Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Goldie Alexander: An extract from Changing History?


The extract above is from Changing History? (published by www.fivesenseseducation.com.au) one of Goldie Alexander’s Shakespeare Now trilogies-  a time-warp set in the present and in Berlin 1928, and loosely based on Romeo and Juliet.

Berlin, 1928.
She wakes to smell! An overpowering reek of wet wool, stale perfume, old sweat, beer, tobacco, and spicy sausage.
            She recalls tripping… bumping against a wall… something falling … a red-hot explosion of pain… 
            Then?
             Nothing.
             The back of her head is about to fall off.
             She reaches up to feel a lump the size of a pigeon egg.
              Someone has glued her eyelids together. It takes a huge effort, but she finally manages to prise them apart.
             For a long moment, the world stands still.
             All that come out of her mouth is a soundless ‘Aghh…’
             She can’t believe what her eyes are showing her.
             Strangers! Total strangers are looking down at her: a white-faced clown with huge red lips; an old woman, her wrinkles covered in thick makeup; a coarse, featured man with flyaway wisps of hair; a boy… no, that face is too old to be a child…
             She closes her eyes. This is just a dream. She’s had bad dreams before, woken with a shout loud enough to bring her mother rushing into her room. But nothing, nothing ever like this.
              A man pushes his way through the crowd. He kneels over her, frowns, and asks in German, ‘Wie fühlen sie sich?’
             She finally realises that he is asking how she feels?  But how do you answer a nightmare? ‘Okay,’ she murmurs through cracked lips, though this is far from the truth.
             The man’s face clears. ‘Ah, American… Yankee.’
             Taylor shakes her head and discovers that any movement, no matter how slight, worsens the pain. ‘No…Australian.’

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