A Walk in the Park

Junge Karate

Luke didn’t have to go trough Kleiner Tiergarten – and he shouldn’t, really. Especially not when it was dark already. To be honest, his mother would have been furious had she known.

But today was a special day. Today was the beginning of his new life. When he would return home tonight, he would be a martial arts student. Of course Luke had made sure his mom didn’t know what he was really doing. He hadn’t told her about his plan to start karate, nor about his intention to walk alone through Berlin’s most dangerous park after sundown. He had told her he would stay at a friend’s house tonight, studying for an exam. Luke’s mother hadn’t even asked which friend. She trusted him. She hadn’t asked which exam either. She was used to Luke studying all the time since he had started senior high school. She had just kissed him on the cheek and said “Be back by 10, Sweetie.“

Luke took the subway from Zehlendorf to Moabit and got off the U9 two stations early just to walk trough Kleiner Tiergarten.

The park was empty by now. Mostly empty. Of course Luke knew what kind of people were roaming the park as soon as night set in. He clenched his fist tightly around his knucks.

He had ordered them online and never even carried them outside the house until now. The metal was warm and felt comforting. Luke had brought them just in case. Playing chicken with yourself didn’t have to mean you had to be downright stupid. He walked the dimly lit main path, shoulders straight, with an assertive step. He needed to man up and in his opinion was just the way to do it. A real man mustn’t be afraid of anything. Not of walking trough a shady park at night. Not of getting into a fist fight with strangers. Not even of getting into a fist fight with one’s own father. That’s when he saw them standing next to a bench. The tips of their Bob Marley’s smoldering, listening to some noise out of a loudspeaker that turned out to be Bushido. They were talking loudly, almost shouting at each other, swaying from side to side. For a moment Luke thought they might be dancing. But the closer he got, the more clear it was: The men were not only stoned but drunk, too. Luke forced himself to approach them without hastening his step, inside his pocket the knuckles of his fists had turned white. Luke made an effort to look as if he wasn’t afraid. His stomach, however, wasn’t fooled by his efforts and had turned into a heavy piece of stone inside him.

“Looking for a hit, little boy?“, one of them asked. The others laughed when they saw him flinch.

“No need to be scared, little boy. We’ll be nice to you if you are nice to us. Don’t you want to be a little nice to us?“ A hairy guy approached Luke with a vulgar gesture.

The others roared with laughter. But Luke didn’t hear them, he didn’t see them either. All he saw was this hairy guy that looked just like his father had when he was about to give him a thrash. Luke’s eyes were wide with fear. He saw the hairy guy reach for his belt and flinched, feeling the belt’s bite on his back as if the guy had really hit him. At that moment, he freed himself from his shock-induced paralysis and began to run. He ran until he couldn’t breath anymore. Ran all the way to the martial arts studio where he had intended to apply as a student tonight.

When he finally caught his breath, he felt a strange sensation as the air brushed past his legs. He looked confusedly at the dark spots on his trousers. It took a little while before he realized that he had wet himself.


Dieser Text ist Ergebnis der Schreibübung: Fremde Welten. Sie stammt aus dem Modul “The Craft of Plot” und ist Teil der Spezialisierung: Creative Writing.

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