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Excerpt for Montenegro. by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Montenegro

(Inspired by the Movie: Montenegro)

By: Von Kambro copyright 2018

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The moment I left I knew it was both the right, and wrong thing to do.

Liberty gives conflict, and freedom is the reward.

It didn’t matter that I was married.

My marriage had become more like stale bread. You keep it even-though it’s not edible, but for

some reason you tell yourself as long as the wrapper is kept on tight it will be be preserved as it

is and it won’t transform into a mold laden clump.

A moldy marriage. Covered in green and white swaths of what could be a virulent form of

Penicillin that possibly has the ability to cure itself, or so I thought.

It doesn’t matter that my family might miss me, but given the fact I’ve been in and out of the

ward they’d probably be glad in some way to be rid of me, and that’s part of my justification for

doing what I am. A guilty conscience doesn’t exist in a tattered soul.

Ever since my mother’s death my life has gone from stable, to crazy to impossible. My mind

imploded with the fact that I could no longer see her each week, or hear her voice.

Grief seeped in and took control of me.

MAybe I shouldn’t blame her death, I mean, I wasn’t very happy after my last child’s birth.

Postpartum depression gripped me pretty good too, but shortly after my mother died and

everything became irrelevant.

I didn’t have any support from the person that’s labeled “Husband.”

Looking back I know it wasn’t the depression that changed me. That passed over like a brief

summer storm, but the grief ate me from the inside out with its poisonous waves.

Those waves.

They come without any warning and completely overwhelm you. Your helpless. You drown.

I’ve become used to the moment when they arrive, and sometimes (rarely) they send out small

currents to let you know that a much larger wave is about to hit.

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Free range grief is the ultimate debilitator.

When you let it go where it wants, it will take you where it wants you to go.

Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m blaming and making excuses for my behavior and maybe that’s

true, but one fact remains: I want to go away. I can justify it with any reason I choose because

when I think of the moment I find myself in a new place with people I don’t know, and who

don’t know me it brings a feeling of excited relief.

like a teenager escaping from the rules of her parents.

Freedom has a taste that is unlike anything else. It’s what I what I need to so badly to quench the

unrelenting need to escape the droll life I have. I need to acquire freedom so I can determine

whether or not I’m still capable of rescuing myself from the sea grief that I’m floating in.

I’m aware that where I’m going could be the place I ever go to, but that doesn’t mean it will be

the last place I return from.

Something so good could happen that I may never want to leave, or maybe there won’t be choice

for me to make and I will have to stay there.

Montenegro.

The coastline is pristine. The waters of the Adriatic are the prettiest of blue, the waves roll with

glistening white caps that simmer like millions of diamonds. The sand is powdery like baking

flower and the buildings each have scents of lavender, Gardenias and Jasmine that clash into a

perfect aroma. You scoop them up as you inhale while walking down the streets as genteel

Europeans pass by with their scones and little cups of Gelato.

It’s beautiful.

A city that soothes your senses.

That’s not where I’m going. I will pass through the seaside beach towns of Montenegro and enter

its dark side. The side of its face that is never shown to outsiders...like me.

I’ve heard the stories of the gypsies that live there and how they have a carefree, restless

lifestyle. They dance, drink, and openly share one another in love making. They carry guns and

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have the reputation for sneaking into towns at night and steal things that are carelessly left

outside and can be used to sell to unknowing, wayward tourists that want to experience “The

rural and authentic beauty of Montenegro” at least that’s how it’s claimed in shiny travel

brochures I’ve seen.

I want, and will be that wayward tourist.

More like a wayward soul.

My plan is to wake up shortly after midnight and leave. I will travel by boat and reach the shore

before dawn. I will wander the streets along the beach and indulge in a glass or two of vino as I

sit on the shore facing the place I had left hours before.

There is no jeopardy in trying something new, and by not understanding what the outcome will

be truly entices me. My life is boring and filled with endless days of routine tasks and repetitive

thoughts that have pushed me to the point no return.

I made my travel like I had planned. The night was cool and the light easterly breeze sent the

splendid, musky smell of the Adriatic directly into my lungs. A blissful odor from the creatures

that inhabit the water which few people ever encounter.

The beach sand was cold and crunchy as I walked on it.I carried my sandals, letting them dangle

from two fingers as I pondered the thought of tossing them aside and not where them for the rest

of my journey.

Once my feet touched the pavement, I could feel the remnants of hot summer day from the heat

they had soaked up. I looked at a wired, empty trash bin and tossed my sandals in without any

hesitation. It felt as natural for me to that as a pianist sitting down at a keyboard and

instinctively tap the keys.

Got my drink and then headed back to the beach and waited for the sun to make it jealous return

to dominate the sky.

I could feel its rays soak into the back of my neck as it slowly began its arrogant rise and

eventual replacement of a retreating full moon. I was able to see the Moon dance upon the water

before being washed out from the gold tones and eventual full light of the Sun.

I stood up and gave a final glance at the distant shore and thought about my children waking up

and realizing that I was gone. It’s not something they grasp immediately, but I know that as the

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day moved forward and they didn’t see me as evening marches in...I had to stop myself from

thinking to much about how they might cry, so I turned around and headed back into town and

toward the adventure that I told myself I needed.

My escape was happening, and with each step I took my heartbeat increased from the

anticipation of doing something without knowing where the final step will be.

Things became blurry in memory and I don’t recall how I go to the remote area where I finally

arrived. Maybe my drink was laced with something, or maybe because I didn’t have any

medication my synapses were wildly firing and caused me to go further than I had planned.

All I know is that I remember thinking to myself:

“Damn. What an ugly place!”

Which was peppered with a few grains of guilt:

“What the Hell am I doing here? “

The houses. They’re are all in some kind of repair, trying to be built or abandoned. Dogs run

along side the frantic streets chomping on the trash that is tossed there from patrons of obnoxious

restaurants that have over syncopated disco music blaring from speakers hanging from cracked

door frames. The street vendors discard their unused, spoiled food into the street. And then

there’s the barbaric driving. The drivers disobey the traffic lights without hesitation. The traffic

flows in congested, swirling turnabouts.They drive in opposing directions, all while a hapless

police officer stands in the midst blowing a whistle and pointing at certain cars for whatever

reason expecting that some kind of order will evolve.

A swirling mess. An unchoreographed automotive ballet that feature what must be stolen

Mercedes from nearby countries where gangs own the police and the courts.

The driving is horrendous, but that might be due to the crater pocked roads that are filled with

giant holes from the bombs that were dutifully dropped during some conflict with most likely, a

neighboring country that wanted to try and subdue the people that live here.

but I have never seen more attractive people. Their hair, so dark and their eyes, so clear and

mysterious.

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Each woman and man is profoundly attractive in some unique, but common way. A country

riddled with an obscure language and horrible infrastructure has the most beautiful people. Their

honesty and kindness is given freely, but I have seen it violently revoked to those that take

advantage of their good nature.

This culture lives and breathes with a simple truth: Justice with revenge is earned.

If you want to be stupid and take advantage of their good nature you’ll discover how stupid you

are for doing it.

There’s an oddly beautiful poetry within their aggressive response when you interact with them.

They seem hostile, but they really aren’t. They’re passionate as Hell. Their words are like fire

and the energy that feeds them is limitless.

How can such a depressed place also afford to give the people that live here such incredible, raw

beauty? Maybe it’s the internal resilience of themselves and some kind of instinct that prepares

them to foresee conflict as well as an overall respect of their traditions..

Montenegro. Rural and Authentic?

Beautiful and Dangerous.

Enticing and Forbidden.

Accepting and Unforgiving.

A land of complete contradiction, and yet has the most agile kind of seduction. It seeps in and

pokes at you with the red hot tip of its sword. You can feel the pain and pleasure simultaneously.

This is not a place where you come with silly expectations of how beautiful the world is, because

once you’re here the rose colored glasses will be smashed from the harshness of how the world

really looks without them.

This is what I was looking for.

This is what I wanted.

This is going to be the adventure I deserve.

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I knew, and they knew that I didn't belong here, but it didn't matter. This is where I wanted to be,

and this is what I wanted to do.

I'm here now.

The real Montenegro.

My Montenegro.

I looked at my phone to check the signal strength; nothing. I started walking down the messy

sidewalks and past the blaring music from the competing bars and hotels. I the music was so

loud, and frenetic it was like they were having some kind of musical warfare.

There was one building that was quiet so I chose to walk inside due its somber appearance. As I

approached the door the smell of cigars was very evident.

As I placed my hand on the door I could hear soft rumbling off in the distance. The sounds of a

thunderstorm traveling through the mountains, it's angry approach being given away by beating

on its own drum. I looked behind me and could see bright flashes of lightning in the distance as

they hung to the lower sections of dark grey clouds.

I caught a glimpse of an elderly woman as she shuffled past, clutching the crest of her cane. Her

knuckles looked like they were a part of the cane itself with it's burled top.

As I turned my head back around and face the door I could see a shadowy figure stop in front the

window. The window was tinted with a milky white tint, but whoever it was stood there, looking

at me. I went to turn the handle and at that same moment, whoever was on the other side also

turned it, and the door suddenly opened.

Smoke billowed and the room was visible for a moment, so I walked inside. The door closed

immediately behind me. I stood there, in a silent, dingy room with nothing but men in it.

This place was filled with smoke, and eager eyes.

Men sitting at tables with carrom boards, cards and mostly empty liquor bottles. Other than the

nicotine stained lights that hung from electrical wire, the only other light came from the orange

glowing tips of the smoldering cigars that dangled from their mouths.

They were just sitting there not saying a word, that is, until I walked in. A few them mumbled

things to one another, and then went back to doing whatever it was they were doing.

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The table closest to me had three men and they all stared at me.

My thoughts went from having all the attention to having the wrong attention.

I don't what happened to the guy that was at the door. I know he stepped aside and was

lumbering somewhere behind me. It's one of those feelings you can feel someone touching you

without them actually laying a single finger on you.

One of them stood up and approached me. I began to step backward out of an internal instinct

that told me that this was not the right place to be. I bumped into someone but whoever it was

didn't move. They didn't grab me, but I felt like I had backed up against a large tree.

My heart and mind were racing as I had no choice, no option, no help. Nothing. I briefly thought

about my choice to come here and a drop of regret splashed into my mind.

The man that had stood up and walked to me was now only an arm's length away. He was tall,

and lanky with a dark stubble on his face. His eyes were sky blue and his hair was light brown

and unfurled from underneath his faded, and rim tattered fedora.

He cologne was very familiar, and it made me think of the kind my husband used to wear when

we first met; Cacharel. It has such a subtleness to it, even in a room plugged with smoke from

cigars that have the cheapest tobacco stuffed inside of them, that French cologne still found a

passageway into my senses and was turning me on.

He was probably the only person who wasn't smoking, maybe. I don't know...I was in sensory

overload from just stepping inside this place.

He jerked his head to his left two times in short, sudden movements. I could feel the person

behind me gently push forward with his torso as she dragged his body on mine as he stepped

side.

A subtle, but sexual greeting of hello and goodbye form an unknown person as he pressed his

groin against the midst of my back.

Internal fear had gripped me and was shaking me from the inside out. The only muscle control I

had were my eyes. I took my eyes off from the man in front of me and quickly scanned the room.

Most of the men had now re-focused their attention back on their games.

They were mostly older. In their 60's and well beyond having much interest, or seeing potential

with a woman in her late twenties.

Their thoughts may have been there, but the motivation wasn’t.

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Rejection and flattery can roll themselves together in unusual ways, and this was one of those

moments.

The man in front of me spoke in broken English. He wanted to know my name. I told him and he

stood there in silence for a moment. he looked at the standing behind me and spoke in their

language. I could tell they were talking about me because I distinctly heard my name.

I felt someone brush against me as they walked by, it was the person behind me as they walked

toward the back of the room.

Damn he was big. Scary. It looked like he was seven feet tall.

I could hear thunder outside and knew I now had the option to stay here, or to turn and run back

outside and hope that the next place I go into isn't as forsaken as this one.

No.

I stood there looking into this man's eyes. My fear had subsided amidst the appeal of his boyish

face and the subtle waves of his cologne that ignited miniscule flames of passion.

He spoke to me once again, and each word was clear, but the meaning I had was different than

what he had. He asked: "Do you love rain?" I nodded my head up and down as innocently as I

could.

Outside the thunder was louder, and was so close it made the building I was in tremble with each

sonic wave that invisibly bombed the wooden beams of the structure I was in.

He held out his hand and I willingly allowed him to firmly grasp mine as he led me outside. My

mind had been shattered since arriving here. I thought about where I started, where I had been

and where I was at. I had jackhammers pounding away at my practical thoughts until they

crumbled into a heap of ash that was blown away from the winds of my senses that swirled

around with reckless abandon.

This is what I wanted.

This is what I desired.

He is what I needed.

We stood there, his warm, strong hand squeezing mine, and watched the lightning danced across

the sky as the the rain began to fall. The drops, they looked like bits of diamonds. they were so

clear and were in sharp contrast to the area where they were falling.

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He started to walk down the steps and tugged at me as I hesitated to go with him. My white dress

would surely reveal more than I'd like it to once the it became soaked. He smiled at me and

repeated his question from earlier, but politely added one simple word at the end: "You love

rain?, no?"

That single word charmed me, and instead of it meaning what it's supposed to, and signaling

something I shouldn't do, I smiled back at him and said yes.

This man, he must be twenty years older than me, and here I am seduced and willing to go

wherever he takes me.

The reckless music was gone. The people were gone. The streets were empty and it looked like I

was in some other city. The rain had removed the pungent odor from the garbage tossed into the

streets and replaced it with ion enriched molecules.

We walked down the street for two blocks, my dress was felt heavy from the rain it was soaking

up and I knew the transparency would give any onlookers a very revealing view of what i was

wearing (and not) underneath. He never looked back to let his eyes wander over my body. He

took me to a house that had a wooden gate around it and lead me to the back.

He left me there and ran inside.

Once again fear rushed in, and I began crying. I couldn't handle this up and down, schizophrenic,

mind rattling experience. he returned quickly and I saw him place a small brown radio on a table.

He turned it on and dialed through a few staticy stations until he found just the right one.

It was playing music that featured a fluttering clarinet and a man singing to a slow, but rhythmic

beat. He raised his arms above his head and began to snap his fingers to the beat, twirling on the

balls of his feet while keeping contact with my eyes. When he came to me, he wrapped his arm

my waist and pull me next to him.

The rain was steady and soft and it felt incredible. He put his mouth on my ear and whispered:

"The rain. Is meant for love."

When his face brushed against mine the stubble of his unshaven face scraped mine, but it was at

that moment, that single moment intense, but pleasurable pain I knew I was getting what I came

looking for.

I no longer cared about anything except that I was here, and starting to dance with a man as the

rain gently falls on us while the music he chose, Filled with fluttering notes and accompanied

with a singer that must be his country's Frank Sinatra.

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The beauty of the music wasn't diminished, even though it came from a ragged old radio with

that had constant static and crackling from jolts of lightning that would interfere with the

transmission to the speaker.

He held me close and twirled me in tight circles, releasing mw with methodical precision all the

while never letting go of my hand. He was leading me in the dance, and I enjoyed each step and

every moment his hands landed on my hips and pulled me into him. My dress was beyond

soaked and was making it difficult to keep up with him. At one point I placed my hands on his

chest, and I began not to take my dress off, but to unbutton his shirt.

A sudden flash of light that lit up the sky, the sound the followed sounded like a bomb, the

ground rattled and wrapped my arms around my dance partner. I felt secure and laid my head on

his chest as we slowly rocked back and forth.

The rain began pouring down and gently flooded the concrete floor. The rain felt warm and was

as it washed over my feet that glid over the hard, cold surface of the patio.The sound of the

raindrops splashing into the shallow pools of muddy water underneath the roof line was the only

music we had. The radio went silent after the crash of thunder and the jolt of lightning over

charged the air with electricity.

We held each-other close, and with inviting squeezes with our hands.

I closed my eyes and let myself dissolve into the moment as he slowly slid his hands down my

back and stopped at my hips. His thumbs rested on my hips as his long fingers reached around

the small of my back.

He cupped his hands behind me and pulled me into him with delicate force.

The rain began to let up, and the radio was fading in and out, but I could hear a voice that faded

in and out, the airwaves were pulsating from another country and struggled to find the radio’s

receiver, but as the song began to play I knew what it was.

I remember hearing it only twice before, but it has always stayed in my mind.

The piano that easily wept as it was being played, the slow beat was paired perfectly with the

beautiful voice of J.D. Souther. Those words. Those perfectly composed and sung words:

Such a beautiful song to dance, and be held to.

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