Viskningar Och Rop (Cries and Whispers)


It is early Monday morning...

and I am in pain.

My sisters...

and Anna...

are taking turns

staying up.

Good morning.

- Did anything happen?

- No, she's been very quiet.

- Thank you.

- I fell asleep.

Anna, see to the fire.

I thank Thee, dear Lord

for allowing me...

to awaken well and cheerful

this morning...

after a good sleep

under Thy protection...

and for the enjoyment

of a restful night.

I beseech Thee also

today and each day...

to let the angels watch over

and protect my little girl...

whom Thou in Thy unfathomable

wisdom tookest unto Thyself...

in Thy homeland.


Mother is in my thoughts

nearly every day...

although she's been dead

for over 20 years.

I remember

she would often seek...

the solitude and peace

of the grounds.

I also remember that I would

follow her at a distance...

and spy on her

without really meaning to...

because I loved her

to such a jealous extreme.

I loved her because

she was so gentle...

and beautiful and alive...

and so all-pervadingly


But she could also be cold,

playfully cruel...

and rebuff me.

Yet I could not help

feeling sorry for her...

and now that I'm older,

I understand her much better.

I wish I could

see her again...

to tell her

what I understand...

of her boredom,

her impatience...

her longing

and her loneliness.

And when the wicked witch

at last realized...

that little Gretel

had tricked her...

her nose started

to grow and grow.

At Twelfth Night

Mother always gave a party...

and Aunt Olga would come

with her magic lantern...

and her fairy tales.

I always felt frightened

and left out.

When Mother spoke to me

in her hurried way...

I could hardly understand

what she wanted of me.

Mother and Maria always had

many things to whisper about...

but then they were so alike.

Jealously I used to wonder what

they were laughing at together.

Everyone was in gay spirits.

I was the only one who couldn't

join in the merriment.

Another time,

I remember it was autumn...

I hid behind the curtain...

and in secret watched her.

She was in the red drawing room

wearing her white dress...

sitting quite still

with her head bent...

and her hands resting

on the table.

Suddenly she saw me...

and in a gentle voice

called me.

- Come.

- Uncertain, I went up to her...

thinking that, as usual,

she was going to scold me.

But instead she gave me

a look so full of sorrow...

that I nearly

burst into tears.

I raised my hand

and put it against her cheek...

and for that moment

we were very close.

There's someone out there.


There's someone out there.

Good morning, Agnes.

Good morning, Doctor.

She is very tired now.

I don't think it will be long.

Thank you.

I know the way.


It's been so long.

When can I see you again?


Some years earlier...

when Agnes had gone to Italy

for her health...

Maria and her husband, Joakim,

were staying at the manor.

One evening, Anna's

little daughter was taken ill...

and Maria sent

for the family doctor...

who lived in the nearby

country town.

- Now say "ah."

- Ah.

- Once again.

- Ah.

That hurt a little?

I can see that.

What a good girl.

That wasn't too bad, eh?

Off to bed with you now.

You'll feel better

after a good night's sleep.

- Thank you.

- Doctor, are you hungry?

If you'd like a little supper

the table's being prepared.

Oh yes, that would be nice.

Thank you.

Agnes and Karin are still

traveling in Italy.

I received a letter

from them last week.

Agnes is much better.

- Her cough is entirely gone.

- Mm-hmm.

And she's picked up

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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