Some pretty cool projects are gliding around on the horizon, but like everything in 2020, they are being messed with by the fickle finger of fate.
Kind of like the girl in the short below, her story is a tiny piece of a larger puzzle. Who is she? What disaster is she facing? Does she live? Or does she die.
Ans rode her fiets, or sturdy Dutch bicycle, in the direction of Aldi along the main street of Woudenberg. The red brick, inlaid street was mostly deserted on what should have been a bustling, normal shopping day. She had to get some food, her mother’s small store was nearly exhausted.
She frowned and panted as she leaned into the pedals. Ans couldn’t recall ever having been this tired from a short bike ride; it was a good thing that Woudenberg didn’t have so much as a single hill. No, it was all neat brick houses and small shops. Everything maintained and well-kept; the Dutch would call it netjes. Neat, clean.
So it was all the more shocking when she rode by a store with a shattered glass window, the shards lay in the street and glistened like so many mouths of dying sharks. She made a wide circle around the obstacle and continued to Aldi; as she rode and looked around she was starting to debate the wisdom of venturing out.
Verdomme, though, she needed food. Her weak mother needed food; Ans was already stretching what she had. She looked along the street, she saw an odd shape by the street posts on the right. As she approached, she knew what it was. She smelled corruption, she heard the buzzing of flies.
Jesus, she thought. A person, a child of God, set out on the street like a sack of garbage. She tore her eyes away and held her breath. The smell was overpowering as she rode by. Couldn’t the gemeente workers do something? Bodies in the street in the Netherlands… Ans shook her head. You knew the disaster was very bad to see such sights in one of the world’s richest, most orderly, and heavily populated countries.
She continued to pump away on the pedals. Now that she had seen one body, more seemed to pop up, like poisonous dandelions breaking through the paving stones. All of downtown Woudenberg stank like a charnel house, like an unwashed butcher’s. It was terrible, unimaginable. Up ahead she saw Aldi’s, and she felt like cheering. As she neared the neat little brick store the cheers in her head died.
Died just like the store, apparently. There was more broken glass, and not just from the broken doors. Ans dared not venture further into the little parking lot, some idiot had broken what appeared to be several cases of Schultenbrau beer bottles on the ground.
The treacherous long teeth of the bottle bottoms gleamed at her, the reek of stale beer mingled with human corruption and filth.
Ans wanted to vomit. This couldn’t be happening, she thought. This is Nederland, not some battlefield in a distant and dusty place! But she wasn’t watching some report on EenVandaag. No, she was standing in the parking lot of Aldi, surrounded by disaster.
She heard a bottle clink and skitter. Her head whipped around; a group of young men were approaching. Their movements were jerky, they staggered. Ans frowned. They were high or drunk. One called out.
“Hey girl, wanna fuck?”
The youths laughed, they bayed. One coughed, hard, then he joined in.
What was this, thought Ans. She yelled back.
“Ball sacks! Fuck you!”
The group drew closer. Ans looked around and realized she was all alone in the parking lot. The police weren’t coming. Ever. The leader of the gang spoke and laughed.
“No, you’re the one who’s fucked.”
Stay tuned, readers!