Excerpt for The Price of Freedom by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Index:

Chapter 1: Chosen


Chapter 2: With freedom comes responsibility


Chapter 3: Setting up the death-camp


Chapter 4: The prison of freedom


Chapter 5: Fitting into a free society


Chapter 6: Life happens


Chapter 7: A welcome change


Chapter 8: Why so different? The demons of the past


Chapter 9: The victory into the future


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The book speaks to the long-lasting effects of war atrocities which were witnessed by a young child, suffering, pain and the inhumane actions - which one human could inflict on another.


It also deals with hope and eventually acceptance.


Angie Crowley – a born Namibian - never truly had the chance to experience childhood since the age of three, as her view on life was forever altered by a paedophile.


At the age of six, she found herself living in the “red zone” in the epicentre of the Namibian liberation war between Angola and Namibia. She witnessed many atrocities, experienced a lot of heartache and her already inquisitive mind stopped functioning like that of a child.


By the age of nine, she despised unfairness towards all humans: black, white, old, young, male and female. Her protective nature was forever instilled in her personality.


She declared war against fear – even healthy fears that she’d later on needed in her adulthood. Her personal borders were shifted forever, she could never think like an “average” person again… and she could not see the logic of so many rules made by mankind.


She was always a loner as she preferred not to keep herself busy with “shallow” conversations or chit-chat with friends… leaving a conversation, feeling empty on the inside.


Personal relationships suffered due to the fact that she was often referred to as being weird or unconventional.


During her late teens, early adulthood, she suffered from mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress, separation anxiety and even depression. She realized that the soldiers involved in the war, her parents and even acquaintances refused to talk about the war or how it affected them – it was like a forbidden subject, so Angie decided to write this book in memory of those who survived… those who paid the ultimate prize for what they believed in… and especially Jackie.


Jackie - You will forever be my guardian angel!


If Angie could “make it” – so can every child, victim, lost soul or person who feels that they are in the darkest of dark hole.


This book is based on a true story. Some names and events have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.











Chapter 1

Chosen



Namibia, 1974 to 1975


In the garden - just outside of her house in Usakos (a small town 200 kilometres from the West-Coast of Namibia), surrounded by the magnificent Erongo mountain range - the three-year old Angeline – also called Angie by her family - was sitting on her haunches drawing pictures in the red sand with her little finger. A garden is normally perceived by most people as a huge patch of lawn with plants and flowers, however in this arid part of the world, a garden consisted of a few shrubs with red sand covering the rest of the yard.


Three years old - already so at peace and happy in her own company - she was wearing her favourite red dress that her Mom made for her. It was just like any other afternoon: Mom prepared dinner, Angie’s older brother: John played ball with his friends in the street and Angie’s Dad was working late as usual.


“Luckily I still have a few hours to play before it is turning dark” Angie thought.


Suddenly, an inexplicable gush of wind blew, wiping her drawings off the sand, leaving only but a blood-red dust trail.


The dry Autumn-coloured leaves were blowing in her direction – hard into her face – some leaves blew past her peacefully, keeping low on the ground.


As she admired the yellowish-brown leaves, the horizon with orange hues, slowly turning red. Within seconds, the sun started to set slowly beyond the horizon and Angie could not help, but to admire this extraordinary magnificent early sunset.


As she returned to reality, she suddenly wondered: “What on earth just happened? It should have been daylight for at least two more hours?”


Enjoying the orange-red darkness, she sat quietly, enjoying every moment of this almost prenominal experience… She waited peacefully…


All of a sudden, she hears: “Angie, I called you upon your name, you are Mine. I have a task for you and I will give you the power to do it,” - a voice out of nowhere.


Already a believer in the supernatural - Angie was not afraid one bit.


She wasn’t totally sure if she actually heard the voice aloud or if it was a little voice coming from deep inside her. All she knew in her heart and gut - was that this was real - so loud and SO magnificent!


Curious to hear more, Angie sat… waiting patiently for the voice to continue. She sat quietly… waiting… waiting to hear more… she waited a bit longer… and then another bit longer… She decided to wait a few more minutes, but she realised that it was the only words that she’d receive from this voice – for now in any case.


Angie jumped up and ran to her Mom, who was busy preparing supper, standing in front of the oven. Angie tugged impatiently at her Mom’s dress and told her thrillingly about what had just happened: “Mommy, you will not believe what just happened! Jesus called me… He called me for something! I’m not sure what it is, but He called me!” Angie’s words came out excitedly in a jumbled rush. Her head was spinning and her heart was racing, still trying to grasp what had just happened.


In the midst of all this excitement and jumbled rush, she was trying to figure out what “the task” elicited, what it was that she was “supposed to do”.


A few minutes went by as Angie could not contain her excitement and babbled on about her so-called calling and the indescribable feeling that overwhelmed her.


By this time, Mom was busy preparing the dinner table and she nodded her head in an almost distracted manner, not realising that her little girl was already living a conscious and attentive life.


After dinner, Angie’s head was still filled with a whirl of questions. Finally - in bed - she tried to analyse what the voice said. “What was this task that was expected from me? What kind of power would I receive to perform this task? Why me, so young and insignificant? Does He know what He is doing to entrust me with such a task?”


These were her last thoughts as she made way for the mighty dreamland feeling amazingly, eerily at peace - even more peaceful than ever in her three years on earth.


Angie was the only daughter of Fred and Cecile Crowley. At her tender age, her religious parents instilled principles like honesty, integrity and never to be afraid to ask questions.


Angie’s mind often wandered and she’d escape into her own world, often getting into trouble for not paying attention when her parents called for her. She was a dreamer and her mind and imagination had no boundaries.


At the age of three, blessed with intelligence and inquisitiveness, she always questioned everything: about this world and the next, about the earth and the human race and plagued her family with incessant yet insightful probing.


Her older brother John, on the other hand, was the ever competitive, strong healthy boy, who saw everything as a challenge. Angie took great pleasure in his robust, protective brotherly love and normally got involved in his so-called “challenges” – be it sport or competitive games.


They grew up in the vast desert-like, Namibia, where towns were spread far apart. Angie and John would spend their days challenging each other - at every single game they played… or Angie would be chasing John with one question after another until John would finally give her an answer.


Other times, Angie could be found all alone, in thoughtful silence, for long afternoons at a time.


Angie’s parents owned a house in Windhoek - the capital city of Namibia - as well as in Usakos. This made it easier for her Dad - who was in the infrastructure construction business - to reach most of his work sites within short distances and still come home to his family in the evenings. Although their houses were situated centrally in Namibia, Angie’s Dad could not always return home after work as his contracts were sometimes far from both towns.


During one summer break, they were on their way from Windhoek to Usakos, where Grandpa Gerard and Grandma Retha lived.


The family of four usually entertained themselves by counting the number of cars passing them by, trying to remember the number plates of the vehicles and talk endlessly - about any topic that popped up in their minds.


It was almost dark and Angie could not wait to see her grandparents again - whom she absolutely adored. As she looked out the window and the darkness crept in everywhere, Angie started to wonder why everybody she ever met, claimed to be scared of the dark.


“Mommy, you know what, I am not scared of the dark,” Angie tried to convince her Mom.


John, sitting next to Angie, replied instantly, “Me neither, you silly!”


“I am scared of a great, big lion coming out from nowhere and suddenly attacking me. Does that happen a lot of times to people Mommy?” asked Angie.


“You idiot, lions don’t just attack you! They’re scared of people and would only attack as a last resort, if they are threatened or hungry!” John retorted before Mom could reply.


“Well, I am not scared of the devil trying to take me from Jesus’ arms either, because Jesus has big, strong arms and will protect me at all costs and He is much stronger than the devil” Angie announced confidently.


John shook his head in utter disbelief at her last statement, probably thinking that his sister had lost all her marbles, the ever-serious mind, not living in the here and now.


Angie turned to her Mom again and asked, “Mommy, what are you scared of the most?”


Her Mom replied “People, my child, people who can hurt you badly without blinking an eye. Or even, people who can kill you.”


“But why Mommy, how can people hurt each other? Why would they want to hurt or risk the chance to kill each other?” Angie asked with her brows drawn together in a curious frown, shocked by this statement.


Mom continued: “There are bad people, my child. Bad people don’t need a reason to kill another.”


“But Mommy, how would one know if someone is a bad person or not?” Angie persisted.


“You won’t, my child, you won’t know. You should just not trust all people and you should pray on your knees every night and ask Jesus to protect you and your loved ones” her Mom replied firmly, closing further questions on the topic.


Angie decided her Mom could be right... but she could be wrong as well. From that moment on, she vowed to give people the benefit of the doubt until they proved her wrong, but on the other hand... If one cannot establish when people are bad, then it would be safer not to trust anyone.


Although Angie was very introverted, she managed to utilise this trait to her advantage… By listening very closely to all people – placing her one step ahead - as those few seconds of not-replying, but only listening, gave her the chance to “place” the person as a “good person” or a bad person”.


She refused to miss the opportunity to meet good people as she always had a passion for people. If she distrusted all people, then she could also miss out on getting to know sincere people, their views on life and how they felt on the inside. These were just a few thoughts that mulled in her mind over the next few kilometres.


Everybody was quiet for the rest of the drive; the only sound was that of the tyres on the tarmac. John hated the silence. At one stage, he finally caved and challenged Angie, “I bet I can see the town’s lights first before you do!”


Angie pretended to take up the challenge, but her mind was spinning at the thought that people could hurt each other.


That was her first life battle, one that she grappled to come to terms with and it was not too long, before this became a reality in her young life.


A year later, her Dad got a huge construction contract in Lüderitz, a town at the coast in the South-Western region of Namibia. Angie’s parents decided to stay in a caravan near the construction site, as it was difficult for her Mom not to see her Dad for extensive periods and they did not own property near the Southern-Namibian town of Lüderitz.


It was time for John to go to the “big” school. Mom announced to Dad that John could not go to a school in Lüderitz, as there were only German schools and that he had to go to Aus, a small town, situated seventy kilometres from Lüderitz. Angie had almost turned four years old.


The family visited all the interesting places in and around the area and Angie was astonished by this breathtakingly beautiful but different side of the country that they’ve never seen.


They visited the “Ghost town” Kolmansküppe near Lüderitz and took a great interest in the history of the little neglected town where the Germans used to mine diamonds - ages ago - until they were forced to flee as a result of sandstorms destroying the little town.


They visited the Diaz cross and explored the town itself. Angie found it fascinating that sand dunes would pile up in the middle of the tar road, the different landscapes and for the first time, she really met true Germans and became acquainted with their culture and excellent, but total different baking skills.


One Sunday afternoon drive - on their way to Aus, John was uncharacteristically quiet. Seated at the back with Angie, he whispered in her ear: “Mom and Dad are going to drop me off and they are going to leave me at the hostel.”


“No, John, they would never do that to you.” Angie replied.


“Yes, they are. You will see, silly, they cannot drive me to school and back every day. It is too far. Think, man, don’t be like a girl!” John retorted, trying to convince Angie of the inevitable.


“Mommy, are you going to leave John behind at the hostel?” Angie asked, with her eyes welling up with tears. She had never been separated from John for long periods of time before.


“No, my child, we are going to drop him at the school to meet his teachers and then we are going to stock up our supplies and then we will fetch him again,” her Mom answered reassuringly, looking at Dad for some form of assistance.


“See, I told you – who is being silly now!” Angie declared happily.


“But why do you think they packed my suitcase, clothes, toothbrush and toiletries? I’m telling you they are going to leave me here,” John whispered to Angie.


“Mommy, why did you pack John’s stuff?” Angie asked.


Mom replied: “It is just for in case he needs clean clothes.” Although Angie recognised the lump in her Mom’s throat and her body language, telling a different story, Angie must have preferred to overlook it at that stage.


When the car stopped, Angie jumped out the car and ran towards the offices. The teachers and her parents were having a conversation while she and John were waiting on the terraces.


“Ah, we can go now...” Angie thought. Her Mom walked back to the car, holding Angie’s hand.


“But... but Mom, are you sure we are going to fetch John after we bought supplies?” asked Angie, doubtfully.

“Yes, my child, soon, not today, but soon.” With that, Mom carefully urges her back into the car.


John wiped away a tear of two, as he waved goodbye and Angie zoomed in on his sad facial expression which Angie knew just too well. As Angie, Mom and Dad drove off Angie saw that her Mom also wiping away a few tears.


“Maybe they didn’t really have a choice” Angie accepted.


Seventy kilometres later, with a heavy heart, they arrived at their campsite at the foot of the Halemberg Mountain, near Lüderitz. This nomadic lifestyle offered Angie the perfect opportunity to meet the world, to meet different people, with different backgrounds and different cultures. She could connect with nature and people which stimulated her inquisitive mind.


Strong gusty winds blew around the pitch black Halemberg; the white – red sand dunes and the cries of jackal and strand wolves. Angie ran up the dune-covered Halemberg mountain with the desert-wind blowing her hair backwards, this must have been extremely special air, as she didn’t even get tired until she reached the summit. This majestic view from the mountain awakened life in her soul. The orange sand patches on the black rocks looked like the world map from the top of the mountain.


It was one of the most beautiful sights that she had ever seen at the tender age of three.


One afternoon, her Dad introduced one of the new truck drivers to the family. Hank was twenty-one years old and was appointed to drive Grandpa Gerard’s truck. He would be staying in the caravan at the far-right corner of the campsite.


Angie politely greeted the tall blonde, blue-grey-eyed man with a firm handshake and then ran off to see if she could spot the strand wolves, a habit she had gotten into lately.


The next morning at six o’clock, Angie couldn’t wait to get up.

She rushed to get dressed, brushed her teeth and had her favourite breakfast: Weetbix with condensed milk. “Mommy, we are going to be late—it is almost time to go watch the wolves before they go into hiding. I must hurry up, because I don’t want to miss them!”


Whilst dawn was breaking, she leaped out of the caravan and ran in the general direction where the wolves' eerie but majestic cries could be heard.


“Be careful and don’t stray too far!” Angie’s mother yells out.

Hank, who was also awake already, chased after Angie and hollered, “Angie, wait for me, I’ll take you!”


Angie’s Mother smiled thankfully in Hank’s direction, appeased that her daughter would not get into too much trouble, being accompanied by an adult.


Angie stopped and waited for Hank to catch up – after all it would be better if an adult could accompany her. Then Mom didn’t have to be worried and she didn’t have to be scared for Angie’s well-being.


“Yes, Hank, come on, hurry. We are going to miss them!”


In one quick giant leap, Hank swept her up and put her on his shoulders. “You see, this way, we will look like a big, tall giant and we will be much higher than the strand wolves, jackal and hyenas so they will leave us alone!”


It wasn’t too long before they came across the first male wolf…


He looked scary, lowering his head and front paws, staring at them, with those black eyes. His front paws were spread far apart, as if he preparing to jump them. The wolf was slowly baring his sharp fangs and growling intensely.


In fear, Angie clutched her legs tighter around Hank’s neck. He whispered to her in a comforting tone of voice, “Shhhjjjt, you must not show that you are scared. Stare him down, look right into his eyes and stare him down. He is more frightened of you than you are of him, but he won’t show that.”


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