She didn’t normally shriek, so the other kids, who stood in a circle around her, had never heard that before; but she thought it was about time that the adults in their goody terraced houses behind their freshly mowed little yards on either side of the street realized that they, the youth of today, were still there, so she braced herself and let out the loudest and longest shriek that could technically be produced with human vocal cords, after which she noted with satisfaction that a deafening silence fell over the dull street.
written by BeaG
This is a true story. It actually happened dozens of times before we had our chimney covered with chicken wire.
Imagine: three jackdaws standing on the edge of the chimney. Their black silhouettes stand out against the clear sky.
Kow, kow! Whoppa! There I go!
Oh shit! Kow, kow, kow! It’s so cramped in here.
Kow! I can barely move my wings.
I’m almost stuck between the bricks.
And who the hell turned out the lights? Kow!
Ouch, who’s throwing a branch on my head. Kow, ouch!
Wait a minute now, it’s my turn! My!
Flapflapperflap. Kow, kow!
Whoops, I slide further down.
My wings rub against the sides.
And even further. Oops, ai, kow, kow, kow! Flap, flap.
Pff, bah, all that soot, pff!
Say, who’s tossing that walnut on my head? Kow!
This is the dialogue I wrote for the Belgian outdoor theater project ‘Het Bankje 2021‘.
Listen to the performance by voice actors here (in Dutch).
– Nice weather today, right?
– I said nice weather today.
– Yes. I heard that.
– And what?
– Is it nice weather today?
– I just heard so.
– And do you agree?
– No, I don’t agree.
– Why what?
– Why don’t you agree?
– Agree with what?
– That the weather is nice today.
– I think it’s cold.
– But it surely isn’t that cold today?
– Yes it is.
– Yesterday was colder.
– A little, yes.
– Today the weather is nice.
– I don’t think so.
– It’s too cold for me.
– It’s too cold, you say? …
Bang! The door unintentionally slammed shut behind them as he released it. From out of the strong wind she had stooped in, under his arm, and before she even had a chance to do it herself, he helped her out of her coat and hung it on the coat rack together with his. With a protective hand against her lower back – his hand felt surprisingly warm through the thin fabric of her T-shirt – he led her inside. She decided that later when they left, she would hold the door open for hím.
A friendly employee guided them to a table for two in a quiet corner at the back of the bistro, where they had a good overview, but also some privacy. They arrived just in time: by now rain was clattering against the nearest window. She laughed when both of them ran their hands through their windswept hair at the same time.
As a matter of course, …
Makes herself bigger and wider than she actually is, steps so close to the offender that he forgets what personal space means again, finally accepts the glass of beer that she had refused time after time until then, pulls the young man’s half open white shirt under his black leather jacket forward, and pours the contents gracefully over his almost hairless chest, with a most friendly smile followed by a definite ‘I said NO.’
Ze waren zogenaamd smokkelaars
Dat ze smokkelaars waren, had ze gezegd, dat dat ‘oeh’ spannend was! Dat ze moesten uitkijken voor de douane. Hij wist niet wie dat was, de douane. Gelukkig had ze gezegd dat ze terug zou komen, later, om hem te halen. Hij had haar geloofd. Dat ze zijn jas had moeten meenemen natuurlijk, als bewijs. Het was koud. Dat hij de weg kon vinden door te kijken aan welke kant van de boomstammen het mos groeide. Maar het was donker. Ze zou terugkomen, om hem te halen. Hij wist niet zeker of hij haar nog geloofde.
They pretended to be smugglers
That they were smugglers, she had said, that that was ‘ooh’ exciting! That they had to watch out for customs. He didn’t know who that was, customs. Luckily, she had said that she would come back later to get him. He had believed her. That she had had to take his coat of course, as proof. It was cold. That he could find the way by looking at which side of the tree trunks the moss grew. But it was dark. She would come back to get him. He wasn’t sure he still believed her.
On her daily walks through Quiet Belgian Village, The Maakster of course also meets other residents on foot. She wishes them a ‘good morning!’ or ‘have a nice day!’, because that makes the world a little prettier. Some of the residents greet back friendly, but others pretend not to have heard her, or quickly turn their head away. That doesn’t stop The Maakster.
Quiet Belgian Village is a bit of a closed village and many of its residents are used to only associate with people they have known from birth. They feel uncomfortable with newcomers, even the ones that have already lived there for quite some time. Older people sometimes react confused: ‘But … er … I don’t knów you?’,
On Fridays Marc usually fetches food for them from a Chinese restaurant. On Sundays they eat the leftovers. Because it is only a short time ago on Wednesdays, and is not going to take long either, it sometimes seems like they eat chinese all week long. That is of course not the case. Marc cooks often and delicious!
As a child, building her own tree house seemed like the pinnacle of bliss to her.
It never happened. In the garden of her parental terraced house there was no room for a tree house. And in the trees in ‘The Woods’, a piece of nature with walking paths, a deer camp and a duck pond, around an old country house that they optimistically called ‘the Castle’, she was not allowed to indulge herself with hammer, nails and saw.
But in her mind, she built the most beautiful tree houses, with secret defenses against intruders. Her dream cabin would, even then, be a creative studio with a wonderful view of the ‘wild’ nature, in which she would experience many exciting adventures. She grew up in a time when as a child you could wander around on foot or on your bike wherever you wanted, as long as you were back home in time for dinner.
Today she and her husband live in a house with many rooms, including her study, her crafting materials warehouse and her creative studio. The ideal tree house! Too bad it doesn’t fit in a tree.
Fortunately, the footsteps behind her in the dark had stopped. She exhaled with relief. Two more blocks before she was home. Suddenly strong hands closed around her neck. She saw a stockinged foot.
Internet Shop here. Thank you for having placed an order with us a minute ago.
If you suffer from forgetfulness: this is what you just ordered.
Thank you for your order. We will deliver it as soon as possible (even though you have said that you are not in a hurry and that, from an environmental point of view, you would prefer us to take a little longer).
If you suffer from forgetfulness: this is what you just ordered.
Our life is very different from that of our ancestors.
Long live progress!
But since the introduction of automation, we have been exaggerating.
We confuse progress with consuming ever more and ever faster, and have lost sight of the limits of our physical and mental health, of the resilience of our environment and the exhaustion of our natural resources.
We are living faster than ever before …
That we will be able to breathe relieved
again soon, without a mouth mask
and we no longer have to move in
circles around each other,
that we can work together again,
can live together, enjoy,
that you can see our smile again
and feel our arm around your shoulders.
Have a fantastic new year!
* Tip: Shop
‘Hi, how are you? Where are you from?’
‘Do you have a boyfriend? No? A girlfriend?’
‘How old are you?’
‘Where do you live? Oh yes, that’s nice. I’d love to live there too.’
‘So, how much rent do you pay?’
‘Are you here on holiday? How long will you stay?’
‘Why are you friends with him?’
‘You look great! Better than when I met you last week.’
‘Have you put on weight?’ …
Soms wou ze dat ze vroeger andere beroepsopties had overwogen, zoals diepzee-onderzoeker of archeoloog of ijssculptuurmaker, al kon ze onder water nog geen minuut haar adem inhouden, moest ze niezen van stof en trok het bloed zich terug uit de topjes van haar vingers zodra ze een kuipje boter uit de koelkast pakte.
I love books.
For as long as I can read, I have loved all kinds of books: fiction and non-fiction, novels, short stories, poetry, books in every genre, on every subject.
The public library in the town hall was one of my favorite places in my youth, with its hollow silence, disrupted by hesitant piano notes from the music school above it, and its typical dusty smell of books. …
A house across the street is currently an open house. Not an open house in the normal sense of the word, but more of an unintended sunny home.
The former residents, an old-fashioned unmarried sister and brother, who still pumped water in their kitchen, did their laundry by hand, cooked on bottled gas and did not trust any bank with their money, have long gone. The brother to the afterlife and the sister, who never left their yard, – adrift in the fog without her brother – to a nursing home.
The people next door bought the house, …Read More »BG 16 – Sunny house
We write black. We also write all kinds of other colors, but they look black just the same.
At night I wait in the dark on her desk. When it is quiet and cold. Behind me the computer and printer rest in silence. I remember the last word we wrote last night: call. The kitchen is next to her office and the connecting door is always open, so that it doesn’t get stuffy here during the daytime. As a result, I can hear the hollow plastic kitchen clock ticking away the seconds, louder than during the day. A lonely car rubbers through the puddles on the cobblestones in front of the house. And like every night I lie here waiting patiently.
When the new day has started, …Read More »BG 12 – Ballpoint pen
Of the four chairs that usually stood around the kitchen table, one was missing this morning. That was strange. While looking around for the chair with her brother, she found a note from their mother on the kitchen table. That was even stranger. Mother had written that she would be out all day and not be home until late, that they should not be worried.
On social media a video appeared that was made in the early light of the rising sun using a drone. A curious circle of empty chairs was lined up around the large roundabout just outside the capital. …Read More »BG 8 – The Roundabout
Two magpies often visit our garden. At least I think they are magpies, I don’t know much about bird species. We also have two cats, which is convenient, one for each magpie. Since the cats were small, four years ago, the magpies have been harassing them regularly. They wait on the edge of the garage roof until they see an ideal opportunity to fly low over the heads of the cats to scare them. It works every single time. Especially with our tomcat Leo, who is not very heroic. His sister Daisy is more stoic. Whether they are always the same two magpies remains to be seen. Do you know magpies apart? Me neither. Maybe they keep passing the tradition on to a new couple. Anyway, for four years some magpies have been scaring our cats over and over again and Leo still falls for it every single time.