Waldkolonie zum Schnuppern

Das Cover des dt. Originals

Vor zwei Wochen hatte ich von meiner Krimiübersetzung ins Englische erzählt. Die Arbeiten haben begonne, und voilà – ohne großes Gerede hier zum Schnuppern ein erster „Blick ins Buch.“ Viel Spaß beim Lesen.

Part 1

Chapter 1 – April 19th, 2019

Sven Ullmann lay stretched out in his bed on his back, staring at the ceiling. He immediately sensed that something was different. But he could not tell what had changed. He remained motionless, continuing to stare at the ceiling, trying to grasp where this impression came from. Suddenly, he realized what was different. It was distinctly quieter than usual. The hissing and the drumming that had become a constant companion over the past few weeks were gone. The background noise had been disturbing at first, but at some point, it had become a permanent backdrop. Now, this hissing and drumming had disappeared. From one day to the next. Just like that. Overnight. The rain had stopped.

In the last few weeks, not a day had gone by without some media report about this constant rain. Meteorologists spoke of a phenomenon unprecedented since the beginning of weather records. Most people simply called this continuous downpour the longest rain ever. Incessant rain for more than four weeks. It was not a string of showers with brief interruptions. Nor was it a lingering light summer rain. It was deluge that had lasted for weeks and affected large parts of southern Germany. Incessantly, low pressure systems brought in new rain clouds from France that stuck to the Alps. But now, the rain had finally stopped. Just like that.

Ullmann sat on the edge of his bed. It was Friday, and the change in the weather brought completely new possibilities for his day. Even though it had been quite warm for this time of the year in recent weeks, the rain had made almost any outside activity impossible. For Ullmann, this had been a special challenge. Normally, he jogged in the nearby forest three or even four times a week. In all weathers. Just under 15 kilometers per run, after which he always felt high, as if he could achieve anything imaginable. But in recent weeks, even he had had to surrender to this weather. It had just been too bad. A few days after the rain had started, he had tried. However, after a few meters he had been soaked to the skin already.

***

The rain had soaked the earth and the dead wood lying on the ground. The rays of the sun were already strong enough in April to create a comforting warmth, although the air was still cool. The trees were not in full leaf yet, and the sun reached the ground even in more densely wooded areas. The light shows the sunlight created were stunning. No human being could have imagined them. In some places, the ground fog lingered and refracted the rays of sunlight into many different colors. Everywhere the ground steamed and unleashed a plethora of warm, earthy, and sweet smells. Ullmann deliberately breathed slowly and deeply and was relieved that he had found his usual jogging rhythm so quickly after all. There was no one else about. He had the forest to himself.

Ullmann always jogged along the same path. At first it went deep into the forest, away from the residential areas. Large, old coniferous and deciduous trees rose on both sides of the path. Later, the path made a sweeping arc that brought it almost back to the residential areas. About halfway through the trail, there was a fork in the road that allowed for variable lengths of running. There was the longer trail that meandered through the woods in a wide arc, and there was a shortcut. Ullmann always took the long way. Not only because the eight kilometers of the shorter path were not enough for him. On the long path, he very rarely encountered dog owners. Thus, he run his kilometers there undisturbed and without having to watch out for unleashed dogs. There was almost nothing that he hated more than dog owners who energetically roared the names of their dogs through the forest without having the slightest ideas where their furry friends were at the moment. The dogs in turn ignored their masters and mistresses calling, frolicked between the trees and chased the forest animals. Or they hunted joggers and cyclists. On this day, too, Ullmann took the long path that meandered through remarkably diverse forest at the fork in the road. Densely wooded parts alternated with new, freshly reforested sections of forest. This made this running route so rich in variety and interesting for Ullmann. About halfway along the path came a section where there were very closely planted old conifers. Here, the light almost did not reach the ground at all, and therefore the otherwise very lush ground vegetation had disappeared completely and given way to a carpet of old brown needles. Only isolated rays of sunlight broke through the treetops and produced small beams of brightness in the otherwise rather dim light.

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