Today I'm on the Blog Tour for Stasi Wolf and I'd like to welcome David to my blog today where David has very kindly taken the time to give me an extract from Stasi Wolf as part of the Blog Tour. I was thrilled to be asked by Emily Burns from Bonnier Zaffre Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below. So without further ado, here is the extract:
Halle-Bruckdorf, occupied Germany
Your leg stings as you shuffle along the ledge to try to get
comfortable. Frau Sultemeier has fallen against you during the
never-ending night. Being squashed together with the others
down in the disused mine gives a little warmth, a perhaps misplaced
sense of safety in numbers. So you feel slightly disloyal
as you move sideways to get some space – feeling your way in
the blackness, where the sun’s rays never penetrate, even during
the day. You daren’t put your foot down because you know your
boot will be filled again by the cold, coal-stained water and the
pain will be unbearable. You can hear it, sloshing around – the
water that seeps in everywhere, into every sore and wound. You
can’t see it, but you know it’s there.
Sultemeier snorts but doesn’t wake. You almost wish she did.
You want someone to talk to. Someone to calm your fears. Dagna
could do that. Your younger sister was never afraid. The drone
of the bombers, the explosions of the bombs, the fi re in the sky,
the dust clouds and rubble. Dagna just used to say: ‘We’re here.
We’re still alive. Be thankful and wait for it to get better.’ But
Dagna’s gone now. With the others. She heard – we all heard –
the stories they told in the League of German Girls. About how
the Red Army soldiers are worse than wild animals, how they
will rape you again and again, tear you limb from limb. The
others didn’t want to find out if it was true. So they’ve gone to
try to reach the American zone.
Another snort from Sultemeier. She wraps her arm round
you, as though you’re her lover. Frau Sultemeier, the miserable
old shopkeeper who before the war would never let more than
two children into her shop at once. Always quick to spot if you
tried to pocket a sweet while you thought her eyes were elsewhere.
She, like most of the others here, was too old to run. And
you, with your injured foot from the last British bombing raid,
you can’t run. So you had to come down here with them. To the
old lignite mine. Most of the brown coal round here they just
tear from the ground, huge machines taking big bites directly
from the earth, feeding what had seemed like a never-ending
war. The war that was once so glorious. Then so dirty, so hateful,
so exhausting. But you Kinder des Krieges knew about the
disused underground mine – the cave, you used to call it – when
you played down here before the war, you and your sister Dagna
astonishing Mutti with how dirty you used to get. ‘Black as little
negroes,’ she used to laugh, playfully patting you on your bums
as you ran to the bathtub. Mutti’s gone now, of course. Died . . .
when was it? A year ago, two? And you’ve still never seen a black
person. Well, apart from in books. You wonder if you’ll ever see
a real, living one.