The Minna Menace
I bolted upright, my body sweating and shaking.
What was the deal with Minna? Why am I dreaming of a dead person? Why am I living in her past? What am I supposed to do with that? Is there a mystery to solve? What did happen to Minna? She claims to be innocent, but the evidence is stacked against her. Who was that man who looked like Günter? Surely not Boris. He looked more like a cockroach, even in his human form.
I attempted to sleep, but instead tossed and turned. I was on the mystery trail and no closer to sleeping. My mind spun round and round, thoughts rotating like in a tumble dryer. Those days and weeks before she passed, she shared her story—but not this. When I asked why it all happened, she went silent.
Every noise annoyed me. Footsteps tromped up and down the hall, down the stairs, to and fro grating my ears. Every hour, the Grandfather clock bellowed, “Bong! Bong!” One bong for the half hour and then the number of bongs for each hour. Someone was snoring in between. Probably Commander Driver snoring like an elephant. Her room was near mine. I imagined Günter to be fast asleep as a baby would be. Who was that man who pretended to be Günter? I can’t believe Minna would be fooled by Boris disguised as Günter.
So she had an affair with a Günter look alike. So perhaps she was tricked? What’s the big deal? Why did the town turn against her? What really did happen to her little boys? I had to find out.
Liesel once passed on gossip that after Minna went crazy, she became evil and crossed over to the Boris side. Perhaps Minna was always evil. Vague rumours—Minna had seduced Tails. Whispers—she wasn‘t dead. I knew for a fact, she was. Hadn’t I been there?
Four gongs from the Grandfather clock announced how long my mind had whirred around and around in a futile attempt for sleep. I gave up trying.
I slipped out my room and tiptoed down the hallway to the door. Opening it just a crack, I edged out and walked down the steps. The light of one moon guided me down the path to the beach.
I picked up a blanket from Trigger. The rhythmic beating of the waves on the shore does it for me. It was a warm night, so I spread out the blanket on the sand and relaxed. Entranced by the waves, the smell of sea salt, and the cool of the sea breeze, I dozed.
But…not for long…Flashbacks harassed me…
* * *
The Convent looked like a war zone. Dozens of people, doctors, nurses, assistants, militia, and nuns buzzed around. A pitiful moan like a kitten mewing disturbed me.
I floated, drifting above my charred body. My face had gaping hole. Half my jaw was missing. Pieces of flesh flaked and melted off my arms, my legs, my torso and what was left of my face. No pain, just the cries that creeped me out. I hovered above the living dead of me. The moaning came from me.
‘Who is she?’ a nurse asked.
‘I don’t know’, another said. ‘We’re only treating her. Give her some pain-relief.’
My spirit drifted up to the ceiling. No need for pain killers. Such peace, except for the moaning. The medical team working on my body. Pumping my chest, a surge of adrenalin, the shock of the defibrillator, and oxygen… I cried out. The pain throbbed—unbearable. All went blank.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Moon over Minda Beach Sand dunes © L.M. Kling 2017
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