INTELLIGENT STORIES FOR SMART READERS

Homepage of the Author Katharina Gerlach
for children, young adults, and the young at heart

Willkommen, Welcome (Englisch), Fàilte (Gaelic), Bienvenue (Französisch), Djin dobre (Polnish)*.

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Wie einige vielleicht wissen, bin ich bei Qindie, das Autorenkorrektiv (nicht Kollektiv, obwohl das auch hinkäme) aktiv. Auch dieses Jahr haben wir wieder eine Sammlung dunkler Kurzgeschichten zusammengestellt, die am 07. Oktober in Druck und elektronisch an den Start geht. Um die Neugier auf das Titelbild ein wenig in die Länge zu ziehen, haben wir uns eine Puzzlespiel ausgedacht. Jeden Tag bekommt ihr zwei Puzzelteile, eines vormittags und ein zweites nachmittags. Ich mache den Anfang. Nach mir kommt Jana Oltersdorff. Die ganze Liste sowie den Klappentext des Buches könnt ihr auf der Wondie-Seite nachlesen. Kommt vorbei, es lohnt sich.

Hier ist das erste Puzzelteil:

Puzzelteil #1

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Seit mein Enkel zur Welt gekommen ist, habe ich kaum noch Zeit für alles. Der Haushalt sieht furchtbar aus (Wäscheberge, aber das Geschirr ist wenigstens sauber … ein dreifach Hoch der Spülmaschine), meine Geschichten wachsen im Schneckentempo und meine Anwesenheit auf meinem Blog oder bei Facebook hält sich in engen Grenzen. dann musste meine mittlere Tochter (die Mutter meines Enkels) auch noch für 2 Wochen ins Krankenhaus, und demnächst ist die Älteste dran … so schnell wird es also nicht besser. Ich hoffe ihr seid trotzdem geduldig. Die nächste Veröffentlichung ist in Arbeit, eine Monstergeschichte für Kinder. Wenn nichts unerwartetes dazwischen kommt, kriege ich es wohl zu Halloween fertig.

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Es ist schon wieder Zeit für den vierteljährlichen Blog Hop. Wie die Zeit fliegt! Mein Enkel rutscht zur Zeit auf dem Bauch herum und versucht immer wieder zu krabbeln, und zwei Zähne hat er auch schon. So langsam fine ich einen neuen Rhythmus und kann endlich wieder schreiben. Hoffentlich gefällt euch diese Geschichte, die ganz lose auf meiner Erfahrung basiert, wie es ist, überraschend Großmutter zu werden. Bitte verzeiht, dass ich sie diesmal nicht übersetzt habe, aber ich habe eine Familie aus Amerika zu Besuch und mir fehlte einfach die Zeit. Die Links zu den anderen TeilnehmerInnen des Blog Hops (alle Geschichten auf Englisch) findet ihr wie immer unter meinem Beitrag.

Surprise

“Well, you could come in today but only the male doctor will be there,” the gynecologist’s receptionist said. I knew that wouldn’t do. My daughter would never see a man – not when it was her first visit to a gynecologist. I told the receptionist, just as I had told her about the low but persistent abdominal pain Shelly was experiencing. It wasn’t urgent but it definitely needed someone looking at it.

“Well Dr. Paulsen won’t be in before tomorrow. I’ve got a free slot at 9am.”

I smiled and sent a sliver of pleasurable magic through the phone for the woman. “That’s splendid. We’ll be there on time.”

***

The next morning, my daughter – a little grumpy from getting up this early – and I climbed the two floors to the gynecologist. After the usual paperwork, the receptionist left us in a room with a desk and the gynecological chair. Her smile was meant to be reassuring. “The doctor will be with you in a few minutes.”

Shelly looked at me with a frown. “I won’t sit on that one.” She nodded to the chair.

Before I could answer, the doctor came in. She was a petite woman with brown hair, a white lab coat and tired eyes. “Welcome.” She shook our hands and smiled at my daughter. “It looks as if it’s coming soon. Who’s your regular gynecologist?”

My jaw dropped and for the first time in a long, long while I didn’t know what to say. My daughter’s face must have mirrored my surprise because the doctor said, “Don’t tell me you didn’t know.”

There was no answer to that, but my daughter was too shocked to make a fuss when the doctor examined her. I didn’t even need my magic to soothe her.

“Dear me.” Dr. Paulsen’s eyes widened. “It’s coming right now!” She nearly fled the room to call an ambulance.

While we waited, Shelly’s contractions intensified. She moaned with pain, and my heart hurt in sympathy. At least I now knew her sudden gain in weight hadn’t been due to obsessive eating or cancer or any of the other diseases I had feared. Still, I suffered with her every time the contractions hit. She squeezed my hand as if she meant to crush every single bone to pulp, and it took all my strength not to use a calming spell on her. According to my own mother that would interfere with the baby’s own magic should it have some.

The ambulance took its time and even my spell couldn’t make it faster. All I could do was prevent the gynecologist from panicking. Waves of soothing magic flowed through the rooms, arduously avoiding Shelly. But once the ambulance arrived, everything went fast. Shelly was carried downstairs on a stretcher, and I followed with knees too shaky to manage the stairs without clinging to the handrail. The ambulance headed to the nearby motorway with flashing lights and siren, while my daughter screamed in pain, still clinging to my hand. I tried to make myself as small as possible to not obstruct the doctor and his helpers. The baby arrived soundlessly three minutes before we reached the hospital.

“That doesn’t look good.” The doctor’s face was grim as he cut the cord. My heart seemed to stop beating. I barely dared to look at the rather bluish looking limp body in his hands. “Oxygen. And a tenth of a unit …”

I ignored the doctor’s gobbledygook and concentrated on my daughter. I closed my hands around her wide eyed face. Finally I could help. My magic tugged at her worry, smoothing it out and adding a little hope here and there. “Keep breathing. There’s nothing we can do but hope.” We closed our eyes and ignored the clattering of instruments and the babbling of the paramedic. If we lost the baby, I’d probably never be able to create a bubble of hope again. So we clung to our own little bubble. It was all I could do to keep it up. Shelly’s heart beat the same fearful-hopeful rhythm as mine.

The ambulance screeched to a stop.

“We’ve got her!” The relief in the doctor’s voice was palatable. Very gently he placed the wrapped baby into Shelly’s arms. A content, pink face with the bluest eyes anyone had ever seen stared at us, and a wave of happiness hit me. The baby was magical, and breathing, and moving her tiny fingers, already weaving her spell on us. As I hobbled after the stretcher that was wheeled to a lift, my smile couldn’t have been wider. I whispered to my daughter, “I guess it’s time to think about a name for her.”

___________________________________________

The other stories:

In A Picture by Erica Damon
The Past Tastes Better by Karen Lynn
Revealing Space by Barbara Lund
The Rose Tender by Raven O’Fiernan
The Last Sleeping Beauty by Tamara Ruth
Freeman by Elizabeth McCleary
Hell’s Play by Juneta Key
The Token by Eli Winfield
Moshe 4th by Chris Makowski
To The Moon And Beyond, by Fanni Sütő

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