Storymania Logo




Should You Go To College? by Randall Barfield Decisions confront us at every step in life. [503 words]
Making Moves: Another Look At Victims And Choices In Ann Rule's True Crime Stories by Randall Barfield Ann Rule gives the murderers... [9,916 words]
The Godless Home(Life) by Randall Barfield Basically, this is written from experience. [661 words]
What I Like About You by E Daugherty What Im looking for in a partner... [371 words]
On Health Matters Including Diets by Higgins A fourteen point plan is offered which may lead to. health improvement. [727 words]
What Happens All The Time by Lucy Midnight This is kind of a teens point of view. [530 words]
To My Dad's Many Fans. Doc by Jason Taylor The Bloodman A tribute to my late Father, one of the best writers Storymania has read in years. [93 words]
My Dad's Top Five by Jason Taylor The Bloodman A compilation of my Dad's five best stories. [244 words]
A Passionate Recipe For Communication by Shelley J Alongi Read a story about how one deaf man and one blind woman got together with... [1,847 words]
Those Presentation Jitters by Shelley J Alongi The next time you think you're nervous about a speech, read this account of a presen... [2,325 words]
Puppets In Hands... by Men Walkalone Slow groove of interesting reality show described nowadays. [61 words]
From Kenya, With Love by Skyler Drevan True story. [1,644 words]
Things To Know About Girls by J P Weathers An article telling a little about the mind of the common high school girl. [720 words]
The Angel Of Death
Flight Number 4: The Human Quality by Shelley J Alongi January 13, 2004, the date for Shelley's flight number 4. This flight will ... [2,663 words]
To All My Favorite Writers; You Know Who You Are by David B Doc Byron Update on my college placement tests. [412 words]
One Pilot's Magic: A Review Of Fate Is The Hunter by Shelley J Alongi In 1961, Ernest K. Gann wrote a book about flying: one of man... [383 words]
An Unhappy New Year by Dulcy Obrochta Non-fiction story of a couple torn between doing what's right and what's in their hearts. [237 words]
To ''C'' From Doc by David B Doc Byron A personal rebuttal to a nasty review. [434 words]
Toastmasters Speech Number 9: Our Most Important Document by Shelley J Alongi In October, 2003, I gave speech number 9. It was abo... [889 words]
Toastmaster Speech 10: You Never Know by Shelley J Alongi This was the last speech required for completion of the certification pro... [1,280 words]
The Story Of Dan by Skyler Drevan - [2,036 words]
North Star Notes by Shelley J Alongi As a result of flight number three, I picked up a book that the pilot recommended to me. It's... [1,194 words]
Shame Or Protection by Skyler Drevan You be the judge. [985 words]
Coming Home: Flight Three by Shelley J Alongi This is the third instalment of Shelley's adventures in flight! Improving communicati... [2,354 words]
Christianity by Skyler Drevan - [113 words]
What Are We There For by Zorg - [841 words]
The Boneyard by David B Doc Byron - [476 words]
Quotable Quotes by David B Doc Byron - [76 words]
Coming To America In The 21st Century by Destiny When I 1st left my 3rd worldd island home I had to start a new life in Am... [1,339 words]
Six Speeches To Success by Shelley J Alongi In January, 2003 I joined toastmasters and will complete my first certification by Nove... [4,162 words]
Nick by GutierrezJ A short story about young first love written in a young girls perspective. [1,063 words]
Music In My Pink Room by GutierrezJ A personal reflection about a girl and how muic and her mother affected her young life. [1,443 words]
I've Been Having These Dreams About You... by Skyler Drevan Something I wrote about a former boyfriend of mine. I really don't k... [243 words]
Getting High On Nature... Up In The Kumaons by Ananya Rohini I have been to Nainital and some places around it a number of times... [1,824 words]
From Tears To Hope by GrahamCP A story about my struggle with depression and anorexia after my husband of 20 years left me ... [30,242 words]
An Enlightening Journey Through Time by Ananya Rohini I have the privilege of sharing my experience (after the last one being of... [1,944 words]
Life's A Ditch by Emily S This was a narrative assignment I wrote for my composition class this year... Unfortunately, it'... [2,061 words]
Kids Are Not Meant To Be Adults by Veronica R Ewing I actually wasn't sure which category to put this under, since it is non-fictio... [2,191 words]
Honestly by Emily S It's not what you think. [12 words]
Final Farewell by Emily S I wrote this on my very last day of school, for my final theme assignment in composition. I was ... [2,051 words]
When Straight Guys Go Gay by Skyler Drevan This is a real life account of a guy my friends and I met online who had questions ab... [2,810 words]
H.P. Lovecraft; True Master Of Horror Fiction by David B Doc Byron My perosnal opinion of H.P. Lovecraft's works. [401 words]
Sickness by Men Walkalone Dialogs/monologs of empty people sitting by themselves in front of the mirror of their trapping life. [71 words]
The Tinman Syndrome by Kurt Fondriest A story of support for men who are challenged by Fibromyalgia daily. [7,329 words]
My Favorite Eisenhower Moments: Reminiscences From Crusade In Europe by Shelley J Alongi In January, 2000, I read Gen. Dwight D. Ei... [1,160 words]
A Monster Of Monsters by Randall Barfield Why did we ever let him get this far? [208 words]
Stepmothers by Hanan Al Kindi About my stepmother. [1,144 words]
Islamic Metalwork by Norman A Rubin The History and background to metalwork in the Muslim world. [2,193 words]
Mr Randy Sez by Randall Barfield Expressed thoughts, musings, comments, etc. on whatever I please. [5,598 words]
On A Dad's Turning 80 by Randall Barfield Some want to get there, others couldn't care less. How much is choice? [390 words]
Ancient Egypt by Christina Aspears About Ancient Egypt and Egypt as it is today. [1,901 words]
A Troubled Nation In Need Of Prayer And Soul-Searching: How To Repair It by Randall Barfield Send you suggestions/contributions in ... [89 words]
The Word Is In The Law by Norman A Rubin The law is the word even our sexual life. [1,365 words]
No More Stalling: Shellbell's Flight Adventure Number 2 by Shelley J Alongi Six months after my first flight in a C172 Skyhawk, I a... [2,049 words]
No More Stalling: Part II by Shelley J Alongi In the passion of recounting my Cessna adventure, I left out some ideas you might fin... [1,829 words]
Death The Intruder by Norman A Rubin The rule of Father Death in the time of the Great famine in the Renaissance period. [1,688 words]
Hi Mr Willis, Can You Explain What Wrong I Did? by Randall Barfield Teaching school is always give and take. Will it ever be diffe... [462 words]
Growing Up Among Racists by Randall Barfield A look at some of us in retrospect. [635 words]
Shellbell's Flight Adventure by Shelley J Alongi I've been publishing stories here with an aviation theme so I thought you might en... [1,797 words]
Greetings From... Asbury Park? by Don Everett Pearce A non-fiction short story about a trip to Asbury Park. [2,025 words]
Boston Or Bust by Joseph Patrick McGrath McGrath This details a trip home from college where everything went wrong. The trip was from Buffalo to... [5,115 words]
Leonardo Da Vinci, Science And Engineer by Norman A Rubin Leonardo da Vinci was known as a 'Renaissance Man' - a man who sought t... [2,112 words]

Go to page: 1 2 3 [4] 5
The Angel Of Death
This is creative non-fiction relating to my travels in Europe. It is part of a much larger body of ongoing writing.
[1,290 words]
Robert Guskind
Robert Guskind is an award-winning reporter and globe-trotting adventurer who is currently at work on a book about his travels and tribulations. He is a regular contributor at www.cherrybleeds.com and www.undergroundvoices.com.
[February 2004]
Tijuana Trolley (Non-Fiction) This is an excerpt from a work that is currently in progress. This passage details events in the Baja California in the winter of 1994-95. It is part of a much larger work. [973 words]
The Angel Of Death
Robert Guskind

At first glance, the woman sitting near me does not exude death or a fatal attraction to misfortune.

I would avoid her if she did.

She is a willowy blonde with short hair who is wearing a black dress and looks to be in her early thirties.

Like me, she’s sitting alone, eating dinner in a cavernous Swiss German place in Zurich on the Left Bank of the Limmat River, the part of town where the Swiss banks and expensive shops are located.

I wandered in here after checking out the nearby James Joyce Pub—which was Jury’s in Dublin and figured in Ulysses and was moved in its entirety to Zurich in the 1970s—where I downed a couple of grotesquely overpriced shots of Irish whisky.

I nibble on some rosti and drink my beer.

I look over at the female dining alone at the next table. I’ve been traveling by myself for a couple of weeks and have been on my own in Zurich for a few days.

I’m dying for some conversation, even a tortured one in broken English, and she’s there and alone.

Nature abhors nothing more than a vacuum.

She looks at me looking at her and looks down at her plate.

I look at her again.

She looks at me.

I smile.

She nods.

“Do you speak English?” I say.

Lame as it may be, “Do you speak English?” is one of the best opening lines in Europe, except with chicks who don’t speak English, who’ll simply say no or nein or nyet or whatever.

My European pick up strategy, however, may or may not be getting me anyplace that I ultimately want to go.

“Ja,” she says. “I am speaking little bit. American you is?”

“Yeah,” I say. “Are you from Zurich?”

“Not from the zity, but from outside the zity.”

“I’m from Washington, DC. My name is Bob.”

“I am Yolanda.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“We talk?” she says. “I practice the English with you.”

“Sure,” I say. “Do you want to join me?”

She picks up her plate and glass of wine and sits down at my table.

Yolanda tells me that she works for an accounting firm doing administrative work.

She asks me how I like Zurich and I tell her that I think it’s an okay town, although I like the much more low key neighborhood on the other side of the Limmat River a lot more than this one. We talk for nearly an hour. The conversation’s pleasant enough that I ask her if she wants to go to a café for some coffee or beer.

She looks like she’s going to say yes, but glances at her watch and gasps.

“I must go,” she says. “Already, I miss one train and soon I miss another. I am expected at the flat. If you wish, tomorrow we meet.”

“Sure,” I say. “Why not.”

“At what hotel you stays?”

“The Helmhaus.”

The Helmhaus is a comfortable place not far from here on the other side of the river.

“Ja,” she says. “I know this place. I meet you there at 18:00?”

“Sure. I’m in room 409.”

She writes down the number.

I watch her leave the restaurant.

At six on the nose the next day, the front desk rings and says that Yolanda is downstairs. I tell them to send her up.

I invite Yolanda in. She slips off her shoes and sits in a chair next to me in front of a window with a view of some nearby rooftops.

I offer her a beer from the mini-bar and crack one open for myself too.

I tell her about my day wandering the streets of Zurich. She tells me about hers.

She asks if I have a girlfriend.

I tell her that I did until about six weeks ago, but that I’m single again.

“I am sharing the flat with the man who has the epilepsy,” she says.

“Is he your boyfriend?” I ask.

“We are together, ja. He falled down on the floor and broked his left skull.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Years ago he got mixed up in the gun and the knife battle. Five people left their life.”

“He killed five people?” I ask.

“No. He is not doing the killing of the people. Was many people at this battle. He is in the prison for ten years.”

“Why did the fight happen?”

“A woman had infected this man with the syphilis and that is why they attacked.”

I’m very unclear about who attacked whom—and I’m not sure I want to know—but if I’m getting the gist of Yolanda’s sordid tale of woe, five Swiss people died because a woman gave a guy VD.

The Swiss reputation for being polite and peaceful people interested mostly in making money is an exaggeration, if not a lot of hype.

“He is trying to forget these tragic events,” Yolanda says. “After the prison, it is the trial by the ordeal. For five years, he was in the wheelchair.”

I get up and retrieve a bottle of grappa I bought in Italy from one of my bags. I was going to bring it home, but I feel a strong urge for a big, stiff drink.

I sit down, crack open the bottle and pour a healthy amount into a glass. Yolanda’s story is the best argument for drunkenness I’ve ever run across.

“He falled and broked his skull when he comes home from the prison,” Yolanda continues. “He was a skilled mechanic. When he was younger he wanted to study the medicine. All my relations they want that I desert this man because he rescued the memories from the oblivion and drinks burdened with guilt.”

I take another hit of grappa. I’m not feeling so blithe myself.

“He is the godfather to a child whose father was killed on the motorbike,” Yolanda says. “The godmother of this child is got the screw loose. She phoned at midnight anonymously. We report her to the police.”


“She maked the threat on us. In the past, the godparents lived together. My godfather made the suicide with the carbine.”

I picture death, shrouded in black, walking down the beach like in The Seventh Seal.

“My uncle was the banker in Bern,” Yolanda says. “From the cirrhosis he is died. To the mistress in Geneve he leaves all the money. This woman is very much more young than my uncle. All of the people discusses this. Her father sells the paintings but makes the money bringing the heroin from Bulgaria to Switzerland. By bus the drugs come to Zurich from Sofia. The father of the mistress is catched by police and everyone sees this on the television and the newspaper. The name of the family is disgraced in the shame.”

“Your name?” I ask.

“Ja,” she says. “My aunt dies in the car accident on the autobahn in Germany near Manheim after the uncle dies from the cirrhosis and the story of the mistress is on the television. The police says she makes the suicide with the car. In the other car, are three people left without the life.”

“That’s a very sad story,” I say, taking another big hit of liquor. “I’m very sorry.”

“There is more.”

I’m sure there is, but if I hear any more right now, I’m going to go on a three-day bender of heavy drinking burdened with guilt. My thoughts about sleeping with Yolanda have evaporated. If I have sex with this person, they’ll probably find me floating in the river in the morning.

“Maybe you could tell me more tomorrow?” I say, looking at my watch. “I’m supposed to have dinner with a friend.”

It is a terrible lie. I’ll probably spend the night getting drunk alone, but it beats the alternative.

“I had wished we could have the dinner together,” Yolanda says.

That would be nice if Yolanda wasn’t the Angel of Death.

I invite her to stop by tomorrow, when I have no intention of being around, and walk her to the door.

She kisses me on the cheek and, then, she is gone.

I lock the door. It’s best to stay in tonight.



"I Loved It. This Is Gia, yes Gia your sister and I have been trying to find you. Congrats on your personal celebration and professional accomplishments. Miss you, love you. Gia Rose Guskind." -- Gia Rose Guskind, East Meadow , ny, 11554.


Submit Your Review for The Angel Of Death
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*

Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for The Angel Of Death

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

© 2004 Robert Guskind
February 2004

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.