Berlin Pastoral

This is the story of Uschi, Susi and Tom who live peacefully on a balcony in Berlin. When a baby comes along, their idyllic relationship in a very small space is threatened but using cunning and creativity, they make do. First published by Fatboy Review now re-issued for this mobile format. I'm working on a German translation to be published here, too. This story will only be online for a while as a teaser for the publication of my collection of short stories by MadHat Press |


5. Terrorist Barbie

When Susi comes home, tanned and terribly fit, Uschi gives her a new Barbie for her collection of dolls: it’s called „Terrorist Barbie“ and holds a pair of hand grenades, beautifully detailed. Ammo covers every square inch of her small, shapely body, and her smile is crooked. Susi is touched. She instantly loves Terrorist Barbie. She takes a picture of the doll for her blog, which now has 10,000 visitors daily.


Susi, who gets a lot of work, publishes the names of her victims before the hit. Afterwards, she posts scattered remarks about the often poetic circumstances of their deaths. Still, nobody seems to notice. Tom doesn’t understand it. Susi can’t explain either why the readers are so desensitized and why the agency that employs her doesn’t seem to care.

She keeps killing and writing and killing some more, and the cheques come pouring in. Most of the blood money goes into a Swiss bank account, whose number she has sprayed on a wall among other graffiti, since she fears she might forget it. Berliners often use the empty walls of the city as post-it substitutes or to send each other obscure messages.

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