How a novel begins.

The last stop – how a novel happens.

Berlin Diary – Summer 2012.

How it started.


I walked into the sunshine from the old East German airport, still called Schönefeld. (Beautiful Field). It shouldn’t still exist. It had long ceased to be fit for purpose and is now being renovated. Back then it was truly awful. Late evenings, when the charter flights to Istanbul and the beaches of the Black Sea and Turkish Riviera leave, it  was a hellhole. It takes one back to the days of the terraces at football matches. You have to hope that the direction in which you are being pushed, will take you to the right departure gate.
That day in 2012, was much calmer. A young woman approached me and asked for €3 for a subway fare. She was dressed OK, not fashionable, but tidy. I tried to help her, but she was so distracted that she ignored my advice.
When I arrived at my apartment, I immediately sat down and tried to commit to paper, what a twenty-something woman was doing outside an international airport, with no money, no credit card, just a few stray tears in her eyes. I think she was Polish. I called her Maria.

A frantic woman in the shadows doesn’t attract attention.

Published by:

Clive La Pensée

Clive La Pensée ex-science teacher, recognised writer on history of beer, novelist, expressionist, dreamer, believer in never giving up, empathiser, hopeful for a future without class, gender or racial prejudice. It's tough and at the moment, one has to remember distance travelled, rather than where we are at.

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