Wednesday, 28 December 2011


The dragon lay in the entrance to his cave, looking out over the Himalaya. He loved the snow-covered mountain peaks, especially the way they reflected the sunlight. They felt like long-forgotten memories, just out of his reach.
Behind him, at the backside of the cave, a light flared to catch his attention. With a sigh, the dragon turned to watch the picture that had replaced the stone wall. It showed an old woman - crinkled face, grey bun and all - climbing a wooden fence. The dragon watched, intrigued, as she let herself sink slowly to the ground on this side of the fence, smoothed her green velvet dress and made her way around the fence to the entrance of the abandoned playground.
The gate was closed, but not locked, and she entered the compound of the old school, looking around. Her eyes travelled across the graffitied walls, the broken windows and rusty playground equipment. Her steps were weak and insecure as she walked towards a bench to sit down and bury her face in her hands.
Recognising her for what she must be, the dragon walked towards, and through, the picture to appear by her side.

Friday, 23 December 2011


A cold wind was dancing around the cave, running this way and that like a never tiring child. Shivering, Norbert tried to kindle the fire, but the flames stood no chance to the wind. With a low rumbling, the dragon let his head sink back to the icy ground.
He had known for a while now that his time was coming, had felt it in his creaking bones and heavy wings. It bothered him that there was nobody to come after him, no other dragon to take his place and keep the peace in this world. Soon, this would be of no concern to him, but right now it was the last obstacle between him and a happy death. Norbert had even tried to haggle with the universe for just a little more time, desperate as he was, but of course to no avail. The universe has so many ears that it never bothers to listen to anyone.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Dan was a nice guy. Everybody at the Café knew that, employees and regular guests. He had only two problems: he was in his mid-thirties and single; and he was a perfect best friend, not a perfect match. If asked why she would never even consider dating him, no woman could give a satisfactory answer (unless she was already spoken for).
Trying to find a date for Dan was a kind of sport at the Café, which is why many eyes followed the blonde who stomped towards the last free table watching out over the street.

This stupid idiot! Who does he think he is, not showing up for our date? He could at least have called! I hope he dares calling me later without an apology, then I’ll let him know what I think of him!
“Welcome, what can I bring you?”
“Oh, hi, um, one cappuccino please?”

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Today, she sat at the very edge of the primary school’s playground, her back to the hedge that marked the border. She had tried sitting in more comfortable spots before, but she always got in the way of other children and then was driven away. Her skirt would be dirty afterwards, she knew, and she had to wrap her arms tight around her knees to keep her legs locked so that nobody would see her panties; it was quite uncomfortable.
The girl had hidden her face behind curtains of hazelnut hair, so that the others wouldn't see what she was looking at. Her name was Anne, and her doe eyes were unfocused. She was dreaming her dreams - because even at the tender age of 10 she knew that life and dreams are two very different things, and she liked her dreams better. There she was a powerful witch, in a world not unlike her own, and all the other children liked or at least respected her. It was a wonderful world that she could easily get lost in.

“What you doing?”
Anne squealed and toppled over to the side, trying desperately to keep her skirt covering her knees. Lying on the ground, she turned her head and stared at the face that grinned at her out of the hedge.
The face said “Hi.”
“Oh, Brian, what do you want?” she asked, for she had recognised the boy, who was only a year older than her and wasn't often seen around school.
“I have watched you, and seen your dreams. You want to visit your world for real?”
Grumpy, Anne got up and brushed herself down. “Huh? My world?”
“The one where you’re the powerful witch.”
Shocked, the girl took a step back, where a stone caused her to stumble and almost fall over again. “How do you know that?”
“Told you. I've seen your dreams.” He pushed his neck and shoulders out of the hedge to look at her expectantly. “Want to go there?”
“Wha...? How?”
He offered her a dirty hand. “I know of a short cut, and that's the path we're taking now. Come with me.”
Hesitant, Anne took his hand and allowed him to drag her through the hedge.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Anne woke with a cough. Her body was choking on something she could not immediately identify; her surroundings were a blur of dancing light.
‘Oh shit, I fell asleep in front of the TV again,’ she thought, but then realised that was not all. The dancing lights were red and orange, not at all like TV, and the reason why her vision was blurred was the smoke that filled her parent’s living room. She had fallen asleep in front of the TV, and as the Christmas candle had burned down, the paper beneath had caught fire...
Anne got up hurriedly, realising that she had to stop thinking and leave the house, but fell down onto the sofa again, dizziness holding her tight. With a groan and panic flaring up in her stomach, she slid to the ground and crawled to the door. At least the way out was clear ahead of her.
As she stumbled out of the front door, Anne heard the sirens announcing the immediate arrival of the fire brigade. Then someone grabbed her by the arm and dragged her away from the house.
“Thank God you’re all right! I was so scared for you, girl!” Her parent’s elderly neighbour must have called the fire brigade, and now she stared at her with a mix of concern and relief. Before Anne could think of a reply, the first fire engine hurtled around the corner, followed by two more and an ambulance. Suddenly people were shouting all around her, then someone separated her from the old woman and dragged her away. An oxygen mask was pressed over her nose and someone gently forced her to lie down. Then the bang of a door closing, and silence.