It was glorious. Everything had gone according to plan. The years of preparation, organizing, feeding false information, and putting money into the pockets of key officials had finally paid off. It felt like the graduation I would never have. We celebrated with home-made champagne, we danced, we hugged, and we toasted a new and brighter beginning.
But they came and went, and then others appeared. After the Principal General was out of the picture, small groups of officials disputed their power. Different parties were created, all wanting a piece of the pie. From our side, some went into exile, fearing the consequences, some decided to stay and fought for stability, and some just wanted to incite fear again and abuse their newly gained power. With the military gone, it was mayhem. The law was still there, but no one enforced it. And this time, they didn’t even need to pretend.
The organization quickly dissolved as I stayed there waiting. After insisting on seeing my parents, I was told they had died the year before, but I had not been informed because that would make me lose my motivation.
I had less than before. Hope for something that would never come was all I had. The people whom I thought were friends just went on with their own, sadistic ways shortly after the celebration. I was just the tool they needed to roam freely, bullying and abusing the power of not having anything to fear and nothing to lose.
What I had become, was nauseating. I hated how easily I had been manipulated and that I had let myself believe there were still good people out there. I had considered them all a family, or the closest thing to that since my parents had been taken away. I was angry and hurt. And I was on the run.
The few officials who were devoted to the Principal began an investigation. They figured that exemplary measures with any person involved in the assassination would return them to power.
After a few months of being back on the streets, I decided I needed to end it. I didn’t hear from James, Mica or Isa again. They might have been dead for all I knew. I contacted one of the officials I had met while visiting government premises a few weeks before the crime took place. I knew he was loyal to the General and he would do everything in his power to make the perpetrators pay for their crime.
I slowly devised a plan where I was only an accessory who had joined the organization for survival but had never known what the ultimate goal was. I provided the location of the headquarters, the descriptions of the members, their false names, and everything I could think that wouldn´t directly incriminate me. I had been taught how to deceive, after all. I got my immunity. I got my safe passage and I started a new life, in a different place. Away from everything – the misery, the anger and the guilt.
Years later, I became pregnant with my little girl. I met this wonderful man and got married at a small chapel. He was kind and funny. And he never asked too many questions. I was thrilled! This was my chance to really start over, to genuinely do something pure and good!
I had gone so many years without thinking back, without asking me what had happened to them after I left, that it seemed it was someone else´s story.
Until the backpack arrived.
I opened the bag left at the doorstep and tears started rolling down my cheeks. I was shaking. It couldn’t be, could it? There was no sender, no postage stamp.
I searched the insides and found my belongings I had forgotten so long ago, and a note.
“We didn’t forget.”
I lived the next months in fear, thinking something terrible would happen; that I would turn around the corner and they would be there, older, but with the same sadistic look on their faces.
However, nothing happened. A few years went by and I let myself believe it had been a nasty joke. My kid was beautiful and smart. She was funny and witty, with such weird ideas, and seemed much wiser than her age. Even alone, she was constantly talking and playing like she was surrounded by a million friends!
On a warm Sunday at noon, I was setting the table in the yard to have lunch on one of the remaining warm days of the season when I suddenly screamed. “There´s a dead frog on the table!” My precious little girl turned around and started laughing. While trying to keep my composure, I asked her “Honey, do you know anything about this?” – She gave me a hurt look and, nearly crying, said, “It´s a gift! They said you would like it.” I couldn’t avoid the look of disgust. Calmly, I asked her once more, “Who said that, sweety?” I swear her eyes became darker as she replied, “My friends… Isa, Mica, and a boy named James.”
The pitcher fell out of my hands.
I knew they were back. Forget they would not.
I chose a happy life. I chose a future and oblivion. And I paid for it dearly.
2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation
January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)
March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)
July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)
August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)
October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
December: I Can’t Breathe – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)
Background – Context
In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay – Old town – Atosan (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed