Lis Lovén

A Child of No One

After the battle of Lund, 1676

I was a child of no one. I lived close to the borders of Kronoberg socken, if that tells you anything. My mother had slept with several men, so I guess my dad could be just about any king of the world. That is how I grew up talking about it. Mum said that the king could bloody hell walk into any kitchen he liked. So, from that day I saw my dad as a king. A hero, you ask? But in those days Scania belonged to Denmark. So, we had to pile up stories of our past. How men banked the shit out of Swedish people. But no. The Swedish king had decided to grab that part of Denmark to own it for himself. That was in those days I was born.

It is weird to think about it, but I can for no reason at all recall that my mum never ever was mild or kind to me. That very behaviour of hers drove me insane. And I went out into the upper north woods beating down people who happend to pass by. They saw no reason imagining a sort of girl, half-boy if you ask me, getting hard on them. And I brought my weapon with me, a dagger made of finest steel.

I was not out to kill, only hurt. And I grabbed the chance when I spotted those Smolandic people passing by. They sold their butter at markets in Denmark. But now.

It was a sad day to me when the civil war broke out. I am not talking about the killing, but sort of what I had to lose. I had a couple of some kinds of friends and now I knew no longer in whom to trust. One I killed because of that. The others ran off to Copenhagen. As I was a depraved girl, I saw no reason in bettering myself. Now I saw people in that civil war die because some were Swedish, others Danish. My dad, the king, was very pleased. He worked hard to turn us all into Swedes. I for myself saw no reason not to dabble on both sides. But never had I thought that I was the sort to fall in love with a man.

I was 18 that year. A man of Polish descent had stayed in what was to become Sweden after the battle of Lund, 1676. You can imagine. He was tall. His nose crooked, that is why they called him the Jew. I slept with him the first day I met him. Why wait to let the fever out? I had thought that a girl, a neighbour of ours, should be my first lover. Anyhow. Yes, that fever. Oh how my blood ran wild. The kind of convulsion that came over me I could not have dreamt of. And it pleased me so much. The very next day they hanged my lover from an oak. I was hurt, yes of course, but then again… Life continued it own course. Destiny they call it.

I began working as a spy because the Swedish side paid me for it. And I knew a lot of Danish, so why not betray three or four of them. I knew their hiding place, cause my Polish lover had told me.

I remember that big oak where they hanged people. But being on the Swedish side I had to go to mass each Sunday. They forced them into being Swedish. For myself it was a choice of my own.

As time went by with money in my pocket I decided to settle down. Most of the guerilla men had no been killed. Some talked about the Swedish slavery and slave mentality. It was boring I found out. Too late. My Danish people had lost the civil war. Or was it civil? If two brother people are fighting is it a civilian war, then? Never mind.

I ended up marrying a grave digger, cause I figured his payment to be clean. He was bloody Swedish. But deep down inside me I still felt a rebellion lust, which I caused my husband to suffer under. He looked at me, saying I was more depraved than Judas. I ran up kissing his cheek. All of a sudden, we broke into laughter. From that day they called me Judas.

© Lis Lovén 2021

Lis Lovén is a Swedish woman in her 60s. She has not had very many ordinary jobs since she has suffered from a psychological disease. However staying at home, she found a way to keep busy with reading and writing. And at a time, she even studied in Great Britain. This visit gave her an idea of beginning to work with the English language and now she has translated several Swedish poems into English. They might be published.