The Stray

By Elizabeth, BE
China Unlimited Europe 2015Am I dead? I feel nothing. I taste nothing. I only see.

Oh God, I can’t hear. Why is everything so quiet? The silence dents my brain. It oozes out into the spaceless void that are my immediate surroundings. I feel terrified.

Why am I here? If I don’t think, don’t remember, this terror will consume me. Before this I think I had a life. A normal life, the kind with friends, family, a job, a dog? I seem to recall something along those lines. But they are blurry at best. I focus back into now.

The planet earth, the blue globe is stretching out before me. I do not remember how I got here. It all looks like a picture from some space magazine: ’12 billion years into the future!’ or ‘What are black holes made of?’. The semblance is uncanny. It’s odd that I remember such details but forgot how my own life used to be like.

I think I loved my dog. I just remembered something furry, happy and fast. But what was its breed, the color of its fur? Only general feelings remain. The surge of affection I feel eases my mind. The terror is still there but on a second plane. I am relieved.

Curiosity takes over. Hanging in space, with nothing that resembles a body, only a flurry of emotions as my guide, I look around. Stars, moon, sun, all of them are where they’re supposed to be. Still the earth captures my interest more. Suddenly I can feel myself moving, closer to earth, closer still. I can’t stop! I enter the orbit, so fast. Everything flashes by in an instant. I see less than half of the globe now. Knowledge comes gradually, in large chunks and sharp bits of glass that pierce my head at odd intervals. There’s Africa and Europe, and the ocean. I think I like the ocean best. It soothes my mind. The insight pangs ease up a bit. I realize that I don’t know much about the ocean. This suits me just fine. I gently drift above it relaxing in my ignorance. I see waves, dolphins, airplanes. I don’t even have to focus. I see people now. My head flicks through them like channels on a remote controller. Zip, zip, zip. A girl skipping ropes in a playground, laughing. A tiger roars in a zoo. Couples dancing in the street. Somebody is roasting beetles. A stocky dog wags its tail. I stop. This isn’t my dog but I am curious nonetheless. A boy calls out and the dog patters towards him. They leave together. I try to flick away again but something holds me back. I follow the boy.

The air is thick here, tense with people and emotions hidden under the surface, always just on the brink of eruption. The streets are bursting with activity. Signs are written in a foreign language. Another stab and I recognize it as Chinese. The boy moves effortlessly through the crowd, the dog never far behind. He enters a brightly lit shop. The dog stays outside waiting patiently. I look around. The people here are different. Loud but friendly they go along their business, serious eyes set deep into their faces, crinkling smiles at friends, impassive towards strangers.

The boy leaves the shop carrying a small parcel. He moves into a quieter bit of town. Up ahead there is something blocking his passageway. A shadow moves from behind a trashcan. It growls. A stray, his survival depends on what he can scavenge for the day. The boy takes a step back. His dog, almost half the size of the beast, bursts out from behind him. All fangs and guttural noises. I cringe, waiting for the end that is bound to come. But the large dog whimpers suddenly, the tail between its legs it slinks back into the shadow. I look closely at the champion. His head held high, fur bristling in excitement, a sense of righteousness in its canine eyes. That is what scared the stray away, not overwhelming force but sheer willpower to protect his master against all odds. I smile.

I had forgotten about the boy. Now he takes a step closer. Takes out something from his package. It’s a piece of meat. He throws it towards the skulking stray, then the boy and the dog leave side by side.

I relax, realizing that I had been tense this whole time. I know now why I lingered. Everything fades away.

***

‘He’s waking up’ Someone whispers.

I moan. Try to sit up but don’t even manage to lift a finger. A shadow bends above me. It mutters something along the lines that I had a terrible accident, but now everything is going to be ok. I do not remember anything.

I mutter something under my breath.

‘What did he say?’ Another voice asks anxiously. Silence, then the first one answers incredulously: ‘I think, I think he said he wants to go to China!’

I smile and drift off.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

A new European banking space is born this year

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Can the US deal a blow to EU and Russia together over Ukraine?

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

The German banks first to profit from public subsidies of trillions

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Removing sweets from supermarket checkouts could help fight obesity

EU budget: Commission proposes to increase funding to support the environment and climate action

EU-China relations under investigation?

UN Security Council urged to act against ‘worst-case scenario’ Syria’s war-battered Idlib

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

The JADE Spring Conference 2017 is casting its shadows before

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

Feeding families remains complex task in war-torn Syria – UN relief agency

FROM THE FIELD: How the smell of fresh bread transformed one refugee life

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

High-technology manufacturing saves the EU industry

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

Is deflation a real danger for Eurozone?

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

EU budget: the Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2020

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

Finally an answer to the hottest question of European youth today: How to make sure Juncker’s Investment Plan works for youth

UN gender agency hails record-breaking number of women in new US Congress as ‘historic victory’

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

Parliament compromises on Banking Union but sends market abusers to jail

The succesful cooperation

Polish PM chooses to focus on economy, amid questions on rule of law in Poland

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Sustainability, peace, security ‘best guarantee against instability’ Guterres to Security Council

What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

EU should promote immigration as a humanitarian issue in order to provide a more permanent solution

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

Drowning in the Mediterranean this summer? Many happy returns

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Women’s rights in Asia – how far have we come?

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

MEPs propose more transparent legislative drafting and use of allowances

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

European Union: From financial consolidation to deeper political division

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s