By Luisa Lang Owen
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Extra info for Casualty of War: A Childhood Remembered (Eastern European Studies, 18)
The bleakness of the place, the deceptive questioning, the spectral appearance of the man with the gilded grin, his ghoulish grimace, fill me with revulsion, loathing. I don’t know where to direct my rage; I notice that I am digging my fingers into the palm of my left hand. My gaze runs amuck; I look around as if I had to swallow all, and then—I don’t believe my eyes— I see the sunken house, the cellar, the place of punishment. It, like the abandoned buildings around us, has kept its earthen tone; turned to stone!
I am going home! My cousin Johann and his wife Lisel are waiting for me in Triest. We will spend some time in Porto Roz=; they have rented a place with a view of the ocean. And the streets of Triest already remind me of home. The sun-warmed air chants the scented breath of that beloved piece of earth. Home. Outdoor cafés boast familiar food—burek (a salted pastry). We inhale it to the afternoon-sun’s welcoming. It is evening when we arrive at the house on Introduction 5 the hill in Porto Roz=. The boys, Michael and Alexander, have just come back from the beach.
Pristine white walls look down to the blue. The light at play with sea and sky delights; the scented air invigorates. “It’s a beautiful spot, Johann; we must come here often,” I inhale a sigh taking in the view. “The owners of the house have invited us this evening. We must tell them that we are leaving for the weekend, leaving the boys,” Johann says, showing his usual concern. The boys are sixteen and fourteen and eager for us to leave. With the house built into the hill, the owners living above and our rooms hugging the hill below, our paths never cross.
Casualty of War: A Childhood Remembered (Eastern European Studies, 18) by Luisa Lang Owen