Big, sudden events edge themselves visually and geographically into your memory, especially if they involve terrible emotions. You always remember where you were and what you did when you first learned about them.

I was in the entrance area of our family home when one evening a phone call informed me that my mom had had a car accident and was in the ICU.

Years later as a student, I was in my dormitory in the kitchen when she called me to tell me that her husband had suddenly left her.

I was in Japan with my boyfriend, watching TV, when the twin towers fell.

I was in a train from Paris to Germany with my small son when the BBC sent an alert to my phone: “Shooting in central Paris”, followed by a night of horrendous news, unfolding the terrorist attack of November 2015.

Why do we always remember the exact location where we had been? Like being frozen in time. A snapshot. *This* is where I was at that exact moment.

Even as it happens, we immediately recognise the magnitude and it’s as if we take a picture of ourselves in a moment of history.

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

Was für mich Glück ist

Sonntagmorgen 9 Uhr 30
Meine Katze leckt mir sanft
Den Schlafsand aus den Augen

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard


Hast du manchmal auch das Gefühl, dass die eigentliche Geschichte genau in dem Moment anfängt, an dem der Film zu Ende ist?

Zwei Schwestern aus der DDR machen im Sommer ’89 Urlaub in einem Pionierlager am Balaton, und eine verliebt sich in einen Jungen aus Westdeutschland. Sie flüchtet mit ihm über die grüne Grenze nach Westdeutschland, während ihre Schwester zurückbleibt.

Mit der geglückten Flucht endet der Film.

Dabei fängt es doch da gerade erst an, spannend zu werden. Was passiert mit der zurückgebliebenen Schwester und der Familie in der DDR (der Staat praktizierte in solchen Fällen sogenannte „Sippenhaft“)?

Was macht die Entscheidung der einen – zu flüchten – und die Entscheidung der anderen – zu bleiben – mit der Beziehung der beiden Schwestern zueinander?

Und was passiert mit dieser Geschichte, als nur ein Jahr später die Mauer fällt?

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

The Trap (Part 4)

Now that he was hooked, she had to proceed carefully. 

“There is one catch though”, she continued, “you have to follow a dress code. Jeans and t-shirt won’t do.” 

He examined her face, looking for clues if this was true. 

“Come on, it’s a fetish club! We go to your place and I wait outside while you change quickly.”

“No, you come with me while I change.”

“Hell, no! I wait outside.”

Would he buy it?

When they reached his apartment, he went inside, turning around a few times to see whether she was still there, then disappeared.

She counted to ten. Then fifteen. Then turned around and ran. Didn’t stop for half an hour, running and turning corners, not looking behind her, now feeling the panic and anger that she had successfully suppressed all evening. It was over.

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

139 words, writing: 10 minutes, editing: 2 minutes

The Trap (Part 3)

She would take him to this kinky techno club. Because – as “laissez-faire” as it might appear to outsiders – this was actually one of the few places where she knew she would find help.

“I think you like a thrill”, she began, “and I know just the place. There is this kinky club, you know it? I can get you in. They don’t accept single men, but if you want, I’m your ticket for tonight.”

He was immediately hooked.

(to be continued)

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard
Writing: 5:30 minutes, editing: 5 minutes

The Trap (Part 2)

“You know”, he said, while also slowly sitting down, “today is my birthday….”

“Oh, how wonderful! Let’s celebrate that. We go somewhere for a glass of champagne.”  

“But… we just got here. I want to celebrate here with you.”

“No”, she insisted, “first we must go out. I want to drink with you, somewhere in a bar. We come back here afterwards, I promise! Just half an hour. Come on, don’t be cheap.” She tried her best smile.

A short silence, then he took a breath and agreed. But nothing was over yet. Sitting at the bar, he looked at her: “Congratulations, you managed to get out of my apartment. But what now, little flower?”

She looked around. People were chatting, drinking, and laughing together. Would anybody believe her, if she asked for help?

That’s when genius stroke her. She knew where to take him to find safety.

(To be continued)

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

words: 154, writing and editing intermingled: 15 minutes

The Trap (1)

She knew she had made a mistake as soon as she entered the apartment and he locked the door behind her with a key. This was not a normal visit of an apartment available for rent. Staring at the key in the door lock, her mind was spinning. I need to get out of this apartment, was all she could think. “Sit down”, the guy said with a smile on his face. She sat on the big bed that was dominating the room. The bedspread had a leopard skin pattern. I have to stay calm. Not show my panic. Think.
(To be continued)

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard
101 words, writing: 3.5 minutes, editing: 8 minutes