This brief story is inspired by a recent movie I watched, it is called “The Reader” by the director Stephen Daldry, it is a screen adaptation from the book “Der Vorlesser” that literally means the one who reads out loud, since recently was Oscar’s season I recommend it.

I am an amateur writer trying to learn and improve my writing skills. This story is my particular vision of a dark and uncomfortable book and movie.I hope you enjoy my vision of it.


In the tranquil and remote village of Miejsce Odrzańskie, in Poland, life unfolded peacefully amidst the green hills and wheat fields that stretched as far as the eye could see. However, this small rural enclave hid a peculiar secret that set it apart from the rest: for a decade, only girls were born in the village.

This inexplicable phenomenon caused a stir among the inhabitants and also across Europe, as "travellers" spread the "legend" that the tiny rural village defied the laws of genetics. Concerned about the lack of boys in the community, a call was made to people from across Europe and nearby Islands to come to the village and father male children, hoping to balance the population and secure the future of Miejsce Odrzańskie.

Amidst this unique context, two women, Hanna and Maryla, found themselves in circumstances they could never have imagined. They had never crossed paths before, but destiny brought them together when they were forced to escape from a group of bullies lurking the streets of the village on a cold winter night. Without exchanging a word, both girls looked into each other's eyes and knew that they wouldn't make it out of this situation without each other's help. Despite being complete strangers, they immediately, with just a glance, promised to protect each other, no matter what fate had in store for them. With hearts beating fast and palpable fear in the air, Hanna and Maryla ran together, ran like they had never done in their short lives, seeking refuge in the shadows of the old stone houses and dark alleys bathed in fog, which gave an ocean-like appearance to a village that had never seen the sea before.

Having escaped their pursuers, and still with adrenaline coursing through their veins, they found themselves sharing a laugh followed by uncontrollable tears, expressing the horror of the situation they had just lived through and forming an instant bond amidst adversity.

As the days passed, Hanna and Maryla repeatedly found each other in the village, sharing their joys and sorrows as they explored hidden corners and secrets buried in the cobblestone streets and undulating fields. Their friendship strengthened over time, becoming an unbreakable bond that endured the tests of time and life's challenges. Does a magical universe emerge when you meet a kindred soul, or is it simply the embellished memory of a bygone youth?

On a hot day in July, two days before Hanna's birthday, she mysteriously disappeared without a trace, leaving Maryla plunged into despair and uncertainty. Where could she have gone? Can one leave so easily without saying goodbye?

Despite her efforts to find her lost friend, Maryla was forced to move on with her life, leaving the village behind. At almost 30 years old, she moved to Prague to study criminal law at university.

As Maryla immersed herself in her studies and became involved in the world of justice, the memory of Hanna never left her: every cobblestone street, every courtroom, even in the happiest moments, there was always a corner of her mind reserved for her missing friend.

She often wondered what had become of her dear friend and if they would ever meet again, but she wouldn't leave it to fate. She was her own destiny; hence, she began an active search, investigating every clue and trail she could find, relying on her legal skills to uncover the hidden truth behind Hanna's disappearance.

One day, while attending a trial as part of her procedural law class, Maryla was paralyzed to hear a familiar name among the accused: Hanna. With a pounding heart and a confused mind, she listened attentively as a dark secret from her friend's past was revealed.

It turned out that a young Hanna, at the tender age of 14 and just before her arrival in the village, had played an active role in the horrors of the concentration camps during World War II, where thousands of innocent people had lost their lives. Of all the people from that small village... Hanna? Why Hanna?

Maryla was overwhelmed by a mixture of emotions, from horror and disbelief to anguish and disappointment. How could she have felt such a deep sense of kinship with someone who had been linked to such atrocities?

As she reflected on the shocking revelation, Maryla was forced to confront the complexity of human nature and the dark shadows that lay in the heart of every individual. She realized that Hanna had been swept up by the circumstances of a tumultuous time and that, although her actions were unforgivable, she remained a victim of a brutal and ruthless system. She was still a person, with her own dreams, fears, and hopes, but she had been part of a dark and painful past.

Despite the horror she felt, Maryla understood that judging Hanna for her past actions would change nothing. Instead, she decided to honor her memory by recalling the happy moments they had shared together and learning from her own ability to forgive and find compassion even in the darkest places.

Although I tried to write this story in the third person, like any other story of that time... in my senile years, I can still remember Hanna, and over time, that Maryla who in her 30s found the strength to move forward; she continues her path in the world. Now I find myself writing and rewriting in memory of my dear friend, whom I would never forget, nor the lessons I learned by her side in the golden fields of Miejsce Odrzańskie.