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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    Lingonberries part seven

    Would you please correct the mistakes in the seventh part of my short story?

    I kept a stiff upper lip for about a year, and then I didn’t have the heart to see my family suffering because of me. My wife and I agreed to a divorce. I left her and daughters the house and moved to Stockholm. I got a job as a caretaker in a primary school, where I repaired broken tables and chairs, changed light bulbs, replaced broken windows and leaky taps, and unblocked toilets. I found a cheap flat in a working-class suburb. It was ugly, with grey concrete blocks of flats as far as eyes could see, but it was away from woods. I felt safe, although I frequently had pangs of nostalgia. A part of me was yearning for the quietness of woodland and scents of pines, firs and flowers, but another part was shivering with fear.

    Soon I married again. My wife grew up on the coast and was not interested in woods. Instead, she liked boats and cruising at sea. She proposed we make a voyage in Norwegian Fjords on a cruise ship. At that time, the newspapers were full of articles about the Russian submarines making intrusions into the Swedish waters, and even coming as close as the Stockholm archipelago. The thought of being on a ship of any kind, while the Swedish military was searching for the Russians, made me dizzy and caused my body to tremble. I could not control my thoughts, which raced through my mind like runaway horses. They could accuse me of spying for the Russians, or giving them useful information, which would give their submarines a chance to penetrate even deeper into our territory. They could accuse me of being a saboteur or an agent ordered to kill a high-ranking officer. I knew I would not survive another round of interrogation. I would rather commit suicide.

    I really wished to visit the beautiful Norwegian Fjords and have a great time with my wife, but my fear was stronger than I was. I told her I had always suffered from seasickness. She stroked my hair, gave me a smile, and told me we could travel somewhere else. So we went to Turkey on a package holiday. And in the subsequent years we went to Italy, Spain and France on similar trips. Whenever my wife mentioned a country from the Eastern Block, I found a reason not to travel there. Even when the Communism collapsed, I still was unwilling to visit former Eastern Block countries for fear of what was going to happen when we came back. She never argued with me about our holidays or tried to change my mind. She must have believed that my aversion to Communism was so strong that a trip there would have felt like a punishment.
    I lived a quiet life, working and paying my taxes, and avoiding conflicts of any kind. Occasionally, if I saw a soldier or an officer walking towards me in the street, I would start shaking just as you had seen me today, unable to walk on. If I saw American tourists or heard their garrulous voices, I would cross to the other side of the street and disappear in the crowd. For me they were not harmless holidaymakers but agents with the order to follow me and report to their superior about my behaviour and movements.

    Once I went to a health centre, looking for help for my painful knees. I paid the fee at the reception and looked at the bill. When I saw the name Dr Smith, my eyes widened. I asked the cashier where the doctor came from. “Oh,” she said cheerfully. “She is our new doctor, from the US, but he speaks Swedish fluently. He is very kind; everyone likes him. Please, take a seat. He’ll be here in a minute.”
    I slumped into an armchair, lost for words. My heart started racing wildly; my hands shook. I felt embarrassed and looked around the waiting room, but none of the patients gave me any attention. I tried to calm myself. The doctor must have been a young man who had met a beautiful Swedish student during her study in the US. He had fallen in love, and because of her decided to leave everything behind and move to Sweden. He was working hard to prove himself in a new country, to show his love how strong his feelings were. But only one part of my mind wanted to listen to these words. Another part warned me of the American speaking Swedish with an accent. It told me to run away before it was too late.

    I forced my eyes to look in front of me, but they were eyeing the exit. I fought the fear with all my inner strength, but with every passing second, my defeat was coming closer. I wanted to scream to release the pressure, but my jaws were clumped shut. I got up, pretending to go to the toilet and then turned to the left to the hall with the lifts and the staircase. The panic spread through me and gave me enormous strength. I ran down the stairs, two at a time, overtaking everyone. When I finally came outside, I stood still, catching my breath. The pain in my legs was excruciating, but I felt intense relief, as if I had escaped from the claws of a ferocious beast.

    When Sune finished his story, the pitch-black autumn darkness had set in outside. I had to hurry to visit more clients that evening, and we said goodbye to each other. I left his flat with the knot in my stomach, the similar feeling I’d had when the war broke out in my homeland. I was cold and thirsty, and got quickly into my car and drove off. The road wound through the woods, and I had a creepy sensation that someone was observing me. The night was quiet; the opaque darkness disturbed only by the headlights of my car. They caught a hare and it started to run, zigzagging through undergrowth until I passed it by. I glanced at my Vostok glowing in the darkness, thinking about my Russian girlfriend Tatiana, who had bought it as a present to me. How odd Sune’s story sounded to me now, after I had recently returned from my travel to Moscow, where Tatiana and I had such a good time together. We laughed talking about the fear of Russia the Swedish government had been spreading for decades. A short time ago, they have even re-introduced military service to bolster the country’s defence because of the alleged threat from the mighty Russian bear.
    “I really don’t understand their logic,” Tatiana said. “What are we supposed to do with Swedish woods, lakes and rivers when we have plenty of them in our country?”

    In the night, I had a strange dream. I was driving through the dense, dark woods when a group of soldiers appeared on the road aiming their rifles at me. I pulled over and was ordered by an officer to get out. He shone a torch into my face asking, “Hamid Hadzic, what did you do in Russia recently?” He was speaking Swedish with an accent.
    Shaking and stammering, I replied, “I have a girlfriend, Tatiana, in Moscow.”
    “So the name of your contact is, Tatiana?” he said, shoving the torch into my eyes so that they hurt. Then he saw my Vostok and yelled, “Take off that watch, we have to check it out properly. Russians are known for using watches as spy tools.”

    As I was unwilling to give it to him, he grabbed me by the arm to take off the watch himself, but I bit him in his strong arm so savagely that I felt his bone crushing under my teeth. He screamed wildly, and I used the opportunity to run. I raced through the undergrowth, and when soldiers started shooting, I zigzagged to avoid the bullets, just as the hare did in front of my car the previous evening. I woke up sweaty and without a breath.
    My mobile phone rang, and it was Sune. He wanted to know if I slept well. I told him I had an awful nightmare. I started to recount what happened in my dream, but he broke in and asked, “Did you give him the watch?”
    “No”, I said. “I bet him in the arm.”
    “Well done, boy! Don’t you ever give him your Vostok.”
    “But how do you know what the officer wanted when I still didn’t tell you about that part?”
    “Oh, I know well, boy. He’s coming to me every night since that incident in the woods and demands my watch. We fight hard every time, but I always come on top.”
    THE END

  2. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
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      • Iraq
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    • Join Date: Feb 2015
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    #2

    Re: Lingonberries part seven

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I kept a stiff upper stayed tight-lipped for about a year, and but then I didn’t have the heart to see my family continue suffering because of me. My wife and I agreed to divorce. I left the house to her and my daughters the house and moved to Stockholm. I got a job as a caretaker in a primary school, where I repaired broken tables and chairs, changed light bulbs, replaced broken windows and leaky taps, and unblocked toilets. I found a cheap flat in a working-class suburb. It was ugly, with grey concrete blocks of flats as far as the eye could see, but it was away from any woods. I felt safe, although I frequently had pangs of nostalgia for my old life. A part of me was yearning for the quietness of woodlands and the scents of pines, firs and flowers, but another part was would shiver ing with fear.

    Soon, I married again. My second wife grew up on the coast and was not interested in the woods. Instead, she liked boats and cruising at sea. She proposed we make a voyage in Norwegian Fjords on a cruise ship. At that time, the newspapers were full of articles about the Russian submarines making incursions (or intruding) intrusions into the Swedish waters, and even coming as close as the Stockholm archipelago. The thought of being on a ship of any kind, while the Swedish military was searching for the Russians made me dizzy and caused my body to tremble. I could not control my thoughts, which raced through my mind like runaway horses. They could accuse me of spying for the Russians, or giving them useful information, which would give their submarines a chance to penetrate even deeper into our territory. They could accuse me of being a saboteur or an agent ordered to kill a high-ranking officer. I knew I would not survive another round of interrogation. I would rather commit suicide.

    I really wished to visit the beautiful Norwegian Fjords and have a great time with my wife, but my fear was stronger than I was. I told her I had always suffered from seasickness. She stroked my hair, gave me a smile, and told me we could travel somewhere else. So we went to Turkey on a package holiday. And in the subsequent years, we went to Italy, Spain and France on similar trips. Whenever my wife mentioned a country from the Eastern Bloc, I found a reason not to travel there. Even when the Communism collapsed, I still was unwilling to visit former Eastern Bloc countries for fear of what was going to might happen when we came back. She never argued with me about our holidays or tried to change my mind. She must have believed that my aversion to Communism was so strong that a trip there would have felt like a punishment.

    I lived a quiet life, working and paying my taxes, and avoiding conflicts trouble of any kind. Occasionally, if I saw a soldier or an officer walking towards me in the street, I would start shaking just as you had seen me today, unable to walk on. If I saw American tourists or heard their garrulous voices, I would cross to the other side of the street and disappear in the crowd. For me, they were not harmless holidaymakers but agents with the orders to follow me and report to their superiors about my behaviour conduct and movements.

    Once I went to a health centre, looking to get some relief for help for my painful the pain in my knees. I paid the fee at the reception and looked at the bill. When I saw the name Dr Smith, my eyes widened. I asked the cashier where the doctor came from. “Oh,” she said cheerfully. “She is our new doctor, from the US, but he speaks Swedish fluently. He is very kind; everyone likes him. Please, take a seat. He’ll be here in a minute.”

    I slumped into an armchair, lost for words. My heart started racing wildly; my hands shook. I felt embarrassed and looked around the waiting room, but none of the patients gave paid me any attention. I tried to calm myself. The doctor must have been a young man who had met a beautiful Swedish student during her study in the US. He had fallen in love, and because of her decided to leave everything behind and move to Sweden. He was working hard to prove himself in a new country, to show his love wife how strong his feelings were. But only one part of my mind wanted to listen to such a scenario. these words. Another part warned me of the American speaking Swedish with an accent. It told me to run away before it was too late.

    I forced my eyes to look in front of me, but they were eyeing squarely focused on the exit. I fought the fear with all my inner strength, but with every passing second, my defeat was coming closer. I wanted to scream to release the pressure, but my jaws were clumped shut. I got up, pretending to go to the toilet and then turned to the left to the hall with the lifts and the staircase. The panic spread through me and gave me enormous impetus. strength. I ran down the stairs, two at a time, overtaking everyone. When I finally came went outside, I stood still, catching my breath. The pain in my legs was excruciating, but I felt intense relief, as if I had escaped from the claws of a ferocious beast.

    When Sune finished his story, the pitch-black autumn darkness had set in outside. I had to hurry to visit more clients that evening, and we said goodbye to each other. I left his flat with the a knot in my stomach, the a similar feeling to how I’d had felt when the war broke out in my homeland. I was cold and thirsty, and got quickly into my car and drove off. The road wound through the woods, and I had a creepy sensation that someone was observing me. The night was quiet; the opaque darkness disturbed only by the headlights of my car. They caught a hare and it started to run, zigzagging through undergrowth until I passed it by. I glanced at my Vostok glowing in the darkness, thinking about my Russian girlfriend Tatiana, who had bought it as a present to for me. How odd Sune’s story sounded to me now, after I had recently returned from my travel to Moscow, where Tatiana and I had such a good time together. We laughed talking about the fear of Russia the Swedish government had been spreading for decades. A short time ago, They had have even recently re-introduced military service to bolster the country’s defence because of the alleged threat from the mighty Russian bear.
    “I really don’t understand their logic,” Tatiana said. “What are we supposed to do with Swedish woods, lakes and rivers when we have plenty of them in our country?”

    In the night, I had a strange dream. I was driving through the dense, dark woods when a group of soldiers appeared on the road aiming their rifles at me. I pulled over and was ordered by an officer to get out. He shone a torch into my face asking, “Hamid Hadzic, what did you do were you doing in Russia recently?” He was speaking Swedish with an accent.
    Shaking and stammering, I replied, “I have a girlfriend, Tatiana, in Moscow.”
    “So the name of your contact is, Tatiana?” he said, shoving the torch into my eyes so that they hurt. Then he saw my Vostok and yelled, “Take off that watch. We have to check it out properly. Russians are known for using watches as spy tools.”

    As I was unwilling to give it to him, he grabbed me by the arm to take off the watch himself, but I bit him in his strong arm so savagely that I felt his bone crushing under between my teeth. He screamed wildly, and I used the opportunity to run. I raced through the undergrowth, and when the soldiers started shooting, I zigzagged to avoid the bullets, just as the hare did in front of my car the previous evening. I woke up sweaty and without a out of breath.
    My mobile phone rang, and it was Sune. He wanted to know if I'd slept well. I told him I had an awful nightmare. I started to recount what happened I saw in my dream, but he broke in and asked, “Did you give him the watch?”
    “No”, I said. “I bet him in the arm.”
    “Well done, boy! Don’t you ever give him your Vostok.”
    “But how do you know what the officer wanted when I still didn’t tell you about that part?”
    “Oh, I know well, boy. He’s coming to me every night since that incident in the woods and demanding to take my watch. We fight hard every time, but I always come out on top.”
    THE END
    .

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Lingonberries part seven

    Say:

    My wife and I agreed to a divorce.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Lingonberries part seven

    Say:

    I really wanted to visit the Norwegian fjords and have and have a great time with my wife.

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