She now spoke softly, shaking her weary head as if remembering slices of forgotten episodes from her past life. She was also now very subdued as she spoke in a minor tone of voice: “I was just a young woman from Sweden with a failed marriage behind me who just happened to fall in love and marry a famous German air force pilot. He is my darling Hermann who now is a popular elected politician as you know and will attempt to create a new vibrant Germany for the people. And of that, I’m convinced and have espoused this for a long time that he and others will succeed.” She paused and dabbed the tears from her sad eyes saying with a painful voice: “But it was dreadful for me Karen to see what was being performed in my dream – if that’s what you could call it – but why and who were these awful men? And why were they so cruel and heartless they really must have hated me? Yet I never knew any of them or had seen them before.” Then they suddenly vanished from that vault as quickly as when they arrived with only those macabre empty staring sockets of that damaged skull. “Now looking up at I suppose ME.”
“And to see yourself treated that way and to be mocked and reviled in that fashion was so terrible …..I….” Her words collapsed as Karen silenced those pleading utterances by placing a forefinger over her shaking lips: “It was just a dream dear nothing more, honestly” she said softly, hoping to reassure her. “We all suffer from them, we really do, just try to forget this one please.”
But of her own various dreams if and when she remembered them were always rather bland. And upon awakening, hers were never as detailed or vivid as Carin’s had experienced and suffered. And for that, she was always thankful!
She recalled that her father years before had authored a popular discussion paper for a German medical journal – now defunct – concerning emerging dreams and their possible relevance and consequences for the recipient. He had then cited amongst many others – after detailed research – Robert Louis Stevens and his creation of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ as well as Mary Shelly of ‘Frankenstein’ fame in the literary world. As well as Edgar Alan Poe and the ‘Raven,’ also referred to in his research were the Biblical dreams of the desperate dash of Joseph & Mary for safety to Egypt. And of course, Pilate’s concerned wife as mentioned in the New Testament.
The shocking graphic images that Carin had recently experienced herself on awakening, still clouded her sleepy eyes, causing Karin to offer her a clean handkerchief to repair her makeup.
Carin then composed herself, leaned forward and kissed her friend on the cheek saying: “Thank you for listening to me. I know it’s silly but it was so real.”
“So just let’s forget about it shall we?” She then changed the subject. “I heard you spoke to Hermann last night. Is he well?” she asked, hoping to move to another safer topic.
“He is as always fine and he will arrive tomorrow at lunchtime to take us all home and I can’t wait” she smiled reaching for her powder compact and some tissues.
Karen smiled also saying: “And I have a surprise for you seeing this is our last full day” she paused waiting for her friend’s reaction: “I have arranged that we might visit the beach tonight and hopefully try and listen if possible to those serenading fishermen we have heard so much about. So what do you think?” she asked with an enquiring smile.
“Wonderful, oh yes!” Carin breathed her eyes tightly closed in anticipation. “And to hear once again those sad songs of my youth that will probably make me cry you know?” She then reached out and gripped her friend’s hand and mouthed a silent thank you.
So it had previously all been orchestrated by Karen that they would spend the remainder of the morning saying their goodbyes to the other patients that both had surprisingly and happily made the acquaintance of. Then later after supper, she had arranged for one of the young hospital orderlies to push and manoeuvre a new wheelchair carefully down the path towards the deserted beach with both a Moroccan hospital orderly and the excited Gertrude following. Once there to assemble and await and be fortified by welcoming flasks of coffee and warm rolls. Then to pause and listen for those distinctive tones that they all hoped to hear from the songs of those fishermen pursuing and hoping for a rewarding nightly catch.
Karen hoped that her friend would not be too disappointed if there was a failure for those legendary serenading Swedish fishermen to make an early appearance.
The night was now hushed and the arriving moon was not obscured by the fleeing clouds. And a calm atmosphere had now arrived and descended onto the beach. Their evening tableau was now arranged and waiting for those expected players to begin their singing serenade from the sedate sea.
Previously the two women had used the afternoon to enjoy the comforts and delights in the invigorating new hydro pool and the Vichy bath treatment. Then they would later enjoy a refreshing massage and pamper themselves with a manicure and pedicure. Both declined the offered dangerous sunlamp treatment in the solarium. Both now exhausted, they finally rested after lunch. They then later embarked on that evening’s excursion to be enjoyed hopefully on that empty beach.
According to a personal memoir written to her dear friend Arabella by Karen, and sadly so soon after Carin Goring’s death, it concerned what she later recalled about that notable night’s nocturnal visit to that abandoned beach. And whilst the memories still lingered in Karen’s mind of what unfolded that momentous evening, so it seemed to make sense I thought that it would be included here and as recalled in her very own words written many years ago in Munich.
“Although it only happened six months ago, Arabella, the memory of that evening really does seem to me as if it occurred only yesterday. How strange a time and its meaning can be and how quickly it flees from our own daily lives never to return to reward or punish.”
To be continued…..
(C) Copyright G. Patrick Battell