Listen to the story
An involuntary return is the prelude to “Breaths” which is included in the short story collection “Gränsfarare” by LarsGöran Boström. When Emmy, 26 years old, with a fast-paced career, returns to her hometown, it leads to entanglements on several levels. The clash of cultures is obvious, but beneath the surface, there is a deeper conflict. A contradiction that will bring her valkyrie to life. Here are the first impressions Emmy gets when she arrives.
Excerpt from the short story Breaths
“The familiar contours are getting closer and closer as the train slows in on its way towards the station. A shiver shudders through her slender body. Sickening and hatred, a feeling she has been liberated from for years, now it’s back.
She gropes strained after the railing on her way out of the train. Hands shake like aspen leaves impossible to still completely. Returning home feels like a defeat when, seconds later, she stands with both feet on the platform: Must free herself from the crowd at least. Must, to regain balance. She takes a hard hold of the bags that seem loaded with lead. The train starts squeaking. Now there’s no way back.
Once out at the bus stop, Emmy takes a strained breath to get the feeling to pass. The gray then still gets a little shade. But perhaps it is only the neon sign over the entrance to the tavern opposite that shimmers. She takes a new breath and puts her feet back in motion. The wheels from the large suitcase are strained when forced to cross over the cobblestone. The left shoulder is weighed down by her other overcrowded bag. But it feels stupid to call for a taxi because the road is still short.
She has rented a furnished floor in the middle of the city center. The pictures online seemed trusting. An nineteenth-century building that has retained the interior in a classic style and added state-of-the-art technology. She knows the neighborhood as well as the contents of her own purse. However, the house where the floor is located, she has never set foot. Just passed by with the insight; what a wonderful architecture. From then until now, lots of water has passed under the city’s bridges.
Dusk, which has lain like an upside-down rug over the city, slowly dissolves and passes into the night. Emmy hurries the ladder with a scurrying attacking fear in the back of his head. Soon she will soon be safe and sound in front of the magnificent oak gate. 3424 and the lock clicks. The gate creaks easily when she pulls it up. A sigh of lightening falls over her lips as it strikes and the light in the stairwell lights up. The day has passed as she had planned. Now she only has the rest of her days to defeat.
She drags the heavy suitcase up the stairs to the first floor. The elevator was, of course, out of order. No excitement, no wonder if the pictures online were truthful, as she stands outside what will become her crypt. After the emotion of getting off the train, she knows that the only reason she is here is the managerial post offered; a milestone in her career. Twenty-six years old and to top it all off woman, it will tart the preconceived sentence. Emmy knows what it’s like.
In a city where everyone knows almost everyone. It’s an excellent breeding ground for a grayed-out male world. VIP here is equal to male equals bald as paving the way for his son whose trip to the top gets short and so it always has been, sigh.
Emmy smiles reviled at the tour of her thoughts as she swings open the door to the floor. The impersonality strikes at her in the light of a frightening chandelier. It certainly wasn’t on any web screen. The shoulder bag thuds against the matt lacquered oak planks in the domestic cage. She still disturbs the chandelier, which spreads a faint orange glow as she makes her way into the living room. There, too, several changes must be made. Things that need to be cleaned up. Emmy crashes seconds later on the bed. Exhaustion causes sleep to quickly lull in.
The short story book “Bordertraveller stories” will be published within the coming months where this story is included.