Translated by Johannes Göransson

The Debt-Ridden

Therefore, it is now time.

It's time now.

For my confession.

I have to confess.

Are you ready?

Are you ready for my confession?

For a long time I have associated dolls with words.

But it is wrong.

I now realize how wrong it is.

Dolls are not at all as powerful or arbitrary as language.

Dolls are variations of a body that can be controlled, but language is not like that.

Dolls can be repaired, language can’t.

Language cannot repair anything.

Dolls relieve.

Words don’t.

There is nothing good about words.


Now I’ve said it.

Every day I play a game that I detest. 


In the heart of the dark forest. The crawling heap. From a distance it looks like intertwined worms. As I get closer, I see clearly that the wet stumps have girl faces. Naked lower-class girls crawl over and under each other with exposed skin. Their skin have burnt into shreds. They scrape off bits of skin with hardened moss. They have transformed their bodies into an event they have carried for an eternity now. And look, there, in another heap young mothers are giving birth to their fry. Directly after birth, the mothers burn up their fetuses. The blood sky hangs like a painful curtain in the glade. These children are not born in the green rooms. Their birth rooms are red. The earth is covered with newborn eyes, burnt hair, charred wings and shriveled penises. I sit alone in the cottage, watching the crawling, the shed skin and the charred babies. There are some additional reasons that I'm sitting here: a girl gang, and the children locked up in the attic.

Really? Girls heap? You think it's a cute girl heap?
You think those young bodies are attractive?
Talk to her as if she were a child.
Never tattle.
It means Death if you tattle.
The mute girl says: nothing.
Burn up the cottage and all the secrets now.

Sara Tuss Efrik. Born in 1981 in Falun, Sweden. Writer, playwright, videoartist. Her first novel Mumieland (Mummy Landy) was published by Rosenlarv Förlag in 2012. Chapbooks of her long poem Night's Belly and a selection of her "automanias" are forthcoming in translation by Paul Cunningham (from Goodmorning Menagerie and Toad Press). 

She has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the Theater Academy in Malmö. She is now working on black suns, the greek nymph Calypso, anaesthesia and nothingness in a novel called Heroine. You can find her video monolouges here: