Im zweiten Quartal kommt ›Almtod‹, der erste Postalmkrimi, auf Englisch heraus. Das habt ihr vielleicht schon auf Facebook gelesen. Ich verkaufe bereits Bücher nach Amerika, bisher nur auf Deutsch, vielleicht werden es noch mehr.

Die Übersetzung scheint schwierig zu sein, für ›Griaß di‹, ›Alm‹ oder ›Jausen‹ braucht es das richtige Gegenstück im Englischen. Alle 18 Kapitel sind in der Rohfassung fertig, die Überarbeitung beginnt im April. Die erste Fassung von Kapitel 1 findet Ihr hier.

Almtod (Der englische Name steht noch nicht fest)

Chapter 1

     That was easy, thought the guy with the hunting rifle, no different from the buck I shot at noon today. He grinned. A moment ago, he had aimed at a human being for the first time. A tall, stout fellow. Similar to a twenty-pointer, crossed his mind. The snob had put on a show, wanted to describe him to the local administration.
     »I've seen you, you shoot stags in the closed season! I must and will report this!« The man lifted an index finger threateningly.
     That’s what my teacher used to do, the poacher reflected and mocked: »It was a deer, you fool!« He pressed his rifle against the white-haired man's forehead and forced him to sit lengthwise on the bench in front of the alpine hut, his legs apart. The man slipped back as far as he could.
     »So, I scare you, huh?« asked the poacher.
     »I'm not afraid of you,« the man replied. »I've been threatened often throughout my life, all around the world. By guys who murder with blood-stained machetes or others, who only need a plastic bag or clothesline. You're justa little busybody with your kiddie shotgun.«
     »Dumbass.« The poacher smiled. »You can't even tell a rifle from a shotgun.«
     The shot had been surprisingly quiet. Dull, more like the bang of an inflated paper bag, crushed by children's clapping hands.
     The shooter stepped back, inspected his work. A small red pearl formed at the edge of the entry wound. He tilted his head to the side and waited for the droplet to grow and come loose from the bullet hole.
     »I think... left,«he guessed. His gaze followed the trickle from the forehead, between the brows, and along the nose until the fluid gathered again at the left nostril.
     »Victory! A good day,«he rejoiced.
     His Weihrauch HW60J hung over his left shoulder again as he heard footsteps coming from behind the hut.
     »Mr. Vogel, did you hear that? What was that?« sounded a female voice which was quickly approaching. As soon as the woman turned the corner and noticed him, she froze in her movement.
     Without looking away from her, the poacher took his weapon in his hand, pulled the breech back, loaded a cartridge into the barrel. It was routine for him. Don't let the game out of your sight, fix it, aim, pull the trigger.
     She was about twenty-five, had a mundane face on a too thin, almost skinny frame, clad in grey business attire. Her short brown hair was adorned by a light strand on the left side.
     The woman immediately grasped the situation. She turned around at lightning speed and ran back behind the hut.
     The shooter followed her calmly, found her squatting next to a black Mercedes SUV. When she saw him, she flinched. Feverishly considering how she could escape, she slowly stood up with her hands raised.
     He registered how she almost imperceptibly shifted her weight to her left leg. She's about to run, trying to reach the forest behind herSpruces provide excellent protection, he thought. He was a trained observer. The muscle play of game reveals when it wants to flee.
     The woman jumped away, ready to run for her life. He didn't even bother to aim, pulled the trigger listlessly, just shot from the hip. Somehow it wasn't a big deal anymore - after the first murder.
     The gunshot hit the woman square in the back. Prime shot, she fell. Face down she lay on the gravel of the parking lot.
     The poacher wondered if he should take a trophy with him. A strand of hair, a finger or an ear, somethingGame is game. His hunting knife in his hand he knelt next to her, paused. Suddenly he grabbed her crotch hard, gripped tightly, felt the warmth through her pants.
     »Well, do you like that, you whore? Yes? You want me to do you good one last time?«, he asked, nodding his head in the dead guy's direction. »I'm a real man, not an old fart like that one.«
     His right hand between her legs, he opened his clasp with the left. The sight of the defenseless woman excited him more than anything he had experienced before. After tying her dead hands on her back with his belt, he brutally ripped her head up, turned it to the side. The neck broke with an audible 'crack'.
     Minutes later, a loud engine sound brought the poacher back to reality. He lookedup at the road. It was the bus to Strobl.
     Shit, it hit him, they can see me! He loosened his belt from her hands, hastily fixed his clothes. He looked at the woman one last time. I liked you better when you were tied up.
     He formulated a plan. That Mercedes had to disappear fast. The area around the hut was clearly visible, both from the toll road and the forest road below. An SUV would stand out.
     He didn't care about the two dead people. Nobody would get lost out here and spot them, the off-season was the calmest period. And if the weather forecast were right, snow would cover everything by morning. They wouldn't find the old man and his considerably younger girlfriend for quite a while.
     The shooter first searched the woman, then the man for the car keys. As soon as he had found them, he ran to their car, stowed his gun behind the driver's seat and got in. The powerful eight-cylinder engine awoke on the first try of the start button.
     Carefully he drove up the dirt path, passing the hunting lodge on the right until he reached the exit to the Postalm Road. After he had turned onto it unseen, a euphoric feeling flooded him.
     Concentrate, he admonishedhimself. You need to hide somewhere for an hour or two.
     To leave the Postalm unnoticed, he was forced to wait. After 6pm, the tollbooth in Strobl was  unoccupied. Under the protection of darkness, he would pass the open barrier and drive to the Mondsee, where he could sink the car in the water. And no one would notice him.
     He decided on the parking lot of the Strobler Hütte above the Postalm which was hidden in the forest. Until the start of May, that restaurant was closed, so he didn't have to worry about hikers there. He parked close to the edge of the forest, activated the automatic adjustment of the backrest to lie more comfortably, and fell asleep immediately.
     It was dark when the poacher awoke. The analog clock in the black leather dashboard showed 9:10 p.m. He had slept for almost five hours.
     Panic seized him. Did anyone see me, or worse, recognize me? Now what? He hastily started the engine, pulled the selector lever, kicked the accelerator pedal against the floor plate.
     With a deafening roar, the 6.3-liter engine gave its 517 horses their spurs and almost crashed backward against a spruce. When the SUV finally stopped, the shooter stood with both feet on the brake. His arms and legs cramped up, they hurt. Adrenaline raced through his body, he could hear the blood rushing in his ears.
     »Shit, shit, shit!«,he yelled.
     He put his forehead on the steering wheel, breathed deeply. His heart seemed to take an eternity to calm down. Gently he touched the shifter, put it on Drive. Carefully accelerate and just get out of here, he thought.
     After the poacher had left the serpentine road to Strobl and the empty box office behind him, he drove with moderate speed over Sankt Gilgen in the direction of Mondsee. Twenty minutes later he reached Scharfling. He followed the federal road 754 to Plomberg, turned a few hundred meters behind the village exit onto a forest path to the lake.
     After meticulously wiping everything he touched with a handkerchief, he took his hunting rifle and put the car in gear. As it slowly rolled forward, he jumped out. Three minutes later the Mercedes had disappeared underwater. It would be there for a long time.
     Now he had to get rid of his gun, didn't want to run the risk of being seen with a trained rifle. He looked around and found a safe hiding spot under a bush near the shore. With one last look at the lake, he set off.
     Late in the night, the poacher arrived at his home. He walked most of the way and had only been seen hitchhiking once. Without undressing, he lay down on his bed. He had made it. Smiling, he fell into a deep sleep.

     Since midnight a blizzard raged on the Postalm.


Copyright © 2020 Karel van Keulen