,
she’s on a hunting spree
She is a thief that grabs your
heart and leaves you in the dark
She’s faster than you think,
you should’ve taken heed
She is a thief that grabs your heart,
kills with a question mark…

your heart is beating, heavy breathing
held it back, held it in but now I’m seething
tear you apart
you’re stronger then i thought,
you’re stronger then i…

i see him making this, harder than it is
the sharpest sense of smell, beautiful long nails
She’s kinda different, not like anything
he’s ever seen before, he’s longing for more?

he is her souvenir
and i am insincere
She is a thief that grabs your
heart and leaves you in the dark
he is her souvenir
and i am insincere
I’m waiting (waiting) patient

your heart is beating, heavy breathing
held it back, held it in but now I’m seething
tear you apart
you’re stronger then i thought,
you’re stronger then i…

HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…
HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…
HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…

you’re stronger then i thought,
you’re stronger then i…

raging inside of me, the monster made is free
i held her back but now, you sent her raging out
kissed me? out of luck… And the clock has struck
she wants a taste or tear, left you to gasp for air

your heart is beating, heavy breathing
held it back, held it in but now I’m seething
tear you apart
you’re stronger then i thought,
you’re stronger then i…

HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…
HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…
HEART, HEART, HEART!
is beating…

you’re stronger then i thought…

20 August, 2014

Story #87

I’ve got this Friday feeling. The clouds have come in, and the rain has come down, but there is a feeling in the air that makes my heart sing, and my mind tell me that the sun is shining – its FRIDAY, and the weekend is about to start! Whoop whoop! Time to turn the work email off, get the wine in the fridge, the takeaway ordered and put the dancing shoes on. TGIF!!

16 August, 2014

Story #86

The female turtle and male rabbit fall in love. They look different obviously, but they became similar with the power of love. Well there is a saying that love makes the couple look similar:)!

16 August, 2014

Story #85

Jobbet är stressigt. Livet är stressigt. Världen är stressig. Men att få komma hem och lukta på min bebis huvud är lugnet självt.

16 August, 2014

Story #84

A really sweet thing happened to me a year ago. As is characteristic in the city of London, it was utterly chucking it down. As is hugely ironic, despite being a Londoner since the inception of my life, I have never owned an umbrella. As such, I decided to brave the weather and walk through the rainy season. Just as I left the safety of shelter, a dapping young man came up to me, placing a huge umbrella over both of us. He offered me shelter. We began to talk and talk, about everything and nothing. I have never felt a spark like that with anyone. It felt like we had a kinship; like he could see into the depths of my soul. He has inspired my recent collection of poetry. He walked me right to a wonderfully quaint coffee shop in the heart of the city: the Bloomsbury Coffee House. He had a fresh brew and I had a caramel latte. We have been together since. Fingers crossed we stick it out.

16 August, 2014

Story #83

There once was an artist who struggled to find inspiration. She traveled far and wide only to discover his inspiration was staring her in the face. She was overjoyed and painted for days. Her works are now displayed in the Museum of Art!

12 August, 2014

Story #82

The night was serene and the wind was warm. While the sands were touching our feet we were leaving all our miseries to the stars. The moon was shining in our hearts and we were in love.

12 August, 2014

Story #81

I don’t know long they’ve been there, how they got there or if they ever get tired. But tiny monkeys are doing the jitterbug inside my chest. They dace so hard they make me wag my own tail. And all I can here is, A monkey needs to dance and so do you.

11 August, 2014

Story #80

Once upon a time, there lived a little man in a little house named Goroth. Goroth lived in Toffalia; a world which functioned simply. In Toffalia lived many little people with little minds. Unlike other Toffalians (who simply adored drinking hot chocolate), Goroth enjoyed drinking mint tea. He loved the scent of it and the taste of refreshing minty freshness that came with every sip. Thus, although the other Toffalians did not understand why, Goroth did not mind. He still never fails to enjoy a cup of mint tea sitting in his favorite rocking chair in his little garden every morning.

11 August, 2014

Story #79

Hammarslagen ekade genom skogen men fjärilarna fortsatte ostört att flaxa omkring, omedvetna om att deras värld var på väg att förändras för alltid.

10 August, 2014

Story #78 – Agatha the mouse

Would you believe me if I told you a good mouse went bad? Probably not, because that’s not what good little mouses do. Especially not Agatha, she was the sweetest of them all. She had bleach blond fur and the pinkest nose around and her whiskers were just to die for! Why Agatha was the prettiest little mouse in the mouse kingdom, and she did everything in her power to help others. Considering how bad her only secret was, it only makes sense she did, she just had to make up for all the bad thoughts she had and all the bad things she wanted to do. In case you hadn’t realized yet, I will tell you that our dear, dear, sweet Agatha had a dark side, who knew? She hid it so well that no one suspected she could be anything but the nicest mouse there was. Nonetheless it was very true, because you see when the sun went down, Agatha was no longer herself anymore. Every night she tied herself up in the prison chambers, hoping and praying the ties would hold and her true nature wouldn’t ruin everything for her. Agatha wanted to be the princess of the kingdom but she knew she could never truly become the princess, not with this constant burden on her shoulders. Every night Agatha had to deal with it, she had to deal with the pain and the cravings. Every evening Agatha’s skin would stretch and ripple and become leathery, her whiskers would become short and stubby and her ears would turn into spiraled and pointed horns. Her tail would stretch as long as the entire chamber and her paws would become rough and her nails long with the deadliest points. Her teeth became jagged and uneven and she would develop a taste for blood. Most nights the ties would hold, but on this nite they did not. This night would be the end of dear old Agatha. You see Agatha had a curse upon her soul, she would become a demon rat every night and if she ever tasted even one drop of blood she would stay that way. Agatha’s evil form broke free on that night and she did the most horrible thing of all, she ran through the mouse kingdom streets and scratched and maimed and even killed those she held dearest in her heart. The ones she fought to help everyday, she ended up hurting the most on this night. Agatha was never seen again that night, although her alter ego became her permanent form. They say she roams the night looking for mouses to feed on and quench her thirst. Sad isn’t it? How could a mouse that was so good, end up having the evilest side to her? The fates are twisted my love, there is no true good or bad there is only abundances of each and those who are too weak to control their true selves.

~G. Emmanuelli~

9 August, 2014

Story #77

A nautilus was once jealous of the mighty Krakken for his gigantic mass of destructive power. The nautilus, too, wanted to be a lord of the sea, a thought in the minds of sailors that made them shudder.

As he grew, he used numbers and math to create the toughest shell possible, capable of withstanding even the toughest attacks. He fed on all that swam below him as he sank to the bottom of the ocean, gaining the strength and courage in battle of all he faced. He started brawls in all of the Atlantis bars during his stay there. Never had a nautilus been so fierce.

He passed the sunken wreckage of an ancient naval battle fought by the Elder gods and repurposed the golden swords, shields, and spears to be an armor of legendary arms.

Through the last of the descent the water grew dark and started to heat. Where the heat was thickest there was a red light and a torrent of bubbles could be heard.

Longing for last light, the nautilus swam towards the red aura. Slowing as he approached, he was able to discern a deep ravine and out of it seemed to be emerging some massive being.

The nautilus, now legendary in stature, roared with the delight of battle as he grabbed a few of the weapons on his shell with various tentacles and swam at what must be the Krakken.

The Krakken responded with godly fury, eyes full of fire. They meet with golden blade against sucker and beak against shielded shell. The winner would be the king of the sea, feared by all. But the fight continues to this day, and is fated to end on a full moon, when the tide is high.

The oracle speaks that the nautilus will someday win. And that the sea will overtake the land, bringing all under the nautilus’s domain. But for now? It is just a little myth.

6 August, 2014

Story #76 – My husbands first Father’s Day

We drove up to Vanderbelt mansion in Hyde Park, New York and sat in the back, along the cliff over looking the Hudson River and the mountains. The sun was about to set, so the sky began to grow pinkish tones., the grass was green, and the trees that covered the mountains ahead were full and bright. We had a special picnic set up to celebrate my husbands first Father’s Day. I wanted it to be something he remembered, no regular trip to a restuarant, or even the usual home cooked meal at the table. My daughter is to young to make him something, but what I planned turned out perfect, homemade, but out of the house– which we all begged for after the oddly cold past few days.

He (my husband is 28 years old, fair skin, blue eyes with short brown hair, he is tall and thin(ish)) he wore a white button down shirt, with blue stripes and had the sleeves rolled up, with matching blue shorts. I wore a pair of dark skinny jeans, a long sleeve long button down top, and a navy blue hijab (Muslim head scarf) that draped around my head, falling along my chest, perfectly placed around my face (I am 25 years old, not tall nor short, and thinish) and than there is the munchkin– it was my husbands first Father’s Day, but it was her first time enjoying the great outdoors after a brutal winter. She, only three months old, petite however with chippy cheeks that you just want to bite, wore a bright blue dress to match her bright blue eyes, that flew in the wind… She loves the wind blowing at her, and it made her smile and giggle. She wore a white elastic head band with a small white flower, in her hardly there light brown hair.

We set up our blanket along the grass, sat playing with her and making her giggle as we ignored our pasta salad and sandwiches preferring to watch her curiously looking around in amazement, and giggling at us making fools of ourselves in public as we try to make her laugh repeatedly. We took turns snapping photos of each other in pure enjoyment with our daughter. It was a beautiful day, a day that although was not considered for me, was for me– because seeing my daughter and husband smiling and enjoying themselves is all I ever want to see. My dream of having a family has started, this chapter in our story has begun… And I can’t wait to enjoy every moment of this story we are living together.

3 August, 2014

Story #75

Det finns en stund ungefär mellan klockan sju och klockan tio på morgonen då jag och min en vecka gamla dotter ligger och kollar på tv och låter mamma få ett extra sovpass.
Den stunden är den bästa på min dag.

3 August, 2014

Story #74

– Mamma, vad är Bermudatriangeln? frågar Sofia, 7 år, bakom sin padda.

– Ja, det är det ingen som riktigt vet men plan och båtar bara försvinner där.

– Ja, men jag vet jag! Det måste vara en jättestor bläckfisk som drar ner dem! Eller sjögräs, du vet sjögräs som är så där långt och kladdigt!

– Ja så kanske det är men det måste vara en jättestor bläckfisk om han har armar som räcker upp i himlen till planen så han kan dra ner dem!

– Jaaa, han har ju hela havet att växa i så så måste det vara!

30 July, 2014

Story #73

After a while, she saw the lillys start growing up her leg.

29 July, 2014

Story #72

Last year my best friend started ignoring me and now we arent talking at all i dont know why she is not talking to me but it really hurts

29 July, 2014

Story #71

In the dead of night, when the base was mostly asleep, she sat and drew her stories with unmitigated passion. When fatigue would overcome her senses, she would stop and close her eyes.

27 July, 2014

Story #70

Entering the office, I immediately sensed that something was off. You know the feeling when someone has changed the curtains and they ask you if you see any difference in the room? It was like that, but more intense.

’You’ve been promoted’ my boss yelled from across the room, rushing to meet me. I was confused.
’To what?’
’You’re now our Senior Bananalyst’ she said.
’I’m our banana-what?’
’Senior Bananalyst’

She handed me a one of my business cards. In place of my usual title she had scribbled ’Senior Bananalyst’ and drawn a banana.

I looked around the office, trying to make sense of her words. All the regular work stations, the corner where the programers usually sit, the section with the graphic designers, the economy department, everything had been replaced with rows and rows of desks. And bananas. There were bananas everywhere.

I pulled my phone from my pocket to double check that this wasn’t April first. It wasn’t.

’I don’t… What is going on?’
’I had this great idea yesterday, after you left the office. Bananas.’ she was speaking fast and enthusiastically ’Bananas are great for you. They’re healthy, they taste good and…’ she grabbed a banana and held it up in from of her mouth forming a big banana grin ’they’re FUN!’

’The only problem is…’ she continued ’you can’t always get all the bananas you need. This, I thought, is a problem we can solve. We have the logistical know-how to be able to deliver bananas to any place in the world within 24 hours.’

’Imagine. You’re sitting at home and suddenly you have a craving for a banana. What do you do? Until now, you would’ve been all out of luck but thanks to our Bananawesome service you could be eating your own banana in as little as 24 hours.’

’Also, bananas come pre-packaged from nature. Their peel is like a natural safety case, protecting the goods during transportation. We just need to slap a stamp and an adress on the banana and it’s good to go!’

’So from now on, we’re sending bananas to people. And you are our Senior Bananalyst. Your job is to learn everything about the banana trends. Here, have a banana’.

She handed me a banana. Seconds later it started vibrating. She started giggling.

’Go ahead’ she said ’answer it’.

Wearily I raised the banana to my ear and answered.

’Hello?’
’Are you the Senior Bananalyst?’

I looked at my boss. She nodded.

’Yes, I guess I am.’

My boss cheered with excitement and strutted off. I was left talking to a stranger through a banana. I guess it was just one of those days.

27 July, 2014

Story #69

Two panda bears shared a picnic. They were very much in love as they munched their bamboo.

23 July, 2014

Story #68

I woke up that friday of a warm july wearing a newborn sense of heaviness.
I laid on my back in the darkness for a couple of minutes eyes open, trying to chase away the sleep.
With an effort I made my way to the kitchen and made coffee.
My brain seemed to tighten, I would not dare think, or else everything would have fallen.
Off to the bathroom, good kids brush their teeth, I could not avoid looking in the mirror.
− Well.. uhm − i thought. − .. happy birthday I guess −
A messy bush of short red dyed hair exchanged my look with uncertain brown eyes.

I went out, footsteps were heavy, I could hardly walk as my legs seemed to be stuffed with lead.
A cigarette, smoked slowly as I walked my way.
Wather was clear, sunny, not too hot. It was july.
Suddenly an idea, there was a good café near my school, just a few blocks away.

− Good morning, how can I help? −
A girl, might have been 25 , stood behind the counter with a gentle smile and dark blond long hair.
− Hi, uhm, one of those little tarts with cocoa pastry, white chocolate cream and raspberries and a cappuccino, thanks −
I sat behind the counter on a high and uncomfortable bar stool.
The place was almost empty.
A minute later I had that little tart on a small plate followed by the big cup with a fluffy-like cappuccino.
I watched things around me as if they were in slow motion, the girl, the cup, lights, textures.
Some seconds went by as I tried to convince myself to eat.
The girl wasn’t doing anything as there were no customers to be served. She glanced at me with curiosity.
Thirty seconds later she couldn’t resist anymore and came up in front of me, behind the wooden shelf.
− I’m sorry, but is there anything wrong? − she asked sublty grinning her forehead.
− No, not really. It’s just that today.. well, it kinda is my birthday y’know.. I’m 18 now.. − I grumbled while the words died in my throat.
− Well, happy birthday then! But waht’s wrong? I mean, you don’t seem happy − she replied.
− You know how people normally have cakes, parties, toasts and presents on their bdays? See, I won’t have anything, my parents are mad at me for something I don’t understand. All I will get is maybe a hundred kind posts on my facebook wall from people who don’t really care. And this here is my cake, sort of − I summed up pointing at the little tart.
I felt like crying, a tear was ready to roll down my cheek, but I forced it back.
She must have been quite surprised as she stood silently for a minute.
− I’m really sorry to hear this − she said in the end. − nobody should be feeling down the day of his birthday −
− I know −
I leaned my elbows and struggled with increasingly burning eyes.

Suddenly the girl stuck out from behind the counter and approached my face.
My heart skipped a beat, she stared for a second with gentle eyes examining my face, then she quickly bent her head and kissed me on the cheek, a couple of seconds more than one normally does.
− Happy birthday. I’m sorry, I hope this helps somehow − she whispered while smiling and going red at the same time.
Somewhere, a flower began to blossom and a leaf fell.
(None of this has obviously happened or will probably actually happen. There’s books and films for a reason. But the thing that is real is the glimpse of hope we all have inside.
The glimpse that is always there, no matter what.
Even if things are going bad, I, and us all, always imagine that the impossible can actually still happen, that a kiss on the cheek will come to save the day and possibly also save much more than a spoiled birthday)

23 July, 2014

Story #67

A girl who rides a horse everyday to school. People stare, some in disbelief, some in awe. But she loves being different.

20 July, 2014

Story #66

Itseksensä marmatti

tämä pulleaposkinen katti.

Ajat on käyneet huonommiksi

hiiret tulleet laihemmiksi,

kerma on valmistettu kuorittuun maitoon

kuka sen vaihtaisi oikeaan aitoon?

Ruokakin on yhtä aina samaa,

sais muutakin olla kuin porsasta, kanaa,

harvoinpa saa enää tuoretta siikaa

ja koira kylällä aivan on liikaa,

ja ilmat! Taas sadetta säätieto lupaa

ei tassujen kastelu lainkaan oo hupaa.

Vuoteena on täkki vain vanhaan malliin

vaikka naapurin kissakin sai uuden ja kalliin.

– Ritva-Elina Pylväs

18 July, 2014

Story #65

Jag låg på min säng och såg hur den gråkalla marsmorgonen grydde. I en timme hade jag oroligt lyssnat på misstänkta ljud nere i köket. Bara de inte skadar sig själva, tänkte jag, och i det samma hördes något som lät nästan som sång. Stora dottern, hon som snart hade gått ett helt år i skolan, sjöng: Ja må hon leva. Lilla dottern, några år yngre, hade valt att sjunga Vi gratulerar, samtidigt som stora sonen sträckte på sin fyraåriga kropp och sjöng om ekorren som satt i granen. Över all denna skönsång hördes minsta sonen, som beslutsamt ropade: Hurra, hurra, hurra.

Jag satte mig upp i sängen och katten tog tillfället i akt, hoppade upp i sängen, och rullade sig bekvämt på min kroppsvarma kudde. Hunden, av rasen Gott och Blandat, gjorde sitt bästa för att orsaka oreda i ledet som nu kom in i sovrummet. Stora dottern bar på en kaffekanna innehållande kaffe vars styrka skulle hålla mig vaken i dagar. Lilla dottern hade med sig en bricka med ett knäckebröd, rikligt dekorerat med ost, och dagens tidning.

– Vi tog knäckebröd, för du har sagt att vi får inte använda kniven ensamma, förkunnade hon, och storasystern hakade på:

– Jag gick inte till vägen för att hämta tidningen, vi får ju inte vara där ensamma. Istället klättrade jag i körsbärsträdet, du vet, ena grenen hänger ju över våran postlåda, det gick bra att hänga på den och fiska upp tidningen.

– Och här får du efterrätt, förkunnade stora sonen stolt, steg fram och visade en bricka från dockservisen. På brickan låg en chokladkaka, och på chokladkakan ett brinnande värmeljus.

– Tårtljusen ville inte stå fast på chokladkakan, förklarade stora dottern, så vi tog ett värmeljus i stället, och jag var jätteförsiktig, när jag tände det.

Nu ville lilla sonen visa hur duktigt han bar på kaffemuggen och sockerskålen. Hunden trasslade sig in på hans ben i hopp om lite socker, lilla sonen snubblade, muggen flög och bröt sitt öra, sockerbitarna rasslade glatt när de hamnade under sängen.
Katten var nöjd på min varma kudde, hunden var nöjd med alla sockerbitar den fick smaska i sig under sängen. Lilla sonen var nöjd, för han fick det trasiga örat från kaffemuggen till sin skattsamling. Alla barnen var nöjda, för att de hade lyckats med sin födelsedagsöverraskning, och fick dessutom hjälpa till att äta upp chokladkakan som smälte under värmeljuset. Även jag var nöjd, det var underbart att fylla år och än en gång få bekräftat vilka underbara ungar jag hade.

16 July, 2014

Story #63

’This is the most depressing thing’ she said as we walked through the tunnel under the railway. ’EVER’ she continued.

She was right. There had been a fence closing off a part of the tunnel a couple of years ago, a fence we’d managed to squeeze through to get to the part of the tunnelsystem with all the rabbits. That fence had been replaced by a solid concrete wall and the tunnel was now dissapointingly void of rabbits.

As we continued out the other side, we did get a glimpse of the rabbits and a sense of relief and joy swept over us. The rabbits weren’t gone, it was just more inconvenient to access them.

We passed the castle in search of shade and found ourselves at a small canal.

’Where ARE we?’ she asked ’I don’t think I’ve seen this place before’.

The question of where soon became irrelevant as we found a flight of stairs leading down into the water. We sat down and began watching the boats and kayaks and people standing on surfboards passing us in the canal.

Some people passing by looked like families, others were lovers or friends or colleagues. One boat had men laying across the stern, their big bellies bobbing with the motion of the vessel, looking like seals on a beach.

Suddenly, the tranquility of the canal was interrupted when the backwash from one of the crafts swept one of our water bottles into the canal. Panic ensued.

We tried to reach the bottle but it was too far our in the canal.

’Try to act normal’ she told me as more boats were approaching. ’We don’t want to look like we don’t know what we’re doing’. Though, of course we didn’t know what we were doing.

We desperately tried to find a long twig or stick or anything to help us reach the bottle, but to no avail.

’HOW can there not be any sticks around here’ she exclaimed and took one step out in the canal trying to reach the bottle with a small twig. She was mere inches from success.

I found a loose piece of a tree stump and handed it to her. It was sturdy but not too heavy, and certainly longer than her twig.

’If you hold my hand, you’ll be able to lean further out in the canal without falling’ I told her and grabbed her hand. To onlookers, this must have looked like an obvious setup for an accidental bath but her tree stump swinging skills and balance was better than that.

Within seconds both she and her water bottle were back on shore and we could return to watching the people on the canal.

’We achieved something here today’ she said. I nodded in agreement.

13 July, 2014

Story #62

Jag behöver inte resa till Indien för att meditera. Det räcker att jag trampar iväg, upp till skogen. Jag ställer min cykel mot en tall, plockar fram korgen och den gamla emaljerade muggen, och sätter mig på huk vid blåbärsriset. Koltrasten låter sin klara stämma ljuda över tall och klippor. Muggen fylls av trinda blåskimrande bär. Solen värmer min rygg och jag känner hur mina axlar, spända av vardagens brådska och oro, sakta slappnar av. Bofinken har nästan lika mycket att säga som koltrasten, och bakom skogen har en tupp vaknat. Den galer tre gånger i minuten.

Vinden vaknar och blåser bort de få envisa myggor som trotsat mitt intag av vitlöksrik mat i förebyggande syfte. Med vinden kommer den ljuvliga doften av linnea. Tuppen slutar att gala, uppenbarligen nöjd med sin prestation; alla dagens femhundra galningar gjorda på en kvart. Gårdagens regn har tvättat skogen ren. Jag hör hur vattnet rinner längs med klippan jag har framför mig. Själen finner sin ro.

Jag lyfter upp min hand för att skaka bort spindelväv som har fastnat i den. Det hörs ett jättebrak, och skrämd lyfter jag blicken. En älg har inte sett mig förrän jag började vifta med handen. Då tvärstannar den, men den blöta mossan på klippan är halkig. Älgen kanar ner för klippan och hamnar på rygg framför mig. På klippan står älgens kompis, tittar på mig, tittar på sin vän som desperat försöker få ordning på sina långa hoptrasslade ben, skakar på huvudet, fnyser lite, och kliver värdigt iväg bland tallarna. Jag och den kvarvarande älgen tittar snopet på varandra. Lite nervöst funderar jag om jag borde klättra upp på något lämpligt träd, men nej, älgen får äntligen ordning på sina ben och lommar skamset iväg efter sin kompis.

Solen värmer, koltrasten sjunger och korgen fylls av små burkar med blåbär. Om en vecka har jag semester. Då ska jag ta med mig kaffe och smörgås, och stanna hela dagen.

12 July, 2014

Story #61

A tough crocodile private eye breaks up an illegal card game between a grizzly bear and a platypus, bringing them to justice.

12 July, 2014

Story #60

Foxes love elderly ladies. This one, maybe a cousin to the fox in Britain, lives in Sweden. During the long bright nights of summer he tries to find something precious to his lady. He runs around the gardens in a small village, near the woods he lives in. The lady brings her first cup of coffee and strolls around in her garden. She sometimes finds a garden glove among the raspberries, or a sandal by the carrots. Mostly the gloves will lack a thumb, but the lady knows that this little gift comes from the heart. The fox loves his lady.

11 July, 2014

Story #59

14 years ago I met a boy named August who was the same age as I. He was intelligent, charming and had a can-do attitude that was inspiring. He introduced me to his family. As I was sitting on the earthen floor in their small hut eating fish that August had caught, I realized how lucky I am. For me this was an exotic vacation halfway across the world, but this was his reality.

11 July, 2014

Story #58

Stora, tjocka isflak drev runt med vågorna på badstranden vid Botbygårdsvägen 1. Den skarpa vårsolen kittlade i näsan på ett gäng upptäcktsresanden, som var på väg mot Nordpolen. Jag stod stadigt på mitt isflak och stakade mig fram med hjälp av en avbruten gren. Den hade jag hittat i Apträdsdjungeln, den bästa samlingen klätterträd intill stranden. Tack vare Apträdsdjungeln var jag den enda av upptäcktsresanden som inte hade på sig galonbyxor.

– Nu får det vara nog! utbrast min mamma när jag, för tredje gången under samma höst, hade rivit sönder mina galonbyxor.
– Nu får du sluta att klättra i träden, eller också slutar vi att köpa nya galonbyxor åt dig!

Det valet hade ju varit hur enkelt som helst! Inte skulle jag sluta att klättra i träd förrän jag var lastgammal, trettio år, eller så. Jag måste ju försöka nå toppen på det svåraste trädet i Apträdsdjungeln. Men just nu var vi på väg till Nordpolen. Den minsta upptäcktsresanden höll på att flyta oroväckande långt bort från stranden, mot det öppna havet, på sitt isflak.

– Var inte rädd, vi kommer och hjälper dig, ropade jag samtidigt som en stor våg svepte mot oss och satte isflaken i gungning. En efter annan plumsade vi i vattnet, som nådde oss upp till låren. Jag fångade den minsta upptäcktsresanden i min famn och bar henne till stranden. Alla hade klarat sig torra innanför sina galonbyxor. Det var bara jag som var drypande våt. Och kall. Jag kunde inte annat än lämna upptäcktsexpeditionen på Nordpolen och springa hem för klädbyte. Tänk att jag skulle komma att sakna galonbyxor!

Det kom roliga slörp-ljud från mina gummistövlar, när jag klättrade uppför trappan till tredje våningen. Utanför vår dörr stod postiljonen med ett stort paket i famnen.

– Jag skulle behöva en underskrift på leveransen här, sa han.

Jag fiskade fram nyckeln jag hade i ett band runt halsen, och öppnade dörren.

– Jag ska bara hämta en penna, meddelade jag postmannen, som tittade på min blöta uppenbarelse, kliade sig själv på huvudet, och frågade försiktigt:

– Ska du inte ta av dig stövlarna först?

Sagt och gjort. Motvilligt släppte mina gummistövlar sitt grepp om mina fötter, och tömde samtidigt en halvliter havsvatten på hallmattan. Jag klafsade till köket, hittade en penna och ritade mitt namn på blanketten, fast jag inte kunde läsa vad det stod på den.

På kvällen bar pappa in innehållet från det stora paketet till barnrummet. Vi hade fått en jordglob, och tänk så spännande, den började lysa när man tryckte på Nordpolen! Mamma kom in och beundrade globen med oss. Sedan undrade hon varför hallmattan var så genomblöt. Jag hade svaret klart:

– Det var inte jag, det var postiljonen!
Den kvällen spred hela jorden ett mystiskt skimmer över de små upptäcktsresandena, som drömde om nya spännande äventyr.

(Inte slutade jag att klättra i träden, när jag fyllde trettio. Snart är jag dubbelt så gammal, men klättrar fortfarande. Fast Apträden hann de vuxna hugga ner innan jag nådde toppen.)

9 July, 2014

Story #57

A young albino girl who lived in the woods. She doesn’t have any family left. One day that girl received love from a young and brave boy with a hood

7 July, 2014

Story #56

She woke up with wings and flew away to creative freedom…

7 July, 2014

Story #55

In a small town in Britain, a woman had to install a small table on her porch where people could go find their shoes. For the past month, a fox got used to steal shoes from all over town and drop them into her backyard. This weird offering from the wild fox happened a couple of times a day. She never knew what to think about it, and the fox, obviously, never explained himself. For some reason, the fox only stole left shoes.

6 July, 2014

Story #54

Summer is coming up and with that vacation time.
For those six weeks I have the intention to not shave my beard once. The problem is that I have a ridiculous beard in the sense that it is close to not existing.
So eventually no one but me will notice.

3 July, 2014

Story #53

It’s almost time for my Summervacation! Already enjoying the moment when I’ll pack my suitcase with my pencils and paint (and clothes of course). Untill then I’m slowing down.

2 July, 2014

Story #52

Det är mycket väntan just nu i mitt liv. Väntan på att kroppen ska komma ikapp, bli frisk.
Men ibland känns det som jag väntar på helt onödiga saker.
På att visarna på klockan ska visa jämnt antal så jag kan gå upp, trots jag legat vaken i timmar.
På att helt enkelt få somna på kvällen eller natten.
På att något av lagen ska vinna fotbollsmatchen så jag kan få gå på toa utan att missa något.
På att komma på hur i hela friden jag ska quilta min lapptäcke-filt som legat på golvet en vecka.
På att få mod att skicka iväg den där ansökan.
På att ta det där steget ut i världen och göra det jag verkligen vill.
Eller helt enkelt sitta och vänta på att vårdcentralen någon gång ska ringa upp på den tid de faktiskt sagt.

30 June, 2014

Story #51

En gång när jag var 10 år halkade jag på en näbbmus i gräset och bröt min tumme. Musen blev alldeles platt 🙁

29 June, 2014

Story #50

Dörren till avdelningen var låst, fast det var besökstid. Jag balanserade den plastinslagna mackan på pappersmuggen med stans dyraste kaffe. Hur än jag försökte, så räckte inte händerna till. Låset på dörrens överkant skulle vridas ner samtidigt med handtaget på dörren. En patient på andra sidan dörren uppmärksammade mitt dilemma och var vänlig nog att släppa in mig.

– Stäng inte!

En äldre man kom halvspringande mot mig samtidigt som jag hörde hur dörren gick i lås bakom mig. Han rättade till sin hatt och virade den tjocka vinterkappan tätare omkring sig. Själv stod jag där i min sommarklänning och bara ben i lätta sandaler. Den gamla mannen ställde sin resväska av sprucket läder på golvet och lutade sig mot mig förtroligt.

– Här är de inte snälla, viskade han till mig.

– De låser in folk här, fortsatte han och vände sina ljusblå ögon mot mig:

– Taxin är ju redan beställd, jag ska hem nu. Min fru väntar på mig med nybakade kanelbullar och riktig kaffe. Kokkaffe ska det vara, förstår du.

Jag kände mig lite orolig. Hur skulle jag lösa det här? Jag hade ju ingen aning om ifall mannen på riktigt skulle hem, eller om det var han som var anledningen till de låsta dörrarna. Han kanske var så dement, att han inte förstod varför han var här. Det kunde även vara så att hans fru inte ens var vid liv längre, men han hade glömt det! En förbiilande sköterska såg min vädjande blick och kom fram till oss.

– Men Bruno, står du här, det är ju kaffe snart.

Sköterskan tog tag i den gamla mannens arm och ledde honom neråt korridoren.

– Kom här. Vi ställer tillbaka resväskan och kappan, och så går vi till dagrummet. Idag blir det rulltårta till kaffet, vi firar ju nationaldagen, vet du.

Rörd såg jag efter den gamle mannen och hoppades innerligt, att hans fru verkligen levde, och bjöd honom på kanelbullar och kokkaffe, när han väl kom hem från sjukhuset. Sedan var jag tvungen att le. Mannen bar på sin resväska och från den stack det ut, precis som på serieteckningar, en ensam strumpa.

29 June, 2014

Story #49

Every now and then I leave my apartment in the city for some quiet time in my spaceship. It’s an old vintage style ship that I bought some years ago. Some would say it’s a piece of junk but it suits me just right. It has everything I need whenever I’m in orbit; my old vinyl record player, a comfy chair, a coffee maker, some nice books and the most amazing view. I’ve decorated the inside of the ship with flowery tapestry from the mid 1900s, have some plants growing in the window and even though the fire place is electric it feels more or less like the real deal. Fellow earthly cruisers will pass by from time to time and I’ll wave to them as they wave to me. But mostly it’s just empty space and the sweet jazz tunes from the speakers. That’s the whole idea with my floating summerhouse.

0049b

27 June, 2014

Story #48

Den unga kvinnan vände sig försiktigt, och lade sig på sidan. En hel evighet, en och en halv månad till, skulle hon bara ligga still på den knöliga sjukhussängen.

– Du vill väl inte att ditt barn föds för tidigt? hade doktorn sagt. Det ville hon inte, men att bara ligga still mellan skrynkliga lakan på sin födelsedag, det var väl ändå hårt. Kafeterian en trappa upp bjöd på både kaffe och bakelser. Försiktigt makade kvinnan sig upp, smet ut från avdelningen, och klättrade steg för steg upp till kafeterian.

Kaffet smakade gudomligt! Kvinnan log och tog första tuggan av en chokladbakelse…

Magen krampade, och hela toalettstolen var full med blod.

– Lilla vännen, så mycket är det väl inte, det brukar bara se ut så, sa den gamla, beskäftiga sköterskan, men följde ändå motvilligt med för att kolla. Hon slängde ett öga på toaletten och bleknade. I ett nafs var den unga kvinnan på väg till operationssalen, här var det två liv i fara.

På påsksöndagen 1959 var det en ung kvinna som fick sitt livs bästa födelsedagspresent. Mot alla odds fick hon tillbaka sitt liv. Hon fick även en liten dotter, också hon mirakulöst räddad till liv. På SIN födelsedag.

23 June, 2014

Story #47

Den tolfte juli var en solig och varm sommardag och året var 1991. På kvällen hade jag lagt min tjugo månader gamla son och själv låg jag i soffan. Jag var ganska stolt över mig själv efter dagens insatser.
Ni kanske undrar varför? Jo, det var så här: Jag var i fullgången graviditet och magen var så stor så att ligga på alla fyra och plocka jordgubbar, laga mat och lägga en liten krabat var inte ett lätt arbete för mig.

Jag låg där i soffan och tittade på TV och helt plötsligt kände jag värkarna smyga sig fram. Jag låg kvar i soffan och tänkte på att om några timmar blir det den 13:e. Barnet ska inte komma på den dagen eftersom det är ett otursnummer. Det hade jag fått höra hela mitt liv. Mitt bland mina tankar klappade jag försiktigt på min mage och min baby.

Värkarna fortsatte att stiga och tiden var inne för att packa och åka till sjukhuset. Klockan var då 01:00 på natten.

Den 13 e juli kl. 02:45 födde jag en flicka och det var på min födelsedag. Den bästa födelsedagspresenten någonsin.

23 June, 2014

Story #46

I went to Sydney, Australia in 2009 and stayed for 6 months. I went to Bondi beach for wave surfing almost everyday. I Love to surf!

23 June, 2014

Story #45

Mitt bästa födelsedagsminne var när jag fyllde 10 och fick en kattunge. Jag väcktes på morgonen av att jag blev grattad med sång och presenter. Och så låg Baghera i en liten brödkorg.

17 June, 2014

Story #44

I thought I was happy, I felt happy at least. We were together for the better part of three years, we lived as one in our apartment the whole time, from day one. We had the same interests; loved the same TV-series, movies and played the same computer games. Everything just felt perfect, it was as if I’ve found my soulmate.

Time went on, after a year I was still confident that I was in the right place. I could even consider marrying this woman even though I have always felt that marriage is a waste of time and money. We knew every little detail about each other, damn it was an awesome feeling. What could go wrong, how could this relationship end?

The normal day we spent mostly together, watching something, playing games and occasionally going to town to the cinema or shopping. We didn’t have that much money so there weren’t really a lot we could do outside so the cinema was the thing we mostly did when we had a little extra money.

After a while, around two years maybe our relationship just started to fall apart. In the end we really had nothing in common except for games and movies. She was the kind of girl that wanted to go see the whole world, live in all the big cities, go famous, living in the upper world. She got depressed knowing she couldn’t do any of that because of our economic situation. I on the other hand lived one day at the time, she wanted a planned out life while I just tried to survive and make the most out of every day. There was nothing I really craved, sure it would be nice with a trip to the beach for a few weeks but do I need it? No I don’t, just living and having loving people around me is more than enough. Living in a smaller town rather than the capital is just fine for me. She also wanted to change me on a personality basis, a thing a normal human being cannot change, it’s a thing that is impossible to change.

She was a dominant woman and I was a man that is impossible to dominate, we were a perfect couple in that sense but she grew tired of me and I of her, we started fighting a lot over meaningless things. I would say most of our fighting I had no part in starting it but I’m sure she felt the same way. We almost stopped talking completely in the end, the last months we spoke to each other while eating but other than that we kept to ourselves even though we sat next to each other. When I finally got the courage to break up with her, she was gone only a few days later, leaving our expensive apartment to me. It was clear that she didn’t love me the way I thought she did. As I was the only one working in our relationship it felt like I was being used, used to take care of her. I never felt depressed or anything the like during our three years, I guess I have a strong psyche.

I had quite a lot of sleeping problems the last year in our relationship, it could take me hours to sleep but I thought it was just me being stressed or excited. After all this I sleep perfectly. While I thought I was not depressed I’m starting to realize I am the best when it comes to unconsciously tricking myself into feeling fine, just fine. Now however I am the happiest I have been in many years with wonderful friends who stuck by me, they are few but I love them all.

18 June, 2014

Story #43

Värmen steg på Botbygårdsvägen 1. De två trevåningshusen stod i utkanten av staden, alldeles vid skogen och havet. Gården mellan husen bestod av en smal remsa klibbig asfalt för bilar, och en stor gräsmatta. För barnen, så klart.

Gräset prasslade under våra bara fötter. Ett gäng på tjugo barn höll på att leka ridskola. Nedre delen av våra kroppar var hästen, och övre delen fick göra sitt bästa med att styra hästen, och hålla i tyglarna. Jag skrittade med mitt rostbruna sto i en perfekt ring runt flaggstången.

– Och nu ökar vi till trav, ropade jag.

Detta orsakade genast en seriekrock. Minsta fölet hade tvärstannat, och alla andra hästarna snubblade på henne.

– Vad är trav för något? frågade minsta fölet.

Alla andra hästarna satte genast igång och visade. För säkerhets skull undervisades minsta fölet även i galopp. Så kunde vi starta igen. Jag ropade mina kommandon och vi skrittade, travade och galopperade runt flaggstången. Plötsligt skenade Marias häst iväg, ända bort till sandlådan. Jag följde henne med blicken, och kom på:

– Nu vet jag, vi bygger hinder, så våra hästar får hoppa!

Det bröt ut en febril verksamhet. Entusiastiskt släpade vi fram hinkar och spadar från sandlådan, granris, stenar och stockar från skogen, och minsta fölet slet och drog med sig kvasten, som tillhörde gårdskarlen, farbror Tilles.

Hinderbanan blev svår. Hästarna snubblade, kastade av sina ryttare, och fick stanna ibland för att tråckla loss mista fölet från något hinder. Det gick dock bättre och bättre hela tiden. Efter ett femtiotal varv galopperade vi alla riktigt fint. Då hände det! Farbror Tilles kom springandes mot oss:

– Vad i hundan gör ni med gräsmattan, rackarungar!

– Fort, efter mig! Jag ledde hela hästflocken i galopp mot min bästa buske.

– In här, det här är ett jättebra gömställe, ropade jag, vände mig om och såg att minsta fölet hade kommit efter, och underläppen darrade på henne olycksbådande.

– Ingen fara, jag räddar dig!

Jag sprang fram till minsta fölet, tog hennes hand, och tillsammans galopperade vi in i säkerhet. Andfådda kikade vi mot flaggstången. Gräsmattan hade förvandlats till stenhård lera under våra fötter, men ringen runt flaggstången var perfekt rund.

Farbror Tilles tog sin kvast, och hötte med den mot oss. Vi fick bråttom krypa längre in i busken.

Gräsmattan blev inte sig lik förrän nästa vår, och farbror Tilles kallade mig ”rackans vildhäst” hela hösten och vintern.

12 June, 2014

Story #42

Alla mumlar så nuförtiden. Sköterskan tittar på mig och håller fram sin hand. Att jag ska sitta här och hålla fram armen, det förstår jag, jag har ju lämnat blodprover förut. Sköterskan lägger sin hand på min axel och mumlar något igen. Ung och leende böjer hon sig ner och upprepar sitt mummel en tredje gång:

– KERSTIN, HAR DU mmbldsKORT?

– Kort, visst har jag kort.

Jag knäpper upp låset på min handväska. Tänk vad rymlig den är, och mjuk och blank. Äkta skinn, sa expediten på Carlssons Hatt & Handväska till mig, när jag köpte handväskan och ett par tillhörande handskar. Det var under vår bröllopsresa till Stora Staden.

Jag letar efter min plånbok, fumlar, och rätt som det är ligger handväskan på golvet och har spridit ut sitt innehåll över hela laboratoriet. Sköterskan ler ännu bredare och plockar upp min väska. Hästsvansen guppar energiskt på henne när hon kryper runt i jakt efter mina saker: näsduken, medicinburken, boken, chokladkakan, och knivar samt gafflar. Vad i all sin dar!
Jag stirrar på de stora, tunga silverbesticken sköterskan håller på att samla ihop. Det ser ut som Moster Brittas matsilver! Hur har de hamnat i min handväska? Inte konstigt att det har känts så tungt att bära med sig handväskan vart än jag går! Jag trodde nästan att jag höll på att bli gammal!

Nu hittar sköterskan min plånbok under en stol. Just det, jag skulle ju visa kort. Jag plockar fram hela bunten, och visar henne det översta:

– Här, här är det kort på mig och Bruno, när vi gifte oss, nittonhundra femtiotvå. Och här har du alla våra barn, fyra stycken fick vi, och alla har de hittat bra arbeten och skaffat sig familj. Tio barnbarn har vi, tvillingarna här kommer åkandes med sina mopeder och hälsar på mig. Oj, oj, oj, en gång åt de tio nybakade kanelbullar var. Och kaffe har de lärt sig att dricka. Man säger ju att barnbarnen är livets efterrätt, och så är det. Jag undrar bara vad barnbarnsbarn är då? Kanske den där doftande varma kaffekoppen man unnar sig efter efterrätten? Doftande och varm, det är hon, släktens yngsta. Här ser du henne, har du skådat något så vackert?
Sköterskan stod vid dörren till laboratoriet och såg efter sin sista patient för dagen. Något identitetskort fick hon aldrig från Kerstin, men däremot en påminnelse om vad som är viktigt här i livet.
(Och det var inte matsilvret.)

10 June, 2014

Story #41

Vandrade in på McDonalds på bergvik med syrran, jag var väl runt 9 år och hon runt 12. Vi skulle beställa åt farsan och såklart oss själva medans pappa väntade med bilen utanför. Vi går fram, så kräsna som vi är beställer vi naturella hamburgare till oss och en Big Mac till pappa.

Personalen frågar om vi vill ta med eller äta här, såklart svarar vi att vi ska ta med. Efter några få minuters väntan så är allting redan klart. Det läggs upp på de fina röda McDonaldsbrickorna och vi som är väldigt blyga av oss vågar ju inte säga till så vi tar med oss brickorna tittandes på varandra när vi flinar som bara den medans vi går ut till bilen där pappa sitter som ett fån när vi kommer med brickorna fulla med hamburgare.

8 June, 2014

Story #40

Everything started with this one girl, the girl I was together with a few years back. I haven’t seen her for a couple of years, ever since we broke up. Well I haven’t talked to her atleast, saw her the other day at the store, she waved towards me while walking into the store (I was heading out at the time) and I saw her in the corner of my eye but all I was thinking about was “Why is this girl waving? Is there someone behind me?”. I noticed no one was close enough to me and that it was me she was refering to. Then I noticed it was one of my ex girlfriends, the one that I can’t get out of my heart. My brain couldn’t process everything fast enough for myself to be able to wave back so all I managed to do was raise my head in acknowledgment that I saw her waving.

After getting home from the store all I could think about was her, the moments we were together came back, all the memories, all the feelings and all the pain. All I could feel now was sorrow, not sorry about us, sorry for my own ass cause I’ve always felt that I was the sole cause for our relationship to end. It doesn’t help that my job makes me want to kill someone or just fall down crying on the floor. I can barely afford to live in my apartment and eating is at the bare minimum. I looked around in my mind to find someone to talk to and sure there is one person in the world I can talk to but that’s it, one person only. He knows all my dark secrets, all the embarrassing shit I’ve done in my life. I have always been his psychologist throughout our friendship, so I think he wants to take that part and help me aswell.

I just don’t feel like I can get help from anyone, I’ve always been on the giving side of helping people, I’ve never asked for help, never felt like I have needed it. Darkness is all I can see, I feel lost in all this chaos. I’m generally considered as a cocky kid while myself and my closests understand the way I act, why I do it and why everyone else should. I can admit I am quite ill-mannered, the reason for it is to single out people who can’t stand harsh sarcasm which happens to be a common thing among my acquaintances. To put it a harsher way is that I want to single out people I define as weak, if they can’t handle me then they can get the fuck out, I keep my circle of friends close and compact, few trusted and loyal people I would lay down my life for anyday. I wouldn’t trade them for anyone or anything.

I’m surviving, that is what I find important, even though I can barely afford to be alive I try to have fun and make the most out of everything. Living below minimum wage with a part-time job that makes me feel sick every time I go there my friends and family helps a lot even though most of them don’t know how bad I’ve felt. What keeps me most alive is my attitude towards myself and others, I want to harden others and make them as close to immune to pain as possible.

0040b

7 June, 2014

Story #39

This weekend me and my man spent time with my little nephew, my brother and his girl. We were in the capital of sweden, and didn’t even go to the center of the city. We were looking for some clothes to my man, and after hours and hours of searching, we found it. In a store. A sport-store. The same store that we have in our own town. 700 km away.
But the highlight of the weekend was a short meeting with the graphic designer of this website, my sweet cousin.

(Pic not related you may think. But since I was there I know that we also stopped to watch this extremely talented street musician for awhile.)

29 May, 2014

Story #38

Eftermiddagssolen värmde på Botbygårdsgatan1. Jag tog tre trappor i taget nerför trappan från tredje våningen. Mitt i bästa leken hade jag varit tvungen att gå hem och äta. Vi hade lekt sjörövare som hade hamnat i århundradets storm. Gungorna var vårt skepp. Ju högre några av sjörövarna gungade, desto högre var vågorna som angrep skeppet. Vi andra klättrade i skeppets master, alltså gungställningens ben, och spanade efter en öde ö.

Precis i värsta stormen var maten klar och jag var tvungen att lämna sjörövarskeppet. Och nu låg gården öde. Jag spanade runt, och såg till sist någonting rött som skymtade inne i min bästa räddningsbuske. Jag sprang fram och kröp in i busken. Där satt alla sjörövarna! Genomblöta och frusna var de.

– Såg du min pappa, eller farbror Tilles? frågade Maria oroligt.

– De är nog arga på oss. Sjörövarskeppet sjönk så vi simmade i land på en öde ö. Då kom jag på att det ska regna och storma på ön, så jag sprang hem och öppnade badrumsfönstret.

Maria bodde på första våningen. Alla sjörövare hade samlats under hennes fönster, och hon hade startat duschen. Duschslangen räckte precis ut genom fönstret och stormen fullkomligt öste ner regn på sjörövarna. Ända tills Marias pappa kom hem. Nu satt de där modfällda och blöta. Minsta sjörövaren hackade tänder:

– Jag fry-y-y-ser!

Då kom jag på något:

– Vet ni vad, när jag gick förbi soptunnorna nyss, såg jag att någon har slängt en stor madrass. Vi kan dra fram den och leka cirkus! Då blir ni varma och torra.

– Jaa, ropade minsta sjörövaren, och såg framför sig hur hon skulle göra en trippelvolt på madrassen.

25 May, 2014

Story #37

There was this wierd kind of guy I knew a while back. He was average looking, had a shit job, spending all cash on rent, just following the rules of society.

In the standardized world he acts like a normal citizen but where he really shines is in the virtual reality, the internet, the dark net etc.

I met him around 5-6 years ago, in school. The first day he noticed me. There was something about the way he looked at me, I just felt something sparked between us instantly. He is the wierd guy that only speaks a bit of the truth everytime, he keeps lots of secrets, doesn’t tell the whole story but still acts like he is. That is exactly what I love about this guy, he never tells the whole story, there is always more to him, the closer you get, the more of his life i revealed.

We still keep in touch, quite a lot actually. Well, I’ve been keeping in touch, he fell off the grid for a while, almost felt like a year when I look back now, don’t want or can remember every little detail. I kept in touch however, didn’t want him to just run away without telling me the continuation of the story, his story, his life.

What he doesn’t know is that I will never let him go, as they say, death will do us apart, our story will end together when we both have told our full stories to eachother.

The end.

24 May, 2014

Story #36 – When it just ”clicks”.

I don´t really like people. Or at least not being around them for a longer period of time. In all my relationships, be that family, friends or lovers, I´ve always needed my space. Couldn´t even think about spending more than two days with someone before wanting to scratch my eyes out, or theirs for that matter.

Until that day.

Our paths had crossed several times before, but I hadn´t noticed.

Until that day.

Arvikafestivalen at it´s best. Warm wine, music, mud, too much sun and too little water. And a lot of people. And him.

We spent 4 days together that time, and I didn´t want to scratch anyone´s eyes out. We talked, we laughed, we sang, we drank, we laughed some more.

And here we are, 7 years later, still laughing, talking, singing and drinking. (When not distracted by our wonderful but demanding 1,5 year old daughter, but that´s another story)

20 May, 2014

Story #35

Det var bal på slottet vid Botbygårdsvägen 1. Prinsessorna hade på sig fina klänningar som vid närmare granskning såg ut som mammornas underkjolar. Jag var Aurora, prinsessan från Roslandet. Bredvid mig hade jag prinsessan från Guldien, och Rosamunda från Chokladlandet. De andra prinsessorna anlände slottet en efter en. På oss hade vi alla våra rosetter och diamanter.

– Men det ska ju vara musik på slottsbalen, kom Aurora på, sprang upp till sin hemdörr på tredje våningen, och lirkade fram nyckeln, som hon bar i ett rött band runt halsen. Väl inne i lägenheten startade prinsessan Aurora skivspelaren. Vinylskivan innehöll allas absoluta favorit: ”Mustan kissan tango”. Aurora skruvade upp volymen, öppnade balkongdörren, och tittade ner till sina medprinsessor:

– Hör ni?

– NEEJ!

Aurora fick gå in och vrida på volymknappen så långt det bara gick. Sedan startade hon om skivan, slängde sig i trappan, och flög ut på gården.

– Nu dansar vi!

– Vad i hundan gör ni, rackarungar!

Balen fick hastigt avbrytas, när farbror Tilles stormade mot slottet. Aurora och Rosamunda tog tag i var sin hand på minsta prinsessan, och som en samlad trupp flydde prinsessorna in i busken, den som var det bästa gömstället.
Till de sista tonerna av tangon började Farbror Tilles, gårdskarlen på Botbygårdsvägen 1, sopa gården, oroväckande nära busken som var fylld med prinsessor.

– Vi kommer aldrig mera hem, underläppen började darra på den minsta prinsessan.
Räddningen kom från ett oväntat håll. Petter kröp in i busken:

– Hej, jag tog en omväg via skogen, när jag såg farbror Tilles. Häng med mig! Tommy och Bulten har tagit farbror Tilles vattenslang och gör sjunklera på andra sidan av huset, vid soptunnorna.

– Sjunklera, log minsta prinsessan förtjust, och samlade ihop volangerna på sin balklänning. Hon skulle hinna fram till sjunkleran först.

Original image:

0035

16 May, 2014

Story #34

On our first date I could not stop talking. Or stop stirring my spoon in my cup of tea.

On our second date we went to the movies and then spent hours nursing one beer at the local pub because we didn’t want to go home but neither one of us wanted to get drunk.

On the third date he made me my favorite dish, lasagna, and the next morning I woke up in his bed and the first snow of the year was falling outside the window. It felt like a new beginning.

14 May, 2014

Story #33

”Sås när jorden reder sig”, vad jag älskar det uttrycket! När jorden reder sig skiner solen, milda vindar prasslar i björkens klargröna, klibbiga små blad, och rödhaken hoppar nyfiket runt mig i hopp om några fina maskar till middag. Min spade kan sitt jobb, den har varit med redan på min mormors ungdom, men fungerar lika bra än.

Igår sådde jag morötter på ena halvan av landet. Nu var det dags att vända på resten, sätta lite potatis och så dill. I jämn takt slog jag spaden i marken och vände fram mörkbrun saftig mull. Då kom de fram; två lysande orangea morötter! Tydligen hade jag vänt lite slarvigt i höstas. Jag tvättade morötterna och satte mig vid solväggen, blundade och njöt. De knapriga morötterna smakade sommar.

”Det du”, sa jag till den lilla rödhaken, ”Första gången jag äter egensådda morötter dagen efter sådden!”

4 May, 2014

Story #32

Här kom han, min prins. Inte på en vit springare, men väl i en, i alla fall fläckvis vit, gammal Volvo. Min opålitlige trotjänare, en grå Volvo med födelseår någonstans på dunkla sjuttiotalet, hade än en gång svikit mig. Än en gång fick min svåger komma och rädda mig. Eller var han min exsvåger, eller till och med exexsvåger, eftersom jag för några år sedan hade skiljt mig från hans bror och han hade skiljt sig från en av mina bästa väninnor?

I alla dessa år hade vi umgåtts, firat barnens födelsedagar, tittat in för en kopp kaffe med intressanta diskussioner om himmel och jord och allt däremellan. Jag hade verkligen uppskattat vår vänskap ända fram till förra våren. Då konfirmerades min dotter, och vi firade detta med blommor, tårta och gäster. Gäster som så småningom skulle hem. Jag delade ut adjökramar åt höger och vänster och i den all-männa villervallan fick jag en lång kram från min exexsvåger. Hans lockiga blonda hår kittlade mig i örat och han doftade gott av nyduschat och nystruket. Kramen var mjuk och skön och varade länge. Sedan dess har jag varit noga med att städa bort alla varmare känslor mot honom, han är ju min svåger.

Bogseringslinan kopplades på och vant drog han iväg med min Volvo. I första korsningen brast linan. Min svåger sprang ut för att åtgärda detta, och himlen öppnade sig. Det soliga och varma sensommar-vädret ändrade sig på två sekunder till världens regnskur. Som tog slut så fort min svåger klev tillbaka in i sin bil.

Där satt han nu i mitt lilla kök i lånade mysbyxor och bar överkropp. Han fångade min blick med sina himmelsblåa ögon och sa:

– Jag kan inte längre vara din vän.

Där kom det. Hjärtat hoppade i halsgropen på mig. Nu var det kört, nu säger han upp bekantskapen för han anar hur jag känner för honom. Han fortsatte:

– Jag kan inte längre vara din vän, för jag älskar dig.

Det var början till många lyckliga år tillsammans med min själsfrände.

4 May, 2014

Story #31

Å nej, där kom tant Maja med bestämda steg mot mig! Fort som ögat hoppade jag in i närmaste busken, ställde mig på alla fyra, och kröp snabbt och bestämt längre in bland buskar och snår. Skogen skulle vara min räddning!

Tant Maja var inte speciellt glad över mig just nu, men det var inte mitt fel. Hur skulle jag kunna veta, att hennes son var så ömtålig? Vi, alla barnen på Botbygårdsgatan 1, hade lekt indian igår. Indianer har krigsmålningar, det vet väl varenda människa. Jag hade tagit mina vattenfärger och målat våra ansikten. Riktigt krigiska och fina blev vi.

Det var bara det att tant Majas Petter inte hade fått ansiktet rent på kvällen, utan fick lägga sig randig och fin. På morgonen var han inte så fin längre. Ränderna hade förvandlat sig till stora, ilsket röda prickar. Men det var tant Majas eget fel. Min mamma hade minsann tagit grönsåpa och skurborsten hon använder för att tvätta trasmattorna med! Och ren blev jag. Förutom en svag grön skiftning på öronen. Men det var ju egentligen bra. Ingen skulle hitta mig här i buskarna, när jag hade gröna öron. Egentligen borde jag vara grön, hela jag. Det är bäst att jag hämtar mina vattenfärger…

4 May, 2014

Story #30

Första gången jag såg henne var i ögonvrån på jobbet. När jag vände mig mot henne blev jag ganska överraskad, nästan överrumplad, över att inte ha sett henne förut. Jag kände direkt hur kinderna blev röda och flyktinstinkten triggade. Just den dagen gick jag runt och delade ut löpartröjor med företagets tryck och jag kände mig som ett fån när det enda jag kunde få fram var “öhh… vill du ha en tröja?”.

4 May, 2014

Story #29

En gång mötte jag mitt livs kärlek vid tågstationen i Uppsala och vågade knappt heja för att jag hade så mycket fjärilar i magen att jag var rädd att hon skulle tro att jag hade märkliga matvanor.

Några år senare sprang mitt livs kärlek ikapp mig vid tågstationen i Upplands Väsby, sa hej och kramade om mig och förklarade att hon också hade fjärilar i magen.

Så sen dess käkar vi fjärilar tillsammans, varje dag.

29 April, 2014

Story #28

Jag klättrade upp på en pinnstol i mina vita högklackade sandaler. Spegeln på väggen visade ett par bruna ben och tånaglar i samma klarröda färg som min lätta sommarkjol, vid och böljande där nere och smal i midjan. Jag hoppade ner från stolen för att kunna se resten av kroppen i den lilla spegeln, som tillsammans med ett enkelt tvättfat av plast och en stor vattenkanna i porslin, utgjorde ”badrummet” i den lilla stugan som jag delade med tre andra finska flickor.

Vi var sommarplågan på Visingsö. Varje sommar invaderades den vackra avlånga ön i Vättern av hundratals finska ungdomar, som ville tjäna en slant genom att plocka jordgubbar, och samtidigt lära sig svenska inför nästa års studentskrivningar i detta svåra, men i Finland obligatoriska, språket. Det var ett trevligt sätt att tjäna pengar på tyckte jag och fortsatte att komma tillbaka, fast jag hade klarat av studenten med bästa betyg och höll på att läsa på vårdhögskolan.

Nöjd såg jag på flickan i spegeln: Brunbränd, blåögd, det långa kastanjebruna håret hängandes fritt nästan ner till midjan. Det tajta virkade linnet i vitt buktade lagom mycket på de rätta ställena och de röda blommorna runt den djupa urringningen gav bra effekt. Men nu var min tid ute, nästa tjej stod redan i kö till spegeln.

– Moikka tytöt! ropade jag, tog min kofta och stoppade lite pengar i fickan. Värmen slog emot mig när jag öppnade dörren. Solen hade lyst från en klarblå himmel hela denna dag, då Leo hade namnsdag.

– Jaha, ska du på Parken ikväll? frågade en av bondens fyra söner när jag baxade fram den rostiga cykeln, som jag fick utnyttja fritt under min vistelse på ön.

Jag var en inbiten storstadsbo och tyckte att hela livet på Visingsö var synnerligen exotiskt. I stugan hade vi ett rum med fyra sängar och en kokplatta, vattnet fick vi bära både in och ut, och utedasset låg på andra sidan av gården. Potatis och jordgubbar fick vi plocka så mycket vi ville, direkt från landet. Det fanns inga offentliga fortskaffningsmedel på ön, men man kunde lätt cykla till så väl affären som biblioteket, hamnen eller badstranden. Det mest exotiska var Parken, en utomhusdansbana där traktens ungdomar roade sig varje lördag. Nu flinade jag mot bondens söner som släntrade ut ur huvudbyggnaden, vattenkammade och fina, alla fyra.

– Ja, jag tänkte att jag skulle behöva lite motion efter en lat vecka, sa jag väl medveten om att bara för två timmar sedan hade vi tillsammans burit först stora lådor med jordgubbar, och sedan kånkat på enorma halmbalar som skulle spridas ut på åkrarna.
Jag kände mig nöjd när pojkarna skrattade, det är inte så lätt att skämta på ett främmande språk. Jag vinkade glatt och rasslade iväg med cykeln. Det var en bra bit till Parken, som låg på andra sidan av ön. Någonstans halvvägs tog rasslandet slut. Jag hade fått punktering.

Kön till Parken ringlade sig lång när jag väl lutade min trasiga cykel mot nätstängslet som omgärdade feststället. Lydigt ställde jag mig i kön och fick genast ett gäng killar med skinnjackor och motorcykelhjälmar bakom mig. Brutalt blev jag knuffad åt sidan av en mycket vinglig och stinkande ung man. Han skulle in före oss andra.

– Hallå där, damerna först! ropade en röst bakom mig, och en muskulös brunbränd arm tog tag i ynglingen och skickade honom resolut längst bak i kön. Jag vände mig om för att tacka, och stirrade rakt in i ett par blåa ögon. Nej gråa…eller var det med lite grönt också? Ägaren till de förvirrande ögonen presenterade sig själv och sina vänner från Värmland. Han bar på sig svenskarnas nationalkläder; jeans, svart t-shirt och svarta träskor. Det ljusbruna håret nådde ner till nacken och den bruna slitna skinnjackan hängde vårdslöst på ena axeln.

– Är du en öbo? frågade min räddare.

– Vad är en öbo? undrade jag och såg framför mig en stam vildmänniskor från Afrika. Eller hette de zambo, kanske?

Där i kön hann vi reda ut begreppet öbo, som jag la till mitt ständigt växande ordförråd, jag fick veta att killarna hade sett mig att cykla ner för backen till hamnen förra helgen och blivit intresserade. Nu hade de tagit sina motorcyklar och åkt hit ända från Karlstad som låg vid Vänerns strand. Killen med de fascinerande ögonen berättade att han jobbade med sanering av oljetankar, och jag försökte hitta ett ord för yrket jag läste till: Labb.sköterska, var det bästa jag kunde komma på då, mycket senare lärde jag mig att yrket hette biomedicinsk analytiker.

– En Lapp-sköterska i Helsingfors? Finns det några renar i Helsingfors?

Jag kände mig förvirrad, nej, inte finns det några renar i Helsingfors, varför frågar han det? Den äkta finne som jag var, hade jag svårt att uttala Bn, och detta ledde mitt sällskap till villovägar angående mina studier. Lappar bor ju i Lappland, och tar hand om renar, eller hur?

-Ville du dansa? frågade min räddare, när bandet satte igång att spela. Mitt hjärta tog ett litet glädjeskutt, för det ville jag så gärna! Till min förvåning tog min räddare tag i sin kompis:

– Här, Jolle dansar gärna med dig.

Och det gjorde han. Och Henric, och Johnny, och Jerry… Jag fick dansa oavbrutet hela kvällen, med alla. Utom killen jag var intresserad av, han med ÖGONEN. Men när dansen var slut, var det han som följde mig hem, hela långa vägen, ledande min trasiga cykel. Jag fick lära mig att den spännande färgen i hans ögon hette melerad, ännu ett nytt ord att komma ihåg.

Jag har aldrig dansat med honom. Men vi gifte oss, och flyttade till det exotiska livet på landet, utanför Karlstad. Jag har fortfarande, efter tre decennier, svårt att uttala Bn, men det händer ytterst sällan att jag träffar på ett ord, som jag inte vet vad det betyder. Fyra barn har vi skaffat tillsammans. Den äldsta sonen fick heta Leo, vi träffades ju på Leo-dagen.

25 April, 2014

Story #27

Året var 2011. Solen hade precis gått upp och våra vägar korsades mellan en bar och en korvkiosk i Gamla Stan, där vi båda befann oss på jakt efter den obligatoriska fyllekorven.

Jag var ute efter en het choritzo och hon efter en polsk bratwürst med hög kötthalt och låg fettprocent. Sedan dess har det varit vi två.

25 April, 2014

Story #26

Jag tittade runt i vardagsrummet. Det var inte mycket som hade ändrat sig från min barndom. Sommarsolen flödade in genom spetsgardinerna och värmde upp de bruna skinnfåtöljerna, teakbordet och bokhyllan från sextiotalet. Skivspelaren blänkte i solen och bredvid den stod alla LP-skivorna av vinyl uppradade. Jag drog fram en på måfå: The Glenn Miller Orchestra. Jag log och vände på skivomslaget, här var de, låtarna jag så ofta hört i min barndom: In the Mood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, och Moonlight Serenade, anledningen till att mina föräldrar blev ett par.

På femtiotalet var det vanligt att man jobbade på dagarna och gick i skolan på kvällarna. Min mamma hade flyttat från landet till Helsingfors endast sexton år gammal. Hon var barnflicka under dagarna och gick i skolan på kvällen. På samma skola gick min far. Endast tre år gammal miste han sin egen far, som försvann i kriget. Nu fick han hjälpa till med försörjningen på dagarna.

Raster var det ju även på den tiden, och under en av dem började ungdomarna prata om musik.

”Glenn Miller är det bästa som finns”, tyckte min far.

”Vem är det?” undrade min mor, som tydligen hade en allvarlig lucka i sin allmänbildning enligt min far. Som tur var visades det en film, Moonlight Serenade, om just Glenn Miller på biografen nästa söndag. Det var bara att ta med sig den okunniga men ack så vackra flickan, tyckte min far.

Vilken tur att filmen fanns, tänkte jag, ställde tillbaka skivan, och vände mig mot min mor som kom in med tebrickan. Tre barn och ett halvt sekel senare var hon fortfarande lika vacker.

25 April, 2014

Story #25

As he lay on the bed he could feel it coming, that dull pain across the chest. He looked at the red button but did not press it. He closed his eyes and gave his body to the pain. Soon they would be together again.

22 April, 2014

Story #24

Hur är det möjligt att i en dröm kyssa den vackraste kvinnan i världen, för att vakna med smaken av hennes läppar kvar på sina egna?

17 April, 2014

Story #23

Once upon a time there was a girl, a girl who didn’t know what to be in the world. Every day she did wonder, about which profession that wasn’t a blunder. One time she thought of being a cashier, but there’s a world between that and the thought of a being soldier. She grew up among books so it’s obvious she should be a librarian, but she loves the sea so maybe she could be a longshoreman? But a love for helping people can make you a psychologist, but that’s nothing if you compare to design houses and be an architect. She could arrange and fix things as a gardener, but then again she might as well be a welder. She could help people as a doctor, or swim in the sea as a diver. All these thoughts about what to do with her life, maybe she should just become a housewife? As a little girl, when people asked what she would want to be in the world, she smiled and said “A rockstar, and a princess if I get time over”, but now that’s nothing that appeals to her. All these questions what to do with her life makes her sad, and the only person she would like to ask advice from is her dad.

17 April, 2014

Story #22

I went to the doctor, she signed me up for surgery. Im scared. Can it be cancer? I dont know… But I feel happy anyway, Im going to be a father in december, my second child.

15 April, 2014

Story #21

Gräsgröna barnfötter som möter varandra i en hängmatta, solen strilar ner genom lövverket.

12 April, 2014

Story #20

”I andra länder”, började barnbarnet, fyra år, sin berättelse. ”Vet du mormor, i länder långt borta, så långt borta som moster Elli bor, där finns det en stark vind. Den kan blåsa sönder människors hus.”

Mormor vandrade vidare med sitt barnbarn mot skogen som fylldes med bofinkarnas glada drill. Vårsolen värmde och vinden smekte mjukt deras kinder.

”Det var väl inte så bra med sådan vind”, tyckte mormor.

”Nej, och du kan inte sätta vinden i fängelse, fast den är dum, för då blåser den bara sönder fängelset.”

Mormor log och frågade:

”Vad gör människor då?”

Svaret gjorde henne glad om hjärtat:

”De bygger nya hus… och under tiden bor de hos sin mormor.”

21 March, 2014

Story #16

Saturday, the ninth day of March, was THE FIRST SUNNY DAY this year. I was still having my first cup of coffee for breakfast when the cell phone rang. I answered and heard a very wide-awake and enthusiastic Clas, four years old:

-Granny, it’s SUMMER outside!

– Oh, is it?

– Yes, check outside! Sun! Is there any strawberries?

I looked out through the bedroom window. My strawberry plot was filled with brown leaves and just one tiny snowdrop was growing next to a minor snowdrift, the last relic of winter. I had to answer no to my eager friend’s question.

– But cucumbers then? They live in a house of their own in the summertime. Can’t we pick some cucumbers, Granny, just you and me?

At the age of one Clas learned how to use scissors. Ever since, we have spent many pleasant hours in my tiny greenhouse. My cucumbers are allowed to wind around freely, and it’s exiting for a little boy to creep around in order to find his prey: The Biggest Cucumber Ever. I looked at my cucumbers, there, on the windowsill; two inches long timid seedlings, that still were living in butter tubs with their friends. It would take quite a time before they could move into the greenhouse.

-No, no cucumbers, but we could go out in search of adventure, just you and me?

And so we did. We were outside the whole day long, crashed a great deal of ice on the frozen puddles, saved some frozen worms from the road, and had an opening ceremony for the sandbox, that actually had melted. And the sun was shining on us. All day long.

11 March, 2014

Story #15 – Byte abuse

It wasn’t the first time I had woken up in the middle of the night thinking about it. To be honest, I’d been sleeping terribly for over a week. All I could think of was to have it. Just a small fix, and then I’d go back to sleep. I know it wasn’t healthy, but I couldn’t do anything about it. In my mind, it wasn’t a physical addiction. My body just needed it.

The kitchen was dark apart from a light that I’d intentionally left on before going to bed. Traces of previous sessions were scattered over the kitchen table. Soda cans and empty energy bar packages took up most of the space. I had come to understand that by adding lots of energy in the form of sugar I was able to sustain the effect a lot longer than I would have without the carbohydrates.

The first part of a session, which I called “the prep phase”, included ssh-ing into a virtual cluster hosted on a remote island outside the coast of The Phillipines. You might call this “early tripping”, but for me it was a means to an end, not the actual thing. What really made me transcend into another mental state was when I started recursing over an infinite enumerable, not knowing if it would ever stop. This state could last for hours, depending on how deep the stack of things were. To bring me down I would branch, commit and push.

The garbage truck outside our house brought me back to reality. I closed my laptop and went back to sleep. Another nightly programming session was over, and I wasn’t proud of it.

10 March, 2014

Story #14

Dimman lade sig mjukt på min jacka och bildade små droppar på mina ögonfransar. Mina röda stövlar sjönk djupt in i den lysande gröna mossan, då och då fick jag ta i allt vad jag kunde, för att rycka loss mig. Med ett vemodigt slörp-ljud släppte mossan taget och lät mig klafsa vidare mot skogen. Lätt andfådd kom jag till skogsbrynet, skogen öppnade sin famn, och jag slank in. De uråldriga granarna bredde ut sina skyddanden grenar över mig. Den barrtäckta stigen gav spänst åt mina steg, och jag lämnade trafikens brus bakom mig.

Jag tog ett djupt andetag och kände hur hela kroppen slappnade av. Benen hittade den rätta takten, och fötterna visste precis vart de skulle klättra, hoppa och balansera för att inte trilla ner i ravinen. Visst, jag var på väg ner till ravinens botten, men ville helst nå dit med min värdighet i behåll och min lekamen intakt. Det här var vår skog. Hit rymde vi från vardagen och här hittade vi våra äventyr.

På ett ställe hade kanten av ravinen rasat ner och fått med sig två mäktiga granar, som nu låg tvärs över den breda bäcken, som var upphov till ravinen. Stigen var blockerad av glänsande lera, så jag var tvungen att klättra upp på den av granstammarna, som såg stadigast ut. Jag tänkte balansera över, till andra sidan av bäcken, men ångrade mig mitt i, tog av mig mina vantar, vände dem ut och in och la dem på stocken för att få något torrt att sitta på.

– Kommer du ihåg, min älskling, hur vi alltid funderade, om vattnet var mer trögflytande så här på våren, eller om det bara såg ut så? Min älsklig log och nickade. Vi satt där på stocken och tittade i vattnet som sakta virvlade under oss. Han vände sig mot mig och frågade:

– Hur går det med saknaden?

– Vet du, i början hade jag som ett stort sår i mitt hjärta. Du tog med dig mer än hälften av mig. Jag trodde att jag inte skulle orka bära min börda. Men då tänkte jag hur du orkade. Hur du alltid tänkte på oss andra, och hur du faktiskt gick själv den sista promenaden, genom de långa sjukhuskorridorerna och ända fram till din dödsbädd. Och även där oroade du dig för barnen och barnbarnen. Om du orkade, så skulle även jag göra det… Och nu är det som ett ärr på hjärtat. Du vet hur det är med ärren; ibland stramar det och gör ont, och ibland känner man bara att de är där.

– Även om jag tog med mig så mycket av era hjärtan, så lämnade jag kvar all min kärlek. Och även min gamla kofta, den där du jämt har på dig.

Min älskade log mot mig, och som en varm vind kände jag hans smekning mot min kind. En koltrast började sjunga, överröstade granarnas mäktiga brus, och fyllde både skogen och mitt hjärta med sin glädjefulla, klara röst. Solen tittade fram mellan dimslöjorna, kittlade min näsa, och fick mig att nysa.

– Men mormor, sitter DU här i skogen, och alldeles ensam!

Ett nyfiket ansikte med tillhörande grön mössa kikade fram över kanten på ravinen. Jag reste mig upp, bad barnbarnet att akta sig och inte trilla ner i ravinen, lovade att jag skulle klättra upp och följa med honom till grillplatsen längre bort i skogen. Hela familjen skulle ju samlas.

Försiktigt började jag min vandring uppåt. Med mig hade jag kärleken. Och den gamla koftan.

9 March, 2014

Story #7

Jag satt på bussen hem och det var på dagen tre år sedan hon dog och jag åkte den där bussen igen, den som varje helg i många veckor tog mig dit. Till sorgen. Jag satt på bussen och jag grät och grät för varje sekund varje andetag varje gran vi passerade, tog mig närmare graven, sorgen och döden.

7 March, 2014

Story #6

Jag vaknar med ett ryck! Klockan är blott 06.15 slagen. Som den småbarnsförälder jag är så kan man kanske tänka sig att det är barnet som satt stopp för min skönhetssömn men denna gång ska inte hon skuldbeläggas. Och ska sanningen fram så inträffar detta allt oftare numera. Jag ligger och kvider i sängen medan jag både fryser och svettas, abstinensen är omfattande.

Vad pratar han om? Har undertecknad blivit missbrukare? Svaret är tvetydigt; Ja, jag skulle väl sträcka mig så långt som att säga att det är ett slags missbruk men nej, inte utav droger utan av Proben.

Denna utopi, denna vackra skapelse. Ja superlativen skulle kunna dugga tätt i denna historia men eftersom jag är medveten om att, hör och häpna, inte alla delar detta intresse så ska jag försöka lägga band på mig själv.

Med erfarenheten jag besitter så konstaterar jag ganska snabbt att det är lönlöst att försöka somna om, så jag får helt sonika kravla mig ur sängen och sätta kurs mot nedervåningen. Väl i trappan så gör sig träningsvärken från gårdagens benpass sig påmind och min gångstil får Mira att framstå som någon form av gångproffs. Jag sätter mig buttert ner på en stol med en suck och plirar in i almanackan. Det är nu mindre än en månad kvar tills vi återförenas men allt är relativt! Aldrig förr har fyra veckor kännts såhär långt.

Jag muttrar fram en förbannelse över vintern som så obarmhärtigt har utsatt mig för denna cold turkey, ingen nedtrappning här inte. Nej lätt ska det inte vara. Visst, det är klart att jag skulle kunna åka och hälsa på men man vill ju inte verka för desperat. Man ska ju tydligen verka svårflörtad i dagens samhälle och har vi sagt ett datum så har vi ju det. Ingen mening att sitta här och sura, dags att rosta lite bröd till frukost.

Jag vankar både av och även an. Lukten av det något brända brödet för tankarna till alla härliga burnouter vi haft. Vidare så finns det ett ansenligt urval av liknande exempel. En blick på bänken där det står några glas gör att jag genast får upp bilden på slutrören i huvudet. Och om man när det fortfarande är mörkt ute bara tänder den lilla lampan i köket, blundar med ena ögat, kisar med det andra samtidigt som man vrider lite på huvudet så kan man nästan se siluetten av Proben när man riktar blicken mot köksbordet.

Ni hör ju, man kan inte göra mycket i vardagslivet utan att bli påmind. Jennifer har vaknat och i händerna håller hon två kjolar och frågar vilken hon ska ha på sig idag. Men de enda kjolarna jag kan tänka på är vilka sidokjolar jag ska köpa till min kärlek till sommaren. Min kärlek nummer två alltså, Jennifer kommer ju först. Givetvis. Helt klart. Fast… Nej så är det. Punkt.

6 March, 2014

Story #4 – Return flight

“Are you ok?” I asked the furiously coughing man in his mid twenties sitting next to me on the flight from Miami to Zürich. “No.” he promptly replied.

This is the only interaction I had with the person who (indirectly and involuntarily) changed the course of my life. But before I tell you about that, let me back up a bit.

My wife and I had just got married and decided to give Florida a shot. We had heard good things about the alligators, the personal trainers and the beautiful drive to Key West. And since my favorite guilty-pleasure is to listen to Will Smith rap about the city where the heat is on, the choice of honeymoon resort was a no-brainer. We had a great time in the sunshine state, but that’s of little relevance to this story. Let me fast-forward to where it gets interesting; the flight back home.

I want to say we were flying KLM. Then my memory of the sick man next to me being Dutch would be more plausible. But then why would we fly through Zürich? This makes no sense! Well… Just go with what I’m saying – it will get clearer. Since me and my wife are both Swedish, we’re not eager to talk to strangers. In this case though, I felt like I had to do something. The man was coughing like crazy, and it looked like he had a bad fever. I worked up the courage to say something to him. I was not ready to have a man die next to me!

“No”. The response was short and to the point.

The day after we returned safely back in Stockholm, I started feeling weird. My throat was numb and I was even more tired than the jetlag should have made me. Two days after our return I was in bed all day with a fever. Three days in I started coughing.

Two weeks with a heavy cough can turn any sane person crazy. Add severe jetlag, fever and insomnia and you start to understand the state I was in. I lost track of time. I wasn’t working during the day (the doctor told me to stay away from human contact) and at nights I was trying my best to sleep. When that didn’t happen I was doing what I usually do when I’m bored: I started programming. There is something very soothing about making pixels form beautiful patterns on a computer screen.

It was during a nightly coding session that I came across a job post on my favorite blog. The job was in San Francisco and looked too good to be true. A company that tried to make a difference in the world by providing people with tools to fundraise and run campaigns. Plus they had free lunch and dinner! I hadn’t thought about working anywhere else than Stockholm but I decided to give their coding challenge a shot. I wasn’t going to sleep anyway.

At 7 AM in the morning, I closed my laptop and once again tried to go to sleep. At 7:15 I realized I wasn’t going to sleep so I reopened my laptop, wrote the last bit of code and hit the send button on the email that I’d been crafting to apply for the job. At 8:30 I finally went to bed. For the first time in weeks, I slept like a child.

I woke up from the fact that it was dark again. Days in January in Sweden are short, and I had just wasted all daylight sleeping. I quickly opened my laptop and logged on to Google Analytics. Before I sent the application with a link to my coding challenge I had made sure to add a bit of tracking. I wanted to know if they were looking at what I had done. I knew that there was about 20-30 people at the company so when the visitors counter went up to 13 unique visitors my heart started beating faster. That same evening, I was asked if I wanted to interview with the company through an email from their VP of Engineering.

10 months later – after lawyers, grumpy embassy people, and much paperwork – I finally sat foot on the 21st floor of 88 Kearny Street, San Francisco. Speaking English all day made me exhausted, but I quickly found my place within the company and have not even once regretted that I gave it a chance.

To the Dutch man who gave me the worst cough of my life, I thank you.

6 March, 2014

Story #3

Hönsen i Frylle bor i min lada. De äter mina blommor och är nöjda glada. Någon som är arg är jag, som får städa varje dag. Det var min man som ville ha hönsen hit, han förstår inte att de luktar skit. Mira tycker det är spännande och kul, fast det märks att hon tycker tuppen är ful. Hönsen i frylle bor inte längre hos mig, jag har skickat dem med flyget till dig.

4 March, 2014

Story #2 – The story of my one and only fan letter

When I was a kid I was very shy and didn’t have many friends. For a while in second grade I had two friends in school, Maria and Karin. For some reason our teachers kept telling us that girls could not play together three at the time, and so that became a truth for the three of us. Unfortunately it meant that I ended up the “spare friend”. I was only asked to come over after school if one of the other girls were sick or had other plans. Not the best confidence booster for a lonely kid.

Anyway, I remember one afternoon when I got to feel like one of the cool kids. For some reason the girls decided to prove the teacher wrong and asked me to join them after school. So there I was hanging out in Marias kitchen, eating what she and Karin claimed to be their very own invention, Daim meringue cake. It was nothing but sugar and whipped cream and we had made it all by our selfs. That is we whipped the cream, smashed the chocolate bar and assembled the premade meringue cake parts. I was high on sugar and the thought that my parents would never have let me eat something like this for an after school snack.

I’m not sure how we then came to learn the devastating news. This was way before the internet so I guess we must have found a newspaper laying around. You’ll understand how long ago when I tell you that the sad news we found out was that the band Europe had, or possibly were going to brake up.

At this time I owned two cassette tapes, well I shared them with my little sister, and one of them was Europe’s The final countdown. Joey Tempest was my idol and I “knew” all of the lyrics to every song. I say “knew” because while I could most certainly sing along I had no idea what the lyrics meant (it was only a couple of years later we started learning English in school).

I’m sure it wasn’t my idea. In fact I’m pretty sure it was Maria’s idea, simply because in the unspoken but very real pecking order of our school, she was simply the coolest out of the three of us. Soon we were clearing the table of sugary afternoon snacks and getting out colorful pens, paper and scissors. We were convinced that if we wrote a convincing enough letter the band would not split up. In fact, maybe if we played our cards right, they would end up thanking us for keeping them together. Maybe we would get to go to a concert!

I have no idea what we put in that letter, but I remember it seemed important to cut out the news article and attach it to the letter. And I remember the struggle to find an address to send our life or death letter to. After searching the phone book for Joey Tempest address, we had to settle for sending the letter to the newspapers offices. We made sure to put in very large and colorful words on the envelope that it was of the utmost importance that the letter was forwarded to the band.

We walked together to the nearest mail box and with very serious looks and each an hand on the letter dropped it of. I walked home feeling like I had been a part of something very significant and possibly the making of history.

4 March, 2014

Story #1 – Drömmen

Äntligen hade det blivit av, den där drömresan. En hel vecka hade vi bilat Island runt, mina systrar och jag, och alla våra döttrar och svärdöttrar. Girlpower och tantkraft samlat i ett antal terränggående bilar, kryddat med mycket skratt och entusiasm, det var mina drömmars uppfyllelse. Nu återstod bara ett par timmars kringströvande i Reykjavik, innan det var dags att flyga hem.

På något vis hamnade vi i en smal solbelyst gränd med små affärer och spännande kafeterior. En gammal dam satt på en solgul pinnstol vid trappan till ett bageri. Hon hade en blomsterprytt hatt på det glänsande vita håret. Under den blåa klänningen kunde vi skymta en vit spetsunderkjol. Över klänningen hade hon knutit ett randigt förkläde, som var stickat. Ett stickat förkläde var förstås lite opraktiskt i sommarvärmen. Fastknutet i pinnstolen hade den gamla damen ett knippe ballonger. Vår ganska osamlade trupp slöt sig nu tätt runt den gamla damen. Ballongerna var virkade! Tänk vad islänningar är duktiga, nu har de uppfunnit virkade ballonger. Som en vårflod sköljde virklusten över hela gänget.

– Det där borde ju inte vara så omöjligt att virka själv, muttrade en syster.

– Jag stickade ju den där gröna tröjan, och det blev garn över. Tänk om jag kunde virka en matchande ballong, funderade en annan.

– Den där ballongen ser ju ut, som de strumpor mormor alltid virkar, tyckte en dotter.

– Ja, fast mormor stickar, var någon snabb att rätta henne.

– Men ändå, vi borde köpa den där randiga ballongen till mormor.

Nu blev det liv och rörelse runt den gamla damen. Naturligtvis ville alla välja en var sin favoritballong till mormor, som väntade på oss där hemma.

Tillslut hade vi valt ihop ett färgglatt knippe på hela tio virkade ballonger. Naturligtvis kunde den mest beresta dottern isländska, och kunde förhandla oss ett bra pris, när hon visade bilden på den lika gamla, och lika vackra damen i Helsingfors, som skulle få ballongerna.

Glada i hågen styrde vi våra steg mot flygplatsen. Tänk vad mormor skulle bli glad, och vad spännande det skulle vara att försöka virka ballonger själv! Säg den glädje som varar. När tulltjänstemannen på flygplatsen fick syn på våra ballonger, blev han mycket upprörd. På ett ögonblick var vi omringade av stora kostymklädda män, som såg otäckt hotfulla ut med svarta solglasögon, som täckte deras ögon, strama munnar, och små svarta pistoler, som man kunde skymta i kavajfickan. Det uppstod en hetsig diskussion på isländska. Olyckligt vände den mest språkkunniga dottern sig mot sina reskamrater: De virkade ballongerna är en statshemlighet, man får inte föra ut dem ur landet!

Bedrövelsen var så stor, att jag vaknade! Månen letade sig fram mellan persiennerna och kittlade mig på näsan. Gökuret tickade hemtrevligt i köket, och vinden ven i skorstenen. Jag vände upp en svalare sida på kudden och kände mig nöjd ändå. Om två år skulle vi göra den där drömresan på riktigt, och vem vet, vid det laget har de virkade ballongerna kanske slutat att vara en statshemlighet…

4 March, 2014

Gametember #30

End boss

30 September, 2016

Gametember #29

Special attack

1 September, 2016

Gametember #28

Assassin

28 September, 2016

Gametember #27

Level up

27 September, 2016

Gametember #25

Rare loot

25 September, 2016

Gametember #26

Profession: Alchemy or Engineering

26 September, 2016

Gametember #24

Enemy: Huge or Mechanic

24 September, 2016

Gametember #23

Game over

23 September, 2016

Gametember #22

Fan art

22 February, 2016

Gametember #21

Hero role: Healer

21 September, 2016

Gametember #20

Backpack

20 September, 2016

Gametember #19

Grinding

19 September, 2016

Gametember #18

Nemesis

18 September, 2016

Gametember #17

Mount

17 September, 2016

Gametember #16

Profession: Herbalism or Tailoring

16 September, 2016

Gametember #15

Currency

15 September, 2016

Gametember #14

Enemy: Elemental or Organic

14 September, 2016

Gametember #13

Hero role: Tank

13 September, 2016

Gametember #12

Crappy loot

12 September, 2016

Gametember #11

Battle

11 September, 2016

Gametember #10

Savepoint

10 September, 2016

Gametember #9

Profession: Cooking or Mining

9 September, 2016

Gametember #8

Longrange weapon

8 September, 2016

Gametember #7

Wizard

7 September, 2016

Gametember #6

Potion

6 September, 2016

Gametember #5

Enemy: Tiny or Slimy

5 September, 2016

Gametember #4

Shield

4 September, 2016

Gametember #3

Companion

3 September, 2016

Gametember #2

Sword

2 September, 2016

Gametember #1

Hero

1 September, 2016

Adventurers #13

Denis

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #12

Lars

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #11

Filip

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #10

Viktor

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #9

Signe

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #8

Zandy

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #7

Jenny

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #6

Jack

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #5

Micke

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #4

Lev

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #3

Rain

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #2

Brockis

20 February, 2019

Adventurers #1

20 February, 2019