Journey into Disaster
- Title: Journey into Disaster
- Author: Konstantin von Weberg
- Copyright: © 2020 Konstantin von Weberg
- Cover: © 2020 Konstantin von Weberg
Remark • English language
I know, my English [translation German ➡ English 🇩🇪 ➡ 🇬🇧 / 🇺🇸] is horrible, but also English speaker shall able to read the novel. If there is a major mistake, feel free and inform me 🤓😁💬🖋📖📚💗
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This is the novel Journey into Disaster. Have fun, thrill and be very well entertain.
Konstantin von Weberg
Let’s start with the
Oh my God! Sixteen days of hell — as a prisoner — in a hot and run-down police station in the Philippine province.
The German engineer Thomas Heger is arrested during his vacation. What is Thomas Heger accused and how do five little Filipino boys and their parents fit into the story?
Are the allegations against the German justified? Where does the truth end and where does the fantasy begin?
Who is the victim and who is the perpetrator?
And who are the people, who make money immediately with Heger’s story?
What very special Filipino mentality does Heger have to learn and accept painfully? Where do the Western and Asian philosophy of life and customs and tradition collide violently?
How is the time in the police station, and what experiences does he do with the police officers there? How do his family, the friends and work colleagues in Germany react to the mortifyingly story? What’s about his Philippine friends from the village by the sea? What happens to the five supposed victims?
Can he pull his head out of the noose?
He just wanted to buy school supplies, together with the boys!
Come on an exciting roller coaster ride of emotions.
Come to the Journey into Disaster
This novel is fiction! Similarities with living or deceased Persons, Organizations, Institutions, Companies, Places, etc. and/or their names and/or (actual) events are purely random and not intend.
The protagonists‘ opinions and beliefs do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author.
Copyright © Konstantin von Weberg • 2020 •
Any other publication without the written permission of the author is prohibited.
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First (self)published by Konstantin von Weberg at Amazon, under the German version and title Reise ins Verderben:
- ASIN [Amazon Kindle eBook]: B08HKQV8RR
- ISBN [Amazon paperback book]: 9798685476678
1.00. Uninvited guests
I can’t know that the journey begins with a knock.
“Plonk, plonk, plonk…”
There’s a quiet knocking. I’m awake or do i sleep? Probably I’m in “No man’s land” in an intermediate world.
Science calls this state between sleep and wake up “Hypnagogia.”
I am there?
I’m gliding a little towards to the reality, because the nervous system and my brain annoying me with rational thoughts and questions. Damn, it’s hot in the room and breathing is difficult. It’s stuffy also and there is obviously not enough oxygen in the air. But where I am and what time is it? When did I turn off the air conditioning? The constant wind disturbed me all the time before.
The fog in the head becomes clear. Nevertheless, I’m still lacking of any sense of time. Beside the deep breathing of the children there are other noises, and they should not be here. Outside the cottage people are talking. Now the door is shaken. Locked, the door is locked, I remember.
My brain works slowly. Knocking on the door? Shaking the door? People outside? What’s going on? Why are they here?
Now I also notice the lights. It flashes blood red through my closed eyelids.
Damn strong lights! Shouts in me. I open my eyes, but I’m still too sleepy to react adequately. I feel exhausted and a slight headache. My mouth and throat are dry as dust.
The flashing lights continue to throw hectic shadow-plays to the heavy curtains and the ceiling in the door area.
There is a new knocking: “Plonk, plonk, plonk.”
The seconds pass, and I am still unable to act. However, my alarm bells are ringing. Come to yourself at last! Something is wrong here. Stupid wrong!
The third knocking on the heavy glass door. More energetic and annoying, but it’s dampened by the two-part curtain. It is as thick as a Berber carpet and covers the entire front of the room. Reluctantly, I’m sitting on the bed. More or less unconsciously. Now, I’m smoothing the bed sheets, put the bedding back and tossing the pillow on its place. A child sleeps behind me. The boy is lying on the wall and that make arranging the bed easy. I keep watching the opaque brown curtain. The calming breathing of the child in my back is like the breathing of the children on the two beds in front of me. The children sleep soundly. I’m not surprised at all, as it was a day full of great activities. Happy but exhausted, the boys fell asleep fast a few hours ago.
The light and shadow play from the flashlights turns the Situation into eerily surreal.
My inner voice is roaring. The overheated room, the sleeping children, the people outside, the flickering lights in front of the room and the knocking on the door. Wake up. Here is something wrong. Crazy wrong!
I remember me, all the time today there was those negative vibrations. That kind of gloomy and bad previsions!
By pressing the button, the watch shows 10:15 p.m.
“No, it is definitely too late for visitors,“ I’m talking to myself.
Sam had text messages with his older sister today. Maybe she wanted to visit us in the hotel. Sam’s sister lives here in Tugalm City and her origin is — like the five boys who are with me today — from the village, which we came from this morning. I know the sister from the remote village and also her parents and family very well. That’s the home of the five boys. I am a welcome guest there. The village is idylically located on the calm river that flows into the Pacific Ocean.
In underpants and shirt I’m going in diffuse light to the door, stumble over a child’s backpack that was carelessly left lying around. Then I’m looking through the gap of the heavy curtains at the glass door. The entire front wall of the cottage is made of glass. A bright light blinds me huge that a red dot remains on the retina when I close my eyes. I put my hand over my eyes, looking outside and am shocked by the sheer number of people in front of the door. The flashlights throw hard rays into the velvety tropical night. With a bad feeling in my stomach, I’m wondering what happen. I’m asking myself again. What does it mean? Why there are so many people with flashlights? There is a weakly lamp outside the cottage.
My brain finally works and now signals the highest alarm level. I will surely find out at a moment why the crowd is in front of the hotel room. The bad feeling in the stomach becomes worst. Damn, these bad omen today. Something is wrong, absolutely not okay! After the people see me behind the glass pane, immediately the pressed discussions ending.
Carefully, I’m opening the door a little.
“May I have a look into the room, Sir?” asks an elderly woman in good English but breathlessly. She probably knocked. The woman looks at me, but avoids direct eye contact. She is not very tall and of a stout build. A laminated ID hangs in front of her stomach, and she sweats and breathes alarmingly short.
Hopefully the old lady is not hyperventilating and collapse here, I’m thinking worriedly.
Despite the rapid breathing, the woman is smiling. This unsettles and upset me. Her stupid grin is completely out of place, because everyone here knows that there is nothing to grin. The situation is neither funny nor joyful and certainly not amusing. The opposite is true. Mistrust and aggression are in the air. The negative vibrations are clearly noticeable in the tension atmosphere. They are almost grab-able.
Why does the woman grin so stupidly? I wondering me and get angry.
Now the crowd stand around the old woman. There are employees of the hotel, than other people that I can’t classified. People in civilian clothes are still recognizable as policemen, but there are also police in uniform. A professional cameraman is also not missing. There are indeed a lot of peoples who look at me at the same time and fix. Some from the crowd with expressionless, others with petrifying and other with a grinning face. There is a tense silence that is interrupted only by clear throat or cough.
Suddenly I’m thinking, that’s the calm before the storm.
The strong guy with the camera on the right shoulder stands behind the hyperventilating woman. In this second the LED of the camera changes from red to green. The bright light from the camera turns night into day. Nobody says a word. It’s an explosive atmosphere.
The woman in front of the door, she is maybe around 60 years old, repeats her superfluous question: “Sir, may I have a look into the room?” and ends her speech with an intrusive “Please!”
I’m answering with a choking voice: “Why?”
“We are very sure that you commit a violation against our law.”
An older man behind the woman speaks in a command tone: “We are here to check this, and we are doing it, right now!”
The conversation at the glass door of the cottage stops immediately, because there is somebody beside me which also finds, the talking in the night under the bright camera light between me and the uninvited guests is completely useless. The short conversation was probably already too much for him. At the moment this man loses his nerves, claps the sweat hand on the glass door, pushes the door inside the room, the woman with the fast breathing aside, me in the room and at the wall. He presses his left hand on my chest and keeps me at distance. In his right hand shines and sparkles in the lights of the camera and the flashlights a high-gloss chromed automatic. I really do not have any idea of hand weapons, but it could be a caliber.45. The direct view in the mouth of the weapon scares and shocks me. I am solidified to the salt column. I’m standing still. Absolutely still without any movement.
The crowd pushes into the room and the little woman who perhaps knocked on the door, the guy with the automatic weapon, a young policewoman and me at the left wall in the room. That’s the wall in opposite of the three beds. There are typical things of an hotel-room, like a desk, a flat sideboard with Samsung TV and the fridge.
Suddenly the policeman pulls me around and rotates me with my face to the wall. He professionally turns my arms in my back and a few seconds later I feel the cold steel on my wrists. These are indeed not pleasant noises when the pawls slide over the notches of the handcuffs. And they slide damn painfully to the stops.
Resistance is futile, it is screaming inside me. And that they don’t want to talk, have made the uninvited guests quite clear. Cristal clear!
A truly cinematic scene, in which I am the main actor. Everything recorded? I want cry out to the media-men, but I’m quiet. These are definitely guys from a local broadcaster. I can guess “ABC-TV” on the plastic cover of the camera in the lights of the flashlights.
The boys! I remember worriedly.
The five boys don’t notice the chaos in the room. They sleep soundly the sleep of the just. Just like children sleep. A volcano could erupt, or a high-gloss automatic weapon could be fired, they won’t wake up that quickly.
I’m not surprised that the little boys sleep so deep after the activities during the day: a four-hour exhausting bus trip over bad country roads, a visit in the Gaisano Shopping Mall with gaming zone, pizza and ice cream. The highlight of the day was clearly the splashing, swimming, sliding and romping in the big pool-area.
The woman from the door and a few other women, probably hotel employees, stare at the boys. However, they still sleeping, and I realize, they wearing only underwear. The women hold their hands in front of their mouths or gesturing wildly with their arms and screech hysterically in unison: “Oh, my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!”
These absolutely artificial and annoying shrieks make me aggressively. It screams loud in my head, stupid bitches, why you are screaming so very noisy around here? Is it the underwear? Millions of children around the world sleep like this, and nobody is naked! So there is absolutely no reason to make such a disgusting theater!
It is a silent protest, because I remain silent and there are of course bigger problems right now.
After the pawls slid over the notches on the left and right hand, the huge, flashing chrome automatic immediately disappear. They probably recognize that I am not aggressive, but rather cooperative and calm. But the attractive policewoman also, with the high hair and the dark blue uniform, contributes to the instant relaxation of the situation. Her natural smile is far more effective than any automatic weapon. The situation relaxes. She smiles nice and credible. Her smile is in totally opposite to the smiles from the small woman, who is now breathing a little more calmly, and the arresting officer, who has put all his pride — the automatic — between his belt and beer belly in his pants. The frozen smiles of these two persons twist their faces into grimaces. Disgust and hatred sparkle in their eyes.
However, the room gets full.
Where are all the people come from and — damn again! — what is so very interesting here? I’m thinking.
Panic grabs me.
I’m still pushed into the corner of the glass front and the wall with furniture and TV. It is difficult to focus on the questions of the policewoman. In the room are already chaotic scenes. The children, however, sleep the sleep of the just.
The policewoman asks only a few questions: “What is the age and origin of the children? Where do we come from and why do we stay at the hotel?” Questions follows about myself and whether I am related to the boys, whether I am a priest, a teacher or a team coach. Confused, I’m answering her strange questions.
The TV team are two. One man continues filming with the camera without any inhibitions. The other is an impatiently pushing guy. He moves himself cheekily between the police and me, suddenly holds a microphone with a cover, that remind of the fur of a poodle, under my nose and he immediately pours out his questions over me. The microphone smells like it looks, like a wet dog. I’m turning away in disgust. For a moment the policewoman seems perplexed by the reporter’s audacity. The fat guy with the automatic loses his nerve again. He pushes the protesting media-man aside, demonstratively stands up in front of me, laboriously digs a crumpled piece of paper out of his trouser pocket and begins to read aloud: “You have the right to remain silent…”
His rudimentary English combined with a strong Filipino accent makes it difficult to understand what he is reading. The increasing noise level in the room does the rest. My concentration is gone after the words “remain silence.” I’m more interested what happen to the children. But they just go on sleeping soundly.
The policewoman kick me out of my thoughts: “Do you understand, Sir?”
The crowd in the room becomes unbearable, as there is a constant coming and going, and the room becomes full.
Again, the policewoman asks the question: “Did you understand, Sir?”
I’m nodding, lost in thought, but then I answer honestly: “No!”
The policewoman shake her head and says briefly: “Be quiet, please!” Its very noisy in the room, and she speaks loudly.
Nobody take consideration of the sleeping children, I’m thinking bitter. Be quiet, please! Echoes in me. Well, that they are not interested on great conversations, they made it clear tonight. I do not tell and keep my thoughts in me. The guy with the huge automatic has already lost the nerves tonight a few times!
The camera runs fast through the room, and the spotlight throws hard shadows on walls, carpet, ceiling, furnishings, our private things, on the children, on me and the countless intruders. Finally someone finds the switch of the roomlight. There are more and more in the cottage.
The chaos in the room is now indescribable. Some use cell phones to take photos or films the boys, who are still sleeping. A stout, uniformed policewoman uses a digital pocket camera. The TV-team meanwhile lights up the bathroom.
Woman circles in a swarm — this reminds me of Vulture, that fly over the prey — around the beds. Constantly I hear this “Oh, my gosh!” in these extremely annoying, pointed tones.
It is an abnormal situation. The five boys sleep deep in underwear (two without T-shirt too) and are filmed by countless cell phones, a pocket and the professional camera. The children can neither protect themselves nor defend still contradiction. They simply sleep, despite the chaos and noise level around them. Nobody shows respect for the privacy of the children.
Although it roars in me, but I’m whispering my words: “You are crazy? Stop taking pictures. Let the children alone. They sleep. What — damn! — do you want?”
“Don’t talk!” response strictly the young policewoman.
The cameraman films on uninhibited the children and the (supposed) perpetrator in full screen. My distorted face is zoomed into full screen again and again. Like this — really like this! — they love it here in the TV news. Action TV pure, rescue operation, chaos and shouting in the hotel room, a foreigner in handcuffs, police and small Filipino children. For the TV channel everything is exclusive, because there is no other TV-team or reporter here.
Suddenly, I aware the true face of this blatant story. That’s a huge hit in my stomach.
Wow, a foreigner with five semi-naked small Filipino-boys in the hotel room! Stories like this are rockets and money-machines.
Nausea comes and I feel instantly bad. I’m sweating and start to explain the situation with a dry throat. The reporter immediately holds the stinking microphone under my nose. The policewoman looks at me sharply again and reminds me so on her words: “Be quiet, don’t talk!” Again, I’m turning away from the microphone and be silent. Nobody will listen to me, except the media-team. I’m burning to finally defend myself and explain things. I’m reflecting, we could bring the story immediately out of the world, by talking. But on the other hand, how does it say so nice: everything what you say now, could be used later against you! How many times have I heard this psalm in thrillers. Did not read the big officer the same?
There is a growing unrest in me and I need answers of my questions. Damn, what is the problem? Do they thinking, I’m a bad sex gangster?
I’m asking one of my question: “Where is the damn problem?”
Again, the young policewoman answers: “We talk in the Police Station. It’s better to keep silent right now!”
A young police officer follows her signal and he opens a handcuff. The arresting officer — his hand is on the automatic weapon — is in tense alertness and would surely kill me with if I’m doing a slightest wrong movement. I have zero doubt about that, none at all! All my movements are carefully observed. The young policeman searches my short pants, looks into my wallet, put it back in the pocket of my pants, and hands the pants, to the little police woman, who has made diligent photos. Without words but grinning, she holds me the pants and my sandals in front of the face. Without any words but without grinning I’m dressing myself. The young policeman draws his colleagues‘ attention to the red bruises on my wrists. I didn’t notice that. Neither burning nor pain. I’m thinking, that’s the adrenaline. Now the handcuffs are a little looser.
The chaos in the room continues unabated. The five boys, however, continue to sleep soundly.
1.02. Running the gauntlet
It’s not the easiest thing to deal with these fat baddy, this sweating nasty policeman. That’s fact! But if I’m thinking that he — in his shabby civilian clothes — is finish with me, then I’m very wrong. And even the media people don’t have enough yet. No, the show must go on. The fun — the true action — shall follow now.
I’m confirming that the content of the blue Adidas backpack is my property. I and my wallet are also frisked again. The wallet will put back in the trouser pocket.
Desperately, I try again to explain the situation. It gushes out of me: “The parents of the children are my best friends from the village. We only sleep in the hotel, because of the countless construction sites between the cities and the resulting longer traveling time. It is far too dangerous to return to Sendong City in the middle of the night. So late it is almost impossible to find a Motorela from the bus terminal back to the remote village. In Sendong City there are frequent blackouts throughout the city at night. Then the crime rise, especially at the bus terminal and in the city.”
I’m stuttering the arguments out and thinking at the same time, I risk my neck with my reckless talking. But I must do it. That has to be said now, because I have to defend myself and want to justify. Then there are other reasons why we are in this hotel.
Probably, the Filipinos don’t understand my fast English with an hard German dialect, because during my speech some look at me questioningly, others grin and others have an astonished facial expression in thier faces. The grin unsettles me and makes me angry. The situation is serious. I am handcuffed. What — damn it — is the reason to grin? What in the hell, what? My anger does not break out. I’m calm and quiet. In this exceptional situation, it does not occur to me that Asians like to hide their true emotions behind a standing smile.
The attractive policewoman — the name tag on the uniform reveals her name is Papillio — gives me the signs to be quiet, with a serious expression and defensive hands. After I ignored, she interrupts my torrent of words: “Please, sir, be quiet!“ Her forehead shows worries. She speaks in a commanding tone.
“Okay, okay!” I’m answering. My reaction is too hasty. It sounds too apologetic, too submissive.
It is chaotic, very noisy and overcrowed in the room. But nobody wake up the children. It seems, the room is too turbulent now for the policeman beside me. He has a brief eye contact with the policewoman, and my transportation happen. The Officer suddenly takes my hands, which are tied up in my back, and pushes me out of the room. Some people follow and of course the camera to capture the news of the year.
The woman — which I opened — is now breathing much more calmly. She is roaming around in the room with many others. I look briefly in her face, but she smiles contentedly and takes permanently photographs of the children with her smartphone. I see the three beds standing next to each other with the children still deeply asleep.
Goodbye children. What will happen next?
The stupid Officer pushes and pushes and the camera greedely filming all. He suddenly pulls my arms, until it cracks in the shoulder joints and hurts. I’m moaning in pain. Then he claps his sweaty left paw on my neck and pushes my head down. Clapping the neck wasn’t necessary, because just by pulling up my arms and the subsequent stabbing pain in the shoulders I’m bending forward. I never had been arrested in my life and never could experience of wearing handcuffs. Well, I am not sure if this is the special Philippine police grip. In any event, we are, the small fat proud philippine policeman and the bent German Colossus, absolutely media suitable.
Suddenly, in this posture the run is starting now. The cop behind me is slightly offset to the right and my head is down. We are walking faster and faster, quickly passing by on cottages, shocked hotel guests, foreigners with very young Filipinas, and disbelief looking families with children. The police action seems to have woken up the entire hotel complex. My five boys are excluded from this. I’m sure, they being woken up right now.
Everything flies past me in this hot Asian night.
We’re passing the beautiful pool-area with water-slide and waterfall. I can see guests sipping cocktails at the bar and stretching their necks curiously about us. Then we are walking through the lobby of the hotel. On the right is the reception located and behind the desk a beautiful young receptionist. She is wearing a dark blue kimono, and is now looking down and then up. Our eyes meet in a split second.
Do I see a touch of sadness in her eyes?
During the humiliating run, we are accompanied in parallel by the running camera — in the double sense of the word (I am and the camera are running). Now the cop behind me skilfully pushes me into a Toyota Pick-up vehicle. The front seats are occupied by the driver and co-driver, officers in uniform. They are not interested in me, and don’t even turn around and don’t say any words. The driver, lying half over the steering wheel, flips his cigarette stub out of his window. I am sitting in the middle of the rear seat. The cop, he did not tell me his name, is sitting on my right side. He doesn’t make the slightest move to take his disgusting paw away from my neck, and press my head down without any interruption and in a very media-friendly manner. And the camera is filming continuously. First through the driver’s window, than through the rear-seat window. But the place on my left is taken by the attractive policewoman — she looks Japanese — so that the camera’s view is blocked now. The adrenaline-driven idiot next to me doesn’t stop torture me. His paw acts like a screw clamp on my neck. He pushes me further down, grins extremely satisfied and chews on an imaginary chewing gum. Now he’s in a winning pose to impress the camera and enjoy the few minutes in the spotlight.
And I? Desperately, I try to understand what’s going on? Damned shit, where is the crime? Who gives these people the right to humiliate me here to the blood? Crime, crime, where is the crime? And what is that with the fucking, stupid camera? It is an inarticulated protest. Nevertheless, my inner is in turmoil and it screams in me: Tommy, defend yourself! Do something, do not let it like that! Do not be quiet. But I am from a rational world and maybe this is the reason why I’m doing so. I have a silent discussion with myself: Wouldn’t it be possible to clarify the problem in a short conversation? I’m deeply frustrated. Well, okay, the police vehicle and the hotel room are certainly not places for a complaint or even a talking about a dispute or a misunderstanding.
I’m shaking my head and wondering me about myself: My God, how stupid is my mind in this absurd situation! Closing my eyes I’m bitterly thinking: It happened, and it happens right now. I am in their hands. First, they kick me down and second, they humiliate, condemn, beat or probably shoot me to death and then they ask…
…you are a perpetrator?
I’m painfully tied up! As a result, the handcuffs between the seat and my back cutting the skin of my hands.
I stay quiet. Outwardly, it seems I’m calm, but in me boils. No one notices my desperation, the rage, the frustration and the anger. I have a high blood pressure, but I can not do anything. From one to the other second, I am powerless. I don’t have the power about myself anymore. My humanitarian rights are kicked in the Philippine dust.
This is a damn police violence against me.
A barely perceptible gesture of the policewoman and the proud policeman on my right side finally removes the screw clamp from my neck. The wordless communication between the Beauty and the Beast works.
“We’re talking in the Police Station, don’t worry.” The policewoman speaks to me in understandable English. She continues, “My name is Police Superintendent Papillio and this is CIDG Senior Police Inspector Sir Villanova.”
I’m moving a little forward and stretch my body, but the handcuffs burn on the wounds. The cop beside me has a wide grin in his baconface. I already forgot his name. It is not really important for me. Probably Papillio is annoyed about the bright light of the camera, because she instructs the reporters to stop the filming. Her word has weight. The light switches off immediately. Behind us jumping pretty sporty people on the vehicle. These are surly not children. Carefully, I look around. There are two more police Pick-Up cars, but I can’t not see the five children. The driver start the engine, and the heavy car staggers like a boat and circumnavigates deep puddles. We leave the rain-soaked parking lot of the hotel. Blue and red police lights flashing in the night, are reflected in the puddles and in the raindrops of the police vehicles. I hear the transmission, the engine and the siren. The driver is ruthlessly pushing his way into the flowing traffic and accelerates.
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