First Steps (33)

Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope.

For Romanian click here.

A novel first published in Romanian (Eikon 2017), available in English (translated by Mihaela Alecu) on Amazon (click on the image).

Here you can read in on free, so don’t forget to Follow my blog to stay updated with all episodes.


After Aiman and Abdullah left, Ahad couldn’t find his place; he could not be satisfied by anyone and anything. The others weren’t sure if he would have preferred to be the chosen one, or if he was so agitated for other reasons. He wasn’t asking for any woman, his mind was always somewhere else. But this situation didn’t bring any improvement for the women: the other men were acting the same as before. Including Azade and Saadiya; they didn’t give a damn that they were so badly injured, they continued to have their way with them, day after day. And if Saadiya showed signs of improvement, the women were worried for Azade. She still wasn’t uttering one word, just moans, she was often feverish, and sometimes she wasn’t even moving. When those men were picking her up, it seemed that they were lifting a rock.

Many times, the women feared that they will lose her support. They didn’t even dare think what they would have done without Azade.


Amanda liked Zürich a lot, but when Ana took her to visit Luzern, on their way to the mountain, she really fell in love with the city.

“Don’t be mad,” she told Ana, “but you cannot stand against love at first sight!”

“I am not mad,” Ana convinced her. “I like Lucerne a lot, too, it’s a city that has everything. Including the walls of the old fortress, which we will visit later. But, first,” said Ana stopping in front of a stone sculpture, “Lion Memorial, a little surprise.”

“Wow,” cried Amanda. “This sculpture is so beautiful!”

She read out loud:

Helvetiorum fidei ad virtuti.”

Involuntarily she translated to German:

Der Treue und Tapferkeit der Schweizer.”

“Look, the poor lion,” said Ana, “is dying, he has an arrow imbedded in its flesh.”


“It represents a Swiss regiment in the service of the French Royal House who was so loyal to it that it was massacred during the Revolution. Look it says down there in Roman numbers: 760 died and only 350 survived.”

“Oh, these wars! They’ve made so many victims throughout history…”

“Anyway,” Ana tried to banish her sorrow, “the monument is great. But, this is not the surprise. That is nearby. Come on. I don’t think you’ve ever seen something like it!”

Ana took her to the site next to the Monument. Amanda couldn’t believe her eyes: a graphic representation presented Lucerne from when it was a subtropical Paradise land, twenty million years ago. That after only a short while back, Amanda could admire the tracks left there by the glaciers of the last Ice Age. And finally, the cherry on the top, the ninety mirrors of the „Alhambra” labyrinth, which entertained the girls enormously.

Then they visited as follows: the extraordinary wood building, Europe’s oldest covered bridge, Kapellbrücke; the picturesque old city with streets stiffed with buildings with painted facades, the old fortress with its still intact towers and defense walls.

“And as if all these wouldn’t be enough,” said Amanda overwhelmed, “these wonderful mountains are reflected in the lake’s water. This almost pisses me off! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen something more beautiful in my life!”

“How about Brașov?”

“I think it’s found its match,” said Amanda.

She didn’t want, by no means, to give up.

“Alright,” said Ana. “One last try. If not even where I’ll take you now will convince you, then I am willing to accept defeat.”

From Lucerne to Grindelwald, the ride took them one and a half hour more. Amanda liked the road, and her love four mountains made her heart rush. Ana left the car in a parking place near the railway station. From there the two friends went by train.

After they covered the last segment of the rod, from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch, stopping in different strategic points of the mountain, when she saw the train go up to the mountain’s peak, when she read that she was in the highest railway station in Europe, 3454 meters high, when on that of that she took the elevator to Sphinx Hall, and then went outside, to the cold mountain wind and snow winked at her from the glacier on the peaks around her, Amanda surrendered. She hugged Ana and she told her:

“I am speechless! You’ve done some sort of magic, I don’t know how you did it, but you did it. You are a true witch, and I am completely under your spell. I surrender. From this day forth, I will agree to anything you say!”

“Ha,” Ana laughed. “I’m so glad! I didn’t think I would live to see the day when Amanda would recognize defeat! Thank you Jungfraujoch, thank you Switzerland!”


Abdullah and his companion’s capture was less spectacular than one is used to from the movies. The German and American secret services worked side by side, a difficult and invisible job, and they were able to unravel the entangled threads of Hans and Abdullah’s passage to the European area together with that of numerous refugees in Siria. The fact that they kept Hans under surveillance 24/7 confirmed their fears: the two were coming to plot an attack. Initially they thought it was going to be in Munich, but then they realized that they targets were in Berlin.

They were taken to Ramstein Base. Abdullah has not said a word. On the other hand, the other prisoner, after many days of intense interrogations, spoke. Hans did it only when they passed from threats to promises. The investigators were surprised to realize how simple their plan was, and how much damage they would have produced if they wouldn’t have been caught in time. They wouldn’t have used bombs or weapons that would have been easily detected. They had secured jobs as bus drivers, in a passenger transport company. They would have behaved exemplary for a few months, and on the National Day of Germany, while transporting tourists to the festivities, instead of stopping, they would have speed up and crashed into the crowd, causing havoc. The damage would have been even higher than that of conventional attacks and panic would have caused people to trample. So the results could have been disastrous.


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Published by dorin

Full time husband and father; full time writer; full time artist (#fineartphotography). And in the free time, I like to travel, to read and to learn new stuff.

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