K for Koehlbrandbruecke
It was an early summer morning. We were on my way to our grandmothers'
for the weekend, who lives in the very north of Germany not far from
My sister, brother and I were on the backseats of our car, my parents
were in the front with my stepdad driving.
We were driving along the main motorway leading towards the northern
coast and Denmark.
We were approaching Koehlbrandbruecke, one of North Germanys largest
bridges running over the river Elbe.
I was just biting into a sweet and rosy peach when suddenly our
attention was drawn towards a white Ford which had stopped on the right
hand side walk halfway on the bridge and turned on the emergency
Time had suddenly slowed down....dragged me by its slow hands to watch
The peach tasted deliciously sweet and its juice ran from my mouth down
into my hands.
I saw a man jumping out of the white Ford. He wore white
As he came out he turned towards us for a split second without really
looking at us.
His hair was blond and curly. I watched on.
I was only little, about nine or so.
The man did not even close his door as he obviously was in a
He walked hastily along the lenght of his car, and turned at the back
side of it.
I swallowed the piece I had been chewing. It seemed the largest and
hardest piece I'd ever swallowed.
He walked towards the fence with starnge precision. I began to freeze,
my mouth wide open as I watched the man to climb the fence.
Maybe he needed a wee.
He lifted his legs to the other side and turned his back to the fence
holding himself with his arms outstretched, took a big swing and
My father stopped the car at the end of the bridge, got out and ran
back to the white Ford. He leaned over the fence to look out for the
guy, then suddenly he turned away and came back to us looking
bewildered at what he'd just seen.
The man was lying on the underwood of a field which ran alongside the
He was lying on his back with his arms stretched out to either sides
and his legs in the air. He looked peaceful in his final rest.
We drove to the next emergency phonebox on the motorway and called the
police. We waited for their arrival and then reported what we'd just
Afterwards we continued on our route whilst remaining silenced by the
horific experience until we arrived at my Granny's.
I couldn't forget the smell and taste of my peach for ages after that