The machines will stop beeping and the rain will increase. The darkness will fall and the mother will scream. She is going to cry, fight and mourn. And the wind will start to howl.
The clouds will cover the sky and turn it black, the thunder will road – both inside her mind and outside. The flames will lick the darkened sky; fighting against the rain. The lights from the police cars will light up the streets for a while. The rain will cause a small river to flow along the sidewalk; a dead fish will float in it, with papers and sand. The fire fighters will run past a broken stall and smashed cucumbers. A smell of burning bread will meet them, burning sugar and blackened croissants. There will not be much hope of saving it. A battered green umbrella is visible in the orange light of the flames.
The birds will be gone – they will fly away and hide under a tree’s protecting leaves. Or under a bush. They will hide from the storm, they will be able to disappear and not care.
The night will fall, the mother will run. Through the storm she will come to a turning point. A turning point on a bridge. A feeling. A feeling of hope dying. She will look towards the sea, at the furious waves and the foam. To the rushing river beneath her, that will quickly take away and hide whatever you would care to throw down. The wind will rip her hair, her clothes. The cool air will be painful, sharp like needles and pins. Through her nightmare she will see, through the corner of her eye, the shimmering lights of the city. Lights that are feeble and faint. And she will choose.
She answers the phone and her face turns white. Her friend looks at her, concerned. She shakes her head, unable to speak. She is now running to the car and her friend follows her, worried and uncertain. A few clouds are now starting to appear in the sky. The birds are silent now; they are flying away over the treetops. In front of a stall a man is yelling furiously. The cucumbers he wants to buy are, according to him, too expensive. The seller is arguing back, saying that all prices go up this time of year.
“Rubbish!” yells the man back. The people around are looking at them curiously but the man ignores them. He is that kind of person who cannot lose an argument.
The white bearded baker is disturbed in his thoughts by a noise from the shop. An old lady with a purple hat is just leaving and a cold wind blows in through the door. By the window two boys are standing, whispering.
“Can I help you lads?” he asks.
“With what?” the taller asks. The baker suddenly sees that the bread on the table behind them, which should be lying in neat rows, is tumbled about, some are thrown on the floor. The taller boy starts eating a bun.
“Are you going to pay for that then?” the baker asks angrily, indicating the buns and the bread. The other boy laughs and tosses a lighter between his hands.
“For this?” says the tall boy and spits it out on the floor. He and his friend both run for the door with the man close behind. The baker is in a rage, but they are young. They disappear in a sea of people. Outside, the man by the fish stall is closing up; a gentle rain is starting to fall. His wares are getting wet and people are looking for their umbrellas. The man, still arguing about the cucumbers, is now holding a battered, green umbrella. Win or lose, and loosing is not an option.
As the rain falls more heavily, the baker calls the police to report the boys for the third time. He is wondering if it is going to help this time, if he is going to get more help… “They’re only children sir…”
All around people are rushing, rushing and running. The sky is grey now, the birds completely gone and out of sight. Somewhere a tree falls, wave’s crash against a nearby shore. At the hospital, the doctor tells the mother the bad news. A sound. A sound of beeping machines.
A gentle breeze. A smell. A sound. A feeling.
It all melted together.
The big crowd moved about the market place in different directions. Perhaps buying, selling, or just looking. The sky was a perfect shade of blue and birds sang in a nearby tree. At one of the stalls a few people stood laughing; the man behind the table was selling fish and talked heartily and joked with his costumers. In the stall next to him a woman sold homemade jam and was talking to an old lady in a purple hat.
“All grown in my backyard, see. Only natural…” Two small children ran past them, they were laughing in that careless way. The children stopped in front of a stall and looked with big eyes at the rows of lollipops and sweets. Red, blue, or green? They were just about to decide which of the lollipops to buy when the seller – an old lady with grey hair – saw them. She smiled, put a finger to her mouth and gave them a lollipop each. Smiling and laughing, as though they’d won the lottery, the children hurried away. A smell. A smell of sugar, flour and newly baked buns. At the end of the street the stalls parted to reveal the entrance to a bakery. A big man with white beard stood in the doorway.
“Fresh and warm! Cheap and delicious!” he called and smiled happily. A lot of people looked at him; they were already persuaded by the appetizing scent that was coming from the door. In the windows rows of bread, buns, croissants, cakes and biscuits were on display.
“Ideal to bring on a summertime picnic,” said a girl to herself. She stood in front of the window and gazed at the cookies and cakes. She entered the shop and the baker greeted her kindly, after a moment’s thought she decided to buy a strawberry cake. It was filled with berries and custard, covered with cream and the reddest strawberries she had ever seen.
“We’ve had a good season this year,” said the baker. “Not only strawberries, I think it’s been a very good summer this year.” She agreed, thanked him and left the shop, passing on her way out a little old lady in a purple hat.
Somewhere a mother talked to a friend about her four-year-old daughter. “She won’t stop singing Twinkle twinkle little star!” They laughed, and the warm, golden sunlight shone done over the world. Her cell phone rang.
The past is filled with shadows
Of darkness and despair
My memories are scattered, I cannot see it clearly
Do you remember, still, those times? I do not think I dare
The present day is brighter; it is my state of mind
I am aware of time and can forget what is behind
Tomorrow is the brightest day of all that I have known
Tomorrow there will be no pain. Nothing will be in vain.
Before I cross that border, I stop and look around
The demons from the past I see, but they never really won
Tomorrow Will Be My Freedom
by Nina Lindmark Lie