Daily Archives: March 23, 2008

a garden with purple tulips

purple tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

purple tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

from THE CASTAWAYS

Chapter One

That Tuesday evening just seven days before he conceived the idea for the crime, Sami Baran, a political refugee who had lived for the past five years in Stockholm, was driving along an icy road that turned and twisted through the dusky forest. The beeches, pines and fir trees that shot skyward along either side of the narrow icy road were flashing past the windows of his old Volvo when it suddenly spun to a halt. The car was nearly ready for the junkyard; its once shiny navy blue finish, marred by patches of various hues, had faded to a dull cobalt. Having purchased it as a used car, Sami may have been—who knows—its eighth or even its tenth owner. The vehicle had been through quite a bit; it had suffered considerably from the long northern winters and was caked with rust from the salt continuously dumped onto the roads. By no means, however, was it a poor bargain for a refugee without a decent job, living off welfare from the Office of Political Asylum and Immigration and the 40 kronas per hour he occasionally made by driving a vehicle for the Department of Sanitation. The car provided a great escape for Sami. He never used it in the city because of the exorbitant price of parking, but it was perfect for driving headlong through the forests and lake-spotted countryside whenever that old chronic anxiety began to nibble at his insides. There were times he felt great pressure on his heart. As if squeezed into a lump that would then roll slowly upward as far as his throat, it left him scarcely able to breathe. Inwardly, he was collapsing. He would be on the point of exploding; there was a volcano about to erupt from his chest. With the onset of such an attack he knew of no other escape but to jump into his old Volvo and flee from the city as quickly as possible onto those deserted roads where he could press down hard on the gas pedal. At such moments he sensed an unbelievable relief in the spinning and sliding of his Volvo on the ice. Then whole streams of thought would spew from his lips. Continue reading